604 - Student Services

604.1 - Student Guidance and Counseling Program

The Linn-Mar Community School District will provide a student guidance and counseling program. School counselors will be certified with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners and hold the qualifications required by the board.

The district’s guidance and counseling program will serve grades PK-12. The program will assist students with their personal, educational, and career development. The program will coordinate with the education program and involve licensed personnel.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 2/15; 6/21
Revised: 10/13; 4/18; 4/23
Related Policy: 505.6; 505.6-R; 602.1; 604.5
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §280.14; 622.10; 281 IAC 12.3(11)
IASB Reference: 607.01

 

604.2 Guidelines for Use of Professional Therapy Dogs

ROLE AND PURPOSE OF CERTIFIED ASSISTANCE DOG TEAMS:
Professional therapy dogs certified with their owners/handlers as certified assistance dog teams provide emotional and physical support in educational settings. These highly trained dogs model good behavior, tolerance, and acceptance. All certified assistance dog teams in the Linn-Mar Community School District work to support and positively influence student achievement.

DEFINITION, CERTIFICATION, AND APPROVAL FOR USE OF THERAPY DOGS:
Professional therapy dogs are trained and tested to provide specific physical or therapeutic functions under the direction and control of a qualified handler who works with the dog as a team, and as part of the handler’s occupation or profession. A professional therapy dog has been temperament tested by a trainer affiliated with an organization recognized as qualified to perform temperament testing. Therapy dogs, along with their handlers, perform services in institutional settings, community-based group settings, or with individuals who have disabilities. Therapy dogs are not family pets that have been certified as pet therapy animals. Refer to page 3: Pet Visitation Dogs.

Professional therapy dogs have passed a public access test administered by a trainer/evaluator recognized by the Linn-Mar Community School District. Handlers and their dogs are administered the public access test for re-evaluation during their first year of service. The public access test may be administered by a trainer/evaluator recognized by the district.

Professional therapy dogs are owned by a professional educator in the district who wishes to use a therapy dog to augment their educational program. Professional therapy dogs may be used in school settings on a regular basis once the following documentation is in place:

  1. Administrative Approval: Refer to Policy 604.2-E1
    • Use of a therapy dog must be approved by the building administrator in which the handler works. A letter stating administrator approval should be kept on file in the building in which the handler works and a copy sent to the Executive Director of Student Services.
  2. Vaccination, Health, and Grooming Requirements: Refer to Policy 604.2-E2
    • The owner/handler must provide a record of annual vaccinations received by the therapy dog and signed by a licensed veterinarian. These health records should be kept on file in the building in which the handler works and a copy sent to the Executive Director of Student Services.
    • The therapy dog should receive an annual Bordetella vaccination. Rabies and five-way Parvo/Distemper (DHPP) shall be administered every three years. Note: therapy dogs less than one year of age or receiving their rabies and parvo vaccinations for the first time shall receive a follow-up vaccine in one year with administration every three years thereafter.
    • The therapy dog should receive an annual comprehensive wormer or fecal check.
    • The therapy dog should be checked for external parasite control.
    • Owners/handlers will administer preventative parasite (flea and tick) control and heartworm medication year-round. Annual tests for heartworms is recommended. Note: Frontline Plus is recommended due to its non-toxic nature which is important in a school environment.
    • The therapy dog should be groomed and bathed regularly. For dogs in a working environment, monthly to bi-monthly baths are recommended as is daily brushing. Good judgment should be used based on the dog’s hair, skin, and dander concerns. The owner/handler must also ensure proper health care through regular brushing of the dog’s teeth (several times weekly), nail trims as needed, and weekly ear cleaning/checks.
  3. Public Access Test Documentation:
    • A copy of the public access test certificate of completion should be kept on file in the building in which the handler works and a copy sent to the Executive Director of Student Services.
    • Certification verifying that both the handler and therapy dog passed the public access test must be sent by the certifying institution directly to the Executive Director of Student Services.
    • Records of advanced obedience, agility, or other trainings should be kept on file in the building in which the handler works and a copy sent to the Executive Director of Student Services.
  4. Review of Guidelines and Procedures:
    • Guidelines and procedures for the use of professional therapy dogs will be reviewed annually with staff and students at the beginning of the academic year.
    • Guidelines and procedures for the use of professional therapy dogs will be reviewed as needed throughout the year as determined by the building administrator, handler, and Executive Director of Student Services.
  5. The privilege to bring the therapy dog into the school setting may be terminated should the owner/handler or the dog behave in a way deemed unprofessional or unsafe.
  6. When a professional educator in the district uses a professional therapy dog according to the above guidelines, the building in which the handler works and the professional educator will be covered by the district’s general liability coverage.

PET VISITATION DOGS: A pet visitation dog is owned by a volunteer or student who is not employed by the Linn-Mar Community School District, but who has received registration and/or recognition for volunteer pet visitation. These dogs are not considered to be professional therapy dogs.

For a dog to be used on a volunteer basis these guidelines must be followed:

  1. If the handler of the dog is an employee of the district, the handler and dog must be certified under the professional therapy dog guidelines listed above.
  2. The dog may be used no more than one visitation per week for a two-hour interval. Should the dog be used more often or for longer periods the dog must pass all requirements for professional therapy dog status before it may be used in the schools.

The following documentation must be kept on file in the office of the Executive Director of Student Services and in the building in which the pet visitation dog is used:

  1. Current certification/registration from the therapy dog organization administering the evaluation and testing.
  2. Current veterinary records of worming schedules and annual vaccinations for five-way Parvo/Distemper (DHPP) and Bordetella, as well as rabies vaccinations every three years.
  3. Proof of insurance.
  4. Letter of approval from the building administrator.

If you have questions about the therapy dog program please contact:
Melissa Frick, Executive Director of Student Services
2999 N 10th Street, Marion, IA 52302
319-447-3663 /  melissa.frick@Linnmar.k12.ia.us


Adopted: 8/17
Reviewed: 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 10/23
Related Policy: 604.2-E1-E2
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §216C; 29 USC §794; 42 USC §12132; 28 CFR 35
IASB Reference: 105; 606.03

604.2-E1 Checklist of Documentation Required for Use of Professional Therapy Dogs

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST


Name of Professional Dog Owner: _________________________________________

Name of Professional Dog Handler: ________________________________________

Name of Professional Therapy Dog: ________________________________________

Building in which therapy dog will work: ______________________________________

____Administrative Approval:
A signed statement reflecting administrator approval for use of a professional therapy dog.

_____Health Records:
A copy of annual vaccinations and exams signed by a licensed veterinarian including a photocopy of the rabies certificate. It is expected that all owners/handlers will use year-round preventative medication for heartworm/external parasites.

  • Rabies, five-way Parvo/Distemper, and Bordetella vaccinations
  • Comprehensive wormer or fecal check
  • External parasite control (Frontline Plus is recommended)

Note: for dogs less than one year of age, or receiving their first Parvo/Distemper and rabies vaccination, follow-up vaccines will take place in one year. For all other dogs, these vaccinations will take place every three years.

_____Public Access Test: Certificate verifying the owner/handler and dog have passed.

_____Current Certification Date: _________________________________________

Signature of Professional Dog Owner/Handler: ________________________________ Date: ________________

Signature of Building Administrator: _______________________________________ Date: ________________

Signature of Executive Director of Student Services: ____________________________ Date: _________________

 


Adopted: 8/17
Reviewed: 4/18; 6/21
Related Policy: 604.2; 604.2-E2

604.2-E2 - Vital Information for Use of Professional Therapy Dogs

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FORM


Name of Professional Dog Owner: _________________________________________

Name of Professional Dog Handler: ________________________________________

Name of Professional Therapy Dog: ________________________________________

Building in which therapy dog will work: ______________________________________

Therapy Dog and Handler's Certification Date: ________________________________

Name of Certifying Organization: ___________________________________________

Date for Re-Certification: _________________________________________________

Emergency Contact Names and Phone Numbers in Case of Issue with Therapy Dog:

1. ______________________________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________________________

Veterinarian Contact Information:

Name: ______________________________________ Phone: ______________________

Dates Regarding Therapy Dog's Care:

Date of Birth: _________________ Age: _______ Last Health Check: _________________

Annual Worm Check: ______________ Parvo/Distemper: ______________ Rabies: __________________

Note: Five-way Parvo/Distemper (DHPP) and rabies vaccinations shall be updated every three years. Dogs less than one year of age or receiving vaccinations for the first time shall receive a follow-up in one year with vaccinations every three years thereafter. Verification that preventative parasite control (fleas and ticks) as well as heartworm medication is given year-round.

Owner's Signature: ________________________________________ Date: ________________________


Adopted: 8/17
Reviewed: 4/18; 6/21
Related Policy: 604.2; 604.2-E1

604.3 - Assistance Animals

It is the policy of the Linn-Mar Community School District to foster an equal education environment for all students, employees, and community members within the district. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the district on the proper use of assistance animals while on district property. The district will allow the use of qualified service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in all areas of district buildings where the public is normally allowed to go. This can include classrooms, cafeterias, and school buses. Individuals with disabilities are people who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Service animals are dogs and in some instances miniature horses trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities.

Service animals must be current on all required vaccinations. Service animals also must be under control while on district grounds. The animal may be under control by either the individual with the disability or a handler of the service animal. Under control means harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the animal’s work, in which case under voice or other directive control.

MINIATURE HORSES AS SERVICE ANIMALS:
Miniature horses will be allowed as service animals within the district whenever it is reasonable to allow them. Factors to consider when determining reasonableness include whether the miniature horse is housebroken; whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.

ESTABLISHING THE NEED FOR A SERVICE ANIMAL:
When no prior notice is given to the district regarding the use of a service animal, the superintendent [or designee] and/or school administrators are permitted to ask the following question: Do you need/require this animal because of a disability? If the animal’s trained tasks are not readily apparent, the superintendent [or designee] and/or school administrators may ask: What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?

SERVICE ANIMALS IN-TRAINING:
Assuming the handler and animal are otherwise allowed, individuals who train service animals will also be allowed access with their service animal in-training to public areas of district buildings and property. The service animal in-training is expected to abide by the same requirements as fully trained service animals.

EXCLUSION OF SERVICE ANIMALS:
In certain limited circumstances, it may be reasonable to exclude the use of a service animal from district property. The superintendent [or designee] is permitted to exclude service animals from district buildings and property in the following circumstances: The presence of the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others; the owner or handler is unable to control the animal; the animal is not housebroken; the presence of the animal significantly disrupts or interferes with the educational process; or the presence of the animal would require a fundamental alteration to the program. If a service animal is properly excluded from district property, the district will provide the student served by the animal the opportunity to participate in the program, service, or activity without having the service animal on district property.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS AND SERVICE ANIMALS:
Emotional support animals are medically prescribed to provide therapeutic benefits through dedicated companionship. Emotional support animals’ sole function is to provide emotional support or comfort. Therapy animals are involved in an animal-assisted therapy program involving animals as a form of treatment.

Emotional support animals and therapy animals do not meet the definition of service animals. However, the district recognizes their value in the community. The superintendent [or designee] will evaluate the use of emotional support animals and therapy animals on a case-by-case basis for students.

District employees may use therapy animals in the course of their regular duties only after receiving permission from the superintendent [or designee]. For information on the use of therapy animals by district employees, refer to Policy 604.2-Guidelines for Use of Professional Therapy Dogs.

STUDENT USE OF EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS AND THERAPY ANIMALS:
As provided by The Americans with Disability Act, factors the superintendent [or designee] will consider in evaluating the use of emotional support animals and therapy animals are:

  1. Whether the animal is housebroken
  2. Whether the animal is under the owner’s control
  3. Whether the facility can accommodate the animal’s type, size, and weight
  4. Whether the animal’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility

The superintendent [or designee] will also take under consideration whether the animal has a current vaccination certificate and whether the animal has been recommended through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan, as necessary for the student to receive free access to public education.

If you have questions about any information provided in this policy, please contact:
Melissa Frick, Executive Director of Student Services
2999 N 10th Street, Marion, IA 52302
319-447-3663 /  melissa.frick@Linnmar.k12.ia.us


Adopted: 1/22
Revised: 10/23
Related Policy: 604.2; 604.2-E1-E2
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §216C; 29 USC §794; 42 USC §12132; 28 CFR 35
IASB Reference: 606.03

604.4 - Talented and Gifted Program

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

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


Adopted: 8/89
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 10/13; 2/24
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 257.42-49; 281 IAC 12.5(12); 59
IASB Reference: 604.03

604.5 - Program for Students At-Risk

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

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


Adopted: 8/89
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 4/18
Revised: 11/07; 6/21; 2/24
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 257.38-41; 280.19, .19A; 281 IAC 12.5(13); 33; 65
IASB Reference: 604.04

604.6 - School Library

The school district will maintain a school library in each student attendance center for use by students and employees during the school day.

Materials for the libraries will be acquired consistent with all applicable laws and Policy 602.27 Selection of Instructional Materials. The district shall provide access to all parents and guardians of students enrolled in the district an online catalog of all books available to students in the school libraries. This access will be displayed on the district’s website.

Any challenges to library materials will be handled following the process for handling challenges to instructional and library materials as established in Policy 602.29 Objection to Instructional and Library Materials.

It is the responsibility of the building principal in which the school library is located to oversee the use of library materials.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to develop procedures for the selection and replacement of both library and instructional materials, for the acceptance of gifts, and for the weeding of library and instructional materials.


Adopted: 3/99
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 10/13; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 2/15; 3/23; 8/23
Related Policy: 602.16; 602.16-R; 602.27; 502.27-R; 602.28; 602.28-E1; 602.29; 602.29-R; 602.29-E1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.7(24); 256.11(9); 279.8, .50; 280.6, .14; 301; 281 IAC 12.3(11), (12)
IASB Reference: 605.05
Mandatory Policy