600 Statement of Guiding Principles


Series 600 - Educational Program
Statement of Guiding Principles                       Code No. 600
The Board of Directors recognizes its obligation and duty to provide an educational program equally available to all young people of the school district.  The Board of Directors believe that all children should have the opportunity to be educated to the full extent of their abilities, aptitudes, capabilities, and interests through programs that recognize and provide for the individual differences of all children of the school district.  Innovation and change--based upon thorough research, study, deliberation, and evaluation--shall be encouraged.
Adoption: 4-14-86
Review: 7-17-89 4-11-9  5-10-99  10-8-09  3-9-15.  3-9-20
Cross References:
Legal References:   280.3

601.1 School District Instructional Organization


Series 600 - Educational Program
School District Instructional Organization           Code No. 601.1
The school district offers an education program for grades pre-school, k-prep/kindergarten through twelve.  The levels of instruction are organized by the following levels:
  1. Elementary school:  The elementary school shall consist of kindergarten prep./kindergarten and grades one through four.
  2. Middle school:  The middle school shall consist of grades five, six, seven, and eight.
  3. Senior high school:  The senior high school shall consist of grades nine through twelve.
Each school building will have a principal responsible for the administration and management of the school building.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99     10-8-09  3-9-15.  3-9-20
Revision:  3-9-15.  3-9-20
Cross References:
Legal References:  256.11; 275.1; 279.11; 280.14 (1989); AC 670-3.1,                                            
 3.2(1)-.2(8); AC 281-12.1; 12.3(11), 12.5 (new standards)


601.2 School Calendar


Series 600 - Educational Program
School Calendar                                       Code No. 601.2
The school district's academic calendar will accommodate the educational program of the school district.  The calendar will be developed according to state statute but with a minimum of 180 days or 1080 hours and will include, but not be limited to, the days for student instruction, staff development and in-service, and time for parent/student/teacher conferences.
The school academic year for students shall be for a minimum of 180 days or 1080 hours in the school.  The school academic year for students shall begin no sooner than August 23.   School district personnel may be required to report to work at the school district prior to this date.
Special education students may attend school on a school calendar different from that of the regular education program consistent with their Indiviualized Education Program.
The board, in its discretion, may excuse graduating seniors from up to five days or 30 hours of instruction after the school district requirements for graduation have been met.  The board may also excuse graduating seniors from making up days missed due to inclement weather if the student has met the school district's graduation requirements.
It shall be the responsibility of the Calendar Committee (membership includes school board members, Administrators, and FCEA representatives) to develop the school calendar for recommendation, approval, and adoption by the board annually.
The board may amend the official school calendar when the board considers the change to be in the best interest of the school district's educational program.  The board shall hold a public hearing on any proposed school calendar prior to adopting the school calendar.
The calendar will be coordinated, as closely as possible, with the calendars of our neighboring districts and educational partners.
NOTE:  This policy reflects Iowa Law.  Should boards want to excuse graduating seniors from school early or from making up snow or other inclement weather days, that policy statement must be in board policy. 
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99   10-8-09  8-12-14  3-9-15.  3-9-20
Revision: 2-10-00  10-12-06  8-12-14  3-9-15
Cross References: 
Legal References:  20.9; 279.10; 442.26A (1989); AC 670-3.2(11),                                                   
3.3(5); AC 281-12.2(1), .2(2) (new standards) 

601.3 School Day

Series 600 - Educational Program
School Day                                           Code No. 601.3
The student school day for grades one through twelve shall consist of a minimum of six hours--not including the lunch period.  The school day consists of the schedule of class instruction and class activities as established and sponsored by the school district. Time during which students are released from school for parent/teacher conferences may be counted as part of students instructional time. The minimum school day shall meet the requirements as established for the operation of accredited schools.  
The board may define the number of days kindergarten will be held and the length of each school day for the students attending kindergarten.  The school day will consist of a schedule as recommended by the superintendent and approved by the board.
The school district may also record a day of school with less than the minimum instructional hours if the total hours of instructional time for grades one through twelve in any five consecutive school days equals a minimum of thirty hours, even though any one day of school is less than the minimum instructional hours because of a staff development opportunity provided for the instructional staff or parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day.  If the total hours of instructional time for the first four consecutive days equal at least  thirty hours because parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day, the school district may record zero hours of instructional time on the fifth consecutive school day as a school day.  Schedule revisions and changes in time allotments will be made by the superintendent.
When the school is forced to close, due to weather or other emergencies, the part of the day during which school was in session will constitute a school day. The superintendent will create administrative regulations necessary to utilize any remote learning opportunities that are available and permitted by law during the period of closure. Remote learning opportunities will count toward instructional time requirements as allowed by law. During the time of remote learning, student attendance will be taken, assessments may be administered and grades will count toward students cumulative grade point average. The provision of special education and accomodations for students who have individualized education programs (IEP) or Section 504 plans during periods of closure will be determined by each respective IEP or Section 504 team. 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to inform the board annuall of the length of the school day.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99    10-8-09  8-12-14  3-9-15.  3-9-20
Revision: 4-11-94  8-12-14.  3-9-20  7-13-20
Cross References:
Legal References:  279.8; 285.1(14) (1989); AC 670-3.2(11);                                                             
 AC 281-12.2(2), .2(3), .2(6) (new standards)

602 Basic Instruction Program

Series 600 - Educational Program
Basic Instruction Program                             Code No. 602
The basic instruction program will be comprehensive in nature and designed to meet or exceed State and local K-12 requirements. Materials utilized for instruction and teaching strategies will be gender neutral, multicultural, and address the needs of various student learning styles.
Students enrolled in kindergarten shall attend school for the entire school day everyday.  Parental requests for an alternate day kindergarten program will be honored.  These students will be integrated into the all day every day classrooms.  The kindergarten instructional program shall be a developmentally and individually appropriate activity based program.  It will promote healthy emotional and social habits, language arts and communication skills, the capacity to complete individual tasks, and the ability to increase physical well-being.  It shall be a program that ensures opportunities for all children to develop to their greatest potential in an appropriate manner.
The basic instruction program of students enrolled in grades one through eight shall include but not be limited to, whole-language, the social sciences, mathematics, science & health (including human growth and development), physical education, safety, technology, fine arts, exploratories, and career readiness.
The basic instruction program of students enrolled in grades nine through twelve shall include but not be limited to language arts, the social sciences, mathematics, science & health, physical education, fine arts, foreign language, technology, career readiness, exploratories, and educational planning.
The board may, in its discretion, offer additional courses in the instruction program for any grade level.
Each instructional program shall be carefully planned for the optimal benefit, taking into consideration the resources available and other factors deemed relevant by the board or the superintendent.  Each site level plan shall identify and describe each program, its goals, the appropriate materials, the activities, teaching strategies and the methods of student assessment.
It is the responsibility of the administrative team to develop a program model which facilitates a continuing process for implementing program improvements.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99  10-08-09   08-08-11  4-13-15  4-13-20
Revision: 6-12-08  11-12-09 09-19-11
Cross References:
Legal References: 29 U.S.C. 624-634; 42 U.S.C. 2000e-11; 279.8;                             
 280.3-.14; 601A.9 (1989); AC 670-3.5; AC 281-12.5 (new standards)

602.1 Multicultural and Gender Fair Equity Education Oportunity

Series 600 - Educational Program
Multicultural and Gender Fair Equity Education Opportunity   Code No. 602.1
Students will have an equal opportunity for a quality education without discrimination, regardless of their race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status.  
The education program is free of discrimination and provides equal opportunity for the students.  The education program will foster knowledge of, and respect and appreciation for, the historical and contemporary contributions of diverse cultural groups, as well as men and women, to society.  Special emphasis is placed on Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, American Indians, European Americans and persons with disabilities.  It will also reflect the wide variety of roles open to both men and women and provide equal opportunity to both sexes.  
Adoption:  7-17-89
Review:    4-11-94    5-10-99   1-13-05  10-08-09  08-08-11 6-11-12  4-13-15  4-13-20
Revision:  6-12-08    11-12-09   09-19-11 6-11-12
Legal References: 20 U.S.C. 1681-83; 1685-86; 29 U.S.C. 624-634;  42 U.S.C. 2000e-11; 34 C.F.R. 106.41; 256.11; 279.8; 280.3-.14;  601A.9 (1989); AC 670-3.3(6), 3.5, .5(5); AC 281-12.1, .5(8)  (new standards) 

602.1-E Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender or Handicap

Non-discrimination on the Basis of Gender or Handicap     Code No. 602.1-E
Building Level Complaint Form                                    Check (  ) area of complaint:
                Chapter I Activities in                                      Section 504 Handicapped
            Reading & Mathematics
                 Title VII Civil Rights                              Title IX Sex Discrimination
Name of Complainant:                                             Address:                                     
Date that violation or alleged violation occurred:                                                       
Complaint (Please write a brief statement of the complaint, which must be on the area checked above):
If the complaint is being filed by a representative of the complainant, please sign here: 
Complainant's Signature:                                                                              
Disposition by Building Administrator:                                                                  
District Level complaint Form
Area of Complaint                  Administrator's Name       Office        Phone No.
Chapter I Activities                                                             
Title VII Civil Rights                                                         
Section 504 Handicapped                                                                                      
Title IX Sex Discrimination                                                                                     
Date Received: ________________________________________  
Hearing Scheduled Date: ________________________________
Persons Attending: _____________________________________
Disposition by District Complaint Officer: _______________________________

602.1-R nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender or Handicap

Series 600 - Educational Program
Non-discrimination on the Basis of Gender or Handicap     Code No. 602.1-R
Public laws provide for the resolution of complaints brought by patrons, students or staff of the school district toward any activities sponsored or undertaken by the school district.
Complaints will be investigated and resolved within ten (10) days of receipt of same, unless exceptional circumstances exist.  Where special circumstances exist, the resolution shall not exceed thirty (30) days.
The complaint form is to be filed with the building administrator.  In the event the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution at the building level, an appeal may be made to the district complaint officer.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94  5-10-99   11-12-09   08-08-11  4-13-15  4-13-20
Revision:  6-12-08   9-19-11
Cross References:
Legal References: 

602.2 Performance Assessment for Classroom Credit

Series 600 - Educational Program
Performance Assessment for Classroom Credit               Code No. 602.2
In meeting the needs of the students, the board may grant credit by demonstration of competencies for course work which is ordinarily included in the school curriculum.  Students wishing to receive credit by demonstration of competencies shall have the approval of the principal and curriculum department prior to receiving assessment.  Assessing for credit may only be utilized prior to the offering of a course.  Once the course has begun students must attend the class and complete the work unless waivered by the teacher and approved by the principal.
Review: 5-10-99    11-12-09  4-13-15  4-13-20
Revision: 4-11-94
Cross References:
Legal References:  256.11 (1989); AC 281-12.5(19) (new standards)

602.3 Religion Based Exclusion From School Program

Series 600 - Educational Program
Religion Based Exclusion From School Program         Code No. 602.3
Parents who wish to have their child excluded from a school program because of religious beliefs must inform the principal.  The board authorizes the administration to allow the exclusion if it is not disruptive to the educational process and it does not infringe on a compelling state or educational interest.  Further, the exclusion must not interfere with other school district operations.
     In notifying the principal, the parents will abide by the following:
  • The notice is in writing;
  • The objection is based on religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state which activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state why these activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state a proposed alternate activity or study;
The principal shall have sole discretion to make this determination.  The factors the principal shall consider when a student requests to be excluded from a program or activity because of religious beliefs include, but are not limited to, staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded, space to house the student while the student is excluded, available principal approved alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded, numbers of students who wish to be excluded, whether allowing the exclusion places the school in a position that it is supporting a particular religion, and whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.
Students who are allowed to be excluded from a program or activity which violates their religious beliefs shall be required to do an alternate supervised activity or study.  The principal shall determine alternate activity or study for the student.
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99   10/08/09  4-13-15  4-13-20              
Cross References:
Legal References: 403 U.S.; 602; 91 S.Ct. 2105 (1971); 256.11(7);   279.8 (1989); 
AC 281-12.5(6) (new standards)

602.4 Alternative Programs

Series 600 - Educational Program
Alternative Programs                                 Code No. 602.4
     Requests to the board to develop and implement alternative school programs should include the following information:
  1. Need.  A narrative statement should give the reasons for the request.
  2. Objectives.  Immediate and long-range objectives should be stated, according to the purposes of the request and the course content.
  3. Expected Goals.  At the end of a specific trial period, the alternative program should be evaluated and its further use should be projected.
  4. Personnel Involved in Planning.  A listing should include members of the professional staff and the community.
  5. Implementation Procedures.  Steps for implementing the program should be listed, including plans for developing the program once it is started.
  6. Plans for Evaluation.  Based on the stated objectives and goals, program evaluation plans should be provided, including a listing and type(s) of possible assessment instruments.  The continuation of any program beyond its stated trial period could occur only after a positive evaluation which considers all aspects of the program.
The board will carefully consider plans for alternative programs, and will weigh the counsel provided by the professional staff and the superintendent.  However, the board's primary responsibilities remain the overseeing of the regular school program and the administration of the district's finances.  These primary responsibilities will be kept in mind as the board reaches a decision.
Adoption:  4-14-86
Review:    7-17-89   4-11-94    11-12-09  4-13-15  4-13-20
Revision:  5-10-99
Cross References:
Legal References:  280.12; 3.5(7); 3.5(10); 3.5(14)

602.4-R Alternative High School

Series 600 - Education Program
Alternative High School Code No. 602.4-R
An alternative to the traditional high school program will be offered to students who meet the following criteria:
  1. A waiting list will be established and students will be admitted based on availability within the program.
A.  Waiting list protocol
  1. Forest City students have priority.
  2. Age/older students have priority over younger students.
  3. Closeness to diploma--  the closer the student is to completing requirements will have priority.
  4. First-time enters will have priority over re-enters.
  5. Out-of District enters will follow criteria established in 2, 3, and 4 but will have lower priority as per 1.
  6. If a student enrolls and then drops out or is released from the program, he/she will not be returned to the waiting list for a period of not less than 60 days.
  1. Each student, with his/her parent or guardian, will have a minimum of one (1) intake interview to determine desire for academic achievement and life skills interests.  Interviewers could include any or all of the following:  Superintendent, Principal, Associate Principal, Guidance Counselor, and Alternative Staff.
  2. Each student will be provided assessments and counseling in order to match interests and aptitudes with site based employment which will complement an individualized education program.
  3. Each student will have the opportunity to take part in an optional Work-Start Program (full-time employment).  The alternative school staff will assist each student if requested, to locate a work-site which will complement the individual education plan.
  4. Alternative School student transfer back to FCHS procedures:
  1. Credit Completion:  Students must complete a minimum of three credits in each of four consecutive six week grading periods.
  2. Attendance:  Student attendance is expected to be at 90% or above.
  3. Behavior:  Students would not have any Level II or Level III behavior issues.
  4. Teacher Recommendation:  A positive recommendation from the Alternative school Instructor that the transfer back to FCHS would be in the best interest of the student and a prediction of success in the new setting.
Educational programming for the alternative high school will be based upon the following format and philosophy:
  1. We believe all students can and will learn if they are provided with a learning environment that promotes flexibility and recognizes individual differences.  While the majority of students attending Forest City High School are capable of successfully completing the requirements for graduation, there remains a number of students who need a different type of learning environment.  Warning signs that individual students are not able to adjust to the traditional school environment include:  high rate of absenteeism; frequent tardiness; attitude toward self, others, and school;  lack of identification with the school; and performance quality below ability levels.  Pregnancy and complex family problems may also necessitate an alternative-type program.  This program will be designed around the needs of each individual student with particular attention given to providing an alternative program sensitive to the learning needs and styles of each of these students.
  2. Students accepted into this program will be provided an individual educational option in order to equip them with the skills needed to succeed in a technical world.  The six (6) Essential Learner Outcomes for Student Success, derived from the Forest City Community Schools Mission Statement, will serve as a guide to each student's individual educational plan. (See Policy 100)
  3. The individual education plan for each student will reflect the following:
  1. The academic outcomes established by the alternative school staff, counselor, principal and student.
  2. Other demonstrated outcomes (See Policy 100) established by the alternative school staff, counselor, principal and student.
  3. Although a work-site experience is recommended, it is an optional outcome for meeting graduation requirements.
  1. Successful completion of graduation credit requirements.
Students who successfully complete their individual education plan will be awarded a School Diploma.  
Adoption: 4-11-94
Review; 11-12-09  4-1-15  4-13-20
Revision: 5-10-99  12-13-07
Cross References:
Legal References:

602.5 Summer School Instruction

Series 600 - Educational Program
Summer School Instruction                           Code No. 602.5
Summer school may be conducted in such buildings, on such grade levels, for such length of time, as the board, upon the recommendation of the administrative team, may determine.
The program offered during the summer school may be designed for enrichment and extension of the program provided during the regular academic year, for all interested students.
Adoption:  4-14-86
Review:  7-17-89   5-10-99   11-12-09  4-13-15  4-13-20
Revision: 4-11-94
Cross References:
Legal References: 

602.6 Extended Instructional Programs (Correspondence Study)

Series 600 - Educational Program
Extended Instructional Programs (Individualized Instruction)           Code No. 602.6
The board’s primary responsibility in the management of the school district is the operation and delivery of the regular education program.  Generally, students attending the school district will receive the regular education program offered by the district.  Only in exceptional circumstances will the board approve students receiving individualized instruction at the expense of the school district.
Recommendations from the superintendent for individualized instruction will state the need for the instruction, the objectives and goals sought for the instruction, the employee requirements for the instruction, the implementation procedures for the instruction and the evaluation procedures and processes that will be used to assess the value of the instruction.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administration regulations for individualized instruction. 
Review: 4-11-94    5-10-99   11-12-09  5-12-14  5-11-15. 5-11-20
Revision: 12-10-09
Cross References:
Legal References: 

602.7 Homebound Instruction

Series 600 - Educational Program
Homebound Instruction                                 Code No. 602.7
     Home or hospital instruction will be provided to:
Any child with a health or physical impairment which, in the opinion of a licensed medical examiner, will cause him/her to be absent from school for more than two consecutive weeks and whom school personnel determine can benefit educationally from such a program; or
Any child whose educational needs, as determined by a case study and reviewed in a multidisciplinary staff conference, are met most appropriately and effectively by such a program.
The amount of instructional or supportive service provided through the home and hospital program will be determined in relation to each child's educational needs and his/her physical and mental health.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99   11-12-09  5-12-14  5-11-15. 5-11-20
Cross References:
Legal References: 

602.8 Adult and Community Education

Series 600 - Educational Program
Adult and Community Education                                       Code No. 602.8
Because it recognizes that learning is a life-long activity, the Board of Directors supports the concept of  adult and community education facilities. 
The Board also recognizes that the general objectives of post-high school and adult education programs shall be the same as those of other levels of public education.  These general objectives include the preparation of individuals for democratic citizenship, providing individuals with means for economic improvement and cultural development, and the enrichment of the personal lives of all the participating individuals.
The community and adult education programs shall be administered by the superintendent of the Forest City Community School system with other community groups.
The physical facilities of the school district shall be made available for use in these programs when there is no conflict with regular school activities.
Adoption: 4-14-86
Review: 7-17-89   5-10-99    11-12-09  5-12-14  5-11-15  5-11-20
Revision:  4-11-94  5-11-15
Cross References: 
Legal References:  276 

602.10 Wellness Policy

F.C. School Board Policies

Series 600 - Education Program
The Forest City Community School district promotes healthy students by supporting wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The Forest City Community School district supports a healthy environment where students learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices.  By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, schools contribute to the basic health status of students.  Improved health optimizes student performance potential.
The Forest City Community School district provides a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors.  The entire school environment, not just the classroom, shall be aligned with healthy school district goals to positively influence a student’s understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity.
The Forest City Community School district supports and promotes proper dietary habits contributing to students’ health status and academic performance.  Foods should be served with consideration toward nutritional integrity, variety appeal, taste, safety and packaging to ensure high-quality meals.
The Forest City Community School district will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.  Toward this end, the district may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; promote the availability of meals to all students; and/or use non-traditional methods for serving meals, such as “grab and go” or classroom breakfast.
The Forest City Community School district developed a local wellness policy committee comprised of parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the school board administrators, and the public, physical education teachers, and school health professionals.  The local wellness policy committee will develop a plan to implement the local wellness policy and periodically review and update the policy.    The Middle School Principal will monitor implementation and evaluation the implementation of the policy.  The committee will report annually to the board and community regarding the content and effectiveness of this policy and recommend updates if needed.  When monitoring implementation, schools will be evaluated individually with reports prepared by each school and the school district as a whole.  The report will include which schools are in compliance with this policy, the extent to which this policy compares to model Wellness policies and describe the progress made in achieving the goals of this policy.
Specific wellness goals:
Nutrition guidelines for all foods available on campus  (See attachment 1)
Physical activity (See attachment 2)
Specific goals for nutrition education  (See attachment 3)
Other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness  (See attachment 3)
This board will monitor and evaluate this policy. 
Adoption:  6/8/06
Review: 11-12-09   5-11-10   11-14-11    7-9-12  5-12-14  5-11-15  10-12-16  7-9-18
Revision:  7-9-12  5-11-20
Uploaded Files: 

602.11 Curriculum Development

Series 600 - Educational Program
Curriculum Development                                    Code No. 602.11
Curriculum development is an ongoing process in the school district and consists of research, design. Research is the studious inquiry and critical investigation of the various content areas for the purpose of revising and improving curriculum and instruction based on relevant information pertaining to the discipline.  This study is conducted both internally (what and how we are currently doing at the local level) and externally (what national standards, professional organizations, recognized experts, current research, etc. tell us relative to the content area).  Design is the deliberate process of planning and selecting the standards, and instructional strategies that will improve the learning experiences for all students.  

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

  • Focuses attention on the content standards of each discipline and ensure the identified learnings are rigorous, challenging, and represent the most important learning for our students. 
  • Increases the probability that students will acquire the desired knowledge, skills and dispositions and that our schools will be successful in providing appropriate learning experiences
  • Facilitates communication and coordination
  • Improves classroom instruction.
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum development and for determining the most effective method of conducting research and design activities.  A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed in researching, designing, and articulating each curriculum area.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum development activities to:
  • Study the trends research and expert advice regarding the content/discipline;
  • Study the current status of the content/discipline (what andhow well students are currently learning);
  • Identify content standards, benchmarks, and grade level expectations for the content/discipline;
  • Describe the desired learning behaviors, teaching, and learning environment related to the content/discipline;
  • Identify the differences in the desired and present program and develop a plan for addressing the difference;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding the content area;
  • Involve staff, parents and community in curriculum development decisions;
  • Verify integration of local, state, and/or federal mandates (MCGF, school-to-work, etc.);
  • Verify how the standards and benchmarks of the content/'discipline support each of the broader student learning goals and provide a K-12 continuum that builds on the prior learning of each level.
It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of necessary curriculum revisions, progress of each content area related to curriculum development activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum development including recommendations to the board.
NOTE: This is a mandatory policy but the content is discretionary to the extent somewhere in the board policy the board describes its process for establishing content standards, benchmarks, performace levels, and annual improvement goals aligned with needs assessment information. The bulleted items are suggestions for content of this policy. The italicized items are not mandatory functions but are implied from the mandates. Boards, in conjuntion with their administartors, should review their curriculm development process and incorporate it into this policy-striking what doesn't apply and adding what does.
Adoption:  7-17-89 
Review: 01-13-05   11-12-09  5-12-14 2-11-19
Revision:  02-10-05   10-12-06   4-12-07 2-11-19.  5-11-20
Cross Reference: 101 Educational Philosophy of the School District
105 Long-Range Needs Assessment
505 Student Scholastic Achievement
602.11 Curriculum Development 
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994).  34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (1996).  Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3-.14 (1999).  281 I.A.C.  12.8(1)(c)(1).

602.12 Curriculum Adoption

Series 600 - Educational Program
Curriculum Adoption                                   Code No. 602.12
Curriculum of the school district must be approved by the Board.  Curriculum recommended by the administrative team or by a committee established for the purpose of making a recommendation to the Board on curriculum shall be considered by the Board.
The Board may authorize the use of curriculum guides when it adopts curriculum.  Such guides will be used when, in the opinion of the administrative team, they will be of assistance to the instructional program and will provide a consistent approach in the instructional program.  These guides could be a part of the district’s technology management system (Infinite Campus or other).
Curriculum development should include standards, benchmarks and indicators for at least reading, mathematics, and science.  It should include performance levels, and annual improvement goals aligned with needs assessment data.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94    5-10-99    11-12-09  5-12-14. 5-11-20
Revision:10-12-06   4-12-07
Cross References:
Legal References:  279.8; 280.3-.14; 601A.9 (1989); AC 670-3.5;                                                     
 AC 281-12.5(14) (new standards)

602.13 Curriculum Evaluation

Series 600 - Educational Program
Curriculum Evaluation                                 Code No. 602.13
Regular evaluation of the total curriculum is necessary to ensure that the written and delivered curriculum is having the desired effect for students.
Curriculum evaluation refers to an ongoing process of collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting information to aid in understanding what students know and can do.  It refers to the full range of information gathered in the School District to evaluate (make judgments about) student learning and program effectiveness in each content area.
Curriculum evaluation must be based on information gathered from a comprehensive assessment system that is designed for accountability and committed to the concept that all students will achieve at high levels, is standards-based, and informs decisions which impact significant and sustainable improvements in teaching and student learning.
The superintendent shall be responsible for curriculum evaluation and for determining the most effective way of ensuring that assessment activities are integrated into instructional practices as part of school improvement with a particular focus on improving teaching and learning.  A curriculum framework shall describe the procedures that will be followed to establish an evaluation process that can efficiently and effectively evaluate the total curriculum.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the procedures for the following curriculum evaluation activities:
  • Identify specific purposes for assessing student learning;
  • Develop a comprehensive assessment plan (See CSIP Question 4);
  • Select/develop assessment tools and scoring procedures that are valid and reliable;
  • Identify procedures for collecting assessment data;
  • Identify procedures for analyzing and interpreting information and drawing conclusions based on the data (including analysis of the performance of various sub-groups of students);
  • Identify procedures for establishing at least three levels of performance (specific to the content standard and the assessment tool when appropriate) to assist in determining whether students have achieved at a satisfactory level (at least two levels describe performance that is proficient or advanced and at least one level describes students who are not yet performing at the proficient level); 
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information to determine long-range and annual improvement goals (See CSIP Questions 2 and 3);
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information in making decisions focused on improving teaching and learning (data based decision making) (See CSIP Question 4);
  • Provide support to staff in using data to make instructional decisions (See CSIP Question 2); 
  • Define procedures for regular and clear communication about assessment results to the various internal and external publics (mandatory for communication about students receiving special education services);
  • Define data reporting procedures;
  • Verify that assessment tools are fair for all students and are consistent with all state and federal mandates;
  • Verify that assessment tools measure the standards and benchmarks;
  • Ensure participation of eligible students receiving special education services in district-wide assessments.
It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum evaluation activities, the progress of each content area related to curriculum evaluation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum evaluation including recommendations to the board.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99   11-12-09  5-12-14.  5-11-20
Revision: 4-11-94   10-12-06
Cross Reference: 101 Educational Philosophy of the School District
105 Long-Range Needs Assessment; 505 Student Scholastic Achievement; 602.11 Curriculum Development
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994).  34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (1996).  Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3-.14 (1999). 281 I.A.C.  12.8(1)(c)(1).

602.14 Curriculum Implementation

Series 600 - Educational Program
Curriculum Implementation Code No. 602.14
Without careful and continuing attention to implementation, planned changes in curriculum and instruction rarely succeed as intended.  How change is put into practice, to a large extent, determines how well it fares.
Implementation refers to what actually happens in practice as compared to what was supposed to happen.  Curriculum implementation includes the provision of organized assistance to staff in order to ensure that the newly developed curriculum and the most powerful instructional strategies are actually delivered at the classroom level.  There are two components of any implementation effort that must be present to guarantee the planned changes in curriculum and instruction succeed as intended:
Understanding the conceptual framework of the content/discipline being implemented; and, Organized assistance to understand the theory, observe exemplary demonstrations, have opportunities to practice, and receive coaching and feedback focused on the most powerful instructional strategies to deliver the content at the classroom level.
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum implementation and for determining the most effective way of providing organized assistance and monitoring the level of implementation.  A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed to assist all staff in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully implement the developed curriculum in each content area.  See also the district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and the District Career Development Plan for more detail on curriculum and staff development.  This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum implementation activities to:
  • Study and identify the best instructional practices and materials to deliver the content;
  • Describe procedures for the purchase of instructional materials and resources  (See Policy 604.7);
  • Study the current status of instruction in the content area  (how teachers are teaching);
  • Compare the desired and present delivery system, identify differences (gap analysis), and develop a plan for addressing the differences; (See CSIP Questions 3 and 4)
  • Organize staff into collaborative study teams to support their learning and implementation efforts (See the District Career Development Plan);
  • Provide ongoing professional development related to instructional strategies and materials that focuses on theory, demonstration, practice and feedback (See the District Career Development Plan);
  • Regularly monitor and assess the level of implementation (See CSIP Question 4);
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding curriculum implementation;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, amd community members in curriculm inplementation decisions.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum implementation activities, progress of each content area related to curriculum implementation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum implementation including recommendations to the board.
Note:This is a mandatory policy but the content is discretionary to the extent somewhere in board policy the board describes its process for establishing content standards, benchmarks, performance levels, and annual improvement goals aligned with needs assessment information. The bulleted items are suggestions for content of this policy. The italicized items are not mandatory functions but are implied from the mandates. Boards, in conjunction with their administrators, should review their curriculm implementation process and incorporate it into this policy-striking what doesn't apply and adding what does. For more detailed discussion of this issue, see IASB's Policy Primer, Vol. 13 #1-May 15, 2000.
Adoption:  2-10-05
Review: 11-12-09  5-12-14
Revision: 10-12-06.   5-11-20.  5-11-20
Cross Reference: 101 Educational Philosophy of the School District
105 Long-Range Needs Assessment
505 Student Scholastic Achievement
602.11 Curriculum Development
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994).  34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (1996).  Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3-.14 (1999).  281 I.A.C.  12.8(1)(c)(1).

603.1 Media Centers

Series 600 - Educational Program
Media Centers                                         Code No. 603.1
The Board of Education recognizes the right of students, teachers, support staff andadministration to reasonable access to school media center materials, equipment,time, facilities and staff to achieve optimum benefits whether for academic or non-academic purposes.  The Board directs the media professionals to plan and implement procedures that will ensure the greatest and most equitable access for all clients of library media services.
The following guidelines shall be implemented district-wide to ensure ease and equity of access to information:
  1. Collections of print and non-print materials to support the curriculum and to provide for student recreational interests shall be provided in sufficient amounts.
  2. Duplicate copies of titles shall be made available if patron demand requires it, and titles may be placed on reserve.
  3. Inter library loans shall be provided for all students and staff members.  The media staff shall seek networks that provide the widest possible access to information from the greatest number of sources.
  4. Staff members and students shall have access to the media center and its collections, facilities and services during the day as well as 24-hour access to these resources via the media center’s web page and the web-based online library manager.
  5. The media center’s web page will provide access to basic reference materials, such as encyclopedias, periodicals, and ebooks.
  6. Reserve systems or other procedures may be implemented to facilitate access to materials that are in high demand.
  7. Special collections of materials on special subjects or for special purposes may be assembled by the media staff upon teacher request.
  8. Loan regulations shall allow nearly all materials to circulate for moderate periods of time with provision for easy material renewal.  All loan periods and check-out procedures should encourage circulation of materials.
  9. The quantity of materials that may be borrowed by any patron shall be determined by the policy of each media center, but the media staff shall grant the widest possible latitude in applying restriction policies.  Media center policies should be aimed at encouraging rather than restricting circulation of materials.  Likewise, the privilege of borrowing materials may be restricted or removed by the media staff for patrons who restrict others’ access to materials.
  10. Subject to copyright guidelines, single photocopies of library related materials will be provided to students for purposes of research and study at a nominal cost established by the media director.
  11. The school media centers shall be open during the entire school day as well as before school, after school and during noon hour.
  12. Extended hours could be established to encourage media center use by patrons in the community.
  13. The school media centers shall not be used for activities which interfere with their use by students for study, research, production or recreational reading.
  14. The media staff shall be available whenever needed by students and teachers throughout the regular school day.
  15. Instructional equipment shall be available to all teachers and all students for teaching and learning activities.  No school equipment is to be used for personal, non-school activities.  The loan of school equipment to non-school agencies must be approved by the building principal or the media director.
  16. All media center facilities and services shall be handicapped accessible.
Adoption  7-17-89  
Cross References:  604.7
Review    11-12-09     5-12-14    5-11-15    5-11-20                          
Revision  4-11-94   5-10-99     12-10-09        5-11-15                                                     
Legal References:  279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (1989); AC 670-3.5(20), (21);                                           
AC 281-12.5(22) (new standards)                                                                                                    


603.1-E1 Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials Policy

Series 600 - Educational Program
Code No. 603.1-E1
The Forest City School District supports the Copyright Law (Public Law 94-533 and the Copyright Revision of 1976) and urges all employees to be aware of, to support it, and to abide by it.
For educators, the inclusion of the principle of "fair use" in the written language of the law spells out the special privileges which they have to use creative works without infringing on the author's exclusive rights.  With these privileges, however, go corresponding responsibilities to balance the rights of authors and creators of works with the needs of the common good in areas of teaching.  It is important, then, that educators at all levels understand the copyright law and that they consider and act in accordance with the intent of the fair use provision by protecting the rights of authors, artists, producers, etc., in regard to photocopying, off-air recording, duplication of audio-video and/or computer programs, etc.
School personnel and students shall comply with the copyright law and with all Forest City School Districts procedures pertaining to the law.  No school district property shall be used in violation of the copyright law or the district procedures pertaining to the law.  The district assumes no liability for infringement of copyright by individual employees, students or patrons.  The district will provide for yearly updates and training by media professionals on changes in the copyright laws.
The Forest City School District does not sanction illegal duplication in any form.  Employees who willfully disregard the district's copyright position are in violation of board policy; they do so at their own risk and assume all liability responsibility.

603.2 Technology and Instructional Materials

Series 600 - Educational Program
Technology and Instructional Materials Code No. 603.2
The board supports the use of innovative methods and the use of technology in the delivery of the education program.  The board encourages employees to investigate economical ways to utilize multi-media, computers, and other technologies as a part of the curriculum.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a plan for the use of technology in the curriculum and to evaluate it annually.  The superintendent will report the results of the evaluation and make a recommendation to the board annually regarding the use of technology in the curriculum.
NOTE:  This is a mandatory policy and reflects the educational standards.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99   9-27-07   12-10-09  6-9-14  6-8-15   6-8-20
Revision: 12-13-07
Cross References: 602.11 Curriculum Development; 605.2 Instructional Materials
Legal Reference: Iowa Code § 279.8 (2007).  281 I.A.C. 12.3(12), 12.5(10), .5(22).

603.3 Talented and Gifted Program (TAG)

Series 600 - Educational Program
Talented and Gifted Program (TAG)                    Code No. 603.3
To infuse Forest City Community School learner outcomes throughout the K-12 curriculum with an emphasis on higher order thinking skills, enrichment opportunities will be designed and implemented for all learners through a collegial teaching approach.
A feasible way to reach the talents and gifts of all learners is to inservice staff members with materials and procedures geared toward dimensions of learning for all.
A key component of the TAG program is developing life-long learners who are capable of self assessment and continual growth.
Team teaching and collaboration are crucial in TAG delivery to all students.  Multiple tries are  critical in the successful implementation of this program.
Some of the components of a successful, contemporary program which address the needs of every student include:
  1. Opportunities for professional staff development in order to keep current with procedural knowledge for appropriate delivery.
  2. Assistance from the administration, staff and parents in order to transform this program in the same manner as all other program areas.
  3. Staff the program in such a way that an appropriate amount of staff time is available to meet program needs.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99   12-10-09  6-9-14  6-8-15   6-8-20
Revision: 4-11-94
Cross References: Code  502.11
Legal References: 256.11; 261C; 422.31-.36 (1989); AC 670-56;                                                        
 AC 281-12.5(12) (new standards) 

603.4 Student Guidance and Counseling Program

Series 600 - Educational Program
Student Guidance and Counseling Program               Code No. 603.4
The board shall provide a guidance and counseling program, for the students enrolled, by guidance counselors certified with the Department of Education and holding the qualifications required by the board.  The guidance counseling services will serve grades early childhood through twelve.  The program will assist students with their personal, educational, and career development.  The program shall be designed to coordinate with the education program and to involve school district personnel.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99  12-10-09   6-9-14  6-8-15  6-8-20
Cross References:
Legal References:  256.9(b); 622.10 (1989); AC 670-3.3(10), .3(11),                                                
 3.5(16); AC 281-12.3(6), 12.5(21) (new standards)

603.5 Program For High Need Students

Series 600 - Educational Program
Program For High Need Students                         Code No. 603.5
The board recognizes some students require additional assistance in order to graduate from the regular education program.  The board shall provide programming to encourage and provide opportunities for students with high needs to achieve their potential and obtain their high school diploma.
It shall be the responsibility of the administrative team to develop programs for high need students.  Programming at each building level will provide opportunities that best match developmental needs of students at risk.
It shall also be the responsibility of the administrative team to develop administrative regulations for identifying students, for program evaluation, and for the training of school district personnel.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99  12-10-09  6-9-14  6-8-15  6-8-20
Revision: 4-11-94
Cross References:
Legal References:  256.9; 261C; 262.71; 280.19; 442.51-.54 (1989);                                                 
 AC 670-58; AC 281-12.5(13) (new standards) 

603.6 Career Education

Series 600 - Educational Program
Career Education                                       Code No. 603.6
Preparing students for careers is one goal of the education program.  Career education will be written into the education program for grades kindergarten through twelve.  This education will include, but not be limited to, awareness of self in relation to others and the needs of society, exploration of employment opportunities, experiences in personal decision-making, and experiences of integrating work values and work skills into their lives.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to assist licensed employees in finding ways to provide career education in the education program.  Special attention should be given to courses of vocational education nature.  The board, in its review of the curriculum, will review the means in which career education is combined with other instructional programs.
NOTE:  This is a mandatory policy and reflects the educational standards. 
Adoption:  7-17-89
Review:   4-11-94   5-10-99   12-10-09  6-9-14  6-8-15  6-8-20
Revision: 6-9-14
Cross References:
Legal References:  256.11; 280.9 (1989); AC 670-3.5(9);                                                                   
 AC 281-12.5(7) (new standards)

603.7 Physical Education

Series 600 - Educational Program
Physical Education                                   Code No. 603.7
Students in grades one through twelve are required to participate in physical education courses unless they are excused by the principal or school nurse 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 conflect with the student's religious beliefs.  
Students in grades 9-12 may also be excused from physical education courses if:
  • The student is enrolled in an academic course not otherwise available, or
  • The student is actively involved in an athletic program.  
Twelfth grade students may also be excused from physical education courses if the student is enrolled in a cooperative, work study or other educational program authorized by the school which requires the student's absence from school.
Students who will not participate in physical education must have a written request or statement from their parents.
NOTE:  This is a mandatory policy and reflects the educational standards.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99  12-10-09  6-9-14  6-8-15  6-8-20
Revision: 4-11-94  6-9-14
Cross References:
Legal References:  256.11 (1989); AC 670-3.5(10); AC 281-12.5(3)(f),                                             .5(4)(f), .5(5)(f), .5(6) (new standards)


Exibit 603.7 E1
Forest City High School Parent Request For Student Exemption From Physical Education
_______________________________ is requested by _________________________
               (student’s name)                                                     (parent/guardian’s name)
to be excused from (1) trimester of the required (8) Physical Education/Health credits 
during the ___________________  school year and during the _____________.  It is 
                          (school year)                                                              (trimester)
understood that the exemption from the Physical Education requirement will only be 
satisfied by the student successfully starting and ending an approved athletic or activity 
during the trimester in which the exemption is requested.  In the event of an injury during 
the athletic/activity which causes the student to no longer be able to participate, the 
student/parent/guardian will be required to produce a doctor’s exemption from Physical 
Education and/or athletic/activity participation.   It is also understood that this form will
need to be completed annually by the parent/guardian.
_____________________________________          _______________________
              (Parent/Guardian Signature)                                                 (Date)
Iowa Code Reference
281-IAC 12.5(5)(f)  A student may be excused by the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled, in consultation with the student’s counselor, for up to one semester, trimester, or the equivalent of a semester or trimester, per year if the parent or guardian of the student requests in writing that the student be excused from the physical education requirement. The student seeking to be excused from the physical education requirement must, at some time during the period for which the excuse is sought, be a participant in an organized and supervised athletic program which requires at least as much time of participation per week as one-eighth unit of physical education.
Rule Interpretation
·         Only when participation in an organized and supervised athletic program (which might be participation in more than one sport during a semester) equals 900 minutes (at least one-eighth unit per
semester) during a semester may a senior be excused from physical education for that semester.
·         For purposes of this section, an organized and supervised athletic program is one that is sponsored by the school or school district and employs licensed and appropriately endorsed staff.
To qualify as organized and supervised athletic programs, for example, cheerleading squads, dance squads, and show choirs must be supervised by employees with coaching endorsements.
**The Forest City CSD allows this exemption for the following:  recognized FCHS Athletics, recorded participation in FCHS morning or after school Weightlifting (93%+ attendance), and Marching Band.

603.8 Health Education

Series 600 - Educational Program
Health Education                                     Code No. 603.8
Students in grade levels one through twelve 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 use and nonuse, 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 disease including acquired immune defiency syndrome. 
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 are included in health education and the instruction are adapted at each grade level to aid understanding by the students.
Parents who object to health education instruction in human growth and development may file a written request that the student be excused from the instruction.  The written request will include a proposed alternate activity or study acceptable to the superintendent.  The superintendent will have the final authority to determine the alternate activity or study.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review:  5-10-99   12-10-09  6-9-14   6-8-15
Revision: 4-11-94.  6-8-20
Legal References:
Legal References:  256.11; 279.8; 280.3-.14 (1989); AC 670-3;                                                        
 AC 281-12.5(3)(e), .5(4)(e), .5(5)(e) (new standards)

603.8-E Human Growth and Development-Parent Notificiation

Series  600 - Educational Program
Human Growth and Development - Parent Notification Code No. 603.8-E
Dear Parent,
The Forest City Schools provide instruction and activities which enable every child to become a happy, healthy learner.  It is also the mission of our school to provide information and guidance so that all learners will make wise and healthy choices as they grow from primary grades to adulthood.  Iowa Law requires every accredited school to study the topics below and to develop instruction to address them.  These topics are now being addressed and the school's task is to identify for you where these are occurring.
Areas we include age appropriately in our K-12 curriculum are:
  1. Self esteem, responsible decision making, personal responsibility and goal setting;
  2. Interpersonal relationships;
  3. Sexual stereotypes;
  4. Discouragement of premarital adolescent sexual activity;
  5. Family life and parenting skills;
  6. Human sexuality, reproduction, contraception and family planning, parental development including awareness of mental retardation and its prevention, childbirth, adoption, available prenatal and postnatal support, and male and female responsibility;
  7. Behaviors to prevent sexual abuse or sexual harassment;
  8. Sexually transmitted diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and their causes and prevention;
  9. Substance abuse treatment and prevention;
  10. Suicide prevention;
  11. tress management.
Few, if any, courses offered in Forest City Community School address all of these topics, but rather they are taught in lessons in several courses K-12.
As a parent, you have the right to excuse your child from unit lessons which contain objectives which you do not wish them to participate in.  This can be done by completing this excuse form.  It is recommended that you visit with the instructor prior to opting your child out of instruction so you are aware of topics covered within the class and also about options available for your child.

603.8-E2 Human Growth and Development Curriculum-Student Excuse Form

Series 600 - Educational Program
Human Growth and Development Curriculum - Student Excuse Form Code No. 603.8-E 2
DATE of REQUEST:                             NAME of STUDENT:____________________
- Example:  Unit 2, Causes and Preventions of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Optional:  Would you wish to state any reasons for opting your child out?
Parent's Signature:                                                                    Date______________ 
Principal's Signature:                                                                 Date: _____________
Copies should be made for parent, teacher, and file of administrator.

604 Instructional Arrangements

Series 600 - Educational Program
Instructional Arrangements                             Code No. 604
Professional staff members should develop a set of written expectations for students and parents.  Student orientation documents should include all of the following:
  1. Classroom materials and other resources along with instructions for proper utilization and protection.
  2. Teaching strategies which will be used to address the various learning styles of students.
  3. Teaching strategies which will address the multiple intelligences of students.
  4. Attendance rules, including procedures in the case of tardiness or requests to leave class (consistent with school policies).
  5. Types of classroom activities or assignments, such as discussions, classwork, homework, culminating projects, authentic assessments, field trips, and multimedia presentations.
  6. Expectations for quality performance.
  7. The responsibility of the teacher to provide special help for students.
  8. Staff guidelines related to make-up or enrichment activities.
  9. Classroom procedures and teacher expectations.
  10. Assessment criteria, including expectations for work samples which may be kept in a student's portfolio.
  11. Standards and benchmarks developed for content areas and benchmarks written for each course.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 2-11-10 8-10-15  8-10-20
Revision: 4-11-94  5-10-99
Cross References:
Legal References: 

604.1 Grouping for Instructional Purposes


Series 600 - Educational Program
Grouping for Instructional Purposes                   Code No. 604.1
The Board of Directors recognizes that grouping is the organization of pupils for the purpose of instruction.  Grouping for instruction may be defined as the placement of pupils in groups so that the individual needs of pupils may be met in a more satisfactory manner.
The practice of grouping pupils for instruction shall be done solely for the purpose of providing an improved educational opportunity for each child to develop to the maximum of his/her potential.  Such grouping shall be done only so that the maximum learning and performance of each child may be achieved.
The following criteria shall be employed in grouping for instruction of individual pupils in the Forest City Community Schools:
  1. The subjective judgment of the classroom teacher with the assistance and advice of other members of the professional staff.
  2. Consideration for any negative impact on the affective domain of the child with concomitant affect on individual student growth.
  3. The effort  and motivation of the child as reflected by past performance. 
  4. Various forms of assessment are necessary, along with consultation with the student and parent prior to prescribing educational programs.
The intent of this policy is not to group students on the basis of ability but rather to identify and match individual programs which are best for individual students.
Adoption:  6-24-75
Review: 7-17-89  5-10-99  2-11-10 8-10-15  9-9-19  8-10-20  
Revision:  4-11-94
Cross References:
Legal References:

604.1-R1 Elementary (K-Prep-Gr. 5) Student Placement

Series 600 - Educational Program
Elementary (K-Prep - Gr. 5) Student Placement Code No. 604.1-R1
Primary responsibility for student program, class section and/or grade level placement is that of a team of professionals which include teachers, counselors, AEA267, support staff, student services coordinator and principal.  The major consideration will always be the needs of each individual student.  The best information available will be utilized to place each student in that environment which complements his/her learning style.  Criteria for student placement include:
1.  Teacher-pupil ratio
2.  Socio-emotional needs
3.  Classroom academic mix and balance
4.  Other special student needs
Parents will be given the opportunity to indicate a program preference from some of the following:  Single grade, looping, and K-Prep.  In addition parents may request programs which enhance classroom instruction.  Once these preferences have been identified the team of professionals will place students in the appropriate sections.
Parents or guardians of siblings in the same grade level academically in grades kindergarten through grade five may request the siblings be placed in the same or different classrooms. In order to be valid, the request must be in writing and submitted to the school principal at the time of registration for classes, or within fourteen days after the children’s first day of attendance during the school year. If a valid request is received by the school principal, the request must be honored. While a parent or guardian may make a placement request that siblings be placed together or apart, the district administration retains complete discretion to select the classroom teacher(s) to which siblings are assigned. If after the initial grading period following the placement of siblings in the same or different classrooms the school principal determines the placement is disruptive to the class; the principal may assign one or more of the siblings to different classrooms.
Adoption: 2-14-96
Review:  5-10-99 8-10-15  2-11-10  9-9-19  8-10-20
Revision:  9-9-19
Cross Reference:
Legal Reference: 

604.1-R2 Parent Request for Section/Teacher Change

Series 600 - Educational Program
Parent Request for Section/Teacher Change Code No. 604.1-R2
Prior to approving a parent request for change of program, class section, and/or teacher the following steps are required:
  1. The parent will submit, to the building principal, a written request, stating reasons for the change.  The principal will then share a copy of the request with the teacher(s) involved.
  2. The teacher(s) involved, the principal, student services coordinator and parent(s) will discuss the request in a problem solving meeting.  The building principal and student services coordinator may modify this step,  if in their opinion, the information is sensitive and warrants  confidentiality.
  3. The building principal will give written notification to the parent(s) and teacher(s) of his/her decision to accept or deny the request.  A copy of the written decision will be given to the superintendent
Adoption: 2-14-96
Review: 5-10-99 8-10-15 2-11-10  9-9-19  8-10-20
Cross Reference:
Legal Reference:

604.2 Class Size

Series 600 - Educational Program
Class Size                                             Code No. 604.2
The size of each class shall depend upon the type of instruction needed to assist each student to develop his/her academic and occupational capacities to the utmost.  Effective use of staff shall also be considered in organizing and scheduling classroom instruction.  The administrators of each school shall determine class size for each school unit.
Class size for special education students is established by state statute and AEA (Area Education Agency) guidelines.
The administrative team and building level improvement teams are instructed to investigate new approaches and techniques for organizing and scheduling classroom instruction.
Adoption: 4-14-86
Review:  7-17-89  5-10-99    2-11-10  8-10-15  9-9-19.  8-10-20
Revision:  4-11-94
Cross References:
Legal References: 

604.3 Homework

Series 600 - Educational Program
Homework                                             Code No. 604.3
Because education is a lifelong process which extends beyond the school, it is important that students recognize that learning occurs in the home and community.  Homework is one method of teaching the necessary skills of independent study and learning outside the school.  A broad definition of homework is considered here to include not only written work, but also related activities such as viewing specific television programs, news reporting, recreational reading, and other activities which are related to classroom work, but which are assigned to be done at home.
Reasons for homework;
     1.  To complete work started in class.
     2.  To expand and/or enrich regular classwork.
     3.  To build interest in reading and learning.
     4.  To make up work missed due to absence.
     5.  To encourage parents' awareness of student learning.
     6.  To provide an opportunity to pursue special interest or ability areas.
     7.  To increase learning time.
     8.  To establish independent study skills.
Guidelines for teachers
Homework assigned will depend on the discretion of each teacher based on a knowledge of the student's individual ability, awareness of home conditions, and the practice of good learning theory.
  1. Homework should be the independent practice of an effectively taught skill.
  2. Homework should be given with a purpose that is understood by both teacher and student.
  3. It is important that homework be within the student's capability.
  4. Homework assignments should be planned to include a wide variety of activities in all areas of the curriculum.
  5. Students should have readily available to them all books and materials required to complete the assigned work.
  6. Homework assignments are not to be given as busy work or disciplinary reasons.
  7. Teachers should refrain from assigning homework on family night.
Guidelines for parents
Parents can support a child's interest in lifelong learning by encouraging good study habits and providing a learning environment in the home.
  1. Provide a quiet, well-lighted place for the student to do homework.
  2. Help your child budget time so that a regular schedule for study is set.
  3. Take an active interest in what your child is doing in school.  Ask for an explanation of a particular assignment and what is being learned.  Compliment good work or when improvement is shown.  Make constructive suggestions, but avoid severe criticism and undue pressure.  A positive attitude by parents will encourage the student to do the best work possible.
  4. Encourage your child to seek additional help from the teacher at school if there seems to be any difficulty with work.
  5. Encourage and guide your child with assigned homework.  Under no circumstances do it for your child.
  6.  Regular school attendance is important for your child's continued learning.
  7.  Consult your child's teacher as soon as problems arise.
Suggestions for students
It is important to develop good study habits at school and at home.
  1. Be sure you understand the assignments, and ask your teacher if you need help.
  2. Set aside a regular time to do homework.
  3. .Study in a quiet place.
  4. Complete your work and hand it in when it is due.
  5. Do your best on each homework assignment.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99    2-11-10 8-1-15   8-10-20
Revision: 4-11-94
Cross References: 
Legal References: 

604.4 Field Trips and Excursions

Series 600 - Educational Program
Field Trips and Excursions                             Code No. 604.4
The Board of Directors recognizes that a properly planned, well-conducted, and carefully supervised field trip is a vital part of the curriculum of any classroom.  As such, student trips of significant educational value are to be encouraged.
Field trips shall have the prior approval of the building principal.  Advance consent of the students' parents or guardians is required for any excursion involving the use of public or private transportation.  When the district provides transportation, the cost must be deducted from the yearly transportation costs.
Field trips outside the state must meet the criteria listed in Regulation 702.5-R.  Requests must be submitted on the School Field Trip form Exhibit 702.5-E.
Excursions outside the United States must have the recommendation of the administration and the approval of the Board of Directors.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 5-10-99  2-11-10 8-10-15.  8-10-20
Revision: 4-1-94
Cross References: 702.5, 702.5-R, 702.5-E 
Legal References:  AC 22.9(285)

604.5 Outside Resource People

Series 600 - Educational Program
Outside Resource People                               Code No. 604.5
The Board of Directors recognizes that one of the greatest resources of the school system is to be found in the people of the community who have special knowledge and particular talents to contribute to the school program.  The Board of Directors, therefore, encourages the use of community resources and mentors to assist in furthering the educational program.  Use of outside personnel and resources shall be approved by the principal.  
It is a matter of courtesy, as well as a method of providing knowledge of the presence of these outside resource people, for the classroom teacher to notify the principal in advance of the expected attendance of the speaker.
Adoption:  6-24-75
Review:  4-11-94  5-10-99   2-11-10 8-10-15.  8-10-20
Cross References:
Legal References:

604.6 Teaching Controversial Issues

Series 600 - Educational Program
Teaching Controversial Issues                         Code No 604.6
A "controversial issue" is defined as an area of significant academic inquiry about which substantial segments of the citizens of this community, state or nation hold sincere conflicting points of view.
It is the belief of this school board that controversial issues should be fairly presented in a spirit of honest academic freedom to the end that individual students may recognize the validity of other points of view, but can learn to formulate their own opinions based upon dispassionate, objective, unbiased study and discussion of the factual bases underlying the controversy.
It shall be the responsibility of the instructors to present fully and fairly the opportunity and means for students to study, consider and discuss all sides of controversial issues, including but not limited to political philosophies.
It shall be the responsibility of the instructors to protect the right of the student to study pertinent controversial issues within limits of good taste, allowing the expression of their personal opinions without jeopardizing their relationships with their instructors or school.
It shall be the responsibility of the instructors to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views or selfish propaganda of any kind through any classroom or school device; however, instructors shall not be prohibited from expressing a personal opinion as long as the students are encouraged to reach their own decisions independently.
It shall be the policy of this school system with respect to controversial issues to encourage instructors to lead full discussions thereof in a spirit of academic freedom to the end that the students may learn that they have the right to disagree with the opinions of others, but they have the responsibility to base their disagreements upon the facts and, at the same time, respect the rights of others to hold conflicting opinions.
Adoption:  6-24-75
Review:   4-11-94   5-10-99   2-11-10 8-10-15.  8-10-20
Cross References:
Legal References:

604.6-R Academic Freedom

Series 600 - Educational Program
Academic Freedom                                     Code 604.6-R
The board recognizes the right of a teacher to discuss any social, economic, or political problem as well as the right of a student to explore any field or hold any belief without interference from the teacher.
The board believes, however, that freedom carries with it responsibility.  Academic freedom also carries with it academic responsibility that is determined by the basic ideals, goals, and institutions of the local community as they are expressed in the goals and objectives of the school district.
As a consequence of its responsibility to guarantee academic freedom to both students and teachers, the board expects that:
  1. All classroom studies will be curriculum-related, factual, objective, and impartial;
  2. Teachers will create and maintain an atmosphere of open-mindedness and tolerance;
  3.  Teachers will not attempt, directly or indirectly, to limit or control students' judgment concerning any issue, but will make certain that full and fair consideration is given to the subject and that facts are carefully examined as to their accuracy and interpretation.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99   2-11-10 8-10-15.  8-10-20
Cross References:
Legal References:

604.8 Shared-Time Enrollment

Series 600 - Educational Program
Shared-Time Enrollment                               Code No. 604.8
The Board of Directors is obligated and charged by the State of Iowa to supply educational opportunity to all who qualify and enroll in its schools.  The board will permit the education of private school students on a part-time basis, provided this is consistent with the rules developed by the Iowa legislature, and provided that such students are enrolled in the public school for sufficient times and courses of study as administrators determine to be in the best interest of all concerned.
Adoption: 4-14-86
Review: 7-17-89   5-10-99    03-22-10 9-14-15 9-14-20
Cross References:
Legal References:  257.26

604.9 Supplemental Weighting

Series 600 - Educational Program
Supplemental Weighting Code No. 604.9
Students in classes that are taught under a 28-E agreement with another school or higher educational institution may be eligible for weighted counting.  In these cases, those students taking qualifying classes in the fall of a new school year, and those students taking qualifying course in the previous spring semester, shall be counted on the fall budget and certified enrolment head count.
Adoption:  11-13-03
Review:  03-22-10 9-14-15 9-14-20
Cross References:
Legal References:


605.1 Progress Reports of Students

Series 600 - Educational Program
Student Progress Report & Conferences                         Code No. 605.1
Reporting Practices
Students will receive a progress report at the end of each grading period.  Students, who are doing poorly, and their parents, are notified prior to the end of the trimester in order to have an opportunity to improve their grade.  The board encourages the notification of students who have made marked improvement prior to the end of the trimester. 
Parent-teacher-student conferences at the high school are scheduled half way through each trimester.  Progress reports are issued at the P-T-S Conference.  Report cards will be issued at the close of each trimester.  The same procedures are followed for students in special education
The Elementary/Middle School schedules P-T-S Conference during the first and third nine weeks.  Progress reports are issued at the P-T-S Conference.  Report cards are issued at the conclusion of each semester.  The same procedures are followed for students in special education.
Parents, teachers, or principals may request a conference for students in grades kindergarten through twelve in addition to the scheduled conference time.  Parents and students are encouraged to discuss the student's progress or other matters with the student's teacher.  
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review: 4-11-94   5-10-99     03-22-10 9-14-15  2-11-19  9-14-20
Revision:10-14-99   03-22-10  2-11-19
Cross References: Code 605.2
Legal References:  HF 743

605.2 Instructional Materials Selection

Series 600 - Educational Program
Instructional Materials Selection                   Code No. 605.2
The board has sole discretion to approve instructional materials for the school district.  This authority is delegated to licensed employees to determine which instructional materials, other than textbooks, will be utilized by and purchased by the school district.
In reviewing current instructional materials for continued use and in selecting additional instructional materials, licensed employees will consider the current and future needs of the school district as well as the changes and the trends in education and society.  It is the responsibility of the superintendent to report to the board the action taken by licensed employees.
In the case of textbooks, the board will make the final decision after receiving a recommendation from the superintendent.  The criteria stated above for selection of other instructional materials will apply to the selection of textbooks.  The superintendent may develop another means for the selection of textbooks.  Textbooks are reviewed as needed.
Education materials given to the school district must meet the criteria established above.  The gift must be received in compliance with board policy.
Adoption: 7-17-89
Review:  4-11-94   5-10-99    9-27-07     03-22-10 9-14-15  9-14-20
Cross References: 602.11 Curriculum Development  605.2 Instructional Materials
Revision  12-13-07                                  
Legal References:    Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2007).  281 I.A.C. 12.3(12).

605.2-R1 Selection of Instructional Materials



Series 600 - Educational Program


Selection of Instructional Materials                 Code No. 605.2-R1


I. Responsibility for Selection of Instructional Materials


  1. The board is responsible for matters relating to the operation of the Forest City Community School District.
  2. The responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained and licensed employees of the school system.  For the purpose of this rule the term "instructional materials" includes printed and multimedia materials (not equipment), whether considered text materials or library materials.  The board retains the final authority for the approval of textbooks.
  3. The responsibility for coordinating the selection of most instructional materials and making the recommendation for the purchase rests with licensed employees.
  4. Responsibility for coordinating the selection of text materials for distribution to classes will rest with the licensed employees and administration.  For the purpose of this rule the term 'text materials' includes textbooks and other printed and non-printed material provided in multiple copies for use of a total class or major segment of a class.
  5. If the board appoints an ad hoc committee to make recommendations on the selection of instructional materials, the ad hoc committee is formed and appointed in compliance with the board policy on Ad Hoc Committees.


  1. The superintendent will inform the committee as to their role and responsibility in the process.
  2. The following statement is given to the ad hoc committee members:


Bear in mind the principles of the freedom to learn and to read and base your decision on these broad principles rather than on defense of individual materials.  Freedom of inquiry is vital to education in a democracy.


Study thoroughly all materials referred to you and read available reviews.  The general acceptance of the materials should be checked by consulting standard evaluation aids and local holdings in other schools.


Passages or parts should not be pulled out of context.  The values and faults should be weighed against each other and the opinions based on the material as a whole.


Your report, presenting both majority and minority opinions, will be presented by the principal to the complainant at the conclusion of our discussion of the questioned material.



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

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

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

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


III. Procedure for Selection


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


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


  1. To acquire materials and provide service consistent with the demands of the curriculum;
  2. To develop students' skills and resourcefulness in the use of libraries and learning resources;
  3. To effectively guide and counsel students in the selection and use of materials and libraries
  4. To foster in students a wide range of significant interests;
  5. To provide opportunities for aesthetic experiences and development of an appreciation of the fine arts;
  6. To provide materials to motivate students to examine their own attitudes and behaviors and to comprehend their own duties and responsibilities as citizens in a pluralistic democracy;
  7. To encourage life-long education through the use of the library; and,
  8. To work cooperatively and constructively with the instructional and administrative staff in the school.


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


  1. To select material, within established standards, which will meet the goals and objectives of the school district;
  2. To consider the educational characteristics of the community in the selection of materials within a given category;
  3. To present the sexual, racial, religious and ethnic groups in the community by:


  1. Portraying people, both men and women, adults and children, whatever their ethnic, religious or social class identity, as human and recognizable, displaying a familiar range of emotions, both negative and positive.
  2. Placing no constraints on individual aspirations and opportunity.
  3. Giving comprehensive, accurate, and balanced representation to minority groups and women - in art and science, history and literature, and in all other fields of life and culture.
  4. Providing abundant recognition of minority groups and women by showing them frequently in positions of leadership and authority.


  1. To intelligently, quickly, and effectively anticipate and meet needs through awareness of subjects of local, national and international interest and significance; and,
  2. To strive for impartiality in the selection process.

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

  1. Authority-Author's qualifications - education, experience, and previously published works;
  2. Reliability:
    1. Accuracy-meaningful organization and emphasis on content, meets the material's goals and objectives, and presents authoritative and realistic factual material.
    2. Current-presentation of content which is consistent with the finding of recent and authoritative research.
  3. Treatment of subject-shows an objective reflection for the multi-ethnic character and cultural diversity of society.
  4. Language:
    1. Vocabulary:
      1. Does not indicate bias by the use of words which may result in negative value judgments about groups of people;
      2. Does not use "man" or similar limiting word usage in generalization or ambiguities which may cause women to feel excluded or dehumanized.
    2. Compatible to the reading level of the student for whom it is intended.
  5. Format:
    1. Book
      1. Adequate and accurate index;
      2. Paper of good quality and color;
      3. Print adequate and well spaced;
      4. Adequate margins;
      5. Firmly bound; and,
      6. Cost.
    2. Nonbook
      1. Flexibility, adaptability;
      2. Curricular orientation of significant interest to students;
      3. Appropriate for audience;
      4. Accurate authoritative presentation;
      5. Good production qualities (fidelity, aesthetically adequate);
      6. Durability; and,
      7. Cost.
    3. Illustrations of book and nonbook materials should:
      1. Depict instances of fully integrated grouping and settings to indicate equal status and nonsegregated social relationships.
      2. Make clearly apparent the identity of minorities;
      3. Contain pertinent and effective illustrations;
    4. Flexible to enable the teacher to use parts at a time and not follow a comprehensive instructional program on a rigid frame of reference.
  6. Special Features:
    1. Bibliographies.
    2. Glossary.
    3. Current charts, maps, etc.
    4. Visual aids.
    5. Index.
    6. Special activities to stimulate and challenge students.
    7. Provide a variety of learning skills.
  7. Potential use:
    1. Will it meet the requirement of reference work?
    2. Will it help students with personal problems and adjustments?
    3. Will it serve as a source of information for teachers and librarians?
    4. Does it offer an understanding of cultures other than the student's own and is it free of racial, religious, age, disability, ethnic, and sexual stereotypes?
    5. Will it expand students' sphere of understanding and help them to understand the ideas and beliefs of others?
    6. Will it help students and teachers keep abreast of and understand current events?
    7. Will it foster and develop hobbies and special interest?
    8. Will it help develop aesthetic tastes and appreciation?
    9. Will it serve the needs of students with special needs?
    10. Does it inspire learning?
    11. Is it relevant to the subject?
    12. Will it stimulate a student's interest?

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

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

605.3 Instructional Materials Inspection

Series 600 - Educational Program
Instructional Materials Inspection     Code No. 605.3
Parents and other members of the school district community may view the instructional materials used by the students.  All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any federally funded programs must be available for inspection by parents.  
The instructional materials must be viewed on school district premises.  Copies may be obtained according to board policy.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations regarding the inspection of instructional materials.
Adoption: 12-13-07                  
Review: 03-22-10 9-14-15 9-14-20
Cross References:602.11 Curriculum Development; 605.2 Instructional Materials; 805.1 Public Examination of School District Records
Legal Reference: Goals 2000:  Educate America Act, Pub. L. No. 103-227, 108 Stat. 125 (1994). Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2007).   281 I.A.C. 12.3(12)

605.4 Objection to Instructional Materials


Series 600 - Educational Program
Objection to Instructional Materials     Code No. 605.4
Members of the school district community may object to the instructional materials utilized in the school district and ask for their use to be reconsidered.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the administration, to develop regulations for reconsideration of instructional materials.
Adoption: 12-13-07
Review:  03-22-10 9-14-15 9-14-20
Revision: 602.11 Curriculum Development 605.2 Instructional Materials
Cross References:205.15 Public Participation in Board Meetings
Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2007).  281 I.A.C. 12.3(12)

605.4-E1 Instructions to the Reconsideration Committee

Series 600 – Educational Program\
Code No. 605.4-E1
The policy of this school district related to selection of learning materials states that any member of the school district community may formally challenge instructional materials used in the district's education program.  This policy allows those persons in the school and the community who are not directly involved in the selection of materials to make their own opinions known.  The task of the reconsideration committee is to provide an open forum for discussion of challenged materials and to make an informed recommendation on the challenge.  The meetings of the committee may be subject to the open meetings law.
The most critical component of the reconsideration process is the establishment and maintenance of the committee's credibility in the community.  For this purpose, the committee is composed of community members.  The community should not, therefore, infer that the committee is biased or is obligated to uphold prior professional decisions.  For this same reason, a community member will be selected to chair the committee.
The reconsideration process, the task of this committee, is just one part of the selection continuum.  Material is purchased to meet a need.  It is reviewed and examined, if possible, prior to purchase.  It is periodically re-evaluated through updating, discarding, or re-examination.  The committee must be ready to acknowledge that an error in selection may have been made despite this process.  Librarians and school employees regularly read great numbers of reviews in the selection process, and occasional errors are possible.
In reconsidering challenged materials, the role of the committee, and particularly the chairperson, is to produce a climate for disagreement.  The committee should begin by finding items of agreement, keeping in mind that the larger the group participating, the greater the amount of information available and, therefore, the greater the number of possible approaches to the problem.
If the complainant chooses, the complainant may make an oral presentation to the committee to expand and elaborate on the complaint.  The committee will listen to the complainant, to those with special knowledge, and any other interested persons.  In these discussions, the committee should be aware of relevant social pressures which are affecting the situation.  Individuals who may try to dominate or impose a decision must not be allowed to do so.  Minority viewpoints expressed by groups or individuals must be heard, and observers must be made to feel welcome.  It is important that the committee create a calm, nonvolatile environment in which to deal with a potentially volatile situation.  To this end, the complainant will be kept informed of the progress of the complaint.
The committee will listen to the views of all interested persons before making recommendations.  In deliberating its recommendation, the committee should remember that the school system must be responsive to the needs, tastes, and opinions of the community it serves.  Therefore, the committee must distinguish between broad community sentiment and attempts to impose personal standards.  The deliberations should concentrate on the appropriateness of the material.  The question to be answered by the committee is, "Is the material appropriate for its designated audience at this time?"
The committee's final recommendation will be (1) to remove the challenged material from the total school environment, (2) to take no removal action, or (3) to agree on a limitation of the educational use of the materials.
The committee chairperson will instruct the secretary to convey the committee's recommendation to the office of the superintendent.  The recommendation should detail the rationale on which it was based.  A letter will be sent to the complainant outlining the outcome.

605.4-E2 Reconsideration of Instructional Materials

Series 600 – Educational Program\
Code No. 605.4-E2
Request for re-evaluation of printed or multimedia material to be submitted to the superintendent.
REVIEW INITIATED BY:                                                               DATE:
City/State                                       Zip Code                     Telephone                          
School(s) in which item is used                                                                                      
Relationship to school (parent, student, citizen, etc.)
Author                                Hardcover                         Paperback                      Other                
Publisher (if known)                                                                                                                    
Date of Publication                                                                
Producer (if known)                                                                                                                      
Type of material (filmstrip, motion picture, etc.)
Self Group                 or             Organization
Name of group                                                                                                              
Address of Group                                                                                                         
1. What brought this item to your attention?
2. To what in the item do you object?  (please be specific; cite pages, or frames, etc.)
3. In your opinion, what harmful effects upon students might result from use of this item?
4. Do you perceive any instructional value in the use of this item?
5. Did you review the entire item?  If not, what sections did you review?
6. Should the opinion of any additional experts in the field be considered?
                           yes                          no
If yes, please list specific suggestions:
7. To replace this item, do you recommend other material which you consider to be of equal or superior quality for the purpose intended?
8. Do you wish to make an oral presentation to the Review Committee?


  1.   Please contact the Superintendent
  1. Please be prepared at this time to indicate the approximate length of time your presentation will require.  Although this is no guarantee that you'll be allowed to present to the committee or that you will get your requested amount of time.
Dated                                   Signature                                                                                          

605.4-E3 Sample Letter to individual Challenging Instructional Materials

Series 600 – Educational Program
Code No. 605.4-E3
We recognize your concern about the use of                                                      in our school district.  The school district has developed procedures for selection of instructional materials but realizes that not everyone will agree with every selection made.
To help you understand the selection process, we are sending copies of the school districts:
1. Instructional goals and objectives,
2. Instructional Materials Selection policy statement, and,
3. Procedure for reconsideration of instructional materials.
If you are still concerned after you review this material, please complete the Reconsideration Request Form and return it to me.  You may be assured of prompt attention to your request.  If I have not heard from you within one week, we will assume you no longer wish to file a formal complaint.

605.4-R1 Reconsideration of Instructional Materials


Series 600 - Educational Program
Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Regulation Code No. 605.4-R1
  1. A member of the school district community may raise an objection to instructional materials used in the school district's education program despite the fact that the individuals selecting such material were duly qualified to make the selection and followed the proper procedure and observed the criteria for selecting such material.
  1. The school official or employee receiving a complaint regarding instructional materials will try to resolve the issue informally.  The materials generally will remain in use pending the outcome of the reconsideration procedure.
  1. The school official or employee initially receiving a complaint will explain to the individual the board's selection procedure, criteria to be met by the instructional materials, and qualifications of those persons selecting the material.
  2. The school official or employee initially receiving a complaint will explain to the individual the role of the objected material in the education program, its intended educational purpose, and additional information regarding its use.  In the alternative, the employee may refer the individual to the teacher-librarian who can identify and explain the use of the material.
  1. The employee receiving the initial complaint will advise the building principal of the initial contact no later than the end of the school day following the discussion with the individual, whether or not the individual has been satisfied by the initial contact.  A written record of the contact is maintained by the principal in charge of the attendance center.  Each building principal shall inform employees of their obligation to report complaints.
  2. In the event the individual making an objection to instructional materials is not satisfied with the initial explanation, the individual is referred to the principal or to the teacher-librarian of the attendance center.  If, after consultation with the principal or teacher-librarian, the individual desires to file a formal complaint, the principal or teacher-librarian will assist in filling out a Reconsideration Request Form in full and filing it with the superintendent.
  1. Request for Reconsideration
  1. A member of the school district community may formally challenge instructional materials on the basis of appropriateness used in the school district's education program.  This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the school district and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.
  2. Each attendance center and the school district's central administrative office will keep on hand and make available Reconsideration Request Forms.  Formal objections to instructional materials must be made on this form.
  3. The individual will state the specific reason the instructional material is being challenged.  The Reconsideration Request Form is signed by the individual and filed with the superintendent.  
  4. The superintendent will promptly file the objection with the reconsideration committee for re-evaluation.
  5. Generally, access to challenged instructional material will not be restricted during the reconsideration process.  However, in unusual circumstances, the instructional material may be removed temporarily by following the provisions of Section B.6.d. of this rule.
  6. The Reconsideration Committee
  1. The reconsideration committee is made up of eight members.
  • One licensed employee designated annually, as needed, by the superintendent.
  • One teacher-librarian designated annually by the superintendent.
  • One member of the administrative team designated annually by the superintendent.
  • Three members of the community appointed annually, as needed, by the board.
  • Two high school students, selected annually by the high school principal.
  1. The committee will select their chairperson and secretary.
  2. The committee will meet at the request of the superintendent.
  3. Special meetings may be called by the board to consider temporary removal of materials in unusual circumstances.  A recommendation for temporary removal will require a two-thirds vote of the committee.
  4. Notice of committee meetings is made public through appropriate publications and other communications methods.
  5. The committee will receive the completed Reconsideration Request Form from the superintendent.
  6. The committee will determine its agenda for the first meeting which may include the following:
  • Distribution of copies of the completed Reconsideration Request Form.
  • An opportunity for the individual or a group spokesperson to talk about or expand on the Reconsideration Request Form.
  • Distribution of reputable, professionally prepared reviews of the challenged instructional material if available.
  • Distribution of copies of the challenged instructional material as available.
  1. The committee may review the selection process for the challenged instructional material and may, to its satisfaction, determine that the challenge is without merit and dismiss the challenge.  The committee will notify the individual and the superintendent of its action.
  2. At a subsequent meeting, if held, interested persons, including the individual filing the challenge, may have the opportunity to share their views.  The committee may request that individuals with special knowledge be present to give information to the committee.
  3. The individual filing the challenge is kept informed by the reconsideration committee secretary on the status of the Reconsideration Request Form throughout the reconsideration process.  The individual filing the challenge and known interested parties is given appropriate notice of meetings.
  4. At the second or a subsequent meeting the committee will make its final recommendation.  The committee's final recommendation may be to take no removal action, to remove the challenged material from the school environment, or to limit the educational use of the challenged material.  The sole criterion for the final recommendation is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.  The written final recommendation and its justification are forwarded to the board, the individual and the appropriate attendance centers.  The superintendent my also make a recommendation but if so, it should be independent from the committee’s.
Following the superintendent's decision with respect to the committee's recommendation, the individual or the chairperson of the reconsideration committee may appeal the decision to the board for review.  Such appeal must be presented to the superintendent in writing within five days following the announcement of the superintendent's decision.  The board will promptly determine whether to hear the appeal.  
  1. A recommendation to sustain a challenge will not be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility on the part of the individuals involved in the original selection or use of the material.
  2. Requests to reconsider materials which have previously been reconsidered by the committee must receive approval of two-thirds of the committee members before the materials will again be reconsidered.
  3. If necessary or appropriate in the judgment of the committee, the committee may appoint a subcommittee of members or nonmembers to consolidate challenges and to make recommendations to the full committee.  The composition of this subcommittee will approximate the representation of the full committee.
  4. Committee members directly associated with the selection, use, or challenger of the challenged material are excused from the committee during the deliberation of the challenged instructional materials.  The superintendent may appoint a temporary replacement for the excused committee member, but the replacement must be of the same general qualifications as the member excused.
  5. Persons dissatisfied with the decision of the board may appeal to the Iowa Board of Education pursuant to state law.

605.5 Testing Program

Series 600 - Educational Program
Testing Program                               Code No. 605.5
A comprehensive testing program is established and maintained to evaluate the education program of the school district and to assist in providing guidance or counseling services to students and their families.
  • No student is required, as part of a program funded by the United States Department of Education (USDE), to submit, without prior written consent from the student's parent/guardian, to surveys, analysis or evaluation which reveals information concerning:political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
  • mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family;
  • sex behavior or attitudes;
  • illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  • critical appraisals of other individuals with whom students have close family-like relationships;
  • legally recognized, privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers;
  • religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
  • income, (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.
It is the responsibility of the board to review and approve the evaluation and testing program.
Adoption:  2-13-03
Review:     1-13-05   03-22-10 9-14-15  9-14-20
Revision:   2-10-05   10-12-06
Cross Reference: 505 Student Scholastic Achievement; 506 Student Records;
607.2 Student Health Services
Legal Reference: No Child Left Behind, Title II, Sec. 1061, P.L. 107-110 (2002).  Goals 2000:  Educate America Act, Pub. L. No. 103-227, 108 Stat. 125 (1994).   20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994).  Iowa Code §§ 280.3; 256B; 282.1, .3, .6 (2001).  281 I.A.C. 12.5(13), .5(21).

605.6 Accountability Test integrity/Test Preparation

Series 600 - Educational Program 
Accountability Test Integrity / Test Preparation Code No. 605.6
The Forest City Community School District is committed to ensuring the integrity of the information obtained from the use of educational assessments.  This policy is intended to apply to assessments in particular; to meet No Child Left Behind Act and the Annual Progress Report. 
Appointment of District Test Coordinator:  The District Test Coordinator will be appointed by the Superintendent.  The District Test Coordinator is responsible for storing materials from Iowa Testing Programs in a secure area with restricted access both prior to and after the testing period. 
Test Preparation:  As a function of educating students, staff may prepare students for assessments by providing instruction in the content areas to be assessed. Staff may also prepare students for assessments by teaching general test-taking skills that are applicable to any test or test format. 
Administration of Tests:  In the administration of standardized tests, it is a violation of test security to do any of the following: 
  1. Provide inappropriate test preparation such as any of the following: 


  1. Copy, reproduce, or use in any manner any portion of any secure test booklet, for any reason.
  2. Share an actual test instrument in any form.


  1. Deviate from the test administration procedures specified in the test examiner's manual.
  2. Provide inappropriate assistance to students during the test administration. 
  3. Make test answers available to students. 
  4. Change or fill in answers on student answer documents. 
  5. Provide inaccurate data on student answer documents. 
  6. Engage in any practice to artificially raise student scores without actually improving underlying student achievement. 
  7. Participate in, direct, aid, counsel, assist, encourage, or fail to report any of the acts prohibited in this policy. 
After testing is completed, test booklets are to be returned according to procedures established by the District Test Coordinator. 
Consequences of Policy Violations: If a violation of this policy occurs, as determined by the Superintendent following an investigation of allegations of irregularities, the Superintendent shall determine whether the integrity of the testing program has been jeopardized, whether some or all of the test results are invalidated, and whether a teacher or administrator has violated the Code of Ethics of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners as found at 282-Iowa Administrative Code chapter 25. 
Reports of students cheating on assessments shall be submitted to the building principal for investigation and disciplinary procedures.  A staff member found to have committed testing irregularities shall be subject to discipline in accordance with law and Board policy. If the staff member is a licensee of the Board of Educational
Examiners, the Superintendent shall make a timely report to that Board. 
If the Superintendent believes that assessment results are invalid, the Superintendent shall make a timely report to the Iowa Department of Education. 
Adoption: 12-08-05
Review: 02-12-09   03-22-10 9-14-15  9-14-20
Revision:  03-09-09
Legal References:

605.6-R1 Testing procedures

Testing Procedures Code No. 605.6 R1
A.   Acquiring and Storing Testing Materials 
The Forest City Community School District Director of Testing will acquire and store all testing material. 
  1. For what purposes are school districts authorized to obtain testing materials from Iowa Testing Programs? 

Test booklets are needed for annual testing as well as for testing new students who arrive after annual testing is completed. Some students may be tested for special programming selection (e.g., TAG program) during the year.  Occasionally test booklets are a helpful reference when members of the teaching staff are interpreting information from selected score reports or conducting alignment-checking activities. Test booklets should be provided to individual staff members only when they have a professional need to use the materials.  In addition, tests should not be given to or shown to parents who request to see the tests, except under direct supervision of a district administrator. Test booklets should not be loaned to individuals outside the district staff. 

  1. How should testing materials be stored within the district prior to and during testing
When materials arrive from Iowa Testing Programs for annual testing, they should be stored in a secure area, according to local policy requirements, with access restricted. Procedures will need to be formulated for each building regarding the distribution and collection of materials prior to and during testing. Test booklets should not be readily accessible to teachers, other district staff members, or students other than during actual test administration sessions. 
  1. How should testing materials and test results that remain in the district be stored once annual testing is completed? 
Provision should be made for storing materials that might be retained once annual testing is completed and testing materials have been returned to Iowa Testing Programs. Tests retained for late testing, professional development work, or use with score reports need to be stored securely with limited access. (See section D below on accessing materials after testing.) Policy or rules should indicate that those who provide unauthorized access to materials are themselves in violation of district policy. 
B. Test Preparation and Practice Activities 
Test preparation incorporates a broad array of activities that should be intended to prepare students to exhibit their true achievement when they take an assessment. These kinds of activities should represent a good use of instructional time.  Some other activities may be completely inappropriate, especially those that are designed to boost test scores without a corresponding lasting increase in actual student achievement. The distortions form "falsified" records of student achievement, which can lead to erroneous decisions about students and schools. 
  1. What specific activities are appropriate to use with students in preparation for testing? 


  1. Provide general instruction on the objectives of content area, in alignment with the district curriculum. 
  2. Teach test-taking skills. 
  3. Provide instruction on a list of objectives created by a commercial organization, where the objectives may have been selected because they are measured by a variety of standardized tests (including the one to be given). 
  4. Provide instruction specifically on objectives that match those on the test to be given and use practice exercises that are in the same format as the question on the test. 
The appropriateness of any proposed practice should meet either of the two following standards: 
  • It will promote the learning, retention, and application of important knowledge and content skills that students are expected to learn. 
  • It will decrease the chance that students will score lower on the test than they should due to inadequate test-taking skills or limited familiarity with the item formats used on the test. 
Activities that do not meet one or the other of these criteria are more likely to be unethical, to promote only temporary learning, or to waste instructional time. 
  1. What specific activities are prohibited from use with students in preparation for testing? 
  1. Provide practice on exactly the same test, either form that is to be given. 
Test preparation should be an integral part of the regular instructional program.  In that way, instructional activities that support test preparation likely would occur throughout the year. 
  1. Should district staff be required to obtain approval in advance of using test preparation materials and activities?

Yes, the purposes of advance approval are to ensure that unethical practices are not implemented inadvertently and to ensure that students who need assistance will have the right help available in a timely manner. Consequently, a designated staff member--school administrator or testing coordinator--should be given responsibility for reviewing the procedures and materials that any teachers may want to use. (Teachers should ask whether certain practices are acceptable rather than assuming that they are.) Approvals and denials should be documented in case questions arise at a later time about the legitimacy of any activities.  

C.    Test Administration 
The Directions for Administration manuals for the Iowa Tests provide explicit guidance about preparing for a test administration. They also include directions for administering, each test along with instructions that should be read verbatim to provide a standard testing situation for all students, no matter who gives the test, where it is given, or when it is given. District policy should be clear that all tests should be administered exactly as the publisher's manual specifies. The use of accommodations or modifications also is outlined in the Directions manual, but each district needs to establish its own policy regarding the use of accommodations, especially by those who do not have an IEP or 504 plan. 
  1. What kind of assistance or advice can be provided to students during the test administration? 
It should be made explicit to all who give the tests that assistance during the test administration is not permitted (unless accommodations specified in the IEP or 504 plan or district testing team (principal, counselor, teacher, parent) call for a certain type of assistance).  Students should never be told during the test administration which answers are correct or whether they have answered an item incorrectly. The test administrator should not provide hints, word meanings, pronunciations, or rephrased questions.  Students should not engage in any practice that could artificially impact the score of any student.  Prohibited behaviors include communication with one another in any form during the testing sessions, copying from others, and using electronic devices other than approved calculators or assistive technology. 
  1. What are the district's expectations regarding the use of the time limits provided in the Directions for Administration? 
All time limits and directions given in the Directions for Administration should be adhered to strictly (except in the case of an accommodation for an individual student that calls for extended time). Time limits should not be modified at the discretion of the test administrator. 
  1. What are the acceptable and unacceptable accommodations or modifications that might be considered for use with students who have an IEP or 504 plan? 
District policy regarding the use of accommodations during testing should be developed in conjunction with policy about including assessment accommodations in IEPs and 504 plans. Examples of inappropriate accommodations are reading comprehension test should not be read to students who struggle with reading. Such a change would modify what is being measured (listening comprehension rather than reading comprehension in this case). The use of a dictionary on the Vocabulary test or the use of a calculator on the Math Computation test are additional examples of changes that should not be permitted. The Directions for Administration manual for the Iowa Tests has additional details about the use of accommodations and modifications. 
  1. What procedures should be used in deciding whether a student who has no IEP or 504 plan should be given any accommodations? 
Some students who have not been identified for special education services, and thus have no lEP or 504 plan, may have skill levels that require an accommodation. When a staff member identifies such a student, a request for accommodations must be made to the District Testing Team. This request will include data that substantiates the request. If the team believes that the accommodation will allow the student to demonstrate his/her true academic levels and that the same accommodations are used during instruction, the request for specific accommodations will be granted.  The District Test Coordinator will keep documentation of all requests on file. 
  1. Which accommodations are permitted or not permitted with English Language Learners? 
The rationale for using accommodations with an English Language Learner (ELL) is the same as the one that applies to a student with a disability.  For an ELL, competence in the English language is regarded as a form of disability because the student's low skill level in English interferes with measuring achievement in areas such as science, reading, and math problem solving.  To reduce the impact of the language on measuring the student's achievement, changes in the administration might be made.  Specific accommodations that could be considered are identified in the Directions for Administration for the Iowa Tests. Any accommodation that could change the nature of what the test is measuring should not be used.  Thus, a read-aloud could be appropriate in math but not for reading comprehension. The use of a translation dictionary would be appropriate in science if meanings of scientific words were not given in the dictionary. 
 D.    Using Test Materials After Testing 
There are some legitimate reasons for a school district to have test materials in its possession well after testing has been completed and the bulk of testing materials have been returned to the scoring center.  For example, several score reports can be used most effectively if the user has access to the exact test items to which students responded. (The Group Item Analysis and the Class Item Response Record are both examples.) Curriculum work involving alignment checking is also a situation in which access to the test booklet may be needed. Districts may request copies of tests from Iowa Testing Programs for such uses. (See section A above, also.) 
  1. What kinds of alterations to a student's answer document are permissible by individuals other than the student once testing is over?
In preparing answer documents for scoring, it may be appropriate for a staff member to erase smudges or stray marks on student documents.  But no changes should ever be made to student responses to test items except by a student during testing.  If demographic coding of answer documents needs to be completed by a district employee, explicit directions should be given about how to code and which existing marks should not be changed.   Student answer documents should be stared temporarily in a secure area to prevent unauthorized access to them. 
  1. Who should be permitted access to testing materials during the year? 
Individuals who are authorized to acquire test materials from Iowa Testing Programs should be vested with the responsibility for making tests accessible to staff members who  have a professional need to use them.  It is inappropriate to disclose the contents of test materials to students, parents, or others who do not have a professional need for such information. 
  1. What procedures should govern the use of test materials outside of the test administration window (e.g., for what purposes or uses can access be granted, for how long can materials be kept, and can materials leave the building)? 
Once annual testing is completed, all test materials need to be stored until they cam be organized for return to the scoring center.  Care must be taken to provide the same type of secure conditions as should have been provided when materials first arrived in the district. 
For materials that remain, the custodian of test booklets should maintain a log of booklet use: name, date, intended use, due date for return, and actual date of return.  Everyone who is authorized to check out a test booklet needs to be advised about the roles associated with the professional use of the tests.  Uses may include interpreting information on selected score reports and conducting alignment checks between the district content standards and the assessment content. 
E.   Use of Score Reports and Data Files 
Results from the Iowa Tests are provided to each district in the form of printed-paper reports and electronic data files. The district test coordinator is responsible for maintaining the integrity of electronic files, both in their original CD-ROM format and within whatever database (local or AEA) the data may have been imported. 
  1. Who should receive, store, and distribute test results in their paper and electronic forms? 
Many district staff members have legitimate professional needs for possessing and using various printed score reports.  Consequently, written policy should recognize those needs.  At the same time, test scores of individuals need to be handled confidentially, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  However, there is good reason to limit the individuals who are permitted to release district-wide test data to external groups. Few district staff are close enough to the testing process to recognize when a given report is a comprehensive, complete, and accurate representation of/ district-wide or building-wide performance.  In addition, many are unable to provide the interpretive guidance that would be required for promoting sound use of the test results. Thus, the external distribution of a district's test results should he limited to those who are prepared to certify their completeness and offer interpretive assistance to the recipient 
  1. To whom may test results be distributed and for what purposes? 
Certainly students and their legal guardians have a right to see their individual scores, but those scores should be treated as confidential, consistent with FERPA.  Thus, the scores of individuals may not be shared, on paper or in electronic form, with others without written permission. (That permission probably should be granted only by the Superintendent.) The scores of grade group (e.g., averages, other summary data) are subject to the provisions of the open records law, but their release or distribution should be handled by individuals who are capable of providing the type of interpretive assistance that is likely to reduce the chances that the data will be misused or misunderstood. 
  1. Who should be permitted access to the electronic data files? 
Electronic files can be modified easily to change test scores or demographic information associated with individual students.  Access to the original data file should be limited so that the file can be maintained as the primary source against which checks can be made for establishing the integrity of analyses that might have been performed with the data.  When the data file is the source for mandated reporting (i.e., to the state), limited access also should be maintained so that final results can be certified by the district readily.
  1. Under what circumstances should an electronic data file be modified, and how should such changes be documented?
Occasionally errors occur in preparing data files containing demographic information about individual students.  When such data are joined with test data, there may be a need to make corrections in the demographics so that accurate subgroup reporting can occur.  Procedures for modifying the data file to correct such errors should specify who has responsibility for making changes, how such changes will be verified, and how the work will be documented so that future users will be aware of the changes and the reasons for them.  Of course, when a data file is modified, no changes should ever be made to test scores or student test-item responses.
Adoption:      02-12-09
Review:         03-22-10 9-14-15  9-14-20
Legal References:


606.1 Section 504/ADA

F.C. School Board Policies
Series 600 - Education Program
Section 504/ADA Code No. 606.1
Student Disabilities Pursuant to Section 504/ADA
I.  Benefits
The Board recognizes its responsibility to provide an education for each qualified disabled person who is integrated with persons who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the disabled student.  With regard to non-academic and extracurricular services and activities, the Board recognizes its responsibility to arrange for the  provision of those services to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the disabled person.  Any facility which the Board operates for disabled persons shall be comparable to facilities, services, and activities provided for non-disabled persons.  The Board has established a grievance  procedures in Board Regular 606.1R (Section 504/ADA Grievance Procedure) to expeditiously process complaints concerning discrimination in the school district.
II. Disability
The Board recognizes that a student is disabled pursuant to 29 U.S.C., or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of l973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if he or she:
  • has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities,
  • has a record of such an impairment, or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.
All individuals eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1400 et. seq.) are eligible for services under Section 504.  Individuals who are not eligible for services  under IDEA may nonetheless be eligible for services  under Section 504.
III. Evaluation
In compliance with federal law, the Board directs that students disabled pursuant to Section 504/ADA be identified, referred to and evaluated by a Section 504/ADA Committee shall contain the same membership as the Pupil Assistance Committee, which shall include minimally, at least one teacher, the principal or his/her designee, one educational services staff member, the referring teacher and others deemed appropriate by the principal and that a determination of eligibility for accommodations of his/her regular or special education program be made.  The Section 504/ADA Committee shall include persons knowledgeable about placement options.  In making placement decisions, the Committee may draw upon a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical conditions, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior, and such other conditions and factors that may be pertinent.  The Section 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator  shall establish procedures to ensure that information obtained from such sources is documented and carefully considered.
IV.  Procedure
A.  Parent Notification and Involvement
A student’s parents/guardians shall be notified before the Section 504/ADA Committee evaluates a student who has been referred for a suspected disability pursuant to Section 504/ADA.  The Section 504/ADA Committee shall involve parents/guardians in all identification, evaluation, and educational placement decisions.  Parents/guardians shall have an opportunity to examine all relevant records and be held to the same standard of confidentiality and accountability as others on the Section 504/ADA Committee.  A Section 504/ADA evaluation meeting shall be held which shall provide an opportunity for participation by each student’s parents/guardians as well as represented by counsel.  The student’s parent/ guardian shall be notified in writing of the Section 504/ADA Committee meetings at least 10 days in advance.  The Section 504/ADA Committee shall consider all relevant information concerning the student to determine whether he/she is disabled under Section 504/ADA.
B.  Information Sources and Education Plan
Information may include reports from physicians, observation from parents, teachers, school personnel, results of standardized tests, et c.  The Section 504/ADA Committee shall determine whether the student is disabled under Section 504/ADA and, if so, develop a written education plan describing what accommodations, services, or programs will be provided to meet the student’s needs.  The determination and, if applicable, education plan of the Section 504/ADA Committee shall be submitted to the parent/guardian in writing.
C.  Annual Review
The Section 504/ADA Committee shall meet periodically to review the student’s educational plan.  In addition, prior to any significant changes in placement, a reassessment of the student’s needs shall be conducted.  Parents or guardians who disagree with the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student with disabilities shall have the right to request a due process hearing pursuant to the procedures set forth herein.   All parties must understand that neither the federal nor state government provides funding for identified Section 504/ADA students.
D.   Due Process
The parent/guardian shall have an opportunity to participate and be represented by counsel at the due process hearing.  The due process hearing shall be presided over and decided by an impartial hearing officer.  If a due process hearing is to be held under IDEA concerning issues relevant to Section 504/ADA proceedings, a hearing officer qualified to conduct IDEA proceedings my consider Section 504/ADA issues at the impartial hearing.  The issues under IDEA and Section 504/ADA shall be separately addressed in the hearing decision.
  1. The decision of the hearing officer is binding on both parties.  The school district or parent/guardian may seek review of the decision of the Section 504/ADA hearing officer by a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction.
  2. A Section 504/ADA due process  hearing may be called at the request of the school district or parent/guardian.
  3. Requests for a due process hearing must be submitted in writing to the Superintendent or his designee.  Parents/guardians shall be notified of the hearing at least ten days prior to the date set for the hearing.  The notice shall contain:


  1. A statement of time, place, and nature of the hearing.
  2. A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is being held.
  3. A statement of the matters asserted.
  4. A statement of the right to be represented by counsel.
  5. A statement of the right to examine relevant records.
  1. The school district’s notices to the student’s parent/guardian shall be in English.
  2. At the hearing, each party shall have an opportunity to present relevant information and outside expert testimony.
  3. A copy of the hearing officer’s decision shall be delivered to the school district and the parent/guardian as soon as it is available.
Meeting Requirements of Section 504/ADA
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible for coordinating the Board’s efforts to comply with the requirements of Section 504/ADA.  Those efforts shall include, but be limited to, posting notices, publishing notices in newspapers and magazines, placement of notices in school publications or distribution of memoranda or other written communications, distributing copies of this policy to the parents/guardians of every student enrolled in the district’s schools at the beginning of each school year.   Copies of this policy and a list of the procedural rights afforded by Section 504/ADA shall also be sent to parents/guardians as part of the notification that their child has been referred for evaluation pursuant to section IV (A) above. 
Adoption: 8-18-97
Review: 5-10-99 03-22-10   08-08-11 9-14-15  9/14/20
Revision: 9-19-11
Cross References:
Legal References:

606.2 Internet-Appropriate Use

F.C. School Board Policies

Series 600 - Education Program

Appropriate Use of Computers, Computer Network Systems, 
and the Internet                                                                                                                          Code No. 606.2

The Board of Directors of the Forest City Community School District is committed to making available to students and staff members access to a wide range of electronic learning facilities, equipment, and software, including computers, computer network systems, and the Internet.   The goal is providing this technology and access is to support the education objectives and mission of the Forest City Community School District.  The District computers, computer network, and/or Internet connection is not a public access service or a public forum.  The District has the right to place reasonable restrictions on the material accessed and/or posted through the use of its computers, computer network, and/or Internet connection.  The use of the District's computers, computer network system, and Internet access shall be for educational purposes only.  

Because technology is a vital part of the school district's curriculum and the Internet is included, it is 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.

Teachers and students will be assigned an electronic mail address to use for school purposes.   If a student already has an electronic mail address, the student's use of his/her address to send or receive mail to and from the school may be monitored.   Inappropriate use of the Internet may result in the student being sanctioned from the use of the Internet.

The Internet can provide a vast collection of education resources for students and employees.  It is a global network, which makes it impossible to control all available information.  Because information appears, disappears, and changes constantly, it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate.  The school district makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of information received on the Internet.  Although students will be under teacher supervision while on the network, it is not possible to constantly monitor individual students and what they are accessing on the network.  Some students might encounter information that may not be of educational value.  Student Internet activities will be monitored by the school district to ensure students are not accessing inappropriate sites that have visual depictions that include obscenity, pornography or are harmful to minors. Always acknowledge receipt of a document or file. 

Access to the Internet is available to teachers as a source of information and a vehicle of communication.  Employees are expected to practice appropriate use of the Internet, and violations may result in discipline up to, and including, discharge.  

The school district will monitor the online activities of students and will educate students about appropriate online behaviour, 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 school district’s commitment to:

•    The standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in the Internet Safety Policy; 
•    Student safety with regard to:
o    Safety on the Internet;
o    Appropriate behaviour while on online, on social networking Web sites, and
o    In chat rooms; and
o    Cyberbullying awareness and response.
•    Compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act

Employees and students will be instructed on the appropriate use of the Internet.  Parents who choose that their children not use the Internet must annually sign a refusal form.  Students will sign a form acknowledging they have read and understand the Internet Acceptable Use Policy and Regulations, that they will comply with the policy and regulations and understand the consequences for violation of the policy or regulations.

The District has the right, but not the duty, to monitor any or all aspects of its computers, computer network systems, and Internet access including, but not limited to, monitoring sites students and staff visit on the Internet and reviewing e-mail.  The administration and/or their representative shall have both the authority and right to examine all computer and Internet activity including any logs, data, e-mail, computer disks and/or other computer related records of any user of the system.  Students and staff waive any right to privacy in anything they create, store, send, disseminate or receive on the District's computers and computer network systems, including the Internet.

The interpretation, application, and modification of this policy are with in the sole discretion of the Forest City Community School District.  Any questions or issues regarding this policy should be directed to the Superintendent, any building principal or the technology coordinator.  

The Board of Directors will review and update this policy annually

Adoption   11-11-96   
Review      5-10-99    12-8-05   03-22-10       10-10-11    5-11-12  
9-14-15  7-11-16   9-14-20
Cross References
Revision   01-12-06      10-8-09  7-11-16                

Legal References:    Iowa Code §§ 279.8 (1995)


606.2-E1 Internet Access Permission Letter To Parents


Internet Access Permission Letter to Parents                                 Code No. 606.2-E1

Your child has access to the Internet. The vast domain of information contained within Internet's libraries can provide unlimited opportunities to students.

Students will be able to access the Internet through their teachers. Individual student accounts and electronic mail addresses will be issued to students at this time.  If a student already has an electronic mail address, he/she will not be permitted to use the address to send and receive mail at school.  

Students will be expected to abide by the following network etiquette:

The use of the network is a privilege and may be taken away for violation of the 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.

  • Students will respect all copyright and license agreements.
  • Students will cite all quotes, references, and sources.
  • Students will only remain on the system long enough to get needed information.
  • Students will apply for the same privacy, ethical and educational considerations utilized in other forms of communication.
  • Students access for electronic mail will be supervised (the supervising teacher’s account/their own account).  Students will adhere to the following guideline:

a.  Others may be able to read or access the mail, so private messages    should not be sent.
    b.  Delete unwanted messages immediately.
    c.  Use of objectionable language is prohibited.
    d.  Always sign messages.
    e.  Always acknowledge receipt of a document or file. 


Please sign the form if you would like your child to be granted Internet access.  Please return the permission form to your child's school.

Student Name                                                                                                             




Parent or Guardian's Signature                                                                                     

If you have granted your child Internet access, please have them respond to the following:
I have read the expected network etiquette and agree to abide by these provisions and I understand that violation of these provisions may constitute suspension or revocation of Internet privileges.
I agree to be responsible for payment of costs incurred by accessing any possible Internet services that have a cost involved.

Student Signature                                                                                          


Please sign below if you grant permission for your child's work and/or picture to be published on the schools web site and local media when appropriate.

                              Student's Work

                             Student's Picture

             Media for Educational/Programs purposes only

Parent/Guardian's Signature                                                                                 

606.2-R1 Appropriate Use Policies in the 1:1 Environment



Series 600 - Education Program

Appropriate Use Policies in the 1:1 Environment                                  Code No. 606.2-R1


    I.    Responsibility for Internet Appropriate Use.

  1.   The authority for appropriate use of electronic Internet resources is delegated to the licensed  employees.  

        B.    Instruction in the proper use of the Internet will be available to employees who will then provide                   similar  instruction to their students.

        C.    Employees are expected to practice appropriate use of the Internet, and violations may result in                 discipline up to, and including, discharge.

    II.    Internet Access.

        A.    Access to the Internet is available to teachers and students as a source of information and a                       vehicle of  communication.

        B.    Students will be able to access the Internet through their teachers.  Individual student accounts                  and   electronic mail addresses may be issued to students at this time.

  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.  However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials.  Because information on the Internet appears, disappears and changes, it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate.
  2.  It is a goal to allow teachers and students access to the rich opportunities on the Internet, while we protect the rights of students and parents who choose not to risk exposure to questionable material.
  3. The smooth operation of the network relies upon 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 talk/chat/Internet relay chat only as approved by the supervising teacher.
  5. Transmission of material, information or software in violation of any board policy or regulation is prohibited.
  6. System users will perform a virus check on downloaded files to avoid spreading computer viruses.
  7.  The school district makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of information received on the Internet.

III.    Permission to Use Internet - Annually, parents will grant permission for their student to use the Internet                  using the prescribed form.

IV.    Student Use of Internet.

        A.    Equal Opportunity - The Internet is available to all students within the school district through                        teacher   access.  The amount of time available for each student may be limited by the number                  of available   terminals and the demands for each terminal.

        B.    On-line 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.  It is the user's responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks.
  2. Students should adhere to on-line protocol:

                a.    Respect all copyright and license agreements.
                b.    Cite all quotes, references and sources.
                c.    Remain on the system long enough to get needed information, then exit the system.
                d.    Apply the same privacy, ethical and educational considerations utilized in other                                forms of  communication.

  1. Student access for electronic mail will be through (their own school account).  Students should  adhere to the following guidelines:

                a.    Others may be able to read or access the mail so private messages should not be                            sent.
                b.    Delete unwanted messages immediately.
                c.    Use of objectionable language is prohibited.
                d.    Always sign messages.
                e.    Always acknowledge receipt of a document or file.

  1. Restricted Material - Students will not intentionally access or download any text file or picture or engage in any conference that includes material which is obscene, libelous, indecent, vulgar, profane or lewd; advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law; constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses others; or presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution, it will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, will cause the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations.

        D.    Unauthorized Costs - If a student gains access to any service via the Internet which has a cost                  involved or if a student incurs other types of costs, the student accessing such a service will be                  responsible for  those costs.

    V.    Student Violations--Consequences and Notifications.

Consequences for AUP Violations 
The consequences listed below are examples of possible consequences.  Teachers, administrators, and technology personnel will determine the appropriate consequence based on the severity of the infraction. Possible consequences may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Loss of network and computer privileges which may include: 

a.    Restriction to school day use only OR 
b.    Restriction to use only in classroom under direct teacher supervision OR 
c.    Complete prohibition on the use of school computers or the computer network

  • Detention 
  • Suspension and Expulsion 


Adoption   10-10-11   
Review      5-11-12  6-9-14  8-12-14  9-14-15  7-11-16 9-14-20
Revision    6-9-14      8-12-14  7-11-16

606.3 Use of Information Resources

Series 600 - Educational Program
Use of Information Resources Code No. 606.3
In order for students to experience a diverse curriculum, the board encourages employees to supplement their regular curricular materials with other resources.  In so doing, the board recognizes that federal law makes it illegal to duplicate copyrighted materials without authorization of the holder of the copyright, except for certain exempt purposes.  Severe penalties may be imposed for plagiarism, unauthorized copying or using of media, including, but not limited to, print, electronic and web-based materials, unless the copying or using conforms to the "fair use" doctrine.  Under the "fair use" doctrine, unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials is permissible for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research providing that all fair use guidelines are met.  
While the school district encourages employees to enrich the learning programs by making proper use of supplementary materials, it is the responsibility of employees to abide by the school district's copying procedures and obey the requirements of the law.  In no circumstances shall it be necessary for school district staff to violate copyright requirements in order to perform their duties properly.  The school district will not be responsible for any violations of the copyright law by employees or students.  Violation of the copyright law by employees may result in discipline up to, and including, termination.  Violation of the copyright law by students may result in discipline, up to and including, suspension or expulsion. 
Parents or others who wish to record, by any means, school programs or other activities need to realize that even though the school district received permission to perform a copyrighted work does not mean outsiders can copy it and re-play it.  Those who wish to do so should contact the employee in charge of the activity to determine what the process is to ensure the copyright law is followed.  The school district is not responsible for outsiders violating the copyright law or this policy.
Any employee or student who is uncertain as to whether reproducing or using copyrighted material complies with the school district's procedures or is permissible under the law should contact the principal, who will also assist employees and students in obtaining proper authorization to copy or use protected material when such authorization is required. 
It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principal, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.
Adoption: 12-13-07
Review:  03-22-10  9-14-20
Cross References:606.2 Internet Appropriate Use
Legal References: 17 U.S. Code Sec. 101 et al.   281 I.A.C. 12.3(12).

606.3-R1 Use of Information Resources Regulation

Series 600 - Educational Program
Use of Information Resources Regulation Code No. 606.3-R1
Employees and students may make copies of copyrighted materials that fall within the following guidelines. Where there is reason to believe the material to be copied does not fall within these guidelines, prior permission shall be obtained from the publisher or producer with the assistance of the principal.  Employees and students who fail to follow this procedure may be held personally liable for copyright infringement and may be subject to discipline by the board.
Under the "fair use" doctrine, unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials is permissible for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research.  Under the fair use doctrine, each of the following four standards must be met in order to use the copyrighted document: 
  • Purpose and Character of the Use – The use must be for such purposes as teaching or scholarship.
  • Nature of the Copyrighted Work – The type of work to be copied.
  • Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used – Copying the whole of a work cannot be considered fair use; copying a small portion may be if these guidelines are followed.
  • Effect of the Use Upon the Potential Market for or value of the Copyrighted Work – If resulting economic loss to the copyright holder can be shown, even making a single copy of certain materials may be an infringement, and making multiple copies presents the danger of greater penalties.
Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Material Reminders:
  • Materials on the Internet should be used with caution since they may, and likely are, copyrighted.
  • Proper attribution (author, title, publisher, place and date of publication) should always be given.
  • Notice should be taken of any alterations to copyrighted works, and such alterations should only be made for specific instructional objectives.
  • Care should be taken in circumventing any technological protection measures.  While materials copied pursuant to fair use may be copied after circumventing technological protections against unauthorized copying, technological protection measures to block access to materials may not be circumvented.
In preparing for instruction, a teacher may make or have made a single copy of: 
  • A chapter from a book; 
  • An article from a newspaper or periodical; 
  • A short story, short essay or short poem; or,
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper. 
A teacher may make multiple copies not exceeding more than one per pupil, for classroom use or discussion, if the copying meets the tests of “brevity, spontaneity and cumulative effect” set by the following guidelines.  Each copy must include a notice of copyright. 
  • Brevity
  • 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 2500 words or excerpts from prose works less than 1000 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 percent of the work.
  • Spontaneity – Should be at the “instance and inspiration” of the individual teacher when there is not a reasonable length of time to request and receive permission to copy.
  • Cumulative Effect – Teachers are limited to using copied material for only one course for which copies are made.  No more than one short poem, article, story or two excerpts from the same author may be copied, and no more than three works can be copied from a collective work or periodical column during one class term. Teachers are limited to nine instances of multiple copying for one course during one class term.  Limitations do not apply to current news periodicals, newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.
Copying Limitations 
Circumstances will arise when employees are uncertain whether or not copying is prohibited.  In those circumstances, the principal should be contacted.  The following prohibitions have been expressly stated in federal guidelines: 
  • Reproduction of copyrighted material shall not be used to create or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
  • Unless expressly permitted by agreement with the publisher and authorized by school district action, there shall be no copying from copyrighted consumable materials such as workbooks, exercises, test booklets, answer sheets and the like.
  • Employees shall not: 
  • Use copies to substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals, music recordings, consumable works such as workbooks, computer software or other copyrighted material. Copy or use the same item from term to term without the copyright owner's permission;
  • Copy or use more than nine instances of multiple copying of protected material in any one term;
  • Copy or use more than one short work or two excerpts from works of the same author in any one term;
  • 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.
  • Reproduce or use copyrighted material at the direction of someone in higher authority or copy or use such material in emulation of some other teacher's use of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright owner.
  • Require other employees or students to violate the copyright law or fair use guidelines.
Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Materials in the Library
A library may make a single copy or three digital copies of:
  • An unpublished work in its collection; 
  • A published work in order to replace it because it is damaged, deteriorated, lost or stolen, provided that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.
  • A work that is being considered for acquisition, although use is strictly limited to that decision.  Technological protection measures may be circumvented for purposes of copying materials in order to make an acquisition decision.
A library may provide a single copy of copyrighted material to a student or employee at no more than the actual cost of photocopying.  The copy must be limited to one article of a periodical issue or a small part of other material, unless the library finds that the copyrighted work cannot be obtained elsewhere at a fair price.  In the latter circumstance, the entire work may be copied.  In any case, the copy shall contain the notice of copyright and the student or staff member shall be notified that the copy is to be used only for private study, scholarship or research.  Any other use may subject the person to liability for copyright infringement. 

Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Music or Dramatic Works

Teachers may:
  • Make a single copy of a song, movement, or short section from a printed musical or dramatic work that is unavailable except in a larger work for purposes of preparing for instruction;   
  • Make multiple copies for classroom use of an excerpt of not more than 10% of a printed musical work if it is to be used for academic purposes other than performance, provided that the excerpt does not comprise a part of the whole musical work which would constitute a performable unit such as a complete section, movement, or song; 
  • In an emergency, a teacher may make and use replacement copies of printed music for an imminent musical performance when the purchased copies have been lost, destroyed or are otherwise not available. 
  • Make and retain a single recording of student performances of copyrighted material when it is made for purposes of evaluation or rehearsal;
  • Make and retain a single copy of excerpts from recordings of copyrighted musical works for use as aural exercises or examination questions; and,
  • Edit or simplify purchased copies of music or plays provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted.  Lyrics shall not be altered or added if none exist. 
Performance by teachers or students of copyrighted musical or dramatic works is permitted without the authorization of the copyright owner as part of a teaching activity in a classroom or instructional setting.  The purpose shall be instructional rather than for entertainment.  
Performances of non-dramatic musical works that are copyrighted are permitted without the authorization of the copyright owner, provided that:
  • The performance is not for a commercial purpose; 
  • None of the performers, promoters or organizers are compensated; and, 
  • Admission fees are used for educational or charitable purposes only.
All other musical and dramatic performances require permission from the copyright owner.  Parents or others wishing to record a performance should check with the sponsor to ensure compliance with copyright.
Recording of Copyrighted Programs 
Television programs, excluding news programs, transmitted by commercial and non-commercial television stations for reception by the general public without charge may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable retransmission) and retained by a school for a period not to exceed the first forty-five (45) consecutive calendar days after date of recording.  Upon conclusion of this retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately.  Certain programming such as that provided on public television may be exempt from this provision; check with the principal, or the subscription database, e.g. united streaming.
Off-air recording may be used once by individual teachers in the course of instructional activities, and repeated once only when reinforcement is necessary, within a building, during the first 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 ten consecutive school days, off-air recordings may be used up to the end of the 45 calendar day retention period only for evaluation purposes, i.e., to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum.  Permission must be secured from the publisher before the recording can be used for instructional purposes after the 10 day period. 
Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original content.  Off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations.  All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded. 
Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Computer Software
Schools have a valid need for high-quality software at reasonable prices.  To assure a fair return to the authors of software programs, the school district shall support the legal and ethical issues involved in copyright laws and any usage agreements that are incorporated into the acquisition of software programs.  To this end, the following guidelines shall be in effect:  
  • All copyright laws and publisher license agreements between the vendor and the school district shall be observed;
  • Staff members shall take reasonable precautions to prevent copying or the use of unauthorized copies on school equipment;
  • A back-up copy shall be purchased, for use as a replacement when a program is lost or damaged.  If the vendor is not able to supply a replacement, the school district shall make a back-up copy that will be used for replacement purposes only;
  • A copy of the software license agreement shall be retained by the technology director; and,
  • A computer program may be adapted by adding to the content or changing the language.  The adapted program may not be distributed.
Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia
Students may incorporate portions of copyrighted materials in producing educational multimedia projects such as videos, Power Points, podcasts and web sites for a specific course, and may perform, display or retain the projects.  
Educators may perform or display their own multimedia projects to students in support of curriculum-based instructional activities.  These projects may be used:
  • In face-to-face instruction;
  • In demonstrations and presentations, including conferences;
  • In assignments to students;
  • For remote instruction if distribution of the signal is limited;
  • Over a network that cannot prevent duplication for fifteen days, after fifteen days a copy may be saved on-site only; or,
  • In their personal portfolios.
Educators may use copyrighted materials in a multimedia project for two years, after that permission must be requested and received.
The following limitations restrict the portion of any given work that may be used pursuant of fair use in an educational multimedia project:
  • Motion media: ten percent or three minutes, whichever is less;
  • Text materials: ten percent or 1,000 words, whichever is less;
  • 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;
  • Music, lyrics and music video: Up to ten percent, but no more than thirty seconds.  No alterations that change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work;
  • Illustrations, cartoons and photographs: No more that five images by an artist, and no more than ten percent or fifteen images whichever is less from a collective work;
  • Numerical data sets: Up to ten percent or 2,500 field or cell entries, whichever is less;
Fair use does not include posting a student or teacher’s work on the Internet if it includes portions of copyrighted materials.  Permission to copy shall be obtained from the original copyright holder(s) before such projects are placed online.  The opening screen of such presentations shall include notice that permission was granted and materials are restricted from further use.
The teacher-librarian is responsible for ensuring that appropriate warning devices are posted.  The warnings are to educate and warn individuals using school district equipment of the copyright law.  Warning notices must be posted:
  • On or near copiers;
  • On forms used to request copying services;
  • On video recorders;
  • On computers; and, 
  • At the library and other places where interlibrary loan orders for copies of materials are accepted.
NOTE: For copyright notices and more information, please go to Heartland AEA website:  http://www.iowaaeaonline.org/copyright/BriefNOTESscreen.pdf

606.4 Appropriate Use Of Online Learning Platforms


 Series 600 - Educational Program


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 will make administrative regulations necessary to enforce this policy. 

Legal Reference: 

20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99

47 U.S.C. §254

20 U.S.C. §6777

Iowa Code §§ 715C

Cross Reference:

104  Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment

401.13  Staff Technology Use/Social Networking

506.1  Student Records

605.4  Technology in the Classroom

605.6 Internet Appropriate Use

501.6 Student Transfers In       

Adoption: 8-10-20

Review: 7/13/20  8-10-20