603 - Instructional Arrangements

603.2 - Class Size/Class Grouping

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

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

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 4/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 9/13; 2/24
Related Policy: 602.23-26
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §279.8; 280.3
IASB Reference: 606.01

603.3 - Excursions and Trips

The school board recognizes that a properly planned, well-conducted, and carefully supervised curriculum-related excursion/trip is a vital part of the curriculum of any classroom or current activity. Student travel related to co/extra-curricular activities that are a reasonable extension of student experiences are also supported as long as student participation is inclusive of the regular group activity participation.

Excursions/trips will have the approval of the building principal in advance of the trip. Consent of each student’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian is required in advance of any excursion/trip including activities and athletics.

Every effort should be made to confine trips to a single day, but it is recognized that there may be occasions when an educational excursion/trip will be of such distance and/or nature to necessitate students being gone overnight. Such trips will require the approval of the superintendent [or designee].

Students who have graduated by the time of the school-sponsored, scheduled excursion/trip are not eligible to participate. Sanctioned (Iowa High School Athletic Association or Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union) athletic competitions and/or tournaments are excepted as long as student conduct is covered by Policy 502.1.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent in conjunction with building principals to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Adopted: 2/78
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 1/10
Related Policy: 502.1; 503.6; 603.3-R; 603.3-E
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8; 281 IAC 43.9; 390 CFR Pt 390.3(f)
IASB Reference: 606.05

603.3-R - Regulations Regarding Excursions and Trips

Excursions/trips that relate to the educational development of the students are supported by the school board.

School sponsored excursions/trips are those in which only Linn-Mar students participate and are sponsored by a certificated Linn-Mar employee. In contrast to fieldtrips, which must demonstrate a strong alignment to the curriculum, excursions/trips must have a relationship to either the academic activity or athletic programming of the district with a purpose of advancing the development of the student or providing an opportunity for application of the student’s education.

Requirements of school sponsored excursions/trips include:

  1. Sponsorship by a certified district employee
  2. Provision of proper supervision by a qualified person for certain activities such as rock climbing, ropes, beach swimming, surfing, etc.
  3. Adherence to Policy 502.1 and completion of appropriate documentation by parents/guardians or students
  4. Completion of a written request to the Chief Financial/Operating Officer at least four weeks in advance of the excursion/trip including the following:
    1. The rationale for the excursion/trip including the purpose and objectives
    2. Clarification if request is dependent upon pre-qualifying for the event
    3. Detailed plans for student supervision
    4. Proposed itinerary
    5. Cost and source of funding
    6. Number of student participants
    7. Copy of required participation paperwork
  5. Approval by the building principal and submission of the approved application and materials to the superintendent [or designee] no later than four weeks prior to the start of the excursion/trip
  6. Within three weeks of completion of the excursion/trip, the sponsor will submit a written summary of the event to the building principal.

Note: Students who have graduated prior to commencement of the excursion/trip are not eligible to participate unless they are a member of a state sanctioned team or group and governed by Policy 502.1.

Non-school sponsored excursions/trips including those involving groups with Linn-Mar students, or groups with Linn-Mar students and other students, will abide by the requirements of the excursion/trip sponsors and sponsoring organization or business. Parents/guardians of the students, the students, and the sponsoring organization are responsible for everything related to the excursion/trip as well as the excursion/trip. If the sponsors or sponsoring organization or business meets with students on campus, the sponsor or sponsoring organization must reserve the meeting space and pay rent for the use of district facilities related to the excursion/trip meetings, arrangements, or anything else related to the excursion/trip. District resources may not be used for any aspect of a non-school sponsored excursion/trip; this includes bulletin boards, district email, distribution of information in any format, informal meetings, etc. 

Adopted: 1/10
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 9/13; 8/16; 11/17
Related Policy: 502.1; 503.6; 603.3; 603.3-E

603.3-E - Excursions and Trips Request Form



Date Request Received by CFO/COO: ________________

A written request for overnight excursions/trips must be submitted to the Chief Financial/Operating Officer NOT LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO the proposed excursion/trip and prior to any travel arrangements being finalized.

Overnight excursions/trips require prior approval of the building administrator, the superintendent [or designee], and the school board. In authorizing excursions/trips, the building principal will consider the financial condition of the school district, the educational benefit of the activity, the inherent risks or dangers of the activity, and other factors deemed relevant by the superintendent including the participation of the membership of the regular activity group. Students who have graduated may not participate in school sponsored excursions/trips unless the event is sanctioned by the state athletic associations.

The request will include:

  1. Rationale for the excursion/trip including the purpose and objectives
  2. Clarification if request is dependent upon pre-qualifying for event
  3. Detailed plans for student supervision
  4. Proposed itinerary
  5. Cost and source of funding
  6. Number of student participants
  7. Copy of required participation paperwork
  • Within three weeks of the completion of the excursion/trip the sponsor will submit a written summary of the event to the building principal.
  • The building will be responsible for obtaining a substitute teacher if one is needed.
  • Students eligible for a fee waiver will be covered through contingency/discretionary funds as appropriate.

EXCURSION/TRIP CRITERIA: The following checklist MUST BE signed and submitted to the Chief Financial/Operating Officer with required documentation NOT LESS THAN 4 WEEKS PRIOR TO the proposed excursion/trip and prior to any travel arrangements being finalized:

Group Name: _____________________________________________________________
Submitted By: ____________________________________________________________

Criteria   Description Provided
Purpose REQUIRED Purpose of excursion/trip is clearly defined and "...is a vital part of the curriculum or current activity." Reference Board Policy 603.3.  
Pre-Planning REQUIRED Evidence of pre-planning that will maximize the learning experiences of students on this excursion/trip. (Dates, location, number of student participants, plan for supervision, proposed itinerary, hotel, cost/budget source, required participation paperwork, clarification if request is dependent upon pre-qualifying for an event, etc.)  
Follow-Up REQUIRED Evidence of planning for follow-up in order to maximize the learning experiences of students on this excursion/trip.  
Assessment REQUIRED Evidence that students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the learning expected from this experience.  
Funding REQUIRED Source of funding has been determined that meets Department of Education and district guidelines. Reference Board Policy 603.3.  
Common Experience Recommended This excursion/trip is a common experience that all students at this grade level or activity group should have.  
Multi-Disciplinary Recommended This excursion/trip addresses more than one curricular area and offers the opportunity for curriculum integration.  
Building Principal Approval   Date:
Chief Financial/Operating Officer Approval   Date:
Board of Directors Approval   Date:

Adopted: 2/99
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 8/16; 11/17
Related Policy: 502.1; 503.6; 603.3; 603.3-R

603.5 - Teaching Controversial Issues

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

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

It is the responsibility of licensed personnel to present full and fair opportunities and means for students to study, consider, and discuss all aspects of controversial issues including but not limited to political philosophies.

It is the responsibility of licensed personnel to protect the rights of the students to study pertinent controversial issues within the limits of good taste and civility, and to allow students to express personal opinions in an appropriate and respectful manner without jeopardizing the students’ relationships with the licensed personnel.

It is the responsibility of licensed personnel to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views, propaganda, or indoctrination of any kind through any classroom or school activity or device. However, licensed personnel will not be prohibited from expressing personal opinions in a balanced and respectful manner as long as students are encouraged to reach their own decisions independently.

The board encourages full discussion of controversial issues in a spirit of academic dialog that shows students they have the right to disagree with the opinions of others, but that they also have the responsibility to base their disagreements on facts or reasoned conclusions and to respect the right of others to hold conflicting opinions.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 12/07
Related Policy: 602.16; 602.16-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§279.8; 280.3, .6
IASB Reference: 603.09; 603.09-R(1)

603.6 - School Ceremonies and Observances

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

Per Iowa Legislative House File 847, the district will provide and maintain suitable flagstaff at each school site and raise the Iowa and United States flags each school day as weather conditions permit. The district will also display the United States flag and administer The Pledge of Allegiance in each 1st through 12th grade classroom on school days.

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

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 12/07; 9/21; 2/24
Related Policy: 603.9; 603.9-R; 603.10
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8; 280.5
IASB Reference: 606.02

603.7 - Homework

Homework is defined as out-of-class assignments that may be considered as extensions and enrichment of the regular classroom instructional program, as reinforcement of newly acquired skills, as application of recent learning, or as preparation for further learning.

Three basic types of homework (practice, preparation, and extension) should be intentionally designed for students with the following purposes considered:

  1. Practice: To provide students an opportunity to reinforce newly acquired skills or apply recent learning.
  2. Preparation: To have the student obtain sufficient background information to be prepared for the next day’s instruction.
  3. Extension: To foster student initiative for learning through individual applications, research, and study.

Building principals will collaborate by level in the development of homework assignment guidelines that fulfill the intent of this policy and articulate to the next level the district’s mission to Inspire Learning, Unlock Potential, and Empower Achievement.

Adopted: 6/85
Reviewed: 9/12; 9/13; 6/21
Revised: 7/11; 2/15; 4/18; 2/24
Related Policy: 602.16, 602.16-R

603.8 - Physical Education

Students in grades K-12 are required to participate in physical education courses unless they are excused by the principal of their attendance center.

Students may be excused from physical education courses if the student presents a written statement from a doctor stating that such activities could be injurious to the health of the student, or the student has been exempted because of a conflict with the student’s religious beliefs.

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

  1. The student is enrolled in academic courses not otherwise available.
  2. The student has obtained a physical education waiver for the quarter because the student is actively involved in an athletic program.
  3. The student is participating in the Legislative Page Program at the State Capitol for a regular session of the general assembly.
  4. The student is enrolled in a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC).

Twelfth grade students may also be excused from physical education courses if they are enrolled in a cooperative, work study, or other education program authorized by the school which requires the student’s absence from school.

Students who will not participate in physical education courses must have a written request or statement from their parents.

Adopted: 3/99
Deleted: 9/16
Readopted: 9/21
Reviewed: 12/09; 9/13; 4/16; 2/24
Revised: 7/03; 7/08; 7/11; 9/12; 2/15
Related Policy: 602.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.11; 281 IAC 12.5
IASB Reference: 603.06
Mandatory Policy

603.9 - Teaching About Religion

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

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to ensure the study of religion in school is in keeping with the following guidelines:

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

Adopted: 3/99
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 7/08; 2/24
Related Policy : 603.9-R; 603.10
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.8; 280.6
IASB Reference: 603.08

603.9-R - Regulations Regarding Teaching About Religion

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

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

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

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

Adopted: 3/99
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 7/08; 2/24
Related Policy: 502.11; 603.9; 603.9-R; 603.10; 1001.14
IASB Reference: 603.08-R(1)

603.10 - Religion-Based Exclusion from a School Program

Parents who wish to have their child excluded from a school program because of religious beliefs must inform the superintendent [or designee]. The board authorizes the administration to allow the exclusion if it is not disruptive to the education program and it does not infringe on a compelling state or educational interest. Furthermore, the exclusion must not interfere with other school or district operations. Students who are allowed to be excluded from a program or activity which violates their religious beliefs are required to do an alternate supervised activity or study.

In notifying the superintendent [or designee] the parents will abide by the following:

  1. The notice is in writing;
  2. The objection is based on religious beliefs;
  3. The objection will state which activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  4. The objection will state why these activities or studies violate their religious beliefs; and
  5. The objection will state a proposed alternate activity or study.

The superintendent [or designee] will have discretion to make this determination. The factors the superintendent [or designee] will consider when a student requests to be excluded from a program or activity because of religious beliefs include, but are not limited to:

  1. Staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded;
  2. Space to house the student while the student is excluded;
  3. Available superintendent-approved [or designee-approved] alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded;
  4. Number of students who wish to be excluded;
  5. Whether allowing the exclusion places the school or district in a position of supporting a particular religion; and
  6. Whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.

Adopted: 8/89
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 1/10
Related Policy: 603.6; 603.9; 603.9-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.11(6); 279.8
IASB Reference: 604.05


603.11 - Health Education

Students in grades kindergarten through 12 shall receive as part of their health education instruction about: personal health, food and nutrition, environmental health, safety and survival skills, consumer health, family life, human growth and development, substance abuse and non-use (including the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and poisons on the human body), human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, interpersonal relationships, emotional and social health, health resources, prevention and control of disease and communicable diseases (including sexually transmitted diseases and acquired immune deficiency syndrome), and current crucial health issues.

The purpose of the health education program is to help each student protect, improve, and maintain physical, emotional, and social well-being. The areas stated above shall be included in health education and the instruction will be adapted at each grade level to the age and maturity level of students to aid in their understanding of the content.

Parents, guardians, or legal custodians who object to health education instruction in human growth and development may file a written request that their student be excused from the instruction. The written request (Refer to Policy 603.11-E) shall include a proposed alternate activity or study acceptable to the superintendent [or designee]. The superintendent [or designee] will have final authority to determine the alternate activity or study.

Adopted: 6/90
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 7/08
Related Policy: 603.11-E
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.11; 279.08; 280.03-14; 281 IAC 12.5
IASB Reference: 603.05
Mandatory Policy

603.11-E - Human Growth and Development Student Excuse Form


Student Name: 

Parent/Guardian/Legal Custodian: 

Please list the curricular objectives from which you wish to have your student excused and the class/grade in which each is taught. An example is provided below for you to follow.

  Objective Class/Grade Proposed Alternative Assignment
Ex: To describe behaviors that will minimized and prevent transmission of HIV

Health Education / 6th Grade


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

Signed: ________________________________________________________ Date: ___________________
             (Parent, Guardian, or Legal Custodian)

Signed: ________________________________________________________ Date: __________________
                   (School Administrator)

Reviewed: 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Related Policy: 603.11
IASB Reference: 603.05-E(1)

603.12 - Technology and Instructional Materials

The school board supports the use of innovative methods and the use of technology in the delivery of the education program. The board encourages district personnel to investigate efficient and effective ways to utilize technological advances as a part of the curriculum and instruction practices.

The superintendent [or designee] is responsible for developing guidelines to monitor the use of technology. Any objections to materials used as a result of technology will be processed under Linn-Mar board policies 602.27, 602.27-R, 602.28, 602.29, 602.29-R, and 602.29-E1.

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

Adopted: 8/89
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 1/10
Related Policy: 602.27; 602.27-R; 602.28-29; 602.29-R; 602.29-E; 603.5; 603.12-R1-R2; 603.12-E1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8; 281 IAC 12.3(12), 12.5(10), .5(4)
IASB Reference: 605.04
Mandatory Policy

603.12-R1 - Regulations Regarding the Internet

Technology is a vital part of the district’s curriculum and the Internet will be made available to employees and students. Appropriate and equitable use of the Internet will allow employees and students to access resources unavailable through traditional means.

The district provides an electronic mail address to students for academic purposes. The students are required to follow the guidelines for appropriate use (Refer to Policy 603.12-R2).

The Internet can provide a vast collection of educational resources for students and employees. It is a global network which makes it impossible to access all available information. Because information appears, disappears, and changes constantly it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate. The district makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of information received on the Internet. Although students will be under teacher supervision while utilizing the district’s network, it is not possible to constantly monitor individual students and what they are accessing on the Internet. Some students might encounter information that may not be of educational value. Student Internet records and access records are confidential records treated like other student records. Student Internet activities will be monitored by the district to ensure they are not accessing inappropriate sites that have visual depictions that include obscenity, child pornography, or are harmful to minors. Also included, but not limited to, prohibited behaviors such as cyber bullying, cheating, and misappropriation of financial instruments and like resources will also be monitored and terminated with appropriate disciplinary procedures enacted. The district uses technology protection measures to protect students from inappropriate access and from inappropriate behavior.

The district will monitor the online activities of students and will educate students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting on social networking sites and chat rooms. Students will also be educated on cyberbullying, including awareness and response. Employees will provide age appropriate training for students who use the Internet. The training provided will be designed to promote the district’s commitment to:

  1. The standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set for in district policy;
  2. Student safety with regard to:
    • Safety on the internet,
    • Appropriate behavior while online, social networking websites, and in chat rooms, and
    • Cyberbullying awareness and response;
  3. Compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA);
  4. Unauthorized access including hacking and other unlawful activities by minors online; and
  5. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.

Employees and students will be instructed on the appropriate use of the Internet. Parents will be required to give permission to allow their students to access the Internet via the PowerSchool eRegistration process.

In compliance with federal law, this policy will be maintained at least five years beyond the termination of funding under the Children’s Internet Protection Act or E-rate.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 12/09; 7/11; 4/18; 2/24
Revised: 11/7; 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 6/21
Related Policy: 603.12; 603.12-R2; 603.12-E1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8; 47 CFR 54.520
IASB Reference: 605.06
Mandatory Policy

603.12-R2 - Regulations Regarding Internet Acceptable Use


  1. The authority for appropriate use of electronic internet resources is delegated to licensed employees. For the purpose of this policy, internet is defined as: A collection of thousands of inter-connected computer networks involving millions of computers and users around the world. It is a collaboration of private, public, educational, governmental, and industrial sponsored networks whose operators cooperate to maintain the network infrastructure.
  2. Instruction in the proper use of the internet will be available to employees who will then provide similar instruction to their students.
  3. Employees are expected to practice appropriate use of the internet and violations may result in discipline up to and including discharge.


  1. Access to the internet is available to employees and students as a source of information and a vehicle of communication.
  2. Students will be able to access the internet with the permission of their teachers.
    1. Making internet access available to students carries with it the potential that some students might encounter information that may not be appropriate for students. On a global network it is impossible to control all materials because information on the internet appears, disappears, and changes so it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate.
    2. It is a goal to allow teachers and students access to rich opportunities on the internet while protecting the rights of students and parents who choose not to risk exposure to questionable materials.
    3. The smooth operation of the network relies on the proper conduct of the end users who must adhere to strict guidelines which require efficient, ethical, and legal utilization of network resources.
    4. To reduce unnecessary system traffic, users may use real-time conference features such as video/chat/internet relay chat only as approved by the supervising teacher.
    5. Transmission of material, information, or software in violation of any school board policy or regulation is prohibited.
    6. The district makes no guarantee as to the accuracy of information received on the internet.

Parents/guardians will grant annual permission for their student to use the internet.


  1. Equal Opportunity: The internet is available to all students/staff within the district.
  2. Online Etiquette:
    1. The use of the network is a privilege and may be taken away for violation of board policy or regulations. As a user of the internet, students/staff may be allowed access to other networks. Each network may have its own set of policies and procedures. It is the user’s responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks.
    2. Student access for electronic mail (email) will be through their student account supervised by their teacher. Students should adhere to the following guidelines:
      • Respect all copyright and license agreements;
      • Cite all quotes, references, and sources;
      • Remain on the system only long enough to get needed information; and
      • Apply the same privacy, ethical, and educational considerations utilized in other forms of communication.
    3. Students/staff should adhere to the following guidelines:
      • Others may be able to read or access emails so private messages should not be sent;
      • Delete unwanted messages immediately;
      • Use of objectionable language is prohibited;
      • Always sign messages; and
      • Always acknowledge receipt of a document or file.
  3. Restricted Materials: Students/staff will not intentionally access or download any text files or pictures or engage in any conference that includes materials which are:
    1. Obscene, libelous, indecent, vulgar, profane or lewd;
    2. Advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law;
    3. Constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses others;
    4. Presents a clear and present likelihood that either because of its content or the manner of distribution it will cause a material and/or substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school, district, or school activities; and
    5. Will cause the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations.
  4. Unauthorized Costs/Damages: If a student or district employee gains access to any services via the internet which have a cost involved or if a they incur any other type of cost due to physical damage, the student or district employee incurring such services or necessary repairs will be responsible for the cost.
  5. Students/staff should never download or install any unauthorized software including Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass content filters, browser extensions, games, etc.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 7/11; 4/18; 2/24
Revised: 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 8/17; 6/21
Related Policy: 603.12; 603.12-R1; 603.12-E1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8; 47 CFR 54.520
IASB Reference: 605.06-R(1)

603.12-E1 - Parent/Guardian Internet Access Student Permissions

Your student has access to electronic communication known as the Internet. The vast domain of information contained within Internet libraries can provide unlimited opportunities to students.

Students may be permitted to use a school electronic mail (email) address to send and receive email at school under teacher supervision. Students will be expected to abide by the following network etiquette:

  1. The use of the network is a privilege and may be taken away for violation of board policy or regulations. As a user of the Internet, students may be allowed access to other networks. Each network may have its own set of policies and procedures. Students will abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks.
  2. Students will respect all copyright and license agreements.
  3. Students will cite all quotes, references, and sources.
  4. Students will only remain on the system long enough to get needed information.
  5. Students will apply the same privacy, ethical, and educational considerations utilized in other forms of communication.
  6. Whenever accessing electronic mail, students should adhere to the following guidelines:
    • Others may be able to read or access the email, so private messages should not be sent;
    • Delete unwanted messages immediately;
    • Use of objectionable language is prohibited, including explicit or inferred harassing or bullying language;
    • Always sign messages; and
    • Always acknowledge receipt of a document or file.
  7. Students accessing data services that have a cost involved will be responsible for payment of the cost.
  8. Students will use district-provided computer equipment appropriately and for its intended use.

Parent/guardian permission are submitted annually via the PowerSchool eRegistration process. For questions or issues with accessing PowerSchool, please contact your student’s attendance center.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 11/09; 7/11; 4/18; 2/24
Revised: 11/07; 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 6/21
Related Policy: 603.12; 603.12-R1-R2
IASB Reference: 605.06-E(1)

603.13 - Digital Communication

The internet provides a valuable learning tool for students and staff and offers another communication vehicle for informing the public about school programs and activities.

The board authorizes the establishment of a district website, Facebook page, X account, and other appropriate digital communication platforms. Only those web pages approved by the superintendent [or designee] and maintained in accordance with board policy and administrative procedures will be recognized as official representations of the school district.

The superintendent [or designee] is responsible for assigning an individual responsible for maintaining the digital communication platforms. The superintendent [or designee] in conjunction with the responsible individual will develop administrative regulations regarding the digital communication platforms.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 10/13; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 2/15; 2/24
Related Policy: 603.12; 603.12-R1-R2; 603.12-E1-E2; 604.6
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8

603.13-R - Regulations Regarding Digital Communication/Web Page Development

Internet access provides opportunities for students and staff to contribute to the district’s presence on the World Wide Web. The district website (http://www.linnmar.k12.ia.us/) provides information about district planning, curriculum, instruction, school-authorized activities, programs, and general information relating to the district and its schools. Web page development capability is provided by the Technology Department and the Communications/Media Relations Coordinator.

Creators of web pages need to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the following guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the loss of authoring privileges or other stringent disciplinary measures.

Web pages may not contain advertisements. However, business logos directly associated with Linn-Mar Community School District programs or departments which meet guidelines and have been approved may be displayed. Web pages may not promote individuals or organizations for the purpose of financial, political, or professional gain. Web pages must be approved by the Chief Technology Officer [or designee] before they can be linked to the Linn-Mar website. Employee-designated, district, Office 365 and Google sites and applications must also comply with the same guidelines of appropriate use and will be monitored by district administration. If prior approval is not possible, a disclaimer page will be inserted before the user links to the site.

All subject matter on web pages must relate to curriculum, instruction, school-authorized activities, programs, or general information that is appropriate and of interest to others and it should relate to the district or the schools within the district. Therefore, neither staff nor students may publish personal home pages as part of the district website or home pages for other individuals or organizations not directly affiliated with the district. Staff or student work may be published only as it relates to a class project, course, or other school-related activity.

All web pages must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Documents may not contain objectionable material or point to or link directly to objectionable materials. Objectionable material is defined as material that does not meet the standards for instructional resources specified in district policies. Regarding the question of quality or propriety of web page material, appearance, or content the judgment of the Communications and Media Relations Coordinator [or designee] will prevail.

All web pages, Office 365, and Google applications on the district websites are property of the school district.

Web pages may not contain photographs or personal identification information about students, their families, their friends, and/or employees of the Linn-Mar School District without written consent. Email addresses of Linn-Mar employees may be posted. Web pages may not include any information which indicates the physical location of a student at a given time. Web pages may not hinder the loading and general functions of the home page, home page server, and/or computer stations.

All documents on the Linn-Mar website, Office 365, and Google applications must conform to board policies, state laws, federal laws, and copyright laws; as well as established school guidelines. Copies of board policies are available on the district website (http://www.linnmar.k12.ia.us/). Persons developing or maintaining web documents are responsible for complying with these and other policies.

Some relevant issues and board policies include the following:

  1. Electronic transmission of materials is a form of copying. As specified in board policy, no unlawful copies of copyrighted materials may be knowingly produced or transmitted via the district’s equipment including its website, Office 365, or Google applications.
  2. Web pages are subject to Policy 602.29-E and Policy 603.12 including related administrative rules, regulations, and exhibits.
  3. Any information communicated via district web pages, Office 365, or Google applications will comply with Policy 505.6 including related administrative rules, regulations, and exhibits.
  4. Any links to district web pages that are not specifically related will meet the criteria established in board policies. Any other non-curricular materials must be limited to information about youth activities, agencies, or organizations which are known to be non-discriminatory, non-sectarian, non-profit, and exclusively devoted to community interests or child welfare. District web pages, Office 365, or Google application links may not include entities whose primary purpose is commercial or political advertising.
  5. Any deliberate tampering with or misuse of district network services or equipment will be considered vandalism and will be handled according to board Policy 603.12.

Every web page added to the district’s website must contain certain elements which to provide general consistency:

  1. All web pages must be submitted to the Chief Technology Officer [or designee] for review prior to placement on the district server.
  2. Users must exhibit care when creating web pages with extensive tiled backgrounds, large graphics, large PDF documents, or any other large files. Such files require extensive download time which take bandwidth away from other users.
  3. The authorized staff member who is publishing approved web pages for themselves, or for students, will edit and test them for accuracy of links and for conformance with standards outlined in this policy.
  4. Web pages may not contain links to other web pages not yet completed. If additional pages are anticipated but not yet developed, the text that will provide the link should be included. However, the actual link to said pages may not be made available until the final page is in place on the district server.
  5. All web pages must be given names which clearly identify them. The names of all documents will coincide with current district naming practices and structures.
  6. Any graphics, sounds, or videos must conform to the format currently used or approved by the district.
  7. Web pages shall not contain student email address links or any other type of direct-response links.
  8. Final decisions regarding access to active web pages for editing content or organization will rest with the Chief Technology Officer [or designee].

Material on web pages reflect an individual’s thoughts, interests, and activities. Such web pages do not in any way represent individual schools or the district, nor are they endorsed or sanctioned by the individual school or district. Concern about the content of any web pages created by students or staff should be directed to the Chief Technology Officer [or designee].

Given the rapid change in technology, some of the technical standards outlined in this policy may require changes throughout the year. Such changes will be made by the Chief Technology Officer with approval of the superintendent. This policy will be updated on an annual basis or more frequently if required.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 7/11; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 11/07; 1/10; 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 10/23; 2/24
Related Policy: 505.6; 505.6-R; 505.6-E2-E7; 602.29; 602.29-R; 602.29-E; 603.12; 603.12-R1-R2; 603.12-E1-E2; 603.13

603.14 - Use of Information Resources

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

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

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

Any employee or student who is uncertain as to whether reproducing or using copyrighted material complies with the school district procedures or is permissible under the law should contact their building’s media specialist who will assist them in obtaining proper authorization to copy or use protected materials when such authorization is required.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] in conjunction with the media specialists to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Adopted: 7/07
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 1/10; 2/24
Related Policy: 603.14-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 17 USC § 101 et al; 281 IAC 12.3(12)
IASB Reference: 605.07

603.14-R - Regulations Regarding Use of Information Resources

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

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

  1. Purpose and Character of the Use: The use must be for such purposes as teaching or scholarship
  2. Nature of the Copyrighted Work: The type of work to be copied
  3. Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used: Copying the whole of a work cannot be considered fair use, copying a small portion may be if these guidelines are followed
  4. Effect of the Use Upon the Potential Market for or Value of the Copyrighted Work: If resulting economic loss to the copyright holder can be shown, even making a single copy of certain materials may be an infringement and making multiple copies presents the danger of greater penalties


  1. Materials on the internet should be used with caution since they may, and likely are, copyrighted.
  2. Proper attribution (author, title, publisher, place, and date of publication) should always be given.
  3. Notice should be taken of any alterations to copyrighted works and such alterations should only be made for specific instructional objectives.
  4. Care should be taken in circumventing any technological protection measures. While materials copied pursuant to fair use may be copied after circumventing technological protections against unauthorized copying, technological protection measures to block access to materials may not be circumvented.

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

  • A chapter from a book
  • An article from a newspaper or periodical
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper

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

  1. Brevity:
  • A complete poem if less than 250 words and two pages long may be copied; excerpts from longer poems cannot exceed 250 words.
  • Complete articles, stories, or essays of less than 2,500 words or excerpts from prose works less than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, may be copied in any event the minimum is 500 words.
  • Each numerical limit may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or prose paragraph.
  • One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical issue may be copied. Special works cannot be reproduced in-full, this includes children’s books combining poetry, prose, or poetic prose. Short special works may be copied up to two published pages containing not more than 10% of the work.
  1. Spontaneity: Should be at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher when there is not a reasonable length of time to request and receive permission to copy.
  2. Cumulative Effect: Teachers are limited to using copied materials for only one course for which the copies are made. No more than one short poem, article, story, or two excerpts from the same author may be copied and no more than three works can be copied from a collective work or periodical column during one class term. Teachers are limited to nine instances of multiple copying for one course during one class term. Limitations do not apply to current news periodicals, newspapers, and current news sections of other periodicals.

Circumstances will arise when employees are uncertain whether or not copying is prohibited. In these circumstances, the media specialists should be contacted.

The following prohibitions have been expressly stated in federal guidelines:

  1. Reproduction of copyrighted material will not be used to create or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works.
  2. Unless expressly permitted by agreement with the publisher and authorized by district action, there shall be no copying from copyrighted, consumable materials such as workbooks, exercises, test booklets, answer sheets, and the like.
  3. Employees shall not:
    1. Use copies to substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals, musical recordings, or consumable works such as workbooks, computer software, or other copyrighted material.
    2. Copy or use the same item from term-to-term without the copyright owner’s permission.
    3. Copy or use more than nine instances of multiple copying of protected material in any one term.
    4. Copy or use more than one short work or two excerpts from works of the same author in any one term.
    5. Copy or use protected material without including a notice of copyright. The following is a satisfactory notice: Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law.
    6. Reproduce or use copyrighted material at the direction of someone in higher authority or copy/use such material in emulation of another teacher’s use of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright owner.
    7. Require other employees or students to violate copyright law or fair use guidelines.


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

  1. An unpublished work in its collection.
  2. A published work in order to replace it because it is damaged, deteriorated, lost, or stolen provided that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.
  3. A work that is being considered for acquisition although use is strictly limited to that decision. Technological protection measures may be circumvented for purposes of copying materials in order to make an acquisition decision.

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


Teachers may:

  1. Make a single copy of a song, movement, or short section from a printed musical or dramatic work that is unavailable except in a larger work for purposes of preparing for instruction.
  2. Make multiple copies for classroom use of an excerpt of not more than 10% of a printed musical work if it is to be used for academic purposes other than performance provided that the excerpt does not comprise a part of the whole musical work, which would constitute a performable unit such as a complete section, movement, or song.
  3. In an emergency, a teacher may make and use replacement copies of printed music for an imminent musical performance when the purchased copies have been lost, destroyed, or are otherwise not available.
  4. Make and retain a single recording of student performances of copyrighted material when it is made for purposes of evaluation or rehearsal.
  5. Make and retain a single copy of excerpts from recordings of copyrighted musical works for use as aural exercises or examination questions.
  6. Edit or simplify purchased copies of music or plays provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted. Lyrics shall not be altered or added if none exist.

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

Performances of non-dramatic musical works that are copyrighted are permitted without the authorization of the copyright owner provided that:

  1. The performance is not for a commercial purpose
  2. None of the performers, promoters, or organizers are compensated
  3. Admission fees are used for educational or charitable purposes only

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

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

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

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

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

Schools have a valid need for high-quality software at reasonable prices. To ensure a fair return to the authors of software programs, the district shall support the legal and ethical issues involved in copyright laws and any usage agreements that are incorporated into the acquisition of software programs.

To this end, the following guidelines shall be in effect:

  1. All copyright laws and publisher license agreements between the vendor and the district shall be observed.
  2. Staff members shall take reasonable precautions to prevent copying or the use of unauthorized copies on school equipment.
  3. A back-up copy shall be purchased for use as a replacement when a program is lost or damaged. If the vendor is not able to supply a replacement, the district shall make a back-up copy that will be used for replacement purposes only.
  4. A copy of the software license agreement shall be retained by the Chief Technology Officer [or designee].
  5. A computer program may be adapted by adding to the content or changing the language. The adapted program may not be distributed.

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

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

  1. In face-to-face instruction
  2. In demonstrations and presentations, including conferences
  3. In assignments to students
  4. For remote instruction if distribution of the signal is limited
  5. Over a network that cannot prevent duplication for 15 days; after 15 days a copy may be saved onsite only
  6. In their personal portfolios

Educators may use copyrighted materials in a multi-media project for two years. After that, permission must be requested and received.

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

  1. Motion Media: Ten percent or three minutes, whichever is less.
  2. Text Materials: Ten percent or 1,000 words, whichever is less.
  3. Poetry: An entire poem of fewer than 250 words, but no more than three poems from one author or five poems from an anthology. For poems of greater than 250 words, excerpts of up to 250 words may be used, but no more than three excerpts from one poet or five excerpts from an anthology.
  4. Music, Lyrics, and Music Video: Up to 10% but no more than 30 seconds. No alterations that change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work.
  5. Illustrations, Cartoons, and Photographs: No more than five images by an artist and no more than 10% of 15 images, whichever is less from a collective work.
  6. Numerical Data Sets: Up to 10% or 2,500 field or cell entries, whichever is less.

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

Adopted: 7/07
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 1/10; 2/24
Related Policy: 603.14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 17 US Code § 101 et al; 281 IAC 12.3(12)
IASB Reference: 605.07-R(1)

603.15 Appropriate Use of Online Learning Platforms

It is important to embrace technology that can foster a creative, interactive learning environment for students and facilitate employee professional development and collaboration. The use of online platforms to host remote interaction between students and employees and to facilitate learning is encouraged in the district.

While student and employee instruction and communication using virtual and online platforms provides a wide array of learning opportunities, it is imperative that employees and students recognize that the use of such platforms is a privilege. Training related to the use of online learning platforms will be provided to employees and students.

The district shall carefully safeguard the right of students and employees to learn and teach in a respectful environment regardless of the method. All instruction and communication through online learning platforms should be appropriate to the age and ability of the participants. Students and employees should be aware that online platforms may be monitored by the district. Verbal and written communication occurring on these platforms may be recorded and stored by the district in accordance with applicable laws.

Any verbal or written communication on these platforms deemed to be inappropriate will subject the student and/or employee to the same disciplinary measures that would exist if the interaction took place through traditional in-person learning. Students and employees who have concerns about the proper use of these platforms are encouraged to speak with their teachers or building principal.

The superintendent [or designee] will make administrative regulations necessary to enforce this policy.

Adopted: 9/20
Reviewed: 6/21; 2/24
Related Policy: 602.1; 603.12; 603.12-R1-R2; 603.12-E1; 603.13; 603.13-R; 902.12; 902.12-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 715C
IASB Reference: 604.11