Time to Prepare for Transfer Rounds!

We have reached an agreement with the District to adjust the transfer round timelines slightly, as seen in the attached document. If you are a teacher with a continuing contract, you are eligible to apply for positions in Rounds 1 and 2.

Last year, the STA filed a number of grievances related to the transfer rounds. In our discussions with Human Resources and school principals, we got some insight into the inner workings of the process.

There are three parts to the transfer process. The first is the online application. Apply for postings using Employee Self Serve. The first page includes your personal information. The Collective Agreement requires that principals shortlist candidates for positions by seniority, provided they have the necessary qualifications. Make sure the personal information page of Employee Self Serve makes it clear how you are qualified for the position for which you are applying. You have the option on this page to indicate whether or not you agree to have your current principal or vice-principal contacted for a reference. We have been assured by Human Resources that if you select “No” to having current admin contacted, they will not be. However, you will need to provide the names and contact information for two people, usually administrators, who have recently seen you teach.

The other two parts to the transfer process are the interview and a reference check. The STA’s position is that the interview should come first, followed by the reference check. The district does not agree.

The interview is perhaps the most important part of the process. The Collective Agreement states: “The Board will appoint the most senior applicant possessing the necessary qualifications except where it can be demonstrated that a less senior candidate is more suitable.” Most principals use the interview to determine suitability. Principals indicated to us that, rather than hearing theoretical or general responses to questions, they are interested in hearing about real examples of what is happening in teachers’ classes. Prior to the interview, read the School Profile in the posting and be ready to indicate how your practice will fit into the culture of the school. Use the interview to help the principal to understand how you will be an asset to the school. You should also use the interview to decide whether you think the position would be a good fit for you.

Principals almost always contact someone for a reference check. Regardless of whether or not you agree to your current administrator providing the reference, or if you choose someone else, talk to your references prior to the deadline for submitting applications. Ask the references to tell you what they will say and take notes of what they tell you. Do not assume that because you get along well with your principal, or that they have never expressed any criticism of you, they will give you a positive reference. In several of last year’s grievances, teachers were shocked to learn that their principal had provided a negative reference.

The transfer process is stressful for many members. Being prepared may help alleviate some of the stress and will ensure that you can present yourself as strongly as possible to principals.

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