ANIMALS IN SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS
I. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
Under controlled conditions and for limited purposes, the Board of Education sanctions the presence and use of animals in schools and classrooms.
II. CONDITIONS FOR PRESENCE OF ANIMALS
Animals may be present in schools and classrooms only when the following conditions have been met:
A. The responsible staff member has obtained the permission of the building principal or site administrator.
B. Provisions have been made for appropriate housing and humane care of the animal.
C. Precautions have been taken to protect the health and safety of students and staff.
D. Other staff members and parents of students in the affected classroom(s) have been notified and adjustments have been made to accommodate verified health-related or other concerns. Except when an animal is used as an aid to a student or employee with disabilities, the presence of an animal shall be disallowed if the documented health concerns of a staff member or student cannot be accommodated.
III. PERMITTED PURPOSES
Animals may be used in schools and classrooms for the following purposes:
A. Curriculum-related projects and activities
B. Therapeutic purposes
C. Service dog specifically trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with disabilities
IV. ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES
The superintendent is directed to prepare administrative guidelines to facilitate implementation of this policy.
V. LIMITATIONS OF POLICY
This policy does not apply to the use of school facilities for Community Education classes or for other purpose approved under a building use permit or lease.
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: November 15, 1999
REAFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: July 21, 2003
REVISED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: August 12, 2013
614.1 Administrative Guidelines
ANIMALS IN SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS
Consistent with Board of Education Policy 614, the following administrative guidelines are established regarding the presence and use of animals in schools and classrooms.
I. ACTIONS PRIOR TO THE ANIMAL’S ARRIVAL
A. Any teacher who plans to have live animals in the classroom must first do the following:
1. Obtain prior permission from the principal or site administrator.
2. Provide advanced notification to parents of affected students and other staff members. (Note: If a number of teachers in a building plan to utilize animals in the classroom, notification may be accomplished by means of a general notice, e.g. as part of a back-to-school building newsletter. The notification may list activities that may occur from time to time throughout the year, such as an outside speaker who brings in an animal or a student who brings in a family pet for "show and tell".)
3. Notify the principal of any accommodation(s) requested to respond to expressed health or other concerns relating to a particular student or staff member, and work with the building principal and the parent/guardian or staff member to reach an acceptable accommodation.
4. Prescribe and carefully instruct pupils regarding applicable health and safety precautions.
5. Make provisions for the housing and care of the animal.
B. Animals used for therapy or to aid individuals with disabilities must be appropriately trained and certified.
C. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies and distemper-parvo.
II. HOUSING AND CARE OF ANIMALS
A. Students shall not be allowed to touch animals in the classroom without specific permission and direction of the teacher.
B. Animals should not be handled excessively, and are not to be subjected to any harmful, painful, or frightening experiences.
C. Thorough hand washing is required after handling animals, particularly those that carry salmonella such as turtles, baby ducks, and baby chicks.
D. Owners of animals are responsible for feeding, watering, and cage cleaning. These functions may be delegated to a specified person who accepts responsibility. Cleaning and disposal of cage contents shall be done frequently and with gloves.
III. ANIMALS NOT ALLOWED IN SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS
The animals listed in Sections A-E below are not allowed in schools or classrooms. An employee who discovers such an animal in the school or classroom shall take steps to remove the animal, including notification of the building administrator and/or custodian, as deemed necessary.
A. Stray animals
B. Aggressive animals
C. Poisonous animals including certain spiders, snakes, and venomous insects.
D. Cats, due to the frequency of allergic reactions.
E. If presence of an animal causes a verified health concern for which a satisfactory accommodation cannot be reached, the animal will not be allowed to remain in the school or classroom. An exception may be made if the animal serves as an aid to a student or employee with disabilities.