Policy 408


    I.          PURPOSE


    The purpose of this policy is to avoid any impropriety or conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof, with respect to gifts given to school district employees for their personal enjoyment and use.





    A.           The school board recognizes that students, parents, and others may wish to show appreciation to school district employees.  While it is the policy of the school district to allow small gifts of gratitude other ways of showing appreciation are encouraged such as a verbal or written expression of appreciation, donation of volunteer time, or making a donation to the school or classroom in the name of the employee the individual wishes to recognize.


    B.           It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee to solicit, accept, or receive either by direct or indirect means, any gift that impairs or unduly influences professional judgment, or gives the appearance thereof.


    C.           Acceptance of a gift is permitted if it is:


    1.         Of insignificant monetary value;

    2.         A plaque or similar memento recognizing individual services in a field of specialty or to a charitable cause;

    3.            A trinket or memento of insignificant value, including items received from businesses of a promotional or public relations nature;

    4.            A gift is given because of the recipient's membership in a group, and an equivalent gift is given to other members of the group.


    D.        Teachers may accept from publishers free samples of textbooks and related teaching materials.  Gifts and grants that support school and classroom programs and activities are also acceptable.


    E.        This policy applies only to gifts given to employees where the donor's relationship with the employee arises out of the employee's employment with the school district. It does not apply to gifts given to employees by personal friends, family members, other employees, or others unconnected to the employee's employment with the school district.


    III.        DEFINITION


    "Gift" means money, real or personal property, a service, a loan, a forbearance or forgiveness of indebtedness, or a promise of future employment, that is given without something of equal or greater value being received in return.


    IV.       VIOLATIONS


    Employees who violate the provisions of this policy may be subject to discipline, which may include reprimand, suspension, and/or termination or discharge.





    The Superintendent is authorized to create administrative guidelines necessary for implementation of this policy.


    Legal References:       Minn. Stat. 10A.07 (Conflicts of Interest)

                                  Minn. Stat. 10A.071 (Prohibition of Gifts)

          Minn. Stat. 15.43 (Acceptance of Advantage by State                                      Employee Penalty)

                                  Minn. Stat. 471.895 (Certain Gifts by Interested Persons


                                  Minnesota State Board of Education Code of Ethics for                                                                       Minnesota Administrators


    Cross References:       Board Policy 202 - School Board Member Code of Ethics



    ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:       November 15, 1999

    REVIEWED AND AFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: December 20, 2004, June 11, 2012








    I.             PURPOSE


    The purpose of these administrative guidelines is to assist in the implementation of Board Policy 408, Gifts to Employees.





    A.           Board policy 408 specifies that acceptance of a gift is permitted if it is of insignificant monetary value.  For purposes of this policy, a gift received from an individual or family with an approximate value of $35.00 or less is considered insignificant.  A gift received from a group (e.g. from a sports team to a coach) with an approximate value of $100.00 or less is considered insignificant.


    B.           Employees shall confer with the building administrator for guidance related to the interpretation and application of this policy.


    C.           Questions that cannot be addressed by the building administrator shall be referred to the superintendent.





    As indicated in Section II. A of Policy 408, while small personal gifts are allowed, persons wishing to show appreciation are encouraged to do so in other ways.  Alternative ways of showing appreciation include, but are not limited to, the following:


    A.           Verbal expression of appreciation to the individual directly and/or to the individual's supervisor.


    B.           Letter or note of appreciation to the individual, the individual's supervisor, and/or to the Board of Education.


    C.           Donation of volunteer time for a purpose that would be appreciated by the individual.  As an example, a parent who appreciates the efforts of a classroom teacher might donate volunteer time in that teacher's classroom.


    D.           Donation of a gift to the school or classroom.  As an example, a book could be donated to the school media center in an employee's name.


    E.           Donation to the Richfield Public Schools Foundation and/or to the Spartan Foundation in an employee's name. 


    If the individual being recognized is associated with a specific school program or activity, the donation could be earmarked to support that program or activity.





    Building and district level administrators are expected to inform staff and parents about Policy 408 and Administrative Guidelines 408.1, e.g. through a variety of media such as the school district website and building publications.



    Dated:            November 15, 1999


    Revised:        December 20, 2004, June 11, 2012