Highly Qualified Staff
The Michigan Center School District Board of Education and Administration recognizes that it is vital to the achievement of our students that positions created by the Board be filled with highly-qualified and competent personnel. Further, pursuant to the Administrative Rules Governing the Certification of Michigan Teachers, the Board requires that anyone employed as a professional staff member with instructional responsibilities in an elementary or secondary school in our District hold a certificate, permit, or vocational authorization valid for the positions to which s/he is assigned, and that the individual meets the established criteria to be highly qualified in his/her assignment. In order to maintain a handle on the status of each of our professional staff members, the District completes the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) Registry of Educational Personnel (REP) twice a year.
If a professional staff member is hired or takes on a position without the appropriate certification to be considered “Highly Qualified”, district representatives will work with the employee to create a plan to ensure that the Highly Qualified status is met within an appropriate amount of time. In addition, District representatives will work with MDE to attain approval of the plan to achieve a “Highly Qualified” status, as well as, the appropriate temporary certification needed for the staff member to hold the position.
District Paraprofessionals are also required to hold a “Highly Qualified” status as defined by the expectations of Title I (i.e. an associate’s degree or higher, or a high school diploma accompanied by the successful completion of appropriate state testing).
The District operates with an understanding of “Highly Qualified” to mean what is defined in Board Policy 3120, which is also included below.
REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGHLY QUALIFIED STATUS
Pursuant to State law, "Highly Qualified" means:
- Full State certification as a teacher or passed State teacher licensing exam and holds current license to teach; certification or license requirements may not be waived on emergency, temporary, or provisional basis;
- For elementary teachers new to the profession, this also requires:
- At least a bachelor’s degree;
- Passing a rigorous State test on subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, math, and other areas of elementary curriculum (State certification test may suffice);
- for secondary or middle school teachers new to the profession this also requires:
- At least a bachelor’s degree, and
- Passing a rigorous State test in each of the subject areas s/he will teach (State certification test may suffice), or
- For each academic subject taught, having an academic major, course work equivalent to an undergraduate major, a graduate degree, or advanced certification or credentialing;
- For elementary, middle, or secondary school teachers with prior experience, this also requires:
- At least a bachelor’s degree, and
- Meets standards for new teachers (above), or
- Demonstrates competence in all academic subjects s/he teaches based on a uniform State standard of evaluation (standard for academic subject matter and teaching skills set by the State).
REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHERS IN DISTRICT RECEIVING TITLE I FUNDING
All teachers hired for a Title I supported program or a core subject area must be "highly qualified."
As a condition of employment, all newly-hired teachers in a Title I supported program or in core subject areas shall be required to submit documentation that they are "highly qualified" as described above.
As designated by Federal law, core subject areas shall include the following: English, reading or language arts, science (which includes physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and physical science), mathematics, arts (which includes instrumental music, vocal music, visual arts, dance, and drama/theater), foreign languages, government and civics, history, economics and geography.
The Superintendent shall prepare a plan that will result in all teachers who are employed in professional staff positions with instructional responsibilities in Title I supported programs and/or core subject areas to be highly qualified by a date specific, and the Superintendent shall show annual progress towards meeting these teacher qualification requirements.