• Dear Parents, Students, and the Pierz Community,

    It is our sincere hope that every student has a school year they will remember with fondness because of the academic success they attained and the relationships they built with students and staff.  

    This handbook is created as a guideline for understanding our general school operations.  As community members, we all share in the responsibility of educating our children.  As Pioneer employees, we strive for excellence for every child in our building.  We exist for one reason; that reason is to create an environment welcoming and comfortable for every child and rich in educational experiences.  It is our responsibility as school employees to build respectful, trusting, and lasting relationships with the children we work with.  We will perpetually analyze what we do and look for opportunities for growth where adjustments we make have the greatest potential for student growth.

    As principal of Pioneer Elementary School, it is my humble commitment to the Parents, Students, Pierz Community, and all of our Employees to work every day on behalf of all of you.  Together we will work toward a common vision and demonstrate how common people, like ourselves, can attain uncommon results.  We will always strive for excellence!

    Yours In Education,

    Tom Otte

    Pioneer School Principal

     INDEX 

     

    General Information Daily Schedule

    3

     

    Parent Pickup And Drop Off

    3

    Student Information System

    3

     

    Attendance

    3-4

    Notes From Home/Early Pick Up Of Children

    4-5

     

    Money Sent To School

    5

    Medications

    5

     

    Communicable Diseases

    5-6

    Food Allergies

    6

     

    Immunization

    6-7

    Screening Programs

    7

     

    Physical Education Excuses

    7

    Group Insurance Plan

    7

     

    Cell Phones, Telephone Calls and Messages

    7-8

    Visitors

    8-9

     

    Smoke Free School

    9

    Enrollment

    9

     

    Transferring Students

    9

    Custody/Guardianship

    9

     

    Student Visitation

    9

    Partnership Between School And Parents

    9-10

     

    Homework

    10-11

    Employment And Services Criminal History Background

    11

     

    Track And Field Day

    11

    School Lunch Program

    11-15

     

    Cumulative Records

    15

    Progress Reports

    15-16

     

    Testing Program

    16

    MCA Regulations

    16-20

     

    Promotion/Retention Policy

    20

    Pledge Of Allegiance

    21

     

    Special Education

    21

    Title I

    21

     

    Building Discipline

    21-22

    Positive Behavior Interventions

    21-22

     

    No Excuses Behaviors

    22

    Broken or Damaged Property

    22

     

    Book Fines

    22-23

    Chewing Gum

    23

     

    Winter Dress

    23

    Recess, Playground Expectations

    23-24

     

    Bringing Electronics, Toys, Playground Equipment and Trading Cards to School

    24

    Publicity

    24

     

    Student Dress

    24

    Lost and Found

    25

     

    Treats

    25

    Bringing Animals To School

    25

     

    Bikes Riders/Skate Boarders

    25

    Fire, Tornado and Lock Down Drills

    25

     

    School Closings

    25

    Class Trip

    25

     

    Student Government

    26

    Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)

    26

     

    Assembly Programs

    26

    Bus Rules and Regulations

    26-30

     

    Harassment and Violence

    30-42

    Weapons Policy

    42

     

    Bullying Prohibition Policy

    43-53

    Social Media Guidelines

    53-57

     

    Indoor Air Quality Notice

    58

    Lead In Drinking Water Test

    58

     

    Pesticide General Notice

    58-59

    Employment Criminal History Background Checks

    59

     

    Acceptable Use Agreement

    59-63

     

     

     

     

     

             
             

    GENERAL INFORMATION DAILY SCHEDULE  

       7:30   Child care available in MS gym, enter through door #20

    7:50   Main School Doors open - Students go to the gym, playground, or cafeteria  

    8:10   Students go to classrooms  

    8:20   Attendance Taken  

     10:50   Lunch Periods begin 

       1:00   Lunch Periods End  

    3:10   Classes Dismissed for Grades K-4

    3:15   Classes Dismissed for Grades 5-6

     

    PARENT PICK UP AND DROP OFF

    Door #20 will be unlocked at 7:30 for K-6 child drop off in the MS gym from 7:30-7:50.  Breakfast begins at 7:55 as does morning recess.  All children should go to breakfast or recess if they arrive by 8:00.

    Child pickup at the end of the school day begins at 3:05.  Parents will use the Remind app to notify school staff they have arrived.  Once staff have received notification, children will be released through door #21 to parents in the south half of the Pioneer Parking lot.  All children must be picked up by 3:20.

    Grade 5 and 6 students will most often board buses at Healy.

    STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

    All emergency information is saved in our online Student Information System (SIS) called Synergy.  This is where we can all access our children’s grades, attendance, demographic information, and emergency contacts.  Parents can change any of this information at any time by accessing their child’s information using the Pioneer School website.  If you have questions on how to access your information, please contact the Pioneer office. It is very important that this information be kept up-to-date so parents or guardians can be contacted in case of an accident or extreme illness.  

    ATTENDANCE  

    At Pioneer Elementary School we consider attendance to be one of our highest priorities.  Children are most likely to be successful learners in school when they attend school regularly.  Vast research has proven regular school attendance is a necessary component and a strong indicator of success in academic achievement as well as life in general.  As parents we can set our children up for a lifetime of success by making regular attendance a priority.  We strive to partner with parents to insure students attend school.

    When children are absent from school, parents must call the Pioneer Elementary Attendance Line (468-6458 and choose option 3) no later than 8:25 a.m. For our children’s safety, we will make phone contact with parents if children are absent without parental contact.  If we do not hear back and/or receive a written note from a parent regarding an absence, by law it must be recorded as unexcused. For all school absences, please inform the Pioneer School Office directly.

     

    School begins at 8:20 a.m. and ends at 3:10 p.m. (3:17 for grades 5 and 6).  Students entering the building after 8:20 a.m. will be counted as tardy. A tardy occurs when a student is not in their classroom by 8:20 a.m. Six tardies are equivalent to one unexcused absence. 

     

    Please notify the school in advance for family vacations or extended absences (we recommend a 2 week notice).  Students not in attendance by 9:00 am will be marked absent for the morning.  Students leaving school before 2:15 pm will be marked absent for the afternoon.

     

    All absences beyond 15 per school year will be considered unexcused absences.  Exceptions to this include:

    1. Absence accompanied by a physician’s note stating the child could not be in attendance because of injury, illness, or surgical procedure. Notes from a physician for appointments (not illness) will be considered parent excused and will not be an exception.

    2. Absence because the school nurse has sent a child home because of illness or injury

    3. Absence because of a funeral of a family member

     

    The State of Minnesota and Morrison County have laws pertaining to regular school attendance, educational neglect, and truancy.  Professional ethics and moral responsibility dictate that Pioneer Elementary School will adhere to these laws and report such school attendance violations to the appropriate agencies.  Students are considered by law to be “habitual truants” if they have 7 or more unexcused absences in 1 year.  Truancy, which is titled “educational neglect” in Minnesota law for young children, is reported to the Morrison County Attorney’s office or Social Services (depending on the age of the student), who works in close consultation with Morrison County Law Enforcement and Pierz Police to insure regular school attendance for all children in the County.

     

    If you have questions regarding educational neglect, truancy laws or attendance policies, please call the Pioneer Elementary school office and we will be happy to assist you.

     

    NOTES FROM HOME/EARLY PICK UP OF CHILDREN   

    When there is a change in drop off location at night for your children, send a note or call the school by 1:30 p.m. Without a note or call from a parent, students will be sent home as usual. Please write a specific name and address on the note for the drop off location.

    If a student will be picked up early, please notify the office by 1:30 p.m. The preferred method of notification is a phone call to the elementary school office.  When you have arrived to pick up your child, please call the school office or buzz in from the main entrance to let us know.

    If someone other than a parent will be picking up your child during or after school, PLEASE notify us in advance by note or telephone with the full name of the person picking up your child. We will not release a child without a note or call.  We will always try to err on the side of caution.

    MONEY SENT TO SCHOOL  

    Whenever money is sent to school, please put it in an envelope and write the child’s name, grade, the amount, and purpose on it. 

    MEDICATIONS  

    The Minnesota legislature has set rules for administration of medication by school personnel.  It is always the parent's responsibility to be sure sufficient medications are available at school.  The school district’s licensed school nurse, administration, or trained designated staff member may administer prescribed medications under the following conditions:

    1. Must only be done according to the written order of a licensed medical provider with prescribing privileges. 

    2. Medication must be brought to the school health office, by an adult, in the original container which must be properly labeled by a pharmacist.

    3. Must only be done with the written order of a parent.

    4. Medication must be FDA approved for children.

    5. Medication must not be expired.

    **These 5 criteria must be met before the school can give a child prescription medication.  District designated staff may give ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or any other FDA approved over the counter medication with written parent/guardian permission.

     

    All schedule II medications need to be brought to school by a parent or guardian.  These medications must not be transported to school with a student.  Please contact the school nurse if you have questions or concerns regarding this.

     

    The nurse’s office has on hand unassigned epinephrine auto injectors (epi-pens).  These epi-pens are available for administration to students who have not experienced or have not been diagnosed with a known severe allergic reaction.  With standing orders from the medical director, if a student is suspected to be having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), school district nursing staff and other employees trained in the administration of epi-pens, will administer the epi-pen.  Per the standing order, after administration 911 will be called to transport the student to an emergency medical facility and parents/guardians will be notified.

     

    COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

    Students exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms should be kept home from school.  If these symptoms appear while a child is in school, parents will be asked to come and take the child home.  The child will not be permitted to ride the bus home.

    1. Temperature over 100.4 degrees F.

    2. Vomiting twice in the last 24 hours.

    3. Diarrhea twice in the last 24 hours.

    4. Sore and/or red eyes with drainage.

    5. Suspicious rash

    6. Sore throat accompanied by a temperature of 100 degrees.

    7. Live lice

    8. Mouth sores accompanied with drooling.

     

    Students diagnosed with a communicable disease will be required to stay home according to the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health.  If a student has been exposed to a communicable disease and is showing signs and symptoms of the disease they will also be asked to stay home until seen by a physician and diagnosis is determined.

     

    Students experiencing a temperature over 100.4 degrees F or 2 or more episodes of vomiting/diarrhea should remain out of school until 24 hours after the fever is gone without fever reducing medication and 24 hours after vomiting/diarrhea has stopped.

     

    FOOD ALLERGIES

    Pioneer Elementary is an allergy aware school.  This means allergens will be limited as much as possible, but we cannot guarantee a complete allergen free environment.  Pioneer Elementary hopes no student will experience an allergic reaction.  Due to the large number of students allergic to nuts, all nuts will be eliminated from the school lunch menu.  All students who are identified by parents as having a severe food allergy on the Confidential Health Form will have a Food Allergy Action and Emergency Plan implemented by the school nurse.  This plan will be reviewed annually and/or as needed by the school nurse and parent.

     

    IMMUNIZATION  

    School District #484 will follow the Minnesota immunization law which states that all children attending school must be fully protected from the following communicable diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenzae type B, rubella, rubeola, mumps, Hepatitis B, varicella, and meningitis.

    Parents will be notified of any immunization deficiency via phone, mail, or email.  Students who are not fully protected will be allowed the necessary time period between doses. After that time students not complying with this law will be restricted from attending classes until proof of immunization is received by either the building principal or school nurse. This requirement will take effect beginning with the first day of each school year. Students who are new to the district are allowed 30 days for transfer of records. 

    If a child will not be receiving the immunizations required by law due to medical, religious, or conscientiously held beliefs, a notarized exemption form must be on file in the school health office.  The form must specifically indicate which vaccines the child will not receive.

    SCREENING PROGRAMS  

       Each year routine screening programs will be conducted as follows: 

    Vision – Kindergarten, Grades 1-7, 10 

    Hearing – Kindergarten, Grades 1-7, 10 

    Preschool Screening – 3 ½ years old  

    Students in grades other than those above will be screened on request of teacher, student or parent. (All students, including those with known problems, will be screened.)  

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION EXCUSES  

    Due to illness or injury, students may be excused from Phy. Ed. for up to 2 days by a parent note or phone call.  In order to be excused from Phy. Ed. for more than 2 days, a student must present a written excuse from a family medical provider. This should include a list of activities the child may or may not participate in. When returning to Phy. Ed. after an absence due to a physician’s excuse, a statement from a medical provider is also required, unless clearly stated on the original excuse.

    GROUP INSURANCE PLAN  

    The school district does not have an accidental insurance plan to cover students. However, the district will make available, to interested parents, a student insurance program underwritten by a private insurance company. Complete information and the necessary enrollment forms will be distributed to all students on the first day of school. The student will be covered when the premium and the signed enrollment forms have been returned to school.  

    Again, there is no blanket insurance coverage to cover costs of students who may be injured on school grounds or on school sponsored trips. 

    CELL PHONES (AND OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES), TELEPHONE CALLS, AND MESSAGES 

    Student use of cell phones is not allowed during the school day.  They should be put away prior to entering the building and not visible until exiting the building.  If a student is found using his or her cell phone a staff member will take it from the student and deliver it to the office.  Disciplinary action will be as follows:

    1st offense:  student can pick it up at the end of the day.  Parent is notified.

    2nd offense: student can pick it up at the end of the next day.  Parent is notified.

    3rd offense: student can pick up after 5 days OR pick up at  the end of the next day and must check the phone into the office for a period of at least 5 school days.  Parent has the discretion to choose from these options.

     

    We will keep phone calls to classrooms to a minimum to respect the educational process.  If a parent needs a message to get to a student, we will do so in a timely manner.

     

    **Important Note:  In the interest of the well being of all students, the use of any electronic device for photography, recordings, or live streams of any kind is completely banned from any and all locker rooms and bathrooms.  Consequences for violating this important school rule will be determined by the school administration and will likely include suspension of the student.

     

    VISITORS  

    Parents, community members, alumni and other adult visitors are welcome and encouraged to visit our schools. The Pierz ISD #484 recognizes the multiple benefits of a partnership that needs to exist for students to succeed. Visits are an appropriate vehicle and enhance that partnership.  

    The School Board, the superintendent and the building principals of the district reserve the right to remove visitor status from any parent, citizen, alumni or other member of the public.  This action would be taken when deemed necessary to ensure the physical or emotional safety of the students of the district or to prevent disruption of the district’s educational programs.

    At Pioneer Elementary, we completely recognize and value the importance of the role parents play in our children’s education. It is because of our appreciation for parental involvement that we invite parents to be involved in school for many reasons. In order to best manage parent involvement here at school, we will define two common parent roles in our school. The first is a “parent assistant.” A parent assistant is defined as a parent for which the teacher has requested classroom assistance. There is no limit to the number or length of time for parent assistants to be in any of our classrooms. Teachers, along with the school principal, have complete discretion as to when they make these requests for the benefit of the educational process for their students. The second is a “parent visitor.” A parent visitor is defined as any parent who volunteers to come to their child’s classroom as a visitor. Parent volunteers are welcome to visit their child’s classroom up to 1 time per quarter for up to 1⁄2 day. A half day could be as long as ending with lunch and recess when it is a morning visit or begin with lunch and recess when it is an afternoon visit. Whether a parent comes in as a Visitor or an Assistant for security reasons they must give the teacher at least 24 hours notice and sign in at the office when they arrive.

    All visitors will wear a badge or button so students and staff will be aware they have checked in with the office. The office will make every effort to see that classes are not interrupted while in session for the admission of guests.  

    For the protection of everyone, teachers are asked to courteously direct all visitors who are not wearing a visitor’s badge or button to the office. For the same reason, all agents, repair persons, etc., must report to the building office and receive a visitor’s badge or button before approaching any person within the building.  

    Any parent wishing to schedule a conference with a teacher can phone the school in advance to arrange a convenient time.

    In the event of an emergency which requires that parents have immediate contact with their child, parents may either call or go to the office to let any of us know the nature of your emergency.  We will assist you in any way we can.

    Building administrators are given the discretion, when circumstances so dictate and on a case by case basis, to adopt and enforce more specific or restrictive rules to govern visits to the schools. The superintendent is to be advised of each such instance. 

    SMOKE FREE SCHOOL  

    Chapter 576-Smoke Free Schools -This law provides that no person shall at any time smoke or use any tobacco products on school property. This tobacco ban includes the use of electronic cigarettes and other devices made to deliver tobacco products.  A person who violates this law is guilty of a petty misdemeanor. 

     

    ENROLLMENT  

    Under the existing school policy, a child must be four years of age on or before September 1st of the current school year to enroll in School Readiness, five years of age on or before September 1st of the current school year to enroll in Kindergarten and six years of age on or before September 1st of the current school year to be eligible to enter the 1st grade.

    TRANSFERRING STUDENTS 

    If you are planning to transfer your child(ren) to another school, please notify both schools involved as soon as you make your decision.  Timely notification will expedite requests for records and transfer of appropriate files for smooth academic transition for your child(ren).

    CUSTODY/GUARDIANSHIP 

    It is important that the school is aware of any changes in legal custody.  We will operate on the premise that both parents have legal custody unless we are furnished documentation to the contrary. 

     

    STUDENT VISITATION  

    We do not allow student visitations during the regular school day.  If you have questions regarding this practice, please contact the school principal.

    PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOL AND PARENTS  

    Parents will always be the most influential teacher in a child’s life.  We strive to partner with parents for the overall development of all children.  Supporting an evening routine where parents read, or otherwise help their children with homework at the same time each night, is highly effective at improving individual student achievement.  We offer Parent-Teacher conferences 2 times per year for all parents to talk with teachers.  Meetings can also be scheduled outside of this time as needed.  Additionally, there are many opportunities each year to attend children’s events at school.

     

    TEACHER REQUESTS FOR STUDENT PLACEMENT

    At Pioneer Elementary School we do not allow parents to select which teacher their child will have the following year.  However, we will consider information you would like to provide regarding your child’s needs for a successful learning experience.  You can share information about your child’s learning needs on our Pioneer school website by clicking the Parent Resources button.  This opportunity will be available annually from April 1st-April 15th.  Classroom placements will be completed for the following year shortly after this timeline.  

     

    In addition to taking parent input, we believe teachers know students in their classrooms very well and are well positioned to place them in the best learning environment to meet their individual student needs.  Selection of individual teachers could also restrict our ability to provide the best educational setting for ALL students.  We consider the following criteria when placing all of our children into balanced and healthy classrooms:

    • Gender balance

    • Distribution of performance levels

    • Balance of students with special programming (Special Services, ELL, Title I, etc.)

    • Parent input

    • Family Factors (ex. twin siblings)

    • Available support for high behavioral needs

    • Balance of varying social skill and work habit levels

    • Equitable class size across grade level

    • Equitable access to school resources for programming needs

    • Student learning style and teacher delivery of instruction

     

    HOMEWORK  

    The children are expected to do a reasonable amount of homework. Because teachers will plan for homework to be meaningful to the learning objectives they have set, it is critical for students to complete the work assigned. Some best practices in successful homework routines are:

    1. Avoid doing the homework for them but be ready to participate with spelling, math facts, etc. or to assist your child in helping him/herself be successful.  

    2. A parent check of all homework before it is handed in to see if it meets all standards of neatness and completeness.  

    3. Routinely check children’s materials for messages from school.  

    4. Encourage children but avoid pressure. The development of good character traits is         

        imperative, and children learn more if you encourage them to use their potential while   

        realizing their limitations.  

    5. Praise children for their effort, rather than for correct answers.  Children will develop   

         the virtue of self-sustaining determination if encouraged for effort.

    6. Turn off the television.  

    7. Please check with the teacher if your child consistently has too much or no homework assignments.  

     

    EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICES CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECKS NOTICE TO PARENTS AND GUARDIANS

    The school district has adopted a policy, the purpose of which is to promote the physical, social, and psychological well-being of its students.  Pursuant to this policy, the school district shall seek criminal history background checks for all applicants who receive an offer of employment with the school district.  The school district also shall seek criminal history background checks for all individuals, except enrolled student volunteers, who are offered the opportunity to provide athletic coaching services or other extracurricular academic coaching services to the school district, regardless of whether compensation is paid.  These positions include, but are not limited to, all athletic coaches, extracurricular academic coaches, assistants, and advisors.  The school district may elect to seek criminal history background checks for other volunteers, independent contractors, and student employees.

    TRACK AND FIELD DAY

    Each year in late May, we host our annual Track and Field Day. This is a fun-filled day for our students and many parents. It is an opportunity for our children to perform while we, as parents, have the opportunity to watch them, encourage them, and appreciate their efforts. In order to continue this long tradition, keep it as a truly special event for all of our children, and to be able to complete all of the events in the time we have, we have one restriction. That restriction is that we will not allow any siblings or parents on the track or performance area. This event is designed as a fun competition where each class gets one last chance to spend time together.  Our children will never be in the same class together all at once again.

     

    SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM  

    Besides being a lunch room, the cafeteria is also a place where good friendships can be developed.  Each student is expected to practice good manners which are often found at home. Students will learn to:

    1. Practice good manners at the table.  

    2. Leave the table and surrounding area clean and orderly.  

    3. Put the trash into the proper containers.  

    4. Finishing eating all food before leaving the cafeteria.  

     

    If a student does not participate in the hot lunch program, she/he may bring a bag lunch, which is to be eaten in the cafeteria area.

     

    District 484 offers a complete and nutritious meal every day to all children.  The Child Nutrition Program operates within its budget using the amount received from the State for free and reduced lunches as well as the fees paid by student families.

     

    The District asks that all students keep a positive balance in their account in order to fund the daily expenditures within the program as well as limit the prospects of raising lunch fees because account balances are negative. 

     

    Adopted: July 26, 2017      MSBA/MASA Model Policy 534

    Orig. 2017

    Revised:                              

     

    534 UNPAID MEAL CHARGES

     

    [Note:  United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Policy Memorandum SP 46-2016 requires all School Food Authorities (i.e., school districts) operating federal school meal programs to have a written and clearly communicated system to address unpaid meal charges by July 1, 2017. USDA Policy Memorandum SP 23-2017 clarified that school districts could adopt a “policy” or “standard practice.” Although this document is styled as a “policy,” school districts may establish and implement a set of written procedures instead of a policy, provided that the written document explains how the school district will handle situations where students eligible to receive reduced-price or paid meals do not have money in their account or in hand to cover the cost of their meals at the time of service. The policy or standard practice must be implemented throughout the school district.]

     

    [Note: This MSBA/MASA model policy is drafted to be consistent for all grade levels. However, local school districts may vary the meal charge policy for elementary, middle, and high schools.]

     

    [Note: School districts must follow appropriate debt collection practices when attempting to recover unpaid meal charges.]

     

    1. PURPOSE

     

        The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students receive healthy and nutritious meals through the school district’s nutrition program and that school district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations regarding meal charges.  The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day and minimize identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals as well as to maintain the financial integrity of the school nutrition program.

     

    II. PAYMENT OF MEALS 

    A. Students have use of a meal account. When the balance reaches zero, a student may charge no more than $20.00 to this account. When an account reaches this limit, a student shall not be allowed to charge further meals or any a la carte items/snacks until the negative account balance is paid. 

          Families may add money to their lunch account several ways:

     

    1. Pay Online:  Families must have an email address and have set up their account using their Family Key letter to pay online.  If they have not already set up their lunch account online, contact Terri in the District Office at 320-468-6458 ext. 1907.  The website to pay online is:  http://www.pierzschoolspayonline.org

    2. Families may mail a check made payable to Pierz ISD 484, 112 Kamnic Street, Pierz MN 56364.

    3. Families may drop off or send a check/cash with their student to either the High School or Elementary building.  

    B. If the school district receives school lunch aid under Minn. Stat. § 124D.111, it                                   must make lunch available without charge to all participating students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals regardless of account balance.

     

    C.  A student with an outstanding meal charge debt will be allowed to purchase a meal if the student pays for the meal when it is received.

     

    D. The school district may provide an alternate meal that meets federal and state requirements to a student who does not have sufficient funds in the student’s account or cannot pay cash for a meal.  The school district will accommodate special dietary needs with respect to alternate meals.  The cost of the alternative meal, $1.45, will be charged to the student’s account or otherwise charged to the student.

     

    E.  When a student has a negative account balance, the student will not be allowed to charge a snack item.

     

    F. Each family has one jointly shared lunch account.

     

    III. LOW OR NEGATIVE ACCOUNT BALANCES – NOTIFICATION 

     

    1. The school district will make reasonable efforts to notify families when meal account balances are low or fall below zero.

     

    1. Families will be notified of a low balance once the balance reaches $5.00 or less.  Once the balance is negative, families will be notified on a daily basis until the account is paid in full.

     

        Families will be notified by automated phone calls and emails from the school.  A letter will be mailed home to the family if no response or action has been taken to bring the lunch account into the positive and an alternative meal may be provided to the child(ren) until the account is paid in full.

     

    A balance notification email will go out to all families at the end of the week who have provided an email address.

     

      C. Reminders for payment of outstanding student meal balances will not demean or         stigmatize any student participating in the school lunch program.

     

    IV. UNPAID MEAL CHARGES

     

    A. The school district will make reasonable efforts to communicate with families to   resolve the matter of unpaid charges. Where appropriate, families may be encouraged to apply for free and reduced-price meals for their children.

    B. The school district will make reasonable efforts to collect unpaid meal charges classified as delinquent debt.  Unpaid meal charges are designated as delinquent debt when payment is overdue, the debt is considered collectable, and efforts are being made to collect it.

     

    C. Negative balances of more than $50.00 not paid prior to the end of the month will be turned over to the principal’s designee for collection. Collection options may include, but are not limited to, use of collection agencies, claims in the conciliation court, or any other legal method permitted by law. 

     

    D. The school district may not enlist the assistance of non-school district employees, such as volunteers, to engage in debt collection efforts. 

     

    V. COMMUNICATION OF POLICY 

     

    A. This policy and any pertinent supporting information shall be provided in writing (i.e., mail, email, back-to-school packet, student handbook, etc.) to: 

     

    1. all households at or before the start of each school year;

     

    1. students and families who transfer into the school district, at the time of                                              enrollment; and

     

    1. all school district personnel who are responsible for enforcing this policy.

     

    B. The school district may post the policy on the school district’s website, in addition to providing the required written notification described above.

     

     

    Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 124D.111, Subd. 4 

    42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. (Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act)

    7 C.F.R. § 210 et seq. (School Lunch Program Regulations)

    7 C.F.R. § 220.8 (School Breakfast Program Regulations)

    USDA Policy Memorandum SP 46-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies (2016) 

    USDA Policy Memorandum SP 47-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments (2016) 

    USDA Policy Memorandum SP 23-2017, Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A

     

    CUMULATIVE RECORDS  

    A cumulative record is kept for every child beginning with kindergarten and continuing through sixth grade. When a student completes sixth grade, the records are transferred to the high school.  

    If you wish to examine your child’s record, you may arrange to do so by making an appointment with the principal. When a student transfers to another school, student records are sent upon the request of the new school without specific parent release.  

    PROGRESS REPORTS  

    Progress reports are issued quarterly for all grades. November, January, March, and June are the months they are sent home. Since this is an evaluation of progress in all subject areas as well as a report on conduct and effort, you are asked to examine the report carefully. Parent-teacher conferences are held two times a year. Schedules will be sent out as the time nears. If you cannot keep your scheduled times, please call Pioneer Elementary at (320) 468-6458.

    TESTING PROGRAM  

    FAST and STAR are two progress monitoring assessment tools we use with all students in Reading and Math.  It uses quick one minute probes to assess where students are at in their reading fluency (how many words they accurately read in a given time), reading comprehension, as well as their math fluency and reasoning.  These academic skills are strong indicators for how students will perform in a classroom setting or on standardized tests. We may use alternate assessment tools as well in order to track student progress and guide teacher planning.  

    As mandated in Minnesota, students in grades 3-6 are given the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) in reading and math.  Students in grade 5 are also given the state science assessment.  

    MCA REGULATIONS

     

    Parent/Guardian Guide to Statewide Testing

     

    This document provides basic information to help parents/guardians make informed decisions that benefit their children, schools and communities.

     

    Why statewide testing?

     

    Minnesota values its educational system and the professionalism of its educators.  Minnesota educators created the academic standards, which are rigorous and prepare our students for career and college.

     

    The statewide assessments are how we as a state measure that curriculum and daily instruction in our schools are being aligned to the academic standards, ensuring all students are being provided an equitable education.  Statewide assessments results are just one tool to monitor that we are providing our children with the education that will ensure a strong workforce and knowledgeable citizens.

     

    Why does participation matter?

     

    A statewide assessment is just one measure of your student’s achievement, but your student’s participation is important to understand how effectively the education at your student’s school is aligned to the academic standards.

    • Students who do not participate will receive a score of  “not proficient”.

    • Students who receive a college-ready score on the high school MCA are not required to take a remedial, non-credit course at a Minnesota State college or university in the corresponding subject area.

    • Educators and policy makers use information from assessments to make decisions about resources and support provided.

    • Parents and the general public use assessment information to compare schools and make decisions about where to purchase a home or to enroll their children.

    • School performance results that are publicly released and used by families and communities are negatively impacted if students do not participate in assessments.

     

    Academic Standards and Assessments

    What are academic standards?

     

    The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards are the statewide expectations for student academic achievement.  They identify the knowledge and skills that our students must achieve in a content area and are organized by grade level.  School districts determine how students will meet the standards by developing courses and curriculum aligned to the academic standards.

     

    What is the relationship between academic statewide assessments and the academic standards?

     

    The statewide assessments in mathematics, reading, and science are used to measure whether students, and their school and district, are meeting the academic standards.  Statewide assessments are one measure of how well students are doing on the content that is part of their daily instruction.  It is also a measure of how well schools and districts are doing in aligning their curriculum and teaching the standards.

     

    Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)

    • Based on the Minnesota Academic Standards; given annually in grades 3-8 and in the high school in reading and mathematics; given annually in grades 5, 8 and in high school for science.

    • Majority of students take the MCA.

    • MTAS is an option for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

     

    ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for English Learners

    • Based on the WIDA English Language Development Standards

    • Given annually to English learners in grades K-12 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

    • Majority of English learners take ACCESS for ELLs.

    • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is an option for English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

     

    Why are these assessments effective?

     

    Minnesota believes that in order to effectively measure what students are learning, testing needs to be more than answering multiple-choice questions.

     

    • To answer questions, students may need to type in answers, drag and drop images and words, or manipulate a graph or information.

    • The reading and mathematics MCAs are done adaptive, which means the answers a student provides determine the next questions the students will answer.

    • The science MCA incorporates simulations, which require students to perform experiments in order to answer questions.

     

    All of these provide students the opportunity to apply critical thinking needed for success in college and careers and show what they know and can do.

     

    Because test content represents the academic standards as completely as possible, preparing for and taking the assessments uses the very same knowledge, processes and strategies included in the standards.

     

    Are there limits on local testing?

     

    As stated in 120B.301, for students in grades 1-6, the cumulative total amount of time spent taking locally adopted district wide or school wide assessments must not exceed 11 hours per school year.

     

    In an effort to encourage transparency, the statute also requires a district or charter school, before the first day of each school year, to publish on its website a comprehensive calendar of standardized tests to be administered in the district or charter school during that school year.  The calendar must provide the rationale for administering each assessment and indicate whether the assessment is a local option or required by state or federal law.

     

    What if I choose not to have my student participate?

     

    Parents/guardians have a right to not have their student participate in state-required standardized assessments.  Minnesota Statutes require the department to provide information about statewide assessments to parents/guardians and include a form to complete if they refuse to have their student participate.  This form follows on the next page and includes an area to note the reason for the refusal to participate.  Your student’s district may require additional information.

     

    A school or district may have additional consequences beyond those mentioned in this document for a student not participating in the state-required standardized assessments.  There may also be consequences for not participating in assessments selected and administered at the local level.  Please contact your school for more 

     

    information regarding local decisions.

     

    Where do I get more information?

     

    Students and families can find out more on our Statewide Testing page (education.state.mn.us>Students and Families>Statewide Testing).

     

    When do students take the assessments?

     

    Each school sets their testing schedule within the state-testing window.  Contact your student’ school for information on specific testing days.

    • The MCA and MTAS testing window begins in March and ends in May.

    • The ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs testing window begins at the end of January and ends in March.

     

    When do I receive my student’s results?

     

    Each summer, individual students' reports are sent to the school districts and are provided to families no later than fall conferences.  The reports can be used to see your child’s progress and help guide future instruction.

     

    How much time is spent on testing?

     

    Statewide assessments are taken one time each year; the majority of students test online.  On average, the amount of time spent taking statewide assessments is less than 1 percent of instructional time in a school year.  The assessments are not timed and students can continue working as long as they need.

     

    Why does it seem like my student is taking more tests?

     

    The state required tests are limited to those outlined in this document.  Many districts make local decisions to administer additional tests that the state does not require.  Contact your district for more information.

     

    Minnesota Statutes, section 120B31, subdivision 4a, requires the commissioner to create and publish a form for parents and guardians to complete if they refuse to have their student participate in state-required standardized assessments. Your student's district may require additional information. School districts must post this form on the district website and include it in district student handbooks.

    Parent/Guardian Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Assessments

    To opt out of statewide assessments, the parent/guardian must complete this form and return it to the student's school.

    To best support school district planning, please submit this form to the student's school no later than January 15 of the academic school year. For students who enroll after a statewide testing window begins, please submit the form within two weeks of enrollment. A new refusal form is required each year parents/guardians wish to opt the student out of statewide assessments.

     

    Date (This form is only applicable for the 19 to 20 school year.)

    Student's Legal First Name Student's Legal Middle Initial Student's Legal Last Name Student's Date of Birth

    Student's District/School Grade _______________

    Please initial to indicate you have received and reviewed information about statewide testing.

    I received information on statewide assessments and choose to opt my student out. MDE provides a

    Parent/Guardian Guide to Statewide Testing on the MDE website (Students and Families > Statewide Testing).

    Reason for refusal: ___________________________________________________________________________

    Please indicate the statewide assessment(s) you are opting the student out of this school year:
    MCA/MTAS Reading MCA/MTAS Science

    MCA/MTAS Mathematics ACCESS or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

    Contact your school or district for the form to opt out of local assessments.

    I understand that by signing this form, my student will receive a score of "not proficient" and he/she waives the opportunity to receive a college-ready score that could save time and money by not having to take remedial, noncredit courses at a Minnesota State college or university. My school and I may lose valuable information about how well my student is progressing academically. In addition, opting out may impact the school, district, and state's efforts to equitably distribute resources and support student learning.

    Parent/Guardian Name (print)

    Parent/Guardian Signature To be completed by school or district staff only. Student ID or MARSS Number __________________

     

    PROMOTION/RETENTION POLICY  

    Students who achieve at levels deemed acceptable by local and state standards shall be promoted to the next grade level at the completion of each school year. Retention of a student may be considered when professional staff and parents feel that it is in the best interest of the student. Physical development, maturity, age, and emotional factors shall be considered as well as academic achievement. In cases of disagreement, the school superintendent’s decision shall be final. 

     

    PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE  

    In the elementary grades, the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is part of the opening exercise in the classroom and is led by the student council each Monday morning.

    SPECIAL EDUCATION  

    Special Education is provided to all children that are identified with a learning disability. Academic and psychological services as well as special education instructors are provided in all grades for all disability areas. 

    TITLE I  

    The focus of the Title I Program at Pioneer Elementary is structured tutoring and supplemental support for the classroom. The activities are designed to help children whose achievement is below grade level in reading and math. Instruction is provided on an individual and small group basis to aggressively improve academic skills.

    BUILDING DISCIPLINE  

    Pioneer Elementary is a good place to be because it has a long history of individual respect for the rights of everyone. To preserve this positive atmosphere, we will strive to build a partnership with parents so we can all support our children in school.  Each student will be taught appropriate behaviors through positive reinforcement.  Each teacher develops age-appropriate rules for their classes.  Parents will be informed by their child’s teacher, and through this handbook, of these expectations.  Generally, we believe an ideal learning environment is one where children cooperate in a respectful and positive manner, eliminating interferences to the learning of any other child.

     

    Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

     

    At Pioneer Elementary School, we have two systems in place to support the development and support for the positive behaviors we believe are most important to an ideal learning environment for all children.  In grades K-4, we call this our Pioneer Way.  In grades 5 and 6, we call this Pioneer PRIDE.  

     

    The Pioneer Way (Grades K-4) promotes the virtues of Hard Work, Respect, and Kindness across all settings of the school environment.  School staff in each classroom and throughout the building teach children in grades K-4 of the meaning of each of these virtues through modeling and explicit instruction.  Students in these grades who demonstrate these characteristics on a regular basis, or in extraordinary ways, may earn a Pioneer Pride Ticket (for taking Pride and being a great Pioneer student) from any employee.  That ticket enters them into a prize drawing that exemplifies the virtues of the Pioneer Way.  Specifically, students can earn a Pioneer Pride Ticket for exemplary behaviors demonstrating:

    1. Hard Work / Grit

    2. Respect

    3. Kindness

    **These can be earned from any staff member in the Cafeteria, in the Hallway, at Recess, as well as in the Classroom.  The overarching goal of our PBIS plan is to keep our focus on the positive virtues (and aligned student behaviors) that we believe can continuously improve the student culture of our school.

     

    Pioneer Pride (Grades 5-6) promotes the virtues of Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline (self), and Empathy…Online, In School, and In Our Community.  As with The Pioneer Way, school staff in each classroom and throughout the entire school setting will teach the meaning of each of these virtues in such a manner as to promote the growth and development of each characteristic in each student.  Modeling and explicit instruction will promote the development of all students.  Additionally, these virtues will be the focus of learning throughout the students’ experience in Metier class in grades 5 and 6..  

    In their own unique way, grades 5-6 have designed a grade-wide reward system that highlights desired student behaviors in a positive and uplifting manner.  Students in these grades also earn PRIDE tickets from any and all employees for exemplifying any of the P.R.I.D.E. virtues.  These tickets give students the opportunity for public recognition as well as entry into prize drawings.



    NO EXCUSES BEHAVIORS  

    • cheating  

    • bullying 

    • harassment of any kind

    • vulgar or abusive language, or racial slurs  

    • fighting  

    • behavior which is purposefully dangerous  

    • vandalism  

    Remember - a safe school and a positive environment for learning is important for everyone to succeed!  

     

    We believe that this plan will contribute to an environment in which students can grow, learn to work with others, be encouraged to achieve, enjoy the learning process, and be recognized for their effort and accomplishments. 

     

    BROKEN OR DAMAGED PROPERTY  

    Any repair or replacement of broken windows or damaged school property, due to the actions of a student, is the responsibility of the parent(s).  In such an event, the Principal will contact you and discuss the incident and assist in the arrangement for repair and payment.  

    BOOK FINES  

    Textbooks are furnished free to the student. Each student is expected to take care of these books. If books are damaged or lost, the student will be charged a fine or replacement cost from a used book company. Library books come under the same regulation.  

     

    CHEWING GUM  

    Gum chewing is not permitted in school. Careless disposal of gum in drinking fountains, under desks and on floors present sanitation and cleaning problems.  

    WINTER DRESS  

    Students are expected to come to school prepared for an approximately 20 minute outdoor recess. They need warm winter clothing for their head, hands, feet and a warm coat. Winter boots of some sort are required for outdoor recess. It is suggested that if children wear boots that are not slipped over shoes, that they keep a pair of tennis shoes in their locker or backpack to change into. Students are required to wear some form of shoe in school. Students will go outside regardless of proper attire. They will be required to play on the plowed surfaces if they come to school without boots, hat/hood, or mittens/gloves.  

    Please see that your children have the proper clothing when leaving for school in the morning. If you cannot provide winter clothing for your child, please contact the principal or school social worker. 

     

    RECESS  

    In the winter, students will go out for recess any time the windchill is -5 degrees or warmer. When the windchill is -6 degrees to -15 degrees, recess may occur, but will be shortened.  When needed, office staff will use Intellicast.com for the wind chill temperature. Our recess staff will watch children closely for signs of frostbite.  Most children want and need to be outside if only for a few minutes.  

    PLAYGROUND  

    The playgrounds are designed to be a fun and entertaining space for all children to play, be creative, and develop healthy peer relationships.  Play during the noon recess most often is free and children choose playmates and games to satisfy their own interest. Playground monitors will work to develop rules for the playground that make it a healthy environment for all.  They will communicate with children to be sure all understand the expectations of an enjoyable playground experience.

    PLAYGROUND EXPECTATIONS 

    At Pioneer Elementary our goal for all children is for them to do their personal best, act responsibly, work and play safely, and show respect.  Students will:

    1. Include others, try something new, and have fun

    2. Follow directions, keep the area clean and free from trash, and put away equipment

    3. Use equipment as intended and get help when needed (for self and others)

    4. Use kind words, listen to adults, care for all equipment, take turns, be a good sport, and solve problems with fairness and respect

     

    BRINGING ELECTRONICS, TOYS, PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT, TRADING CARDS TO SCHOOL  

    Bringing electronics, toys, playground equipment, trading cards, etc. to school is discouraged. All essential equipment is provided by the school. Items that are brought to school and are lost/stolen are not the responsibility of the school.

     PUBLICITY  

    Pioneer Elementary School routinely publishes photographs of students in our newspaper Education Today, as well as the Morrison County Record and our district website. Any parents or guardians who do not wish to have their child’s photograph posted on our site or used to publicize the school or the student, for any reason, may fill out a form in the principal’s office. The disclaimer form is also available on our home page:  

    http://www.pierzschools.org

    STUDENT DRESS  

    Dress Code:  All students are expected to dress and groom themselves neatly in clothes that are appropriate for the school/work environment.  Therefore, grooming and dress that interfere with any student’s educational progress will not meet Pioneer dress code expectations.  Clothing choices that are considered inappropriate for school setting and not allowed include, but are not limited to:

    • Clothing or jewelry with suggestive, vulgar, or other offensive language, pictures, etc.

    • Clothing that displays cleavage, exposes navel/midriff, has spaghetti strap tank tops, is a backless garments, or exposes undergarments

    • Clothing accessories with improper sayings or pictures or that promote alcohol, drugs, tobacco, nudity, violence, gang-related symbolism, offensive language or pictures (sexual, racial, or religious harassment; profanity).  Johnson T-shirts, Hooters T-shirts, Buck Naked T-shirts with sexually implied statements, etc.

    • Headgear of any kind (hats, bandanas, hoods, etc.)

    • Short skirts (must meet the knee or have shorts underneath), short shorts (must meet the “finger-tip rule”)

    • Heavy chains

    • Trench coats

    Students will be required to change or be referred to the office.  If in doubt, don’t wear it!  Gang affiliated signs, symbols, jewelry, tattoos, and clothing that represent acknowledged gangs or gang activity is prohibited.

    Note: This policy may be amended without notice to prohibit any attire that is deemed disruptive to the learning environment.

     

    LOST AND FOUND  

    Many articles of clothing remain unclaimed at the close of each school year. Helping children know and be responsible for their possessions is very important. Mark clothing to help cut down the number of unclaimed articles. Clothing not claimed at the end of the year will be given to a local charity. 

    TREATS  

    Bringing treats to school for birthdays, holidays, parties, etc. must be in a packaged or enclosed state to be shared with classmates. Due to a law that was passed, students cannot bring home-baked items such as cupcakes, cookies or cake to give to other students.  

    BRINGING ANIMALS TO SCHOOL  

    There is no proper equipment to care for animals at school. Parents should check with the teacher before bringing animals to school for class viewing. Animals should then be returned home by the parent. 

    BIKE RIDERS/SKATE BOARDERS 

    Students riding bikes/skateboards to school should park them at the west wing entrance in the bike rack in the morning and walk their bike/skateboard across the street with the walkers in the afternoon.  Skateboards may be stored in their lockers at their own risk.

    FIRE DRILLS – LOCK DOWN DRILLS – TORNADO DRILL 

    Fire drills (5), lock down drills (5) and tornado drills (1) are required by law and are an important safety precaution.  Students are instructed on what to do for each drill and practice the number set by law.  

    SCHOOL CLOSING  

    School closing due to bad weather will be announced via School Reach and over local radio and TV stations. This is announced the night before if possible or by 7:00 A.M.  

    Early dismissal from school will be announced approximately one hour before dismissal on Little Falls local radio stations. Students will be transported to their regular bus stop, or as close to home as possible, depending on conditions and circumstances. 

     

    CLASS TRIPS  

    Periodically, teachers may take students on field trips. In order to participate, the child must bring a signed permission slip stating that the parents/guardian gives permission for the child to go on the trip. Sometimes, due to repeated poor behaviors, students are not allowed to go on school trips.  This determination will be made between the teacher and school administration.  Parents will be contacted in advance if their child is in danger of missing a school trip. Any student who does not participate in the trip must attend school on that day.  The teacher will assign work and a room to work in. 

    STUDENT GOVERNMENT  

    The Council consists of representatives, one from each classroom 4-6, elected by the members of their class. The representatives are responsible for:  

    1. Accepting leadership roles in a positive manner.  

    2. Coordinating and administering special school projects.  

    3. Promoting positive attitudes and values at Pioneer Elementary.  

    4. Voicing the concerns of their peers at meetings and reporting back.  

     

    PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION (PTO)  

    The PTO meets monthly throughout the school year. All parents of students K-6 are invited to be members and are invited to attend meetings, as are community members.  If you would like to become an active member, please contact the Pioneer office for guidance.  This organization is a very valuable asset to the Pioneer Elementary School and participation is encouraged! 

    ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS  

    The school schedules several assembly programs each year. These are selected from the Dakota Program Services Inc. and are especially suited to elementary children. During the school year, various classrooms develop plays and programs which are presented to a number of grades as an assembly. These are highly desirable since they give the children practice in developing their own entertainment and, in doing so, can apply the skills and knowledge in the daily class work. 

    BUS RULES AND REGULATIONS 

    Pick up and Drop off Locations

    All students who are scheduled for any of our bus routes will be allowed 2 pick up and 2 drop off locations. In the event neither of these locations will work for a pick up or drop off, parents/guardians must make arrangements for students to be picked up or dropped off at school. 

    Riding the bus is a Privilege, Not a Right! The Pierz School District is concerned with the safety of your child.  One of the areas we are especially concerned with is safety on the school bus.  Bus drivers, schools, parents, and the students themselves each have 

     

    responsibilities in ensuring that buses remain a safe method of transportation for your child. 

     

    Driver Responsibility and Authority: Drivers assigned to transport students are licensed and certified by the State of Minnesota as “school bus drivers.”  In addition, drivers have undergone training in safety, first aid and emergency procedures. 

     

    Drivers are authorized to give directions and enforce rules and standards which will promote safety and security for all passengers. 

     

    Student Responsibility: Students are responsible for maintaining bus safety by following both school bus and bus stop safety rules.  Every student who rides the school bus should know and practice the rules of school bus safety. 

     

    Notice: Students will be given a copy of school bus and bus stop rules during school bus safety training.  Rules are to be posted on each bus and both rules and consequences will be periodically reviewed with students by the driver and the school. 

     

    Parent Responsibility:  

    1. Become familiar with district rules and policies regarding bus safety. 

    2. Help your students understand safety rules and encourage they be followed.         

    3. Recognize your responsibility for your student’s behavior. 

    4. Support safe riding and reasonable discipline. 

    5. When needed, help students in boarding the bus or in crossing streets. 

    6. Respect the rights of others. 

    7. Let us know about any bus safety concerns. 

    8. Watch bus stops. 

    9. Support all efforts to improve bus safety.

    10. Parents Must Not confront Drivers while they are doing their job of driving or in front of any students.  It creates an added burden of stress when their focus should be on getting the students safely to and from school.  If you have questions, call the school and we will arrange a meeting if needed.

     

    Inappropriate Bus Behaviors: 

    There are certain behaviors that are disruptive to the safety and security of all passengers.  Bus Drivers will confront students when these behaviors are present and students are expected to make the appropriate changes immediately.  Some of these types of behaviors include:

    _____ Too Noisy 

    _____ Stand on the bus, being in the aisles, or opening windows

    _____ Teasing 

    _____ Improper Language 

    _____ Sharing Cell Phones and other Devices causing disruptions 

    _____ Playing Devised without Headphones

    _____ Issues with Food, Snacks, Pop, etc

    _____ Littering outside or inside the bus

     _____ Any other behavior disruptive to others or the Bus Driver

     

    Bus drivers are encouraged to use a variety of discipline tools available prior to referral to the building principal.  

    Drivers will contact parents to inform them of bus incidents and seek parent support in making the appropriate changes in behavior.

    Drivers are expected to reassign any students to any seats as needed to promote the safety of the bus.

    Drivers may develop their own rules regarding food, beverages, snacks, cell phones, other devices in order to promote the safety and standards of their own bus.

    Drivers should expect students to clean up the bus whenever it is not being well kept.

    Drivers may ask older students to assist with younger students when there are incidents on the bus or in an emergency in order to maintain safety while dealing with any bus safety or emergency issues.

     

    PENALTIES FOR INFRACTIONS ELEMENTARY (School Readiness-Grade 6) 

    When Student Behaviors rise to a level where the Driver needs assistance and the student is not meeting the bus behavior expectations, the following consequences will take place.

     

    **Important Note:  If a child is suspended from the bus due their inappropriate behaviors, they still must attend school.  If they do not attend school due to loss of transportation due to their behaviors, the absence will be considered unexcused.

     

    First Offense: Driver will inform the transportation director, who then notifies the principal's office to assist in determining next steps as needed.  Parents will be notified of the concern.  The principal has discretionary authority on all disciplinary matters.

     

    Second Offense: Driver will contact the transportation director, who then notifies the principal's office to assist in determining next steps as needed.  Suspension from transportation of One (1) day.  Letter to parent from school principal. 

     

    Third Offense: Driver will contact the transportation director, who then notifies the principal's office to assist in determining next steps as needed..  Suspension from transportation of Three (3) days.  Letter to parent from school principal. 

     

    Fourth Offense: Driver will contact the transportation director, who then notifies the principal's office to assist in determining next steps as needed.  Suspension from transportation of Ten (10) days.  Letter to parent from school principal. 

     

    Further Offenses: Driver will contact the transportation director, who then notifies the principal's office to assist in determining next steps as needed.  Long-term suspension possibly including the remainder of the school year.

     

    Note: When a student has demonstrated a consistent “turnaround” in positive behavior for at least 60 calendar days, the School Principal has discretion regarding placing the student anywhere on the list regarding further consequences.  This is not guaranteed, but instead an individual decision of the Principal based upon the circumstances of the events and the individual student involved.

    Consequences of the school bus/bus stop misconduct will apply to all  regular routes. 

    Decisions regarding a student’s ability to ride any bus or van in connection with co-curricular and extra-curricular events (for example, field trips or competitions) will be at the discretion of the building principal or the building principal’s designee and Activities Director.

     

    Intolerable Bus Behaviors:

    The School District will take strong disciplinary action on certain student behaviors up to and including immediate loss of  all busing privileges and possible suspension or expulsion from school.

    Such Intolerable Behaviors Include:

    _____ Bullying 

    _____ Sexual Harassment

    _____ Weapons Violations

    _____ Possession of any illegal or inappropriate substance 

    _____ Physical Harassment, Threatening or Fighting

     

    Principal Authority:

    In all cases, the Principal or designee maintains the right to apply the most appropriate discipline to any student behaviors at his/her discretion.  This includes the right to assign different levels of suspension to different students involved in any bus incident.



    Adopted:    October 31, 2012              Policy 711

    711 VIDEO RECORDING ON SCHOOL BUSES

     

    I. PURPOSE

    The transportation of students to and from school is an important function of the school district, and transportation by the school district is a privilege and not a right for an eligible student.  The behavior of students on the bus is a significant factor in the safety and efficiency of school bus transportation.  Student misbehavior increases the potential risks of injury.  Therefore, the school district believes that video recording student passengers on the school bus will encourage good behavior and, as a result, promote safety.  The purpose of this policy is to establish a school bus video recording system.



    II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

     

    1.  Placement

    A video camera will not necessarily be installed in each and every school bus owned, leased, contracted, and/or operated by the school district, but cameras may be rotated from bus to bus without prior notice to students.

     

    2. Use of Video Recordings

     

    1.  A video recording of the actions of student passengers may be used by the school district as evidence in any disciplinary action brought against any student arising out of the student’s conduct on the bus.

     

    2. Neither the student nor the parent/guardian of the student that has been recorded will be allowed to view the recording, in accordance with data privacy laws. Upon written request, the school district will provide a written summary of the recorded incident(s) to the student's parents/guardians.

     

    3. Digital recordings that reveal unlawful actions may be brought to the attention of law enforcement agencies. 

     

    4. A video recording will be released only in conformance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232g and the rules and/or regulations promulgated there under.

     

    Legal References: Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.585 (Notice of Recording Device)

    Minn. Stat. § 138.17 (Government Records, Administration)

    Minn. Rules Parts 1205.0100-1205.2000 (Data Practices)

    20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

    34 C.F.R. §§ 99.1-99.67 (Family Educational Rights and Privacy)

     

    Cross References: MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)

    MSBA/MASAModel Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy)

    MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 2, Transportation

     

    Adopted:  July 1993                   MSBA/MASA Model Policy 413

    Orig. 1995

    Revised:  January 29, 2020        Rev. 2017




    413 HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE

     

    [Note: State law (Minn. Stat. § 121A.03) requires that school districts adopt a sexual, religious, and racial harassment and violence policy that conforms with the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (MHRA).  This policy complies with that statutory requirement and addresses the other classifications protected by the MHRA and/or federal law.  While the recommendation is that school districts incorporate the other protected classifications, in addition to sex, religion, and race, into this policy, they are not specifically required to do so by Minn. Stat. § 121A.03.  The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is required to maintain and make available a model sexual, religious, and racial harassment policy in accordance with Minn. Stat. § 121A.03.  MDE’s policy differs from that of MSBA and imposes greater requirements upon school districts than required by law.  For that reason, MSBA recommends the adoption of its model policy by school districts.  Each school board must submit a copy of the policy the board has adopted to the Commissioner of MDE.]

     

    I. PURPOSE

     

    The purpose of this policy is to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from harassment and violence on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability.

     

    [Note: The Minnesota Human Rights Act defines “sexual orientation” to include “having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s biological maleness or femaleness.”  Minn. Stat. § 363A.03, Subd. 44.]

     

    II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

     

    A. The policy of the school district is to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from harassment and violence on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability.  The school district prohibits any form of harassment or violence on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability.

     

    B. A violation of this policy occurs when any student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel harasses a student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel or group of students, teachers, administrators, or other school district personnel through conduct or communication based on a person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability, as defined by this policy.  (For purposes of this policy, school district personnel include school board members, school employees, agents, volunteers, contractors, or persons subject to the supervision and control of the district.)

     

    C. A violation of this policy occurs when any student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel inflicts, threatens to inflict, or attempts to inflict violence upon any student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel or group of students, teachers, administrators, or other school district personnel based on a person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability.

     

    D. The school district will act to investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of harassment or violence based on a person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability, and to discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel who is found to have violated this policy.

     

    III. DEFINITIONS

     

    A. “Assault” is:

     

    1. an act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death;

     

    2. the intentional infliction of or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another; or

     

    3. the threat to do bodily harm to another with present ability to carry out the threat.

     

    B. “Harassment” prohibited by this policy consists of physical or verbal conduct, including, but not limited to, electronic communications, relating to an individual’s or group of individuals’ race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability when the conduct:

     

    1. has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment;

     

    2. has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; or

     

    3. otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or academic opportunities.

     

    C. “Immediately” means as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours.

     

    D. Protected Classifications; Definitions

     

    1. “Disability” means any condition or characteristic that renders a person a disabled person.  A disabled person is any person who:

     

    a. has a physical, sensory, or mental impairment which materially limits one or more major life activities;

     

    b. has a record of such an impairment; or

     

    c. is regarded as having such an impairment.

     

    2. “Familial status” means the condition of one or more minors being domiciled with:

     

    a. their parent or parents or the minor’s legal guardian; or

     

    b. the designee of the parent or parents or guardian with the written permission of the parent or parents or guardian. The protections afforded against harassment on the basis of family status apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of an individual who has not attained the age of majority.

     

    3. “Marital status” means whether a person is single, married, remarried, divorced, separated, or a surviving spouse and, in employment cases, includes protection against harassment on the basis of the identity, situation, actions, or beliefs of a spouse or former spouse.

     

    4. “National origin” means the place of birth of an individual or of any of the individual’s lineal ancestors.

     

    5. “Sex” includes, but is not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, and disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth.

     

    6. “Sexual orientation” means having or being perceived as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s biological maleness or femaleness. “Sexual orientation” does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult.

     

    7. “Status with regard to public assistance” means the condition of being a recipient of federal, state, or local assistance, including medical assistance, or of being a tenant receiving federal, state, or local subsidies, including rental assistance or rent supplements.

     

    E. “Remedial response” means a measure to stop and correct acts of harassment or violence, prevent acts of harassment or violence from recurring, and protect, support, and intervene on behalf of a student who is the target or victim of acts of harassment or violence.

     

    F. Sexual Harassment; Definition

     

    1. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

     

    a. submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining employment or an education; or

     

    b. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment or education; or

     

    c. that conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or education, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.

     

    2. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

     

    a. unwelcome verbal harassment or abuse;

     

    b. unwelcome pressure for sexual activity;

     

    c. unwelcome, sexually motivated, or inappropriate patting, pinching, or physical contact, other than necessary restraint of student(s) by teachers, administrators, or other school district personnel to avoid physical harm to persons or property;

     

    d. unwelcome sexual behavior or words, including demands for sexual favors, accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual’s employment or educational status; 

     

    e. unwelcome sexual behavior or words, including demands for sexual favors, accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment with regard to an individual’s employment or educational status; or

     

    f. unwelcome behavior or words directed at an individual because of sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression.

     

    G. Sexual Violence; Definition

     

    1. Sexual violence is a physical act of aggression or force or the threat thereof which involves the touching of another’s intimate parts or forcing a person to touch any person’s intimate parts.  Intimate parts, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 609.341, includes the primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast, as well as the clothing covering these areas.

     

    2. Sexual violence may include, but is not limited to:

     

    a. touching, patting, grabbing, or pinching another person’s intimate parts, whether that person is of the same sex or the opposite sex;

     

    b. coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone’s intimate parts;

     

    c. coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another; or

     

    d. threatening to force or coerce sexual acts, including the touching of intimate parts or intercourse, on another.

     

    H. Violence; Definition

     

    Violence prohibited by this policy is a physical act of aggression or assault upon another or group of individuals because of, or in a manner reasonably related to, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability.

     

    IV. REPORTING PROCEDURES

     

    A. Any person who believes he or she has been the target or victim of harassment or violence on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability by a student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel, or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute harassment or violence prohibited by this policy toward a student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel or group of students, teachers, administrators, or other school district personnel should report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy.  A person may report conduct which may constitute harassment or violence anonymously.  However, the school district may not rely solely on an anonymous report to determine discipline or other remedial responses.

     

    B. The school district encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available from the principal or building supervisor of each building or available from the school district office, but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well.

     

    C. Nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from reporting harassment or violence directly to a school district human rights officer or to the superintendent.  If the complaint involves the building report taker, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the superintendent or the school district human rights officer by the reporting party or complainant.

     

    D. In Each School Building.  The building principal, the principal’s designee, or the building supervisor (hereinafter the “building report taker”) is the person responsible for receiving oral or written reports of harassment or violence prohibited by this policy at the building level.  Any adult school district personnel who receives a report of harassment or violence prohibited by this policy shall inform the building report taker immediately. If the complaint involves the building report taker, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the superintendent or the school district human rights officer by the reporting party or complainant. The building report taker shall ensure that this policy and its procedures, practices, consequences, and sanctions are fairly and fully implemented and shall serve as a primary contact on policy and procedural matters.

     

    E. A teacher, school administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other school employee shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances, or events that might include acts of harassment or violence.  Any such person who witnesses, observes, receives a report of, or has other knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute harassment or violence shall make reasonable efforts to address and resolve the harassment or violence and shall inform the building report taker immediately.  School district personnel who fail to inform the building report taker of conduct that may constitute harassment or violence or who fail to make reasonable efforts to address and resolve the harassment or violence in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action.

     

    F. Upon receipt of a report, the building report taker must notify the school district human rights officer immediately, without screening or investigating the report.  The building report taker may request, but may not insist upon, a written complaint.  A written statement of the facts alleged will be forwarded as soon as practicable by the building report taker to the human rights officer.  If the report was given verbally, the building report taker shall personally reduce it to written form within 24 hours and forward it to the human rights officer.  Failure to forward any harassment or violence report or complaint as provided herein may result in disciplinary action against the building report taker.

     

    G. In the District.  The school board hereby designates                           as the school district human rights officer(s) to receive reports or complaints of harassment or violence prohibited by this policy.  If the complaint involves a human rights officer, the complaint shall be filed directly with the superintendent.

     

    H. The school district shall conspicuously post the name of the human rights officer(s), including mailing addresses and telephone numbers.

     

    I. Submission of a good faith complaint or report of harassment or violence prohibited by this policy will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades, work assignments, or educational or work environment.

     

    J. Use of formal reporting forms is not mandatory.

     

    K. Reports of harassment or violence prohibited by this policy are classified as private educational and/or personnel data and/or confidential investigative data and will not be disclosed except as permitted by law.

     

    L. The school district will respect the privacy of the complainant(s), the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the school district’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to comply with any discovery or disclosure obligations.

     

    M. Retaliation against a victim, good faith reporter, or a witness of violence or harassment is prohibited.

     

    N. False accusations or reports of violence or harassment against another person are prohibited.

     

    O. A person who engages in an act of violence or harassment, reprisal, retaliation, or false reporting of violence or harassment, or permits, condones, or tolerates violence or harassment shall be subject to discipline or other remedial responses for that act in accordance with the school district’s policies and procedures.

     

    Consequences for students who commit, or are a party to, prohibited acts of violence or harassment or who engage in reprisal or intentional false reporting may range from remedial responses or positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.

     

    Consequences for employees who permit, condone, or tolerate violence or harassment or engage in an act of reprisal or intentional false reporting of violence or harassment may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or discharge.

     

    Consequences for other individuals engaging in prohibited acts of violence or harassment may include, but not be limited to, exclusion from school district property and events and/or termination of services and/or contracts.




    V. INVESTIGATION

     

    A. By authority of the school district, the human rights officer, within three (3) days of the receipt of a report or complaint alleging harassment or violence prohibited by this policy, shall undertake or authorize an investigation.  The investigation may be conducted by school district officials or by a third party designated by the school district.

     

    B. The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint.  The investigation may also consist of any other methods and documents deemed pertinent by the investigator.

     

    C. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the school district should consider the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behavior, past incidents or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.  Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances.

     

    D. In addition, the school district may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the target or victim, the complainant, and students, teachers, administrators, or other school district personnel pending completion of an investigation of alleged harassment or violence prohibited by this policy.

     

    E. The alleged perpetrator of the act(s) of harassment or violence shall be allowed the opportunity to present a defense during the investigation or prior to the imposition of discipline or other remedial responses.

     

    F. The investigation will be completed as soon as practicable.  The school district human rights officer shall make a written report to the superintendent upon completion of the investigation.  If the complaint involves the superintendent, the report may be filed directly with the school board.  The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual and whether they appear to be violations of this policy.

     

    VI. SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTION

     

    A. Upon completion of an investigation that determines a violation of this policy has occurred, the school district will take appropriate action.  Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination, or discharge. Disciplinary consequences will be sufficiently severe to try to deter violations and to appropriately discipline prohibited behavior.  School district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, Minnesota and federal law, and applicable school district policies and regulations.

     

    B. The school district is not authorized to disclose to a victim private educational or personnel data regarding an alleged perpetrator who is a student or employee of the school district.  School officials will notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) of targets or victims of harassment or violence and the parent(s) or guardian(s) of alleged perpetrators of harassment or violence who have been involved in a reported and confirmed harassment or violence incident of the remedial or disciplinary action taken, to the extent permitted by law.

     

    C. In order to prevent or respond to acts of harassment or violence committed by or directed against a child with a disability, the school district shall, where determined appropriate by the child’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 team, allow the child’s IEP or Section 504 plan to be drafted to address the skills and proficiencies the child needs as a result of the child’s disability to allow the child to respond to or not to engage in acts of harassment or violence.

     

    VII. RETALIATION OR REPRISAL

     

    The school district will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, or other school district personnel who commits an act of reprisal or who retaliates against any person who asserts, alleges, or makes a good faith report of alleged harassment or violence prohibited by this policy, who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation of retaliation or alleged harassment or violence, or who testifies, assists, or participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such harassment or violence. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, harassment, or intentional disparate treatment.  Disciplinary consequences will be sufficiently severe to deter violations and to appropriately discipline the individual(s) who engaged in the harassment or violence.  Remedial responses to the harassment or violence shall be tailored to the particular incident and nature of the conduct.

     

    VIII. RIGHT TO ALTERNATIVE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

     

    These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse which may include filing charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, initiating civil action, or seeking redress under state criminal statutes and/or federal law.

     

    IX. HARASSMENT OR VIOLENCE AS ABUSE

     

    A. Under certain circumstances, alleged harassment or violence may also be possible abuse under Minnesota law.  If so, the duties of mandatory reporting under Minn. Stat. § 626.556 may be applicable.

     

    B. Nothing in this policy will prohibit the school district from taking immediate action to protect victims of alleged harassment, violence, or abuse.

     

    X. DISSEMINATION OF POLICY AND TRAINING

     

    A. This policy shall be conspicuously posted throughout each school building in areas accessible to students and staff members.

     

    B. This policy shall be given to each school district employee and independent contractor who regularly interacts with students at the time of initial employment with the school district.

     

    C. This policy shall appear in the student handbook.

     

    D. The school district will develop a method of discussing this policy with students and employees.

     

    E. The school district may implement violence prevention and character development education programs to prevent and reduce policy violations.  Such programs may offer instruction on character education including, but not limited to, character qualities such as attentiveness, truthfulness, respect for authority, diligence, gratefulness, self-discipline, patience, forgiveness, respect for others, peacemaking, resourcefulness, and/or sexual abuse prevention.

     

    F. This policy shall be reviewed at least annually for compliance with state and federal law.



    Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.234 (Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.03, Subd. 2 (Sexual, Religious, and Racial Harassment and Violence Policy)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 (School Student Bullying Policy)

    Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act)

    Minn. Stat. § 609.341 (Definitions)

    Minn. Stat. § 626.556 et seq. (Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors)

    20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688 (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)

    29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. (Age Discrimination in Employment Act)

    29 U.S.C. § 794 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504)

    42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights)

    42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

    42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act)

    42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act) 

     

    Cross References: MSBA/MASA Model Policy 102 (Equal Educational Opportunity)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 401 (Equal Employment Opportunity)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 402 (Disability Nondiscrimination Policy)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 403 (Discipline, Suspension, and Dismissal of School District Employees)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 406 (Public and Private Personnel Data)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 414 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 415 (Mandated Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 514 (Bullying Prohibition Policy)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 521 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 522 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 524 (Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 526 (Hazing Prohibition)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 528 (Student Parental, Family, and Marital Status Nondiscrimination)

     

    WEAPONS POSSESSION POLICY  

    A student in possession of a gun or other dangerous weapon, whether on their person, in their locker, vehicle, on school grounds, at school functions, or in proximity will serve a mandatory suspension from school on principal’s authority.  Expulsion will be considered.  The student may also be referred to the police for legal disposition, and/or referred to an appropriate evaluation team for educational disposition.  This referral may be made by the principal or parent/legal guardian.  If such disposition does not occur within five school days, the student will be placed on homebound tutoring until such disposition is made. 






    Adopted:   April 27, 2011     MSBA/MASA Model Policy 514

    Orig. 2003

    Revised:  July 30, 2014         Rev. 2014



    514 BULLYING PROHIBITION POLICY

     

    [Note:  School districts are required by statute to have a policy addressing bullying.]

     

    I. PURPOSE

     

    A safe and civil environment is needed for students to learn and attain high academic standards and to promote healthy human relationships.  Bullying, like other violent or disruptive behavior, is conduct that interferes with a student’s ability to learn and/or a teacher’s ability to educate students in a safe environment.  The school district cannot monitor the activities of students at all times and eliminate all incidents of bullying between students, particularly when students are not under the direct supervision of school personnel.  However, to the extent such conduct affects the educational environment of the school district and the rights and welfare of its students and is within the control of the school district in its normal operations, the school district intends to prevent bullying and to take action to investigate, respond to, and to remediate and discipline for those acts of bullying which have not been successfully prevented.  The purpose of this policy is to assist the school district in its goal of preventing and responding to acts of bullying, intimidation, violence, reprisal, retaliation, and other similar disruptive and detrimental behavior.



    II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

     

    A. An act of bullying, by either an individual student or a group of students, is expressly prohibited on school premises, on school district property, at school functions or activities, or on school transportation.  This policy applies not only to students who directly engage in an act of bullying but also to students who, by their indirect behavior, condone or support another student’s act of bullying.  This policy also applies to any student whose conduct at any time or in any place constitutes bullying or other prohibited conduct that interferes with or obstructs the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of the student or other students, or materially and substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or performance or ability to participate in school functions or activities or receive school benefits, services, or privileges.  This policy also applies to an act of cyberbullying regardless of whether such act is committed on or off school district property and/or with or without the use of school district resources.

     

    B. No teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district shall permit, condone, or tolerate bullying.

     

    C. Apparent permission or consent by a student being bullied does not lessen or negate the prohibitions contained in this policy.

     

    D. Retaliation against a victim, good faith reporter, or a witness of bullying is prohibited.

     

    E. False accusations or reports of bullying against another student are prohibited.

     

    F. A person who engages in an act of bullying, reprisal, retaliation, or false reporting of bullying or permits, condones, or tolerates bullying shall be subject to discipline or other remedial responses for that act in accordance with the school district’s policies and procedures, including the school district’s discipline policy (See MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506).  The school district may take into account the following factors:

     

    1. The developmental ages and maturity levels of the parties involved;

     

    2. The levels of harm, surrounding circumstances, and nature of the behavior;

     

    3. Past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior;

     

    4. The relationship between the parties involved; and

     

    5. The context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

     

    Consequences for students who commit prohibited acts of bullying may range from remedial responses or positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.  The school district shall employ research-based developmentally appropriate best practices that include preventative and remedial measures and effective discipline for deterring violations of this policy, apply throughout the school district, and foster student, parent, and community participation.

     

    Consequences for employees who permit, condone, or tolerate bullying or engage in an act of reprisal or intentional false reporting of bullying may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or discharge.

     

    Consequences for other individuals engaging in prohibited acts of bullying may include, but not be limited to, exclusion from school district property and events.

     

    G. The school district will act to investigate all complaints of bullying reported to the school district and will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district who is found to have violated this policy.

     

    III. DEFINITIONS

     

    For purposes of this policy, the definitions included in this section apply.

     

    A. “Bullying” means intimidating, threatening, abusive, or harming conduct that is objectively offensive and:

     

    1. an actual or perceived imbalance of power exists between the student engaging in the prohibited conduct and the target of the prohibited conduct, and the conduct is repeated or forms a pattern; or

     

    2. materially and substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or performance or ability to participate in school functions or activities or receive school benefits, services, or privileges.

     

    The term, “bullying,” specifically includes cyberbullying as defined in this policy.  

     

    B. “Cyberbullying” means bullying using technology or other electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of a sign, signal, writing, image, sound, or data, including a post on a social network Internet website or forum, transmitted through a computer, cell phone, or other electronic device.  The term applies to prohibited conduct which occurs on school premises, on school district property, at school functions or activities, on school transportation, or on school computers, networks, forums, and mailing lists, or off school premises to the extent that it substantially and materially disrupts student learning or the school environment.

     

    C. “Immediately” means as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours.

     

    D. “Intimidating, threatening, abusive, or harming conduct” means, but is not limited to, conduct that does the following:

     

    1. Causes physical harm to a student or a student’s property or causes a student to be in reasonable fear of harm to person or property;

     

    2. Under Minnesota common law, violates a student’s reasonable expectation of privacy, defames a student, or constitutes intentional infliction of emotional distress against a student; or

     

    3. Is directed at any student or students, including those based on a person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation including gender identity and expression, academic status related to student performance, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic defined in the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA).  However, prohibited conduct need not be based on any particular characteristic defined in this paragraph or the MHRA.

     

    E. “On school premises, on school district property, at school functions or activities, or on school transportation” means all school district buildings, school grounds, and school property or property immediately adjacent to school grounds, school bus stops, school buses, school vehicles, school contracted vehicles, or any other vehicles approved for school district purposes, the area of entrance or departure from school grounds, premises, or events, and all school-related functions, school-sponsored activities, events, or trips.  School district property also may mean a student’s walking route to or from school for purposes of attending school or school-related functions, activities, or events.  While prohibiting bullying at these locations and events, the school district does not represent that it will provide supervision or assume liability at these locations and events.

     

      F. “Prohibited conduct” means bullying or cyberbullying as defined in this policy or retaliation or reprisal for asserting, alleging, reporting, or providing information about such conduct or knowingly making a false report about bullying.

     

    G. “Remedial response” means a measure to stop and correct prohibited conduct, prevent prohibited conduct from recurring, and protect, support, and intervene on behalf of a student who is the target or victim of prohibited conduct.

     

    H. “Student” means a student enrolled in a public school or a charter school.

     

    IV. REPORTING PROCEDURE

     

    A. Any person who believes he or she has been the target or victim of bullying or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying or prohibited conduct under this policy shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy.  A person may report bullying anonymously.  However, the school district may not rely solely on an anonymous report to determine discipline or other remedial responses.

     

    B. The school district encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available from the principal or building supervisor of each building or available in the school district office, but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well.

     

    C. The building principal, the principal’s designee, or the building supervisor (hereinafter the “building report taker”) is the person responsible for receiving reports of bullying or other prohibited conduct at the building level.  Any person may report bullying or other prohibited conduct directly to a school district human rights officer or the superintendent.  If the complaint involves the building report taker, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the superintendent or the school district human rights officer by the reporting party or complainant.

     

    The building report taker shall ensure that this policy and its procedures, practices, consequences, and sanctions are fairly and fully implemented and shall serve as the primary contact on policy and procedural matters.  The building report taker or a third party designated by the school district shall be responsible for the investigation.  The building report taker shall provide information about available community resources to the target or victim of the bullying or other prohibited conduct, the perpetrator, and other affected individuals as appropriate.

     

    D. A teacher, school administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other school employee shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances, or events that might include bullying.  Any such person who witnesses, observes, receives a report of, or has other knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying or other prohibited conduct shall make reasonable efforts to address and resolve the bullying or prohibited conduct and shall inform the building report taker immediately.  School district personnel who fail to inform the building report taker of conduct that may constitute bullying or other prohibited conduct or who fail to make reasonable efforts to address and resolve the bullying or prohibited conduct in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action.

     

    E. Reports of bullying or other prohibited conduct are classified as private educational and/or personnel data and/or confidential investigative data and will not be disclosed except as permitted by law.  The building report taker, in conjunction with the responsible authority, shall be responsible for keeping and regulating access to any report of bullying and the record of any resulting investigation.

     

    F. Submission of a good faith complaint or report of bullying or other prohibited conduct will not affect the complainant’s or reporter’s future employment, grades, work assignments, or educational or work environment.

     

    G. The school district will respect the privacy of the complainant(s), the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the school district’s obligation to investigate, take appropriate action, and comply with any legal disclosure obligations.

     

    V. SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTION

     

    A. Within three days of the receipt of a complaint or report of bullying or other prohibited conduct, the school district shall undertake or authorize an investigation by the building report taker or a third party designated by the school district.

     

    B. The building report taker or other appropriate school district officials may take immediate steps, at their discretion, to protect the target or victim of the bullying or other prohibited conduct, the complainant, the reporter, and students or others, pending completion of an investigation of the bullying or other prohibited conduct, consistent with applicable law.

     

    C. The alleged perpetrator of the bullying or other prohibited conduct shall be allowed the opportunity to present a defense during the investigation or prior to the imposition of discipline or other remedial responses.

     

    D. Upon completion of an investigation that determines that bullying or other prohibited conduct has occurred, the school district will take appropriate action.  Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination, or discharge.  Disciplinary consequences will be sufficiently severe to try to deter violations and to appropriately discipline prohibited conduct.  Remedial responses to the bullying or other prohibited conduct shall be tailored to the particular incident and nature of the conduct and shall take into account the factors specified in Section II.F. of this policy.  School district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements; applicable statutory authority, including the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act; the student discipline policy (See MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506) and other applicable school district policies; and applicable regulations.

     

    E. The school district is not authorized to disclose to a victim private educational or personnel data regarding an alleged perpetrator who is a student or employee of the school district.  School officials will notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) of students who are targets of bullying or other prohibited conduct and the parent(s) or guardian(s) of alleged perpetrators of bullying or other prohibited conduct who have been involved in a reported and confirmed bullying incident of the remedial or disciplinary action taken, to the extent permitted by law.

     

    F. In order to prevent or respond to bullying or other prohibited conduct committed by or directed against a child with a disability, the school district shall, when determined appropriate by the child’s individualized education program (IEP) team or Section 504 team, allow the child’s IEP or Section 504 plan to be drafted to address the skills and proficiencies the child needs as a result of the child’s disability to allow the child to respond to or not to engage in bullying or other prohibited conduct.

     

    VI. RETALIATION OR REPRISAL

     

    The school district will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district who commits an act of reprisal or who retaliates against any person who asserts, alleges, or makes a good faith report of alleged bullying or prohibited conduct, who provides information about bullying or prohibited conduct, who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation of alleged bullying or prohibited conduct, or who testifies, assists, or participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such bullying or prohibited conduct.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, harassment, or intentional disparate treatment.  Disciplinary consequences will be sufficiently severe to deter violations and to appropriately discipline the individual(s) who engaged in the prohibited conduct.  Remedial responses to the prohibited conduct shall be tailored to the particular incident and nature of the conduct and shall take into account the factors specified in Section II.F. of this policy.

     

    VII. TRAINING AND EDUCATION

     

    A. The school district shall discuss this policy with school personnel and volunteers and provide appropriate training to school district personnel regarding this policy.  The school district shall establish a training cycle for school personnel to occur during a period not to exceed every three school years.  Newly employed school personnel must receive the training within the first year of their employment with the school district.  The school district or a school administrator may accelerate the training cycle or provide additional training based on a particular need or circumstance.  This policy shall be included in employee handbooks, training materials, and publications on school rules, procedures, and standards of conduct, which materials shall also be used to publicize this policy.

     

    B. The school district shall require ongoing professional development, consistent with Minn. Stat. § 122A.60, to build the skills of all school personnel who regularly interact with students to identify, prevent, and appropriately address bullying and other prohibited conduct.  Such professional development includes, but is not limited to, the following:

     

    1. Developmentally appropriate strategies both to prevent and to immediately and effectively intervene to stop prohibited conduct;

     

    2. The complex dynamics affecting a perpetrator, target, and witnesses to prohibited conduct;

     

    3. Research on prohibited conduct, including specific categories of students at risk for perpetrating or being the target or victim of bullying or other prohibited conduct in school;

     

    4. The incidence and nature of cyberbullying; and

     

    5. Internet safety and cyberbullying.

     

    C. The school district annually will provide education and information to students regarding bullying, including information regarding this school district policy prohibiting bullying, the harmful effects of bullying, and other applicable initiatives to prevent bullying and other prohibited conduct.

     

    D. The administration of the school district is directed to implement programs and other initiatives to prevent bullying, to respond to bullying in a manner that does not stigmatize the target or victim, and to make resources or referrals to resources available to targets or victims of bullying.

     

    E. The administration is encouraged to provide developmentally appropriate instruction and is directed to review programmatic instruction to determine if adjustments are necessary to help students identify and prevent or reduce bullying and other prohibited conduct, to value diversity in school and society, to develop and improve students’ knowledge and skills for solving problems, managing conflict, engaging in civil discourse, and recognizing, responding to, and reporting bullying or other prohibited conduct, and to make effective prevention and intervention programs available to students.

     

    The administration must establish strategies for creating a positive school climate and use evidence-based social-emotional learning to prevent and reduce discrimination and other improper conduct.

     

    The administration is encouraged, to the extent practicable, to take such actions as it may deem appropriate to accomplish the following:

     

    1. Engage all students in creating a safe and supportive school environment;

     

    2. Partner with parents and other community members to develop and implement prevention and intervention programs;

     

    3. Engage all students and adults in integrating education, intervention, and other remedial responses into the school environment;

     

    4. Train student bystanders to intervene in and report incidents of bullying and other prohibited conduct to the schools’ primary contact person;

     

    5. Teach students to advocate for themselves and others;

     

    6. Prevent inappropriate referrals to special education of students who may engage in bullying or other prohibited conduct; and

     

    7. Foster student collaborations that, in turn, foster a safe and supportive school climate.

     

    F. The school district may implement violence prevention and character development education programs to prevent or reduce policy violations.  Such programs may offer instruction on character education including, but not limited to, character qualities such as attentiveness, truthfulness, respect for authority, diligence, gratefulness, self-discipline, patience, forgiveness, respect for others, peacemaking, and resourcefulness.

     

    G. The school district shall inform affected students and their parents of rights they may have under state and federal data practices laws to obtain access to data related to an incident and their right to contest the accuracy or completeness of the data.  The school district may accomplish this requirement by inclusion of all or applicable parts of its protection and privacy of pupil records policy (See MSBA/MASA Model Policy 515) in the student handbook.

     

    VIII. NOTICE

     

    1. The school district will give annual notice of this policy to students, parents or guardians, and staff, and this policy shall appear in the student handbook.

     

    B. This policy or a summary thereof must be conspicuously posted in the administrative offices of the school district and the office of each school.

     

    C. This policy must be given to each school employee and independent contractor who regularly interacts with students at the time of initial employment with the school district.

     

    D. Notice of the rights and responsibilities of students and their parents under this policy must be included in the student discipline policy (See MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506) distributed to parents at the beginning of each school year.

     

    E. This policy shall be available to all parents and other school community members in an electronic format in the language appearing on the school district’s or a school’s website.

     

    F. The school district shall provide an electronic copy of its most recently amended policy to the Commissioner of Education.

     

    IX. POLICY REVIEW

     

    To the extent practicable, the school board shall, on a cycle consistent with other school district policies, review and revise this policy.  The policy shall be made consistent with Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 and other applicable law.  Revisions shall be made in consultation with students, parents, and community organizations.



    Legal References: Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)

    Minn. Stat. § 120A.05, Subds. 9, 11, 13, and 17 (Definition of Public School)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.03 (Sexual, Religious and Racial Harassment and Violence)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 (School Student Bullying Policy)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.0311 (Notice of Rights and Responsibilities of Students and Parents under the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act)

    Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.69 (Hazing Policy)

    Minn. Stat. § 124D.10 (Charter School)

    Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act)

    20 U.S.C. § 1232g et seq. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

    34 C.F.R. §§ 99.1 - 99.67 (Family Educational Rights and Privacy)

     

    Cross References: MSBA/MASA Model Policy 403 (Discipline, Suspension, and Dismissal of School District Employees)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 414 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 415 (Mandated Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 423 (Employee-Student Relationships)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 501 (School Weapons Policy)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 507 (Corporal Punishment)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 521 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 522 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 524 (Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 526 (Hazing Prohibition)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 529 (Staff Notification of Violent Behavior by Students)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 711 (Video Recording on School Buses)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 712 (Video Surveillance Other Than on Buses)

    Pierz Schools Social Media Guidelines

    Pierz Schools recognizes the importance of social media as a means of communication. The District encourages the appropriate use of social media as a means to communicate, whether as an individual or as a school or District program, if such use is helpful in reaching our various constituents.

    The District acknowledges that its employees have the right under the First Amendment as private citizens to speak out on matters of public concern. However, the District has the right to regulate the speech of employees in specific circumstances. Accordingly, it is essential that employees conduct themselves in such a way that their personal and/or educational use of social media does not adversely affect their position with the District.

    The purpose of these guidelines is to establish protocols for the use of social media by employees and to outline expectations for its use. Social media includes websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media tools.

    Expectations for all use of social media (personal and educational)
    Pierz Schools’ employees’ behavior on social media should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect and consideration they are expected to adhere to in all forms of communications and interactions.

    Do not submit or post confidential or protected information about the District, its students, alumni, or employees. You should assume that most information about a student is protected from disclosure by both federal law (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and state law (MN statute 13.32 Educational Data).

    Disclosure of confidential or protected information may result in liability for invasion of privacy or defamation and result in disciplinary action up to, and including, discharge from employment.

    Report, as required by law, any information found on a social networking site that falls under the mandatory reporting guidelines.

    Do not use language that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libelous, or that constitutes an incitement to imminent violence or a true threat.

    Do not post or otherwise publish content that is or could reasonably be perceived as bullying, discrimination, or harassment in violation of District #484 policy.

    Exercise caution with regards to exaggeration, colorful language, guesswork, copyrighted materials, legal conclusions, and derogatory remarks or characterizations.

    Consider whether a particular posting puts your professional reputation and effectiveness as a District employee at risk.
     

    Be cautious of security risks when using third-party applications within a social media site.

    Be alert to the possibility of phishing scams that arrive through a social media site.

    II. Expectations for the personal use of social media

    In addition to Section I, above, employees using social media for personal (non-District- related) purposes are expected to:

    Refrain from accepting current Pierz Schools students as “friends” on personal social media sites and apps.

    Be aware that people classified as “friends” have the ability to download and share your information with others.

    Remember that once something is posted to a social media site it may remain available online even if you think it is removed.

    Assume that anything you post to a personal social media site can be accessed by anyone and will be available forever.

    Sharing school or District social media posts to your personal social media page (i.e. sharing a district Facebook announcement to your personal Facebook page) is acceptable and encouraged if it is something of interest to you.

    Set and maintain appropriate social media privacy settings. Be aware that social media sites can change their privacy policies and standards at any time, possibly exposing posts that employees believed were private to the public.

    Avoid using a social media site to post content which may be considered defamatory or obscene, and do not post content which violates copyright or other intellectual property laws.

    Never use a social media site to post information about a District #484 student or employee in a way that is or could be reasonably perceived as discriminatory, harassing, or otherwise derogatory.

    Never use a social media site to post or otherwise publish confidential or protected information about the District, its students, or its employees. Disclosure of confidential or protected information may result in liability for invasion of privacy or defamation.

    As a member of the Pierz School’s community, all staff are expected to act professionally on social media. If you wish to post any content of your classes, practices, or in-school interactions on social media, please send to hthielen@pierzschools.org for proper review to be posted to the District accounts. Never use photos of students on your own personal accounts.

    III. Expectations for the educational use of social media

    In addition to Section I, above, employees using social media for educational (school or District-related) purposes are expected to:

     Comply with all District policies and state laws on the use of district-owned hardware, software and networks apply, as relevant, to the use of social media for a school, class or program.

    • Notify your building administrator if you wish to establish a social media site for a school, class or program. That request and set up will be handled by the communications team.

    • If using Facebook, create an organization page for your school, class or program; do NOT use a personal Facebook page for school-related purposes.

    • Establish expectations for acceptable use on your social media site that are compliant with the District’s expectations for acceptable use (see example at end of document).

    • Do not post anything on a school or District affiliated social media page that advocates for or against a political candidate or ballot initiative.

    • Refrain from posting or otherwise publishing images that include students who have opted-out of the district publications. Building secretaries will have this information.

    • - To ensure the safety of our community, Pierz Schools will never knowingly post or release information that is considered private and confidential. This includes posting conversations, names, personal schedules, addresses, personal phone numbers, etc. without noted consent.

    - Unless otherwise opted-out, students are automatically opted-in to the district’s                 publications. Photos of students will not be posted on Pierz Schools social media accounts if a parent specifically opts their child(ren) out of such communications.

    -Pay close attention to the site’s security settings and allow only approved participants access to the site.

    • -Remember that behavior inappropriate in school or the classroom should be considered inappropriate online.

    • -Seek consent before using the Pioneer logo or school-specific logos or mascots. The use of the District logo should be approved by the building principal.

    •   -Employees found to have engaged in inappropriate use of social media or other electronic communication may be subject to disciplinary action by the District, up to and including termination.

    • Expectations for Pierz School’s Students

    • As a student of Pierz Schools, you are expected to employ responsible behavior, and any disrespect to the school or to your peers — in addition to posting photos of other students without consent — will result in disciplinary action

    Establishing a school or District-related social media site

    Anyone who wishes to establish a social media site for a district office, school, class or program must first notify their building principal or supervisor. If you have questions on content you would like posted to the district’s social media pages please contact:

    Heidi Thielen: hthielen@pierzschools.org

    Sarah Funk: sfunk@pierzschools.org

    Acceptable Use Guideline Example

    The following acceptable use guideline is posted to the school district’s Facebook page, and provides an example that can be adopted for other district-related social media sites (i.e. Facebook pages for Band, FFA, etc):

    Pierz Public Schools has created this Facebook page to serve as an additional means to share news, provide information, and facilitate communications within our school district community. We thank all of the Facebook users who “like” our page and contribute to our online community. Messages posted to this Facebook page do not necessarily represent the views of Pierz Schools. The District reserves the right to remove comments and/or report users who post comments which, in the school district’s sole discretion, bully, intimidate, or harass any individual; contain obscenity, nudity or gratuitous violence; are commercial solicitations; are factually erroneous, libelous, or wildly off-topic; are from anonymous blog trolls; constitute incitement to violence or violation of law or District policy, or which constitute true threats; or that otherwise violate State law, school district policy, or the social media site’s own policies. 



    INDOOR AIR QUALITY NOTICE (IAQ)

    Pierz School District is proud to be taking a leadership role in providing a safe, comfortable and productive environment for our students and staff to achieve our core mission –– educating students. Our school will follow the EPA guidance to improve our indoor air quality by preventing as many IAQ problems as possible, and by quickly responding to any IAQ problems that may arise. Good air quality requires an ongoing commitment by everyone in our school since each of us makes daily decisions and performs activities that affect the quality of the air we breathe.  

    School staff, students and parents can obtain checklists or self-help information so they can properly evaluate their child’s home or other out of school situations by contacting the school. Staff and parents can also obtain information about school facility construction, maintenance and housekeeping practices, chemicals used, mold and HVAC related information, chemical producing academic subjects, and pesticide and herbicide applications to determine the extent to which school activities contribute to a child’s symptoms by contacting the school.  

    The Pierz School District Indoor Air Quality contact person is Jeremy Skwira, Building and Grounds Director. If there are any questions regarding the school’s IAQ Program, please feel free to call the school at (320) 468-6458.  

    LEAD IN DRINKING WATER TESTING 

    Pierz Public Schools is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment for our employees and students. In accordance with Minnesota Statute 121A.335, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Pierz Public Schools has conducted and continues to conduct lead in drinking water testing. All taps within the district that are used for drinking or cooking are sampled and tested for lead on a five-year cycle beginning in Fiscal Year 2019. You can view a copy of our water testing results at the district business office or on our website at www.pierzschools.org. Anyone interested in discussing the district Lead in Drinking Water program or test results can contact Tracey Artner, Business Manager, at 320-468-6458 ext. 1904 or tartner@pierzschools.org.

     

    PESTICIDE GENERAL NOTICE  

    A Minnesota State law went into effect in the year 2000 that requires schools to inform school staff, students and parents if they apply certain pesticides on school property.  

    Specifically, this law requires schools that apply these pesticides to maintain an estimated schedule of pesticide applications and to make the schedule available to employees and parents for review or copying at the school office.  

    State law also requires that you be told that the long-term health effects on children from the application of such pesticides or the class of chemicals to which they belong may not be fully understood.  

    If there are any questions regarding the Pierz School District Integrated Pest Management program or you would like more information on the pesticide application schedule, please feel free to call the school at (320) 468-6458.  

    EMPLOYMENT CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECKS

    The school district has adopted a policy, the purpose of which is to promote the physical, social, and psychological well-being of its students.  Pursuant to this policy, the school district criminal history background checks for all applicants who receive and offer of employment with the school district.  The school district also shall seek criminal history background checks for all individuals, except enrolled students, who are offered coaching services to the school district, regardless of whether compensation is paid.  These positions include, but are not limited to, all athletic coaches, extracurricular academic coaches, assistants, and advisors.  The school district may elect to seek criminal history background checks for other volunteers, independent contractors, and student employees.  (Refer to Policy 404).

    ACCEPTABLE USE AGREEMENT

    Dear Parents and Guardians, 

     

    Students of District 484 will be required to use a variety of information and technology resources to complete their classroom assignments.  Using technology resources includes such things as word processing a report, drawing a picture, or creating a multi-media presentation.  Accessing information includes looking up materials on the catalog, using CD-roms, and accessing the Internet. 

     

    Pierz School District strives to provide the resources necessary to meet the challenges of today’s educational environment and expect students to use those resources in a responsible and respectful manner. 

     

    Please read the Acceptable Use Agreement below.  It is important that you and your child fully understand the agreement.  If you have questions, please contact Roxanne Welle at the High School (468-6458 ext. 1210), Sheila Smallfield (ext. 1265), or JoAnn Dahl at Pioneer Elementary (468-6458 ext. 2243). 

     

    Violations of this agreement, at any time, will result in termination of privileges. 

     

    Acceptable Use Agreement 

    District 484 Pierz, MN 

    Guidelines 

    Pioneer Elementary 

    1. 1. I agree to show respect for school property by using materials and equipment in an appropriate manner. 

      1. a. Do not vandalize equipment in any way. 

      2. b. Do not load programs/music/games. 

      3. c. Notify a teacher if damage of any kind occurs. 

     

    1. 2. I agree to exercise respect for others while using technology. 

      1. a. Creation of any document with insulting or harassing text or pictures will not be tolerated. 

      2. b. Vandalizing others’ data will not be tolerated. 

      3. c. Show respect for copyrighted material.  Do not plagiarize copyrighted material.  When using copyrighted material give credit to the author/creator. 

     

    1. 3. I agree to use the Internet/Network in a constructive manner. 

      1. a. Verify websites for authentic information with our school’s posted online resources. 

      2. b. Personal interest searches on the Internet are allowed as long as searches follow school guidelines.  Ex: no pornography, no obscenity etc. 

      3. c. Immediately exit any site which is inappropriate for school and notify a teacher if necessary. 

      4. d. Do not use e-mail, chat room, ichat, or new groups of any kind.  If e-mail is needed for a class project there is a school e-mail address available in the media center. 

      5. e. NEVER give personal information to anyone over the Internet.  (Such as filling out forms with names, age, address, school, phone number, parent’s name etc.) and no ordering/purchasing items. 

      6. f. Do not download programs (such as games, Real Audio, Quick Time etc.)  If a program is needed for a class project seek assistance from Media/Tech personnel. 

      7. g. Do not give passwords and usernames to other students. 

      8. h. Do not play computer games at school unless an educational game is assigned by my teacher. 

     

    As a student of Pierz School District #484, my parents and I understand that I have a responsibility to use information and technology recourses appropriately.  I have read the guidelines and I agree to follow them at all times and in every situation at school.

     

    Adopted:   October 7, 1996     _ MSBA/MASA Model Policy 502

    Orig. 1995

    Revised:    September 2000     _ Rev. 1999

    502 SEARCH OF STUDENT LOCKERS, DESKS, PERSONAL POSSESSIONS, AND STUDENT’S PERSON

     

    [Note: School districts are required by statute to have a policy addressing these issues.]

     

    I. PURPOSE

     

    The purpose of this policy is to provide for a safe and healthful educational environment by enforcing the school district’s policies against contraband.

     

    II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

     

    A. Lockers and Personal Possessions Within a Locker

    Pursuant to Minnesota statutes, school lockers are the property of the school district.  At no time does the school district relinquish its exclusive control of lockers provided for the convenience of students.  Inspection of the interior of lockers may be conducted by school officials for any reason at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.  The personal possessions of students within a school locker may be searched only when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover evidence of a violation of law or school rules.  As soon as practicable after the search of a student’s personal possessions, the school officials must provide notice of the search to students whose lockers were searched unless disclosure would impede an ongoing investigation by police or school officials.

     

    B. Desks

    School desks are the property of the school district.  At no time does the school district relinquish its exclusive control of desks provided for the convenience of students.  Inspection of the interior of desks may be conducted by school officials for any reason at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.

     

    C. Personal Possessions and Student’s Person

    The personal possessions of students and/or a student’s person may be searched when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or school rules.  The search will be reasonable in its scope and intrusiveness.

     

    D. It shall be a violation of this policy for students to use lockers and desks for unauthorized purposes or to store contraband.  It shall be a violation for students to carry contraband on their person or in their personal possessions.

     

    III. DEFINITIONS

    A. “Contraband” means any unauthorized item possession of which is prohibited by school district policy and/or law.  It includes but is not limited to weapons and “look-alikes,” alcoholic beverages, controlled substances and “look-alikes,” overdue books and other materials belonging to the school district, and stolen property.

     

    B. “Personal possessions” includes but is not limited to purses, backpacks, bookbags, packages, and clothing.

     

    C. “Reasonable suspicion” means that a school official has grounds to believe that the search will result in evidence of a violation of school district policy, rules, and/or law.  Reasonable suspicion may be based on a school official’s personal observation, a report from a student, parent or staff member, a student’s suspicious behavior, a student’s age and past history or record of conduct both in and out of the school context, or other reliable sources of information.

     

    D. “Reasonable scope” means that the scope and/or intrusiveness of the search is reasonably related to the objectives of the search.  Factors to consider in determining what is reasonable include the seriousness of the suspected infraction, the reliability of the information, the necessity of acting without delay, the existence of exigent circumstances necessitating an immediate search and further investigation (e.g. to prevent violence, serious and immediate risk of harm or destruction of evidence), and the age of the student.

     

    IV. PROCEDURES

    A. School officials may inspect the interiors of lockers and desks for any reason at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.

     

    B. School officials may inspect the personal possessions of a student and/or a student’s person based on a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or school rules.  A search of personal possessions of a student and/or a student’s person will be reasonable in its scope and intrusiveness.

     

    C. As soon as practicable after a search of personal possessions within a locker pursuant to this policy, the school officials must provide notice of the search to students whose possessions were searched unless disclosure would impede an ongoing investigation by police or school officials.

     

    D. Whenever feasible, a search of a person shall be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex.  A second school official of the same sex shall be present as an observer during the search of a person whenever feasible.

     

    E. A strip search is a search involving the removal of coverings or clothing from private areas.  Mass strip searches, or body cavity searches, are prohibited.  Strip searches will be conducted only in circumstances involving imminent danger.

     

    F. A school official conducting any other search may determine when it is appropriate to have a second official present as an observer.

     

    G. A copy of this policy will be printed in the student handbook or disseminated in any other way which school officials deem appropriate.  The school district shall provide a copy of this policy to a student when the student is given use of a locker.

     

    V. DIRECTIVES AND GUIDELINES

    School administration may establish reasonable directives and guidelines which address specific needs of the school district, such as use of tape in lockers, standards of cleanliness and care, posting of pin-ups and posters which may constitute sexual harassment, etc.

     

    VI. SEIZURE OF CONTRABAND

    If a search yields contraband, school officials will seize the item and, where appropriate, turn it over to legal officials for ultimate disposition.

     

    VII. VIOLATIONS

    A student found to have violated this policy and/or the directives and guidelines implementing it shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the school district’s Student Discipline Policy, which may include suspension, exclusion, or expulsion, and the student may, when appropriate, be referred to legal officials.

     

    Legal References: U. S. Const., amend. IV

    Minn. Const., art. I, § 10

    New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 105 S.Ct. 733, 83 L.Ed.2d 720 (1985)

    Minn. Stat. § 121A.72 (School Locker Policy)

     

    Cross References: MSBA/MASA Model Policy 417 (Chemical Use and Abuse)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 418 (Drug-Free Workplace/Drug-Free School)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 501 (School Weapons)

    MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)





    Revised June 2021