Series 600 – Educational Programs

Policies

Procedures

Series 600:  Educational Program
Series 600:  Educational Program
Code Title
600 Guiding Principles
601 Educational Equity
603.1 Curriculum Development
603.2 Curriculum Implementation
603.3 Curriculum Evaluation
604 Responsible Citizenship
605 Religion in the Curriculum
606 Teaching of Controversial Issues
608 Evaluation and Testing
610 Selection of Instructional Materials
611 Process for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials
619 English as a Second Language/Bilingual Education
620 Special Education
621 Homebound Instruction
622 Student Enrollment for Credit in Summer School
625 Homework
627 Extended Learning Experiences
630 School Organization
631 School Calendar
632 Academic Schedules
634 Required Hearing on Student Sex Offender Placement
635 Assignment to Programs and Classes
636 Class Size
637 Assignment to Groups
639 Open Enrollment
640 District-Wide Testing and Assessment
643 Student Progress Reports and Conferences
645 Requirements for Graduation
645.1 Graduation Requirements for Special Education Students
650 Extracurricular Activities
650.1 High School Extracurricular Eligibility
650.2 Athletic Eligibility for Students Participating in Open Enrollment
653 Student Publications
662 Guidelines for Campus Speakers
665 Research by Outside Organizations
670 Community and Adult Education
671 Homeless Children and Youth
672 Student Guidance and Counseling Program
673 Student Health Services
675 Charter School Application
676 Revocation or Non-Renewal of a Charter School Contract
677 Student Library Records
678 Use of Information Resources
Code Title
600 Guiding Principles
601 Educational Equity
603 Curriculum
603.1 Citizenship Education
603.2 Religion in the Curriculum
604 Teaching of Controversial Issues
608 Evaluation
610 Selection of Instructional Materials
610.1 Student Use of Educational Technology
611 Process for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials
621 Homebound Instruction
625.1 Middle and High School Homework
625.2 Elementary School Homework
627 Field Trips
634 Required Hearing on Student Sex Offender Placement
635 Assignment to Programs and Classes
640 District-Wide Testing and Assessment
640.1 Testing of Special Student Populations
650.1 Academic Standards for Student Eligibility in Extracurricular Activities Requiring a Competitive Selection Process
653 Student Publications
662 Guidelines for Campus Speakers
665 Research by Outside Organizations
670 Community and Adult Education Programs

 

Policies

Series 600
Code 600
Title:  Guiding Principles
The educational program of the district should be equally available to all young people.  All children will have the opportunity to be educated to the full extent of their abilities, aptitudes, capabilities, and interests through a program that recognizes and provides for the individual differences of all children of the school district.
This principle shall include a free, appropriate public education for all children, as provided in the Code of Iowa and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The district shall incorporate multicultural approaches into its educational program, including approaches which foster knowledge of, and respect for the historical and contemporary contributions of diverse cultural groups, including but not limited to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, and socioeconomic background.  Contributions and perspectives of Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, European Americans, and persons with disabilities shall also be included in educational programs.

The district is committed to incorporating gender-fair approaches into the education program which foster knowledge of, and respect and appreciation for, the historical and contemporary contributions to society made by women and men.  Educational programs shall reflect the wide variety of roles open to both women and men, and shall provide equal opportunities to all.

The educational program shall endeavor to meet the academic, vocational, physical and aesthetic needs of our student population and shall incorporate innovation and change based upon research, evaluation and study and shall align with the Board’s Ends Statements.

Legal reference:  Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004),
281 Iowa Administrative Code 12, 1C
Last review:  2011; revised June, 2011
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Series 600
Code 601
Title:  Educational Equity

Any student, parent or volunteer of the Des Moines Independent Community School District shall have the right to file a formal complaint alleging discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The district shall not discriminate against a student for filing a complaint. All meetings and hearings under this procedure shall be conducted in private and shall include only witnesses and the parties of interest. “Parent” is meant to include guardian. Complaints of discrimination may be filed with Anne Sullivan, 2323 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312; phone: 515-242-7709; email: anne.sullivan@dmschools.org

Last review:  2016
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Series 600
Code 603.1
Title:  Curriculum Development
Curriculum development is an ongoing process in the school district and consists of both research and 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 ensures the identified learnings are rigorous, challenging, and represent the most important learnings 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 shall be responsible for curriculum development and for determining the most effective method of conducting research and design activities. A curriculum framework shall 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 latest thinking, trends, research, and expert advice regarding the content/discipline;
  • Study the current status of the content/discipline (what and how 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 differences in the desired and present program and develop a plan for addressing the differences;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding the content area;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum development decisions;
  • Verify integration of local, state, and/or federal mandates (MCNS, 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.

Last review:  2016
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Series 600
Code 603.2
Title:  Curriculum Implementation
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 shall be responsible for curriculum implementation and for determining the most effective way of providing organized assistance and monitoring the level of implementation. A curriculum framework shall 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. 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;
  • Identify/develop exemplars that demonstrate the learning behaviors, teaching, and learning environment to deliver the content;
  • 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;
  • Organize staff into collaborative study teams to support their learning and implementation efforts (address the gaps);
  • Provide ongoing professional development related to instructional strategies and materials that focuses on theory, demonstration, practice and feedback;
  • Regularly monitor and assess the level of implementation;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding curriculum implementation;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum implementation decisions.

It shall be 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.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 603.3
Title:Curriculum Evaluation

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;
  • 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;
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information in making decisions focused on improving teaching and learning (data based decision making);
  • Provide support to staff in using data to make instructional decisions;
  • 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 curriculum that is written and delivered;
  • Identify procedures for deciding when multiple assessment measures are necessary for making good decisions and drawing appropriate conclusions about student learning;
  • Identify roles and responsibilities of key groups;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum evaluation;
  • 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.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 604
Title:  Responsible Citizenship
Educating students for responsible citizenship is a role of the Des Moines Public Schools.  Components of responsible citizenship include but are not restricted to:

a. A knowledge of the history and heritage of the people of our community, state, nation, and world.

b. An appreciation and respect for democratic principles of freedom, justice and equality.

c. Respect for the symbols of our nation.

d. A responsibility to protect and defend individual rights regardless of age, race, disability, gender, religion, national origin, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation.

e. An understanding that citizenship includes duties and responsibilities with regard to personal behavior, respect for others, and respect for property.

f. An understanding of our democratic form of government and an understanding that citizen participation is essential in maintaining this democratic form of government.

g. An understanding of our nation’s role and responsibility in a global society.

These citizenship components shall be taught wherever appropriate in the curriculum in all subject areas at all grade levels.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 605
Title:  Religion in the Curriculum
It is essential to a quality educational program that students be taught about religion as it relates to the various disciplines and course objectives.  This will include recognition of the role of religion throughout history and an understanding of the importance of tolerance for people of various beliefs in a pluralistic and democratic society.

At no time should any religion or non-religion be promoted or shown preference.  Criteria used to guide academic inquiry in the study of religion should seek the same objectivity and educational effectiveness expected in other areas of the curriculum.  In addition, materials and activities should be sensitive to America’s pluralistic society and should educate rather than indoctrinate.  All instructional and other school sponsored activities should meet the three-part test established by the Supreme Court to determine constitutionality:  (1) the activity must have a secular purpose; (2) the activity’s principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) the activity must not foster an excessive governmental entanglement with religion.

The use of religious symbols may be permitted as a teaching aid, but only when such symbols are used temporarily and objectively to give information about a heritage associated with a particular religion.  Symbols which are secular may be displayed in a seasonal context.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 606
Title:  Teaching of Controversial Issues
Diversity of opinion and freedom of expression is encouraged.  Students shall not be ridiculed or discriminated against because of opinions held or expressed by them.

Teachers shall control and direct all classroom activities in accordance with the policies and procedures of the district and the curriculum established by the administration.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 608
Title:  Evaluation and Testing
Des Moines Independent Community School District will provide a variety of unbiased assessments of student academic growth.   DMPS will also provide a district-wide testing program.  Specialized testing will also be undertaken as part of unique, individual student instructional requirements and educational services.

The administration shall submit evaluation reports to the Board of Directors concerning programs and curricular services through its monitoring report schedule in order to provide timely information about student achievement.

The Des Moines 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 two assessments in particular, ITBS/ITED and District Criterion-Reference Tests (CRT).

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that assessment results are truly representative of the achievement of students in our district.  It is also our intent to create awareness of the potential negative impact that inappropriate assessment practices might produce (to outline processes to be followed) and to identify the potential consequences of violating the policy.  If test scores become questionable because of inappropriate practices in either preparing students or in administering tests, the meaning of the scores will be distorted and their value for their original purpose will be diminished or lost.

Appointment of District Assessment TeamThe district shall appoint a District Assessment Team who maydelegate responsibility for testing-related functions to one or more school Test Coordinators.  The District Assessment Coordinator is responsible for storing materials from Iowa Test Programs in a secure area with restricted access both prior to and after the testing period.

Consequences of Policy ViolationsIf a violation of this policy occurs as determined by the Superintendent and 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 Administrative Code Chapter 25.

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

Reports of students cheating on assessments shall be submitted to the building principal for investigation and disciplinary procedures.

If the Superintendent believes that assessment results are invalid, the Superintendent shall make a timely report to the Iowa Department of Education.

Last review: 2008-2009
Administrative Procedures:  Code 608
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Series 600
Code 610
Title:  Selection of Instructional Materials
The district shall provide a wide range of instructional materials at all levels of difficulty.  The selection process shall consider diversity of approach and the presentation of different points of view.

Curriculum materials shall be selected by instructional materials selection committees.  These recommended materials must have preliminary approval from the District Curriculum Advisory Committee and final approval from the Board of Directors.

Access to the Internet shall be for educational purposes and shall be used in accordance with District curricular goals and objectives.  The in-school use of the Internet by students shall be supervised by school personnel.  Prior to student-initiated in-school access, each student shall receive acceptable use training and shall furnish proof of parental consent.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 610, 610.1
Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 611
Title:  Process for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials

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 principals, to develop administrative regulations for reconsideration of instructional materials.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 611
Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 619
Title:  English as a Second Language/Bilingual Education

English as a Second Language or transitional bilingual education shall be provided for limited English proficient students.  This instruction shall continue until the student demonstrates proficiency in the ability to speak, write, read, and understand the English language.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 620
Title:  Special Education
The board recognizes some students have different educational needs than other students. The board shall provide a free appropriate public education program and related services to students identified in need of special education. The special education services will be provided from birth until the appropriate education is completed, age 21 or to maximum age allowable in accordance with the law. Students requiring special education shall attend general education classes, participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities and receive services in a general education setting to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of each individual student. The appropriate education for each student shall be written in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Special education students shall be required to meet the requirements stated in board policy or in their IEPs for graduation. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent and the area education agency director of special education to provide or make provisions for appropriate special education and related services.

Children from birth through age 2 and children age 3 through age 5 shall be provided comprehensive special education services within the public education system.The school district shall work in conjunction with the area education agency to provide services, at the earliest appropriate time, to children with disabilities from birth through age 2. This shall be done to ensure a smooth transition of children entitled to early childhood special education services.

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 621
Title:  Homebound Instruction

Homebound instruction shall be provided for children at the discretion of the Department of Student Services.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 621
Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 622
Title:  Student Enrollment for Credit in Summer School

High school credit for summer school is obtainable only if performance standards for those courses are the same as the standards required during the regular school year.  Credits earned may apply toward high school graduation and/or college graduation.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 625
Title:  Homework

Definition of Homework:
Homework is the logical extension of classroom learning which can be completed by students on their own with materials available outside of class.

Purposes of Homework
Homework should be assigned in order to:  (a) enable the student to learn more about a topic that has been presented in class; (b) provide the student with essential practice in needed skills; (c) enrich and extend the school experiences; (d) allow the teacher to provide for individual differences; (e) help develop good work habits and responsibility and assist the student in learning to make wise use of time.

Administrative Procedures: Code 625.1, 625.2
Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 627
Title:  Extended Learning Experiences

A properly planned, well-conducted, and carefully supervised field trip is a vital part of the curriculum of any classroom.  Student trips of significant educational value are to be encouraged.

School-business partnerships afford the opportunity to broaden and expand the curriculum.  Classroom teachers are encouraged to use business and community leaders in the classroom as resource persons.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 627
Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 630
Title:  School Organization

The Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of the administration, may approve various organizational patterns for the District’s attendance centers.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 631
Title:  School Calendar

The superintendent shall have the responsibility for developing an official school calendar to be recommended to the Board of Directors for approval and adoption.  The school calendar shall be approved by the board prior to the time of issuance of personnel contracts for the ensuing year and shall be considered as an official part of these contracts.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 632
Title:  Academic Schedules

The academic programs and schedules shall be subject to approval of the Board of Directors.  All minor schedule revisions and all changes in time allotment shall be made by the administrative staff with the approval of the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee and reported to the Board of Directors.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 634
Title:  Required Hearing on Student Sex Offender Placement
The Board of Directors shall determine the educational placement of any student who is required to register as a sex offender.

Upon receipt of notice from law enforcement authorities that a student who is enrolled in the District is required to register as a sex offender, the Board shall hold a hearing to determine the educational placement of the student. The tentative agenda for the meeting at which the Board will consider such enrollment or educational placement shall specifically state that the Board is considering the enrollment or educational placement of an individual who is required to register as a sex offender under Iowa Code chapter 692A.  The hearing shall be conducted in a closed session unless an open session is requested by the student or the student’s parent(s).

If the student is denied enrollment in a regular comprehensive school, the school district shall provide the student with educational services in an alternative setting.

Legal References: Iowa Code section 21.5(1)(a),(e) (2005); Iowa Code section 282.9 (2005); Iowa Code Chapter 692A (2005)
Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 635
Title:  Assignment to Programs and Classes

Every student shall be placed in school programs that will provide appropriate learning opportunities and experiences for continuous progress in school.  Students shall be assigned to grade levels and special classes based upon evidence of achievement in school.

The school principal will confer with parents, students, teachers, and support staff persons to make appropriate student assignments.

Parents may appeal their child’s placement when they do not agree with the school’s decision.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 635
Revised: February 4, 1992
Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 636
Title:  Class Size

Class size may vary with consideration given to:

  1. Age, curriculum, achievement, and grade level;
  2. Nature of the instructional program;
  3. Number of adults available to assist with instruction;
  4. The nature of the learner; and
  5. State or federal rules or regulations that may apply to special education.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 637
Title:  Assignment to Groups

Grouping pupils into classroom units shall be primarily for the purpose of instruction.  Grouping pupils by instruction levels shall be done for the purpose of providing an improved educational opportunity so that each child has the opportunity to develop to the maximum of his/her potential.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 639
Title: Open Enrollment
It is the policy of the school district to provide a wide range of educational options for students of the Des Moines Public Schools.  In addition to open enrollment options provided by the Code of Iowa, the Des Moines Public Schools offers parents enrollment choices for students within the district.

BETWEEN DISTRICT OPEN ENROLLMENT

Procedures as a Sending District

The school district will participate in open enrollment as a sending district.  As a sending district, the board will allow resident students who meet all applicable requirements including those set forth by statute and by the District’s Diversity Plan to open enroll to another public school district.

Parents requesting open enrollment out of the school district for their student will notify the sending and receiving school district no later than March 1 in the school year proceeding the first year desired for open enrollment. The notice is made on forms provided by the Department of Education. The forms are available at the central administration office.

Parents of children who will begin kindergarten in the school district are exempt from the open enrollment March 1 deadline. Parents of children who will begin kindergarten will file in the same manner set forth above by September 1. Parents who have good cause as defined by law for failing to meet the March 1 deadline may make an open enrollment request by September 1 unless another deadline applies.

The receiving district will approve open enrollment requests according to the timelines established by law. The parents may withdraw the open enrollment request prior to the start of the school year. The receiving district’s superintendent will notify the parents and sending school district by mail within five days of the school district’s action to approve or deny the open enrollment request. The board may approve a student’s request to allow the receiving district to enter the school district for the purposes of transportation.

An open enrollment request out of the school district from parents of a special education student is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The determining factor for approval of such an open enrollment request will be whether the special education program available in the receiving school district is appropriate for the student’s needs. The area education agency director of special education serving the receiving district will determine whether the program is appropriate. The special education student will remain in the school district until the final determination is made.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to maintain open enrollment request applications and notice forms. It will also be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop appropriate office procedures and administrative regulations necessary for open enrollment requests.

Procedures as a Receiving District

The school district will participate in open enrollment as a receiving district. As a receiving district, the board will allow nonresident students, who meet all applicable requirements including those set forth by statute and by the District’s Diversity Plan, to open enroll into the school district. The district will have complete discretion to determine the attendance center of the students attending the school district under open enrollment.

The superintendent or his or her designee will approve timely filed applications by June 1. Incoming kindergarten applications that are due by September 1 will be approved in a reasonable time shortly thereafter.

The superintendent or his or her designee will notify the sending school district and parents within five days of the school district’s action to approve or deny the open enrollment request. The superintendent will also forward a copy of the school district’s action with a copy of the open enrollment request to the Iowa Department of Education.

Open enrollment requests into the school district will not be approved if insufficient classroom space exists or if the approval would negatively impact the Diversity Plan. Open enrollment requests into the school district will also not be approved for students who have been suspended or expelled by the administration or the board of the school district the student is or was attending until the student has been reinstated into the school district from which the student was suspended or expelled. Once the student is reinstated, the student’s open enrollment request will be considered in the same manner as other open enrollment requests provided the required timelines are met.

Open enrollment requests into the school district that, if denied, would result in students from the same nuclear family being enrolled in different school districts, will be given highest priority. The board, in its discretion, may waive the insufficient classroom space reason for denial for students of the same nuclear family to prevent the division of a nuclear family between two school districts. Other open enrollment requests into the school district are considered in the order received by the school district with the first open enrollment request given a higher priority than the second open enrollment request and so forth.

Generally, students in grades nine through twelve open enrolling into the school district will not be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics, at the varsity level during the first ninety days of open enrollment into the school district.

Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from the receiving school district without reimbursement unless the parents qualify for transportation assistance. Upon a parent’s request, the board may approve transportation into the sending district.

An open enrollment request into the school district from parents of a special education student is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The determining factors for approval of such an open enrollment request will be whether the special education program available in the school district is appropriate for the student’s needs and whether the enrollment of the special education student will cause the class size to exceed the maximum allowed. The director of special education serving the school district will determine whether the program is appropriate. The special education student will remain in the sending district until the final determination is made.

The policies of the school district will apply to students attending the school district under open enrollment.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop appropriate office procedures and administrative regulations necessary for open enrollment requests.

WITHIN DISTRICT TRANSFERS

Students Entering Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade
A parent or guardian wishing to enroll to a Des Moines school outside of their neighborhood school boundaries shall file a formal application on or before March 1 for enrollment the following school year. Within District tranfer requests will be based on whether or not sufficient classroom space exists and whether the approval of the application would negatively impact the District’s Diversity Plan.

Legal References:  Iowa Code 282.18
282 I.A.C. ch. 17

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 640
Title:  District-Wide Testing and Assessment

Des Moines Independent Community School District will provide a variety of unbiased assessments of student academic growth.   The Des Moines Independent Community School District will also provide a district-wide testing program.  Specialized testing will also be undertaken as part of unique, individual student instructional requirements and educational services.

The board shall maintain an assessment system to provide detailed and timely information about student achievement.  Assessments shall include standardized tools, criteria reference testing as well as alternative assessments.

Administrative Procedures: Codes 640 and 640.1
Legal References: Iowa Code Section 208.3
Revised: April 22, 2003
Last review: 2008-09
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Series 600
Code 643
Title:  Student Progress Reports and Conferences

Students will receive progress reports. In addition, parent-teacher conferences will be held twice annually to keep parents informed about student performance.

Parents, principals, teachers, counselors, and other administrators 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 and to utilize the District’s Infinite Campus system to help stay informed on these types of issues.

Last review: 2008-2009
Legal references: Iowa Code Section 256.11, 280.3 and 281 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 12
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Series 600
Code 645
Title:  Requirements for Graduation

A total of 23 units of credit is required for graduation from high school beginning with the graduating class of 2009.  The 23 units of credit must include credit for those courses required by state law and/or the Board of Directors.  Early graduation will be permitted when these requirements are met.  The 23 units of credit required for graduation include the following number of units per subject area:
Social Science – 3 Credits
English  – 4 Credits
Mathematics – 3 Credits
Science – 3 Credits
Applied or Fine Arts – 1.5 Credits
Physical Education – 1 Credit
Electives – 7.5 Credits

Legal reference:  281 Iowa Administrative Code 12
Adopted: July 17, 1990; Revised: February 4, 1992; June 13, 2000; May 17, 2005; June 21, 2011
Last review:  2011
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Series 600
Code 645.1
Title:  Graduation Requirements for Special Education Students
Graduation requirements for special education students will be in accordance with the prescribed course of study as described in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Prior to the special education student’s graduation, the IEP team will determine whether the graduation criteria have been met.

Adopted:  June, 2011
Legal Reference:  281 Iowa Administrative Code 41.12(6)(e)
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Series 600
Code 650
Title:  Extracurricular Activities

The Board of Directors of the Des Moines Independent Community School District provides a well-rounded program of extracurricular activities to meet the needs of today’s youth and that appeal to all socio-economic groups, all races, and all students both male and female.

The extracurricular program in the Des Moines Independent Community School District is an integral part of the education program and provides valuable learning experiences for the participants.  Students have a unique opportunity to learn desirable traits, such as fair play, sportsmanship, respect for rules and authority, respect for others, pride, teamwork, self-discipline, and self-sacrifice.  The program also provides students the opportunity to develop loyalty to their school and community.

Participation in school activities is a privilege.  School activities provide the benefits of promoting additional interests and ability in the students during their school years and for their lifetime.

Students will have an opportunity to participate in a school activity unless the activity is not offered, the activity is an intramural or interscholastic athletic activity or the student cannot participate for disciplinary reasons.  If the activity is an intramural or interscholastic athletic activity, students of the opposite sex will have a comparable opportunity for participation.  Comparable opportunity does not guarantee boys and girls will be allowed to play on each other’s teams when there are athletic activities available that will allow both boys and girls to reap the benefits of school activities, which are the promotion of additional interests and abilities in the students.

A high school student who participates in school-sponsored athletics may participate in a non-school sponsored sport during the same season.  Such outside participation shall not conflict with the school-sponsored athletic activity.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations for each school activity.  These regulations shall include, but not be limited to, when physical examinations will be required, how and when parents will be informed about the risk of the activity, academic requirements, and proof of insurance on the student participating in certain activities.  Students wanting to participate in school activities must meet the requirements set out by the school district for participation in the activity.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 650.1
Title: High School Extracurricular Eligibility

To complete in extracurricular activities, a student must:

  • Be enrolled and in good standing in a school that is a member or associate member in good standing of the organization sponsoring the event
  • Be under 20 years of age
  • Receive credit in at least 4 subjects at all times
  • Pass all courses for which credit is given and make adequate progress toward graduation

Eligibility will be determined at the end of each semester when credit is awarded.  Students not meeting the above eligibility criteria at the end of a semester will be ineligible to compete for 30 consecutive calendar days in the event/activity in which the student is a bona fide contestant.

A student with a disability who has an IEP shall not be denied eligibility on the basis of scholarship if the student is making adequate progress as determined by school officials, towards the goals and objectives on the student’s IEP.

Note: An incomplete (I) or withdraw (W) are not considered failing grades.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 650.1

Legal reference:  281 I.A.C. 36.15 (2)
Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 650.2
Title:  Athletic Eligibility for Students Participating in Open Enrollment

Students who transfer within district or between districts prior to grade 9 will be eligible to participate in interscholastic contests.  Any such student who transfers in grade 9 through 12 shall not be eligible to participate in any varsity level interscholastic athletic contests and athletic competitions during the first 90 school days of open enrollment unless the school from which the student came does not offer that interscholastic sport, or if the student is entering 9th grade for the first time and did not participate in an interscholastic athletic competition for another school or school district during the summer immediately following 8th grade.

For purposes of student eligibility on open enrollment transfer, “school days of enrollment” do not include enrollment in summer school.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 653
Title:  Student Publications

The Board of Directors recognizes the importance of school publications as part of the educational curriculum and as a supervised learning experience.  The board, therefore, encourages and supports freedom of expression and responsibility of expression and all other journalistic standards in student publications. All publications will provide students a full opportunity for the exchange of ideas and robust debate about topics of student interest, including those that may be controversial.

Student expression in official school publications is not an expression of school policy.  The administration is directed to develop reasonable rules including time, place, and manner restrictions regarding official student publications in accordance with the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and the State of Iowa.

Administrative Procedures:  Code 653
Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 662
Title:  Guidelines for Campus Speakers

Speakers may appear in district schools to address student assemblies, academic classes, or student extracurricular organizations upon compliance with approved guidelines.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 665
Title:  Research by Outside Organizations

All requests for research shall be reviewed and approved by a representative of the curriculum department.

Last review:  2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 670
Title:  Community and Adult Education

The general objectives of post high school community education programs shall be the same as those of other levels of public education.  Adherence to these general objectives should provide an ongoing process by which all people, of all ages, within a community may, by using their schools as human resource centers, actively participate in the development of community and thus make personal choices for a meaningful life.  To that end, the District shall cooperate with recreation agencies in establishing recreational activities to be conducted in school buildings or on school grounds outside regular school hours. Adequate supervision by the appropriate personnel must be provided by the outside agency when an activity is in progress.

The program shall be supported by a combination of registration and material fees, local taxation, and state and federal funds.  Identical fees shall be charged to residents and nonresidents of the Des Moines Independent Community School District.

The community and adult education programs shall be developed to serve the needs of the community including students and their families, as defined by the Department of Community/Adult and Continuing Education.  The physical facilities of the school district shall be made available for these programs.  The administration of the district shall be responsible for the community and adult education programs.

Administrative Procedure: Code 670
Legal reference: Iowa Code Chapter 276
Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 671
Title:Homeless Children and Youth

The Board directs the administration to make reasonable efforts to identify homeless children and youth within the district, encourage their enrollment and eliminate existing barriers to their receiving an education which may exist in district policies or practices. There shall be a homeless liaison at each school that shall assist in identifying homeless children and tracking and monitoring activities for these children.

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 672
Title:Student Guidance and Counseling Program

The board will provide a student guidance and counseling program. The guidance counselor will be certified with the Iowa Department of Education and hold the qualifications required by the board. The guidance and counseling program will serve grades kindergarten through twelve. The program will assist students with their personal, educational, and career development.

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 673
Title:Student Health Services
Health services are an integral part of comprehensive school improvement, assisting all students to increase learning, achievement, and performance. Health services coordinate and support existing programs to assist each student in achievement of an optimal state of physical, mental and social well being.  Student health services ensure continuity and create linkages between school, home, and community service providers. The school district’s comprehensive school improvement plan, needs, and resources determine the linkages.

The superintendent shall be responsible for insuring that administrative regulations are implemented to support this policy. The superintendent will provide a written report on the role of health services in the education program to the board annually.

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 675
Title:  Charter School Application

  1. Purpose of Charter Schools

This Board Policy prescribes the procedures to be followed for the consideration of applications to form a charter school in the Des Moines Independent Community School District pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 256F.

A charter school may be established in the District by creating a new school or converting an existing public school to a charter school.  Applications must be on file with the Board Secretary on or before October 1 of any given year in order for the application to be considered for the following academic year.  Exceptions to this deadline are not permitted.

Each application to the school board for the approval of a charter school shall demonstrate to the school board that the establishment of the charter school will accomplish the following within a reasonable period of time

  1. Improve student learning;
  2. Increase learning opportunities for students;
  3. Encourage the use of different and innovative methods of teaching;
  4. Require the measurement of learning outcomes and create different and innovative forms of measuring outcomes;
  5. Establish new forms of accountability for schools; and
  6. Create new professional opportunities for teachers and other educators, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.
  1. Application Process

The principal, teachers, or parents or guardians of students at an existing public school may submit an application to the school board to convert an existing school within the school district to a charter school.  Each such application shall demonstrate the support of at least fifty (50) percent of the teachers employed at the school on the date of the submission of the application and fifty (50) percent of the parents or guardians voting whose children are enrolled at the school; provided, that a majority of the parents or guardians eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to procedures established by rules of the state board of education.  A parent or guardian must be a resident of the state of Iowa in order to be eligible to vote.

Each such application shall set forth with specificity the manner in which the charter school will provide special instruction, in accordance with section 280.4, to students who are limited English proficient.  Each such application shall set forth the manner in which the charter school will comply with federal and state laws and regulations relating to the federal National School Lunch Act and the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 29 U.S.C. § 1751-1785, and chapter 283

  1. Application ComponentsEvery application for the approval of a charter school shall include, but shall not be limited to, a description of the following:
    1. The method for admission to the charter school;
    2. The mission, purpose, innovation, and specialized focus of the charter school and why charter status is necessary;
    3. Performance goals and objectives in addition to those required under Iowa Code Section 256.7, subsection 21, by which the school’s student achievement shall be judged, the measures to be used to assess progress, and the current baseline status with respect to the goals.  The assessment and reporting procedures will allow for comparisons with other schools in the district.
    4. The method for appointing or forming an advisory council for the charter school.  The membership of an advisory council appointed or formed in accordance with this chapter shall not include more than one member of the school board;
    5. Procedures for teacher evaluation and professional development for teachers and administrators;
    6. The charter school governance and bylaws;
    7. The financial plan for the operation of the school including, at a minimum, a listing of the support services the school district will provide, and the charter school’s revenues, budgets, and expenditures;
    8. The educational program and curriculum, instructional methodology, and services to be offered to students;
    9. The number and qualifications of teachers and administrators to be employed;
    10. The organization of the school in terms of ages of students or grades to be taught along with an estimate of the total enrollment of the school;
    11. The provision of school facilities;
    12. A statement indicating how the charter school will meet the requirements of Iowa Code Section 256F.1, subsection 3; Iowa Code Section 256F.4, subsection 2, paragraph “a”; and Iowa Code Section 256F.4, subsection 3;
    13. Assurance of the assumption of liability by the charter school;
    14. The types and amounts of insurance coverage to be obtained by the charter school;
    15. A plan of operation to be implemented if the charter school revokes or fails to renew its contract;
    16. The means, costs, and plan for providing transportation for students attending the charter school; and
    17. The specific statutes, administrative rules, and school board policies with which the charter school does not intend to comply and the rationale for exemption from the rules.
    18. The manner in which it intends to comply with district desegregation policy.

In addition, the applications shall contain a proposed operating agreement between the school board and the proposed charter school.

  1. Review Process

Upon receipt of the charter application, the president of the board will ask the superintendent to review the proposal.  Proposals that fail to adequately address or leave out any of the required components are not complete and may be returned to the applicant.

Within 30 days of the receipt of a complete proposal, the superintendent will provide for the Board’s consideration an assessment of the proposal using the following criteria:

  1. the demonstrated financial stability of the proposed public charter school;
  2. the ability of the application in terms of support and planning to provide the comprehensive instructional programs;
  3. the capability of the applicant in terms of support and planning to provide comprehensive instructional programs to students identified by the applicant as academically low achieving;
  4. the extent to which the proposal addresses the criteria required in the proposal process;
  5. whether the value of the charter school is outweighed by any directly identifiable significant and adverse loss or reduction in staff, students, program or funds that may reduce the quality of existing educations programs);
  6. whether there are arrangements for any necessary special education and related services;
  7. whether there are alternative arrangements for students, teachers, and other school employees who choose not to attend or be employed by the charter school if the school is converting an existing district school;

Within 45 days of the notification to the applicant of the district’s receipt of a complete proposal that meets the requirements of law and the district, the Board shall hold a public hearing on the charter proposal.

Within 60 days of the district’s receipt of a complete proposal, the Board shall by majority vote approve or deny the application.  The Board decision may be guided but is not bound solely by consideration of the above criteria.  Additional criteria may include the demonstrated sustainable support for the proposal by teachers, parents, students, and other community members, including comments received at the public hearing.

If the school board denies an application for a conversion to a charter school or establishment of a new charter school, it shall provide notice of denial to the applicant in writing within thirty days after the board action.  The notice shall specify the exact reasons for denial and provide documentation supporting those reasons.  An applicant may appeal the board’s denial to the State Board of Education.

If the school board approves an application for the proposed establishment of a charter school, the school board shall submit an application for approval to establish the charter school to the state board of education within fifteen (15) days of the school board’s approval.  The submission shall report to the state department of education the following: 1) the name of the charter school applicant entry, 2) the proposed charter school location, 3) its projected enrollment, 4) the manner in which the charter school will provide special education to students who are limited English proficient, and 5) the manner in which the charter school will comply with federal and state laws and regulations relating to the federal National School Lunch Act and the Federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966, and otherwise comply with the regulations of the state department of education.

If the state board of education approves the school board’s application for the charter school, then the approved application shall constitute an agreement the terms of which shall, at a minimum, be the terms of a four-year enforceable, renewable contract between the school board and the state board.  The contract shall include an operating agreement between the school board and the charter school for the operation of the charter school.  The contract shall also outline the reasons for revocation or non-renewal of the charter

  1. Rules Generally Applicable to Approved Charter Schools

The charter school shall operate as part of the school district and is accountable to the Board of Education.  The school board, in consultation with the appointed advisory council for the charter school, shall decide matters related to the operating of the school, including budgeting, curriculum, contracting for services and operating procedures.

All employees of the charter school will be considered employees of the District and will be hired, evaluated, retained and terminated in accordance with school district policies and procedures

  1. Necessary Conditions for Approved Charter Schools

Every charter school may elect to comply with one or more provisions of statutes or administrative rules applicable to a school, a school board, or a school district.  However, every charter school shall do all of the following

  1. Meet all applicable federal, state, and local health and safety requirements and laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability;
  2. Operate as a nonsectarian, non-religious public schools;
  3. Be free of tuition and application fees to Iowa resident students between the ages of five and twenty-one years;
  4. Be subject to and comply with Iowa Code Chapters 216 and 216A relating to civil and human rights;|
  5. Provide special education services in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 256B;
  6. Be subject to the same financial audits, audit procedures, and audit requirements as a school district;
  7. Be subject to and comply with Iowa Code Chapters 20 and 279 relating to contracts with and discharge of teachers and administrators;
  8. Be subject to and comply with the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 285 relating to the transportation of students; and
  9. Be subject to and comply with the provisions of Iowa Code Chapters 21 and 22 for its advisory council meetings.
  10. Not discriminate in its student admissions policies or practices on the basis of intellectual or athletic ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, or status as a person with a disability.  However, the charter school may limit admission to students who are within a particular range of age or grade level or on any other basis that would be legal if initiated by a school district.  Enrollment priority shall be given to siblings of students enrolled in a charter school.
  11. Meet the enrollment requirements established by Iowa Code Chapter 256F.
  12. Provide instruction for at least the number of days required by Iowa Code Section 279.10, subsection 1, or shall provide at least the equivalent number of total hours.
  13. Report at least annually to the school board, advisory council, and the state board designated information required by the school board, advisory council or the state board.

Effective Date
This policy takes effect upon the Iowa department of education’s receipt of federal funds that are provided to the department under Pub. L. No. 107-110, cited as the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Title V, Part B), for purposes of providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of public charter schools.  No applications shall be accepted until such time as such funds have been received.

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 676
Title:  Revocation or Non-Renewal of a Charter School Contract

  1. A contract for the establishment of a charter school may be revoked by the school board if it determines that one or more of the following occurred:
    1. Failure of the charter school to abide by and meet the provisions set forth in the contract, including educational goals.
    2. Failure of the charter school to comply with all applicable law.
    3. Failure of the charter school to meet generally accepted public sector accounting principles.
    4. The existence of one or more other grounds for revocation as specified in the contract with the charter school.
  2. The decision by a school board to revoke or to fail to take action to renew a charter school contract is subject to appeal under procedures set forth in chapter 290 of the Iowa Code.
  3. A school board considering revocation or non-renewal of a charter school contract shall notify the advisory council, the parents or guardians of the students enrolled in the charter school, and the teachers and administrators employed by the charter school, sixty days prior to revoking or the date by which the contract must be renewed, but not later than the last day of classes in the school year.
  4. Students who are attending a charter school at the time of non-renewal or revocation of a charter contract shall be assigned to other district schools consistent with policy code 507.
  5. Students who are attending a district charter school at the time of non-renewal or revocation of a charter contract, and any siblings of the student, may apply for open enrollment to a district school, notwithstanding the timelines in Policy Code 639.

Last review: 2008-2009
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Series 600
Code 677
Title: Student Library Records

The Board recognizes the importance of maintaining and preserving confidential student records.

All student records, including library records, containing personally identifiable information shall be kept confidential at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages. The district personnel who collect or use personally identifiable information shall receive training or instruction regarding confidentiality of personally identifiable information.

Adopted: June 21, 2011
Legal Reference: 281 Iowa Administrative Code 12.3(12)

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Series 600
Code 678
Title: Use of Information Resources
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 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 laws 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 may 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 building 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 appropriate staff, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Adopted June 21, 2011
Legal Reference: 17 U.S. Code Sec. 101 and 281 Iowa Administrative Code 12.3(12).

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Procedures

Series 600
Code 600
Title:  Guiding Principles

Educational procedures are embodied in two handbooks for school personnel:

  1. Manual of Policies and Procedures for Elementary Schools
  2. Manual of Policies and Procedures for Secondary Schools

These manuals identify procedures to follow in a variety of school situations. These manuals are revised periodically. Changes are made when necessary to reflect new policies and procedures of the Board of Directors.

The district furnishes textbooks to students. New textbooks will reflect the content and support the curriculum of the particular course for which the textbook is adopted.

Revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 601
Title:  Educational Equity

Any student, parent or volunteer of the Des Moines Independent Community School District shall have the right to file a formal complaint alleging discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.  The district shall not discriminate against a student for filing a complaint.  All meetings and hearings under this procedure shall be conducted in private and shall include only witnesses and the parties of interest.  “Parent” is meant to include guardian. Complaints of discrimination may be filed with Patricia Lantz, the District’s Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator, or Shelly Bosovich, 504 Coordinator, at 901 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, (515) 242-7837.

Complaint Procedure
This complaint procedure has been developed to handle complaints of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment.  Employees, applicants for employment, parents, students, and volunteers can file a complaint.  Briefly, the complaint procedure includes the following steps:

  1. Complainants may talk to their building principal or immediate supervisor to try to resolve the problem informally.  If the complaint is based upon the conduct of the Complainant’s principal or immediate supervisor, the Complainant may contact that person’s immediate supervisor. Complaints should be reported as soon as possible after the event giving rise to the complaint.
  2. If the Complainant prefers to proceed with a formal complaint, or if the matter has not been informally resolved, he or she may file a complaint with the District Compliance Officer or the Human Resources Investigations Specialist based on the allegation.  Formal complaints should be filed by the Complainant within 180 days after the event giving rise to the complaint or it is determined the complaint cannot be informally resolved.
  3. Within 10 working days, the appropriate investigator will begin the investigation. An investigation will include taking a written statement from the Complainant, the Respondent(s) named in the complaint, and those witnesses who have been identified who have relevant information pertaining to the complaint.  Relevant documentation will also be collected and considered. During the investigation, a Respondent may elect to have a union representative, friend, counsel or any other individual present during interviews and subsequent meetings.
  4. Within 30 working days, the investigator shall complete the investigation and issue a written report making findings with respect to the individual allegations set out in the complaint and rendering an ultimate finding as to whether the greater weight of the evidence, based on the entire record, indicates the District’s policies have been violated.  Under some circumstances, when many individuals are involved in the investigation or an extensive legal review must be done, the investigator will inform the Complainant of the expected date of completion beyond the 30 working days.
  5. The District prohibits retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint.  Any individual intentionally providing false information in a complaint investigation may be subject to disciplinary action.

In the event the investigator finds:

  1. No violation of District policy, the findings will be shared by the investigator with the Complainant and the Respondent.
  2. A violation of the District’s policies or no violation of the District’s policies but other inappropriate behavior on the part of the Respondent, the findings will be reviewed:
  1. By the investigator with the Complainant and the Respondent; and
  2. By the investigator and Respondent’s principal or the immediate supervisor, the director responsible for Respondent, and a representative of Human Resources Management.  The Human Resources representative will inform the Respondent of any decision regarding disciplinary action.
  3. If disciplinary action is warranted, documentation of the disciplinary action will be placed in the employee’s file or the student’s file.  All other information regarding the case will be kept in confidential files.  Any disciplinary consequences will be kept confidential.
  4. The District has no jurisdiction to take disciplinary actionover parents and volunteers.  However, steps will be taken to ensure individuals do not continue to violate nondiscrimination policies on district property, school-related activities.

The complaint will be closed after the investigator has provided the information to the Complainant and the Respondent unless, within ten days of receipt of the final investigative report, either side files a written appeal to the superintendent setting out the reason(s) why they believe the decision should not stand.

In the event of an appeal, the Superintendent/designee shall review the written record and may meet with the appealing party.  The Superintendent/designee may affirm, reverse, modify or remand the matter for further proceedings and shall, within twenty (20) days of the written appeal, confirm this decision in writing to the appealing party.

Except in the event of a termination of a certified employee, the Superintendent’s/designee’s decision shall be final.

A parent or guardian who disagrees with the school district’s decision regarding a student’s identification, evaluation or educational placement of program accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has a right to an impartial, third party hearing. They may contact Shelly Bosovich, 504 Coordinator, 901 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 or call 242-7714 to make the arrangements.

The District encourages individuals to use the internal complaint procedure.  However the Complainant may seek legal advice of his or her choosing or file a formal complaint with the Des Moines Human Rights Commission, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other agencies.  If the Complainant seeks other avenues of redress, the District may choose not to conduct its internal complaint procedures.

Board Policies: Code 402, 402.1, 406, and 407; Code 601
Legislation
Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments,
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
American Disabilities Act of 1990
Approved January 19, 1993; revised July 25, 2006; August 2007
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Series 600
Code 603
Title:  Curriculum

Curriculum guides shall be prepared by the subject area supervisor to provide assistance to the instructional program. These guides shall be designed to provide a consistent approach and to furnish information as to available supplementary materials and related activities.

All courses offered in Des Moines high schools are briefly described in the “High School Course of Studies Guide.” This document is reviewed and updated annually. Detailed curriculum guides exist for each of these courses.

Revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 603.1
Title:  Citizenship Education

To help students understand and appreciate our democratic society, the following citizenship education activities will be made available to Des Moines students at the appropriate grade level on a regular basis:

  1. Learning and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Learning and singing a variety of patriotic songs including the national anthem
  3. Listening to or reading stories about famous Americans and/or famous historical facts or events
  4. Participating in student government activities
  5. Participating in a wide variety of local, state, and national government classroom simulations which include but are not limited to mock elections, mock trials, and/or mock legislatures
  6. Participating in patriotic exercises and observances in the classroom and/or in conjunction with school programs and events as deemed appropriate for the occasion
  7. Participation in any other activities which will lead to making students aware of their increasing responsibilities as citizens of a global society and their responsibility for the preservation of a free and democratic society as citizens of the United States

Individual building staff members who wish to provide a citizenship education program different from the activities outlined above should submit such programs in writing to the Chief Academic Officer.

Approved February 5, 1985; revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 603.2
Title:  Religion in the Curriculum

Teaching about religion when related to course objectives is essential to a quality educational program.

Respect for various religious beliefs is a cornerstone of a pluralistic, democratic society. The policy on religion in the curriculum should be implemented through the district’s educational programs and activities in such a way that:

  • The approach to religion shall be one of instruction rather than indoctrination.
  • Students may be exposed to religious and non-religious views, but no particular view shall be imposed.
  • Sensitivity shall be shown for the religious or non-religious beliefs, attitudes, and feelings of all students.
  • Students shall not be singled-out nor identified on the basis of religious or non-religious affiliation.

The following procedures shall be applied:

  1. The curricula shall include appropriate objectives regarding the role religion has played in the development of various cultures, including such areas as the fine arts, customs, traditions, and values. Instruction must be objective and non-judgmental.
  2. The adequacy and appropriateness of instructional material in all areas of the curriculum relative to the role of religion shall be reviewed. Special care should be exercised in the areas of language arts, social studies, art, and music. When adequate course materials are not available, supplementary teaching materials shall be developed and made available to teaching personnel. Appropriate instructional materials should not be deleted because religious sensibilities might be offended. The decision to include or exclude must be based on secular rather than religious reasons.
  3. Attention shall be given to the developmental differences between elementary and secondary students in the selection of course objectives and instructional materials.
  4. Music selected for study must focus on course objectives and be chosen for musical rather than religious value.
    A school music program should not have the appearance of a religious celebration. Religious music may be a part of a music program, but the total effect must be non-religious.
  5. The production or sponsorship of a religious program, celebration, or drama by the district, on or off school property, is not allowed. Worship ceremonies of any kind are not permitted.
  6. The display of religious symbols* for other than instructional purposes is prohibited.
  7. The responsibility for the implementation of this policy and related staff training rests with the Superintendent and the Division of Teaching and Learning.

* Religious symbols include, but are not limited to, any object or objects of worship, crosses, crucifixes, cult symbols, Islamic Crescents, menorahs, nativity scenes, Stars of David, trees decorated as or with religious symbols.

Revised January 19, 1993; October 21, 1997
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Series 600
Code 604
Title:  Teaching of Controversial Issues

In the teaching of controversial issues, it should be recognized that at times it may be necessary for a teacher to express an opinion; but it must be understood that such opinions be clearly stated as such and may be subject to challenge. Administrators should see that the teachers employ, as far as possible, the scientific method of study in presenting controversial issues.

Teaching should be confined, as much as possible, to the facts or to generally recognized hypotheses. Teachers should recognize that there are limits imposed by the emotional content of the topic, by the age level and maturity of the class, and by the social climate of the community.

Teachers should be aware of their role as guides, leading their students to the facts through the processes of sound thinking which lead to wise policy decisions.

All teaching, including that done on controversial issues, should strive to establish in the students pride in themselves as inheritors of American traditions and to inculcate loyalty to the ideals which should shape their lives. Throughout the entire teaching process in controversial issues, it should be understood that the teaching responsibility belongs primarily to the teacher and the school; and teachers should not abdicate instructional position to any outside group. However, this statement is not to be interpreted in such a way as to imply that the lay public should have no voice in what is taught in the public schools.
Return to Series 600 Index

Series 600
Code 608
Title:  Evaluation

The Department of Board and Community Relations shall submit evaluation reports or abstracts to the Board of Directors for all special or periodic evaluations of programs under evaluation by that department.

Testing results from objectives-based, criterion-referenced, or norm-referenced tests shall be submitted annually to the Board of Directors in the form of a district assessment report, which shall also be made available to the media and the general public.  A trend analysis of ITBS/ITED results shall also be provided each year such tests are administered.  Additional or more detailed reports shall be available to the Board of Directors at their request.

Revised January 19, 1993; October 2002
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Series 600
Code 610
Title:  Selection of Instructional Materials

The district shall provide a wide range of instructional materials in all levels of difficulty and allow for review of allegedly inappropriate instructional materials. Diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view shall characterize instructional materials.

Statement of Rules

  1. Responsibility of Selection of Materials
  1. The Board of Directors is legally responsible for all matters relating to the operation of the Des Moines Independent Community School District.
  2. The professionally trained and certified staff employed by the school system is responsible for selecting and recommending instructional materials to the Board of Directors for purchase.
  3. For the purposes of this rule, the terms “instructional materials” or “materials” include printed and audiovisual materials, including text materials and library/media center materials. Throughout this document, the term “library” will be used to denote the library/media center and “librarians” to denote the certified media specialist or teacher librarian.
  4. The selection of library or media materials involves many people (principals, teachers, students, supervisors, community persons, and librarians). The responsibility for coordinating the selection of most library materials and making the recommendation for purchases rests with certified library personnel or principals with their appointed committees of certified teachers where there is no certified librarian assigned. Requests for purchase of library materials will be approved by the Supervisor of Library/Media Services. Libraries/Media Services/COLLAGE..
  5. Responsibility for coordinating the selection of instructional materials will rest with the District Curriculum Advisory Committee. The District Curriculum Advisory Committee is composed of students, instructional staff, community persons, and administrators. This committee receives, reviews, and acts upon the individual instructional evaluation committee’s reports. Ad hoc members with expertise in special areas may be added to this committee when deemed necessary.

Criteria for Selection of Materials

  1. The following general criteria will be used as they apply:
  1. Materials shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals of the district and the objectives of specific courses.
  2. Materials shall generate a desire to question, reflect, and explore topics to pursue more in-depth study.
  3. Materials shall motivate users to acquire higher level thinking skills as a process for life-long learning.
  4. Materials shall be current and meet high standards of quality in factual content and presentation; and shall be written or compiled by competent and qualified authors, editors, and producers.
  5. Materials shall be appropriate for the subject area, age, emotional development, ability level, and social development of the students for whom the materials are selected.
  6. Materials shall have aesthetic, literary, or social value; and their physical format and appearance shall be suitable for their intended use.
  7. Materials shall be chosen to foster respect for minority groups, both men and women, and ethnic groups; and, shall realistically represent our pluralistic society, along with the roles and life styles open to both men and women. Materials shall be chosen that are designed to help students gain an awareness and understanding of the contributions to our civilization of the above.These materials shall present and analyze inter group reactions objectively, placing emphasis upon resolving social and economic problems.Materials shall also be selected to motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behaviors and to comprehend their own duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges as citizens.

The selection of materials on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.

  1. Materials shall be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.
  2. Biased or slanted materials may be provided to meet specific curriculum objectives.

PROCEDURE FOR SELECTION

Library/Media

  1. In selecting materials for purchase for the library/media center, the librarian (or library committee in elementary schools) will evaluate the existing collection and will consult reputable, professionally prepared selection aids and other appropriate sources. For the purposes of this rule, the term “media” includes all materials considered part of the library collection plus all instructional materials housed in resource centers and classrooms (if any) which are not text materials.For the purpose of Section 3, the “library/media center” is the space, room or complex of rooms and spaces designated as a library, media center, instructional materials center or similar term. It may include units not contiguous to the center where facilities dictate. These units would include, but not be limited to, resource centers, production centers, and television studios.
  2. Recommendations for purchase will be solicited from faculty and student body.
  3. Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria in Administrative Procedures Code 610(a)(2) and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria.
  4. Selection is an ongoing process which should include the removal of obsolete and erroneous materials and the replacement of lost and worn materials.
  5. Selections shall be forwarded to the office of the Supervisor of Library/Media Services Libraries/Media Services/COLLAGE for approval and then to the purchasing agent through the ordering methods designated by the district.

Instructional Materials

  1. Instructional materials committees shall be appointed at the time that curriculum adoption areas are determined. Appropriate personnel from subject areas, instructional areas, and libraries should be included on each committee.
  2. Criteria for instructional materials consistent with the general criteria for materials selection noted in Administrative Procedures Code 610(a)(2) shall be developed by teacher committees.
  3. The committee shall present its recommendation(s) to the Superintendent (or designee) or the District Curriculum Advisory Committee.
  4. The Superintendent or his/her designee and/or the District Curriculum Advisory Committee shall present the recommendation(s) to the board.

Objection

Any resident or employee of the school district may raise objection to instructional materials used in the district’s educational program.

  1. Initially, the school official or staff member receiving a complaint regarding instructional materials shall try to resolve the issue informally. The materials shall remain in use unless removed through the procedure in Administrative Procedures Code 611(a). (6).
  1. The school official or staff member who first receives a complaint shall explain to the complainant the school’s selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the material.
  2. The school official or staff member receiving a complaint shall explain to the best of his or her ability the particular place the challenged material occupies in the educational program, its intended educational usefulness, and additional information regarding its use, or refer the complaining party to someone who can identify and explain the use of the materials.
  1. In the event that the person making an objection to material is not satisfied with the initial explanation, the person raising the question should be referred to the principal or person in charge of the attendance center, or to the librarian of that attendance center. If the complainant desires to file a formal complaint, the principal should provide him/her with the Reconsideration Request Form, assist in filling out the form, and explain the process.
  2. The individual receiving the initial complaint shall advise the principal or person in charge of the attendance center where the challenged material is being used, of the initial contact no later than the end of the following school day, whether or not the complainant has apparently been satisfied by the initial contact. A written record of the contact shall be maintained by the principal or other person in charge of the attendance center. The principal or person in charge of the attendance center where the material is being used shall be notified of the request by whomever received the initial compliant. The principal should be advised as to whether or not the complainant was satisfied by the initial contact and a written record should be maintained even if a formal complaint is not filed.
  3. The principal or other person in charge of each attendance center shall review the selection and objection rules with the staff annually. The staff shall be reminded that the right to object to materials is one granted by policies enacted by the Board of Directors. They shall also be reminded of ethical and practical considerations in attempting to handle resident complaints with courtesy and integrity.

See Administrative Procedures Code 611: Process for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials
Revised January 19, 1993; February 17, 1999
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Series 600

Series 600
Code 610.1
Title: Student Use of Educational Technology

Introduction
These procedures are applicable to all student use of Network and Internet systems while using personal or school district property at any location or during school activities at any location.

All use of educational technology must be in support of education and research and be consistent with the mission of the district. The district will provide a network account, cloud storage along with an email account for every student.In addition, educational technology may only be used in a manner consistent with federal and state law, license agreements and district policy.

Access
Network, Email and Internet access is a privilege which requires a high level of personal responsibility and may be denied due to inappropriate use. Inappropriate use shall include but not be limited to

  1. Using the district system for commercial and/or personal purposes.
  2. Using the system to transmit inaccurate information.
  3. Using the system to send, receive or view objectionable material.
  4. Damaging the security system.
  5. Using another individual’s system account.
  6. Forging or attempting to forge electronic mail messages.
  7. Attempting to read, delete, copy or modify electronic mail of other system users.
  8. Misusing electronic mail retention guidelines.
  9. Exceeding resource quotas or disk usage quotas.
  10. Failing to conduct virus checks on downloaded material.
  11. Vandalizing the system.
  12. Violating the copyright laws.
  13. Failing to follow network etiquette procedures.
  14. Submitting false or misleading information to obtain or retain access to the system.
  15. Accessing the system in any manner inconsistent with the mission of the school district.
  16. Interfering with official school district communications.

The network administrators may withdraw access at any time as required. The administration, faculty and staff of the district may request the network administrator to deny, revoke or suspend specific system user access.

Teachers who wish their students to have Internet access must first complete training on the Internet offered by the district or show evidence of comparable knowledge of the Internet.

Student privileges will be granted only after the student has received instruction from a district staff member who has completed the district’s acceptable use training and has access privileges. In addition to other access requirements, students under the age of 18 must have the written approval of a parent or guardian. A signed Individual System User Release Form must be on file with the district. Student privileges will be granted only for one academic year. Access privileges will be indicated on the student’s ID card. A signature on the Individual System User Release Form indicates that the person signing the permission form has read and understood any supplemental information which may be provided with the permission form.

Security and Usage Guidelines
System accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account for the authorized purpose. System users will not share their account number or password with another person or leave an open file or session unattended or unsupervised. Account owners are ultimately responsible for all activity under their account.

Appropriate language will be used in electronic mail and other electronic communications.

System users will be respectful of others’ opinions.

System users should change passwords regularly and avoid easily guessed passwords.

System users will not seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to other system users, or misrepresent other system users, or attempt to gain unauthorized access to the system.

Communications may not be encrypted so as to avoid security review.

Personal information such as addresses and telephone numbers will remain confidential when communicating on the system. Students will never reveal such information without permission from their teacher or other adult.

Students will never make appointments to meet people in person that they have contacted on the system without district and parent permission.

Students will notify their teacher or other adult whenever they come across information or messages that are dangerous, inappropriate or make them feel uncomfortable.

A system user guide will be published and available for student distribution.

All Internet account holders are responsible to notify a system administrator or building administrator promptly upon discovery of any suspected security breach.

Communication over networks should not be considered by students to be private from acceptable use review by the district.  However, to the extent allowed by law, communication shall be maintained as confidential as related to the Code of Iowa, Chapter 22.

The district unconditionally reserves the right for authorized personnel to review system use and file content. The district reserves the right to remove a system user account on the system or to disconnect any system user to prevent unauthorized activity.

BYOD (Bring your own device)
Students are allowed to use their own device to access the District’s wireless network, including the Internet, for instructional purposes and in accordance with the Acceptable Use Policy.  Limited personal use of the system shall be permitted if the use:

  • Imposes no tangible cost to the District;
  • Does not unduly burden the District’s computer or network resources;
  • Has no adverse effect on a student’s academic performance

Access to the District’s electronic communications system is a privilege, not a right. All users shall be required to acknowledge receipt and understanding of all administrative regulations governing use of the system and shall comply with such regulations and guidelines. Noncompliance with applicable regulations may result in suspension or termination of privileges and other disciplinary action consistent with District policies.

Violations of law may result in criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary action by the District.

See Administrative Procedures Code 520: School Discipline
Code 780: Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials
Code 513: Student Records/Distribution of Student Rosters
Approved October 21, 1997
Revised August 2012

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Series 600
Code 611
Title:  Process for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials

Request for Reconsideration

  1. Any resident or employee of the school district may formally challenge instructional materials used in the district’s educational program. The challenge shall specify which of the criteria set forth in Administrative Procedures Code 610(a)(2) are the basis for the challenge. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.
  2. Each attendance center and the school district’s central office will keep on hand and make available Reconsideration Request Forms. All formal objections to instructional materials must be made on this form.
  3. The Reconsideration Request Form shall be signed by the complainant and filed with the principal.
  4. Within five business days of the filing of the form, the principal shall file the Reconsideration Request Form and a report of all actions taken at the building level with the Supervisor of Library/Media Services. The supervisor will file these materials with the chairperson of the Reconsideration Committee within five business days of receipt.
  5. The Reconsideration Committee shall take action at a regular or special meeting as defined in Administrative Procedures Code 611(a)(7.5) and report its recommendation for disposition to the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
  6. Generally, access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process. However, in unusual circumstances, the material may be removed temporarily by following the provisions of Administrative Procedures Code 611(a)(7.5).
  7. The Reconsideration Committee

The Reconsideration Committee shall be made up of 13 members appointed by the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning as follows:

  1. Two teachers-one elementary and one secondary-designated annually by the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
  2. Two school library/media specialists designated annually by the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
  3. The Supervisor of Library/Media Services.
  4. Five members from the community, nominated annually by the Executive Committee of the Des Moines Council of Parent-Teacher Associations. The list shall include fifteen (15) nominees.
  5. Three high school students from a list of nominees submitted annually by the student council organizations or high school principals.
  6. If any member of the committee is absent without excuse more than two meetings during a school year, that member shall be automatically removed from the committee and a replacement shall be appointed.

The committee shall first meet each year during September or October at a time and place designated by the Supervisor of Library/Media Services and made known to the members of the committee at least five school days in advance.

  1. Meeting dates will be determined by submitted Reconsideration Request Forms.
  2. The committee shall appoint a chairperson annually. The chairperson of the committee shall not be an employee or officer of the district. The Supervisor of Library/Media Services will serve as secretary.
  3. The Supervisor of Library/Media Services will provide orientation and direction to the committee.

Special meetings may be called by the Supervisor of Library/Media Services or the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning to consider temporary removal of materials in unusual circumstances. Temporary removal of materials shall require a three-fourths vote of the committee.

  1. Notification of meetings and notice of special meetings shall be made public through appropriate district or student publications and other communication methods.
  2. The committee shall receive all Reconsideration Request Forms from the Supervisor of Library/Media Services.
  3. The procedure following receipt of a Reconsideration Request Form is as follows:
  1. The secretary will send written acknowledgment of the submitted Reconsideration Request Form to the complainant, the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, and the Department of Board and Community Relations.
  2. Copies of the challenged item, the submitted Reconsideration Request Form, professionally prepared reviews of the material, and notification of the meeting date, time and place will be distributed to the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning and members of the Reconsideration Committee.
  3. The complainant will be notified by mail of the date, time and place of the meeting.
  4. The complainant shall be kept informed by the secretary concerning the status of his or her complaint throughout the committee reconsideration process. The complainant and known interested parties shall be given appropriate notice of meetings.

The procedure for the first meeting following a receipt of a Reconsideration Request Form is as follows:

  1. The complainant and other interested persons may have an opportunity to share their views. The complainant will be allowed fifteen minutes; others will be allowed five minutes each. Other interested persons must notify the Supervisor of Library/Media Services, at least one hour before the meeting, of their intent to speak.
  2. The committee may request that individuals with special knowledge be present to give information to the committee.
  3. The committee shall make its decision to (1) take no removal action, (2) remove all or part of the challenged material from the total school environment, or (3) limit the educational use of the challenged material. The primary criteria for the final decision will be those listed in Administrative Procedures Code 610(a)(2). This decision will be based on a vote of the committee. A simple majority of a quorum is required. A quorum will be nine members present. A written decision and its justification shall be forwarded to the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning and the Supervisor of Library/Media Services.

The Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning shall notify the Board of Directors of all decisions reached by the committee and the action to be taken by the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning based upon that decision at the next regular meeting following the decision.

  1. If the complainant or any member of the Reconsideration Committee is not satisfied with the decision of the committee or the action to be taken by the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, he or she may request that the matter be placed on the agenda of the meeting of the Board of Directors within one month following the decision of the Reconsideration Committee. The board shall consider the appeal and may affirm, reverse, modify, or make any other appropriate decision.
  2. Any person dissatisfied with the decision of the board may appeal to the State Board of Education pursuant to Chapter 290, Code of Iowa.
  3. A decision to sustain a challenge shall not be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility on the part of the professionals involved in the original selection or use of the material.
  4. Requests to reconsider materials which have previously been before the committee must receive approval of a majority of the committee members before the materials will be considered again.
  5. In the event of a severe overload of challenges, the committee may appoint a subcommittee of members or non-members to consolidate challenges and to make recommendations to the full committee. The composition of this subcommittee shall approximate the representation on the full committee.
  6. No committee member shall have any financial interest, direct or indirect, in the consideration of materials.

Instructions to the Reconsideration Committee

  1. The policy of this school district related to selection of instructional materials states that any resident or employee of the district may formally challenge instructional materials used in the district’s educational 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 opinions known. The task of the Reconsideration Committee is to provide an open forum for discussion of challenged materials and to make an informed decision on the challenge.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 includes 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.
  2. The presence on the committee of the library/media specialists and the Supervisor of Library/Media Services will assure continuity from year to year as well as lend professional knowledge of the selection process. Student members are essential since they are the closest to the student body and will be immediately affected by the decision of the committee.
  3. 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 personnel regularly read great numbers of reviews in the selection process and occasional errors are possible.
  4. In reconsidering challenged materials, the role of the committee, and particularly the chairperson, is to produce a climate for disagreement. However, 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.
  5. If the complainant chooses, he 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 of 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 continuously informed of the progress of this complaint.
  6. The committee will listen to the views of all interested persons before reaching a decision. In deliberating its decision, the committee should remember that the school system must be responsible 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?” In determining whether material is appropriate, the criteria set forth in Administrative Procedures Code 610(a)(2) shall govern.
  7. The committee’s final decision 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 decision will be reached through committee vote. A simple majority will determine the decision.
  8. The committee chairperson will instruct the secretary to convey the committee’s decision to the Supervisor of Library/Media Services and the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. The decision should detail the rationale on which it was based. A letter will be sent to the complainant outlining the committee’s decision.
  9. The Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning will inform the Board of Directors and the complainant of the committee’s decision as well as the action to be taken by the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning based on that decision.

See Administrative Procedures Code 610: Selection of Instructional Materials

Revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 621
Title:  Homebound Instruction

The purpose of the Homebound Program is to provide an educational option when a student is unable to attend school due to a physical or emotional/behavioral disability.

Homebound consultant and teachers serve as liaison between the school and students, supervise the implementation of the school curriculum in the home, and will adjust (modify) the school assignments to meet the student’s individual needs and disabilities. Inasmuch as possible, course offerings will be the same as those taken in the sending school. Instruction will be limited to what can realistically be taught outside the regular school setting. Students will receive credit for all work and courses completed satisfactorily. Students on homebound are counted as present in their home schools. Evaluation of the work and assignment of grades will be done in conjunction with home school personnel.

Homebound services will be provided to children enrolled in a Des Moines public or parochial school. Students must meet the criteria in one of the following areas:

Medically unable to attend school:

  1. A licensed physician must state in writing that the student is medically unable to attend school.
  2. There should be a reasonable expectation that the student will be homebound for a minimum of four weeks.

Emotionally unable to attend school:

  1. A licensed mental health professional (MD) must state in writing that the student is temporarily unable to attend school because of an acute emotional problem.
  2. There should be a reasonable expectation that the student will be homebound for a minimum of four weeks.

Regular or special education students who can no longer cope with the school day:

  1. The building team, through the staffing process, may recommend homebound services as an interim program while a more appropriate program is being investigated.
  2. A student may be placed on homebound while a diagnostic evaluation is completed. This evaluation could be done by the sending school team, by the homebound team (includes a psychologist and social worker on call), or by an outside agency.
  3. Homebound placement of each student is reviewed monthly to determine progress toward placement or evaluation progress.

Referrals from administrative hearings:

  1. A student on suspension may be temporarily assigned to the Homebound program.
  2. The Board of Directors may recommend that a student formally considered for expulsion have access to homebound services.

Revised January 19, 1993

 

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Series 600
Code 625.1
Title:  Middle and High School Homework

  1. The district homework policy and procedures will be communicated by building administrators to students, teachers, and parents at the beginning of each school year.
  2. Parents will be informed, in writing, early in each course as to those homework requirements and procedures that can readily be identified at that time.
  3. Homework assignments will be clearly stated as to content, procedures, and time for completion.
  4. Assignments will be collected when they are due and evaluated in time to provide appropriate feedback to students. It should be understood that homework is part of the course requirement, and failure to complete assignments satisfactorily on time may result in grade reduction or loss of credit.
  5. Assignments will be made sufficiently in advance so that homework will not be required on Wednesday evenings.
  6. The total amount of homework to be assigned will depend upon the grade level of the student and the number and type of courses in which the student is enrolled. Homework in the transitional school may call for 45 minutes to two hours per day. Senior high school homework will likely require as many as two hours per school day as well as some weekend time for extended assignments. The amount of time required to complete the assignments will vary according to the student’s skills, work habits, and individual needs. Building principals will coordinate homework procedures and practices to the extent possible within each building.
  7. Some homework assignments will be assigned on a long-term basis to allow the student to take care of daily assignments and also to gain practice in budgeting time.
  8. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit all required homework to the appropriate teacher in accordance with district procedures.
  9. Parents and students should be alerted that a brief preparation quiz may be given the day following a homework assignment. Such a quiz can be an incentive to complete a homework assignment as well as to provide a basis for group discussion.

Revised January 19, 1993

 

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Series 600
Code 625.2
Title:  Elementary School Homework

  1. The district homework policy and procedures will be communicated by building administrators to students, teachers, and parents at the beginning of each school year.
  2. Parents will be informed, in writing, early in each course as to those homework requirements and procedures that can readily be identified at that time.
  3. Homework assignments will be clearly stated as to content, procedures, and time for completion.
  4. Assignments will be collected when they are due and evaluated in time to provide appropriate feedback to students. It should be understood that failure to complete required homework assignments satisfactorily on time may result in grade reduction.
  5. Assignments will be made sufficiently in advance so that homework will not be required on Wednesday evenings.
  6. The total amount of homework to be assigned will depend upon the grade level of the student. Homework for young children in kindergarten, first and second grades is defined as activities done at home as an extension of classroom learning. Teachers will send home ideas regularly for parents and child to share. Homework for children in grades three and four may call for 30-60 minutes daily and in grade five for 45-90 minutes daily. The increase of homework assignments for third to fifth grade is in keeping with the district’s philosophy of growing responsibility. The 45-90 minutes of homework for fifth-graders prepares them for the 45 minutes to two hours of homework that sixth graders experience at the middle school level.
  7. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit all required homework to the appropriate teacher in accordance with district procedures. Parents are encouraged to review and sign all homework before it is returned to school.

Approved January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 627
Title:  Field Trips

Field trips shall have the approval of the building principal in advance of the trip. Consent of the pupil’s parent or guardian is required in advance of any excursion involving the use of public or private transportation services. If sack lunches are required for the students, the number of sack lunches required must be ordered one week in advance.
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Series 600
Code 634
Title: Required Hearing on Student Sex Offender Placement
Foundation Facts:

  • Safety is a top priority in the Des Moines Public Schools.
  • All children are entitled to a public education.

Procedure:
Per Iowa Code, the Polk County Sheriff is required to release “relevant information” to public or private schools when a sexual offender moves into a school district. When that individual as a resident student in Des Moines wishes to enroll, the following procedures will be implemented:

  1. The Juvenile Court Officer or other law enforcement official will notify the DMPS Student Placement Facilitator about an adjudicated sex offender who has been ordered to register on the Sex Offender Registry or that a Registry hearing has been set. To allow the District to communicate with the student’s therapist, DMPS staff will request a signed release of information form from the Juvenile Court officer.
  2. The Student Placement Facilitator will set up a meeting with the school staff where the child may be attending that include the administrator, the staffing team if a special education student, parent/guardian, student and juvenile court officer.  The following issues will be discussed:
    • The attendance area, grade and educational programming for the student.
    • The nature of the offense.
    • The treatment steps the individual has completed.
    • The risk for re-offending (low, moderate, or high)
    • The follow-up treatment and community support services in place for the student.
    • The level of supervision required to ensure student safety in the school that is included in a safety plan.  Level of supervision may include but not limited to adjusted schedules; additional adults assigned, altered passing times, increased communication among staff and regularly scheduled contacts with the follow-up treatment staff.
    • Prepare a formal recommendation for school placement to be presented to the Board of Education.
  1. The Board of Directors will hold a closed session to review the formal recommendation for school placement. Reasonable advance notification of the hearing date will be provided to the parent/guardian and student.
  2. The Board will vote on the recommendation for placement in open session.
  3. Regardless of whether the recommendation for placement is in a public school building or an alternative setting, a transition meeting will be held with the building administration and the staff most directly involved to ensure that supports are in place prior to the student attending.
  4. After the board has determined the educational placement of the students, an intake meeting will be held with the student, parent/guardian, principal, designated staff and Juvenile Court Officer.

Other Considerations:

  • Safety is the first concern.
  • All children are entitled to a public education.
  • A registered sex offender cannot live within 2000 feet of a school.
  • Schools are not required to release the identity of a sexual offender to the public. However, school staff may confirm the identity of a student who is listed on the sexual offender registry.
  • Sexual offenders are in the general population. The requirement for the sheriff to notify schools of student sexual offenders went into effect July 1, 2004. However, the sheriff’s department had until September 1, 2005 to submit a plan on how that notification will occur. The law is not retroactive prior to July 1, 2004. For that reason the School District does not have a definitive count of how many offenders may have attended area schools.
  • Schools may not divulge any more information about a student than what is on the public registry.
  • Minors are placed on the Registry for a variety of reasons. The reason a minor or an adult is placed on Sex Offender Registry is that they are required to do so following the adjudication or conviction of a registerable offense defined in the Iowa Code 692A.  However, a minor may not be required to register if a court order states that the minor not register such. An order may occur at any point in the legal proceedings.

Revised July, 2006
Return to Series 600 Index

Series 600
Code 635
Title:  Assignment to Programs and Classes

  1. Intake Procedure
    Parents are responsible for providing an educational opportunity for their children as directed by the statutes.  Once placed in the public school, it becomes the responsibility of the school to provide an appropriate education (K-12) for the student.A statement of understanding outlining the responsibilities of all parties (parent/ school/student) will be signed at the time of initial enrollment.  The signing of the statement certifies that the parents understand their responsibilities and those of the school.When a major educational placement decision for a child becomes a matter of concern or question, a consultation, which includes the parent, must be held.  Following this consultation, a decision about the student’s placement will be made by the school, principal, or designee.  The decision may be appealed by the parent or the student (when appropriate) to an appeal board as established by the Board of Directors.
  2. Child Study Team
    When a major educational placement change for a student appears to be in order, the principal of the school will cause a child study team to be formed to verify the need for change and to determine the nature of the program change.The child study team will be composed of at least (1) the child’s parent(s); (2) the school principal or designated administrator; (3) all teachers who are familiar with the student’s academic work.  Additional members of the team may be support service workers who serve that attendance center (i.e. psychologist, social worker, counselor, nurse, etc.).The child study team will review information relative to each of the recommended criteria, identify the academic needs, and propose assignments to meet those needs.The principal will seek consensus of the team members and make a recommendation to the appropriate instruction department (Elementary and Early Childhood Programs or Middle and High School Programs).  When parents do not agree with the recommendation, the principal will make the appeal procedure known and assist their effort to appeal.
  3. Criteria for Program or Class Assignment Change Study
    When it appears that a student needs additional preparation in one or more academic areas, the following categories of information should be reviewed to identify the need for class reassignment:
    1. Staff recommendation (via student academic accountability)
    2. Check point testing
    3. District objective based tests
    4. ITBS and ITED testing
    5. School psychological evaluation
    6. Professional observations (other than classroom teacher)
    7. Health history
    8. Diagnostic educational evaluation
    9. Speech evaluation
    10. Student attendance
    11. Student cumulative records
    12. Social functioning and/or adaptive behavior records
    13. Any other factors deemed important by the “Child Study Team”

When it appears that a student needs an accelerated program placement in one or more academic areas, the following categories of information should be reviewed to identify the need for program reassignment:

    1. Staff recommendation (via academic accountability)
    2. District objective based tests
    3. ITBS and ITED testing
    4. School psychological evaluation
    5. Professional observations (other than classroom teachers)
    6. Diagnostic educational evaluation
    7. Social functioning and/or adaptive behavior
    8. Student attendance and health history
    9. Student cumulative records
    10. Any other factors deemed important by the “Child Study Team”
  1. Appeal Process
    When parents disagree with the school principal’s decision relative to a student’s placement in school programs, the principal will inform them of the appeal process and assist them in arranging for an appeal hearing.Appeal Panel–The Chief Academic Officer will name a panel of four administrators to hear the appeal of a decision on placement.  One member shall be designated as hearing officer and will preside over the proceedings.All information used by the child study team will be made available to the hearing panel.  The school principal will be present and may bring persons who served on the study team.The parents, who will have presented the reasons for their appeal and preferred remedy in writing, will be present.  Parents may provide any additional information that they wish to the appeal panel.  The parents may be assisted by other persons they choose to have present including legal counsel.The panel will hear the appeal within five workdays from the time the written request for a hearing is presented to the Chief Academic Officer.  The chairman of the panel will present to the Chief Academic Officer the findings and recommendation of the panel within five work days after the hearing.  The Chief Academic Officer will provide the parent and the school principal a copy of the report immediately upon receipt.

Revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 640
Title:  District-Wide Testing and Assessment

District-wide objective assessment of student progress is an essential part of any educational endeavor. Information relevant to how individual students and groups of students are progressing provide schools a basis upon which to determine how successful their practices have been or to determine how such practices should be designed to obtain even better results in the future. While the Des Moines Independent Community School District recognizes that there are many avenues toward assessing student progress, standard measures of progress typically yield more useful information than nonstandard measures. These standard measures may be nationally standardized measures, district criterion-referenced or performance-based measures, or tests used by individual teachers within their classrooms.

The purpose of this procedure is to provide for the highest degree of standardization possible in the direction and administration of tests conducted within the district. The procedures which follow have been divided into four categories in order to clarify the processes.

  1. Category I
    • District Objectives-based Curriculum Tests
    • Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    • Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED)
    • District Composition Assessment
  1. The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research, under the direction of the Director of Information Management, is responsible for the planning, development, piloting, administration, scoring, analysis, and reporting the results of all district objectives-based testing.
  2. The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research, under the direction of the Director of Information Management, is responsible for the administration of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Iowa Tests of Educational Development The program evaluator will maintain liaison with all appropriate building personnel along with the Supervisor of Guidance and Counseling Services and building principals.
  3. The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research will provide a comprehensive reporting system for all test results.
  4. The Department of Information Management is assigned all fiscal and budgetary responsibilities associated with the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, the district’s objectives-based tests, and other special purpose tests not in the area of special education.
  1. Category II
  • American College Testing Program (ACT)
  • College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude and Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT/PSAT)
  1. All senior high schools will order these tests through the appropriate testing publishers based upon student demand.
  2. The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research will provide a comprehensive reporting system to make information available regarding the results of testing at the district level.
  3. The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research and the Supervisor of Guidance and Counseling Services, working in conjunction with other district personnel, will explore and implement strategies to provide students assistance in proper test taking skills prior to the annual administration of these tests.
  1. Category III
  • Special Education
  • Psychological Services
  • Guidance and Counseling
  1. Because of the special nature and needs relevant to student assessment activities occurring within these specialized areas, these departments will select and purchase tests as needed.
  2. The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research will provide, upon request, assistance to these departments in the areas of test selection, special reporting, analyses of other consultative services.
  1. Category IV
  • Specific tests to meet unique building or program needs

Building principals will insure that needless or inappropriate testing of students with standardized assessment instruments will not be conducted.

  1. Approval to purchase a test(s) not currently in use by the district, as part of a sanctioned district research or evaluation study or in conjunction with a specific program or project will be determined jointly by the Program Evaluator for Testing and Research and the Executive Director of Elementary and Early Childhood Programs or the Executive Director of Middle and High School programs. The principal researcher, evaluator, or project director will provide information outlining the need for testing and specifying the reasons why tests currently in use by the district do not fulfill the measurement goals of the study or project.
  2. The purchase or utilization of tests by elementary, transitional, or senior high school building personnel, other than those specifically covered in Categories I through III above, shall be made through the Program Evaluator for Testing and Research (teacher made classroom tests are exempt). Prior permission to use any new test by building personnel will be obtained by the building principal or project supervisor from the appropriate executive director and the Program Evaluator for Testing and Research. The applicant will provide information outlining both the need for additional testing and the reasons as to why tests currently in use by the district do not fulfill a building’s special needs.
  3. All special testing circumstances not specifically detailed in the previous categories will be referred to the appropriate executive director and the Program Evaluator for Testing and Research for final disposition.

Approved December 20, 1983; revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 640.1
Title:  Testing of Special Student Populations

The following practices and procedures will be adhered to by all district administrators and staff in the assessment of special student populations with either standardized tests (ITBS, ITED) or the district’s objectives-based tests.

This document deals with five distinct special populations of students enrolled in the Des Moines Independent Community School District:

  1. Alternative Middle School Programs (Grades 7-8 at Alternative High Schools–North/South)
  2. Talented and Gifted
  3. English as a Second Language
  4. Des Moines Alternative High Schools–North/South
  5. Special Education students

If further clarification is required, the reader should contact the Program Evaluator for Testing and Research, 242-7911.

These practices and procedures are in two sections: (1) ITED and ITBS; and, (2) district objectives-based tests. Tables are located at the end of the procedures which summarize the written procedures for special education programs.

Alternative Middle School Programs

  1. Standardized Testing (ITBS/ITED)
    Students attending the Alternative Middle School Programs will be administered the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) only upon parents/guardians request.
  2. Criterion-Referenced Testing
    All students attending the Alternative Middle School Programs will take the district’s criterion-referenced tests.

Gifted and Talented
All gifted and talented students will take the ITBS/ITED tests and the district’s objectives-based tests. The data obtained from these tests will be available for use by the classroom teachers.

English as a Second Language

  1. Iowa Tests of Basic Skills/Iowa Tests of Educational Development
    Students who have exited from the ESL Resource Program will take these tests with the regular student population.ESL students being served by Chapter I or the Reading and Math Resource Program (Chapter 2) are required to take the tests as part of the evaluation of these programs.
  2. Objectives-Based Tests

Secondary ESL students who are mainstreamed into classes which are administered objectives-based tests AND who are taking the class for credit will take the objectives-based tests in those classes.

  1. Elementary students receiving ESL service will not be tested.

Des Moines Alternative High Schools (North/South)

  1. Standardized Testing (ITBS/ITED)
    Students attending the Des Moines Alternative High School will be administered the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) only upon parents/guardians request.
  2. Criterion-Referenced Testing
    All students enrolled in courses for which district criterion-referenced tests have been developed will be administered the appropriate test as a final examination at or near the end of the course.

Special Education

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills/Iowa Tests of Educational Development

Students in Resource Programs

Learning/Mental/Behavioral Disorders/Hearing Impaired

  1. Students in this category will be administered the Metropolitan, ITBS, and ITED only upon parents/guardians request.
  2. Resource students taking these tests will do so along with the regular students under standardized conditions and without any special help and their scores will be included in the school’s composite.
  3. When appropriate, interpreters will be provided to insure that hearing impaired students clearly understand the directions.
  4. The Stanford Achievement Test–Hearing Impaired will be administered to all students in the hearing impaired program every other year.

Visually Impaired

  1. All students will participate in the standardized testing program.
  2. Reasonable accommodations will be made for testing these students. These include:

Provide special answer sheets.

  1. Assist in giving the tests in the appropriate medium.
  2. Allow enough time for large print and Braille users to complete the tests.

Physically Disabled Students

  1. These students will take the standardized achievement tests along with the regular education students.
  2. Reasonable accommodations will be made depending on the type of physical disabilities of each student.

Students in Self-Contained Programs
Since students in self-contained programs are integrated in a regular education class on a limited basis, their yearly academic growth will not be measured through standardized tests.

Learning/Mental/Behavioral Disorders/Hearing Impaired
These students will be excluded from the standardized testing program. Exceptions can be made by the staffing team when appropriate.

Visually Impaired

  1. All self-contained visually impaired students not in special schools will participate in the standardized testing program.
  2. Reasonable accommodations will be made for testing of these students. These include:
    1. Provide special answer sheets.
    2. Assist in giving the tests in the appropriate medium.
    3. Allow enough time for large print and Braille users to complete the tests.

Physically Disabled Students (Regular School)

  1. Physically disabled students who are not otherwise handicapped will take the standardized achievement test along with the regular education students.
  2. Reasonable accommodations will be made depending on the type of physical disabilities of each student.

Students at Smouse and Van Meter Schools

  1. All students enrolled in these schools will be excluded from standardized achievement testing programs.
  2. Exceptions may be made with parental consent.

District Objectives-Based Tests

Students in Resource Programs

Learning/Mental/Behavioral Disorders/Hearing Impaired

  1. Resource students will be administered district objectives-based tests in order to measure their academic growth in all regular classes in which they are enrolled.
  2. In special cases where the resource teacher is the teacher of record in a specific subject area, the resource teacher will administer the tests. Special testing procedures may be used to accommodate a particular student’s learning style.
  3. When appropriate, interpreters will be provided to insure that students with hearing impairments clearly understand the directions.

Visually Impaired

  1. Visually impaired students in resource classes will be administered the objectives-based tests.
  2. Reasonable accommodations should be made for these students. These include:

Provide special answer sheets.

  1. Assist in giving the tests in the appropriate medium.
  2. Allow enough time for large print and Braille users to complete the tests.

Physically Disabled Students

  1. Physically disabled students will take the objectives-based tests.
  2. Reasonable accommodations will be made depending on the type of physical disabilities of each student.

Students in Self-Contained Programs (SC–Regular School)

  1. In those situations where students in self-contained programs are integrated into the regular classroom and/or follow the district curriculum, the staffing team will determine the appropriateness of testing the students in those subject areas. Reasonable accommodations will be made for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and physically disabled students. In situations where students are integrated into the regular and/or follow the district curriculum, reasonable accommodations will be made for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and physically disabled students.
  2. Students at Smouse and Van Meter Schools

All students enrolled in these schools will be excluded from standardized or objectives-based achievement testing programs.

Exceptions may be made with parental consent.

Table 1
Iowa Tests of Basic Skills/Iowa Tests of Educational Development

Resource / SCIN
(1.7)

Self-Contained
(2.2)
Elementary

 Self-Contained
(2.2)
Secondary

 Self-Contained
(3.6)
Elementary

 Self-Contained
(3.6)
Secondary

Learning Disability

 P

 NO

NO

 —-

 —-

Mental Disability

 P

 NO

NO

 NO

 —-

Behavioral Disorders

 P

 NO/E

NO/E

 NO/E

 NO/E

Physical Disability

 YES/S/E

 YES/S

 YES/S

 —-

 —-

Visually Impaired

 P/S/E

 P/S/E

P/S/E

 —-

 —-

Hearing Impaired

 P/S/E

 P/S/E

 P/S/E

 P/S/E

 P/S/E

All pupils enrolled at Smouse and Van Meter Schools will be excluded.

P = Parent option
S = Special conditions allowed
E = Exceptions made by staffing team

Table 2
District Objective-Based Tests

Resource / SCIN
(1.7)

Self-Contained
(2.2)
Elementary

 Self-Contained
(2.2)
Secondary

 Self-Contained
(3.6)
Elementary

 Self-Contained
(3.6)
Secondary

Learning Disability

 YES/S

 i/S

i/S

 NO

 NO

Mental Disability

 YES/S

 i/S

i/S

 NO

 NO

Behavioral Disorders

 YES/S

 i/S

i/S

 NO/E

 NO/E

Physical Disability

 YES/S

 i/S

 i/S

 NO

 NO

Visually Impaired

 YES/S

 i/S

 i/S

 NO

 NO

Hearing Impaired

 YES/S

 i/S

 i/S

 i/S

 i/S

All pupils enrolled at Smouse and Van Meter Schools will be excluded.

i = Only students integrated into regular classes or following district curriculum will be tested in appropriate subject area.
S = Special conditions allowed
E = Exceptions made by staffing team

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – –

TO: Parents and Guardians of Special Education Students

FROM: The Principal

SUBJECT: Standardized Achievement Testing

Standardized achievement tests will be administered in the Des Moines schools the week of February 1, 1993. Students in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 will take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Students in grade 10 will take one subtest of the Iowa Test of Educational Development. Also, students in grades 9 through 12 who wish to take the entire ITED test battery may do so on Saturday, February 13.

Students receiving special education instruction from resource teachers will not be required to take the tests, but have the option of taking the tests if their parents/ guardians make a written request. The scores of all students taking the tests will appear on their cumulative record.

If you desire to have your child take these tests, will you please sign the following form and return to your student’s resource teacher by January 15, 1993.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Return to: ____________________________________________ (Teacher’s Name)

School: _____________________________________________________________

REQUEST FOR TESTING

This is to request that my child take the standardized achievement tests to be administered in the Des Moines Public Schools the week of February 1, 1993 (ITBS or ITED) or February 13, 1993 (ITED).

Name of Child ________________________________________________________

Parent or Guardian ____________________________________________________

Date________________________________________________________________

Approved December 20, 1983; revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 650.1
Title:  Academic Standards for Student Eligibility in Extracurricular Activities Requiring a Competitive Selection Process

To participate in extracurricular activities for which competition is required for participation, a student must have passed four subjects in the previous semester and be in the process of passing four subjects in the current semester. An extracurricular activity is defined as one for which no grade is given and is not part of a graded course.

Policy 650.1 will be administered by the following procedures:

  1. Students participating in the following activities must comply with the eligibility requirement by passing in four subjects:
  • All athletics
  • Cheerleading
  • Student government
  • Drill team*
  • Color guard*

*Does not apply to students enrolled in JROTC or band.

  1. Special consideration will be given to self-contained special education students, and other special needs students; e.g., LEP, special education resource.
  2. Students enrolled in courses that require extracurricular activity as part of the course grade need not establish eligibility for participation. The courses are:
  • Marching band
  • Pep band
  • Orchestra
  • Jazz band
  • Choir
  • Chamber choir
  • Swing choir
  • Debate
  • Forensics
  • Drama
  • Courses with varying titles which have a performance requirement
  1. Students not enrolled in the courses listed above or others to which the policy might apply must establish eligibility requirements if they wish to participate in a school production or an activity.
  2. Eligibility may be monitored at:
    1. the beginning of each activity’s season,
    2. the designated time in the annual calendar when form 939’s are issued,
    3. the quarterly grading period,
    4. the semester grading period.

Additional eligibility checks may be conducted at any time as needed for students’ participating in any school activity.

  1. Teachers will be encouraged to monitor students’ academic progress during the semester and notify coaches and sponsors about unsatisfactory class work and failing grades. The purpose is to emphasize the importance of academic success as students participate in school activities.

Approved October 3, 1989
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Series 600
Code 653
Title:  Student Publications

  1. Student Publications
    An official school publication is any curricular student publication or broadcast, including but not limited to newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, television, radio or cable television programs produced under the sponsorship of the school district and distributed to the student body either free or for a fee. Each school determines its own production and distribution schedule.The Student Publications Policy of the Board of Directors must be implemented by certified journalism teachers. To teach and monitor these procedures is the responsibility of the journalism advisers in the Des Moines Public Schools.
  1. Freedom of Expression
    Students have the right to exercise freedom of speech. Student publications are instruments through which students, faculty, administrators, and the public can gain insight into student thinking and concerns.School journalists may write about controversial issues in the school, community, and world. School editors and writers, however, must observe the same legal responsibilities as those imposed upon conventional news media. Specifically, school journalists must refrain from publication of material that:
  1. is obscene or vulgar, according to the current legal definitions;
  2. is libelous, according to current legal definitions;
  3. creates a clear and present danger of substantial disruption of the school;
  4. constitutes an invasion of privacy;
  5. advertises illegal products or services;
  6. violates copyright laws;
  7. encourages unlawful acts;
  8. encourages students to violate lawful school regulations.
  1. Responsibility of Expression
    Student publications must uphold the high ethical standards of accuracy, honesty, objectivity, fair play, and good taste. Attribution must be given when needed.In opinion-oriented writing, such as editorials, reviews, and columns, students may inquire, question, and exchange ideas. Content may reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent or controversy. Letters to the editor are encouraged but must not violate the guidelines of Freedom of Expression (Section A).
  2. Accuracy of Reporting
    The highest principle of journalism is accuracy. Exact facts must be the hallmark of the student reporter.
  3. Quality of Writing
    The student journalist must practice clear, concise writing that emphasizes good sentence structure, organization, and mechanics.
  4. Liability
    Student expression in an official school publication shall not be deemed to be an expression of the school district. The school district, the board, and the school district employees or officials are not liable in any civil or criminal action for any student expression made or published by students, unless the school district employees or officials have interfered with or altered the content of the student expression. The liability, if any, is only to the extent of interference or alteration of the speech or expression.
  5. Time, Place and Manner Restrictions on Official School Publications
  1. Official student publications may be distributed in a reasonable manner, on or off school premises.
  2. Distribution in a reasonable manner shall not encourage students to:
  1. commit unlawful acts;
  2. violate school rules;
  3. cause the material and substantial disruption of the orderly and efficient operation of the school or school activity;
  4. disrupt or interfere with the educational program;
  5. interrupt the maintenance of a disciplined atmosphere; or
  6. infringe on the rights of others
  1. Role of the Adviser
    The adviser will teach the fundamentals of good journalism to the publications staff. The adviser will monitor student publications to ensure that students follow the guidelines stated in this policy. The adviser will provide guidance as students determine the content of their publications. Prior to publication, the adviser will review the students’ work to ensure that it adheres to the guidelines stated in this document. The adviser will recognize that all students, regardless of race or socio-economic level, should have equal opportunity to participate in journalism programs.

Revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 662
Title:  Guidelines for Campus Speakers

  1. Speakers that appear on campus to address student assemblies, academic classes or special interest groups shall be approved by the building principal.When student or faculty groups desire to engage speakers during normal school hours, the following steps will be adhered to:
  1. The student or faculty group shall file a written request with the principal.  The application shall include the name(s) of the sponsors, the students or faculty group, the time, place, duration of the meeting, and the topic or subject matter.
  2. The principal shall act on the request no later than four (4) days after receipt of the same.
  1. The administration shall establish the hour, length of time, and location of speakers who appear on campus.
  2. The administration may alter the hour, length of time, and location of applications made in consonance with the aforementioned procedures.
  3. Appeal Procedures:
  1. Sponsors denied approval for a speaker to appear may within three (3) days appeal to the Chief Academic Officer, who will review the matter with an advising committee consisting of the Teaching and Learning Cabinet.
  2. If the associate superintendent denies approval, the sponsor may file an appeal with the Secretary of the Board of Directors, who shall place the appeal on the agenda for consideration by the board at its regular meeting.

Revised January 19, 1993
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Series 600
Code 665
Title:  Research by Outside Organizations

  1. General
    The primary responsibility of the Des Moines Independent Community School District is education of students and any cooperation in research is in that context.  Consideration will be given all research proposals submitted by responsible researchers from recognized educational agencies meeting criteria listed below.  Particular consideration will be given those proposals where positive benefit to the school district is apparent.  All research proposals should:
  1. Indicate careful planning.
  2. Offer promise for the enhancement of the educational process in the classroom.
  3. Respect prevailing value systems and standards of the school and community.
  4. Require no serious interruption of the regular school program.  Advanced planning with building principals involved is recommended.
  5. Not make unreasonable demands upon scheduled or unscheduled time of students, teachers, supervisors, coordinators, administrators, or clerical personnel.
  6. Avoid conflicts with scheduled school events.  Avoid conflicts with the opening and closing activities of schools.  Requests to gather data must be scheduled between October 1 and April 1.  Applicants may request leniency in the application of this schedule.
  7. Treat information concerning students and staff personnel in strictest confidence and conform to existing laws and decisions relative to research with human subjects.  American Psychological Association principles are used as general guidelines.
  8. Require only voluntary participation.
  9. Involve no expense to the Des Moines Public Schools beyond discretionary use of staff or student time.
  1. Procedures
    Forms for submitting proposed studies may be secured from and submitted to:Program Evaluator for Testing and Research
    Des Moines Independent Community School District
    901 Walnut Street
    Des Moines, Iowa 50309
  1. Proposals should be submitted using the standard application form of the Des Moines Public Schools.
  2. Proposals will be reviewed within two weeks of receipt.  No less than six reviewers will receive the proposal for review.
  3. At the conclusion of the study, the researcher shall provide three copies of an abstract of findings to the Chief Academic Officer or designated representative and one copy to each building principal involved in the research.  A copy of the full report shall be provided, at no cost, to the chair of the research review board.
  4. An interview with the applicant may be necessary.

No proposal will be considered unless the following items are included:

  1. The researcher’s name and background (and agency represented if appropriate).
  2. A statement of purpose for which this research is being undertaken.
  3. A complete description of the problems being studied.  Include the hypothesis to be tested, data gathering procedures, and statistical treatment proposed.
  4. A quantitative statement concerning the number of students and/or staff members to be involved, time required, names of buildings, initiation and conclusion dates of the study, and specific data required from school records.
  5. A copy of all instruments, letters, consent forms, or other forms to be used in the study.
  6. An outline of procedures which will be followed in the distribution, administration, and return of any materials (such as student questionnaire).  This is the sole responsibility of the researcher.
  7. The application must bear the signature of the instructor, professor, or graduate advisor indicating their authorization of a researcher’s proposed thesis or dissertation.
  8. The signature of the researcher indicating that s/he understands and will comply with the established conditions.
  1. Definitions
    Research requiring review by the research committee and approval by the appropriate director:Research which is regionally or locally sponsored involving several schools, students, and/or school personnel.Research not requiring review by the research committee or approval by the appropriate director:Internal research carried out by our district for its own use; participation in national research decided by the superintendent, associate superintendent, or executive directors; research for a single course involving a small number of personnel or students; bulk mailed surveys or questionnaires (voluntary).
  2. Procedures for Review, Notification, and Implementation
    The Superintendent of Schools has delegated the responsibility of research control in the Des Moines Independent Community School District to the K-12 Research Review Board and specified members of his the administrative staff.  The procedures for reviewing requests to conduct research, methods of notification, and procedures for implementation are as follows:
  1. The K-12 Research Review Board screens and makes recommendations for approval or disapproval of research requests.
  2. Recommendations by the review board for approval or disapproval of research requests are made to the Chief Academic Officer.
  3. Final approval or disapproval of research requests rests with the Chief Academic Officer.
  4. The Chief Academic Officer and the Program Evaluator for Testing and Research will send written notification to research applicants of approval or disapproval.
  5. Lists of approved research projects will be published in The Bulletin.
  6. Each researcher is responsible for contacting district staff personnel to seek approval of involved participants.  All participation is voluntary.
  7. The K-12 Research Review Board is composed of individuals (reviewers) in the district who have been identified as experts in the areas proposed by specific projects or who will be directly affected by the conducting of and results from a given project.  The Program Evaluator for Testing and Research serves as the chair of the review board.  Reviewers can include, but are not limited to, central office administration, building administration, counselors, and teachers.
  1. Alternative Courses of Action for Proposals Not Approved as Presented
  1. Changes in design or procedures to meet the requests of the review board and/or administration.
  2. Personal interview with the review board and/or administration for the purpose of supplying more information.
  3. Approval of the request subject to conditions and limitations made by the review board and/or administration.
  4. Denial of approval on the grounds that, in the judgment of the educational staff, it would be inappropriate to conduct the proposed research study in the Des Moines Independent Community School District.

Written authorization to pursue a research project in the Des Moines Independent Community School District must be received before the project is initiated.

Approved July 5, 1983; revised September 6, 1994
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Series 600
Code 670
Title:  Community and Adult Education Programs

Community education programs are available regardless of age so long as the maturity level of the participant is such that he or she will be able to cope with the maturity level of the instruction and/or the program.

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