August 19, 2009
The data contained in this handbook is considered “GPA Proprietary Data” and is not to be disclosed in
whole or in part to persons outside the GPA staff without the prior written approval of the GPA Director.
The data subject to this restriction is on sheets marked “GPA Proprietary Data”. This handbook shall be
returned to GPA upon termination of any employee.
THIS HANDBOOK HAS BEEN PREPARED AS A GUIDELINE TO
BETTER ACQUAINT NEW AND CURRENT EMPLOYEES WITH THE
COMPANY’S POLICIES. AS A GUIDELINE, IT SHOULD BE
UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS MANUAL IS NOT AN EMPLOYMENT
CONTRACT. THE CONTENTS OF THIS HANDBOOK ARE PRESENTED
FOR INFORMATION ONLY; HOWEVER, EMPLOYEES ARE EXPECTED
TO FOLLOW ITS PROVISIONS. THIS HANDBOOK’S CONTENTS ARE
SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND THE COMPANY RESERVES THE RIGHT
TO MODIFY THESE WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE. NOTWITHSTANDING
ANY OF THIS HANDBOOK’S PROVISIONS, EMPLOYMENT MAY BE
TERMINATED AT ANY TIME, EITHER BY THE EMPLOYEE OR BY THE
COMPANY, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE AND FOR ANY REASON OR
NO REASON AS DESCRIBED MORE FULLY IN THE EMPLOYMENT AT
WILL SECTION THAT FOLLOWS.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section Name Page
EMPLOYMENT AT WILL 4
MISSION STATEMENT 5
I. Statements of Policy 6
II. Employment Classification 14
III. Pay Periods 15
IV. Time Sheets / Hand-scan sign-in 15
V. Dress Code 19
VI. Garfield Park Academy Vehicles 20
VII. Sign In / Sign Out Procedure 20
VIII. Employee Conduct and Work Rules 22
IX. Salary and Authorized Expenses 28
X. Performance Evaluations 29
XI. Benefits 30
XII. Research, Publication & Presentations outside the school 39
XIII. Visitors to Garfield Park Academy 40
XIV. Video and Sound Recording 41
XV. Behavior Management Model 41
XVI. School Closings 41
XVII. Confidential and Propriety Information 41
XVIII. Parking 42
Receipt of Employee Handbook 43
EMPLOYMENT AT WILL
THIS HANDBOOK AND ANY OTHER DOCUMENTS OF GARFIELD PARK
ACADEMY ARE NOT CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT. EMPLOYMENT AT
GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY IS AT WILL, WHICH MEANS THAT ANY
EMPLOYEE WHO IS HIRED MAY VOLUNTARILY LEAVE EMPLOYMENT
UPON PROPER NOTICE AND MAY BE TERMINATED BY GARFIELD PARK
ACADEMY AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON. ANY ORAL OR WRITTEN
STATEMENTS TO THE CONTRARY ARE HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISAVOWED
AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON BY ANY PROSPECTIVE OR EXISTING
THERE IS NO PROMISE OF ANY KIND BY GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY
CONTAINED IN THIS HANDBOOK. REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE HANDBOOK
SAYS OR PROVIDES, GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY PROMISES NOTHING AND
REMAINS FREE TO CHANGE ANY PROVISIONS OF THIS HANDBOOK, WAGES
AND ALL OTHER WORKING CONDITIONS WITHOUT HAVING TO CONSULT
ANYONE AND WITHOUT ANYONE'S AGREEMENT.
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Children with emotional challenges and learning disabilities can be successful in life, if
provided the resources to monitor and self-regulate their own behaviors. Through self-
regulation, counseling, and an individualized education, the school can help students
understand and achieve success by changing their attitudes and allowing themselves to
In providing services, Garfield Park Academy depends, in large measure, on the
professional skills of its employees.
The fulfillment of the objectives and programs of Garfield Park Academy depends upon
the character, performance and quality of the relationship among employees and between
employees and Garfield Park Academy. When these relationships remain at a high level,
morale is strengthened and the quality of individual effort is increased. It is recognized
that these relationships are based upon and influenced by the personnel policies and
practices of Garfield Park Academy. Good personnel practices provide for resourceful
and responsive administration.
Essentially the objectives of this Handbook are:
1. To foster continuity, stability and consistency of action by Garfield Park
Academy in personnel practices.
2. To help create a healthful, pleasant, and safe working environment for its
3. To help in the orientation of new Board members and employees.
4. To encourage high staff morale by providing uniform and fair treatment.
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I. STATEMENTS OF POLICY
A. Garfield Park Academy follows the rules and regulations of the New Jersey State
Department of Education in relation to licensing and other requirements.
B. Non-Discrimination/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer
Garfield Park Academy is an equal employment opportunity employer with a long
standing record of non-discrimination in employment and opportunity because of
race, religion, color, creed, sex, age, handicap, disability, sexual preference,
marital status, ancestry, national origin, veteran or draft status. To achieve that
end, it is the policy of Garfield Park Academy to treat applicants fairly with
respect to hiring decisions and to treat employees fairly with respect to
compensation and opportunities for advancement. It is the policy of Garfield Park
Follow personnel procedures that will ensure equal opportunity for all
people without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex,
age, handicap, ancestry, marital status, disability, sexual preference,
veteran or draft status at every office.
Comply with applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”). Garfield Park Academy will not discriminate against any
qualified employee or job applicant with respect to any terms, privileges,
or conditions of employment because of a person’s physical or mental
Make reasonable accommodations wherever necessary for all employees
or applicants with disabilities, provided that the individual is otherwise
qualified to perform the duties and assignments connected with the job.
By making a reasonable accommodation, Garfield Park Academy is not
required to make the best accommodation possible or the one that the
applicant or employee demands.
Achieve understanding and acceptance of Garfield Park Academy’s policy
on Equal Employment Opportunity by all employees and by the
communities in which Garfield Park Academy operates;
Investigate instances of alleged discrimination and take corrective action if
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Be continually alert to identify and correct any practices by individuals
that are at variance with the intent of the Equal Employment Opportunity
Garfield Park Academy reaffirms this policy and its continued
commitment to a program of equal opportunity, and calls upon all
personnel to effectively pursue the policy as stated.
If you have any questions regarding Garfield Park Academy’s non-
discrimination policy, or if you believe you have in any way been
discriminated against, please contact your supervisor immediately. If you
believe it is inappropriate to contact your supervisor, please contact your
supervisor’s supervisor or the School Director.
All information concerning students, employees or management of the Garfield
Park Academy shall be kept strictly confidential in order to maintain rights to
privacy. All information requested by law enforcement authorities or the serving
of court papers shall be referred to the Director or the Director's delegate. No
other staff member is authorized to release any information. School records or
documentation of any kind may not be released by anyone other than the Director
or the Director's delegate. Violation of these rules is grounds for disciplinary
action and may include discharge.
D. Freedom of Speech and Action
The Garfield Park Academy recognizes that employees may express or conduct
themselves on matters outside their professional work with the freedom
guaranteed to all citizens of our democratic society. In so doing, it is the duty of
each employee to make clear that he/she acts solely as an individual and not as a
representative of the Garfield Park Academy. The welfare of the Garfield Park
Academy is to be the essential guide of the employee in his/her speech and actions
at all times.
E. Initial Performance Evaluation
Your first 60 days of employment at Garfield Park Academy is considered an
Orientation Period, and during that time, you will not accrue benefits described in
this manual unless otherwise required by law. During this Orientation Period,
Garfield Park Academy will evaluate your suitability for employment and you can
evaluate Garfield Park Academy as well. Garfield Park Academy will evaluate the
appropriateness of your interaction with students and staff, use of the behavior
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model, and overall job performance which will include your work habits, attitude,
attendance, and performance. If, during this period, your work habits, attitude,
attendance or performance do not measure up to our standards, we may release
you. If you take approved time off in excess of five workdays during the
Orientation Period, the Orientation Period may be extended by that length of time.
At the end of the Orientation Period, your manager will discuss your job
performance with you. This review will be much the same as the normal job
performance review that is held on a periodic basis. During the course of the
discussion, you are encouraged to give your comments and ideas as well.
Please understand that completion of the Orientation Period does not change your
status as an at-will employee. As a result, our employees are not guaranteed
continued employment for any specified period of time, nor are we required to
discharge an employee only for “cause”.
F. Salary and Promotions
Employees shall receive, with budgetary limitations and at the sole discretion of
the Garfield Park Academy, remuneration consistent with the quality of their
performance and scope of their responsibilities. It is the policy of the Garfield
Park Academy to encourage professional staff development and promotion from
within, whenever possible. Keep in mind that salary increases and advancements
are earned through job performance over a period of time. Garfield Park
Academy believes in merit increases based on an individual’s performance and
Garfield Park Academy offers employees the opportunities to gain expertise
important in the field of special education. With this in mind, Garfield Park
Academy offers the following growth opportunities to its employees:
1. TFA (Teaching Family Association) Certification (currently for Teachers)
Salary increase of $3,000 pro-rated from the date of certification.
Additional $500 in tuition reimbursement allowance
Mentoring during some in-services
Two additional days of paid time off ( one in each half of the
TFA certification must be maintained in order to retain incentives (salary
increase, additional days off, etc.
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Paraprofessional Career Opportunities
Teaching assistants, classroom, and hallway facilitators have the following
ladder of advancement opportunities:
1. Beginning Aide/One-to-One/Facilitator
These are the beginning positions at GPA
2. GPA Paraprofessional Certification
Has worked at GPA a minimum of one year.
Satisfactory attendance record.
Passing grade on the Certification test.
Passing grade on Observation.
Change in Benefits upon obtaining this title:
Staff without substitute teaching certification, will receive an
increase in salary of $2,000 (pro-rated from the date of
Staff with a substitute teaching certificate (which currently
requires 60 college credits) will receive an increase in salary of
$3,000 (pro-rated from the date of certification). This increase
will continue during the period that the employee holds a
current substitute certification.
Additional $500 in tuition reimbursement allowance
Two additional days of paid time off ( one in each half of the
GPA Logo shirt
New Letter of Intent will be issued.
3. GPA Mentor & Training Assistant
GPA’s Paraprofessional Certification
Change in Benefits upon obtaining this title:
In addition to above salary increase for GPA certification,
employee will receive an additional $1,500 annually pro-rated
from date of certification.
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All certifications must be maintained in order to retain the extra
benefits, including salary increase.
G. Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy
The Garfield Park Academy is committed to providing a working environment
that is free from all types of discrimination including harassment. Garfield Park
Academy prohibits discrimination, harassment, or other abusive conduct directed
at staff because of their race, color, creed, sex, religion, handicap, disability,
ancestry, national origin, sexual preference, or age. Harassment is prohibited
because it is intimidating and is inconsistent with policies, practices and
management philosophy. We will not tolerate any occurrence of harassment in
any form. Harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, verbal conduct of
a sexual or discriminatory nature or visual conduct of a sexual or discriminatory
nature. This includes many forms of offensive behavior based on gender, race,
national origin, age, etc. and also includes gender-based harassment of a person of
the same sex as the harasser. Harassment includes:
a. Verbal harassment such as making or using derogatory comments,
slurs, jokes, sexual advances or propositions;
b. Physical harassment such as unwelcome touching, assaulting,
impending or blocking movements;
c. Visual forms of harassment such as leering, making sexual
gestures, displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures,
cartoons or posters;
d. Unwanted sexual advances or making or threatening reprisals after
a negative response to sexual advances;
e. Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
f. Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries
about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to
describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes or
g. Any other conduct that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s
performance of his or her job or that creates an intimidating, hostile
or offensive working environment.
We have the utmost obligation to assure that your workplace is free from
harassment. Your responsibility is to let us know if you feel that harassment or
discrimination has taken place, even if it is not directed towards you. As either is
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an unlawful act, anyone who practices sexual harassment or discrimination will be
subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination
Any incident of possible harassment should immediately be brought to the
attention of the School Director or to your immediate supervisor After reviewing
all the evidence, a determination will be made concerning whether reasonable
grounds exist to believe that harassment has occurred. Disciplinary action, up to
and including discharge, will be taken against any employee who is found to have
engaged in harassment. An employee must never be fearful of making a report of
harassment as this is the only way we can correct the problem. Any employee
making a report of harassment may do so without fear of reprisal. All charges
will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly by Garfield Park Academy.
For more information, please speak to the School Director or your immediate
Garfield Park Academy is a smoke free facility. Smoking on the property is
prohibited at all times. There are no smoke beaks. Smoking anywhere on school
property, within site of school property, in any school vehicle, or while attending
school functions with students is strictly prohibited. Please see an administrator
regarding the discipline policy.
I. Drug Free Workplace
The Garfield Park Academy shall comply with the requirements imposed on it by
the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. In this regard, it is the policy of
the Garfield Park Academy to maintain a safe, healthful, drug-free workplace for
its employees and students:
The use, sale, possession, purchase, transfer or storage of alcoholic
beverages, by an employee of Garfield Park Academy, while in the
course of employment, on School property, or while otherwise
performing school business, is strictly prohibited. No employee
shall report to work while under the influence of any alcoholic
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2. Illegal Drugs
The use, sale, possession, purchase, transfer or storage of an illegal
drug by any employee while in the course of employment, on
School property, and/or while attending school functions, or while
otherwise performing school business, is strictly prohibited. As
defined herein, an illegal drug is any drug which is not legally
obtainable or any drug which is legally obtainable but has not been
legally obtained. Illegal drugs include prescription drugs not
legally obtained and prescribed drugs not being used for the
purpose(s) for which they were prescribed.
VIOLATION OF THIS POLICY CONCERNING SUBSTANCE ABUSE
CAN RESULT IN DISCIPLINARY ACTION, UP TO AND INCLUDING
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT - EVEN FOR A FIRST OFFENDER.
Any employee convicted of a violation of any criminal drug statute based on
conduct occurring other than at work at Garfield Park Academy must notify the
Director of that conviction within five (5) days after the conviction. Failure to
comply with this requirement shall be grounds for discharge or other disciplinary
Employees who have a substance abuse problem are encouraged to seek
counseling and treatment. Employees in need of counseling or treatment are
encouraged to consult with their personal physician, clergyman, or other source of
assistance. The Garfield Park Academy will refer employees seeking counseling
and/or treatment to appropriate sources of assistance.
All employees are required, as a condition of continued employment, to comply
with the Garfield Park Academy's policy of establishing and maintaining a drug-
In order to protect this School’s interests, it may conduct searches for illegal drugs
or alcohol on School property.
a. Searches of employees and their personal property may be conducted when
there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the employee or employees are
in violation of the policy.
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b. Garfield Park Academy may conduct entrance/exit searches. The purpose
of these searches is to prevent the theft of School property and to prevent
employees from bringing alcohol or drugs to work. Such searches may be
conducted upon the entrance or exit of Garfield Park Academy and do not
have to be based upon reasonable suspicion.
Garfield Park Academy reserves the right to conduct random drug screenings.
Garfield Park Academy may require a blood test, urinalysis or other drug/alcohol
screening of employees. An employee’s consent to submit to such a test is
required as a condition of employment and the employee’s refusal to consent may
result in disciplinary action, including termination, even for a first refusal.
Drug/alcohol screening may be required under any of the following
A. Unfit Condition
An employee may be required to submit to drug/alcohol screening when
there is reasonable suspicion by the School Director that the employee is
in an unfit condition, i.e., not capable of performing work in a safe or
An employee may be required to submit to drug/alcohol screening if, in
the course of employment, the employee is involved in any incident
concerning personal injury or property damage to the employee or others.
Any employee requiring off-site medical treatment as the result of
a workplace injury is required to undergo drug/alcohol screening as
medical treatment is being provided, or as soon thereafter as
Prior to returning to work following a workplace injury, an
employee may be asked to submit to drug/alcohol screening.
All staff must comply with this policy as a condition of employment.
AN EMPLOYEE WHO REFUSES TO SUBMIT TO A SEARCH OR TO
DRUG/ALCOHOL SCREENING MAY BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY
ACTION, UP TO AND INCLUDING TERMINATION, EVEN FOR A
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Garfield Park Academy reserves the right to review each case individually and to
take appropriate disciplinary action based upon the circumstances of the particular
J. Pre-Employment Fingerprinting
The State of New Jersey requires that all employees who have contact with
students be fingerprinted and that a criminal history check be done. Regardless of
whether or not an employee previously worked for a public school district and had
cleared fingerprinting and criminal history check, employees are still required
when changing school districts to have the fingerprinting redone. This also applies
when school bus drivers are renewing drivers’ licenses. This is a condition of
employment. Upon hiring each employee must be fingerprinted at a Sagem
Morpho facility, according to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of
Education. These fingerprints must be turned in to the School Director or the
School Director’s delegate within 10 days of start of employment, and forwarded
to the State. Any criminal history check that is not completed by the State and
returned to Garfield Park Academy within 90 days of hiring could subject the
employee to suspension of employment without pay or termination.
K. Employment Verifications
Verbal and written employment references may only be issued by the School
Director or with the Director’s permission. No other employee of the school is
permitted to provide references regarding any employee’s employment at the
Garfield Park Academy.
II. EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATION
"Full-time employees" regularly work a minimum of 35 hours per week and
qualify for fringe benefits
"Part-time employees" regularly work less than 35 hours per week or less than
the full school calendar year. Part-time employees do not qualify for fringe
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III. PAY PERIODS
All employees will be paid on a biweekly basis during the school year. The pay day for
each of these pay periods will be every other Friday, one week in arrears.
Various payroll deductions are made each payday to comply with federal and state laws
pertaining to taxes and insurance. Deductions will be made for the following:
Federal and State Income Tax Withholding
Any required local tax
Social Security (FICA)
Other Items Designated by the Employee
At the end of each calendar year, you will be supplied with your Wage and Tax Statement
(W-2) form. This statement summarizes your income and deductions for the year. If you
have any questions regarding these deductions, please contact the Business Office.”
IV. TIME SHEETS/HANDSCAN SIGN-IN AND RECORDING OF HOURS
All employees are required to use the hand scanners at the beginning and end of
each workday and when leaving the building for personal business other than
regular lunch break. The hand scanners will transfer the hours that you work over
to the payroll department for processing of payroll. Please see below for the
procedure for extra hours or overtime.
Upon receiving paychecks on payday, all employees must sign for their checks.
By signing for their paycheck, the employees are verifying that their pay
accurately reflects the hours they worked in the corresponding pay period. If you
believe that your paycheck does not accurately reflect the hours worked in the
corresponding pay period, please contact the Business Office immediately to
resolve any discrepancies.
It is the policy of the Garfield Park Academy to require employees to record their
time as the basis of payment for hours worked.
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A. Time-Keeping Procedures:
1. Upon arrival each morning it is the employee’s responsibility to hand scan in. If
approval has been given during the day to leave school grounds for personal
business other than a regular lunch period, the employee must hand scan out
and then hand scan in upon return. When leaving the building during the day
for a regularly scheduled lunch period or any other purpose that is work-
related, employees must sign in and out in a separate binder located in the front
office. Employees are to sign out, record their time of departure, and state the
reason for leaving. If you are leaving the building for personal business and it
will go beyond your lunch period you must hand scan out and have an
approved “Request for Time Off”. If you leave the grounds for your regular 30
minute lunch period, hand scanning out is not required. Logging out in the
front office must be done for all departures from the building. Upon return, the
time is entered in the appropriate space.
When leaving the building for workers compensation doctor visits you must
hand scan out when leaving and then hand scan back in upon re-arrival. These
hours must be noted on a separate manual timesheet and marked “Worker’s
Anyone leaving the building during the day for any reason must check
with the Principal for approval in advance, inform other team members
with whom they work, and sign out in the log book when leaving and sign
in upon return.
2. If an employee is asked to work any additional hours other than his or her
regularly scheduled hours, it is the employee’s responsibility to get the
extra hours approved by the Administrator prior to working the hours.
The employee must complete an additional hand generated timesheet for these
extra hours only. This blank form can be obtained in the front office.
This timesheet should include the date, time in and time out (estimate), and
the reason for extra hours. The timesheet must also be signed by the
Administrator who approved the extra hours. The completed timesheet should
be placed in the “Expenses Bin” in the front office. This timesheet is for
documentation of approval. You are still required to use the hand scan when
finishing for the day.
3. It is State mandated that all employees shall be responsible for signing for
their hours upon receiving their pay. This policy is also true for employees
with direct deposit.
4. New employees must see the Business Office for setup in the hand scan
system and instruction of its use.
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In the event an existing time record is lost or stolen, it shall be necessary for
the employee to report such loss to the payroll department at once. Corrective
measures will be instituted up to and including the creation of a new record.
Time already worked shall be verified by the attendance keeper before
payment will be approved.
5. In the event an employee makes an error on his/her record or discovers that
his/her own record has been marked by someone in error, the employee shall
report the error to his/her supervisor at once. The supervisor shall make the
required corrections and initial the entries.
6. Time recorded on a time record or by hand scan will constitute the only basis
for payment of time worked. Failure to record in or out may result in delayed
payment for the time.
7. Deliberately recording another employee's time, altering time or other related
abuses will be considered willful misconduct and the offending employee
shall be subject to discipline, up to and including, discharge.
8. All employees are given a schedule upon hiring. These are the only hours that
Garfield Park Academy has authorized and approved. These are the hours that
you will be paid for. Any employee whose hours change must notify the
payroll department immediately of these changes. Any extra hours that do not
have approval from the Director or his or her delegate in advance will not be
considered time worked. (Please also see section on Comp-time).
B. Approval for Time Off:
The students’ success at Garfield Park Academy depends greatly on the staff at the
school, our presence each day, and our timeliness. Therefore, Garfield Park
Academy adheres to strict attendance policies.
Approval for time off must be requested from the School Director or the
Director(s) delegate in writing, two weeks in advance or as soon as the need
becomes known. A “Request for Time Off” form is provided in the front office
and in GPA Public/Forms folder. The original completed form should be hand
delivered to the Attendance Secretary (Arlene Soares) or the Director’s delegated
representative as noted on the request form. A signed Request for Time Off is
returned to you when your request has been approved or denied. A copy of the
“Time Off Request” form is then forwarded to the payroll department so that any
available personal time can be applied to these approved days off, if applicable.
Without the approved “Request for Time Off” form, any absence will be handled
as unapproved time off.
Without a Time Off Request approve IN ADVANCE, or a doctor’s note any
absence or lateness is considered unexcused.
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The School Director may grant permission for a limited number of employees
who request time off immediately prior to or following a holiday weekend.
Because of the importance of the presence of staff for Garfield Park Academy to
continue to operate, these requests will be limited. In addition, sick time taken
during these periods will require a Doctor’s note upon the employee’s return.
Only approved time-off requests or Doctor’s notes constitute authorized time-off
immediately before or after a holiday.
The above policy for limited holiday time off requests and sick time also applies
to days immediately prior to or following a weekend (Fridays and Mondays).
Failure to comply with these requirements, including prior permission for days off
and lack of a doctor’s note, if required, could result in appropriate loss of pay,
including loss of holiday pay, and further disciplinary action, including
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V. DRESS CODE
The Garfield Park Academy and its employees need to present a professional
appearance at all times by dressing appropriately for one’s position.
This will also provide a positive role model for the students. You are expected to
be suitably attired and groomed during working hours or when otherwise
representing Garfield Park Academy. A good clean appearance bolsters your own
poise and self-confidence and greatly enhances the School’s image.
The employees of Garfield Park Academy are role models for the students at the
school. Therefore, a neat, clean appearance is required at all times. Our male
employees must wear a collared shirt at all times. This can include a button-down
dress shirt, or a golf shirt. Our male employees are required to wear slacks or
khaki shorts. Our female employees must wear slacks, khakis, dresses, or skirts.
Currently, Friday is more casual and is the only day jeans are permitted. The jeans
must be free of tears and properly fitting. Males must still wear collared shirts or
Inappropriate attire includes:
1. Clothing and/or accessories containing inappropriate pictures and/or words
(examples are references to alcohol, drugs, or sex including phrases or words with
2. No undergarments (this includes boxer shorts) should be showing and/or worn as
outer garments. Tube tops, bare back or bare midriffs, mesh or “fish net” style
3. Any clothes that are cut so short or extreme so as to bring attention upon a staff
member as well as wearing any garment, cut or altered in such manner as to
distract attention from or impede the education aims of the school, as determined
by the principal or his designee. Clothing shall not be more than two inches
above the knee (not fingertips).
4. Bare feet, “flip-flop” or shower shoes (thin, one layer), sandals. (This applies to
all staff that work with children or in the kitchen.)
5. Hats, scarves, bandannas, head coverings and sweatbands are not to be worn
in school except where the restriction would cause the school to advance or
hinder the particular codes of religious tenets. Head coverings worn to express the
individuality of one’s religious preference will be allowed.
6. Spandex or Spandex-type materials such as bike shorts, bike slacks, or bike
“outfits” are not to be worn to school.
7. Clothing normally worn outdoors such as coats, fleece jackets, windbreakers,
warm-up (zip) suits, velour sweat suits and gloves may not be worn in the
building. No hooded garments during the school day.
8. Sweaters may be worn in the building.
9. Sunglasses or other dark glasses are not to be worn indoors, unless a doctor’s note
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10. High heels, unless the Principal has determined they pose not safety risk for your
position (for example, office staff).
11. Clothing with holes is not acceptable.
Violation of the dress code will be subject to disciplinary action.
Specific situations such as vocational classrooms school trips, etc may have
additional regulations. Staff members who do not abide by the dress code may be
sent home for suitable attire, repeated violators will be subject to more severe
Due to the constantly changing variety of apparel styles, the Director has the
authority to determine if a clothing item or accessory not specifically covered in
this dress code is, in fact, appropriate for school attire.
Should your supervisor ask you to refrain from wearing a particular piece of
clothing or outfit you must comply. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary
action and/or discharge.
The list of inappropriate attire delineated above is only meant to provide examples
and is not meant to be a complete list of inappropriate attire. Therefore, other
articles of clothing not listed may also be deemed inappropriate. The School
Director will make the final decision in all dress code matters.
VI. GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY VEHICLES
Please note Garfield Park Academy has (2) vans and (1) yellow school bus
registered to the school.
Please note to drive any other vehicles or vans owned by GPA, you must have a
valid driver’s license. You are also required to have a current medical ID card,
criminal history check, and be registered with the Business Office as an approved
driver. In order to drive the school bus you must have a CDL Class C License
with P&S endorsements.
GPA encourages any employee to pursue a CDL Class C P&S license. All
expenses related to obtaining the necessary permits and license as required will be
reimbursed by GPA. The employee will also receive increased pay as outlined
CDL Class C w/P&S School Bus Driver
Current CDL Class C license with P&S endorsements that have
completed their road test on a school bus vehicle,
Current medical ID card
Clear criminal history check (as req’d by NJMVC)
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Change in Benefits:
$1000 increase in salary as long as you continue to have the ability to
legally drive a school vehicle and are willing to do so. Salary increase
is pro-rated to date of receipt of usable license.
All vehicles that are registered by Garfield Park Academy must adhere to strict
State guidelines. Below please find the proper procedure when operating a
Garfield Park Academy registered vehicle.
1.) A copy of your driver’s license, criminal history check must be on file and you
must be familiar with all school transportation laws and regulations, and be
capable of handling the vehicle.
2.) When asked to drive a Garfield Park Academy registered vehicle, proceed to
the front office to receive the keys, registration, insurance card, mileage log, a
school issued cell phone and petty cash for gas, if needed.
3.) You must inspect the vehicle before driving. See the checklist and inspection
forms located in the vehicles binder in the front cab of the vehicle. This
paperwork must be completed before you move the vehicle.
4.) THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EATING, DRINKING OR SMOKING IN
SCHOOL VEHICLES, EITHER BY STAFF OR STUDENTS.
5.) It is required that we log all trips for mileage, so be sure to notice the mileage
before you start your journey. Upon returning to Garfield Park Academy
please make sure that the vehicle has gas for the next trip and that you
have entered the ending mileage. Lock up vehicle.
6.) Return keys, registration, insurance card, mileage log, and cell phone to the
GPA Proprietary Data 21
VIII. EMPLOYEE CONDUCT AND WORK RULES
Whenever people gather together to achieve goals, some rules of conduct are
needed to help everyone work together efficiently, effectively, and harmoniously.
The Garfield Park Academy has certain work rules of behavior and conduct to
which all employees must adhere. By accepting employment with us, you have a
responsibility to Garfield Park Academy and to your fellow employees to adhere
to the rules and conduct of the school. The purpose of these rules is not to restrict
your rights, but rather to be certain that you understand what conduct is expected
and necessary. When each person is aware that he or she can fully depend upon
fellow workers to follow the rules of conduct, then our school will be a better
place to work for everyone.
The school considers these work rules to be an important responsibility. These
rules apply to all employees.
Violation of any of the following, because of their seriousness, may result in
immediate discharge, oral or written warning, or suspension. This list is not all-
inclusive and, notwithstanding this list, all employees remain “at-will.”
1. Failure to use the Garfield Park Academy behavior model with students.
2. Swearing or other verbal abuse directed at or in the presence of a student,
staff member, parent or other person who may be in the school building at
the time; any disorderly/antagonistic conduct on school premises.
3. Fighting or provoking a fight on any part of the school grounds or within
view of the school.
4. Personal involvement and socialization with students, student neglect and
breach or abuse of confidentiality of personal information. This means
that any involvement with the students or their families outside of the
school and/or beyond school hours, without the permission of the School
Director, is strictly prohibited.
5. Harassing, intimidating, threatening, or coercing students, parents, or
6. Any act of harassment, sexual, racial, or other; telling sexist or racial-type
or otherwise offensive jokes; making racial or ethnic slurs.
GPA Proprietary Data 22
7. Transfer, sale, distribution, possession or use of alcohol; Transfer, sale,
distribution, possession or use of illegal, illicit or controlled substances
while on duty or on school premises or at a school sponsored event; or
reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or any illegal, illicit or
8. Arriving to school late in the morning, or leaving early, without the School
9. Failing to follow the proper procedures for writing incident reports (i.e.,
failure to write accurate incident reports, failure to sign the form, and
failure to distribute the form to the individuals listed on the form.)
10. Bringing or possessing firearms, weapons, or any other hazardous or
dangerous devices on school property or during on-duty time
11. Insubordination, including refusal to perform assigned work or refusal to
perform work in the manner described by a supervisor, or refusal to help
out on a special assignment, without proper justification.
12. Falsifying or destroying any time keeping record, recording time on
another employee’s time sheet or allowing another employee to record
time on one’s own time card.
13. Sleeping during working hours.
14. Obtaining employment based on false or misleading information, or
falsifying, altering or making material omissions in any documents or
work records; lying about sick or personal leave; falsifying reason for a
leave of absence
15. Malicious or willful destruction or damage to school property or supplies,
or the property of another employee, a student or visitor.
16. Theft or unauthorized possession or removal from school premises of
property that belongs to or is in the possession of the school, another
school employee, a student or visitor; unauthorized use of school
equipment or property for personal reasons; using company equipment or
supplies for profit.
17. Failing to immediately report damage to, or an accident involving school
equipment or a work injury.
18. The use of personal cell phones in the presence of students. All personal
calls must be done during lunch except in the case of an emergency.
GPA Proprietary Data 23
19. Exchanging money with students. Staff is not permitted to borrow money
from or lend money to students.
20. Purchasing food from a student.
21. Purchasing food for students, except as specifically permitted by GPA
behavior program, or as approved by an administrator.
22. Requesting students provide food or other items from vocational classes.
23. Use of vocational programs, equipment, supplies for personal benefit.
24. Failing to supervise students while in the gym for Physical Education. At
no time are staff members permitted to participate in gym activities with
students either in the gym or elsewhere during employment.
Infractions of the following rules will, depending on the seriousness of the offense
and all pertinent facts and circumstances, result in some form of disciplinary
action up to and including dismissal. The School Executive Director or their
designate will be the final authority on disciplinary action.
1. Unsatisfactory job performance
2. Non-compliance or disregard of any established safety rule or other rules
in this handbook
3. Frequent or excessive tardiness or absence.
4. Leaving school premises or one’s job during working hours without
notifying and receiving approval from the Principal, the Director or the
Director’s delegate, and signing out in the appropriate sign-out log.
5. Horseplay or any other action that endangers students, others, school
property, or disrupts work.
6. Smoking anywhere on school property, within site of school property, in
any school vehicle, or while attending school functions with students.
7. Failure to abide by the standards for lunch periods and/or food and drink
GPA Proprietary Data 24
RESIGNATION WITH NOTICE:
An employee who is a member of Garfield Park Academy Administration, Social
Worker, School Nurse, Teacher or Behavior Management Consultant or Specialist will
give Garfield Park Academy not less than 60 days written notice of resignation and
submit same to the School Director.
All other employees are required to provide not less than 30 days written notice of
The use of paid time off may not be used to shorten the required notice period.
Abandonment of job: an absence of three or more days without notification may
be considered a voluntary resignation without notice.
Please note that all terminated employees must, on their last day of employment, see the
Business Office at the end of the day for formal checkout. Items that are to be returned at
the exit interview are GPA property including the Employee Handbook, Behavior
Management Binders, Employee badges, business cards, all keys, walkie-talkie radios and
chargers, security wands, appropriately completed communication logs, student
summaries, report cards, lesson plans, and any other items which are the property of
Garfield Park Academy.
Each employee is provided a work schedule according to their position at GPA.
Conditions of employment will be spelled out in the employee’s Letter of Agreement that
is signed by the employee. All employees that are full-time must report promptly by 7:30
a.m. each day, unless this schedule is specifically modified by the School Director, or a
Employees who have second jobs will consider the position at Garfield Park Academy as
their primary employment. Any outside activity may not interfere with the employee’s
ability to properly perform his or her job duties at Garfield Park Academy. There will be
no time off (except the standard eight days paid time off) for the purpose of attending to
issues taking place at their second job. For example: An employee's supervisor on his
second job has an in-service day and requests the employee’s presence. Said employee
must have an understanding with the employer of his second job that he will not
participate in that in-service day by being absent from his primary job at Garfield Park
Academy. This infraction will result in the discipline process listed in this handbook and
possibly immediate termination.
GPA Proprietary Data 25
TELEPHONE AND MAIL USAGE BY STAFF:
The proper use of the telephone equipment is essential to the school. For this purpose, it
shall be the policy of Garfield Park Academy to establish and enforce reasonable
guidelines for the effective and economical use of the telephones.
1. All telephones within the school are provided for business purposes. Employees
may use this equipment for personal calls on a limited basis and only for local
calls. Payment for personal toll calls will become the responsibility of the
2. Employees are prohibited from receiving personal incoming calls at work except
in an emergency.
3. All employees are expected to observe common sense rules of telephone courtesy,
answering calls promptly and identifying themselves by name.
4. All full-time staff will be given assigned extensions for voice mail to help control
the flow of business and non-business calls through the front office. It is the
employees’ responsibility to setup their respective voice mail boxes and check
them for incoming calls. Employees must avoid personal contacts through the
front office except for emergencies.
Employees are not permitted to use Garfield Park Academy as their personal mailing
address. Employees are also not permitted to put personal mail in the stacks that are
to be run through the postage meter. Although the amount may seem small, it is still
LUNCH PERIOD/FOOD & DRINK CONSUMPTION
All employees are entitled to a 30 minute lunch break. Staff must assure there will be no
consumption by students of food or drink in any part of the school other than in the
classrooms during the students’ regular lunch break. For employees, all food and drink
must be consumed in the staff lounge or in an employee’s private office. Employees who
work together must stagger lunch breaks so that students have adequate staff attending to
them, e.g., hallway staff must stagger lunch periods. Classroom teachers determine when
lunch breaks of classroom staff take place.
No consumption of food or drink in the hallways will be permitted. There will be no food
or drink from the Vocational classes given to, made by, or eaten by the staff.
GPA Proprietary Data 26
1. All manner of solicitation by employees and others must be authorized by the
Director or designee.
2. Solicitation of employees by non-authorized individuals, organizations,
businesses, etc on the premises of Garfield Park Academy is prohibited.
3. Disregard of the solicitation policy by employees may result in disciplinary action,
including dismissal/termination of the employee.
4. Disregard of the solicitation policy by others may result in legal action.
COMPUTER USE AND INTERNET POLICY
1. Employees are issued email addresses for use during employment at Garfield Park
Academy. This method of communication has become critical to the operation of
the school. Employees are all required to check their email at least once every
work day. Depending on your position, it may be better to check more often. If
you have difficulty accessing your email, it is your responsibility to contact the
System Administrator resolve the issue.
2. Garfield Park Academy internet access is for Garfield Park Academy business use
only. Although its use for limited personal tasks may be permitted at the
discretion of the Director, there will be no internet access for personal tasks
during working hours. This policy includes the use of e-mail for personal
2. The School’s e-mail shall not be used to harass other employees, parents, students
or others, through the use of profanity, sexual or other offensive language or
racial, religious or other discriminatory comments.
3. No computer programs or data will be loaded onto a Garfield Park Academy
computer without the prior permission of the Garfield Park Academy School
Director or the Director’s designee.
4. It is a violation of this school policy for employees to play computer games on a
Garfield Park Academy computer.
GPA Proprietary Data 27
Recognizing that reasonable rules and regulations governing the conduct of employees
are essential to the efficient and orderly operation of the school, it is the policy of
Garfield Park Academy to establish and enforce such rules and regulations as necessary to
ensure the rights and safety of all employees, students and visitors.
Garfield Park Academy recognizes that, in appropriate cases discipline is an effective
method to encourage employees to correct deficiencies in their conduct or performance.
Unacceptable behavior which does not lead to immediate dismissal may be dealt with in
the following manner:
Written warnings will include the reasons for the supervisor’s dissatisfaction and any
supporting evidence. Disciplinary actions may also include suspensions without pay or
other measures deemed appropriate to the circumstances.
Disciplinary action imposed for unacceptable conduct or violation of company policies is
at the discretion of Garfield Park Academy and does not need to be implemented in any
particular order. Disciplinary action taken is not intended to alter the employee’s at-will
IX. SALARY AND AUTHORIZED EXPENSES
The salary of each employee shall be reviewed and any increase or decrease shall
be made based upon funds available and the performance of the employee. Any
salary adjustments are entirely within the discretion of the Garfield Park
Academy, and may or may not be made depending on the circumstances.
B. Authorized Expenses
1. All reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of one's job assignment,
such as transportation to and from meetings, conference fees, meals, etc., shall
be reimbursed provided that (1) there was prior authorization by the Garfield
Park Academy Director, and (2) that completed requisition vouchers are
submitted to the Garfield Park Academy Director or Director (s) delegate prior
to purchase and do not go beyond the limit of the approved requisition.
GPA Proprietary Data 28
The school’s ability to reimburse employees for business travel is limited by
federal travel regulations as they are imposed by state law. Therefore, any
employees that are asked to attend a conference on behalf of Garfield Park
Academy should check with the Business Office prior to making lodging or
2. Authorized automobile mileage incurred in the performance of one's job
assignment shall be reimbursed at the rate in effect, at the time, at the Garfield
Park Academy. Other expenses are reimbursed in accordance with Garfield
Park Academy rules, procedures and State limitations.
3. All School personnel who are authorized to purchase items needed by the
school shall submit a requisition form in advance for an allotted amount and
for a specific reason. Once this requisition form is approved the employee can
purchase the items and submit them for payment with the receipts attached to
the requisition form. Requisitions for less than $150.00 will be reimbursed in
cash according to the schedule in the Business Office. Amounts greater than
$150 will be reimbursed by check on the following payday.
X. PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS
A. The performance of each employee shall be reviewed on a regular basis, but no
less frequently than annually.
B. The performance report shall be reviewed and discussed with the employee. It is
the objective of each review to provide the employee with the opportunity to have
input as to strengths on the job as well as those areas where improvement is
necessary to ensure proper performance of the job and continued employment.
The employee shall be required to sign his/her written performance report and
may submit written comments related thereto.
C. A positive performance review does not lead to an automatic wage adjustment.
D. Continued negative performance may result in dismissal or other disciplinary
An employee may be terminated if a New Jersey certified Principal evaluates an
employee and finds that the job performance is a detriment to the students in their care.
Such evaluation will be documented and signed by the employee as having received such
an evaluation. The Executive Director, or their designate, will verify such poor job
performance by a second evaluation.
GPA Proprietary Data 29
The following is a summary of current benefits offered to Full-time employees. The
benefits will be reviewed no less than annually and may be modified at any time by the
Garfield Park Academy. Employees will be notified of significant changes in benefits.
A. LEAVES WITH PAY
1. Paid Time Off
a. Paid time off for sickness or personal business will be divided into two
periods: The first period is from the first day of school to January 31 and
the second period is from February 1 to the last day of work for the school
year (as listed on the school calendar). The employee is entitled to 4 days
off, with pay, in each period which may be used as sick and/or personal
time. If, at the end of the period, the employee has not used his/her paid
time off, he/she will be reimbursed for each of the unused days according
to the employee’s current salary level. However, to be entitled to be
reimbursed for any unused sick/personal time, an employee must be
employed by Garfield Park Academy and work on the last day of the
respective period. Employees who leave the Garfield Park Academy
before the end of the respective period are not entitled to any
reimbursement for unused sick/personal time. Therefore, to receive the
first period pay, an employee must be employed by Garfield Park
Academy on January 31 and to receive the second period pay, an employee
must be employed by Garfield Park Academy on the last day of work for
the school year (as listed on the school calendar).
Paid time off will be prorated for employees on leave for more than
Full-Time twelve month employees that are contracted as twelve month
employees such as Administration (Directors Offices, Principal,
Psychologist, Business Office, IT Department and Secretaries) are entitled
to two additional days of paid time off to be used during the months of
July and August, unless otherwise stated in their contract. In the event that
GPA has a modified 4 day week during the summer the 2 additional days
will be eliminated.
b. Lateness and leaving during or at the end of the day must have an
approved Time Off Request in advance. Leaving without the proper
paperwork and approval could result in disciplinary action or appropriate
deductions being made from the regular paycheck.
GPA Proprietary Data 30
c. Use of paid time off for personal business must be submitted to Garfield
Park Academy for approval in advance with a minimum of two weeks
notice. This is for all time off, (example: need to leave 30 minutes early at
the end of the day, need to leave building during lunch for longer than the
30 minute lunch period). Use of paid time off for personal business must
be approved by the Garfield Park Academy Director in advance, as stated
in the “Approved Time Off” section of this manual.
In any case the final determination will be made by the Director.
d. Paid time off will be prorated according to the month an employee is
hired. An employee will not be paid for any time off for the first 30 days of
e. In case of illness the employee should leave a message in the front office
and for their immediate supervisor at least two hours prior to his or her
scheduled starting time except in the case of a medical emergency. Leave
for other personal reasons require at least 24 hours notice.
f. Unused paid time off, for which an employee has not already received
compensation, is cumulative from year to year.
g. Bereavement Policy: In the event of the death of a parent, spouse’s parent,
child, spouse, sister or brother (immediate family), the following will take
1. Employee will notify the School Director.
2. Employee will receive three days of bereavement time off for
an immediate family member. Employee will receive one day
bereavement time off for the death of a grandparent, brother-
in-law or sister-in-law. .
3. Employee may be asked to provide written verification of the
death of family member to the School Director as
documentation in order to prevent misuse of this policy.
GPA Proprietary Data 31
h. Jury Duty:
If an employee is required to serve on a jury, Garfield Park Academy will
pay the normal pay rate for time actually lost while the employee is
discharging his civic responsibilities for a period of up to 3 days. An
employee is entitled to unlimited unpaid time. You must notify your
manager as soon as you receive the jury summons. If an employee is
selected for jury duty, proof of the dates of service must be submitted with
a Request for Time Off form, as soon as the employee receives the jury
i. Leave of Absences/Workers Comp/Disability:
Once an employee has requested or been deemed unable to work by a
doctor the Garfield Park Academy will pay that employee any unused
sick/personal time that they have remaining towards any days of absences.
The employee may be entitled to benefits under Workers Compensation,
Insurance and/or State Disability.
For an employee who goes on leave on Worker’s Compensation,
Disability, FMLA, or NJFLA it is the individual employee’s responsibility
to stay in touch with Garfield Park Academy with regard to their return
date and employment status. Garfield Park Academy will not call an
employee to keep up with their progress. Any employee that does not stay
in contact with the employer could be deemed to have abandoned their job.
Adequate contact is at least once per week, or more often if required by a
supervisor (usually for short term absences). Adequate contact will be with
the School Director or designate.
Please see the Benefits section for additional information.
B. LEAVE WITHOUT PAY
Occasionally, for medical, personal or other reasons, you may need to be temporarily
released from the duties of your job with Garfield Park Academy, but may not wish to
submit your resignation. Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for an
unpaid leave of absence. There are several types of unpaid leaves for which you may
Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), a qualifying employee may be
entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. Under the law, qualifying
employees can only take leave to: 1) care for a newborn or newly placed adopted or
foster child; 2) care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent; or 3) take leave to treat
an employee’s own illness. It is Garfield Park Academy’s policy that any paid or
unpaid leave of absence that also qualifies as FMLA leave (including but not limited
GPA Proprietary Data 32
to disability, workers’ compensation, and state family leave) shall count towards your
allotment of leave under the FMLA. It is also Garfield Park Academy’s policy that
you exhaust all paid leave prior to using your FMLA leave. You are entitled to
FMLA leave only if both Garfield Park Academy and you qualify. Please see the
Business Coordinator regarding the applicability of FMLA leave to you.
Notice Required to take FMLA Leave
If you want to request an unpaid leave of absence, you must provide notice in writing
to the Business Coordinator least 30 days before you intend to begin your leave.
You must include in your notice: 1) the reason for requesting leave, 2) the date you
plan to start your leave, and 3) your anticipated return. Only in emergency situations
when written notice is impossible will Garfield Park Academy accept oral notice in
lieu of 30 days’ written notice. Leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced
schedule under certain circumstances.
In addition, where the leave requested is due to your serious health condition or the
serious health condition of your immediate family member, Garfield Park Academy
requires that you submit certification from a health care provider to substantiate the
health condition. Also, Garfield Park Academy requires that you present a
certification of fitness to return to work when the absence was caused by your serious
Garfield Park Academy urges you to contact the Human Resources Dept. if you have
any questions about FMLA leave or whether you qualify for FMLA leave. You must
contact the Human Resources Dept. at the earliest possible time prior to your
anticipated leave date and comply with all of the notice and paperwork requirements
above. Failure to do so may forfeit and/or delay your entitlement to leave.
Leave Under New Jersey’s Family Leave Act (NJ FLA)
Under New Jersey’s Family Leave Act, a qualifying employee is entitled to unpaid
family leave of 12 weeks in any 24-month period upon advance notice to the
employer. Under the law, an employee can only request family leave to provide care
made necessary by reason of: 1) the birth of a child of the employee or the placement
of a child with the employee in connection with adoption of such child by the
employee; or 2) the serious health condition of a family member of the employee. It
is Garfield Park Academy’s policy that any paid or unpaid leave of absence that also
qualifies as NJ FLA leave (including FMLA leave) shall count towards your allotment
of leave under the NJ FLA.
It is also is Garfield Park Academy’s policy that you exhaust all paid leave prior to
using your NJ FLA leave. You are entitled to FLA leave only if both Garfield Park
Academy and you qualify. Please see Human Resources Dept. regarding the
applicability of FLA leave to you.
GPA Proprietary Data 33
Notice Required to take NJ FLA Leave
If you want to request an unpaid leave of absence under the NJ FLA and you desire to
take leave in order to care for your newly born or adopted child, you must provide
notice in writing to the Human Resources Dept. at least 30 days before you intend
to begin your leave. You must include in your notice: 1) the reason for requesting
leave, 2) the date you plan to start your leave, and 3) your anticipated return. Only in
emergent situations when written notice is impracticable will Garfield Park Academy
accept oral notice in lieu of 30 days’ written notice. Leave cannot be taken on an
intermittent or reduced schedule unless approved in writing by both Garfield Park
Academy and you.
If you desire to take leave for in order to care for a family member with serious health
condition, you must provide notice in writing to your supervisor and to the Human
Resources Dept. at least 15 days before you intend to begin your leave. You must
include in your notice: 1) the reason for requesting leave, 2) the date you plan to start
your leave, and 3) your anticipated return. Only in emergent situations when written
notice is impracticable will Garfield Park Academy accept oral notice in lieu of 30
days’ written notice. Leave to care for a family member with serious health condition
may be taken on an intermittent or reduced schedule under certain circumstances.
Garfield Park Academy urges you to contact the Human Resources Dept. if you have
any questions about FLA leave or whether you qualify for FLA leave. You must
contact your supervisor and the Human Resources Dept. at the earliest possible time
prior to your anticipated leave date and comply with all of the notice and paperwork
requirements above. Failure to do so may forfeit and/or delay your entitlement to
C. COMP TIME
Approved Comp time is for Social Workers only. Social workers will be given
time off during regular work hours for conducting specific Garfield Park Academy
business after hours. Comp time will only be approved for: Parents are Partners
meetings, home visits after regular school hours, Parent Education Program
meetings, conducting and attending meetings with parents or districts after regular
hours, and time spent waiting at hospitals or other facilities while a student is
being evaluated. Comp time may not be used to arrive late to work. All comp time
to be used must be approved in advance on a Request for Time Off form. All
comp time expires at the end of the school-year in which it is earned. There is no
payment for unused comp time.
Parent Support Meetings (not to be confused with the Parent Education Program
PEP) are conducted once monthly. Employees conducting such meetings and staff
assisting with Babysitting and Transportation will need to complete a manual
timesheet to be paid for these hours.
GPA Proprietary Data 34
The School will publish a calendar at the beginning of each school year
delineating all holidays. In general this will follow the calendar of one of the
larger school districts sending students to Garfield Park Academy. If a new
employee starts within 30 days of Winter Break and/or Spring Break, the
employee will be paid for half of their holiday pay. If they are still employed (3)
months later they will be paid the balance of their holiday pay.
D. OTHER BENEFITS
The following is a summary of other current benefits. The actual determination of
benefits is based solely on the plan documents provided by the carrier of each
Each employee shall be covered by Social Security, Workers Compensation,
Unemployment Compensation, and a Private approved New Jersey Temporary
Disability Insurance Plan as required by the applicable state and federal laws.
Each full-time employee is eligible to enroll in Health, Dental, Long Term
Disability (LTD), Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Short term
disability, Accident Insurance, Cancer Insurance, Medical and Dependent Care
flexible spending, Supplemental and dependent life insurance on the 1st of the
month following 60 days of continuous full time employment. Once the employee
has passed this initial enrollment period the next opportunity that the employee
will have to add, increase, or make changes to these benefits will be once a year
during the open enrollment period.
The only exception to this rule will be if the employee experiences a life changing
circumstance such as: marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, death, or garnishment
Full time employees are eligible to be included in the Garfield Park
Academy Pension Plan after one year of service in accordance with the
plan. This plan is fully funded by the Garfield Park Academy and requires
no contribution from the employees.
The Garfield Park Academy maintains a 403 (B) Plan which full time
employees are eligible to participate in. This plan is maintained in order to
allow employees to save money on a tax deferred basis. This plan is 100%
funded by employee contributions through payroll deductions. The
investments are controlled by the individual employee.
Please see the Business Office for a detailed explanation of this plan.
GPA Proprietary Data 35
Full time employees are eligible for health insurance on the first of the
month following 60 days of continuous full time employment at Garfield
Park Academy. The cost for the basic insurance plan, which includes
Medical, Dental, and Basic Life Insurance in the amount of your annual
salary will be paid for by the school for all full time employees. Those
employees with family members who require Medical and Dental coverage
will contribute 60% of the cost of the premium for their family members.
This amount will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck. Garfield
Park Academy will pay the other 40% of the premium for dependent
Medical and Dental coverage.
Health insurance will be provided during the summer months for all full
time employees. The cost of the coverage for the summer months will be
deducted during the regular 10 month school year. GPA’s payment of
insurance premiums during the July and August is contingent upon the
employee’s intent to return to work for the following school year.
Therefore, in the event that Garfield Park Academy paid for your health
benefits during the summer months and you fail to return to work at
Garfield Park Academy for the following school year, you must reimburse
the School for the portion of the benefits paid for by the school for
previous summer months.
Employees taking a FMLA or NJFLA leave of absence will continue to be
covered under the school’s benefit plans for a period of 90 days. After 90
days the employee can apply for COBRA.
Employees that are terminated or resign from Garfield Park Academy may
be eligible to continue health coverage under COBRA
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
(COBRA) provides for the continuation of health insurance
coverage for a specified period of time due to a number of
qualifying events. At the time employment ceases, all
employees formerly covered under the Garfield Park Academy
group health insurance plan are eligible to continue such
coverage under COBRA. COBRA is not available for
employees who are terminated for willful misconduct. Under
COBRA, a qualified beneficiary is a covered employee, spouse
or dependent who was enrolled in the Garfield Park Academy
medical insurance plan the day before the qualifying event. A
qualifying event is defined as something that results in the
loss of coverage of a qualified beneficiary, including divorce,
retirement, being laid off, termination of employment,
voluntary resignation, or reduction in work hours.”
GPA Proprietary Data 36
Eligible employees will be notified by mail within 10 days of termination
or resignation from Garfield Park Academy of eligibility and cost of
continuing coverage. Please note that benefits are terminated effective the
last day of the month in which you resign or are terminated. Upon election
under COBRA and receipt of the re-enrollment form and payment, your
benefits will be re-instated retroactively to the date of termination.
Benefits for employees rehired within 12 months can be reinstated without
a waiting period.
Please note that while on the following types of leave: Leave of Absence, Workers
Comp, FMLA, or any form of Disability (state or otherwise) it is the employee’s
responsibility to continue paying for their portion of dependent premiums as if
they were working. Upon leaving Garfield Park Academy for Leave of Absence,
Workers Comp, FMLA, Maternity Leave, or any form of Disability, employees
will be notified by mail of the amount due each month and the due date for all
premiums. Please see the Business Office for exact costs and other details.
Any employee who chooses not to participate in the Health Insurance Plan will
receive $1000 for waiving and will be required to sign a waiver form and provide
proof of other insurance.
Eligible Garfield Park Academy employees, upon resignation or termination, will
be notified by mail with instructions for converting all applicable voluntary
insurance policies to personal policies.
The HIPAA privacy regulation creates new rights for patients and defines certain
new duties for employers who have any access to private medical information.
One of the features allows special enrollment rights if you have lost other
coverage, gotten married or had a child. You cannot be denied coverage because
of your health status. In addition, if you had previous coverage that lasted at least
twelve months, our group insurance cannot exclude treatment for a pre-existing
D. WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE:
Garfield Park Academy covers all employees with workers compensation
insurance for injuries that happen in the course of doing their daily job duties.
Below please find the proper procedure that should be followed when an injury
occurs while at work:
1. Complete an incident report immediately (unless the injury is life
threatening or otherwise requires immediate medical attention). State
law requires that Garfield Park Academy be notified within 24 hours.
Our Workers Compensation Insurance requires notice within 72 hours
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2. Report to the Nurse’s office to be examined by the nurse. The nurse
will complete an injury report and determine whether further treatment
or evaluation is needed. If necessary you will be instructed to see the
Worker’s Compensation coordinator who will set up an appointment
with the authorized Medical Team.
3. After your office visit the doctor will provide the employee with
papers that need to be returned to Garfield Park Academy. These
papers will state what the doctors diagnoses is and what restrictions the
employee may have, if any. Please note it is the employee’s
responsibility to forward a copy of all doctor’s notes and instructions
to Garfield Park Academy within 24 hours of the visit. Delay in
Garfield Park Academy receiving all appropriate documents could
delay treatment, the processing of your claims, and delay in wages
from the insurance company.
4. Please be sure to keep all doctor’s appointments as a break in treatment
could delay future processing on your claim by the insurance company.
5. All wages for time missed due to Workers Compensation are paid by,
and at the discretion of, the workers compensation carrier.
6. Please note it is the employee’s responsibility to keep Garfield Park
Academy informed of their progress and return to work date.
F. TUITION REIMBURSEMENT
It is in the best interest of the Garfield Park Academy, that the full-time staff
continues their education. This can be accomplished by either taking courses
leading towards a Special Education degree, or by taking Bachelor/Graduate level
courses in the field of Special Education at an accredited college or university.
Other courses or programs in specific subjects, which will benefit Garfield Park
Academy, may be approved in special cases, especially involving coursework
directly related to the employee’s position at the Garfield Park Academy. The
courses to be taken must be approved in advance by the Director or the Director’s
designee. The Garfield Park Academy will reimburse a student, when he/she
receives their final grade as evidenced by an official transcript. This
reimbursement will be up to a maximum of $1,000 per school year for
undergraduate studies, $1,500 per school year for pursuit of a Masters Degree, and
$2,000 per school year for Doctoral and Post-Doctoral studies. Payment of the
tuition will be contingent upon the employee remaining at Garfield Park Academy
for at least one year after receiving the reimbursement, and sign a statement
agreeing to same. If the employee chooses to terminate his/her employment, the
employee must reimburse Garfield Park Academy for any tuition monies paid to
that employee within the past one-year period.
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1. A full-time staff member who has worked at the Garfield Park Academy at
least 60 days, and whose performance and attendance at Garfield Park
Academy is deemed satisfactory by the School Director, may submit to the
Director a list of course(s) on the college or university’s letterhead, with the
name of the course and a course description, that the employee is interested in
enrolling for that semester. Once approved by the Director, the employee is to
forward an approved copy of the course(s) to the Business Office. The
employee may then enroll in the approved course(s). The Business Office will
keep the approved copy of the course(s) and a copy of the bill on file in the
personnel file of the staff member until the official grade or transcript is
received. There will be no prepayment by Garfield Park Academy for any
course. The Director is the final decision maker as to the applicability of the
courses to the Tuition Reimbursement Program.
2. The staff member will present the transcript of the course taken to the
Director, or Director’s delegate, who will approve reimbursement as follows:
a. Grades A or B (or “pass” for pass/fail classes) will receive 100%
reimbursement for the bill presented.
b. Grade C will receive 50% reimbursement for the bill presented.
c. Grades D and F (or “fail” for pass/fail classes) will receive no
XII. RESEARCH, PUBLICATION, AND PRESENTATIONS OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL
No employee may conduct any research or publish any materials during working hours
without prior documented approval by the Director of Garfield Park Academy. In
addition, no research, study or publication may be pursued outside of working hours if it
pertains to the Garfield Park Academy, the Therapeutic Learning Center, its staff,
students, methods or procedures without documented approval by the Director. This
prohibition specifically pertains to any papers or articles written for publication or for
academic or other purposes by an employee and includes any subject related to the school
or the school’s students. If the employee wishes to conduct research or to publish
materials during working hours, or that pertains to the school at all, the following
procedures will be followed:
A. A proposal to do a study must be submitted to the Director for approval by the
employee. The proposal must contain the following information: the purpose of
the study; whether the information to be utilized is from any Garfield Park
Academy records; organization of the information; sample literature review
substantiating the study or article; and statement concerning Garfield Park
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Academy to be included in the study. A similar submission is required for
preliminary approval for any contemplated publications.
B. The Executive Director or their designate of the Garfield Park Academy will have
final approval of any release of any and all studies or publications that relate to
Garfield Park Academy in any way. This includes, but is not limited to, studies
which mention the Garfield Park Academy; studies that use any of its resources in
development; studies that are developed or worked on during working hours; and
studies that use or refer to any student, student information, or staff at Garfield
Park Academy. Mention of Garfield Park Academy is meant to include any
reference to the Therapeutic Learning Center. Any modifications made to
previously approved studies require approval by the Director prior to release.
C. An employee must also abide by the guidelines set forth above for any work
performed for submission to any college for coursework.
D. Non-compliance with this section will result in disciplinary action, and may
include termination as determined by the School Director and/or the Board of
No employee may give any type of conference presentation or other presentation
outside the school that mentions the Garfield Park Academy (or the Therapeutic
Learning Center, Inc.) or any related business or methods without the prior
permission of the Director. This prohibition specifically pertains to any
presentations written by an employee and includes any subject related to the
school, the school’s programs, or the school’s students.
XIII. VISITORS TO GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY
For the safety of the students and the staff at Garfield Park Academy, all visitors
are to report to the Front Office immediately upon entering the building. At no
time will any visitors be approved to walk through the halls of Garfield Park
Academy or go into classrooms without prior written approval from the Director.
This rule applies to any person who is not an employee of Garfield Park Academy
including, but not limited to, parents and other relatives of students, relatives and
friends of staff, and all bus drivers and aides. Bus drivers and aides must wait
outside with their respective vehicles at the end of the day for student buses to be
called. No classroom visitors are permitted without the permission of the School
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XIV. VIDEO AND SOUND RECORDING
All employees at Garfield Park Academy are aware and agree that Garfield Park
Academy has Video and Sound recording equipment in most areas of the school
for the safety and protection of students, the staff and the school.
XV. BEHAVORIAL MANAGEMENT MODEL
Garfield Park Academy has paid to have its employees trained in a special
Behavioral Management Program to provide consistency throughout the facility. It
is imperative that all employees use the model at all times. Failure to do so may
result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination. In addition, the
model and the way it is used at Garfield Park Academy is considered confidential
to Garfield Park Academy.
XVI. SCHOOL CLOSINGS
In the case of inclement weather, it is the responsibility of the staff to call the
school at 609-877-4111 to get current closing information.
Be aware that there may be times when the weather will prevent students from
attending but the staff is required to be present.
XVII. CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETY INFORMATION
All copyrights, patents, trade secrets, or intellectual property associated with any
ideas, concepts, techniques, inventions, processes, or works of authorship
developed or created by you during the course of performing work for Garfield
Park Academy or its clients (collectively the “Work Product”) shall belong
exclusively to Garfield Park Academy and shall, to the extent possible, be
considered a work made by you for hire Garfield Park Academy within the
meaning of Title 17 of the United States Code. To the extent the Work Product
may not be considered work made by you for hire for Garfield Park Academy, you
agree to assign, and automatically assign at the creation of the Work Product,
without any requirement for further consideration, any right, title, or interest you
may have in such Work Product. Upon request of Garfield Park Academy, you
shall take further actions, including execution and delivery of instruments of
conveyance, as may be appropriate to give full and proper effect to such
assignment. In addition to the above, any and all Work Product must be marked
appropriately with a copyright to protect its ownership and prevent its use outside
of the business of the Garfield Park Academy. Upon termination of your
employment, no Work Product, as described in this document, may be removed
from the premises of the school. In addition, any copies outside of the school in
any form (paper, electronic, etc.) must be returned to the attention of the Director
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immediately. No work product may be used by you after your employment is
During the course of your employment and afterwards, you agree not to use or
disclose any trade secrets of Garfield Park Academy at any time except as
necessary to perform your duties for Garfield Park Academy. Under the law,
“trade secret” is a type of intangible property, the theft (i.e., misappropriation) of
which is a tort and crime in most states. It does not have to be in written form to
be protected. A trade secret generally consists of valuable, secret information or
ideas that an owner collects or uses in order to keep its competitive edge
(including confidential information supplied to an owner by its customers, clients,
vendors, or agents.) Examples of trade secrets are such technical information as
programs, educational models, designs, service and treatment specifications,
computer software, and other propriety technology, and such business information
as selling and pricing information and procedures, customer lists, business and
marketing plans, and internal financial statements. These restrictions do not apply
to any information generally available to the public or any information properly
obtained from a completely independent source.
You agree not to contact the clients or families of Garfield Park Academy outside
of the school hours without the express consent of Garfield Park Academy.
Employees are to park in designated areas in Garfield Park Academy parking lots.
No unauthorized parking in handicapped spaces, reserved spaces, visitor spaces or
employee of the month spaces is permitted. In addition, parking on local streets is
also prohibited when there is parking available in our lots.
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RECEIPT OF EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK
I, , hereby acknowledge that I have
received a copy of the Garfield Park Academy Employee Handbook, which represents a
general statement of the current policies and benefits and a general overview of the
responsibilities of employees. As such, it is not a contract or guarantee of employment
and is subject to modification by the Garfield Park Academy. I am responsible for
knowledge of and compliance with the policies and procedures in the Handbook and any
additions or changes provided to me. I agree not to duplicate or disclose the contents of
this Handbook or any other information regarding the workings or policies and
procedures of the Garfield Park Academy to anyone other than as required by the normal
performance of my duties. I agree to safe keep this Handbook during my employment
and return the Handbook upon termination of my employment.
EMPLOYEE’S SIGNATURE DATE
BY SIGNING THIS I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE READ AND
UNDERSTAND THE CONTENTS OF THIS HANDBOOK.
PLEASE RETURN THIS RECEIPT TO MARIA PIKE IN THE BUSINESS
OFFICE NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 18, 2009.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT DR. STEVEN MORSE
OR THE BUSINESS MANAGER, MICHELE HEINZ.
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