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Faculty Handbooks 101

When creating a faculty handbook for your school, it’s important to provide guidance and information to support faculty members in their roles and responsibilities. You will find some schools provide relatively short handbooks whereas others are extensive. Here are topics to consider incorporating in your handbook:

  1. Introduction and School Overview: Provide an overview of the school, its mission, values, and educational philosophy. Include the school’s history, organizational structure, and / or unique aspects that set it apart.
  2. Employment Policies and Practices: Outline important policies related to faculty employment, including equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination, harassment, and any specific requirements related to certifications or licenses according to local guidelines. Include information on the hiring process, orientation, evaluation, promotion, and termination procedures.
  3. Code of Professional Conduct: Establish expectations for professional behavior, ethics, and conduct. Cover topics such as professional demeanor, dress code, confidentiality, integrity, conflict of interest, and appropriate relationships with students, parents, and colleagues.
  4. Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of faculty members. Include expectations related to teaching, lesson planning, curriculum development, student assessment, record-keeping, and reporting. Specify requirements for attendance, punctuality, and professional development.
  5. Curriculum and Instruction: Provide information about the school’s curriculum, instructional methods, and pedagogical approaches. Include guidelines for lesson planning, differentiation, assessment practices, and use of technology in the classroom. Highlight any specific expectations for special education, English language learners, or gifted students.
  6. Student Support and Discipline: Explain the school’s policies and procedures regarding student support and discipline. Address topics such as student behavior expectations, intervention strategies, referral processes, reporting incidents, and collaboration with student support services.
  7. Professional Development: Outline the school’s commitment to professional growth and development. Include information on available professional development opportunities, conferences, workshops, and funding support. Encourage faculty to engage in ongoing learning and staying abreast of educational research and best practices.
  8. Communication and Collaboration: Define expectations for communication and collaboration among faculty members, administrators, and stakeholders. Discuss protocols for staff meetings, team collaboration, parent communication, and use of technology tools for communication.
  9. Health and Safety: Provide guidelines for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Include protocols for emergency procedures, safety drills, student health and medication administration, and reporting any safety concerns.
  10. Technology Usage and Policies: Outline policies regarding the use of technology in the classroom, including acceptable use, internet safety, data privacy, and responsible digital citizenship. Provide guidelines for using school-provided technology resources and maintaining data security.
  11. Professional Benefits and Compensation: Explain the school’s policies and procedures related to faculty benefits, compensation, and leave entitlements. Include information on salary structure, benefits packages, retirement plans, vacation time, sick leave, and professional development leave.
  12. Grievance and Conflict Resolution: Clearly define procedures for handling grievances and conflicts. Provide information on the steps involved, the individuals or committees responsible for addressing issues, and the confidentiality and fairness of the process.
  13. Appendices: Include any necessary forms, templates, or additional resources that support the implementation of the policies and procedures outlined in the faculty handbook. This may include templates for lesson plans, assessment forms, or incident reporting forms.

It’s important to regularly review and update the faculty handbook to ensure its relevance and compliance with evolving laws and regulations. It’s also recommended to consult with legal professionals or experts in education law to ensure the handbook aligns with local regulations and employment practices.

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