4111.4Evaluation, Termination and Non-Renewal of Athletic Coaches
EVALUATION, TERMINATION AND NON-RENEWAL OF ATHLETIC COACHES
It is the policy of the Meriden Board of Education (the “Board”) that an athletic coach employed by the Board shall:
1) adhere to all Board policies, rules and regulations;
2) conduct himself or herself in a professional manner;
3) serve as a role model for students; and
4) demonstrate competence and proficiency in his or her role as an athletic coach of a particular sport.
For purposes of this policy, the term “athletic coach” means any person holding (and required to hold) a coaching permit issued by the Connecticut State Board of Education who is hired by the Board to act as a coach for a sport season. The term “athletic coach” under this policy shall include only coaches who have direct responsibility for one or more teams (including assistant coaches if they serve as a coach to another team (e.g., JV)), and the term shall not include other assistant coaches and volunteer coaches.
For purposes of this policy, the term “athletic director” means an individual responsible for administering the athletic program of a school or school district under the jurisdiction of the Board, and who is responsible for the supervision of athletic coaches.
The Superintendent may adopt administrative regulations in accordance with this policy.
Pursuant to state law, the Board requires that an athletic coach employed by the Board be evaluated on an annual basis by the athletic director or the coach’s immediate supervisor. An athletic coach shall be provided with a copy of any such evaluation. Other assistant and volunteer coaches may be evaluated as directed by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.
II. Employment of an Athletic Coach
A. Athletic coaches serve at the discretion of the Superintendent, and their employment in their specific coaching positions (e.g., basketball, golf) may be non-renewed or terminated at any time, subject to the provisions set forth below which apply to athletic coaches who have served in the same coaching position for three or more consecutive school years.
B. If the Superintendent non-renews or terminates the coaching contract of an athletic coach who has served in the same coaching position for three or more consecutive school years, the Superintendent shall inform such coach of the decision within ninety (90) calendar days of the end of the athletic season covered by the contract. In such cases, the athletic coach will have an opportunity to appeal the decision of the Superintendent in accordance with the procedures set forth below in Section III.
C. Notwithstanding any rights an athletic coach may have to a hearing, nothing prohibits a Superintendent from terminating the employment contract of any athletic coach at any time, including an athletic coach who has served in the same coaching position for three or more consecutive school years:
1) for reasons of moral misconduct, insubordination, failure to comply with the Board’s policies, rules and regulations; or
2) because the sport has been canceled by the Board.
D. If a decision to terminate a coach’s employment is made during the athletic season, the Superintendent shall remove the coach from duty during the pendency of any hearing conducted pursuant to this policy.
III. Hearing Procedures:
An athletic coach who has served in the same coaching position for three or more consecutive school years may appeal any such non-renewal or termination decision (except if such decision was due to cancellation of the sport) to the Boardin accordance with the following procedures:
A. The athletic coach must file a written appeal with the Board within ten (10) calendar days of the Superintendent’s written notification of non-renewal or termination. Such appeal shall set forth the basis on which the athletic coach seeks review of that decision, and a copy of said appeal shall be sent to the Superintendent. Failure to submit a timely written appeal shall constitute a waiver of said appeal opportunity.
B. Within a reasonable period of time of its receipt of a written appeal of the Superintendent’s decision, the Board or a committee of the Board as designated by the Chairperson shall conduct a hearing to consider such appeal. Reasonable notice of the time and place for such hearing shall be issued to the athletic coach prior to the commencement of the hearing.
C. At the hearing, the athletic coach shall have an opportunity to present facts and evidence in support of renewal and/or reinstatement, and the Superintendent shall have the opportunity (but shall not be obligated) to present facts and evidence in support of the decision of non-renewal and/or termination. For good cause shown, the athletic coach may call a limited number of witnesses to testify if there is a clear need for witnesses to present factual information (rather than simply expressing an opinion on the skill or competence of the athletic coach). In any event, cumulative or redundant testimony shall not be allowed.
D. The decision of non-renewal or termination shall be affirmed unless the Board determines that the decision is arbitrary and capricious. The coach shall bear the burden of proof on this point.
E. Within a reasonable period of time following the hearing, the Board shall determine whether the Superintendent acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in making his/her decision not to renew and/or to terminate, and shall provide a written decision to the coach. The decision of the Board shall be final.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-222e Policy on evaluation and termination of athletic coaches.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-149d Athletic directors. Definitions, Qualifications and hiring. Duties.
ADOPTED: November 17, 2015
Amended: April 20, 2021
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