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Vista USD |  BP  4219.21  Personnel

Professional Standards   

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The Governing Board expects district employees to maintain the highest ethical standards, exhibit professional behavior, follow district policies and regulations, abide by state and federal laws, and exercise good judgment when interacting with students and other members of the school community. Employee conduct should enhance the integrity of the district, advance the goals of the district's educational programs, and contribute to a positive school climate.

The Board encourages district employees to accept as guiding principles the professional standards and codes of ethics adopted by educational or professional associations to which they may belong.

Each employee should make a commitment to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill his/her responsibilities and should focus on his/her contribution to the learning and achievement of district students.

Inappropriate employee conduct includes, but is not limited to:

1. Engaging in any conduct that endangers students, staff, or others, including, but not limited to, physical violence, threats of violence, or possession of a firearm or other weapon, related to school events or activities.

2. Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior towards students, parents/guardians, staff, or community members, or failing or refusing to intervene when an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against a student is observed

3. Physically abusing, sexually abusing, neglecting, or otherwise willfully harming or injuring a child

4. Engaging in inappropriate socialization or fraternization with a student or soliciting, encouraging, or maintaining an inappropriate written, verbal, or physical relationship with a student

5. Possessing or viewing any pornography on school grounds, or possessing or viewing child pornography or other imagery portraying children in a sexualized manner at any time

6. Using profane, obscene, or abusive language against students, parents/guardians, staff, or community members

7. Willfully disrupting district or school operations by loud or unreasonable noise or other action

8. Using tobacco, alcohol, or an illegal or unauthorized substance, or possessing or distributing any controlled substance, while in the workplace or at a school-sponsored activity

9. Dishonesty with students, parents/guardians, staff, or members of the public, including, but not limited to, falsification of information in employment records or other school records

10. Divulging confidential information about students, district employees, or district operations to persons not authorized to receive the information

11. Using district equipment or other district resources for the employee's own commercial purposes or for political activities

12. Using district equipment or communications devices for personal purposes while on duty, except in an emergency, during scheduled work breaks, or for personal necessity

Employees shall be notified that computer files and all electronic communications, including, but not limited to, email and voice mail, are not private. To ensure proper use, the Superintendent or designee may monitor employee usage of district technological resources at any time without the employee's consent.

13. Causing damage to or engaging in theft of property belonging to students, staff, or the district

An employee who observes or has evidence of another employee's inappropriate conduct shall immediately report such conduct to the principal or Superintendent or designee. An employee who has knowledge of or suspects child abuse or neglect shall file a report pursuant to the district's child abuse reporting procedures as detailed in AR 5141.4 - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting.

Any reports of employee misconduct shall be promptly investigated. Any employee who is found to have engaged in inappropriate conduct in violation of law or Board policy shall be subject to disciplinary action and, in the case of a certificated employee, may be subject to a report to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Superintendent or designee shall notify local law enforcement as appropriate.

An employee who has knowledge of but fails to report inappropriate employee conduct may also be subject to discipline.

The district prohibits retaliation against anyone who files a complaint against an employee or reports an employee's inappropriate conduct. Any employee who retaliates against any such complainant, reporter, or other participant in the district's complaint process shall be subject to discipline.

(cf. 0200 - Goals for the School District)

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Pla)

(cf. 1312.1 - Complaints Concerning District Employees)

(cf. 2111 - Superintendent Governance Standards)

(cf. 3513.3 - Tobacco-Free Schools)

(cf. 3580 - District Records)

(cf. 4020 - Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace)

(cf. 4040 - Employee Use of Technology)

(cf. 4100/4200/4300 - Rules of Conduct)

(cf. 4112.2 - Certification)

(cf. 4112.41/4212.41/4312.41 - Employee Drug Testing)

(cf. 4112.42/4212.42/4312.42 - Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers)

(cf. 4117.4 - Dismissal)

(cf. 4117.7 - Employment Status Reports)

(cf. 4118 - Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

(cf. 4218 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

(cf. 4119.1/4219.1/4319.1 - Civil and Legal Rights)

(cf. 4119.11/4219.11/4319.11 - Sexual Harassment)

(cf. 4119.22/4219.22/4319.22 - Dress and Grooming)

(cf. 4119.23/4219.23/4319.23 - Unauthorized Release of Confidential/Privileged Information)

(cf. 4119.25/4219.25/4319.25 - Political Activities of Employees)

(cf. 4131/4231/4331 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4158/4258/4358 - Employee Security)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

(cf. 5125.1 - Release of Directory Information)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying0

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5141.4 - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting)

(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

(cf. 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment)

(cf. 9005 - Governance Standards)

Legal Reference:


200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

44242.5 Reports and review of alleged misconduct


11164-11174.4 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act


80303 Reports of dismissal, resignation and other terminations for alleged misconduct

80331-80338 Rules of conduct for professional educators

Management Resources:


California Standards for the Teaching Profession, 2009


Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008, 2008


Code of Ethics of the Education Profession, 1975


Moving Leadership Standards into Everyday Work: Descriptions of Practice, 2003


California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, 2001



Association of California School Administrators:

California Department of Education:

California Federation of Teachers:

California School Employees Association:

California Teachers Association:

Commission on Teacher Credentialing:

Council of Chief State School Officers:



adopted: February 21, 2013 Vista, California