Within the parameters established by law, School Committee policy, and instructions from the Superintendent, the Principal will be the administrative authority of the assigned school. The School Committee hereby recognizes that capable leadership by school principals and assistant principals is integral to furthering the educational mission of the Smithfield Public Schools. The provision of effective and innovative educational services requires school principals and assistant principals to be productive managers and strong instructional leaders.

The School Committee recognizes its responsibility to provide stability, security and clarity to its building administrators. In accordance with Rhode Island law, school principals and assistant principals have a right to participate in the process that determines their salaries, benefits, and conditions of employment. Accordingly, all principals shall have individual written contracts of no more than three years duration. Prior to the respective expiration date of each said contract, in accordance with the time lines contained therein, the School Committee shall provide an opportunity for each Principal and Assistant Principal to meet with the School Committee and discuss salary, benefits, and conditions of employment. Each building administrator shall be evaluated by the Superintendent on at least an annual basis.

Duties and Responsibilities – School Principals and Assistant Principals

1. Rhode Island’s Comprehensive Education Strategy calls for schools, along with the districts, school committees, the local community and state government, to be accountable for student progress toward the high education standards that are essential for success in today’s world. To fulfill this role, each Principal and Assistant Principal will implement an improvement plan designed to improve student performance. They must demonstrate high levels of proficiency and responsibility as both effective managers and instructional leaders.

2. The Principal and Assistant Principal will carry out all duties and responsibilities as set forth in the relevant job description adopted by the Smithfield School Department, their written contract, as well as all other reasonable tasks and assignments as directed by the Superintendent of Schools.

3. Principals and Assistant Principals are expected to maintain a high level of performance, to continue their professional development, to carry out all assigned responsibilities to the best of their abilities, and at all times to serve as role models to the students, faculty and staff of the School Department.

4. When a teacher is notified to attend a meeting with any administrator(s), the teacher shall be informed of the general nature of the meeting unless there are immediate health, safety, or legal concerns.

When a meeting is disciplinary in nature, an administrator shall advise the teacher of his/her right to union representation at the meeting.

Selection and Appointment of Principals and Assistant Principals

Selection and appointment of school Principals and Assistant Principals will comply in all respects with the requirements established by Rhode Island law and the Regulations of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education. All appointments, promotions or transfers shall be made without regard to age, race, creed, color, religion, nationality, sex, marital status, or disability and without regard to membership or participation in any employee organization or political party. All vacancies shall be posted internally and advertised in local and regional newspapers, although nothing herein shall be deemed to limit the authority of the Superintendent to utilize other reasonable methods to advertise for applicants on a regional or national basis for any administrative position.

A screening committee established by the Superintendent shall review all responsive applications that comply with applicable requirements established in the job advertisement. The screening committee shall forward their recommendations to the Superintendent. Interviews shall thereafter take place according to practice and procedure established by the Superintendent. Other procedures such as additional interviews or site visits may occur if deemed necessary by the Superintendent. The School Committee may interview the final candidates recommended by the screening committee for the purpose of making an informed decision on the Superintendent’s recommendation.

The Superintendent shall forward a recommendation for hiring to the School Committee along with a summary of the process. In addition, the application files of the top candidates, including results of the interview process, shall be made available to the School Committee no later than the day of the meeting at which the Superintendent’s recommendation is forwarded to the Committee. The recommendation of the Superintendent to the School Committee shall, at a minimum, include the following: effective date of hire; first day to report for employment; existence of any special conditions; length of term of employment; summary of employment recommendations; and certification of receipt of all necessary background checks and certifications.

In order to promote and provide the highest quality educational experience for the school children of Smithfield, the School Committee, shall, upon recommendation of the Superintendent, appoint the most qualified applicant for each available position.

Notification of offers of employment shall be made by the Superintendent and state the general terms and conditions of employment. The successful applicant will thereafter be supplied with a draft written contract of employment and be provided an opportunity to meet and confer with the School Committee in regard to salary, benefits, and conditions of employment. While such opportunity to meet and confer should not be construed as contract negotiations, the School Committee shall objectively consider all requests of the Principal before offering a finalized contract for initial or continued employment.

Written contracts of employment for Principals and Assistant Principals shall be for terms of no more than three (3) years. Six months prior to the end of the appointment term, upon recommendation of the Superintendent, the School Committee shall then consider and enact one of the following:

1. A multiple year appointment for a period not to exceed three (3) years

2. A one year appointment

3. Non-renewal

All notifications of reappointment or non-reappointment shall be made in writing by the Superintendent. Each Principal and Assistant Principal shall notify the Superintendent in writing of his or her intent to accept or reject a tendered appointment within thirty days of receipt of the offer of employment. Failure to supply timely acceptance of the tendered offer shall be construed to mean the appointee does not accept the tendered offer of appointment or reappointment.

All non-reappointments and dismissals shall comply with the notice and opportunity for hearing requirements set forth at RI General Laws 16-12.1-1 through 16-12.1-6. No Principal or Assistant Principal shall be dismissed during his or her term of employment except for “just cause”, as that term is defined in accordance with RI General Laws 16-12.1-2.1, as may be amended from time to time.

ADOPTED: April 5, 1999

REVISED: June 12, 2017