IMG – Animals In School

The Board recognizes that under the proper conditions, animals can be an effective teaching aid. In order to protect both children and animals, the following guidelines are adopted for use in all schools in the district.

  1. The bringing of animals into the classroom must not violate city/state/federal ordinances.
  2. The only animals and animal products (e.g., owl pellets for dissection) allowed in a classroom must be for a specific and appropriate educational purpose and shall be allowed for the amount of time necessary to achieve the educational goal. No other animals will be authorized in school buildings.
  3. Precautions should be taken to minimize transmission of all diseases and injuries (e.g., Salmonella, rabies, ringworm, bites, scratches, etc.)
  4. All animals must be in good physical condition and vaccinated against transmittable diseases. Dogs, cats, and ferrets require proof of current rabies vaccination. Animals are to be kept clean and free of intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and lice.
  5. Certain groups of people may be more susceptible to diseases, including infants, children, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. Parents must be consulted to determine special considerations needed for children who are immunocompromised, who have allergies, or who have asthma.
  6. The teacher will be responsible for the proper control of animals brought to school for instructional purposes, including the effective protection of children when animals are in the school. This will include keeping the animal in an appropriate cage or container, supervising human-animal contact, and handling fecal material in a sanitary manner.
  7. No animals are to be allowed to run freely in the classrooms, food areas, or activity areas.
  8. Areas should be designated for animal contact. Such areas should be properly cleaned regularly and after animal contact. Food or drink should not be consumed in these areas.
  9. All fecal material must be cleaned from the cage of any mammal or bird on an as needed basis (at a minimum of one time per week), and appropriate sanitizer used. Reptiles, fish, and insects must be cared for in a manner to minimize odor and maintain health. Persons cleaning cages must wear gloves, masks, and glasses or goggles. Cleaning should be performed by people older than 5 years and under the supervision of an adult.
  10. All persons must wash their hands after contact with animals, animal products, or their environment. Hand hygiene should be stressed, using verbal and written educational
  11. Wild or exotic animals are not permitted in classrooms, unless under the control of a professional animal handler.

The principal shall be advised of any animals to be housed in the classroom. At the principal’s discretion, permission to keep the animal may be denied.

Teachers must be contacted prior to having animals in their classroom. No animal shall be at school unless the teacher involved is familiar with the appropriate care, feeding, and handling of that animal and of any potential dangers caused by that animal. It shall be the responsibility of the teacher to become familiar with each animal as it relates to the well being of the individual students in that particular classroom.

It will be the responsibility of the teacher to provide care for classroom-housed animals in the event of an emergency school closing that might cause disruption of the routine care of the animals.

Animals on School Grounds

Children, parents, and staff will be instructed to keep their own animals off the school grounds during school hours. Any animal brought onto school grounds must be leashed or otherwise contained. Owners are responsible for the appropriate behavior of their pet and for the cleanup and removal of any animal waste. Owners asked to remove their animal must do so promptly. Otherwise, the appropriate town official will be called and requested to take suitable action.

Legal References:

National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc., Compendium of
measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2006.

Category: O

See also IMGA

1st Read: December 6, 2011
2nd Read: December 20, 2011
Adopted: December 20, 2011