Animals may be brought into the school setting for educational purposes only in accordance with the policies of the District and the procedures established by the Superintendent and/or building principal regarding the presence of animals.
This policy does not apply to service animals. Students’, guests’, and/or employees’ use of service animals is handled in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and District Policy. Likewise, Police and SRO K-9 use is handled in accordance with applicable school search policies and regulations. Furthermore, the FFA Land Lab has separate policies and procedures specific to that program and this policy does not apply to the FFA Land Lab.
To protect students and staff, the following applies to animals brought into the school facilities for educational purposes. The District’s Superintendent and/or building principal may place additional guidelines or restrictions upon the presence of specific animals in the school setting. Further, the presence of any animal, whether regularly or periodically housed in a classroom or brought into the school for an isolated or singular visit, requires timely pre-approval from the building principal.
Animals Regularly or Periodically Housed in Classrooms
- No animal shall be housed in any school classroom without pre-approval of the building principal.
- A classroom teacher seeking to house an animal in the classroom shall submit such request explaining the educational purpose of having an animal(s) in the classroom setting.
- The teacher is responsible for assuming primary responsibility for the animal and shall be designated as the animal’s supervising teacher.
- The supervising teacher shall consult with any parent/guardian with regard to students who are immunocompromised or have allergies, asthma, or other health concerns relating to contact or proximity to animals.
- The supervising teacher who has been granted permission to house (an) animal(s) in the classroom shall provide formal classroom instruction to students regarding sanitation in the handling of animals and shall require all individuals handling animals to subsequently wash his or her hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Any student handling any animal will be monitored by the supervising teacher.
- Only the supervising teacher or students designated by the supervising teacher, with proper permission as detailed herein, may handle a classroom animal.
- Should any student or employee be injured, including but not limited to animal bites or scratches, associated with the handling of a classroom animal, the supervising teacher is responsible for immediately reporting such event, in writing, to the building principal and assuring the student is directed to the school’s office for appropriate medical care.
- Animals shall be handled humanely and in a healthy environment. If animals are to be kept in the classroom on days when classes are not in session, the supervising teacher shall be responsible for planning for their care and safety.
- Animals shall be displayed in enclosed cages or tanks or under otherwise appropriate restraints.
- Upon placement in the classroom, the building principal shall inspect the enclosure and ensure that it meets standards for safeguarding the health and welfare of students.
- Students will be allowed to clean an enclosure, cage, tank/aquarium, or other holding enclosure for any classroom animal or touch or otherwise come into contact with the materials that have been removed from any cleaned enclosure, cage, tank, aquarium, or other holding enclosure only after being properly trained and then only in the presence of the supervising teacher.
- Animals must be clean and free of intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks and mites.
- Animals shall not be brought in or obtained from the wild. If sought by the building principal, the supervising teacher shall provide proof of purchase or proof of transfer of the animal in question.
- Animals maintained in a school classroom shall not have access to or contact with wild animals.
- Classroom animals shall not be permitted to roam unsupervised about any classroom or other area of the school.
- No animal shall be allowed in any area of the school where food or drink is prepared or consumed.
- Food for animals must be properly stored.
- The supervising teacher and the building principal shall, at the time the animal comes into the school setting, confer as to the manner and method of feeding of such animal.
- The supervising teacher shall follow the recommended standard of care and feeding of the animal or the animal shall not be permitted to be present at school.
- The supervising teacher shall be responsible for the proper cleaning and disinfection of any area in which the animal is present. This cleaning and disinfection may be carried out by properly trained and supervised students.
- The supervising teacher, building principal, and custodial personnel shall confer, at the time the animal comes into the school setting, regarding any necessary precautions for cleaning and maintenance in the classroom and/or around the animal or addressing animal waste.
- The supervising teacher, or properly trained and guided students shall be responsible for the disposal of animal waste, using appropriate plastic bags and disposable gloves and sanitary cleansers.
- Prior to the animal being brought into the classroom, the supervising teacher is responsible for assuring that no special permits, licenses, or other requirements (i.e. health/medical certification or examinations) are necessary to own and house the animal. If a permit, license, or other requirement does exist associated with the animal, it is solely the supervising teacher’s responsibility comply with such requirements and to provide the building principal with a copy of documentation assuring compliance. Any animal not in compliance shall not be brought into the school’s setting. Any health care records associated with the animal shall be maintained in the classroom and is the responsibility of the supervising teacher.
- At the commencement of each school year the building principal shall be responsible for cataloging any and all animals that are present in classrooms.
- Should a new animal be brought into the school setting, or an existing animal leave the school setting, the supervising teacher is responsible for notifying the building principal.
- The building principal is responsible for providing a copy of the animal catalog to the Superintendent.
Visiting Animals to the Schools
As part of an educational program, there may be isolated instances in which an animal is brought into the school’s setting. Prior to any such animal coming into the school setting, pre-approval must be obtained from the building principal.
- To seek approval, a written request must be submitted to the principal including the following:
- The date and activity in question;
- Detail as to the relevance of the animal to the educational program;
- The animal(s) requested to be allowed on school property;
- Information as to how the health and safety of students, school personnel, and the animal will be addressed; and
- Copies of current health records and/or proof of current vaccination, as applicable (as detailed herein).
- Experiments on living animals are prohibited; however, behavior studies that do not impair an animal’s health or safety are permissible.
- The dissection of dead animals or parts of dead animals shall be allowed in a classroom only when the dissection exercise contributes to or is part of the approved educational program of the classroom
- All dissection of animals and the parts of dissected animals shall be confined to the classroom.
- Students who object to performing, participating in, or observing the dissection of animals shall be excused from the classroom during such educational activity without penalty, discipline, or negative impact upon the student’s grade. Alternate projects will be assigned to any such non-participating student.
- Regardless of the desired educational purpose, the following live animals are prohibited in any school facility, for any time or purpose:
- Inherently dangerous animals;
- Any venomous or toxin producing animals;
- Aggressive or unpredictable animals;
- Stray mammals with no health or vaccination history;
- Mammals at high risk for having or transmitting rabies; and
- Any animal on the Idaho Invasive Species List for which proper state permitting and documentation of ownership has not been obtained prior to classroom housing (i.e. Snapping Turtle, Red Eared Slider, Mediterranean Gecko, Brahminy Blind Snake, Monk Parakeet, and Nutria).
- The building principal may prohibit any animal from being present upon the school’s property on a case by case basis.
Health and Vaccination Requirements
- Prior to bringing certain animals into a school building, current health records and/or proof of current vaccinations is required as follows:
- Cats: A health certificate from a licensed veterinarian showing proof of current vaccination against feline distemper/upper respiratory vaccine (FVRCP), feline leukemia, feline chlamydiosis and rabies. The District may also request proof of a negative fecal exam or successful treatment for intestinal parasites within the last six months.
- Dogs: A health certificate from a licensed veterinarian showing proof of current vaccination against canine distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, canine parainfluenza (CPVI), parvovirus, bordetella, and rabies. The District may also request proof of a negative fecal exam or successful treatment for intestinal parasites within the last six months. The District may also request proof of current licensure of the dog.
- Ferrets: A health certificate from a licensed veterinarian showing proof of current vaccination against rabies. The District may also request proof of a negative fecal exam or successful treatment for intestinal parasites within the last six months.
- Psittacine Birds (parrots, parakeets, budgies and cockatiels): A health certificate from a licensed veterinarian showing proof of treatment or negative test results for psittacosis (avian Chlamydiosis).
- The Superintendent shall make the final determination as to whether or not any animal may be present upon school property. When making such a determination the primary factor of consideration shall first be the health and welfare of students.
- Exceptions may be approved by the building principal.
2330 Controversial Issues and Academic Freedom
2375 Service Animals in Schools
3231 Searches and Seizure
I.C. § 33-6001 Parental Rights
Adopted on: October 17, 2018