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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
You received a March 15 notice — now what?
April 19, 2021
The ACSA Member Assistance and Legal Support Team, under the direction of ACSA Senior Director Margarita Cuizon-Armelino, provides assistance to 750-800 members each year. Somewhere between 200-250 of these members call because they have either received a March 15 notice of Reassignment, Demotion or Termination, or they resigned rather than receive the notice.
We have asked the team’s Advocates John Almond, Janet Morey, Sharon Dezutti, Joe Jones, Bill Tschida, Gary Rutherford and Lloyd Wamhof to offer some tips that our members may want to consider if they have received a March 15 notice.
We know how emotionally stressful it is being placed in a situation of having to make decisions and unexpected career choices after receiving a March 15 notice.
1. If an administrator has been told that he/she will be reassigned to the classroom, then the options are to either prepare for the reassignment or begin applying for positions outside of the district. If the administrator decides to seek positions in another district, then the next step is to update his/her résumé, letters of recommendation and a cover letter of introduction. While all of these elements are extremely important, the letter of introduction may be the most important of the documents that you prepare, since you want it to spark their interest in your application.
2. In addition, make certain that your letter of introduction includes your experiences related to the job duties for which you are applying and aligns with the district’s vision and goals. Also, don’t repeat what your résumé highlights. This means the letter will need to be adjusted if you are applying for multiple positions.
3. Your résumé should not be too long. We recommend that it be limited to two or three pages. If your resume is too lengthy, the important points may go unnoticed by the individual that is reviewing the applications. Identify what aspects of your career are important related to the position for which you are applying and consider including your professional development experiences that will enhance your résumé.
4. Some administrators may have accepted the reassignment to the classroom as a safety net until they were offered another position outside the current district. Just as a tip, if you are one of these administrators and have been a site level administrator for three years, you are guaranteed three years seniority as a classroom teacher. If you are an administrator who has never taught in the district nor been a site level administrator in the district and are past your probationary period of three years, you may have rights to a classroom position.
5. One of the considerations of moving to another district might also be whether or not you have earned any retirement incentives from your current district, such as health benefit coverage to age 65 if you retire from the district. Such benefits may outweigh a decision to seek employment outside the district.
6. As we stated in our opening remarks, the emotional stress of having received a March 15 notice sometimes makes it difficult to plan for your future. Being angry is a a natural emotion, however, don’t let it get in the way of making good decisions. As an example, making negative comments on social media about your supervisor or the district will not serve you well in a job search. As we are all aware, social media can be a double-edged sword. As you are applying for other positions, the new district, in addition to reviewing your paperwork, is most likely going to Google your name to complete their background check. Seeing negative postings will not work in your favor.
7. Utilize your network contacts. Networking, in person and online, is essential to your success in finding a new position. People who know you and want to help you uncover job leads usually results in greater job opportunities for you.
8. Prepare for all job interviews. Before you receive a call for your first interview, develop responses to common interview questions. Interviewing for any position is anxiety producing, so it is important that you practice. Find a friend, network contact or interview coach who can work with you in a mock interview setting. The more prepared and confident you are with the interview process, the more likely you are to be successful.
9. Finally, just know as you go through a difficult process of sorting out your emotions and applying for other positions, the ACSA Member Assistance and Legal Support Team is available to assist you. The team can be reached by completing the online request form at or by calling ACSA at 800-608-2272.
Need support with a March 15 notice? Visit or call ACSA at 800- 608-2272.
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