Policies - Section 4000 » 4076 (IMG) - Animals in the School

4076 (IMG) - Animals in the School

4076 (IMG) Animals in the School 4076 (IMG)
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.
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.    Consult with parents 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.    Ideally,
cleaning should be performed when other children are not in the room.
10. Wash hands after contact with animals, animal products, or their environment.    Hand
hygiene should be stressed, using verbal and written educational materials.
11. Certain animals pose additional risks and contact should not be permitted with young
12. Wild or exotic animals are not permitted in classrooms, unless under the control of a
It will be the responsibility of the teacher to provide for a plan of care for classroom housed
animals in the event of a school closing(s) which might cause disruption of the routine care of the
animals. In each school where these animals are housed, there should be a plan whereby the staff
member who visits the school daily during the emergency closing will be aware of the animals'
presence and see to their care. If no staff member visits the school daily in such circumstances,
the teacher is responsible for the daily care of the animal(s).
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.

Prior to bringing an animal into the building or classroom, a teacher must make a written request
  • The specific and appropriate educational purpose for the animal's presence
  • The specific amount of time the animal will be present
  • The plan for the control, care, and cleaning of the animal
  • The plan for care when the school is not in session
The animal may not be brought into the building until written approval is received.  Approval must
be renewed annually, and approval may be revoked at any time at the principal's discretion.

Unauthorized Animals on School Grounds

Unauthorized animals are not allowed in school buildings. School principals shall have discretion
to disallow animals on school grounds on a case by case basis. Children and staff will be
instructed to keep their own animals off the school grounds.    The appropriate town official will be
called and requested to impound all animals taken into custody by school personnel.

The Superintendent shall develop procedures stating which animals are unauthorized as well as
proper handling and caging procedures of animals in buildings or on school grounds.
Service animals do not apply to this policy.

Adopted: January 22, 2024
Related Policy: 4075 (IMGA)