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5010 Procedure-2 – Affirmative Action Plan


 It is the policy of Bellingham Public Schools to recruit, hire, retain, assign, transfer, train, and promote persons in all job classifications without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation including gender exprboession or identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, marital status, the presence of any sensory, physical or mental disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

District employees shall be free from harassment based on legally protected attributes or characteristics.  The district shall also make reasonable accommodation to the known sensory, mental or physical limitations of an otherwise qualified disabled applicant or employee unless an accommodation would impose an undue hardship.

All personnel actions will conform to an Affirmative Action Plan, the basic purpose of which is to increase the diversity of the district’s work force and the utilization of minorities and women at all levels in the work force where they are underutilized.

With the above in mind, Bellingham Public Schools has adopted this Affirmative Action Plan as part of the district’s administrative practices.


A. Internal Communication

  1. Copies of the district’s policies and procedures regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including a copy of this Affirmative Action Plan, are contained in the district policy and procedures manual.
  2. The policies and procedures manual is accessible on the district’s website.
  3. The policies and procedures are discussed in new employee orientations.
  4. Copies of the Affirmative Action Plan are distributed to the board of directors, all administrators, each building location, the shop steward and/or president of each bargaining unit, and any employee upon request.

B. External Communication

  1. Recruitment letters to employment placement offices include a statement of reference to the district’s affirmative action commitment.
  1. Advertisements for positions in newspapers contain the statement, “Equal Opportunity Employer.”
  2. Forms used for application for employment contain an equal employment opportunity statement.
  3. Affirmative Action compliance is required of contractors, vendors, and suppliers.


A. The superintendent is responsible to ensure that administrators, supervisors, and all employees are fully aware of their role in supporting the Affirmative Action Plan.

B. The executive director of Human Resources is designated as the Affirmative Action Officer and is responsible to the superintendent for district compliance with the principles set forth in the Affirmative Action Plan.

The responsibilities of the Affirmative Action Officer include:

  1. Implementation of control systems to measure program effectiveness.
  2. Keeping management and employees informed of Affirmative Action on a regular basis.
  3. Reporting annual progress to the board of directors.

The Affirmative Action Officer is:

Nora Klewiada

Executive Director of Human Resources

Bellingham Public Schools

1306 Dupont Street

Bellingham, WA  98225

Telephone:  (360) 676-2782


A. Development of Analysis

The terms “utilization analysis” and “underutilization” appearing in this Affirmative Action Plan are used in the same sense in which these terms are used in regulations promulgated by the federal government relative to such plans.  These terms have no independent legal or factual significance whatsoever.  Many statistical comparisons

involve the use of geographic areas and various sources of statistics.  The use of such geographic areas and statistics is intended only for the purpose of implementing this Plan and has no significance outside the context of this Affirmative Action Plan; although, of course, these statistics and areas have been selected and used in good faith and in an effort to be as useful as possible in the development of the Plan.

In order to determine whether goals are needed for an affirmative action program, it is first necessary to determine the percentage of females and minorities available in the work force.  This is done through an “availability analysis.”  The availability analysis methodology used herein is based on the one set forth in federal regulations for affirmative action.  This method looks at a variety of factors that contribute to availability and uses a weighting system to give more credit to the factors that contribute to availability, based upon the district’s hiring and recruiting patterns.  The factors are:

  • Civilian labor force in the immediate area;
  • Persons with requisite skills in the immediate area;
  • Persons with requisite skills in the recruitment area;
  • Promotable and transferable persons in the district’s work force; and
  • Degree of training the district can reasonably undertake.

A utilization analysis was conducted using the 2011-2012 or October 2012 Bellingham School District employment statistics as reported to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in report S-275 (See Tables I and II, Appendix A, Pages 8 and 9).  Once summarized, these statistics were compared to the relevant labor force.  The data used to calculate each factor came from 2010 Census data for Whatcom County and Washington State.

After the theoretical labor force availability was determined for females and minorities in each job group, the statistic was reduced by 20% to arrive at the statistically expected utilization (SEU).  Consistent with commonly accepted practice, a figure of 80% of the theoretical availability was used in determining whether females or minorities are “underutilized” because pure chance may account for utilization that is 20% less than the theoretical availability.  (See Tables I and II, Appendix A, Pages  8 and 9, for the SEU.)

Because of the desire to have the availability analysis be as accurate as possible, the district’s hiring and recruitment patterns and data were reviewed so that the weight given each factor in the availability analysis would reflect actual patterns.  The available resources for the collection and maintenance of data were considered.  The job groups identified for tracking are:  Certificated Administrators;

Teachers/Instructional Support Personnel; Classified Administrators/Managers/Supervisors; Instructional Support/Coordinators/Accountants/Technicians; Executive Secretary/Secretary/Paraeducators/Accounting/Educational Support; Custodial/Maintenance, Food Service, and Transportation.

From the district’s utilization analysis and the relevant labor force statistics, Tables I and II, Utilization Analysis – Females and Minorities (See Appendix A, Pages 8 and 9), was developed and the following established:

A. Females are not underutilized in any job category.

B. Minorities are underutilized in the categories of certificated administrators; teachers and instructional support personnel; classified administrators/managers/supervisors; executive secretaries/secretaries/paraeducators/accounting/educational support; food service; and transportation.

B. Analysis of Underutilization

Certificated administrators, teachers and instructional support personnel and managers and supervisors: Minority availability in the Certificated Administrators job group is 10.6%; current utilization is 4.3%. Minority availability in the Teachers/Instructional Support Personnel job group is 7.3%; current utilization is 4.8%. Minority availability in the Classified Administrators/Managers/Supervisors job group is 12.4%; current utilization is 0%.

The percent of minorities in teacher training programs has not kept up with the demand. Teacher and administrator training programs with higher concentrations of minority students are outside Washington state.

Strategies – The district will maintain and increase certificated and administrative recruiting efforts through use of a variety of regional and national strategies. The district will utilize on-line and traditional posting and advertising opportunities in colleges, universities, and professional organizations that have current teacher and administrator training programs and a record of educating and supporting minorities in teacher training, instructional support programs and education administration. The list will include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)
  • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)
  • Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS)
  • Alliance of Asian Pacific Administrators
  • National Alliance of Black School Educators

Minority para-educators who are working, cannot afford to stop working to participate in a traditional university-based teacher training program.

Strategies – The district currently partners with Western Washington University (WWU) in a teacher-training program designed to support non-traditional candidates towards teacher certification. For the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, the district and WWU are working together in a program for current para-educators to obtain teacher certification in English Language Learners and elementary education. The program provides currently employed para-educators academic coursework along with on-the-job coaching and mentoring and student teaching without having to quit their education-based job to attend college.

Support Staff: secretaries and clerical staff, para-educators, food services, and transportation: Minority availability in the Executive Secretary/Secretary/Paraeducators/Accounting/Educational Support job group is 5.2%; current utilization is 4.0%. Minority availability in the Food Service job group is 18.2%; current utilization is 10.4%. Minority availability in the Transportation job group is 7.4%; current utilization is 5.7%.

Traditional advertising and recruiting are not increasing the number of minority candidates in hiring pools for positions within the 2013-2018 goal areas.

Strategies – The district will increase community outreach to inform underrepresented groups (minorities), and potential applicants, about district employment opportunities. Outreach will include district and community-based “job fairs” as well as increased hard copy and web-based posting options in venues connected with ethnically diverse candidates.


Bellingham Public Schools will establish goals and timetables as an integral part of its Affirmative Action Plan.  Goals will take into consideration the following factors:

A. Turnover of certificated and classified staff for the previous three (3) to five (5) years.

B. Growth/decline projected for the next five (5) years.

C. Recruitment aimed at wide dissemination of job opportunities.

D. In-service training to provide for on-the-job promotions.


Improvement of dissemination of recruiting information about career opportunities with Bellingham Public Schools is a goal of this plan.  The computer-based applicant tracking system which records gender, veteran, and minority status, has been implemented per the previous Affirmative Action Plan.  Frequent monitoring of this new system will help to ensure that all classes of applicants are receiving equal treatment in the hiring process and that the District’s recruiting efforts are reaching protected groups.


The district considers all applicants and employees on the basis of job-related qualifications.  A continuing review of hiring criteria and job qualifications is made to ensure the relevancy of the criteria to the task to be performed and the needs of the position.

All employees are evaluated annually using criteria appropriate to each position.  Career counseling is available upon request through administrators at both the building and district office levels.

The district encourages staff development and the use of opportunities made available through the Department of Teaching and Learning, Classified Professional Development and BASE In-service, local Educational Service District, Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College, and Western Washington University.  Staff development opportunities are advertised via district newsletters, the internet and intranet, building administrators, and employee associations.

The general procedure for advertising positions is available in the Human Resources Department.  The district has distribution lists on file containing names and addresses of those agencies where recruitment bulletins are mailed or posted electronically.  Job announcements are distributed to each building in the district and to each outside source on the distribution lists.  Jobs are also posted in the district’s applicant center at the Bellingham Public Schools district office, and on the employment component of the district’s website, and may be advertised in newspapers.

A formal complaint procedure for use by all employees in regard to allegations of discrimination has been adopted by the district.  A copy of the grievance procedure is included in Appendix B.


Reductions in staff will be made in accordance with applicable law and with Collective Bargaining Agreements currently in force.  If a reduction-in-force is necessary, consistent with its legal and contractual obligations, the district will attempt to make reductions in force bearing in mind its Affirmative Action commitment.


TABLE I        Utilization Analysis – Females

TABLE II       Utilization Analysis — Minorities

TABLE III      Jobs by Job Categories


TABLE I        Utilization Analysis – Females
ovember 2012

Job Group Total Female Empl. 2012 Total Empl. 2012 Percent Total Female  Availability Annual Placement Rate Percent Female Expected* Percent Underutilized Goal
Certificated Administrators 24 46  52.2% 62.9% 50.3% N/A N/A
Teachers/Instructional Support Personnel 492 685  71.8% 72.9% 58.3% N/A N/A
Classified Admin./Mgrs./
8 13  61.5% 54.4% 43.5% N/A N/A
Instructional Support/Coord./ Acct./Tech. 13 28  46.4% 35.7% 28.6% N/A N/A
Exec. Sec./Sec./ Para./Acct./ Educ. Support 256 275  93.1% 90.4% 72.3% N/A N/A
Custodial/ Maintenance 12 79  15.2% 25.6% 20.5% N/A N/A
Food Service 67 67  100% 70.3% 56.2% N/A N/A
Transportation 29 53  54.7% 32.5% 26.0% N/A N/A
Total 901 1246  72.3%

Washington State statistics used for rows 1-3
Washington State statistics used for rows 4-8

*80% of Total Availability


TABLE II       Utilization Analysis — Minorities

November 2012

Job Group Total Minority Empl. 2012 Total Empl. 2012 Percent Total Minority Availability Annual Placement Rate Percent Minority Expected* Percent Underutilized Goal
Certificated Administrators 2 46  4.3% 13.3% 10.6% 6.30% 3
Teachers/Instructional Support Personnel 33 685  4.8% 9.1% 7.3% 2.50% 17
Classified Admin./Mgrs./
0 13 0.0% 15.5% 12.4% 12.40% 2
Instructional Support/Coord./ Acct./Tech. 4 28 14.3% 5.4% 4.3% N/A N/A
Exec. Sec./Sec./ Para./Acct./ Educ. Support 11 275 4.0% 6.5% 5.2% 1.20% 4
Custodial/ Maintenance 9 79 11.4% 13.7% 11.0% N/A N/A
Food Service 7 67 10.4% 22.7% 18.2% 7.80% 6
Transportation 3 53 5.7% 9.2% 7.4% 1.70% 1
Total 69 1246 5.5%

Washington State statistics used for rows 1-3
Washington State statistics used for rows 4-8

*80% of Total Availability

Appendix A – Table III



A. Certificated Administrators

  1. District Administrator
  2. School Administrators

B. Teachers and Instructional Support Personnel

  1. Teacher, Elementary
  2. Teacher, Secondary
  3. Teacher, Special Programs
  4. Educational Staff Associates – Counselors, Librarians, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Psychologists


A. Classified Administrators/Managers/Supervisors

  1. Classified Administrators
  2. Managers/Supervisors

B. Instructional Support/Coordinators/Accountants/Technicians

  1. Instructional Support
  2. Coordinators/Accountants/Technicians

C. Executive Secretary/Secretary, Paraeducators/Accounting/Educational Support

D. Custodial/Maintenance – Custodians, Journeymen/Trades, Maintenance, Grounds

E. Food Service – Leads, Assistants

F. Transportation – Drivers, Mechanics, Dispatcher, Service, Driver Trainer



To ensure fairness and consistency, the following review procedure is to be used with regard to complaints covered by the district’s Affirmative Action Plan and/or state and federal equal employment opportunity laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act, the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and Chapter 392-190 WAC.  No staff member’s status with the district shall be adversely affected in any way because the staff member utilized these procedures.

LEVEL I:  Informal Resolution

With regard to ADA matters, a distinction is made between a request for accommodation and a complaint.  A request for accommodation should be submitted to the executive director of Human Resources.  The parties should cooperate to resolve any issues of accommodation through an interactive process prior to implementing the formal procedures outlined in Level II.  A complaint is to be filed only in the event there is a complaint of noncompliance after a request for accommodation has been made.

An employee may complain informally to his or her supervisor or the Affirmative Action Officer about any alleged noncompliance with equal employment opportunity or equal access laws.  The assistant superintendent of Human Resources or a designee will attempt informally to resolve the complaint and shall notify the complainant within thirty (30) days of a proposed resolution.

LEVEL II:  Formal Complaints

A. The Affirmative Action Officer or designee shall investigate all written allegations of noncompliance or discrimination and shall coordinate reasonable procedures to effect a prompt resolution of the complaint.

B. Complaints shall:

  1. Be in writing.
  2. Be signed by the complainant.
  3. Set forth specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to be in violation of the district’s obligations in regard to discrimination, accessibility, and/or accommodation.
  4. Be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer as soon as possible following the alleged discrimination or harassment.

C. Upon completion of the investigation, the Affirmative Action Officer shall provide the superintendent with a full written report of the complaint and the results of the investigation, unless the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant prior to the submission of a full written report.

D. In cases where no mutually agreed upon resolution is reached, the superintendent shall respond in writing to the complainant as expeditiously as possible but in no event later than thirty (30) calendar days following receipt of the written complaint, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant.

E. The response by the superintendent shall state either:

  1. The school district denies the allegations contained in the complaint; or
  2. The reasonable corrective measures deemed necessary to eliminate any such act, condition or circumstance within the district.

The superintendent’s response will include notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the district’s board of directors, and will identify where and to whom the appeal must be filed, as set forth in Level III below.

F. Any corrective measures deemed necessary shall be instituted as expeditiously as possible but in no event later than thirty (30) calendar days following the superintendent’s mailing of a written response to the complainant, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant.

LEVEL III:  Appeal to the Board of Directors

A. In the event a complaining party remains aggrieved following a written response from the superintendent, the complainant may appeal to the district’s board of directors by filing a written notice of appeal with the secretary of the board of directors on or before the tenth (10th) calendar day following:

  1. The date upon which the complainant received the superintendent’s written response; or
  2. The expiration of the thirty (30) calendar day response period in Section D above, if no response is issued by the superintendent.

B. Upon receipt of an appeal, the board of directors shall schedule a hearing to commence on or before the twentieth (20th) calendar day following the filing of the written notice of appeal, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant and the superintendent, or for good cause.

  1. Both parties shall be allowed to present such witnesses and testimony as the board of directors deems relevant and material.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant and the superintendent, or for good cause, the board of directors shall render a written decision on or before the tenth (10th) calendar day following the termination of the hearing and shall provide a copy to all parties involved. The written decision will include notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the superintendent of public instruction (SPI), and where and to whom the appeal must be filed, as set out in Level IV below.

LEVEL IV:  Appeal to the Superintendent of Public Instruction

A. In the event a complainant disagrees with the decision of the board of directors, the complainant may appeal the board’s decision to the SPI.

  1. A written notice of appeal must be received by the SPI on or before the twentieth (20th) calendar day following the date upon which the complainant received written notice of the board of directors’ decision.
  2. A written notice of appeal must set forth:

a. a concise statement of the portion(s) of the board of directors’ decision being appealed, and

b. the relief requested by the complainant.

NOTE:  The complaint procedure outlined above does not prohibit the processing of grievances by an employee bargaining representative and/or a member of a bargaining unit pursuant to grievance procedures established in applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Adopted: 10/09/03; 10/29/13; 04/29/14
Revised: 08/25/15