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Corps Member Personal Health, Safety,

and Wellness Packet

Table of Contents:
1. Institute Emergency Toolkit for Corps Members
2. Institute Emergency Response Plan
3. Mental Health at Institute One-Pager
4. Corps Member Global Waiver: Assumption of Risk, Release, and
Participation Agreement & Anti-Harassment Policy
5. Corps Member Requirements, Policies, and Procedures
Copyright © 2012 by Teach For America
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted
without prior written permission from Teach For America.
Preparing for Emergencies

School Site University Site

Phone Tree Emergency Messaging
Emergencies Emergencies
Your IMT will create a Follow all instructions Follow any and all Our institute dedicates
phone tree and will given by the school directions provided by a bulletin board as an
communicate this personnel (if students the Director of Institute emergency information
information to you. are present) or Operations (DIO), board. Should an
instructions given by Senior Managing emergency happen,
There will most likely
the school director or Director of Institute check this board and
be a test of this system
other Teach For (SMDI), and first TFANet for up-to-date
at the start of institute,
America staff. responders. information. This
so it is important to
answer phone calls Follow any and all board is located across
Stay together as much
from your school team. instructions by first from the front desk in
as possible.
responders. MSV.
The phone tree will be Staff and CMs should
activated by your IMT Stay together as much follow fire exit signs out of In some cases we may
in times of emergency. as possible. the building and wait for use IIT’s Text Alert
instructions from IIT staff System. Sign up at:
As a corps member, you may be required to play a role in ensuring the general ert/
welfare and safety of other corps members and/or staff members. If there is an emerg. at
a school site, school
This toolkit is not a substitute for good judgment and common sense; it should district emergency
procedures are in
be used as a supplement when responding to whatever situations may arise.
effect when students
are present. 1
What should I do in major emergencies?

Call 911 and your DIO

Ensure everyone’s safety, including yours
Remain calm and gather information
Stay until professionals arrive
Stakeholders Phone Number When to loop in
Emergency Number: (312) 606-6363
Campus Police In all major emergencies
Non-Emerg Number: (312) 808-6300
Emergency Number: 911
Local Police In all major emergencies
Non-Emerg Number: 311
In all major/minor emergencies/incidents
Incident Report Phone (917) 715-7381
(e.g. accidents, injuries, sicknesses, absences)

What should I do in these situations?

Minor Injury Possible Communicable Illness

(i.e. twisted ankle, allergic reaction to bug bite, etc.). You must visit a doctor, nurse, health clinic, urgent care or
the ER immediately and obtain a doctor’s note – specifically
If at school site… noting if you are contagious and if so, for how long.
Let your CMA or SD know

If at university site… If you are going to miss any part of institute to visit the doctor
Call your CMA, SD, or the Director, Institute Operations and once you know your diagnosis after being seen…

If you want to visit a nearby hospital or urgent care facility, a

list can be found in the university operations manual

Call the incident report phone to report any and all of the following:
absences to visit medical facilities, and/or for recovering,
and/or to report a minor injury you incurred
(see“Follow Up and Documentation” on the next page for details)

Never hesitate to involve trained The Institute Management Team will work with you to
determine the best course of action given the diagnosis.*
professionals in any situation; it is
their job to respond to emergencies,
big and small * Per the corps member Requirements, Policies, and Procedures that you agreed to upon
matriculation, if you miss more than 3 days of institute for any reason, including illness, you
will not be able to complete the requirements of institute needed for you to teach in the fall,
and will therefore need to apply for an emergency release from the corps. 3
Follow Up and Documentation

National Emergency
Emergency Contacts Incident Report Phone Reporting Child Abuse
Every corps member It is important that If a large-scale emerg. The well-being and
provided two EVERY incident be occurs at institute safety of the children
emergency contacts to recorded in the (e.g. hurricane, we work with is
Teach For America incident log, including earthquake, etc.) a number one priority. If
prior to institute in the all calls to the incident dedicated extension at a CM or staff member
Personal Information report phone. the National Office will suspects a student is
Form. be activated. being abused, s/he has
The number will be
These contacts will be posted on signs around If the number is an obligation to report
notified should a corps campus, as well as on implemented, the IMT that suspicion right
member be involved in page 2 of this toolkit. will alert the institute away to the summer
an emergency community. school staff and
Incidents that may be request that s/he
situation, which may
reported include: theft, The extension will not follow the school
include a physical or
mugging, car accident, be available to receive district protocols for
mental health incident.
illness, injury, or incoming messages responding to such
If you need to update similar. and will have a concerns. In all cases,
your emergency recorded message we follow the abuse
The phone will not be
contacts, reach out to with the most up-to- reporting procedures
answered; messages
your DIO. date information. of our partners.
will be checked
multiple times per day. (212) 279-2080 x84911

Teach For America has worked with IIT to map out a disaster preparedness plan to help assure the safety of
institute participants when there is a threat of tornadoes or severe weather. Severe weather should be taken
seriously, as it can cause serious injury, inflict costly damages to buildings and structures, and disrupt our daily


Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has a mass email system that can notify you of emergencies and other
appropriate university announcements. Staff and Corps members are encouraged to also sign up for IIT Alert.
This is a text based service for campus wide emergencies, and you had the opportunity to sign up fro this during
registration, however you can sign up at anytime at:


To ensure all building occupants (faculty, staff, students and visitors) are able to exit the building in the event
of an emergency, emergency egress plans are to be posted in the following locations:
• All exterior doors
• All dorm room doors
• Classrooms.
• Building laboratories with general access.
The emergency plans will contain the emergency routes as well as the locations of fire extinguishers (in
public/corridor areas), fire alarm pull stations, and user (“you are here”).


A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted and is approaching our
area. Please take immediate shelter.

Preparing for a Severe Thunderstorm

Downbursts and winds associated with severe thunderstorms can produce 100-150 mph winds. The resulting
damage can equal that of most tornadoes. If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued:
• Take immediate shelter.
• Pay attention to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local
radio stations or Teach For America staff.
• Shutting off power to all electronic devices is recommended in order to prevent or limit possible

Lightning and Thunderstorm Safety Tips

Head indoors: The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if
thunderstorms are imminent.

30/30 Rule: Remember the 30/30 Rule.. If you see lightning, count the seconds before you hear thunder. If it's
less than 30 seconds, take cover. Once indoors, wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before venturing
back out.

At the University Site

If you are in a Residence Hall or Campus building:
• Do not use the telephone or any electrical appliance connected to the building's electrical wiring.
• Do not use showers, sinks, or any object, machine, or device connected to the building's plumbing
system. If lightning strikes the building, the current will likely flow through either the electrical wiring
or the water pipes, and you could receive a fatal shock.

2012 Chicago Institute Emergency Response Plan

• Indoors means indoors. Structures like bus shelters or any small non-metal structures do not provide
sufficient lightning protection.
• If evacuation is necessary, please follow the evacuation procedures located in the University Operations
Manual if you are at Illinois Institute of Technology or those in your School Operations Manual if you are
at your school site

If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm:

• Stay away from tall, isolated objects like trees, flagpoles or posts, and avoid large open areas like fields
or parking lots where you are the highest object.
• Stay away from fences and tents, which could carry current from a distant lightning strike.
• If there is no shelter, crouch down, grab your ankles and bend forward, so that your head is not the
highest part of your body and your head does not touch the ground. Do not lie flat on the ground.
• If lightning is about to strike you or something extremely close, you may experience a tingling feeling on
your skin and/or your hair may stand on end. If this occurs, quickly assume the position described
What to do if someone is struck by lightning:
• Call for help. Call 911 and once emergency services are on the way, call the Illinois Institute of
Technology Campus Safety, 312.606.6363. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.
• Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped
beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other
• Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned,
both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Being struck by lightning can also
cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by
lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk.

At the School Site

If a sever storm should occur while you are at your school site, please follow the individual school’s emergency
protocol and procedures.


A tornado watch is when tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert and listen for updates. A tornado
warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar; seek shelter immediately.

A. Preparing for a Tornado

• Know your evacuation routes for buildings you are frequently in, such as your dorm and your school
o Buildings have exit signage and directory signage identifying safe areas.
o Evacuation routes from your dorm room can be found on the back of your door.
o It is beneficial to know at least two ways to exit any building you are in.
• Know safe areas in the building to which you can retreat.
o A cement structure with no windows is considered a safe location in the event of a tornado.
o All buildings on campus with the exception of State Street Village, have a basement. This is the
suggested secure location that you should retreat to in case of a tornado.
o Inside State Street Village, you are instructed to seek shelter in your bathroom.
o When at your school site, you should reach out to your school administration to determine the
safest location on your school campus in case of a tornado.
• Keep your vehicle at least half-full of gas at all times.
• Know the location of fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, flashlights and portable radios.
• Keep emergency items nearby (first-aid kit, flashlight, battery-operated portable radio).

2012 Chicago Institute Emergency Response Plan

B. During a Tornado
• Seek Shelter.
o As soon as you become aware of a tornado, seek safe shelter immediately.
o Go to the basement of a building, a bathroom without windows, an interior hallway, closet, or
o If outside, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
o If in your car, get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building. If there is not
time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or lo-lying area away from the vehicle.
o Avoid windows, exterior walls, and areas with large ceiling spans (gyms, auditoriums).
• Cover your head.
o Get under something sturdy, such as a work bench or heavy table, hold on and stay there until
the danger has passed.
o Use one arm and hand to protect your head and neck from falling or flying objects.
• Remain calm and patient.

C. After a Tornado
• Move carefully after the tornado, watching for items that may have fallen or broken. Put on sturdy shoes
before investigating further to prevent potential injuries from broken glass.
• Call 911 for help.
• If power is out, the emergency campus lighting should illuminate. If available, use a flashlight to
illuminate your path. Do not use candles or open flame as a source of light.
• If you smell gas, leave immediately and call 911 and/or alert Campus Safety on the emergency line at
• Teach For America staff will initiate a phone tree if necessary to ensure all institute staff and CMs are
accounted for and medical needs addressed.
• Look for a Campus Safety vehicle or officer if you need assistance or help.
• Call the Non Emergency Public Safety line at 312.808.6300 to report any damage such as flooding toilet,
fire, mass electrical outage, etc. This phone number is answered 24 hours a day, every day.
• Turn on the radio or television to get the latest emergency information:
o AM Radio: 670 (WMAQ), 720 (WGN), 780 (WBBM), 890 (WLS)
o Television: Local channels 2, 5, 7, 9
o National weather service:
o Emergency Closing Center:

D. Communication
• When at the university campus check the Teach For America bulletin boards and your email for any
updates before and after an emergency
• Please keep your cell phones on and clear in the case that a phone tree is initiated. and your CMA calls
you to confirm your safety.
• At the university site, call public safety at the following phone numbers to report emergencies.
o Public Safety Emergency Number: 312.808.6363
o Public Safety Non-Emergency Number: 312.808.6300
• When at a school site, please follow the instructions of the school officials, and/ or your school director
o Please notify a school site administrator if you encounter an emergency.


If the fire alarm sounds, institute participants MUST immediately exit the residence halls or other campus
building. Do not tamper with the fire alarm control panel, hall boxes, pull stations, smoke detectors, or
electrical conduit – IIT campus security, and designated campus personnel are the only authorized persons to
silence the system. Institute participants must remain outside until an authorized individual gives you
permission to return to the building.

2012 Chicago Institute Emergency Response Plan

Fire escape procedures are posted in all buildings. Individuals should make themselves aware of the closest
exit routine. If the fire alarm sounds, all individuals MUST immediately exit campus buildings and remain 100
feet away from buildings. Everyone should remain outside until an authorized individual gives permission to
return to the building.


In the event of a lock-down or other disturbance, institute participants should go directly to their rooms, lock
doors and windows, lower blinds, turn out the light, and not shout from the windows or doors. The IIT campus
police and residence hall directors will notify the campus of a raid or disturbance and when the danger is over.
In the event of a serious raid or disturbance, the text alert system will be utilized.


In the event that technology systems are down after an emergency, you should report to our designated meeting
location on campus. The designated meeting location is located on Wabash Avenue in the busing lane. You
should report to the location where your bus picks you up every morning and report to your CMA so that we can
account for everyone’s well being.

2012 Chicago Institute Emergency Response Plan

Mental Health at Institute
All corps members should carry this handout with them in an easily accessible place throughout institute.

Resources Available During Institute

ProtoCall Telephone Counseling Service – (877) 457-8551

Teach For America contracted with an independent tele-counseling company called ProtoCall for the
duration of institute. ProtoCall will:
 Provide a 24 hour, 7 days-a-week toll-free hotline that is staffed by professional counselors, who are
somewhat familiar with Teach For America.
 Keep all phone conversations confidential unless ProtoCall is concerned about imminent danger and
deems it necessary to involve local authorities. ProtoCall will ask for your name in order to provide
ongoing support (see below), but no information you provide will be shared with TFA. This is a
resource solely intended for your personal use.
 Provide ongoing support as needed, by offering to have a follow-up call.
o The follow-up call may not be from the same counselor you called the first time, though
the person who calls you will have notes from the previous counselor.
 Have locations and numbers of local resources and provide these to the caller as appropriate.
 Provide a TTY/hearing impaired line - 866-892-7165.

Reasons that you may want to call ProtoCall:

• you are feeling stressed or anxious about institute or another issue
• you have something happen in your personal life and need to talk to someone
• you need to find a local resource or service provider
• you are having thoughts of hurting yourself
• any other reason where a counselor’s services could be helpful to you

Corps Member Advisors (CMAs) and Other Staff

 CMAs want what is best for you, care about your well-being and are a great resource for corps
 If you are concerned about another corps member, you should talk to your CMA or another trusted
staff member.
 Although CMAs can be a great resource to corps members, our CMAs are not counselors and,
therefore, have limitations to what support they can provide or what advice they can offer. Your CMA
may refer you to professionals should the need arise, as CMAs are invested in finding support for
corps members who need it.

TFANet Blog – Wellness and Self Care

Written by Chris Brownson, a former corps member (LA '93) and a licensed psychologist, this blog
intends to give support, information, resources, and encouragement related to the stressors, habits,
behaviors, and personal issues involved in being a corps member. Blog site:
(copy and paste link into your browser after logging into TFANet)

Responsibilities of All Corps Members

We all want what is best for each other, throughout institute and beyond. You also have a responsibility to
yourself and should discuss any concerns you are having, either with ProtoCall, your CMA, or another
trusted staff person. You should not ignore signs or symptoms and hope they go away. It is also
appropriate and encouraged to come forward with concerns about the safety or well-being of others.
Assumption of Risk, Release, and Participation Agreement & Anti-Harassment Policy

Teach For America

Corps Member Assumption of Risk, Release, and Participation Agreement &
Anti-Harassment Policy

Note: key terms and descriptions include all eventualities and alternatives, whether or not listed.

Emergency Contact The person(s) who should be notified in the event of an emergency involving a corps

Loss Including, but not limited to, the following: destruction or theft (or the like) of personal
property, including luggage and personal effects; additional expenses due to Travel Risks;
inconvenience, delay, or embarrassment, bodily illness, personal injury; lawful or
unlawful detention (i.e. jail or kidnapping); deprivation, disappearance, or damage,.

Corps member Corps member named on page 1 hereto and sometimes identified in the document as

Travel Transportation or excursions by any means of conveyance (e.g., airplane, school bus,
minivan, taxi, train, public transportation) as part of your participation as a Teach For
America corps member.

Travel Risks Risk of Loss, delays, changes in the means of transportation or in the performance of
other services; or sickness, weather, vehicle accidents, natural disasters, or other
unforeseen causes or outcomes.
Assumption of Risk, Release, and Participation Agreement & Anti-Harassment Policy

1. Basic Acknowledgments
1.1. While Teach For America has taken reasonable and prudent steps to reduce foreseeable risk, significant
risk may exist for personal injury, death or property damage related to my participation as a Teach For
America corps member including, but not limited to, your attendance at a Summer institute (the
“institute”). I fully understand that my signature means that I am accepting all risks related to my
participation as a Teach For America corps member.
1.2. I have read, or will read, this document thoroughly, and am responsible for knowing and understanding all
relevant policies and procedures related to my participation as a Teach For America corps member,
including the Anti-Harassment policy and the Corps Member Rules, Policies, and Procedures.
1.3. I have participated in, and/or will participate in, with full attention, all sessions and meetings offered in
connection with my participation as a Teach For America corps members.

2. Travel & Transportation Matters

2.1. If any Loss due to Travel Risk occurs, I will accept full responsibility for such Loss and understand that
Teach For America has no liability for such Loss.
2.2. I understand that I am responsible for any parking or moving violations received while traveling to and
from any Teach For America institute activities or otherwise.

3. Medical Matters
3.1. I am aware of my personal medical needs. Whether or not I have exercised my opportunity to consult with
a health care practitioner of my choice, I assure Teach For America that there are no health-related
reasons, physical or psychological impairments or problems that in the exercise of reasonable care would
preclude or restrict my participation in the institute, or would put myself or others in danger by my
3.2. I grant all relevant Teach For America staff members full authority to take whatever action is warranted
under the circumstances regarding my physical and mental health and safety, including placing me, at my
own expense, in a hospital at any point for medical services and treatment. I understand that in the case of
a medical emergency, Teach For America staff will take reasonable efforts to contact my Emergency
3.3. I understand that I am individually responsible for maintaining health insurance coverage throughout the
course of the institute and Teach For America does not provide health insurance for corps members.
3.4. Ultimately, I assume all responsibility for the cost of any medical care or treatment I might need while at
institute or at any point in my two-year commitment to Teach For America.
3.5. I am aware that if I miss more than three days of the institute due to a medical matter, I will be required to
take an Emergency Release from the institute and will not be eligible to accept my assigned placement, as
successful completion of the institute is a pre-requisite to placement.

4. Personal Property and Laptop Use

4.1. I understand that Teach For America is not responsible for any Loss related to my personal property;
including, but not limited to, clothing, automobiles, and electronics such as my personal laptop. I will not
hold Teach For America liable for and release Teach For America from any and all claims of liability for
any losses or damages of any nature in connection with my personal property, including my personal
4.2. If I choose to use a personal laptop in connection with my participation in the institute, I assume any and
all risk for my personal laptop and any associated equipment, including but not limited to personal
printers, peripherals, cables, removable media and technical support. I assume any and all risks of loss of
and damage to my own equipment.
4.3. I understand that Teach For America may provide limited technical support for my personal laptop. This
support will be limited to software and files that are required for use in your participation with institute.
4.4. If I elect to receive technical support for my personal laptop, I agree to give Teach For America custody of
the computer hardware, software, data files, and necessary cables and cords so that the technical staff
can inspect and attempt to diagnose or repair the specified problems I have been experiencing with the
Assumption of Risk, Release, and Participation Agreement & Anti-Harassment Policy

Equipment. I understand that it is my sole responsibility to have made backups of any data files, and that
Teach For America has no liability for any loss of or damage to hardware, software, data, content, or
information, including any and all personal data and content.

5. Institute Attendance and Participation

5.1. I agree to fully participate in all summer institute activities unless they are specifically noted as optional. I
understand that failure to successfully gain the necessary skills and knowledge, and/or failure to meet
expectations for professional conduct, and/or missing parts of the institute without proper authorization
leaves me subject to dismissal from Teach For America.
5.2. I understand that more than twenty-four hours/one day of absence may jeopardize successful completion
of the summer institute.
5.3. I understand that during the course of the institute Teach For America may make available various
activities for my enjoyment. These activities are specifically noted as optional activities and are purely
voluntary. I understand that Teach For America shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or bodily injury
that result from my decision to participate in an optional activity.
5.4. I understand that as a condition of my participation at the institute, I may be required to undergo a
criminal background check and sex offender check mandated by the participating school district, and that
the results of such check may be provided to the participating school district. Furthermore, I understand
that I may need to provide photo identification at the school's main office in order to complete this
registration. Finally, I understand that this information is confidential and will not be released to any other
governmental entity.

6. Waiver of Liability; Other Matters

6.1. I ACKNOWLEDGE that I could experience significant and uncompensable Loss during my participation as a
Teach For America corps member.
6.2. For and in consideration of my participation as a Teach For America corps member, I (on behalf of myself
and my heirs, successors, personal representatives and assigns) voluntarily RELEASE, DISCHARGE,
WAIVE AND RELINQUISH any and all actions or causes of action against Teach For America, its officers,
employees, agents, and volunteers, for any and all Losses arising in connection with as a Teach For
America corps member, wherever or however such Losses may occur.
6.3. I agree that this agreement is meant to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by, and will be construed
under, the law of the State of New York. New York will serve as the venue for any legal proceedings
incident to my participation as a Teach For America corps member. The terms of this agreement are
severable, such that if a court of law holds any term to be illegal, unenforceable, or in conflict with law, the
validity of the remaining portions will not be affected. This agreement supersedes any earlier written or
oral understandings or agreements between Teach For America and corps member.

7. University and Institute Property

7.1. I understand that I am responsible for, and agree to pay for, any losses or damages of university or Teach
For America property entrusted to my care, including but not limited to, damages to my dorm room and
common area, replacement of lost residence hall keys, replacement of lost university identification,
replacement of lost university meal cards, rental technology and replacement of items I have checked out
from the institute’s resource room and subsequently cannot account for due to loss, misplacement, or
7.2. I agree to pay for any losses or damages of university or Teach For America property entrusted to me
within thirty (30) days after notice of such loss or damage. I will be notified of my collected charges after
institute is completed.

8. Media Policy Matters

8.1. I acknowledge that during the course of my two-year commitment Teach For America may record my
image, voice or likeness at any time while I am engaged in any Teach For America related activities or
attending Teach For America related events without notice or my specific consent. I grant Teach For
America permission to use and reproduce my image; likeness; or voice, in any medium for any purpose it
Assumption of Risk, Release, and Participation Agreement & Anti-Harassment Policy

deems appropriate in perpetuity. I understand that I will have no editorial or preview rights regarding any
of these materials.
8.2. I am aware that I may not record and/or subsequently share students’ images, voices or likenesses at any
time without a signed release from the students’ guardian. This includes photos, names, and other
identifying characteristics and includes posting such materials in any public place including classrooms,
dormitory doors or the internet, e.g. blogs, chat rooms, etc.

Anti-Harassment Policy
Teach For America is committed to maintaining an environment that is free from discrimination, including sexual
harassment and any other form of unlawful harassment, such as harassment based on race, color, ethnicity,
religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status,
pregnancy, parenthood, or any other characteristic or status protected by law. In keeping with this commitment,
Teach For America has zero tolerance for unlawful harassment (or related behaviors that do not rise to the level of
unlawful harassment but are nonetheless a violation of the professional standards we expect all corps members
and staff to uphold or are otherwise inconsistent with our core values), whether by a fellow corps member, a staff
member, or other people with whom we do business, especially when such harassment interferes with an
individual’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Harassment may include derogatory remarks, epithets, offensive jokes, the display or circulation or broadcast of
offensive printed, visual or electronic materials, or offensive physical actions. Sexual harassment deserves special
mention. Sexual harassment may include such actions as: sexually-oriented verbal “kidding,” “teasing,” or jokes;
subtle pressure for sexual activity; physical contact such as patting, pinching, or brushing against another’s body;
or demands for sexual favors. Other forms of unlawful harassment may include similar conduct or derogatory
remarks based upon any protected characteristic or status.

Complaint Procedures
Corps and staff members are responsible for maintaining a discrimination-free environment. Anyone who has been
the victim of unlawful harassment or believes that they have witnessed such harassment should take the following
• Document, or otherwise record each incident of alleged harassment, including the date, time, place, what
was said or done, the surrounding circumstances, and the identities of all individuals present, including any
• If you feel comfortable (and the setting is conducive to a private discussion), approach the individual or
individuals responsible for the offensive behavior, inform them that you find their conduct to be offensive
and ask that they immediately stop the offensive behavior.
• You should also report the incident to the most appropriate senior staff member. During your time at
institute, it should be the most appropriate Institute Management Team member, e.g. the SMDI, or your
manager and after institute, it should be the Executive Director of your region.
• If you are uncomfortable filing the complaint with anyone on-site, you may file a written complaint with
Laura Moodey at

Once made aware of the grievance, Teach For America is committed to commencing an immediate, thorough
investigation of the allegation. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigative process to the
maximum extent possible. Violation of this policy is considered a serious offense and could result in a staff member
being placed on an improvement plan or in cases where the behavior is egregious, immediate dismissal. Please
note that Teach For America can and will respond to allegations of harassment by a corps member or staff person
that fail to rise to the level of unlawful harassment.

Appeal Process
If you strongly disagree with a decision that directly involves you, you may file an appeal to have the decision
reviewed. To appeal a decision, please take the following steps:
• Follow any directions provided by the senior staff member to comply with the current decision. Failure to
comply with the current decision will negate any possibility of over-turning the decision.
Assumption of Risk, Release, and Participation Agreement & Anti-Harassment Policy

• Compose a letter addressed to Tracy-Elizabeth Clay, Teach For America General Counsel, detailing why the
decision should be reviewed. Include as many specifics as possible, as well as your contact information.
Please send the letter to the following address:
300 West Adams Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60606
• All evidence will be reviewed and you will be provided a decision and/or available next steps.
• If you are still in disagreement with the decision, you may contact the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission at 800-669-4000.
Corps Member Requirements,
Policies, and Procedures
INTRODUCTION V. General Policies
Non-Discrimination/Non-Harassment Policy
Accommodations Policy
Media and Publicity Policy
As you prepare to be a member of Teach For America for the Third-Party Communication Policy
2012-13 year, please take the time to read this Requirements,
Policies, and Procedures document carefully. Your rights and VI. AmeriCorps Policies
responsibilities as a corps member for the 2012-13 year will AmeriCorps Member Position Description
be based on the terms of this document which supersedes Prohibited Activities for AmeriCorps Members
any prior documents, policy statements, or information you Education Awards for Corps Members Who Fail to
may have received to date. Complete Commitment
You will be required to confirm that you have read, Criminal Charges and AmeriCorps Participation
understood, and agreed to comply with all Teach For America Compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act
policies by electronically signing the commitment statement
on the Applicant Center when you accept your offer, and again VII. Grievance Policies
in hard copy format at the beginning of each year. These
policies may be amended and/or supplemented by Teach For
America over the course of the year. In addition, your region
may notify you of additional policies and procedures which I. POLICIES RELATED TO CORPS
you are expected to follow. COMMITMENT
Failure to follow any Teach For America policies and/or EMERGENCY RELEASE
procedures – those introduced below and those provided to
you during the course of your corps commitment – will It is the expectation of Teach For America that you will
subject you to the consequences set forth in this document. complete your two-year commitment in your originally
This document is not an employment contract between you assigned region and placement school. However, in rare
and Teach For America and does not bestow any other rights instances, if you have a compelling personal circumstance
or guarantees other than what is set forth in these policies. arise, such as a serious illness or injury to yourself or a
This document includes the following policies: family member, you may request an emergency release from
your two-year commitment. Emergency release requests
I. Policies Related to Corps Commitment during the institute should be submitted to the senior
Emergency Release managing director of institute and regional staff. The institute
Dismissal and regional teams will work together to make a joint
Resignation decision. If you need to request an emergency release during
your placement in the region, the request should be
II. Corps Member Improvement Policies submitted in writing directly to the executive director in your
regional office and your manager, teacher leadership and
III. Institute Policies
Institute Attendance and Participation
University Policies If your emergency release request is granted, you may
Dismissal Policy subsequently request, within two years, to rejoin Teach For
America in the region to which you were originally assigned,
IV. Assignment and Placement Policies or request an official transfer to another region. Regional
District and State Hiring Requirements assignment or transfers cannot be guaranteed. The request
Placement and Teaching Requirements
to re-enter is contingent upon satisfactory review by a senior
vice president of the Teacher Preparation, Support, and

Development team. You may be required to re-attend the If you are dismissed from your two-year commitment by
training institute in order to re-enter the corps. Additionally, if Teach For America, you will receive a letter to that effect from
you choose not to return within two years, we will consider your executive director (or another regional staff member) or,
your emergency release as a resignation from the corps. In if during institute, from the senior managing director of
the event you do not return to the corps, you may be eligible institute. This letter will serve as the sole documentation
for a partial AmeriCorps education award. from Teach For America of your dismissal. If you are
dismissed, you are not entitled to any financial assistance to
exit the program, any reimbursements for expenses incurred
Teach For America reserves the right to dismiss you at any while in the program or in anticipation of continuing in the
point during the two-year commitment if your behavior casts program, and will remain personally liable for any
doubt on your ability to have a positive impact on children in outstanding debts such as loans undertaken to finance the
the classroom, on the communities in which we work, or on certification coursework, as well as any unpaid balance of
Teach For America itself. This can include, but is not limited your transitional loans. If you are dismissed, you may also
to, the following circumstances: need to repay a portion of your transitional grants, depending
on the time of your dismissal, and will be responsible for
x If you do not meet stated expectations during the repaying any loans received from Teach For America in
summer institute and/or if you fail to meet stated accordance with the loan terms. As a dismissed corps
expectations after being placed on a corps member member, you automatically become ineligible to receive an
improvement plan (as described below); AmeriCorps education award. Any individual who is

x If you falsify, have previously falsified, omit, or have dismissed by Teach For America will not be permitted to

previously omitted any information you provide to rejoin the corps. It is Teach For America’s policy to inform our

Teach For America, your placement site or any school district partners whenever a corps member is

individual or organization affiliated with Teach For dismissed from the program regardless of whether you elect

America; to remain in your teaching position. In some regions,

dismissal from the Teach For America program may result in
x If you do not meet any of the state or district hiring losing your teaching position. Finally, dismissal from the
requirements necessary to be hired or the corps means that you will not be considered an alumnus of
certification requirements necessary to remain Teach For America and will not be granted access to
employed by a partner school; resources such as TFANet or other privileges and benefits
x If you are dismissed from your placement school for that are reserved for alumni of Teach For America.
performance or behavior reasons; The policies and procedures for dismissals which take place
x If you engage in activities or behavior that indicates during the summer institute are noted in the section of this
a lack of respect for the students we work with, our document which addresses institute policies.
communities, our district partners, our RESIGNATION
funders/supporters, or Teach For America;
If you resign for any reason, Teach For America will treat your
x If you fail to adhere to any of the policies, decision to resign in the same manner as a dismissal and you
procedures, or expectations (including adherence to will have the same responsibilities and rights as set forth in
the core values) of Teach For America during your the Dismissal section of this document. If you resign from
two-year commitment including institute; Teach For America you are not entitled to any financial
x Any serious breach of AmeriCorps policies of which assistance to exit the program, any reimbursements for
you are or should be aware, as determined by Teach expenses incurred while in the program or in anticipation of
For America in its sole discretion; or continuing in the program, and will remain personally liable
for any outstanding debts such as loans undertaken to
x If you do not abide by Teach For America’s non-
finance certification coursework, as well as any unpaid
discrimination and non-harassment policies.
balance for transitional loans. You may also be responsible
Teach For America reserves the right to make such a for repaying any other loans received from Teach For America
determination in its sole discretion. in accordance with loan terms.

If you resign during institute, you should submit a resignation needed. If adequate improvement is not seen, you may be
in writing to the senior managing director of institute, copied placed on a written improvement plan. The main purpose of
to your corps member advisor, school director, and regional this plan is to explicitly state expectations and provide a
staff. Any individual who resigns from Teach For America structured process to help you improve. The improvement
during institute will be required to complete the official plan will articulate specific areas for improvement and
institute checkout procedures prior to departure and depart strategies and resources that may help you improve. You
the university site within 24 hours of submitting the may remain on the improvement plan throughout the
resignation letter. If you resign during your two-year institute, or until you have demonstrated adequate
commitment, you should submit a resignation in writing to improvement in the areas identified, as determined by
your regional executive director, copied to your manager, institute staff. In cases where you do not demonstrate
teacher leadership and development. sufficient progress on the improvement plan, or fail to
demonstrate sufficient commitment or effort in following the
improvement process, as determined by institute staff, you
may be dismissed from the corps. As corps members are not
automatically entitled to an improvement plan, in egregious
POLICIES situations, Teach For America reserves the right to
REGIONAL IMPROVEMENT PROCESS immediately dismiss corps members if the senior managing
director of institute or senior vice president of the Teacher
Teach For America’s vision is to end educational inequity and
Preparation, Support, and Development team deems it is
provide transformational educational opportunities for all
warranted. The dismissal will be effective immediately and
children. In certain instances, a corps member may act in
you will be required to depart the university site within 24
ways that interfere with the learning and progress of
hours of dismissal.
students, behaving in such a way as to give rise to concerns
that s/he is not demonstrating our core values, or his or her In either instance, Teach For America’s performance or
performance is not aligned with achieving stated disciplinary actions can include, but are not limited to, the
performance goals. In such vases, your manager, teacher following:
leadership and development and/or executive director may
determine that your behavior does not merit dismissal and x Requiring you to enter into a corps member
the most effective means in aligning your behavior or improvement plan that sets clear expectations and
performance concerns is to place you on a corps member consequences for failure to meet expectations up to
improvement plan (CMIP). The purpose of a CMIP is to and including dismissal.
provide a corps member with concrete expectations for x Prohibiting you from participating in certain corps
performance, agreed upon strategies for improving activities or professional development activities.
performance, clear benchmarks for determining if those
expectations are met, and a structured process to help you x Finding that you have not met our program
improve. In cases where a corps member does not requirements and therefore are not eligible to
demonstrate sufficient progress on the CMIP or fails to receive an AmeriCorps education award for your
demonstrate commitment or effort in following the year of service.
improvement plan, as determined by the regional staff, you
may be dismissed from the corps as outlined above. As corps
members are not automatically entitled to a CMIP, Teach For III. INSTITUTE POLICIES
America reserves the right to immediately dismiss corps INSTITUTE ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION
members if the manager, teacher leadership and
development and/or executive director believes that such You are required to fully participate in all summer institute
action is warranted. activities, both day and evening, unless an activity is
specifically noted as optional. If you fail to attend any portion
INSTITUTE IMPROVEMENT PROCESS of the institute, you risk missing important knowledge and
If you are acting in ways that interfere with the learning and skills and leave yourself in jeopardy of not successfully
progress of students or other corps members during completing the institute. Due to the intensive nature of the
institute, you and your corps member advisor will have a institute, you are expected to be at the institute for the total
formal conversation about what areas of improvement are duration, and be in attendance every day the program is

running. Failing to successfully gain the necessary skills and institute will send a letter notifying you of your dismissal and
knowledge or to meet expectations for professional conduct indicating the reasons for the dismissal. Upon dismissal, a
by missing parts of the institute without proper authorization corps member will have 24 hours to depart from the
means that you would not meet the standards we expect for institute.
our corps members to be ready on day one to successfully
lead a classroom. Therefore, if you miss any days at institute
without proper authorization, you may be dismissed from the IV. ASSIGNMENT AND PLACEMENT
corps. You will receive guidance regarding how to obtain
authorization for missing days when you join the corps. You
should note that when you are at institute over a national DISTRICT AND STATE HIRING REQUIREMENTS
holiday (such as July 4), that holiday will be considered a Required Standardized Tests
workday unless you are notified otherwise.
You are legally required to take and pass standardized tests
UNIVERSITY POLICIES in order to teach in most of the placement partners in which
Each summer institute is located on the campus of a local Teach For America places teachers. The tests vary according
college or university. As a guest of the university, you must to regional and subject/grade-level assignment. You are
adhere to any and all of the host university’s policies and responsible for paying for any tests required by your
procedures for dormitory residents. Such policies vary by assigned district and state for your particular teaching
location and usually include rules around alcohol possession position. You are also fully responsible for passing all
or consumption, overnight guests, security, and the required standardized tests. Failure to pass may result in a
allowance of pets. You will receive additional information change of subject assignment, regional assignment, or
about the policies at your university in the spring and upon dismissal from the corps.
your arrival at the institute. If you choose not to comply fully In some instances Teach For America may require corps
with any university policies and procedures to which you are members to take additional standardized tests to facilitate
subject as residential guests of the university during the placement in the event that a teaching position in the
institute, you may be dismissed from the corps. originally assigned subject is not available. In rare instances,
DISMISSAL POLICY the required additional standardized tests may be for a
possible contingency placement in a different region than the
If you do not adhere to any of the policies, procedures, or
region originally assigned. You are fully responsible for
expectations of Teach For America during the institute, you
passing any additional standardized tests. Failure to pass
may be dismissed from the corps. Among the reasons for
may result in a change of subject assignment or regional
assignment, or you may be dismissed from the corps.

x An overall lack of professionalism or violation of the District Hiring Requirements

core values of Teach For America (e.g. unexcused In addition to standardized test passage, you are responsible
absences from school or sessions, dishonesty, etc.). for successfully completing district hiring requirements.
x A serious violation of norms of conduct expected of These can include, but are not limited to:
a professional teacher (e.g. assaulting a student, x State paperwork
criminal behavior, intentional degradation of a
student or co-worker, etc.). x Principal interviews

x Failure to adhere to any and all policies of the x Drug testing

institute’s host school district and university, x Fingerprinting for child abuse clearances
distributed to corps members upon their arrival at
x Medical examinations
x Criminal background/security checks
In the case of a particularly severe violation of the above
standards, you can be dismissed after an investigation Failure to meet the district or state requirements (for
conducted by the senior managing director without being example, by failing a required test or failing a criminal
placed on an improvement plan. Following dismissals under background check) may result in having your teaching
those circumstances, the senior managing director of subject matter or regional assignment change, or in being

dismissed from the corps. Teach For America will determine Required District Documentation
on a case-by-case basis if reassignment is feasible and
Your school district employment is often contingent on
appropriate. Under certain circumstances, even if you are
presentation of required documentation. You will need to
otherwise ineligible for reassignment, you may receive the
have copies of your official transcript from your
option of taking an emergency release and returning to the
undergraduate degree-granting school sent to your regional
corps within two years. Corps members are responsible for
office which states “degree conferred.” If you have also
meeting any extra costs under these circumstances.
completed a graduate degree, you will need to send your
Teach For America is not responsible for finding an regional office copies of your final graduate institution
alternative placement for you if you fail a drug screening test, transcript if requested. Failure to provide documentation
medical examination, or criminal background check. reflecting “degree conferred” may result in your being
Moreover, Teach For America is not responsible for finding a dismissed from the corps.
teaching placement for you if you have participated in several
Initial Salary
principal interviews and have not received any offers. While
we will provide interview coaching and support, you are Corps members are not Teach For America employees.
ultimately responsible for successfully interviewing with a Therefore, Teach For America cannot guarantee corps
principal and securing a teaching position. members a particular salary as placement partners are
responsible for paying teacher salaries and assignments and
Criminal Records and Background Checks
pay scales may change. Also, please note that salaries can
Teach For America is not responsible for finding alternative vary widely between regions, and even vary significantly
placements for you if you cannot be hired or if you are fired within a region, based on the specific teaching placement.
by your assigned school districts because of your criminal Teach For America will not consider corps member salary
records or involvement in criminal proceedings. We reserve preferences in the placement process.
the right to inform the school district in which you are
Certification and Certification Providers
teaching or planning to teach of any criminal convictions or
your ongoing involvement in criminal proceedings that we You may be required to enroll in an alternative certification
are aware of. If, through background checks conducted or program, sometimes through your school district and
commissioned by a state, placement partner, or Teach For sometimes with a university partner, to earn the
America, it is found that there is a charge against you other license/permit/certification that enables you to be employed
than a minor traffic violation, and you did not disclose it in the as the classroom teacher of record at your school or site. If
application; this may be treated as falsification or you enroll in a certification program through a university, you
misrepresentation, and you may be emergency released or will be considered a student of that university or program
dismissed from the corps. and will be subject to all rules, responsibilities, and fees that
are required of other students. You are solely responsible for
Based on past experiences, Teach For America has found
doing whatever is required to maintain your certification
that although corps members have an expunged or sealed
during your two-year commitment. This may include
criminal record and the corps member does not disclose the
attending required courses, maintaining any state- or
criminal proceeding on the partner’s application, many
district-mandated GPA, and completing any student teaching
background checks conducted or commissioned by a state or
requirements. You are required to remain in good standing
placement partner still reveal the expunged or sealed
with your certification provider. Teach For America is not
criminal record. Moreover, because the records are either
responsible if you run afoul of university or program policies
expunged or sealed, many corps members experience
and are suspended, are placed on academic probation, or fail
difficulty in obtaining supporting documentation which may
to pay outstanding tuition and fees in a timely manner and as
even further delay the processing of his/her application.
a result have your certificate or license suspended. If your
Teach For America suggests that corps members with sealed
actions have resulted in the loss of your teaching certificate
or expunged records be forthright about these past criminal
or license and you are unable to teach in your current
proceeding and be prepared to present documentation from
assignment, you may be dismissed from the corps.
a probation office, courthouse, etc. that the criminal record is
indeed sealed, expunged, or has been reconciled prior to In some instances, certification providers offer corps
submission of his/her application so as not to delay members a discount on tuition, financial aid, or other
placement in their regional assignment. benefits that lower certification costs. While Teach For

America is pleased to facilitate such arrangements whenever reassignment to a particular region or in a particular grade
possible, please note that we are not responsible if a level/subject matter as our first consideration will be
certification provider elects to discontinue such benefits for securing a teaching placement for you. If you are reassigned,
any reason, raise tuition or other fees, alter scheduled you are expected to immediately begin preparing for, living
classes, etc. These decisions are solely up to the certification in, and meeting the requirements of the new region. Only if
provider. In any event, you are responsible for the costs you have compelling personal circumstances preventing you
associated with obtaining certification and meeting any from teaching in the new region may you request a second
district and state requirements, including tuition for a change in assignment or an emergency release. Teach For
certification program, books, lab fees, and other associated America reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to release a
costs. corps member from his or her commitment in the highly
unlikely event that a teaching placement cannot be secured
within a reasonable timeframe as determined solely by
Regional and Subject Matter Assignment Teach For America. In such extremely rare instances, the

The assignment to a particular region that you receive upon corps member will be eligible to rejoin the corps within two

acceptance is considered final and may only change due to academic years, and the corps member may request to be

extraordinary, unforeseen circumstances as determined in re-assigned to the same region to which the corps member

Teach For America’s sole discretion. However, due to was originally assigned, although Teach For America cannot

recurring factors that affect our partner districts, such as guarantee placement in the same region. In the event that a

difficulty projecting needs accurately, last-minute budget corps member is unplaced at the start of the year due to the

cuts, and late teacher retirements and transfers, the subject lack of available teaching placements and not on district or

and grade level assignment you receive upon acceptance school payroll, he/she will be eligible to apply for financial

may change. assistance from Teach For America while awaiting

placement or release, though that assistance may be less
Placement Commitment than a full teaching salary.
Teach For America strives to guarantee every corps member Changing Placements During the Two-Year Commitment
an initial teaching placement (though due to unanticipated
factors such as layoffs or other budgetary constraints on our Teach For America firmly expects you to uphold your

district partners, placement may be in a different grade commitment to teach for two years in the school and/or

level/subject matter, or in some instances, in a different region in which you are placed. This is non-negotiable. If

region than originally assigned), provided you meet all there are extraordinary personal circumstances and you

district and state requirements for teaching in your assigned wish to change your placement, you should immediately

site and for remaining in your position for two consecutive contact your regional office. Please note that Teach For

years. While Teach For America works to inform you about America grants requests to switch to other schools or

these requirements, you are ultimately responsible for regions only in rare circumstances. Requests for transfer to

taking all of the necessary steps to find out about and another region are reviewed by the regional team and then

complete district and state requirements. Teach For America by Teach For America’s senior vice president of the Teacher

will not request individual waivers for any district or state Preparation, Support and Development team and are only

requirements for corps members who fail to meet necessary granted under very serious circumstances. Regardless of the

requirements. If you do not meet the state or district circumstances, transfers are not guaranteed. In the event

requirements necessary to remain in your position for two you are transferred, you are ultimately responsible for taking

consecutive years you may be dismissed from the corps. In all of the necessary steps to find out about and complete

the unlikely event that a corps member cannot be placed in a district and state requirements. If you initiate an assignment

teaching position at the beginning of the school year due to a or placement change on your own, with school or district

lack of teaching placement availabilities, Teach For America personnel, or resign from your school, you will be dismissed

will work with the corps member to find a placement for a from the corps.

reasonable period of time either in the original assignment Public Charter School/Community-Based Organization
region or in another region, if the corps member qualifies to Placements
teach in another region and there are placement possibilities
In many regions, you may receive a placement in a public
in the other region. Although we will strive to honor your
charter school or a community-based organization (CBOs)
preferences during reassignment, we cannot guarantee

such as a local Head Start center. Teach For America On rare occasions, you may find yourself involved in
partners with numerous charter schools, charter disciplinary proceedings within your placement school or
management organizations (CMOs), and CBOs that work with school district. If you are involved in a disciplinary proceeding
the same or similar communities and students as our at your school, you should contact your union representative
traditional district partners. In addition, in some regions, the or seek other support, such as an attorney, as our regional
local school district has entered into arrangements with staff is not equipped to provide legal counsel. In very rare
educational management organizations (EMOs) such as circumstances, regional staff may elect to provide more
Edison Schools, Inc. which are responsible for the day-to-day formal support, up to and including providing letters of
management of a particular school. You are not permitted to support or speaking with school or district leadership
refuse to accept a placement on the grounds that the regarding the disciplinary matter. Please note that Teach For
placement is with a public charter school, a CMO, an EMO- America reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to
managed school, or a school setting within a CBO. As is the determine whether or not to become involved in any fashion
case with corps members placed in a traditional school whatsoever in any disciplinary proceeding involving a corps
district, you will be subject to all of the rights and member, but under no circumstance is Teach For America
responsibilities of any other employee of that school and are obligated to do so.
likewise held to the same expectations as corps members in
Dismissal by the School District/Charter
traditional district placements.
School/Community-Based Organization
Layoffs or Other Disruptions of Employment
If you are dismissed or suspended from your teaching
In certain instances, you may lose your teaching position position for reasons having to do with your performance as a
after placement due to state, district, or school budgetary teacher or behavior as member of the school community, you
reasons. In the event that you are laid off or otherwise will not be re-placed by Teach For America, and you will be
released from their employment for reasons other than dismissed from the corps. This holds true even if poor
performance or behavior, Teach For America will work with performance was not the sole reason for the suspension or
you to attempt to re-place you in a different school within the dismissal. If you have reason to believe that your situation
same region. If Teach For America is unable to find another warrants an exception to this policy, you may submit a
placement for you in that region, you will be given the option request, in writing, to the regional executive director and
of being reassigned to another region if there are request that Teach For America find you another teaching
reassignment options available. While every attempt will be position. Teach For America reserves the right to deny this
made to secure employment in a reassignment region, Teach request and to dismiss you from the corps. If you are
For America cannot guarantee placement in a new region, as dismissed or terminated from your teaching position due to
securing a teaching position in a different region will depend poor performance or personal behavior; upon dismissal, you
upon a number of factors such as availability of vacancies, will be personally responsible for repaying any loans made by
passage of required tests, and other district requirements. If Teach For America to you while you were a corps member. In
no such option is available or if you cannot relocate to a new addition, you may have incurred tuition expenses with a
region, Teach For America reserves the right, in its sole certification.
discretion, to release you from his or her commitment in the
highly unlikely event that a teaching placement cannot be
secured in a reasonable timeframe as determined solely by
Teach For America. In such extremely rare instances, you
will be eligible to rejoin the corps within two academic years, NON-DISCRIMINATION/NON-HARASSMENT POLICY AND
and you may request to be reassigned to the same region to PROCEDURE
which you were originally assigned, although Teach For Teach For America is committed to a policy of equal
America cannot guarantee placement in the same region. If treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with
you experience financial hardship as a result of losing your its corps members, without regard to race, color, ethnicity,
initial teaching placement due to a layoff or other budgetary religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual
reason, you may be eligible to apply for emergency financial orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status,
support. Teach For America will evaluate such requests on a military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. Teach For America
case-by-case basis. considers discrimination or harassment of any type
District Disciplinary Proceedings unacceptable and does not condone such behavior. If you

believe that you have been subjected to discrimination and/or America is committed to providing equal access and
harassment by someone directly employed by or otherwise opportunities to candidates with legally recognizable
involved with Teach For America, we encourage you to take disabilities, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of
the following steps. If it is appropriate and possible for you to disability in the application process in accordance with the
do so, we encourage you to try to resolve the matter directly Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state laws. We
with the person who allegedly conducted the offensive act. In will make our reasonable best effort to provide reasonable
instances where this type of informal intervention is not accommodations for our applicants with disabilities at every
appropriate or sufficient in resolving the matter, you may file stage of the application process. Disclosing a disability or
a written complaint with your senior managing director of requesting a need for accommodations is a separate and
institute or regional executive director. distinct process from admissions and will have absolutely no
bearing on a candidate’s application status. If you have any
The written complaint must include the following
questions regarding our disability accommodations policy,
please contact our disabilities accommodations officer at
x The name of the person filing the complaint

x The name of the accused individual Please note that while Teach For America is committed to

x An explanation of all events surrounding the act(s) providing reasonable accommodations to corps members

of discrimination or harassment with disabilities through the application process and in the
training we provide during the corps experience, Teach For
x Any supporting documentation and/or witnesses to America is not the ultimate employer of any corps member.
the alleged act(s) of discrimination or harassment Therefore, we are not responsible for the accommodations
An informal investigation will begin immediately after a provided at any placement site or the decision by a placement
written complaint is filed. The senior managing director of site to grant or deny a specific accommodations request.
institute or the regional executive director (or a designated MEDIA AND PUBLICITY POLICY
representative) will review the complaint, interview both the
person filing the complaint and the accused party, and Teach For America works proactively to gain media attention

interview other individuals as necessary. The corps member on a national and local level to support our recruitment,

filing the complaint will be asked to respect the fundraising, and general outreach efforts. In the process, we

confidentiality of all parties, including the accused individual, strive to generate publicity that emphasizes the importance

during the investigation. of transformational teaching in the classroom and focuses

positive attention on students and schools. As a result, corps
After all interviews are finished, the investigating staff members are often the subject of print and broadcast media.
member will make a decision based on the information At the same time, as our organization grows in visibility and
presented in the complaint and gathered during the impact, individuals, organizations, and the press occasionally
investigation. If it is determined that the evidence does not may approach you as a corps member to obtain a statement
substantiate the accusation of discrimination and/or which can then be shared in a variety of formats including
harassment, the accused individual will retain full status as a news articles and press statement. You should immediately
corps member or staff member in good standing and will be contact your regional office and/or institute leadership team
notified immediately of the decision. If it is determined that a if approached by the press (including inquiries from college-
corps member or staff member has discriminated against based media), or any organization seeking your input as a
and/or harassed another, that person will be subject to corps member.
disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or
termination from Teach For America. If either the accusing or Teach For America frequently uses photographs, film,

the accused corps member disputes the outcome of an videotape, and/or biographical information of corps members

investigation, that individual may file to appeal the decision in publicity efforts, promotional materials, directories, and

by filing a grievance as described in the Grievance Policy at other similar projects, and you may appear in these materials

the end of this document. without your prior knowledge, although Teach For America
makes reasonable efforts to secure your permission to
ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY publish your image, likeness, or other information, whenever
Teach For America strongly believes qualified individuals with feasible.
a disability are strong contributors to our efforts. Teach For THIRD-PARTY COMMUNICATION POLICY

Teach For America values your participation as a corps which an individual may receive AmeriCorps benefits, so
member and your engagement as a professional teacher in prior AmeriCorps service may preclude you from receiving
the Teach For America program. We also recognize and education awards or other benefits that are provided by
value the ongoing support provided by your family members AmeriCorps.
and other individuals as you undertake your commitment.
However, due to privacy considerations, Teach For America
will not discuss your status as a corps member, employment Position Description:
with our placement partners, performance aspects, etc. with Teach For America corps members commit two years to
any individual other than placement or programmatic serve as full time teachers in urban and rural public schools
partners without your express acknowledgement that we may and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand
do so. opportunity for children. Corps members are placed in pre-
K through high school teaching positions. Eligible corps
members concurrently serve as AmeriCorps members and
as such, must adhere to the AmeriCorps policies outlined in
this Corps Member Requirements, Policies, and Procedures
It is very likely that as a corps member you will be eligible to agreement and any regional supplemental contract (if
be concurrently enrolled as an AmeriCorps member. As applicable).
such, you may be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps education
Standards of Conduct:
award, forbearance on qualified student loans, and payments
As a Teach For America AmeriCorps member, you will:
for interest accrued during your two-year commitment.
Please note that Teach For America cannot guarantee these x Assume a tremendous leadership role and
benefits, given the nature of the AmeriCorps grant renewal overcome immense challenges to make an
process, its dependence on congressional funding, and immediate impact on the lives of low-income
current AmeriCorps regulations. children.
In the event that Teach For America secures the necessary x Gain the insight, credibility, and network to effect
AmeriCorps grants to provide corps members with these meaningful long-term change.
benefits, the following policies will apply to all corps
members who are enrolled as AmeriCorps members, and x Acquire concrete skills that will position you for
you must fulfill these requirements in order to receive success regardless of the profession you ultimately
benefits associated with AmeriCorps: pursue.

x You must establish a My AmeriCorps portal account x Participate in the required professional development
when directed to do so by regional staff. and licensure coursework outlined by your region.

x You must submit all required AmeriCorps AmeriCorps Term of Service:

paperwork by required deadlines, as communicated As an AmeriCorps member you are required to abide by the
by your regional staff. standards of conduct outlined above and in the Corps
Member Requirements, Policies, and Procedures agreement
x You must complete a minimum of 1,700 hours of and any regional supplemental contract (if applicable) and to
service per year of service, with at least 80 percent serve a minimum 1700 hours in your teaching position. Upon
of your service consisting of direct service hours, successful completion of the terms of service you will be
and must submit service verifications to your eligible to earn an education award of $5,550. AmeriCorps
regional office as required and communicated by terms are served on a yearly basis. Thus, the education
regional staff by required deadlines award amount listed above is only for the 2012-13 service
x You must fulfill all requirements of your particular term.
Because AmeriCorps is supported by public funds, as an
If you have served as an AmeriCorps member prior to joining AmeriCorps member you must refrain from engaging in
Teach For America, you should discuss your eligibility for certain activities while charging time to an AmeriCorps
additional AmeriCorps terms with your regional staff. program, accumulating service hours toward an education
AmeriCorps places strict limits on the number of terms for award, or otherwise engaging in activities supported by the

AmeriCorps program. A full list of prohibited activities o an organization engaged in the religious
follows, but in general, you may not (1) attempt to influence activities described in the preceding sub-
legislation or (2) participate in or endorse political events or clause, unless grant funds are not used to
activities. support the religious activities

However, you may exercise your First Amendment rights and o a nonprofit entity that fails to comply with
participate in the political process on your own initiative, on the restrictions contained in section
non-AmeriCorps time and using non-AmeriCorps funds and 501(c)(3) of U.S. Code title 26
resources. Time spent on such activities may not be included
x Voter registration drives held by AmeriCorps
on AmeriCorps timesheets, and you may not wear the
members are unacceptable service activities. In
AmeriCorps logo or identify yourself as an AmeriCorps
addition, Corporation funds may not be used to
member while participating. The following activities are
conduct a voter registration drive.
prohibited while charging time to an AmeriCorps program,
accumulating service hours toward an education award, or x Writing grant applications for AmeriCorps funding
otherwise engaging in activities supported by the AmeriCorps or for any other funding provided by the Corporation
program: for National and Community Service

x Attempting to influence legislation x Writing grant applications for funding provided by

any other federal agencies
x Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions,
boycotts, or strikes x Other activities as the Corporation for National
Service determines will be prohibited, upon notice to
x Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing
organizations receiving Corporation funds
x Impairing existing contracts for services or
collective bargaining agreements
x Providing abortion services or referrals
If you leave prior to completing your commitment for
x Engaging in partisan political activities or other “compelling personal circumstances,” you may be eligible
activities designed to influence the outcome of an for a partial education award, prorated by the percentage of
election to any public office your term that you have served and documented to date.
Compelling personal circumstances are urgent reasons for
x Participating in or endorsing events or activities that
leaving that are outside of your control and prevent you from
are likely to include advocacy for or against political
completing your term of service. These could include serious
parties, political platforms, political candidates,
medical conditions or the need to care for a seriously ill
proposed legislation, or elected officials
family member. Please note that AmeriCorps policy states
x Engaging in religious instruction, conducting that in order to be released from AmeriCorps enrollment for
worship services, providing instruction as part of a compelling circumstances, a corps member must have been
program that includes mandatory religious performing satisfactorily and completed at least 15 percent
instruction or worship, constructing or operating of their term (each year counts as a separate AmeriCorps
facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, term). Anyone who leaves for reasons other than compelling
maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted personal circumstances mid-year is considered by
to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in AmeriCorps to be released for cause and will not be eligible
any form of religious proselytization for any portion of the education award. This could include a

x Providing a direct benefit to: corps member leaving to pursue another opportunity (such
as graduate study or another job), resigning due to
o a business organized for profit dissatisfaction, wanting to be near family or significant
o a labor union others, or being dismissed by Teach For America for any
o a partisan political organization
o a nonprofit organization that fails to comply
with the internal revenue code section

As required by AmeriCorps, criminal history checks will be organization and any corps member that occur during a
performed on all Teach For America corps members. These corps member’s service as an AmeriCorps member (while
will include both FBI and state background checks and enrolled in AmeriCorps). In the event that informal attempts
National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) checks. to resolve the dispute fail, or if the grievant chooses not to
Enrollment as an AmeriCorps member is contingent upon pursue informal attempts, the following procedure will be
review of your criminal history check. Persons convicted of available. Please note that this grievance procedure is
murder or are registered sex offenders will be automatically available to any corps member enrolled and serving as an
ineligible to serve. By initialing this page, you are authorizing AmeriCorps member wishing to contest a program’s ruling of
Teach For America to conduct these criminal history checks unsatisfactory performance.
and acknowledging that Teach For America will use the
results to determine your enrollment into the program as an
AmeriCorps member. A. Timing. With the exception of grievances alleging fraud
or other criminal activity, grievances may be filed no
An AmeriCorps member who is officially charged with a
later than one year after the date of the alleged
violent felony or with the sale or distribution of a controlled
occurrence. However, it is preferred that you file no later
substance during a term of service will have his or her
than 60 days after the date of the alleged occurrence.
service suspended without a living allowance and without
receiving credit for hours missed. You may be reinstated into B. Initiation. The grievant should notify the general counsel
AmeriCorps service if you are found not guilty or if the charge of Teach For America of the dispute in writing, setting
is dismissed. If you have been cleared of such charges but forth the facts of the situation, the Teach For America
are unable to complete your term of service within one year, policy or procedure involved, and suggestions for
you may accept a pro-rated education award as long as you resolution of the problem. The grievant should also
have completed at least 15 percent of your service. include with the written document any other relevant
documents and the names and phone numbers of other
An AmeriCorps member who is convicted of a criminal
parties related to the dispute. The general counsel will
charge as described above must be terminated for cause
communicate with the grievant to discuss the grievance
from the program, and will not be eligible for any portion of
within a reasonable period of time from the date of
an education award.
receiving the written document. The general counsel or
COMPLIANCE WITH THE DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE ACT an officer of Teach For America appointed by the general
counsel will render a decision on the grievance and will
(U.S.C, 401 et seq.)
notify the grievant within a reasonable period of time.
Corps members must not possess or use any illegal drugs
C. Informal Dispute Resolution. If after receiving the initial
while participating in Teach For America, and must not
determination of a grievance, the grievant remains
consume or be under the influence of alcoholic beverages
unsatisfied, a grievant may elect to resolve the matter
during the performance of service activities for Teach For
through informal dispute resolution. Dispute resolution
America. If it is determined that you possess, have
proceedings must be initiated within 45 calendar days
possessed, or have used illegal drugs during your two-year
from the date of receiving the original written document.
commitment and/or were under the influence of alcoholic
to the general counsel. Upon receipt of such a request,
beverages during service activities, you will be subject to
the general counsel will appoint an officer of Teach For
dismissal from Teach For America. A corps member who is
America to serve as a neutral party who functions
convicted of a drug offense during his/her two-year
specifically to aid the parties in resolving the matter
commitment must notify his/her regional manager, teacher
through a mutually achieved and acceptable written
leadership and development or, if occurring during the
agreement. At the initial session of the dispute
summer institute, the senior managing director of institute
resolution proceedings, the party must be advised in
writing of the right to file a grievance and right to
arbitration. If the matter is resolved, and a written
agreement is reached, the party will agree to forego
VII. GRIEVANCE POLICIES filing a grievance in the matter under consideration.
Teach For America has established the following procedure NOTE: This process will not apply to complaints relating
for settling grievances and/or disputes between our

to occurrences during the institute. Please reference that occur during the institute, corps members may file a
Section F. formal complaint with the senior vice president of the
Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development team
D. Formal Dispute Resolution Proceedings:
within 10 calendar days of official termination. The
1. Proceedings before the neutral party must be grievant should notify the senior vice president of the
informal, and the rules of evidence will not Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development team of
apply. the dispute in writing, setting forth the facts of the

2. With the exception of a written and agreed upon situation and the Teach For America policy or procedure

dispute resolution agreement, the proceeding involved. The grievant should also include with the

will be confidential. written document any other relevant documents and the
names and phone numbers of other parties related to
3. If the matter is not resolved within 30 calendar the termination. The senior vice president of the Teacher
days from the date the informal dispute Preparation, Support, and Development team or a staff
resolution process began, the neutral party member designated by the senior vice president of the
must again inform the grievant of the right to Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development team
file a formal complaint. In the event the grievant must communicate with the grievant to discuss the
files a formal complaint, the neutral party may complaint within 15 days from the date of receiving the
not participate in the formal complaint process. written document. The senior vice president of the
In addition, no communication or proceedings Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development team
of the informal dispute resolution process may will render a decision on the complaint and will notify
be referred to or introduced into evidence the grievant within 30 days from the date the grievant
during the formal complaint process or the filed the complaint.
arbitration hearing.
4. Any decision by the neutral party is advisory
and is not binding unless both parties agree. A. Selection of Arbitrator. If the outcome of a formal
complaint is adverse to the party who filed the grievance
E. Formal Complaint Process. If the grievant is unsatisfied or if after 60 calendar days of filing a grievance no
by the initial decision reached by the general counsel or decision has been reached (provided that the failure to
appointed officer, or if the general counsel or appointed issue a decision is not attributable to a lack of
officer fails to issue a decision within a reasonable time cooperation from the grievant), the grievant may submit
period (provided that the failure to reach a decision is not the grievance to binding arbitration before a qualified
attributable to a lack of cooperation by the grievant), or if member of the National Panel of Arbitrators of the
the informal dispute resolution process fails to yield a American Arbitration Association (AAA) who is jointly
satisfactory result, the grievant may file a formal selected and who is independent of the interested
complaint with the general counsel in writing within 30 parties. Arbitration will be governed by the rules of the
calendar days of receiving the adverse or unsatisfactory AAA to the extent that such rules do not conflict with the
decision. The formal complaint should describe the grievance policy set forth herein. If the parties cannot
grievance, the steps the grievant has already taken to agree on an arbitrator within 15 calendar days after
resolve the matter, and any unresolved issues. The receiving a request from one of the grievance parties, the
grievant should also attach prior written submissions, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National
any written materials received in response, and any and Community Service will appoint an arbitrator from a
other written materials relevant to the dispute. The list of qualified arbitrators.
general counsel will designate a senior officer of the
organization to review the formal complaint. This officer B. Time Limits. An arbitration proceeding must be held no

may hold an informal hearing within 30 days after receipt later than 45 days after the request for arbitration. A

of the complaint and will render a final resolution of the decision must be made by the arbitrator no later than 30

complaint within 60 days from the date the grievant filed calendar days after the date the arbitration proceeding

the formal complaint. begins.

F. Formal Complaint Process for Grievances of C. Cost. In accordance with 42 U.S.C. section 12636(f )(4)(D),

Terminations Arising During Institute. For grievances the cost of the arbitration proceeding must be divided

evenly between the parties to the arbitration, unless the
party requesting a grievance proceeding prevails. If the
grieving party prevails, Teach For America must pay the
total cost of the proceeding and reasonable attorney’s
fees of the grieving party.

D. Remedies. Remedies for a grievance filed under this

grievance policy may include

1. Prohibition of a placement of a participant; and

2. If a grievance is filed regarding a proposed

placement, such placement must not be made
unless the placement is consistent with the
resolution of the grievance.

In grievance cases where there is a violation of non-

duplication or non-displacement requirements and the
employer of the displaced employee is Teach For
America, potential remedies include

1. Reinstatement of the employee to the position

he or she held prior to the displacement;

2. Payment of lost wages and benefits;

3. Re-establishment of other relevant terms,

conditions and privileges of employment; and

4. Any other equitable relief that is necessary to

correct any violation of the non-duplication or
non- displacement requirements or to make
the displaced employee whole.

E. Enforcement of Arbitration Decision. Pursuant to 42

U.S.C. section 12636(f )(7), a suit to enforce an arbitration
decision may be brought in any Federal district court
having jurisdiction over the parties without regard to the
amount in controversy or the parties’ citizenship.