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20.1     Application


This procedure applies to the dismissal or suspension during the school year of probationary unit members.  Nothing in this Article shall in any way diminish the rights of permanent employees under the California Education Code, including but not limited to those rights delineated in Sections 44932 through 44947.


20.2     Notice of Dismissal or Suspension


20.2.1     A Notice of Dismissal or Suspension shall be given by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the effective date of such action and no later than March 15 of the unit member’s second probationary year.


20.2.2    The Notice of Dismissal or Suspension shall include a statement of reasons for such action with sufficient particularity to permit the unit member to prepare a defense and notice of the opportunity to appeal.  In the event of a dismissal or suspension for unsatisfactory performance, a copy of the evaluation conducted pursuant to the Stull Act (Education Code Section 44664) shall accompany this notice.


20.3     Service of Notice


The written Notice of Dismissal or Suspension shall be served by registered or certified mail or by personal service.


20.4     Suspension


20.4.1    Suspension may be proposed or determined for a specified period of time.


20.4.2    Suspension is without any pay and for a stated number of work or calendar days and may be initially proposed by the Superintendent or his/her designee, recommended by the hearing officer, or determined by the Governing Board.


20.4.3     When suspension is initially proposed by the Superintendent or his/her designee for a specified period of time, no more severe penalty may be recommended by the hearing officer or determined by the Governing Board.


20.5     Grounds for Dismissal or Suspension


20.5.1     Unsatisfactory performance as determined by an evaluation conducted in accordance with the Stull Act (Education Code Section 44660-44665) and any current policy, if applicable, or negotiated contract provisions.


20.5.2     Any one (1) or more of the causes specified in Education Code Section 44932.


20.6     Request for Hearing


The unit member shall file a written request for a hearing within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the Notice of Dismissal or Suspension.  Filing means receipt in the office designated no later than the regular close of business on the last day of the filing period.  Failure to file such request in a timely manner shall be deemed a waiver of the right to a hearing and the proposed action shall be effective upon action by the Governing Board without notice or hearing except as may be required in a Board meeting agenda.


20.7     Conduct of Hearing


20.7.1     An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing and his/her recommended decision shall be in writing and shall state findings of fact and determinations of the issues.  These findings shall be advisory in nature only.


20.7.2    Non-substantive procedural errors committed by the District, by a unit member, the hearing officer, or the Governing Board shall not affect the decision unless the errors are prejudicial.


20.8     Review by the Governing Board


The Governing Board, at its next meeting which is not less than five (5) work days after the recommended decision of the hearing officer is received at the District Office, shall act upon that recommended decision.  If the Board decides not to approve an adverse recommended decision or decides to modify a recommended decision, it shall review the transcript of the proceedings, review the exhibits and listen to oral argument, if requested, as to the sufficiency of cause.