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Original Adopted Date: 2-14-83                                          Last Revised Date: 7-21-03                                        Last Reviewed Date: 8-22-22

A.        Academic Credit

Professional staff members may seek renewal and improve competence by taking additional college coursework.  The professional staff member is encouraged both by the salary schedule and the district administration to grow professionally by pursuing additional graduate course hours.  Professional competence and growth will be the primary criteria for maintenance and advancement on the salary schedule.

Course work to be counted toward horizontal advancement on the salary schedule shall be taken and passed at a regionally accredited college or university.  All such professional growth experiences shall be approved in advance by the Superintendent on the standard forms provided for this purpose.

All professional staff members shall meet the following requirements in order to qualify for horizontal advancement on the salary schedule.

1.         Professional Staff Members with Bachelor’s Degree Taking Non-Degree Graduate

            Courses.  Credit beyond the Bachelor’s degree, but below the Master’s degree must

            be graduate credit from a regionally accredited college or university.  It need not be

            specifically directed toward the Master’s degree if the college or university certified

            it as graduate credit.  Such graduate credit shall be in the professional staff

            member’s area of teaching specialization.

2.         Professional Staff Members with Bachelor’s Degree Taking Master’s Degree Program Graduate Courses.  Professional Staff members on a Master’s degree

program shall provide sufficient evidence that their graduate courses apply toward

            the Master’s Degree. Professional staff members taking Master’s degree program

            graduate courses outside their area of teaching specialization shall provide evidence

            to the Superintendent as to how these courses will be beneficial to the staff

            member’s teaching assignment and the district’s educational program.

3.         Professional Staff Members with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees Taking

            Undergraduate Courses.  Horizontal advancement on the salary schedule shall not

            be granted to professional staff members taking undergraduate courses.

4.         Professional Staff Members with Master’s Degree Taking Graduate Courses.

            Professional staff members who possess the Master’s degree and desire to take

            graduate courses beyond this degree for horizontal advancement on the salary

            schedule will be expected to take the courses in the area of their teaching

            specialization.  If the graduate courses are not in the area of teaching specialization,

            the professional staff members will be required to submit evidence to the

            Superintendent as to how the course(s) will benefit the teacher’s present teaching

            assignment and the district’s educational program.

Professional staff members who plan to take approved graduate courses at a regionally accredited college or university during the summer months shall submit the appropriate graduate credit approval form to the Superintendent no later than June 1 of the summer during which the course(s) will be taken.  All other approved graduate courses shall be submitted to the Superintendent for approval at least one week in advance of when the course(s) will begin.  Upon completion of the course(s) a transcript shall be presented to the Superintendent for final approval.                                                                                        

Professional staff members who qualify shall move horizontally on the salary schedule by filing suitable evidence of additional educational credits with the Superintendent no later than September 15.


A teacher must file Form 408.1-F prior to enrolling in any class where college credit is desired by said teacher to be applied to horizontal movement on the salary schedule.  The form must be filed with the Superintendent.

B.  Non-Academic Programs

The board encourages licensed employees to attend and participate in professional development activities to maintain, develop, and extend their skills.  The board will maintain and support an in-service program for licensed employees.

Requests for attendance or participation in a development program, other than those development programs sponsored by the school district, is made to the superintendent.  Approval of the superintendent must be obtained prior to attendance by a licensed employee in a professional development program when the attendance would result in the licensed employee being excused from their duties or when the school district pays the expenses for the program.

The superintendent will have sole discretion to allow or disallow licensed employees to attend or participate in the requested event.  When making this determination, the superintendent will consider the value of the program for the licensed employee and the school district, the effect of the licensed employee's absence on the education program and school district operations and the school district's financial situation as well as other factors deemed relevant in the judgment of the superintendent.  Requests that involve unusual expenses or overnight travel must also be approved by the Superintendent.

The requirements stated in the Master Agreement/Staff Handbook between employees in that certified collective bargaining unit and the board regarding professional development of such employees will be followed.

Legal Reference:        Iowa Code § 279.8; Ch.294 (2013).

                                    281 I.A.C. 12.7.

Cross Reference:        414.9   Classified Employee Professional Purposes Leave