600 EDUCATION PROGRAM

600 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE EDUCATION PROGRAM

600.1 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE EDUCATION PROGRAM

This series of the board policy manual is devoted to the goals and objectives for the delivery of the education program.  The board's objective in the design, contents and the delivery of the education program is to provide an equal opportunity for students to pursue an education free of discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, marital/parental status, religion, sexual orientation, age (except for permitting/prohibiting student to engage in certain activities), gender identity, socioeconomic status or disability.

 

In providing the education program of the school district, the board will strive to meet its overall goal of providing the students an opportunity to develop a healthy social, intellectual, emotional, and physical self-concept in a learning environment that provides guidance and encourages critical thinking in students.

 

In striving to meet this overall goal, the objectives of the education program are to provide students with an opportunity to:

  • Acquire basic skills in obtaining information, solving problems, thinking critically, and communicating effectively;
  • Become effective and responsible contributors to the decision-making processes of the social and political institutions of the community, state, and nation;
  • Acquire entry-level job skills and knowledge necessary for further education;
  • Acquire the capacities for a satisfying and responsible role as family members;
  • Acquire knowledge, habits, and attitudes that promote personal and public health, both physical and mental;
  • Acquire an understanding of ethical principles and values and the ability to apply them to their own lives;
  • Develop an understanding of their own worth, abilities, potential, and limitations; and,
  • Learn and enjoy the process of learning and acquire the skills necessary for a lifetime of continuous learning and adaptation to change.

An advisory committee of representatives of the school district community and the school district is appointed to make recommendations for the goals and objectives of the education program.  Annually, the board will report to the committee regarding progress toward achievement of the goals and objectives of the education program.

600.2 MULITCULTURAL AND GENDER FAIR EDUCATION

The education program of the Sigourney Community School District revolves around a philosophy of equal educational opportunities and non-discrimination in educational programs and activities.  Students will have an equal opportunity for a quality education without discrimination, regardless of their sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age (except for permitting/prohibiting students to engage in certain activities), marital/parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability or socioeconomic status.

 

The education program shall be free of discrimination and provide equal opportunity for the students.  The education program shall foster knowledge of and respect and appreciation for the historical and contemporary contributions of diverse cultural groups, as well as men and women, to society.  Special emphasis shall be placed on Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, American Indians, European-Americans, and persons with disabilities.  It shall also reflect the wide variety of roles open to both men and women and provide equal opportunity to both sexes.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

600.3 EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS

The superintendent or the superintendent’s designee shall have the authority to close schools because of extreme weather or other emergency conditions for the length of time the conditions exist. The Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee shall make provisions to publicly announce such closings via available mass communication media as soon as possible after the decision to close.

 

Every reasonable effort shall be made to have students attend the total amount of school annually as specified by statute, state departmental rules, and Board policy.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

601 GENERAL ORGANIZATION

601.1 SCHOOL CALENDAR

The school calendar will accommodate the education program of the school district.  The school calendar is for a minimum of one hundred eighty days (180) or one thousand eighty (1080) hours and include, but not be limited to, the days for student instruction, staff development, in-service days, and teacher conferences.

 

The academic school year for students is for a minimum of one-hundred and eighty (180) days or one thousand eighty (1080) hours in the school calendar.  The academic school year for students may not begin prior to September but may begin in the week in which September 1 falls unless a waiver is obtained from the Iowa Department of Education.  Should September 1 fall on a Sunday, school may begin any day during the calendar week which immediately precedes September 1.  Employees may be required to report to work at the school district prior to this date.

 

Special education students may attend school on a school calendar different from that of the regular education program consistent with their Individualized Education Program.

 

The board, in its discretion, may excuse graduating seniors from up to five (5) days of instruction after the school district requirements for graduation have been met.  The board may also excuse graduating seniors from making up days missed due to inclement weather if the student has met the school district's graduation requirements.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop the school calendar for recommendation, approval, and adoption by the board annually.

 

The board may amend the official school calendar when the board considers the change to be in the best interests of the school district's education program.  The board reserves the right to request a waiver for an early start date with the Iowa Department of Education.

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed   April 14, 2008   

Revised June 10, 2015

601.2 SCHOOL YEAR

The student school day for grades one through twelve will consist of one of the following: (1) a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) days with each day having a minimum of six (6) hours of instruction or (2) one thousand eighty (1080) hours of instruction.  Lunch periods will not be counted as part of instructional time.  Time during which students are released from school for parent/teacher conferences and passing time will be counted as part of instructional time.

 

If the school district chooses a minimum one hundred eighty (180) day school year, the school district may also record a day of school with less than the minimum of six (6) hours of instruction if the total hours of instructional time for grades one through twelve for any five (5) consecutive school days equals a minimum of thirty (30) hours, even though any one day of school is less than the minimum instructional hours because of a staff development opportunity provided for the professional instructional staff or because parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day.  If the total hours of instructional time for the first four (4) consecutive days equal at least thirty (30) hours because parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day, the school district may record zero (0) hours of instructional time on the fifth (5th)consecutive school day as a school day.  Schedule revisions and changes in time allotments will be made by the superintendent.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to inform the board annually of the length of the school day.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed April 14, 2008   

Revised June 10, 2015

602 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

602.1 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Curriculum development is an ongoing process in the school district and consists of both research and design.  Research is the studious inquiry and critical investigation of the various content areas for the purpose of revising and improving curriculum and instruction based on relevant information pertaining to the discipline.  This study is conducted both internally (what and how we are currently doing at the local level) and externally (what national standards, professional organizations, recognized experts, current research, etc. tell us relative to the content area).  Design is the deliberate process of planning and selecting the standards and instructional strategies that will improve the learning experiences for all students.

 

A systematic approach to curriculum development (careful research, design, and articulation of the curriculum) serves several purposes:

  • Focuses attention on the content standards of each discipline and ensures the identified learnings are rigorous, challenging, and represent the most important learning for our students.
  • ·Increases the probability that students will acquire the desired knowledge, skills, and dispositions and that our schools will be successful in providing appropriate learning experiences.
  • Facilitates communication and coordination.
  • Improves classroom instruction.

 

The superintendent is responsible for curriculum development and for determining the most effective method of conducting research and design activities.  A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed in researching, designing, and articulating each curriculum area.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum development activities to:

 

  • Study the latest thinking, trends, research, and expert advice regarding the content/discipline;
  • Study the current status of the content/discipline (what and how well students are currently learning);
  • Identify content standards, benchmarks, and grade level expectations for the content/discipline;
  • Describe the desired learning behaviors, teaching, and learning environment related to the content/discipline;
  • Develop curriculum maps for each discipline with instructional strategies;
  • Identify differences in the desired and present program and develop a plan for addressing the differences;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding the content area;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum development decisions;
  • Verify integration of local, state, and/or federal mandates (MCNS, school-to-work, etc.);
  • Verify how the standards and benchmarks of the content/discipline support each of the broader student learning goals and provide a K-12 continuum that builds on the prior learning of each level.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of necessary curriculum revisions and progress of each content area related to curriculum development activities.

 

 

Approved   January 11, 1999                                     

Revised April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

602.2 CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION

Curriculum implementation includes the provision of organized assistance to staff in order to ensure that the newly developed curriculum and the most powerful instructional strategies are actually delivered at the classroom level.  There are two components of any implementation effort that must be present to guarantee the planned changes in curriculum and instruction succeed as intended:

 

  • Understanding the conceptual framework of the content/discipline being implemented; and,
  • Organized assistance to understand the theory, observe exemplary demonstrations, have opportunities to practice, and receive coaching and feedback focused on the most powerful instructional strategies to deliver the content at the classroom level.

 

The superintendent is responsible for curriculum implementation and for determining the most effective way of providing organized assistance and monitoring the level of implementation.  A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed to assist all staff in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully implement the developed curriculum in each content area.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum implementation activities to:

 

  • Study and identify the best instructional practices and materials to deliver the content;
  • Describe procedures for the purchase of instructional materials and resources;
  • Identify/develop exemplars that demonstrate the learning behaviors, teaching, and learning environment to deliver the content;
  • Study the current status of instruction in the content area  (how teachers are teaching);
  • Compare the desired and present delivery system, identify differences (gap analysis), and develop a plan for addressing the differences;
  • Organize staff into collaborative study teams to support their learning and implementation efforts (address    the gaps);
  • Provide ongoing professional development related to instructional strategies and materials that focuses on theory, demonstration, practice and feedback;
  • Regularly monitor and assess the level of implementation;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding curriculum implementation;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum implementation decisions.

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum implementation activities and the progress of each content area related to curriculum implementation activities.

 

 

 

 

Approved   January 11, 1999                                          

Revised April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

602.3 CURRICULUM EVALUATION

Curriculum evaluation refers to an ongoing process of collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting information to aid in understanding what students know and can do.  It refers to the full range of information gathered in the school district to evaluate student learning and program effectiveness in each content area.

 

Curriculum evaluation must be based on information gathered from a comprehensive assessment system that is designed for accountability and committed to the concept that all students will achieve at high levels, is standards-based, and informs decisions which impact significant and sustainable improvements in teaching and student learning.

 

The superintendent is responsible for curriculum evaluation and for determining the most effective way of ensuring that assessment activities are integrated into instructional practices as part of school improvement with a particular focus on improving teaching and learning.  A curriculum framework will describe the procedures that will be followed to establish an evaluation process that can efficiently and effectively evaluate the total curriculum.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the procedures for the following curriculum evaluation activities:

  • Identify specific purposes for assessing student learning;
  • Develop a comprehensive assessment plan;
  • Select/develop assessment tools and scoring procedures that are valid and reliable;
  • Identify procedures for collecting assessment data;
  • Identify procedures for analyzing and interpreting information and drawing conclusions based on the data ;
  • Identify procedures for establishing at least three levels of performance (specific to the content standard and the assessment tool when appropriate) to assist in determining whether  students have achieved at a satisfactory level (at least two levels describe performance that is proficient or advanced and at least one level describes students who are not yet performing at the proficient level);
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information to determine long-range and annual improvement goals;
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information in making decisions focused on improving teaching and learning (data based decision making);
  • Provide support to staff in using data to make instructional decisions;
  • Define procedures for regular and clear communication about assessment results to the various internal and external publics (mandatory for communication about students receiving special education services);
  • Define data reporting procedures;
  • Verify that assessment tools are fair for all students and are consistent with all state and federal mandates;
  • Verify that assessment tools measure the curriculum that is written and delivered;
  • Identify procedures for deciding when multiple assessment measures are necessary for making good decisions and drawing appropriate conclusions about student learning/achievement;
  • Identify roles and responsibilities of key groups;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum evaluation; and
  • Ensure participation of eligible students receiving special education services in district-wide assessments.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum evaluation activities and the progress of each content area related to curriculum evaluation activities.

602.4 PILOT - EXPERIMENTAL - INNOVATIVE PROJECTS

The board welcomes new ideas in curriculum.  Proposals for pilot or experimental projects will first be reviewed and analyzed by the superintendent.  Projects recommended by the superintendent will be considered by the board.  Pilot and experimental projects approved by the board, the Iowa Department of Education or the United States Department of Education may be utilized in the education program.

 

Students, who may be or are asked to participate in a research or experimental project or program, must have their parents' written consent on file prior to participating in the project or program.  A research or experimental program or project requiring parents' prior written consent is a program or project designed to explore or develop new or unproven teaching methods or techniques.  These programs or projects are designated as research or experimental projects or programs.  The educational materials of a program or project designated as a research or experimental program or project may be inspected and reviewed by the parents of the students participating or being considered for participation in the program or project.  The inspection and review by the parents shall be in accordance with the board’s Instructional Materials Inspection policy.

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

 

603 INSTRUCTIONAL CURRICULUM

603.1 BASIC INSTRUCTION PROGRAM

The basic instruction program will include the courses required for each grade level by the Iowa Department of Education.  The instructional approach will be nonsexist and multicultural.

 

The basic instruction program of students enrolled in kindergarten is designed to develop healthy emotional and social habits, language arts and communication skills, the capacity to complete individual tasks, character education, and the ability to protect and increase physical well-being with attention given to experiences relating to the development of life skills and human growth and development.

 

The basic instruction program of students enrolled in grades one through six will include English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, traffic safety, music, character education and visual art.

 

The basic instruction program of students enrolled in grades seven and eight will include English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, family and consumer, career, technology education, physical education, music, character education and visual art.

 

The basic instruction program of students enrolled in grades nine through twelve will include character education, English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, physical education, fine arts, foreign language, and vocational education.

 

The board may, in its discretion, offer additional courses in the instruction program for any grade level.

 

Each instruction program is carefully planned for optimal benefit taking into consideration the financial condition of the school district and other factors deemed relevant by the board or superintendent.  Each instruction program's plan should describe the program, its goals, the effective materials, the activities, and the method for student evaluation.  In all instances, the basic instructional program shall meet or exceed the educational requirements established by the Iowa Department of Education and the law.

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

603.2 SUMMER SCHOOL INSTRUCTION

Generally, only driver’s education will be offered during summer school.  However, the board, in its discretion, may offer summer school for one or more courses and student activities for students who need additional help and instruction or for enrichment in those areas.  This decision is within the discretion of the board.

Upon receiving a request for summer school, the board will weigh the benefit to the students and the school district as well as the school district's budget and availability of licensed employees to conduct summer school.

 

 

 

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

603.3 SPECIAL EDUCATION

The board recognizes some students have different educational needs than other students.  The board will provide a free appropriate public education program and related services to students identified in need of special education.  The special education services will be provided from birth until the appropriate education is completed, age twenty-one or to maximum age allowable in accordance with the law.  Students requiring special education will attend general education classes, participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, and receive services in a regular education setting to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of each individual student.  Students requiring special education services shall be placed in the least restrictive environment possible appropriate to the needs of each individual student.  The appropriate education for each student is written in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).

 

Special education students are required to meet the requirements stated in board policy or in their IEPs for graduation.  It is the responsibility of the superintendent and the area education agency director of special education to provide or make provisions for appropriate special education and related services.

 

Children from birth through age two and children age three through age five are provided comprehensive special education services within the public education system.  The school district will work in conjunction with the area education agency to provide services, at the earliest appropriate time, to children with disabilities from birth through age two.  This is done to ensure a smooth transition of children entitled to early childhood special education services.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed May 13, 2002

Revised June 10, 2015

603.4 HEALTH EDUCATION AND HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION

Students in grade levels one through twelve will receive, as part of their health education, instruction about personal health; food and nutrition; environmental health; safety and survival skills; consumer health; family life; human growth and development; substance abuse and non-use, including the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and poisons on the human body; human sexuality; self-esteem; stress management; interpersonal relationships; emotional and social health; health resources; prevention and control of disease; communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted disease and acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and current health issues. The purpose of the health education program is to help each student protect, improve, and maintain physical, emotional, and social well-being.

 

The instruction provided shall be adapted at each grade level to aid understanding by the students.  Parents who object to health education instruction in human growth and development may file a written request that the student be excused from the instruction.  The written request will include a proposed alternate activity or study acceptable to the superintendent.  The superintendent will have the final authority to determine the alternate activity or study.

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

603.4E1 HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDENT EXCUSE FORM

Student Name:                                                     Grade:              

 

Parent/Guardian:                                                Phone #:            

 

Please list the curricular objective(s) from which you wish to have your child excused and the class or grade in which each is taught.  An example is provided for you to follow.

 

                           Objective                                  Class/Grade

 

Ex.            To understand the consequences of     Health Education

                 responsible and irresponsible sexual

                 behavior.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

6.

 

 

 

I have reviewed the Human Growth and Development program goals, objectives, and materials and wish my child to be excused from class when these objectives are taught.  I understand my child will incur no penalty but may be required to complete an alternative assignment that relates to the class and is consistent with assignments required of all students in the class.

 

 

Signed:                                                                Date:               

                 (Parent or Guardian)

 

Signed:                                                                Date:               

                 (School Administrator)

 

603.5 PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Students in grades one through twelve are required to participate in physical education courses unless they are excused by the principal of their attendance center.

 

Students may be excused from physical education courses if the student presents a written statement from a doctor stating that such activities could be injurious to the health of the student or the student has been exempted because of a conflict with the student's religious beliefs, provided such excuse complies with the requirements of federal and state law.  Parents of students request such an exemption should file a written request that shall include the basis for the request (i.e. verified health concerns and/or a religious conflict) and a proposed alternative activity or study acceptable to the superintendent.  The superintendent and/or designee shall have the final authority to determine the alternative activity or study.

 

Students in grades 9-12 may also be excused from physical education courses if:

  • the student is enrolled in academic courses not otherwise available, or
  • the student has obtained a physical education waiver for a semester because the student is actively involved in an athletic program.

 

Twelfth grade students may also be excused from physical education courses if the student is enrolled in a cooperative, work study or other educational program authorized by the school which requires the student's absence from school.  Students who will not participate in physical education must have a written request or statement from their parents.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

 

603.6 CAREER EDUCATION

Preparing students for careers is one goal of the education program.  Career education will be written into the education program for grades pre-kindergarten through twelve.  This education will include, but not be limited to, awareness of self in relation to others and the needs of society, exploration of employment opportunities, experiences in personal decision-making, and experiences of integrating work values and work skills into their lives.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to assist licensed employees in finding ways to provide career education in the education program.  Special attention should be given to courses of vocational education nature.  The board, in its review of the curriculum, will review the means in which career education is combined with other instructional programs.

 

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed   April 14, 200

Revised June 10, 2015

603.7 TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION

The school district is required to keep the practice of religion out of the school curriculum.  The board recognizes the key role religion has played in the history of the world and authorizes the study of religious history and traditions as part of the curriculum.  Preferential or derogatory treatment of a single religion will not take place.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure the study of religion in the schools in keeping with the following guidelines:

 

  • the proposed activity must have a secular purpose;
  • the primary objective of the activity must not be one that advances or inhibits religion; and
  • the activity must not foster excessive governmental entanglement with religion.

 

Students who are allowed to be excluded from a program or activity which violates their religious beliefs shall be required to do an alternate supervised activity or study.  The superintendent shall determine the alternate activity or study for that student.

 

 

 

 

Approved January 11,1999                                      

Reviewed  April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

603.7R1 TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION REGULATION

The historical and contemporary significance of religious holidays may be included in the education program provided that the instruction is presented in an unbiased and objective manner.  The selection of holidays to be studied will take into account major celebrations of several world religions, not just those of a single religion.  Holiday-related activities will be educationally sound and sensitive to religious differences and will be selected carefully to avoid the excessive or unproductive use of school time.  Teachers will be especially careful in planning activities that are to take place immediately preceding or on a religious holiday.

 

Music, art, literature, and drama having religious themes (including traditional carols, seasonal songs, and classical music) will be permitted if presented in an objective manner without sectarian indoctrination.  The emphasis on religious themes is only as extensive as necessary for a balanced and comprehensive study or presentation.  Religious content included in student performances is selected on the basis of its independent educational merit and will seek to give exposure to a variety of religious customs, beliefs, and forms of expression.  Holiday programs, parties or performances will not become religious celebrations or be used as a forum for religious worship, such as the devotional reading of sacred writings or the recitations of prayers.

 

The use of religious symbols (e.g. a cross, menorah, crescent, Star of David, lotus blossom, nativity scene or other symbol that is part of a religious ceremony) are permitted as a teaching aid, but only when such symbols are used temporarily and objectively to give information about a heritage associated with a particular religion.  The Christmas tree, Santa Claus, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, and Halloween decorations are secular, seasonal symbols and as such can be displayed in a seasonal context.

 

Expressions of belief or nonbelief initiated by individual students is permitted in composition, art forms, music, speech, and debate.  However, teachers may not require projects or activities which are indoctrinate or force students to contradict their personal religious beliefs or nonbeliefs.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed   April 14, 2008 

Revised June 10, 2015

603.8 RELIGIOUS-BASED EXCLUSION FROM A SCHOOL PROGRAM

Parents who wish to have their child excluded from a school program because of religious beliefs must inform the superintendent.  The board authorizes the administration to allow the exclusion if it is not disruptive to the education program and it does not infringe on a compelling state or educational interest.  Further, the exclusion must not interfere with other school district operations.

 

In notifying the superintendent, the parents will abide by the following:

  • The notice will be in writing;
  • The objection will be based on religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state which activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state why these activities or studies violate their religious beliefs; and
  • The objection will state a proposed alternate activity or study.

The superintendent will have discretion to make this determination.  The factors the superintendent will consider when a student requests to be excluded from a program or activity because of religious beliefs include, but are not limited to, whether there is staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded; whether there is space to house the student while the student is excluded; the availability of a superintendent-approved alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded; the number of students who wish to be excluded; whether allowing the exclusion places the school in a position of supporting a particular religion; and whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.

 

Students who are allowed to be excluded from a program or activity which violates their religious beliefs are required to do an alternate supervised activity or study.  The superintendent shall determine the alternate activity or study for that student.

 

603.9 ACADEMIC FREEDOM

The board believes students should have an opportunity to reach their own decisions and beliefs about conflicting points of view.  Academic freedom is the opportunity of licensed employees and students to study, investigate, present, interpret, and discuss facts and ideas relevant to the subject matter of the classroom and appropriate to and in good taste with the maturity and intellectual and emotional capacities of the students.

 

It is the responsibility of the teacher to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views or biased positions in the classroom or through teaching methods.  Teachers are not discouraged from expressing personal opinions as long as students are aware it is a personal opinion and students are allowed to reach their own conclusions independently.

 

It is the responsibility of the principal to ensure academic freedom is allowed but not abused in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised  June 10, 2015

603.9R1 TEACHING CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

A "controversial issue" is a topic of significant academic inquiry about which substantial groups of citizens of this community, this state or this nation hold sincere, conflicting points of view.

 

It is the belief of the board that controversial issues should be fairly presented in a spirit of honest academic freedom so that students may recognize the validity of other points of view but can also learn to formulate their own opinions based upon dispassionate, objective, unbiased study, and discussion of the facts related to the controversy.

 

It is the responsibility of the teacher to present full and fair opportunity and means for students to study, consider, and discuss all sides of controversial issues including, but not limited to, political philosophies.

 

It is the responsibility of the teacher to protect the right of the student to study pertinent controversial issues within the limits of good taste and to allow the student to express personal opinions without jeopardizing the student's relationship with the teacher.

 

It is the responsibility of the teacher to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views or selfish propaganda of any kind through any classroom or school device; however, a teacher will not be prohibited from expressing a personal opinion as long as students are encouraged to reach their own decisions independently.

 

The board encourages full discussion of controversial issues in a spirit of academic freedom that shows students that they have the right to disagree with the opinions of others but that they also have the responsibility to base the disagreement on facts and to respect the right of others to hold conflicting opinions.

 

Approved January 11,1999                                      

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

603.10 GLOBAL EDUCATION

Because of our growing interdependence with other nations in the world, global education shall be incorporated into the education program for grades pre-kindergarten through twelve so that students have the opportunity to acquire a perspective on world issues, problems, and perspectives for an awareness of the relationship between an individual's self-interest and the concerns of people elsewhere in the world.  Global education, in the education program, focuses on the lifelong growth and understanding through the study and participation of the world community and the interdependency of its people and systems – social, cultural, racial, economic, linguistic, technological, and ecological.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

 

603.11 CITIZENSHIP

Being a citizen of the United States, of Iowa, and of the school district community entitles students to special privileges and protections as well as requiring the students to assume civic, economic, and social responsibilities and to participate in their country, state, and school district community in a manner that entitles them to keep these rights and privileges.

 

As part of the education program, students will have an opportunity to learn about their rights, privileges, and responsibilities as citizens of this country, state, and school district community.  As part of this learning opportunity students are instructed in the elements of good citizenship and the role quality citizens play in their country, state, and school district community.

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

 

 

604 ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS

604.1 INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION

The board's primary responsibility in the management of the school district is the operation and delivery of the regular education program.  Generally, students attending the school district will receive the regular education program offered by the district.  Only in exceptional circumstances will the board approve students receiving individualized instruction at the expense of the school district.

 

Recommendations from the superintendent for individualized instruction will state the need for the instruction, the objectives and goals sought for the instruction, the employee requirements for the instruction, the implementation procedures for the instruction and the evaluation procedures and processes that will be used to assess the value of the instruction.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

604.2 PROGRAM FOR TALENTED AND GIFTED STUDENTS

The board recognizes some students require programming beyond the regular education program.  The board will identify students with special abilities and provide education programming.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a talented and gifted program which provides for identifying students, for program evaluation, and for training of employees.

 

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

604.3 PROGRAM FOR AT-RISK STUDENTS

The board recognizes some students require additional assistance in order to graduate from the regular education program.  The board will provide a plan to encourage and provide an opportunity for at-risk students to achieve their potential and obtain their high school diploma.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a plan for students at-risk which provides for identifying students, for program evaluation, and for the training of employees.

 

Approved   January 11, 1999                                    

Reviewed  April 14, 2008  

Revised June 10, 2015

604.3R1 PROGRAM FOR AT-RISK STUDENTS REGULATION

It is the school district’s intent to recognize at-risk students and provide assistance for them.  Meeting the needs of students at-risk is a complex task involving collaboration between families, students, the school district, the community, and local governmental resources.  To be effective, approaches to helping at-risk students will involve a wide variety of curricular approaches, staff development, collaboration efforts, and administrative support.

 

Any student identified as at-risk of not meeting the goals of the educational program established by the school district, completing a high school education or becoming a productive worker is considered to be at-risk.  These students include but are not limited to those identified as: dropouts, potential dropouts, drug users, drug abusers, low academic achievers, abused, homeless, youth offenders, and those with sudden negative changes in performance or physical trauma, language barriers, and/or learning disabilities or special needs.

 

The goals of the school district’s at-risk program are:

 

  1. To reduce student failure in school.
  2. To increase the chance for all students to experience a productive life.
  3. To develop a staff awareness of the need for the at-risk program.
  4. To develop a curriculum and adopt instruction to meet the needs of at-risk students.
  5. To provide an early intervention program.
  6. To involve parents, community, and local governmental agencies with the at-risk program.

 

The overall responsibility for the development and monitoring of the program for students at-risk shall lie with the Superintendent.

 

 

 

Approved  June 10, 2015                                                          Reviewed  

604.4 POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPTION PROGRAM

Students in grades nine through twelve may receive academic or vocational-technical credits that count toward the graduation requirements set out by the board for courses successfully completed at post-secondary educational institutions.  The student may receive academic and/or vocational-technical credits through an agreement between the school district and a post-secondary educational institution or with the board's approval on a case-by-case basis.

 

Students in grades nine and ten who the school district has identified as talented and gifted students and any students in grades eleven and twelve are eligible to take post-secondary educational courses.  Students are eligible to take post-secondary educational courses if they meet all of the requirements outlined in this policy and as required by the post-secondary educational institution, and if the student has obtained the approval of the superintendent and/or designee.  Eligible students wishing to participate in the post-secondary educational courses shall apply to the eligible post-secondary educational institution.

 

Students may not enroll in a post-secondary education course if the school district offers a comparable course through its curricular program.  For purposes of this policy, comparable course is determined at the discretion of administration and generally means that the content of a course provided to a high school student for post-secondary credit consists of substantially the same concepts and skills as the content of a course provided by the school district.

 

Students in grades nine and ten who are in the talented and gifted program and all students in grades eleven and twelve who successfully complete courses at post-secondary educational institutions under an agreement between the school district and the post-secondary educational institution or with the board’s approval shall be reimbursed for tuition and other costs directly related to taking any post-secondary education course during the school year up to $250, except as otherwise outlined in this policy.  The school district may, instead of reimbursing the student, directly pay the post-secondary educational institution.

 

Should a student fail any course at a post-secondary educational institution and fail to receive credit for any course at a post-secondary educational institution, the student, if the student is over the age of eighteen, or the parent of a student under the age of eighteen, shall be responsible for the costs of the course. Prior to registering for any course at a post-secondary educational institution, students under age eighteen shall have a parent sign a form indicating that the parent is responsible for the costs of the course should the student fail the course and fail to receive credit for the course.  Students who fail a course and fail to receive credit for a course for reasons beyond their control, including, but not limited to, the student's incapacity, death in the family or a move to another district, in the board’s discretion, may not be responsible for the costs of the course.  Students dissatisfied with the board's decision regarding the re-payment of the costs of the course may appeal to the area education agency for a waiver of reimbursement.

 

Students in grades nine and ten who are not in the talented and gifted program and students in grades eleven and twelve who take courses, other than courses taken under an agreement between the school district and the post-secondary educational institution and/or approved by the board, are responsible for tuition, transportation to and from the location where the course is being offered, and other costs directly related to taking any post-secondary education course.  The students and/or their parents shall not receive reimbursement for tuition, transportation or other expenses.  Students who take courses during the summer months when school is not in session are responsible for tuition, transportation to and from the location where the course is being offered, and other costs directly related to taking any post-secondary education course.

 

Eligible students may take up to seven (7) semester hours of credit at a post-secondary educational institution during the summer months when school is not in session if the student pays for the courses. Upon successful completion of these summer courses, students may receive academic and/or vocational-technical credit toward the graduation requirements set out by the board.

 

Successful completion of any course at a postsecondary educational institution is determined by the post-secondary educational institution.  The Board shall have complete discretion to determine the amount of academic credit to be awarded to the student for the courses taken during the school year and for the courses taken during the summer.

 

The following factors are considered in the board's determination of whether a student will receive academic and/or vocational-technical credit toward the graduation requirements set out by the board for a course at a post-secondary educational institution:

 

  • the course is taken from a public or accredited private post-secondary educational institution;
  • a comparable course is not offered in the school district;
  • the course is in the discipline areas of mathematics, science, social sciences, humanities, vocational-technical education or a course offered in the community college career options program;
  • the course is a credit-bearing course that leads to a degree;
  • the course is not religious or sectarian; and
  • the course meets any other requirements set out by the board.

 

All courses approved and paid for by the school district, and those courses approved by the school district and paid for by the student/family will:

 

  • Be recorded on the official student transcript, including the letter grade granted by the post-secondary educational institution or the pass-fail indication granted by the post-secondary educational institution.
  • Be included in figuring class rank, including valedictorian and salutatorian status, and the student’s grade point average.
  • Be given graduation credit, as determined by the board.  Typically, a three (3) or four (4) semester hour post-secondary course will be awarded one (1) graduation credit.

The superintendent is responsible for annually notifying students and parents of the opportunity to take courses at post-secondary educational institutions in accordance with this policy. The superintendent will also be responsible for developing the appropriate forms and procedures for implementing this policy.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

604.4R1 POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPTION PROGRAM REGULATIONS

General Information

 

Students in grades nine and ten who the school district has identified as talented and gifted students and any students in grades eleven and twelve are eligible to take post-secondary educational courses.  Students are eligible to take post-secondary educational courses if they meet all of the requirements outlined in the board’s policy on instruction at post-secondary educational institutions and as required by the post-secondary educational institution, and if the student has obtained the approval of the superintendent. 

 

The school district has available a packet of materials concerning a student’s enrollment in post-secondary educational courses.  The packet can be picked up from either the High School Principal or the Guidance Counselor.  The following information is included in the packet:

  1. A copy of the relevant Iowa law concerning enrollment in post-secondary educational courses.
  2. A copy of the Sigourney Community School District Board Policy concerning enrollment in post-secondary educational courses.
  3. Information concerning the post-secondary educational institutions with which the district currently has a post-secondary enrollment agreement.
  4. Application Form.
  5. Notice of Student Registration Form. and
  6. Parent/Student Postsecondary Enrollment Agreement Form.

Guidelines

 

The following is a simplified guideline to assist parents and students in utilizing the postsecondary enrollment option.  The entirety of the Iowa law regarding the postsecondary enrollment option and the board’s policy regarding the postsecondary enrollment option still controls all situations involving postsecondary enrollment option.

 

  1. You must notify the school district of your intent to enroll in a postsecondary enrollment course at registration time.  You may do this by indicating your intent to enroll in these courses on the registration forms distributed in February each year.
  2.  You must first complete the school district’s Application Form, including obtaining the required signatures, and return it to the guidance office.
  3. All requests for post-secondary enrollment must be approved by the superintendent and/or building principal PRIOR to enrollment.
  4. Upon receiving approval on the school district’s Application Form, you should fill out the Notice of Student Registration Form.
  5.  To be eligible for post-secondary enrollment, a course must;
    1. Be non-sectarian;
    2. Not be comparable to courses offered at the school district (comparable courses are is determined at the discretion of administration and generally means that the content of a course provided to a high school student for post-secondary credit consists of substantially the same concepts and skills as the content of a course provided by the school district);
    3. Be credit-bearing course that leads to an educational degree;
    4. Be in the disciplines of mathematics, science, social sciences, humanities and vocational-technical education; and
    5. Not disrupt the normal student schedule at the high school, which shall mean not missing all or part of a scheduled class, including physical education or causing the need for an independent study course or any other special arrangements, etc.
  6. If a course is approved, the school district will pay a maximum of $250 per course and you will not pay for tuition unless you fail to successfully complete the course, as outlined in board policy.  If a course is not approved, it may be possible for you to take the course at your own expense.  These situations will be handled on a case by case basis.
  7. If a student fails any course at a post-secondary educational institution and fails to receive credit for any course at a post-secondary educational institution, the school district is not required to pay for and/or reimburse the student/family for any costs associated with the post-secondary educational course, except as outlined in the school district’s policy regarding the post-secondary enrollment option.  If the student fails any course at a post-secondary educational institution and fails to receive credit for any course at a post-secondary educational institution, the student/family may be required to reimburse the school district for any costs associated with the post-secondary educational course.
  8. A student may take a course in the summer, but the school district is not required to pay for and/or reimburse the student/family for any costs associated with the post-secondary educational course.
  9. Transportation costs for attending a post-secondary educational course are the sole responsibility of the student/family.
  10. All courses approved and paid for by the school district, and those courses approved by the school district and paid for by the student/family will:
    1. Be recorded on the official student transcript, including the letter grade granted by the post-secondary educational institution or the pass-fail indication granted by the post-secondary educational institution.
    2. Be included in figuring class rank, including valedictorian and salutatorian status, and grade point average.
    3. Be given graduation credit, as determined by the board.  Typically, a three (3) or four (4) semester hour postsecondary course will be awarded one (1) graduation credit.

If you have any questions, contact the guidance or principal’s office.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

604.4E1 POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPTION STUDENT/PARENT AGREEMENT FORM

I, __________________________, am a student at Sigourney High School who is participating in the school district’s post-secondary enrollment option.  I state that I am aware of and have read the school district’s policy on post-secondary enrollment instruction.  I further state that I meet all of the requirements outlined in the school district’s policy on post-secondary enrollment.

 

I, __________________________, am the parent/guardian of _____________________, a student at Sigourney High School who is participating in the school district’s post-secondary enrollment option.  I state that I am aware of and have read the school district’s policy on post-secondary enrollment instruction.  I further state that I meet all of the requirements outlined in the school district’s policy on post-secondary enrollment.

 

By signing below, you state that you are aware of and in agreement with the board’s policy that, if you fail a course taken through concurrent enrollment (at the high school), at any institution with which the Sigourney Community School District has entered into an agreement and/or for which prior approval has been granted by the school district, that prior to graduation you and/or your family will be responsible for repayment to the school district for the cost of that course according to the bill from the post-secondary institution.

 

For _____________ school year, I am agreeing to participate in the following post-secondary educational courses:

 

Course___________________________________

 

Course___________________________________

 

Course___________________________________

 

 

_____________________________     ____________________________

Student Signature & Date           Parent Signature & Date

 

Please return this to guidance counselor as soon as possible.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

 

 

604.5 VIRTUAL/ON-LINE COURSES

The board recognizes that on-line coursework may be a good alternative for students to not only meet graduation requirements but, also have the opportunity to take advanced or other courses not offered by the school district.

 

High school students may earn credits to be applied toward graduation requirements by completing on-line courses offered through agencies approved by the board, such as  Iowa Learning Online.  Credit from an on-line or virtual course may be earned only in the following circumstances:

 

  • The course is not offered at the high school;
  • Although the course is offered at the high school, the student will not be able to take it due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict that would keep the student from meeting graduation requirements;
  • The course will serve as a supplement to extend homebound instruction;
  • The student has been expelled from the regular school setting, but educational services are to be continued; or
  • The principal, with agreement from the student’s teachers and parents, determines the student requires a differentiated or accelerated learning environment.

 

Students applying for permission to take a virtual course shall complete prerequisites and provide teacher/counselor recommendations to confirm the student possesses the maturity level needed to function effectively in an on-line learning environment.  In addition, the express approval of the principal shall be obtained before a student enrolls in an on-line course.  The school district must receive an official record of the final grade before credit toward graduation will be recognized.

 

Provided courses are part of the student’s regular school day coursework and within budgetary parameters, the costs for a virtual course, such as textbooks or school supplies, shall be borne by the school district, for students enrolled full-time.

 

Approved April 14, 2008

 

Reviewed June 10, 2015

 

604.6 COMMUNITY AND ADULT EDUCATION

The board recognizes that learning is a life-long process and supports the concept of community and adult education. 

 

The physical facilities of the school district shall be made available for use with any adult or community education programs when there is no conflict with regular school activities.  The facilities may be used day or night, including weekends, and during school vacation for such purposes.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

605 INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

605.1 INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS SELECTION

The board recognizes that the selection of instructional materials is a vital component of the school district's curriculum.

 

The board has sole discretion to approve instructional materials for the school district.  The board delegates its authority to determine which instructional materials will be utilized and purchased by the school district, other than textbooks, to licensed employees.  The licensed employees will work closely together to ensure vertical and horizontal articulation of textbooks in the education program.

 

The board may appoint an ad hoc committee to make recommendations to the school district’s licensed employees and administration concerning the selection of instructional materials.  The committee may be composed of school district employees, parents, students, community members or representatives of community groups.

 

In reviewing current instructional materials for continued use and in selecting additional instructional materials, the licensed employees will consider the current and future needs of the school district as well as the changes and the trends in education and society.  Additionally, licensed employees are to select instructional materials and textbooks that are free from discrimination, regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, marital/parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status or familial status.  It is the responsibility of the superintendent to report to the board the action taken by the selection committee.

 

In making its recommendations to the superintendent, the licensed employees will select materials which:

  • support the educational philosophy, goals and objectives of the school district;
  • consider the needs, age, and maturity of students;
  • are within the school district's budget;
  • foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and difference of opinion;
  • stimulate growth in factual knowledge and literary appreciation;
  • encourage students to become decision-makers, to exercise freedom of thought, and to make independent judgment through the examination and evaluation of relevant information, evidence, and differing viewpoints;
  • portray the variety of careers, roles, and lifestyles open to persons of both sexes; and,
  • increase an awareness of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each member of a multicultural society.

 

In the case of textbooks, the board will make the final decision after receiving a recommendation from the superintendent.  The criteria stated above for selection of other instructional materials will apply to the selection of textbooks.  The superintendent may appoint licensed employees to assist in the selection of textbooks.

605.1R1 SELECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

 

I.      Responsibility for Selection of Instructional Materials

 

  1.  The board is responsible for matters relating to the operation of the Sigourney Community School District.
  2. The responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained and licensed employees of the school system.  For the purpose of this rule the term "instructional materials" includes printed and multimedia materials (not equipment), whether considered text materials or media center materials.  The board retains the final authority for the approval of textbooks.
  3. While selection of materials may involve many people including principals, teachers, students, parents, community members, and media specialists, the responsibility for coordinating the selection of most instructional materials and making the recommendation for the purchase rests with licensed employees.  For the purpose of this rule the term "media specialist" includes librarians, school media specialists or other appropriately licensed persons responsible for the selection of media equipment and materials.
  4. Responsibility for coordinating the selection of text materials for distribution to classes will rest with the licensed employees, principal, and superintendent.  For the purpose of this rule the term ”text materials” includes textbooks (subject to final board approval) and other printed and non-printed material provided in multiple copies for use of a total class or major segment of a class.
  5. If the board appoints an ad hoc committee to make recommendations on the selection of instructional materials, the ad hoc committee shall be formed and appointed in compliance with the board policy.
    1. The superintendent will inform the committee as to their role and responsibility in the process.
    2. The following statement shall be given to the ad hoc committee members:
      •  Bear in mind the principles of the freedom to learn and to read and base your decision on these broad principles rather than on defense of individual materials.  Freedom of inquiry is vital to education in a democracy.
      • Study thoroughly all materials referred to you and read available reviews.  The general acceptance of the materials should be checked by consulting standard evaluation aids and local holdings in other schools.
      • Passages or parts should not be pulled out of context.  The values and faults should be weighed against each other and the opinions based on the material as a whole.

 

II.     Material selected for use in libraries and classrooms will meet the following guidelines:

  1. Religion - Material will represent the major religions in a factual, unbiased manner.  The primary source material of the major religions shall be considered appropriate, but material which advocates rather than informs or is designed to sway reader judgment regarding religion, will not be included in the school libraries or classrooms.
  2. Racism - Material will present a diversity of race, custom, culture, and belief as a positive aspect of the nation's heritage and give candid treatment to unresolved intercultural problems, including those which involve prejudice, discrimination, and the undesirable consequences of withholding rights, freedom or respect of an individual.
  3. Sexism - Material will reflect sensitivity to the needs, rights, traits, and aspirations of men and women without preference or bias.
  4. Age - Material will recognize the diverse contributions of various age groups and portray the continuing contributions of maturing members of society.
  5. Ideology - Material will  present basic primary and factual information on an ideology or philosophy of government which exerts or has exerted a strong force, either favorably or unfavorably, over civilization or society, past or present.  This material will not be selected with the intention to sway reader judgment and is related to the maturity level of the intended audience.
  6. Profanity and Sex - Material is subjected to a test of literary merit and reality by the media specialists and licensed staff who will take in consideration their reading of public and community standards of  morality.
  7. Controversial issues materials will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.

 

        The selection decision should be made on the basis of whether the material presents an accurate representation of society and culture, whether the circumstances depicted are realistically portrayed or whether the material has literary or social value when the material is viewed as a whole.

 

        These guidelines will not be construed in such a manner as to preclude materials which accurately represent the customs, morals, manners, culture or society of a different time or a different place.

 

III.    Procedure for Selection

 

        A.       Material purchased for libraries and classrooms is recommended for purchase by licensed employees, in consultation with administrative staff, school library staff, students and/or an ad hoc committee as appointed by the board.  The material, other than textbooks, recommended for purchase is approved by the appropriate building administrator.

 

                 1.       The materials selected will support stated objectives and goals of the school district.  Specifically, the goals are:

 

                           a.     To acquire materials and provide service consistent with the demands of the curriculum;

                           b.     To develop students' skills and resourcefulness in the use of libraries and learning resources;

                           c.     To effectively guide and counsel students in the selection and use of materials and libraries;

                           d.     To foster in students a wide range of significant interests;

                           e.     To provide opportunities for aesthetic experiences and development of an appreciation of the fine arts;

                           f.      To provide materials to motivate students to examine their own attitudes and behaviors and to comprehend their own duties and responsibilities as citizens in a pluralistic democracy;

                           g.     To encourage life-long education through the use of the library; and,

                           h.     To work cooperatively and constructively with the instructional and administrative staff in the school.

                 2.       Materials selected are consistent with stated principles of selection.  These principles are:

 

                           a.       To select material, within established standards, which will meet the goals and objectives of the school district;

                           b.       To consider the educational characteristics of the community in the selection of materials within a given category;

                           c.       To present the sexual, racial, religious, and ethnic groups in the community by:

                                    1.   Portraying people, both men and women, adults and children, whatever their ethnic, religious or social class identity, as human and recognizable, displaying a familiar range of emotions, both negative and positive.

                                    2.   Placing no constraints on individual aspirations and opportunity.

                                    3.   Giving comprehensive, accurate, and balanced representation to minority groups and women - in art and science, history and literature, and in all other fields of life and culture.

                                    4.   Providing abundant recognition of minority groups and women by showing them frequently in positions of leadership and authority.

                           d.       To intelligently, quickly, and effectively anticipate and meet needs through awareness of subjects of local, national and international interest and significance; and,

                           e.       To strive for impartiality in the selection process.

                 3.       The materials selected will meet stated selection criteria.  These criteria are:

                           a.       Authority-Author's qualifications - education, experience, and previously published works;

                           b.       Reliability:

                                   1.Accuracy-meaningful organization and emphasis on content, meets the material's goals and objectives, and presents authoritative and realistic factual material.

                                   2.Current-presentation of content which is consistent with the findings of recent and authoritative research.

 

                           c.     Treatment of subject-shows an objective reflection for the multi-ethnic character and cultural diversity of society.

                           d.     Language:

                                   1.     Vocabulary:

                                          a.     Does not indicate bias by the use of words which may result in negative value judgments about groups of people;

                                          b.   Does not use "man" or similar limiting word usage in generalization or ambiguities which may cause women to feel excluded or dehumanized.

                                    2.   Compatible to the reading level of the student for whom it is intended.

                           e.       Format:

                                    1.   Book

                                          a.   Adequate and accurate index;

                                          b.   Paper of good quality and color;

                                          c.   Print adequate and well spaced;

                                          d.   Adequate margins;

                                          e.   Firmly bound; and,

                                          f.    Cost.

                                    2.   Nonbook

                                          a.   Flexibility, adaptability;

                                          b.   Curricular orientation of significant interest to students;

                                          c.   Appropriate for audience;

                                          d.   Accurate authoritative presentation;

                                          e.   Good production qualities (fidelity, aesthetically adequate);

                                          f.    Durability; and,

                                          g.   Cost.

                                    3.   Illustrations of book and non-book materials should:

                                          a.   Depict instances of fully integrated grouping and settings to indicate equal status and non-segregated social relationships.

                                          b.   Make clearly apparent the identity of minorities;

                                          c.   Contain pertinent and effective illustrations;

 

4.   Flexible to enable the teacher to use parts at a time and not follow a comprehensive instructional program on a rigid frame of reference.

 

                           f.        Special Features:

 

                                    1.     Bibliographies.

                                    2.     Glossary.

                                    3.     Current charts, maps, etc.

                                    4.     Visual aids.

                                    5.     Index.

                                    6.     Special activities to stimulate and challenge students.

                                    7.     Provide a variety of learning skills.

 

                           g.       Potential use:

 

                                     1.    Will it meet the requirement of reference work?

                                     2.    Will it help students with personal problems and adjustments?

                                     3.    Will it serve as a source of information for teachers and media specialists?

                                     4.    Does it offer an understanding of cultures other than the student's own and is it free of racial, religious, age, disability, ethnic, and sexual stereotypes?

                                     5.    Will it expand students' sphere of understanding and help them to understand the ideas and beliefs of others?

                                     6.    Will it help students and teachers keep abreast of and understand current events?

                                     7.    Will it foster and develop hobbies and special interests?

                                     8.    Will it help develop aesthetic tastes and appreciation?

                                     9.    Will it serve the needs of students with special problems?

                                    10.   Does it inspire learning?

                                    11.   Is it relevant to the subject?

                                    12.   Will it stimulate a student's interest?

                 4.       Gifts of library or instructional materials may be accepted if the gift meets existing criteria for library and instructional materials.  The acceptance and placement of such gifts is within the discretion of the board.

                 5.       In order to provide a current, highly usable collection of materials, media specialists will ensure constant and continuing renewal of the collection, not only the addition of up-to-date materials, but by the judicious elimination of materials which no longer meet school district needs or find use.  The process of reviewing and eliminating instructional materials will be done according to established and accepted standards for determining the relevance and value of materials in a given context.

605.2 INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS INSPECTION

Parents and other members of the school district community may view the instructional materials used by the students.  All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis or evaluation as part of any federally funded programs must be available for inspection by parents.

 

The instructional materials must be viewed on school district premises.  Copies may be obtained according to board policy.

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

 

605.3 OBJECTION TO INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

Members of the school district community may object to the instructional materials utilized in the school district and ask for their use to be reconsidered.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed April 14, 2008 

Revised June 10, 2015

 

605.3R1 RECONSIDERATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS REGULATION

A.     A resident of the school district may raise an objection to instructional materials used in the school district’s education program despite the fact that the individuals selecting such material were duly qualified to make the selection and followed the proper procedure and observed the criteria for selecting such material.

  1. The school official or employee receiving a complaint regarding instructional materials will try to resolve the issue informally. The materials generally will remain in use pending the outcome of the reconsideration procedure.
    1. The school official or employee initially receiving a complaint will explain to the individual the board's selection procedure, criteria to be met by the instructional materials, and qualifications of those persons selecting the material.
    2. The school official or employee initially receiving a complaint will explain to the individual the role of the objected material in the education program, its intended educational purpose, and additional information regarding its use. In the alternative, the employee may refer the individual to the media specialist who can identify and explain the use of the material.
  2. The employee receiving the initial complaint will advise the building principal of the initial contact no later than the end of the school day following the discussion with the individual, whether or not the individual has been satisfied by the initial contact.  A written record of the contact is maintained by the principal in charge of the attendance center. Each building principal shall inform employees of their obligation to report complaints.
  3.  In the event the individual making an objection to instructional materials is not satisfied with the initial explanation, the individual is referred to the principal or to the media specialist of the attendance center. If, after consultation with the principal or media specialist, the individual desires to file a formal complaint, the principal or media specialist will assist in filling out a Reconsideration Request Form in full and filing it with the superintendent.

B.    Request for Reconsideration

        1.       A resident of the school district may formally challenge instructional materials on the basis of appropriateness used in the school district’s education program. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the school district and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

        2.       Each attendance center and the school district’s administrative office will keep on hand and make available Reconsideration Request Forms. Formal objections to instructional materials must be made on this form.

        3.       The individual will state the specific reason the instructional material is being challenged. The Reconsideration Request Form is signed by the individual and filed with the superintendent.

        4.       The superintendent will promptly file the objection with the reconsideration committee for reevaluation.

        5.       Generally, access to challenged instructional material will not be restricted during the reconsideration process. However, in unusual circumstances, the instructional material may be removed temporarily by following the provisions of Section B.6.d. of this rule.

        6.       The Reconsideration Committee

                 a.       The reconsideration committee is made up of eight members.

                           (1)    One licensed employee designated annually, as needed, by the superintendent.

                           (2)    One media specialist designated annually by the Superintendent.

                           (3)    One member of the administrative team designated annually by the superintendent.

                           (4)    Three members of the community appointed annually, as needed, by the board.

                           (5)    Two high school students, selected annually by the high school principal.

                 b.       The committee will select their chairperson and secretary.

                 c.       The committee will meet at the request of the superintendent.

                 d.       Special meetings may be called by the superintendent to consider temporary removal of materials in unusual circumstances. A recommendation for temporary removal will require a two-thirds vote of the committee.

                 e.       Notice of committee meetings is made public through appropriate publications and other communications methods.

                 f.        The committee will receive the completed Reconsideration Request Form from the superintendent.

                 g.       The committee will determine its agenda for the first meeting that may include the following:

                           (1)    Distribution of copies of the completed Reconsideration Request Form.

                           (2)    An opportunity for the individual or a group spokesperson to talk about or expand on the Reconsideration Request Form.

                           (3)    Distribution of reputable, professionally prepared reviews of the challenged instructional material if available.

                           (4)    Distribution of copies of the challenged instructional material as available.

                 h.       The committee may review the selection process for the challenged instructional material and may, to its satisfaction, determine that the challenge is without merit and dismiss the challenge. The committee will notify the individual and the superintendent of its action.

                 i.        At a subsequent meeting, if held, interested persons, including the individual filing the challenge, may have the opportunity to share their views. The committee may request that individuals with special knowledge be present to give information to the committee.

                 j.        The individual filing the challenge is kept informed by the reconsideration committee secretary on the status of the Reconsideration Request Form throughout the reconsideration process. The individual filing the challenge and known interested parties will be given appropriate notice of meetings.

                 k.       At the second or a subsequent meeting the committee will make its decision. The committee's final decision may be to take no removal action, to remove the challenged material from the school environment or to limit the educational use of the challenged material. The sole criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use. The written decision and its justification are forwarded to the superintendent for appropriate action, the individual, and the appropriate attendance centers.  Following the superintendent’s decision with respect to the committee’s decision, the individual or chairperson of the reconsideration committee may appeal the decision to the board for review. Such appeal must be presented to the superintendent in writing within five (5) days following the announcement of the superintendent's decision. The board will promptly determine whether to hear the appeal.

                 l.        A recommendation to sustain a challenge will not be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility on the part of the individuals involved in the original selection or use of the material.

                 m.      Requests to reconsider materials which have previously been reconsidered by the committee must receive approval of two-thirds of the committee members before the materials will again be reconsidered.

                 n.       If necessary or appropriate in the judgment of the committee, the committee may appoint a subcommittee of members or nonmembers to consolidate challenges and to make recommendations to the full committee. The composition of this subcommittee will approximate the representation of the full committee.

                 o.       Committee members directly associated with the selection, use or challenger of the challenged material are excused from the committee during the deliberation of the challenged instructional materials. The superintendent may appoint a temporary replacement for the excused committee member, but the replacement must be of the same general qualifications as the member excused.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

605.3E1 INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RECONSIDERATION COMMITTEE

The policy of this school district related to selection of learning materials states that any resident of the school district may formally challenge instructional materials used in the school district's education program.  This policy allows those persons in the school district and the community who are not directly involved in the selection of materials to make their own opinions known.  The task of the reconsideration committee is to provide an open forum for discussion of challenged materials and to make an informed decision on the challenge.

 

The most critical component of the reconsideration process is the establishment and maintenance of the committee's credibility in the community.  For this purpose, the committee is composed of community members.  The community should not, therefore, infer that the committee is biased or is obligated to uphold prior professional decisions.  For this same reason, a community member will be selected to chair the committee.

 

The reconsideration process, the task of this committee, is just one part of the selection continuum.  Material is purchased to meet a need.  It is reviewed and examined, if possible, prior to purchase.  It is periodically reevaluated through updating, discarding or re-examination.  The committee must be ready to acknowledge that an error in selection may have been made despite this process.  Media specialists and school employees regularly read great numbers of reviews in the selection process and occasional errors are possible.

 

In reconsidering challenged materials, the role of the committee, and particularly the chairperson, is to produce a climate for disagreement.  The committee should begin by finding items of agreement, keeping in mind that the larger the group participating, the greater the amount of information available and, therefore, the greater the number of possible approaches to the problem.

 

If the complainant chooses, the complainant may make an oral presentation to the committee to expand and elaborate on the complaint.  The committee will listen to the complainant, to those with special knowledge, and any other interested persons.  In these discussions, the committee should be aware of relevant social pressures which are affecting the situation.  Individuals who may try to dominate or impose a decision must not be allowed to do so.  Minority viewpoints expressed by groups or individuals must be heard, and observers must be made to feel welcome.  It is important that the committee create a calm, non-volatile environment in which to deal with a potentially volatile situation.  To this end, the complainant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the complaint.

 

The committee will listen to the views of all interested persons before making recommendations. In deliberating its recommendation, the committee should remember that the school system must be responsive to the needs, tastes, and opinions of the community it serves.  Therefore, the committee must distinguish between broad community sentiment and attempts to impose personal standards.  The deliberations should concentrate on the appropriateness of the material.  The question to be answered by the committee is, "Is the material appropriate for its designated audience at this time?"

 

The committee will make one of the following final recommendations: (1) to remove the challenged material from the total school environment, (2) to take no removal action or (3) to agree on a limitation of the educational use of the materials.

 

The committee chairperson will instruct the secretary to convey the committee's recommendation to the office of the superintendent.  The recommendation should detail the rationale on which it was based.  A letter will be sent to the complainant outlining the committee's final decision.

603.E2 RECONSIDERATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

RECONSIDERATION REQUEST FORM

 

Request for re-evaluation of printed or audiovisual material to be submitted to the superintendent.

 

REVIEW INITIATED BY:                                        DATE:              

 

Name                                                                           

 

Address                                                                        

 

City/State                                                           Zip Code           

Telephone           

 

School(s) in which item is used                                                

 

Relationship to school (parent, student, citizen, etc.)                        

 

BOOK OR OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL IF APPLICABLE:

 

Author                                                      Hardcover      Paperback      Other    

 

Title                                                                          

 

Publisher (if known)                                                           

 

Date of Publication                         

 

MULTIMEDIA MATERIAL IF APPLICABLE:

 

Title                                                                          

 

Producer (if known)                                                            

 

Type of material (filmstrip, motion picture, etc.)                             

 

PERSON MAKING THE REQUEST REPRESENTS: (circle one)

 

        Self                       Group or Organization

 

        Name of group                                                              

 

        Address of Group                                                           

 

 

1.     What brought this item to your attention?

 

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                   

 

 

2.     To what in the item do you object?  (please be specific - cite pages, frames, etc.)

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                   

 

 

3.     In your opinion, what harmful effects upon students might result from use of this item?

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                   

 

 

4.     Do you perceive any instructional value in the use of this item?

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                   

 

 

5.     Did you review the entire item?  If not, what sections did you review?

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                   

 

 

6.     Should the opinion of any additional experts in the field be considered?

 

                       yes              no

 

        If yes, please list specific suggestions:                                  

 

                                                                                   

 

 

7.     To replace this item, do you recommend other material which you consider to be of equal or superior quality for the purpose intended?

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

8.     Do you wish to make an oral presentation to the Review Committee?

 

              Yes        (a) Please call the office of the Superintendent

 

 

                           (b)      Please be prepared at this time to indicate the approximate length of time your presentation will require.

                                                                                             minutes.

 

              No

 

The committee will review your request and notify you if your request is granted; however, there is no guarantee that each and every request will be granted, either in terms of appearing before the committee or in receiving the amount of time requested.

 

 

                                                                                                                   

        Dated                                                          Signature

 

605.4 TECHNOLOGY AND INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

The board supports the use of innovative methods and the use of technology in the delivery of the education program.  The board encourages employees to investigate economic ways to utilize multimedia, computers, and other technologies as a part of the curriculum.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a plan for the use of technology in the curriculum and to evaluate it annually.  The superintendent will report the results of the evaluation and make a recommendation to the board annually regarding the use of technology in the curriculum.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed  April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

605.5 MEDIA CENTERS

The school district will maintain a media center in each building for use by employees and by students during the school day.  Materials for the centers will be acquired according to board policy, "Instructional Materials Selection."  It is the responsibility of the principal of the building in which the media center is located to oversee the use of materials in the media center.  It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop procedures for the selection and replacement of both library and instructional materials, for the acceptance of gifts, for the review of library and instructional materials, for the removal of obsolete materials, and for the handling of challenges to either library or classroom materials.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed   April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

605.6 APPROPRIATE USE OF DISTRICT TECHNOLOGY, NETWORK SYSTEMS, AND INTERNET ACCESS

The Board of Directors of the Sigourney Community School District is committed to making available to students and staff members access to a wide range of electronic learning facilities, technology (including, but not limited to, computers, tablets, and hand held devices), equipment, software, network systems, and internet access.  The goal in providing this technology and access is to support the educational objectives and mission of the Sigourney Community School District and to promote resource sharing, innovation, problem solving, and communication.  The school district’s technology, network, and/or internet access is not a public access service or a public forum.  The school district has the right to place reasonable restrictions on the material accessed and/or posted through the use of its technology, network, and/or internet access, including the use of personal technology brought into the school district by students and staff and the ability of students and staff to access the school district’s network systems and internet access using personal technology.

 

The school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access shall be available to all students and staff within the school district.  However, access is a privilege, not a right.  Each student and staff member must have a signed acceptable use agreement on file prior to having access to and using the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access.  The amount of time and type of access available for each student and staff member may be limited by the school district’s technology and the demands for the use of the school district’s technology.  Even if students have not been given access to and/or use of the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access, they may still be exposed to information from the school district’s technology, network systems, and/or internet access in guided curricular activities at the discretion of their teachers.

 

Every item of technology in the school district having internet access shall not be operated unless internet access from the technology is subject to a technology protection measure (i.e. filtering software).  The technology protection measure employed by the school district shall be designed and operated with the intent to ensure that students are not accessing inappropriate sites that have visual depictions that include obscenity, child pornography or are otherwise harmful to minors.  The technology protection measure may only be disabled for an adult’s use if such use is for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

 

The use of the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access shall be for educational purposes only.  Students and staff members shall only engage in appropriate, ethical, and legal utilization of the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access.  Student and staff member use of the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access shall also comply with all school district policies and regulations.  Inappropriate use and/or access will result in the restriction and/or termination of this privilege and may result in further discipline for students up to and including expulsion and/or other legal action and may result in further discipline for staff members up to and including termination of employment and/or other legal action.  The school district’s administration will determine what constitutes inappropriate use and their decision will be final.  The technology coordinator may close a user account at any time as required and administrators, faculty, and staff may request the technology coordinator to deny, revoke or suspend user accounts.  Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with computer systems may be denied access to the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access.  Students and staff members will be instructed by the school district’s technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel on the appropriate use of the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access.

 

The following are rules for appropriate use by the school district’s students and staff of the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access:

 

-Do not make or disseminate offensive or harassing statements or use offensive or harassing language including disparagement of others based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious or political beliefs.  Do not swear, use vulgarities or any other inappropriate language.  Be polite and follow the same privacy, ethical, educational, and other considerations observed regarding other forms of communication.

 

-Do not access, create or disseminate any material that is obscene, libelous, indecent, vulgar, profane or lewd; any material regarding products or services that are inappropriate for minors including products or services that the possession and/or use of by minors is prohibited by law; any material that constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses others; and/or any material that presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution, will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, will cause the commission of unlawful acts or will cause the violation of lawful school regulations.

 

-Do not disseminate or solicit sexually oriented messages or images.

 

-Do not transmit your credit card information or other personal identification information, including your home address or telephone number from any school district technology.  Do not publish personal or private information about yourself or others on the internet without prior written permission.  Do not repost a message that was sent to you privately without permission of the person who sent the message.  If any information is to be provided regarding students, it should be limited to the student’s first name and the initial of the student’s last name only.  Do not arrange or agree to meet with someone met online.

 

-Do not use the school district’s technology and/or network systems to participate in illegal activities.  Illegal activities include, but are not limited to, gambling, fraud, and pornography.

 

-Do not subscribe to or access listserves, bulletin boards, online services, e-mail services, social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) or other similar services without prior permission from the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel.

 

-Do not use, possess or attempt to make or distribute illegal/unauthorized copies of software or other digital media.  Illegal/unauthorized software or other digital media means any software or other digital media that has been downloaded or copied or is otherwise in the user’s possession or being used without

the appropriate registration and/or license for the software or in violation of any applicable trademarks and/or copyrights, including the payment of any fees to the owner of the software or other digital media.

 

-Do not alter, modify, corrupt or harm in any way the computer software stored on the school district’s technology or network systems.  Do not install any software on school district technology or on the school district’s network systems or run any personal software from either floppy disk, CD-ROM, DVD, flash drives or other storage media or alter or modify any data files stored on the school district’s technology or network systems without prior permission and supervision from the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel.

 

-Do not download any programs or files from the internet without prior permission from the school district’s technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel.  Any programs or files downloaded from the internet shall be strictly limited only to those that you have received permission from the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel to download.

 

-Do not use any encryption software from any access point within the school district.

 

-Do not access the internet from school district technology using a non-school district internet account.

 

-Do not share a personal user account with anyone.  Do not share any personal user account passwords with anyone or leave your account open or unattended.

 

-Do not access the school district’s technology or network systems or use the school district’s internet connection from non-school district technology without prior authorization from the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel.

 

-Do not use an instant messenger service or program, internet relay chat or other forms of direct electronic communication or enter a chat room while using the school district’s technology, network systems, and/or the school district’ internet access.

 

-Do not disable or circumvent or attempt to disable or circumvent filtering software.

 

-Do not play any games or run any programs that are not related to the school district’s educational program.

 

-Do not vandalize the school district’s technology or its network systems.  Vandalism is defined as any attempt to harm, modify, deface or destroy physical technology or the network and any attempt to harm or destroy data stored on the school district’s technology or the network or the data of another user.  All users are expected to immediately report any problems or vandalism of technology to the administration, the technology coordinator or the instructor responsible for the equipment.

 

-Do not commit or attempt to commit any act that disrupts the operation of the school district’s technology or network systems or any network connected to the internet, including the use or attempted use or possession of computer viruses or worms or participation in hacking or other unlawful/inappropriate activities on line.  Users must report any security breaches or system misuse to the administration or technology coordinator.  Do not demonstrate any security or other network problems to other users; give your password to another user for any reason; and/or use another individual's account.  Do not attempt to log on to any device as a system administrator.

 

-Do not use the network in such a way that you would disrupt the use of the network by other users or would waste system resources (e.g. listening to internet radio, printing web pages without prior permission from the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel, staying on the network longer than is necessary to obtain needed information).

 

-Do not use the school district’s technology and/or network systems for any commercial or for-profit purposes, personal or private business, (including but not limited to shopping or job searching), product advertisement or political lobbying.

 

-Do not use the school district’s technology, network systems, and/or the internet to access, download, transmit, and/or disseminate any material in violation of any federal or state law, copyrighted material, obscene material, hate literature, material protected by trade secret, computer viruses and/or worms, offensive material, spam e-mails, any threatening or harassing materials, and/or any material that will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities.  If a user encounters potentially inappropriate information, the user shall immediately terminate contact with such information and notify the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel of the contact with inappropriate information.

 

-Do not plagiarize information accessed through the school district’s technology, network systems, and/or the internet.  Students and staff shall obtain permission from appropriate parties prior to using copyrighted material that is accessed through the school district’s technology, network systems, and/or the internet.

 

Although reasonable efforts will be made to make sure students will be under supervision while on the network, it is not possible to constantly monitor individual students and what they are accessing on the network.  Some students may encounter information that may not be of educational value and/or may be inappropriate.  If a student encounters such information, the student should terminate access to the information immediately and notify supervisory personnel or other appropriate personnel of what occurred.

 

Students will be able to access the school district’s technology and network systems, including use of the internet, through their teachers and/or other appropriate supervisors.  Individual electronic mail addresses will not be issued to students.  Students will not be allowed to use e-mail except under very specific, limited educational circumstances.  If a student has an electronic mail address that has been set up outside of school, the student will not be permitted to access that e-mail account or use that address to send and receive mail at school.

 

Parents will be required to sign a permission form to allow their students to access the school district’s technology, network systems, and the internet.  Students and staff members will sign a form acknowledging they have read and understand the school district’s policies and regulations regarding appropriate use of the school district’s technology and network systems, that they will comply with the policies and regulations, and understand the consequences for violation of the policy or regulations.  Prior to publishing any student work and/or pictures on the internet, the school district will obtain written permission from the student’s parents to do so.

 

The school district has the right, but not the duty, to monitor any and all aspects of its technology, network systems, and internet access including, but not limited to, monitoring sites students and staff visit on the internet and reviewing e-mail.  The administration and the technology coordinator shall have both the authority and right to examine all technology and internet activity including any logs, data, e-mail, storage and/or other technology related records of any user of the system.  The use of e-mail is limited to school district and educational purposes only.  Students and staff waive any right to privacy in anything they create, store, send, disseminate or receive on the school district’s technology and network systems, including the internet.

 

No warranties, expressed or implied, are made by the school district for the technology and internet access being provided.  Although the school district has taken measures to implement and maintain protection against the presence of viruses, spyware, and malware on the school district’s technology, network systems, and internet access, the school district cannot and does not warranty or represent that the school district’s technology network systems or internet access will be secure and free of viruses, spyware or malware at all times.  The school district, including its officers and employees, will not be responsible for any damages including, but not limited to, the loss of data, delays, non-deliveries, misdeliveries or service interruptions caused by negligence or omission.  Individual users are solely responsible for making backup copies of their data.  The school district also is not responsible for the accuracy of information users access on the internet.  Any risk and/or damages resulting from information obtained from the school district’s technology, network systems, and/or internet access is assumed by and is the responsibility of the user.

 

Students, parents, and staff members may be asked from time to time to sign a new consent and/or acceptable use agreement to reflect changes and/or developments in the law or technology.  When students, parents, and staff members are presented with new consent and/or acceptable use agreements to sign, these agreements must be signed for students and/or staff to continue to have access to and use of the school district’s technology, network systems, and the internet.

 

The interpretation, application, and modification of this policy are within the sole discretion of the Sigourney Community School District.  Any questions or issues regarding this policy should be directed to the superintendent, any building principal or the technology coordinator.  The board will review and update this policy as necessary.

IMPLEMENTATION OF TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION MEASURES

REGARDING THE USE OF THE DISTRICT’S TECHNOLOGY,

NETWORK SYSTEMS, AND INTERNET ACCESS

 

The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe environment for students through the use of technology protection measures (i.e. filtering software) to enhance education in the Sigourney Community School District.

 

The internet is an ever expanding resource that adds large quantities of content on a daily basis. However, some of the content is inappropriate for student use and may even be harmful to students' health, safety and welfare.  Therefore, the Sigourney Community School District has determined that it will establish this policy to limit student access to certain undesirable topics, including but not limited to, information and images that are obscene, constitute child pornography or are otherwise harmful to minors.  Since it is not feasible for the school district to continually monitor the content of the internet, the Sigourney Community School District will employ technology protection measures in the form of internet filtering software in an attempt to block access to these types of harmful and inappropriate materials.

 

The school district’s implementation of internet filtering software does not guarantee that students will be prevented from accessing materials that may be considered inappropriate and/or harmful.  However, it is a meaningful effort on the part of the school district to prevent students from accessing inappropriate and/or harmful materials on the internet.  The school district makes no guarantee that the filtering software will be available at all times or that the filtering software will block all inappropriate and/or harmful material.

 

If there is an accessible Uniform Resource Locator [URL] that may be inappropriate, students, staff, and parents may request a review by designated District personnel, by completing an Add URL to Blocked Status form.  Upon review, the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel will make a determination about blocking access to that site.  If there is an educationally valuable URL that is blocked, students, staff, and parents may fill out the Remove URL from Blocked Status grievance form.  The technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel will review the request and make a determination about unblocking the site.

 

Staff members may request that the internet filtering software be disabled for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.  A bona fide research form will need to be filled out and reviewed by the technology coordinator or other appropriate personnel before the internet filtering software is disabled.

 

 

LAPTOP COMPUTER POLICY

 

The Sigourney Community School District has laptop computers for its faculty members to use inside and outside of school in order to enhance, enrich, and facilitate teaching and administrative duties as well as school communications.  All laptop computers and related equipment are school district property.  The use of the school district’s laptop computers and related equipment shall be subject to all of the terms and conditions set out in the school district’s policy on appropriate use of technology, network systems, and the internet.

 

Prior to using the school district’s laptop computers and related equipment, faculty members will sign a Laptop Computer Acceptance Form and agree to all outlined policies before being issued a laptop computer.  Faculty members shall not attempt to install software or hardware or change the system configuration, including any network settings, on any school district laptop computer without prior consultation with the administration.  Faculty members shall not attempt to change or modify in any way any related equipment that they are issued with the school district’s laptop computers.

 

Faculty members shall protect school district laptop computers and related equipment from damage and theft.  Each faculty member shall be responsible for any damage to the laptop computer and related equipment they have been issued from the time it is issued to them until the time it is turned back in to the school district, including damage to the computer, related equipment or the computer’s hardware and/or software, including labor costs.  Faculty members who choose to store school data, such as grades, tests or exams, on school district laptop computers are required to back up this data on the school district’s network as a safety precaution against data loss.

 

Laptop Computer Acceptance Form

 

I understand that the laptop computer and related equipment I am being issued is the property of the Sigourney Community School District.  I agree to all of the terms and conditions in the Sigourney Community School District Laptop Policy and the Sigourney Community School District policy on appropriate use of technology, network systems, and the internet.  I will return the laptop computer and any related equipment I am issued in the same condition in which I receive it.

 

I understand that I am responsible for any damage or loss of any component of the laptop computer and/or related equipment I am issued.  In case of damage or loss, I agree that I will replace any damaged or lost component and/or equipment with components and/or equipment of equal value and functionality as approved by the administration.

 

Name __________________________       Date _____________________________

 

Computer Serial #_______________________________________________________________

 

Computer/Equipment Description and Serial #________________________________________

605.7 USE OF INFORMATION RESOURCES

In order for students to experience a diverse curriculum, the board encourages employees to supplement their regular curricular materials with other resources. In so doing, the board recognizes that federal law makes it illegal to duplicate copyrighted materials without authorization of the holder of the copyright, except for certain exempt purposes. Severe penalties may be imposed for plagiarism, unauthorized copying or using of media, including, but not limited to, print, electronic, and web-based materials, unless the copying or using conforms to the "fair use" doctrine. Under the "fair use" doctrine, unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials is permissible for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research providing that all fair use guidelines are met.

 

While the school district encourages employees to enrich the learning programs by making proper use of supplementary materials, it is the responsibility of employees to abide by the school district’s copying procedures and obey the requirements of the law. In no circumstances shall it be necessary for school district staff to violate copyright requirements in order to perform their duties properly. The school district will not be responsible for any violations of the copyright law by employees or students. Violation of the copyright law by employees may result in discipline up to, and including, termination. Violation of the copyright law by students may result in discipline, up to and including, suspension or expulsion.

 

Parents or others who wish to record, by any means, school programs or other activities need to realize that even though the school district received permission to perform a copyrighted work does not mean outsiders can copy it and replay it. Those who wish to do so should contact the employee in charge of the activity to determine what the process is to ensure the copyright law is followed. The school district is not responsible for outsiders violating the copyright law or this policy.

 

Any employee or student who is uncertain as to whether reproducing or using copyrighted material complies with the school district’s procedures or is permissible under the law should contact the principal, teacher or media specialist who will also assist employees and students in obtaining proper authorization to copy or use protected material when such authorization is required.

 

Approved: June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

 

605.7R1 USE OF INFORMATION RESOURCES REGULATION

Employees and students may make copies of copyrighted materials that fall within the following guidelines. Where there is reason to believe the material to be copied does not fall within these guidelines, prior permission shall be obtained from the publisher or producer with the assistance of the principal, teacher, and media specialist. Employees and students who fail to follow this procedure may be held personally liable for copyright infringement and may be subject to discipline by the board.

 

Under the "fair use" doctrine, unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials is permissible for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research. Under the fair use doctrine, each of the following four standards must be met in order to use the copyrighted document:

 

        •        Purpose and Character of the Use – The use must be for such purposes as teaching or scholarship.

        •        Nature of the Copyrighted Work – The type of work to be copied.

        •        Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used – Copying the whole of a work cannot be considered fair use; copying a small portion may be if these guidelines are followed.

        •        Effect of the Use Upon the Potential Market for or value of the Copyrighted Work – If resulting economic loss to the copyright holder can be shown, even making a single copy of certain materials may be an infringement, and making multiple copies presents the danger of greater penalties.

 

Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Material Reminders:

 

        •        Materials on the Internet should be used with caution since they may, and likely are, copyrighted.

        •        Proper attribution (author, title, publisher, place, and date of publication) should always be given.

        •        Notice should be taken of any alterations to copyrighted works and such alterations should only be made for specific instructional objectives.

        •        Care should be taken in circumventing any technological protection measures. While materials copied pursuant to fair use may be copied after circumventing technological protections against unauthorized copying, technological protection measures to block access to materials may not be circumvented.

 

In preparing for instruction, a teacher may make or have made a single copy of:

 

        •        A chapter from a book;

        •        An article from a newspaper or periodical;

        •        A short story, short essay or short poem; or,

        •        A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.

 

A teacher may make multiple copies not exceeding more than one per pupil, for classroom use or discussion, if the copying meets the tests of “brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect” set by the following guidelines. Each copy must include a notice of copyright.

 

        •        Brevity

                 o        A complete poem, if less than 250 words and two pages long, may be copied; excerpts from longer poems cannot exceed 250 words;

                 o        Complete articles, stories or essays of less than 2,500 words or excerpts from prose works less than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less may be copied; in any event, the minimum is 500 words;

                 o        Each numerical limit may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or prose paragraph;

                 o        One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or periodical issue may be copied. “Special” works cannot be reproduced in full; this includes children's books combining poetry, prose or poetic prose. Short special works may be copied up to two published pages containing not more than 10 percent of the work.

 

        •        Spontaneity – Should be at the “instance and inspiration” of the individual teacher when there is not a reasonable length of time to request and receive permission to copy.

 

        •        Cumulative Effect – Teachers are limited to using copied material for only one course for which copies are made. No more than one short poem, article, story or two excerpts from the same author may be copied, and no more than three works can be copied from a collective work or periodical column during one class term. Teachers are limited to nine instances of multiple copying for one course during one class term. Limitations do not apply to current news periodicals, newspapers, and current news sections of other periodicals.

 

Copying Limitations

 

Circumstances will arise when employees are uncertain whether or not copying is prohibited. In those circumstances, the principal, teacher or teacher- librarian should be contacted. The following prohibitions have been expressly stated in federal guidelines:

 

        •        Reproduction of copyrighted material shall not be used to create or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.

        •        Unless expressly permitted by agreement with the publisher and authorized by District action, there shall be no copying from copyrighted consumable materials such as workbooks, exercises, test booklets, answer sheets, and the like.

        •        Employees shall not:

                 o        Use copies to substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals, music recordings, consumable works such as workbooks, computer software or other copyrighted material.

                 o        Copy or use the same item from term to term without the copyright owner's permission;

                 o        Copy or use more than nine instances of multiple copying of protected material in any one term;

                 o        Copy or use more than one short work or two excerpts from works of the same author in any one term;

                 o        Copy or use protected material without including a notice of copyright. The following is a satisfactory notice: NOTICE: THIS MATERIAL MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW.

                 o        Reproduce or use copyrighted material at the direction of someone in higher authority or copy or use such material in emulation of some other teacher's use of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright owner.

                 O       Require other employees or students to violate the copyright law or fair use guidelines.

 

Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Materials in the Library

 

A library may make a single copy or three digital copies of:

 

        •        An unpublished work in its collection;

        •        A published work in order to replace it because it is damaged, deteriorated, lost or stolen, provided that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.

        •        A work that is being considered for acquisition, although use is strictly limited to that decision. Technological protection measures may be circumvented for purposes of copying materials in order to make an acquisition decision.

 

A library may provide a single copy of copyrighted material to a student or employee at no more than the actual cost of photocopying. The copy must be limited to one article of a periodical issue or a small part of other material, unless the library finds that the copyrighted work cannot be obtained elsewhere at a fair price. In the latter circumstance, the entire work may be copied. In any case, the copy shall contain the notice of copyright and the student or staff member shall be notified that the copy is to be used only for private study, scholarship or research. Any other use may subject the person to liability for copyright infringement.

 

Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Music or Dramatic Works

 

Teachers may:

 

        •        Make a single copy of a song, movement or short section from a printed musical or dramatic work that is unavailable except in a larger work for purposes of preparing for instruction;

        •        Make multiple copies for classroom use of an excerpt of not more than 10% of a printed musical work if it is to be used for academic purposes other than performance, provided that the excerpt does not comprise a part of the whole musical work which would constitute a performable unit such as a complete section, movement, or song;

        •        In an emergency, a teacher may make and use replacement copies of printed music for an imminent musical performance when the purchased copies have been lost, destroyed or are otherwise not available.

        •        Make and retain a single recording of student performances of copyrighted material when it is made for purposes of evaluation or rehearsal;

        •        Make and retain a single copy of excerpts from recordings of copyrighted musical works for use as aural exercises or examination questions; and,

        •        Edit or simplify purchased copies of music or plays provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted. Lyrics shall not be altered or added if none exist.

 

Performance by teachers or students of copyrighted musical or dramatic works is permitted without the authorization of the copyright owner as part of a teaching activity in a classroom or instructional setting. The purpose shall be instructional rather than for entertainment.

 

Performances of nondramatic musical works that are copyrighted are permitted without the authorization of the copyright owner, provided that:

 

        •        The performance is not for a commercial purpose;

        •        None of the performers, promoters or organizers are compensated; and,

        •        Admission fees are used for educational or charitable purposes only.

 

All other musical and dramatic performances require permission from the copyright owner. Parents or others wishing to record a performance should check with the sponsor to ensure compliance with copyright.

 

Recording of Copyrighted Programs

 

Television programs, excluding news programs, transmitted by commercial and non-commercial television stations for reception by the general public without charge may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable retransmission) and retained by a school for a period not to exceed the first forty-five (45) consecutive calendar days after date of recording. Upon conclusion of this retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately. Certain programming such as that provided on public television may be exempt from this provision; check with the principal, teacher or teacher-librarian or the subscription database, e.g. unitedstreaming.

 

Off-air recording may be used once by individual teachers in the course of instructional activities, and repeated once only when reinforcement is necessary, within a building, during the first ten (10) consecutive school days, excluding scheduled interruptions, in the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by individual teachers, and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast. A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of teachers.  Each additional copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original recording.

 

After the first ten (10) consecutive school days, off-air recordings may be used up to the end of the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period only for evaluation purposes, i.e., to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum. Permission must be secured from the publisher before the recording can be used for instructional purposes after the ten (10) day period.

 

Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original content. Off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.

 

Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Computer Software

 

Schools have a valid need for high-quality software at reasonable prices. To assure a fair return to the authors of software programs, the District shall support the legal and ethical issues involved in copyright laws and any usage agreements that are incorporated into the acquisition of software programs. To this end, the following guidelines shall be in effect:

 

        •        All copyright laws and publisher license agreements between the vendor and the District shall be observed;

        •        Staff members shall take reasonable precautions to prevent copying or the use of unauthorized copies on District equipment;

        •        A back-up copy shall be purchased, for use as a replacement when a program is lost or damaged.  If the vendor is not able to supply a replacement, the District shall make a back-up copy that will be used for replacement purposes only;

        •        A copy of the software license agreement shall be retained by the technology director or teacher-librarian; and,

        •        A computer program may be adapted by adding to the content or changing the language. The adapted program may not be distributed.

 

Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia

 

Students may incorporate portions of copyrighted materials in producing educational multimedia projects such as videos, Power Points, podcasts, and web sites for a specific course, and may perform, display or retain the projects.

 

Educators may perform or display their own multimedia projects to students in support of curriculum-based instructional activities. These projects may be used:

 

        •        In face-to-face instruction;

        •        In demonstrations and presentations, including conferences;

        •        In assignments to students;

        •        For remote instruction if distribution of the signal is limited;

        •        Over a network that cannot prevent duplication for fifteen (15) days, after fifteen (15) days a copy may be saved on-site only; or,

        •        In their personal portfolios.

 

Educators may use copyrighted materials in a multimedia project for two (2) years, after that permission must be requested and received.

 

The following limitations restrict the portion of any given work that may be used pursuant of fair use in an educational multimedia project:

        •        Motion media: ten percent (10%) or three (3) minutes, whichever is less;

        •        Text materials: ten percent (10%) or 1,000 words, whichever is less;

        •        Poetry: an entire poem of fewer than 250 words, but no more than three (3) poems from one author or five (5) poems from an anthology. For poems of greater than 250 words, excerpts of up to 250 words may be used, but no more than three (3) excerpts from one poet or five (5) excerpts from an anthology;

        •        Music, lyrics and music video: Up to ten percent (10%), but no more than thirty (30) seconds. No alterations that change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work;

        •        Illustrations, cartoons and photographs: No more than five (5) images by an artist, and no more than ten percent (10%) or fifteen (15) images whichever is less from a collective work;

        •        Numerical data sets: Up to ten percent (10%) or 2,500 field or cell entries, whichever is less;

 

Fair use does not include posting a student or teacher’s work on the Internet if it includes portions of copyrighted materials. Permission to copy shall be obtained from the original copyright holder(s) before such projects are placed online. The opening screen of such presentations shall include notice that permission was granted and materials are restricted from further use.

 

Approved:  June 10, 2015

Reviewed:

Revised:

606 INSTRUCTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

606.1 CLASS SIZE - CLASS GROUPING

It is within the sole discretion of the board to determine the size of classes and to determine whether class grouping will take place.  The board may review the class sizes annually.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to make a recommendation to the board on class size based upon the financial condition of the school district, the qualifications of and number of licensed employees, and other factors deemed relevant to the board.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed  April 14, 2008  

Revised June 10, 2015

606.2 SCHOOL CEREMONIES AND OBSERVANCES

The school district will continue school ceremonies and observances which have become a tradition and a custom of the education program.  These include, but are not limited to, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and observance of seasonal holidays, including seasonal holiday programs and performances.  Such ceremonies or observances shall have a secular purpose and will not advocate or sponsor a particular religion.

 

Students who do not wish to participate in these activities may be silent during the ceremony or observance or receive permission from the principal to be excused from the ceremony for religious reasons in compliance with board policy.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed  April 14, 2008   

Revised June 10, 2015

606.3 ANIMALS IN THE CLASSROOM

Live animals will not be allowed in school district facilities except under special circumstances and only for an educational purpose.  Permission from the principal will be required of anyone wishing to bring an animal into school district facilities.  Appropriate supervision of animals is required when animals are brought into the school district facilities.

 

The person bringing the animal must furnish transportation for the animal brought to school.  Animals will not be allowed to travel to and from the student's attendance center on the school bus without prior approval from the principal.

 

It is the responsibility of the principal to determine appropriate supervision of animals in the classroom.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed  April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015

 

606.4 STUDENT PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS AND SERVICES

Materials and services produced by students at the expense of the school district are to be the property of the school district.  Materials and services produced by students at the student's expense, except for incidental expense to the school district, are the property of the student.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to determine incidental expense.

 

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                      

Reviewed   April 14, 2008   

Revised June 10, 2015

606.5 STUDENT FIELD TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS

The principal may authorize field trips and excursions when such events contribute to the achievement of education goals of the school district.  The school district will provide transportation for field trips and excursions.

 

In authorizing field trips and excursions, the principal will consider the financial condition of the school district, the educational benefit of the activity, the inherent risks or dangers of the activity, and other factors deemed relevant by the superintendent.  Written parental permission will be required prior to the student's participation in field trips and excursions.  The superintendent's approval will be required for field trips and excursions outside the state.  Board approval will be required for field trips and excursions which involve unusual length or expense.

 

Field trips and excursions are to be arranged with the principal well in advance.  A detailed schedule and budget must be submitted by the employee to the principal along with the request for authorization of the field trip or excursion.  The school district will be responsible for obtaining a substitute teacher if one is needed.  Following field trips and excursions, the teacher may be required to submit a written summary of the event.

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed  April 14, 2008  

Revised June 10, 2015

607 INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES

607.1 STUDENT GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM

The board will provide a student guidance and counseling program.  The guidance counselor will be certified with the Iowa Department of Education and hold the qualifications required by the board.  The guidance and counseling program will serve grades pre-kindergarten through twelve.  The program will assist students with their personal, educational, and career development.  The program is coordinated with the education program and involves licensed employees.

 

 

 

 

Approved January 11, 1999                                     

Reviewed  April 14, 2008

Revised June 10, 2015