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Policy Manual

The office of policy and school law ensures compliance with State and federal laws and regulations applicable to the District; oversees training and professional development; and protects due process rights for students and employees in administrative procedures.

Benjamin Onofrio
Legal Counsel
Office of Policy & School Law 
(801) 402-5255
  email ben   

Pamela Stavros
Paralegal
Office of Policy & School Law
(801) 402-5109
email pamela

Forms

A thru E

F thru L

M thru R

S thru Z

Student Activity Handbook

This Handbook contains documents and forms to assist school administrators, faculty, and staff in the management of camps, clinics, and other extracurricular activities, including athletic program.  The information in this document should be used as a tool to protect against errors that could result in harm to individual employees, students, or the District. 

Legal Guidance

Administrative Memo #28 Notice of Policies to Be Published

As a recipient of federal financial assistance, the District is required to notify students, staff, and the public on a regular basis of its commitment to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal education and employment opportunity.  In addition, to satisfy due process requirements, the District and schools need to publish notice of important policies that affect the rights of students.  This memo is reviewed and updated annually and provided to schools to include in handbooks and registration materials.
Link to Administrative Memo 

Classified Employees Breaks & Lunch

Although federal and state laws do not guarantee lunch or work breaks, the District recognizes the value of allowing employees an opportunity to take a break during their work day.  This guidance is provided In order to assure that employees have similar experiences regardless of their work location in the District.

BREAKS

  1. The District does encourage supervisors to allow employees time during the work day to take care of personal needs; however, structured breaks are given to employees at the discretion of the supervisor.
  2. Breaks are paid work time.
  3. Breaks should last no longer than 15 minutes, and no more than 2 breaks should be given per full-time work day.
  4. Breaks cannot be "saved" and taken off as a block of time.  For example, a missed break in the morning cannot be added onto a lunch period to extend the lunch time.
  5. Breaks cannot be added together to allow an employee a longer lunch period or an opportunity to leave work early.

LUNCH

  1. Duty free lunch breaks are not paid work time.  However, if an employee is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating, the time he/she spends at lunch is paid work time.  For example, office employees required to eat lunch at their desk and answer phones must be paid for that time.
  2. Lunch breaks should be between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the authorized hours of the employee's position (shorter periods of time may be long enough under special conditions).  For example, a secretary authorized to work 7.5 hours per day working a schedule from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. should be given a 30 minute lunch break or an employee scheduled to work 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. should be given a 60 minute lunch break.

 

Source:
District Administrative Memo #43

Charter, Online, Home School, Private Student Participation in Co-Curriculuar and Extracurriculuar Activitives

Guidance describing how a non-District student may participate in District activities and classes.
Link to Student Participation Chart

Link to Co-Curricular & Extracurricular Activities Application

Child Custody

Handling Custody Issues in the School

This guide is intended to address custody issues between divorced, separated, or unmarried parents that may arise in a school setting.  This guidance seeks to protect both the safety of the student and the rights of parents and to avoid placing the school/district in the middle of custody disputes.
School personnel should reply on common sense, good judgment, and the best interests of the student when implementing this guidance in any particular situation.  Any questions should be directed to the Director of Student and Family Services or the Office of Policy and School Law.

Educational Decisions

The school/district may presume both parents share legal custody and share the right to make educational decisions regarding their student unless a signed court order is provided that indicates otherwise.  If there are several court orders, the most recent signed order prevails. 

When trying to decipher custody orders and agreements, it is important to understand the various types of child custody arrangements that are possible.

Child Custody

Child custody refers to the bundle of rights, duties, and responsibilities of a parent with regard to their child.  The most common kinds of child custody are:

Sole Custody - Assigns to one parent primary responsibility for some or all aspects of the child's life.  One parent can have either sole legal custody (s/he gets to make all decisions about a minor child's upbringing), sole physical custody (the child lives exclusively or primarily with this parent), or sole legal and physical custody (this parent gets to make all decisions about the minor child's upbringing and the child lives primarily with him/her).

Joint Custody - Parents who do not live together may have some type of joint custody, also called shared custody, when they share the decision-making responsibilities for, and/or physical control and custody of their children.  Joint custody may be:

  • Joint legal custody where both parents share decision making responsibilities for the child;
  • Joint physical custody where the child spends a significant portion of time with each parent; or
  • Joint legal and physical custody where both parents share decision making responsibilities for the child and the child spends significant time with each parent. 

Parenting Plan

In 2001, Utah state law began requiring divorcing parents to develop a parenting plan.  The objective of the parenting plan is to outline provisions for resolution of future disputes between the parents, allocate decision-making authority, and to make residential provisions for the child.  The parenting plan may divide decision-making authority between parents, giving one the right to make medical decisions for example, and the other the right to make education decisions.

In 2018, Utah state law further explained what a child's education plan should designate (UCA §30-3-10.9(5)).  A child's education plan shall designate the following:

  1. The home residence for purposes of identifying the appropriate school or another specific plan that provides for where the child will attend school;
  2. Which parent has authority to make education decisions for the child if the parents cannot agree; and
  3. Whether one or both parents have access to the child during school and authority to check the child out of school.

If no education provision is included in the parent plan:

  1. A parent with sole physical custody shall make the decisions regarding where the child will attend school; which parent has authority to make education decisions if the parents cannot agree; and whether one or both parents have access to the child during school and authority to check the child out of school.
  2. In the event of joint physical custody when one parent has custody a majority of the time the parent having the child the majority of the time shall make the decisions listed above, and both parents with joint physical custody shall have access to the child during school and authority to check the child out of school.
  3. In the event of joint physical custody when the parents have custody an equal amount of time, the court shall determine how the above listed decisions are made, and both parents with joint physical custody shall have access to the child during school and authority to check the child out of school.  During the time parents are awaiting a court order to determine how decisions are made, the school/district shall continue to act as it has been in the matter in question.

Review Student Records

The right of a parent to review their child's educational records is granted through the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) as well as Utah state law (UCA §30-3-33(12)).  Following the regulations, a school should assume that both parents have the right to inspect or review their child's educational records unless you have a court order that specifically prohibits access to educational records.  While permission is not required, and a custodial parent cannot restrict a noncustodial parent's right under FERPA or State law, the school should attempt to notify the custodial parent of the request for records.  Asking for documentation of some sort to establish identity of the noncustodial parents is prudent if you are unfamiliar with that parents.

What about a noncustodial parent who wishes to receive a copy of all notifications given to the custodial parent? Schools may cooperate but are not required to provide duplicate notification of routine school activities.  Noncustodial parents occasionally request on-going notification of everything that relates to their child.  While parents are entitled to access their child's records, schools are not required to honor standing requests.  Providing notice of daily activities and events is the responsibility of the custodial parent rather than the school.

What about a step-parent? If the step-parent requesting access to school records is the step-parent with whom the child resides, access may be granted.  If the step-parent is the spouse of the noncustodial parent, written permission from the noncustodial parent is needed.

What if there is a restraining order against the noncustodial parent or concern that release of information may result in harm to the child or custodial parent? The law does not require that you provide the information immediately.  In fact, you have up to 45 days under FERPA to provide information.  Delay providing information until you have notified the custodial parent and allow them to take necessary action to prevent the noncustodial parent from getting information.

Attending School Functions

Under Utah state law (UCA §30-3-33-(11)) a custodial parent should notify the noncustodial parent of all significant school, social, sports, and community functions in which the child is participating or being honored, and the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to attend and participate fully.

Attending Parent-Teacher Conferences

Absent any conflict a noncustodial parent is welcome to attend parent-teacher conferences.  Occasionally, because of parental conflict, a noncustodial parent may request a separate conference.  A school has no obligation under the law to arrange a separate conference to accommodate the noncustodial parent.  However, a school may provide a conference time for a noncustodial parent if it chooses, though this is not always possible, especially on the elementary level where time-slots are more limited.

Notification of Student Injury, Illness, or Suspension

If a noncustodial parent has made a written request, provided current contact information to the school, and there is no court order forbidding contact; a school must make reasonable efforts to notify a noncustodial parent in the event that:

  • Their student is injured or becomes ill at the school during the regular school day and requires treatment at a medical facility not located on the school premises (UCA §53G-9-202).
  • Their student is suspended, expelled, or denied admission (UCA §53G-8-204).

Involvement in Custody Disputes

A parent may request an administrator or a teacher to write a letter of support in a custody dispute.  You may provide a letter if you choose, though you are not required to unless there is a subpoena.  Should an employee wish to provide a letter or is required by subpoena to provide a letter, it should contain objective factual information limited to the child's educational experiences.  Refrain from taking sides or making judgments as to which parent should have custody.

If an employee receives a subpoena to testify in a custody dispute, please contact the Office of Policy and School Law.

Ethical Conduct of Public School Employees

Ethical Conduct of Employees
This guidance provides a summary of the standards of professional conduct set forth by the Utah State Board of Education as well as the Davis School District Employees Code of Ethics.  If you have questions regarding specific behavior or circumstances that may arise related to ethical conduct, you are encouraged to seek clarification from your direct supervisor.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
This guidance is intended to outline the standards of ethical conduct established by Utah Law to assure that public employees avoid conflicts of interest and maintain the public trust.  The legal provisions specifically addressed are:

  • Utah Public Officers' and Employees' Ethics Act
  • Utah Procurement Code: Unlawful Conduct
  • Educational Services Outside of Educator's Regular Employment

Mandatory Training of Employees

Chart to be used by Supervisors and Administrators listing employee trainings, applicability, and frequency.
Link to Mandatory Training Chart

Addressing Sexual Harassment

A summary of types of sexual harassment, examples of sexual harassing behaviors, any ways to create a climate where sexual harassment isn't tolerated and help to prevent it from occurring, and outlines the complaint procedures. 
Link to Sexual Harassment Handout

Student Data and Family Privacy Protection

Family Educational Privacy Act (FERPA)
As an employee of the Davis School District, you may sometimes access individual student records while performing your official duties.  Under federal and Utah state law, you are legally and ethically obliged to safeguard the confidentiality of any information the records contain.

Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA is a federal and Utah state law designed to ensure the family privacy and parents' involvement in their children's education is respected in all aspects of the public school curricula and activities.

Data Governance Plan 
The Data Governance Plan works in conjunction with a variety of District policies and procedures and is structured to encourage the effective and appropriate use of education data; centering on the idea that data is the responsibility of all District schools and departments; and that data drive decision making guides what data is collected, reported, and analyzed. 

Student Data Collection Notice
Under Utah state law, an education entity that collects student data into a cumulative record is required to inform parents and students about the student data the District collects and how that information will be used, shared, and protected.

Student
Data Privacy 
Web Page

 

Transgender Students

INTRODUCTION

These guidelines are designed to provide direction for schools to address issues that may arise concerning the needs of transgender students and ensure that all students are treated equitably and with dignity at school.  Because this is an evolving area for school districts, some of this guidance will undoubtedly change over time.

This guidance does not anticipate every situation that may occur and the needs of each student must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Every student and school is unique and building administrators should discuss these issues with students and their families and draw on the experiences and expertise of their colleagues as well as external resources where appropriate.

DEFINITIONS

To effectively address gender equality issues, a knowledge of terminology is essential.
"Gender identity" relates to a person's deeply held inner sense of psychological knowledge of their own gender regardless of the biological sex they were assigned at birth.
"Gender expression" relates to the way in which a person communicates gender identity through behavior, clothing, hairstyle, grooming, voice, mannerisms, or preferred gender pronouns.
"Transgender" is a term describing a person whose gender identity and/or gender expression is different from that traditionally associated with their assigned sex at birth.

SCHOOL RESPONSE

It is not unusual for a child's desire to transition to first surface at school.  If school staff believe that a gender identity issue is presenting itself and creating challenges for the student at school or if a student indicates an intention to transition, the school should make every effort to work with the student and the parents.  Where the student or parent indicates an intention for the student to transition, the school should work with the family to best accommodate the student's needs at school and put in place measures for supporting the child and creating a sensitive supportive environment at school.

School staff should be especially vigilant for any bullying or harassment issues that may arise for transgender students. Schools must work to prevent bullying and harassment, and respond promptly when allegations of bullying and harassment arise.

DISCRIMINATION/HARRASMENT  

It is the policy of Davis School District to maintain a safe and supportive learning and educational environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying and free from discrimination based on gender, including gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.

Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment based on a person's actual or perceived transgender status or gender nonconformity must be handled in accordance with the procedures set forth in Policy 5S-101 Student Sexual Harassment Policy and 11IR-100 Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure.

PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY

Except as set forth herein, school personnel should not disclose information that may reveal a student's transgender status.  Under the Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), only those school employees with a legitimate educational need should have access to a student's records or the information contained within those records.  Disclosing confidential student information to other employees, students, parents of other students, or other third parties may violate privacy laws, including but not limited to FERPA.  Transgender students have the ability, as do all students, to discuss and express their gender identity and expression openly and decide when, with whom, and how much of their private information to share with others.

Schools should work closely with the student and family in devising an appropriate plan regarding the confidentiality of the student's transgender status that works for both the student and the school.  Privacy considerations may vary with the age of the student.

In some cases, transgender students may feel more supported and safe if other students are aware that they are transgender.  In these cases, school staff should work closely with the student, family, and other staff members on a plan to inform and educate the student's peers.

STUDENT RECORDS

Each school is required to maintain a permanent record of each student.  The record should include the legal name of the student as well as the student's biological gender as shown on the student's official birth certificate.  Schools are also required to use a student's legal name and gender on standardized tests and reports to the State Office of Education.

To the extent that the school is not legally required to use a student's legal name or gender on school records and other documents, the school should use the name and gender, including pronouns, preferred by the student.

Records such as yearbook, school id, and daily assignments may reflect the preferred name and gender identity that is entered into the District's Student System as "preferred" and is consistently asserted at school by the student.

A student's permanent record should be changed to reflect a change in legal name or gender only upon receipt of documentation that the legal name and/or gender have been changed pursuant to applicable law.  Documentation required for a legal change of name is a court order or birth certificate demonstrating the student's new name.

RESTROOM & LOCKER ROOM ACCESSIBILITY

It is the intent of the District to support transgender students while also ensuring the safety and comfort of all students.  The use of restrooms and locker rooms by transgender students requires schools to consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to: the transgender student's preference; protecting student privacy; maximizing social integration of the transgender student; minimizing stigmatization of the student; ensuring equal opportunity to participate; the student's age; and protecting the safety of the students involved.

A transgender student who expresses a need or desire for increased privacy should be provided with reasonable alternative arrangements.  Reasonable alternative arrangements may include the use of a private area, or a separate changing schedule, or use of a single stall restroom or dressing room.  Any alternative arrangement should be provided in a way that protects the student's ability to keep his or her transgender status confidential.

A transgender student should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the gender identity consistently asserted at school by the student.

DRESS CODES

Schools can enforce dress codes that are adopted in compliance with Policy 5S-100 Student Conduct and DIscipline, Section 7.4 School Dress and Grooming Expectations.   Students have the right to dress in accordance with their gender identity that is consistently asserted at school, within the constraints of the dress codes adopted at their school site.  

SPORTS & PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical Education/Intramural Sports. Transgender students are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students.  Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and intramural sports in accordance with the student's gender identity that is consistently asserted at school.

Interscholastic Sports. Participation in competitive sports governed by the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) will be resolved on a case-by-case basis applying the UHSAA policies and appeals procedures.  UHSAA's Transgender Participation Policy has been established to protect competitive balance and the integrity of women's sports.

The UHSAA's policy requires the District and school to make a determination of a student's eligibility to participate in gender specific sports teams for a particular season based on the gender identification of that student (1) in current school records, and (2) daily life activities in the school and community at the time that eligibility is determined.

Such decisions should be based upon the following types of evidence:

  1. Documentation from individuals such as, but not limited to, parents/legal guardians friends and/or teachers, which affirm that the actions, attitudes, dress, and manner demonstrate the student's gender identification and expression consistently asserted at school;
  2. A complete list of medications or treatments, such as hormones or hormone blockers, taken by the student to promote gender based body changes which would modify an individual's athletic ability;
  3. Written documentation from an appropriate health-care professional of the student's consistent gender identification or expressions; and
  4. Any other pertinent documentation or information which the student or parent deem relevant and appropriate.

In considering the above information, the school and principal, in consultation with the District's Curriculum Supervisor over Athletic Programs, may grant a student eligibility to participate on a gender specific sports team if it is determined that the expression of the student's gender identify is bona fide and not for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantange in competitive athletics.

Students who may be affected by this guidance an the UHSAA Transgender Participation Policy should the gender identity consistently asserted at school and in the public.

This guidance does not entitle a student to selection to any particular team or to transfer from one gender specific team to a team of a different gender.  A student whose gender identity has been addressed with regard to athletic eligibility shall remain consistent for the remainder of the student's high school sports eligibility.

Record Retention

Utah Division of Archives and Records Services

Link to School District General Retention Schedule

Comment on proposed policy revisions

The Board of Education for Davis School District currently has no policies under review for comment.

How to submit a comment . . .

Submit Comment

If you would like your comments to be reviewed by the Board of Education - include your name, address, and telephone number along with your title (parent, employee, student patron).  We ask for your candid views on the interpretation of the language the policy goals, and the means to achieve them.  The final draft presented for adoption will reflect modifications as determined by the Board.   Thank you for taking the time to submit your comments.

Submit comment by email

Mail comments to
Davis School District
Pamela Stavros
P.O. Box 588
Farmington, Utah 84025

Recent policy revisions

At its December 4, 2018 Business Meeting the Board approved revisions to the following policies:

5S-200 Extracurricular and Co-curricular Activity Participation
Recommend change to the prohibited conduct training requirement from every 3 years to every year.  Added requirement to complete Register My Athlete process with the UHSAA.  Removed language on 9th grade student eligibility to reflect recent changes in the 9th grade participation policy.

5S-400 Safe Routes Plans (formerly School Neighborhood Access Plans SNAP)
Recommend deleting 4.2.  There used to be a way for the GIS coordinator to approve plans on the state's website.  This is no longer the case.  Currently this is all handled by UDOT. Recommend adding language at 2.1 to have plans completed prior to the beginning of the school year.
UDOT has changed name of plans from SNAP to Safe Routes Plans.