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Transferring in the District

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Emily (Pennsylvania) wrote in about requesting a transfer in the district, especially the timing of such a request. To address this question, I turned to AAEE’s President and President-elect for their opinions. Doug (Colorado; human resources) responded: “In considering a transfer request, you should probably know what the school district does in terms of procedure. Do internal transfers occur prior to vacancies being posted to the outside? Do internal transfers have a small window that you need to be aware of for notification? The discussion probably is never too early but the reality is some supervisors might be upset if the discussion is prior to the work that will be done for planning the next years staffing. Depending on the size of the school or district you may want to consult with someone in Personnel or Human Resources prior to talking to your direct supervisor. This might help in understanding how the process works so no one feels offended.”

For a second perspective, Dawn (Illinois; career services) writes: “Administrators try to begin getting their staff members in place in early spring. Many start their recruiting efforts in January, with the hopes of having schools fully staffed by the end of the semester. If you are certain that you want to transfer, I’d let your supervisor know as soon as possible. Even January is not too early. Certainly, you would want to do so by March, at the latest. Your supervisor, principal and district administrators will all think much more highly of you if you give them plenty of notice in your request for a transfer. One final note: do you have a transfer site in mind? Have you spoken with the principal there? You might want to know that you have options before you make your final decision.”

BJ adds: "In both of these answers, it is inferred that different school districts in different states will have a variety of policies and procedures for internal transfers. If you are in a district with a union, check the negotiated agreement for these policies The teacher's handbook may also be helpful."

1 Comment

the unspoken word in most public school districts is that you need to stay at the school for 3 years before transferring. That way you show you can get along with folks, work in a team, etc. Most principals will not release a teacher who can't show these skills. Politics, politics, politics: always say you want to transfer to be closer to home!

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