79-828. Probationary certificated employee; probationary period; evaluation; contract amendment or nonrenewal; procedure.

(1) The contract of a probationary certificated employee shall be deemed renewed and remain in full force and effect unless amended or not renewed in accordance with sections 79-824 to 79-842.

(2) The purpose of the probationary period is to allow the employer an opportunity to evaluate, assess, and assist the employee's professional skills and work performance prior to the employee obtaining permanent status.

All probationary certificated employees employed by any class of school district shall, during each year of probationary employment, be evaluated at least once each semester, unless the probationary certificated employee is a superintendent, in accordance with the procedures outlined below:

The probationary certificated employee shall be observed and evaluation shall be based upon actual classroom observations for an entire instructional period. If deficiencies are noted in the work performance of any probationary certificated employee, the evaluator shall provide the probationary certificated employee at the time of the observation with a list of deficiencies and a list of suggestions for improvement and assistance in overcoming the deficiencies. The evaluator shall also provide the probationary certificated employee with followup evaluations and assistance when deficiencies remain.

If the probationary certificated employee is a superintendent, he or she shall be evaluated twice during the first year of employment and at least once annually thereafter.

Any certificated employee employed prior to September 1, 1982, by the school board of any Class I, II, III, or VI school district shall serve the probationary period required by law prior to such date and shall not be subject to any extension of probation.

(3) If the school board or the superintendent or superintendent's designee determines that it is appropriate to consider whether the contract of a probationary certificated employee or the superintendent should be amended or not renewed for the next school year, such certificated employee shall be given written notice that the school board will consider the amendment or nonrenewal of such certificated employee's contract for the ensuing school year. Upon request of the certificated employee, notice shall be provided which shall contain the written reasons for such proposed amendment or nonrenewal and shall be sufficiently specific so as to provide such employee the opportunity to prepare a response and the reasons set forth in the notice shall be employment related.

(4) The school board may elect to amend or not renew the contract of a probationary certificated employee for any reason it deems sufficient if such nonrenewal is not for constitutionally impermissible reasons, and such nonrenewal shall be in accordance with sections 79-824 to 79-842. Amendment or nonrenewal for reason of reduction in force shall be subject to sections 79-824 to 79-842 and 79-846 to 79-849.

(5) Within seven calendar days after receipt of the notice, the probationary certificated employee may make a written request to the secretary of the school board or to the superintendent or superintendent's designee for a hearing before the school board.

(6) Prior to scheduling of action or a hearing on the matter, if requested, the notice of possible amendment or nonrenewal and the reasons supporting possible amendment or nonrenewal shall be considered a confidential employment matter as provided in sections 79-539, 79-8,109, and 84-1410 and shall not be released to the public or any news media.

(7) At any time prior to the holding of a hearing or prior to final determination by the school board to amend or not renew the contract involved, the probationary certificated employee may submit a letter of resignation for the ensuing year, which resignation shall be accepted by the school board.

(8) The probationary certificated employee shall be afforded a hearing which shall not be required to meet the requirements of a formal due process hearing as set forth in section 79-832 but shall be subject to section 79-834.

Source:Laws 1982, LB 259, § 5; Laws 1986, LB 534, § 1; R.S.1943, (1994), § 79-12,111; Laws 1996, LB 900, § 458; Laws 2012, LB870, § 5.

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