Policies

Policies are the formal guidelines established by the Board of Education (School Board) to ensure that Hopkins Public Schools responds to its mission and operates in an effective, efficient, and consistent manner. Policies define the desire and intent of the School Board.

The School Board has the jurisdiction to legislate policy for the School District with the force and effect of law. School board policy provides the general direction as to what the School Board wishes to accomplish while delegating implementation of policy to the administration.

The policies described here are not conditions of employment, and the language is not intended to create a contract between the Hopkins Public Schools and its employees.

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It is a primary principle of this nation that the public welfare demands an educated and informed citizenry.  The power to provide for public education is a state function vested in the state legislature and delegated to local school districts.  The purpose of this policy is to clarify the legal status of the School District.

The School District takes seriously all concerns or complaints by students, employees parents or other persons.  If a specific complaint procedure is provided within any other policy of the School District the specific procedure shall be followed in reference to such a complaint.  If a specific complaint procedure is not provided, the purpose of this policy is to provide a procedure that may be used.

The care, management and control of the schools is vested by statutory and constitutional authority in the School Board. The School Board shall carry out the mission of the School District with diligence, prudence, and dedication to the ideals of providing the finest public education. The purpose of this policy is to define the authority, duties and powers of the School Board in carrying out its mission.

School Board officers are charged with the duty of carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Board for the care, management, and control of the public schools of the school district. The purpose of this policy is to delineate those responsibilities.

The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the preparation of the School Board meeting agenda to ensure that the School Board can accomplish its business as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures relating to the maintenance of records of the School Board and the publication of its official publications.

The School Board embraces the philosophy of openness in the conduct of its business, in the belief that openness produces better programs, more efficiency in administration of programs, and an organization more responsive to public interest and less susceptible to private interest.

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures to efficiently recieve public input.

The purpose of this policy is to assist School Board members in recognizing the role of individual School Board members and the contribution that each must make to develop an effective and responsible school board. It is the intention of the Board to function in a manner consistent with the Code of Ethics of the National School Boards Association and the District’s Code of Ethics as outlined in the Strategic Plan for the District.

The purpose of this policy is to observe state statutes regarding conflicts of interest and to engage in School District business activities in a fashion designed to avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety.

In recognition of the need for continuing inservice training and development fot its members, the purpose of this policy is to encourage the members of the School Board to participate in professional development activities designed for them so that they may perform their responsibilities.

The School Board may appoint Board Officials to serve as Board Designee for certain purposes, such as Clerk of the Board or other appointed role. Should the Board appoint a District staff member to serve as an appointed Board Official, the services will be considered separate and distinct. Only on the duties that are the legal function of the Board, will the appointed person report directly to the Board; on other duties, the appointed person will report through the superintendent. The Board Appointee will be responsible for carrying out the duties prescribed by law and established by the Board.

The Board of Education is an agency of government whose powers and duties can be exercised only by a decision of the majority of its members in official session. The individual members and all School District employees function as agents of the Board.

The Board, as an agent of the State, must operate within the bounds of state and federal laws affecting public education. If the Board is to meet its responsibilities to the residents and students of the community, it must work vigorously for the passage of new laws designed to advance the cause of good schools and for the repeal or modification of existing laws that impede this cause.

The Board delegates to the superintendent or designee, the function of specifying required actions and designing detailed arrangements under which the District will be operated in accordance with Board policy. These detailed arrangements will constitute the Administrative Rules and Regulations governing the District.

In order that pertinent Board policies, regulations, and school rules and procedures may be known by all staff members and students affected by them, District administrators and principals are granted authority to issue staff and student handbooks.

When knowledge or technical skills are needed that cannot be provided by persons on the staff, consultant assistance may be considered.

The purpose of this policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all Hopkins School District employees and applicants for employment.

The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe and healthful environment in the School District in order to promote the physical, social, and psychological well-being of its students. To that end, the School District will seek a criminal history background check for applicants who receive an offer of employment with the School District or such other background checks as provided by this policy. The School District may also elect to do background checks of volunteers, independent contractors and student employees in the School District.

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to School District employees as to the data the School District collects and maintains regarding its personnel.

The purpose of this policy is to protect the privacy rights of School District employees and students under both state and federal law when requested to testify or provide educational records for a judicial or administrative proceeding.

The purpose of this policy is to provide for family and medical leave to Hopkins School District employees in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act and also with parenting leave under state law.

It is the policy of Hopkins School District 270 to maintain a learning and working environment that is safe and secure, and where students and employees are treated with respect and dignity.

The District will strive to ensure that no student or employee will be subject to offensive or degrading remarks or conduct. Such behavior includes inappropriate remarks or conduct related to a student's or employee's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, or status with regard to public assistance.

The School Board recognizes the significant problems created by drug and alcohol use in society in general, and the public schools in particular. The School Board further recognizes the important contribution that the public schools have in shaping the youth of today and the adults of tomorrow.

The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe and healthful environment for employees and students by prohibiting the use of alcohol, toxic substances, medical cannabis, and controlled substances without a physician’s prescription.

The purpose of this policy is to avoid the appearance of impropriety or the appearance of a conflict of interest with respect to gifts given to School District employees.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that qualified teachers are employed by the School District and to fulfill its duty to ascertain the licensure status of its teachers. A School Board that employs a teacher who does not hold a valid teaching license or permit places itself at risk for a reduction in state aid. This policy does not negate a teacher's duty and responsibility to maintain a current and valid teaching license.

The purpose of this policy is to establish general parameters for determining the workload limits of special education staff who provide services to children with disabilities receiving direct special education services 60 percent or less of the instructional day.

This policy addresses staff notification of violent behavior by students. The purpose of this policy is to address the circumstances and manner in which data should be provided to classroom teachers and other staff members about students with a significant incident or historical pattern of violent behavior in order to serve the student and protect students and staff members.

Principals will schedule the daily teaching and duty time of all teachers in each elementary building in such a manner as to:

  1. Ensure an equitable distribution of workloads.
  2. Provide an average of 225 to 250 minutes of preparation time per week during the student day for each teacher, except where doing so would clearly disrupt the educational process.

As a result of reduction in staff, least senior teachers may be involuntarily assigned to part-time positions. The District's subsequent and continuing contractual obligation to those so assigned will be reappointment to full-time when and if conditions permit.

Instructional personnel will be assigned on the basis of their qualifications, the needs of the District, and employees' expressed desires. When it is not possible to meet all three conditions, personnel will be assigned first in accordance with the needs of the District, second where the administration feels the employee is most qualified to serve, and third, according to the expressed preference of the employees in order of seniority

It is the policy of Independent School District 270 that employee attendance at educational conferences will be permitted when such attendance is deemed in the best interest of the District. Attendance at conferences at full or partial expense of the district shall be confined to the purposes of: performing ones duties, representing the district, improving the learning environment, seeking professional growth, and contributing to the achievement of district-wide goals.

The purpose of this policy is to provide for a safe and healthful educational environment by enforcing the School District's policies against contraband. It is also the intent of the administration of this Policy to treat students, subject to search provisions outlined in the policy or as permitted by law, in a respectful manner.

The School Board believes that regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, creates a safe learning environment, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students, and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. The purpose of this policy is to encourage regular school attendance. It is intended to be positive and not punitive.

This policy also recognizes that class attendance is a joint responsibility to be shared by the student, parent or guardian, teacher, and administrators. This policy will assist students in attending class on time.

The purpose of this policy is to protect the exercise of students' and employees' free speech rights, taking into consideration the educational objectives and responsibilities of the School District. It is recognized that the right of free speech and freedom of the press are the rights of every citizen and that the reasonable and responsible exercise of these rights on school premises is a valuable part of the educational experience of students. It is also recognized that these rights are not absolute. Reasonable regulation of the exercise of such rights may be made, dealing with such matters as content, time, place and manner in order to ensure that the regular educational processes of the schools are not disrupted, that public property is safeguarded, and that the rights of others are protected against abuse.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students are aware of and comply with the School District’s expectations for student conduct. Such compliance will enhance the School District’s ability to maintain discipline and ensure that there is no interference with the educational process. The School District will take appropriate disciplinary action when students fail to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct established by this policy.

The School District desires to participate in the Enrollment Options Program established by Minn. Stat. The purpose of this policy to set forth the application and exclusion procedures used by the School District in making said determination.

The purpose of this policy is to impart to student, employees, and the community, the School District’s Policy related to student athletic and activities programming. The Board of Education recognizes the value of athletic and activities programming as an integral part of the total school experience for all students of the District. An athletics and activities program will be established for eligible individual students or teams of eligible students in full compliance with the rules of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), the Lake Conference (LC), and applicable District 270 Policies.

This policy regulates the fundraising activities by the School District staff and School District sponsored student groups and organizations.

The purpose of this policy is to assist the School District in its goal of preventing and responding to acts of bullying, intimidation, violence, reprisal, retaliation, and other similar disruptive and detrimental behavior.

The School District recognizes its responsibility in regard to the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of pupil records and the protection of the privacy rights of students as provided in federal law and state statutes.

The purpose of this policy is to establish the parameters of information that may be sought in student surveys.

The purpose of this policy is to protect disabled students from discrimination on the basis of disability and to identify and evaluate learners who, within the intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), need services, accommodations, or programs in order that such learners may receive a free appropriate public education.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth policies and guidelines for access to the School District’s computers, computer systems, internal network, email and communication systems, servers, Internet, and Internet technologies for safe and acceptable use, hereafter referred to as electronic resources or School District system.

The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe learning environment for students and staff that is free from hazing. Hazing activities of any type are incompatible with the educational goals and values of the School District and are prohibited at all times.

The purpose of this policy is to require that all students receive the proper immunizations as mandated by law to ensure the health and safety of all students.

The purpose of this Policy is to provide for recitation of the pledge of allegiance and instruction in school to help further that end.

The purpose of this policy is to assure Hopkins Public Schools is committed to creating a healthy school environment that enhances the development of lifelong wellness practices to promote healthy eating and physical activities that support student achievement.

Minnesota Statute requires children to be at least five years of age on September 1 of the school year for which the pupil seeks admission in order to be admitted to kindergarten, but permits school boards to establish a policy for admission of selected pupils at an earlier age.

The Board will not purchase student accident insurance. All students will be provided an opportunity to enroll at their own expense in a voluntary student accident plan selected by the Board.

The Hopkins School District supports and encourages excellence in all programs under the supervision of the school system. A variety of competitive activities which are related to the course and program objectives of approved school programs are likewise encouraged and supported within certain limits.

The Board is dedicated to the principle that the acquisition of an education in the public school system should not be dependent upon the ability of a student or family to pay school fees.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Hopkins Public Schools are compliant with academic goal setting practices and requirements established by federal and state educational agencies.

A District calendar will be developed by the superintendent or designee and presented for Board adoption.

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for continuous review and improvement of the school curriculum.

Curriculum development shall be directed toward the fulfillment of the goals and objectives of the education program of the School District.

The purpose of this policy is to recognize the need for alternative learning programs for some Hopkins School District students when a traditional school and/or classroom environment has not proven to be effective in successfully meeting learning requirements.

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for selection of textbooks and instructional materials.

The School Board recognizes that selection of textbooks and instructional materials is a vital component of the School District’s curriculum. The School Board also recognizes that it has the authority to make final decisions on selection of all textbooks and instructional materials. 

The purpose of this Policy is to set forth the position of the School Board on the need for special educational services on the part of some students in the School District.

The School Board recognizes that some students need special education and further recognizes the importance of providing a free appropriate public education and delivery system for students in need of special education.

The principle of religious liberty is one of the fundamental elements of freedom and democracy in the United States. The choice of what to believe is left solely to the individual, who is free to choose or reject any belief without interference from government or other members of the community. The principle of individual choice must be respected. The public schools must be vigilant so as to not to promote, inhibit or belittle any religious or nonreligious beliefs.

Extended field trips are excursions, which require students to be accommodated overnight.  Hopkins School District recognizes that a properly planned, well conducted, and carefully supervised extended field trip may provide a mode of learning which is relevant, challenging and dynamic and which cannot be duplicated in the classroom or extracurricular setting. As such, extended field trips of value are to be encouraged within available resources by minimizing, where possible, the costs incurred by the District and students without jeopardizing student safety. 

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for parents who wish to have their children receive education in a home school.

The purpose of this Policy is to encourage and facilitate involvement by parents of students participating in Title I in the educational programs and experiences of students.

It is the policy of the School District to plan and implement, with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children, programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of those parents in its Title I programs and provide parents of participating children with a copy of written parental involvement policies.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the strategic and operational work of the Hopkins School District promotes higher academic achievement, utilizes data to make programming decision, and involves stakeholder input.

The purpose of this Policy is to recognize experiences for meeting Hopkins School District required curriculum and standards and graduation standards. Student experiences, include, but are not limited to, student achievement in alternative learning sites, in Post-Secondary Enrollment Options and other advanced enrichment programs, and in out-of-school experiences such as community organizations, work-based learning, and other educational activities and opportunities.

The purpose of this policy is to recognize and govern online learning option of students enrolled in the School District for purposes of compulsory attendance.

It is the intent of the Board of Education to allocate staff in a manner that will be educationally sound, instructionally appropriate, and fiscally responsible.

Volunteers play an increasingly important role in student’s education as they help to individualize instruction, promote school/community interaction, provide multigenerational experiences, and enrich curriculum for all. Therefore, the Hopkins Public Schools promote volunteer efforts to the greatest extent possible by appropriate recruiting, screening, placement, orientation, training, monitoring, and recognition.

The purpose of this policy is to eliminate racial and other demographic achievement gaps in the Hopkins School District, while raising achievement levels for all students, through the conscious and deliberate examination of our institutional beliefs, practices, and structures, and by effecting systemic change to counteract the contemporary and historical impact of racism and discrimination on school achievement.

The Hopkins School District has a vital interest in the health and safety of its students, staff, and community. The District assumes a partnership with families and the community to provide an educational environment where students and employees learn about serious communicable or infectious diseases. This policy will focus on non-readily transmissible diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and other bloodborne pathogens.

The School Board welcomes the enrollment of all resident school-age children in District 270 schools. The School Board recognizes that parents/guardians have the responsibility to select the most appropriate educational programs for their children. The educational program of District 270 includes a comprehensive set of curricular and extracurricular programs that are consistent with the mission of the School District. To effectively and efficiently achieve the mission of the School District, enrollment on a full-time basis is the expectation of the School District.

Recognizing that both school and community can benefit from the results of properly designed and conducted research, the Board will permit the involvement of pupils and staff in selective research activities, provided that the research design and purpose meet the conditions outline in the policy.

The purpose of this policy is to provide for an annual audit of the books and records of the School District in order to comply with law, to provide a permanent record of the School Districts financial position and to provide guidance to the District when correcting errors and discrepancies is necessary.

The purpose of this policy is to establish the terms and maintenance of the general fund's unassigned fund balance, to create new fund balance classifications, to allow for more useful fund balance reporting, and for compliance with the reporting guidelines specified in Statement No. 54 of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

The Hopkins School District shall operate in full compliance with the provisions of current copyright laws and Congressional guidelines. Employees and students are to adhere to all provisions of Title 17 of the United States Code, entitled “Copyrights,” and other relevant federal legislation and guidelines related to the duplication, retention, and use of copyrighted materials.

Employees and students of the Hopkins School District are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner consistent with the spirit and intent of the District Copyright Policy.

Employees who have completed 25 years of service to the District will be eligible for life-time passes to school activities. The Board will also grant passes to persons who have made significant contributions to the School District. District residents 62 years of age and older will be granted lifetime passes upon request to the administration office. Passes will be honored for all activities except drama, hockey, and certain tournaments and events that are not sponsored by the District or which are jointly sponsored by the District and others.

All purchases for Independent School District 270 will conform to applicable Minnesota Statutes relating to bidding, contracting, and purchasing.

The purpose of this policy is to implement the Equal Access Act by granting equal access to secondary school facilities for students who wish to conduct a meeting for religious, political, or philosophical purposes during noninstructional time.

The purpose of this policy is to establish a resource recovery program to promote the reduction of waste, the separation and recovery of recyclable and reusable commodities, the procurement of recyclable commodities and commodities containing recycled materials, the disposition of waste materials and surplus property and the establishment of a program of education to develop an awareness of environmentally sound waste management.

The School District will develop and maintain a Crisis Management Plan to act as a guide for School District Board members, administration staff, students, parents, and community members to address potential crises in the School District.

It is the policy of Hopkins Area Schools to provide a safe and healthy environment for its staff and students.  Safety and health protection will be an integral part of all operations.

The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements for employees, students, and other persons (including visitors, guests, contractors, etc.) present on school property to wear face coverings.

Hopkins School District 270 is committed to providing a safe and properly maintained environment for all staff, students and visitors. In this regard, the Board directs the administration to develop and implement Integrated Pest Management procedures for its buildings and grounds.

The superintendent or designee is empowered to close any or all district facilities or to dismiss students and staff early in the event of hazardous weather or conditions that threaten the health and safety of students and District personnel. The superintendent or designee is responsible for the development of District procedures and guidelines to be used in the event of facilities closing.

The Board recognizes that the education of children is dependent upon many factors, including a proper physical environment that is safe, clean, attractive, pleasant, and functions smoothly.

Hopkins School District 270 is committed to providing a safe, secure and properly maintained environment for all staff, students and visitors. In this regard, the Board directs the administration to develop and implement security procedures at each District facility and to address security concerns on an ongoing basis.

The Hopkins School Board recognizes the necessity of using energy resources efficiently and wisely and acknowledges that the successful implementation of this policy is the joint responsibility of board members, administrators, teachers, and staff, and requires the cooperation of students, parents and community members who use our facilities. Toward that end, we will schedule the review of the procedures and regulations accompanying the Energy Utilization Management Policy on an annual basis and consider potential energy savings strategies available to us. Such measures may include investments with paybacks in the form of energy utilization savings, using alternative sources of energy, examining the energy efficiency of district equipment and fuel/energy usage (water, gas, electric, technology). We will not compromise the safety or air quality of our students and staff while exercising sound environmental and financial judgment.

The use of District equipment by students and employees for personal purposes is prohibited. In addition, the District does not encourage employees to take District equipment home for professional use. However, there may be situations necessitated by District needs when it seems appropriate to allow employees to do so. In such instances, employees will be required to receive prior written approval from the employee’s immediate supervisor. A signed copy of the written approval must be on file prior to removing any equipment from District property.

The Hopkins School Nutrition program shall be a nonprofit, self-supporting program.  It is to follow the state and federal guidelines for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and utilize maximum reimbursements provided through the various federal/state programs in which it participates.

Our intention is to give great consideration and sensitivity when utilizing resources to provide refreshments, food and beverages at District meetings.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth the rules and regulations under which community groups may sell food or beverages, i.e. run a concession, in Hopkins School District facilities.

The Board of Education of Independent School District 270 recognizes the desirability of having the District's school facilities and community centers used as much as possible by community groups to promote educational, recreational, cultural and civic activities of the community.

Public school facilities exist primarily for the purpose of serving the educational needs of the youth in the community. No group or organization will be scheduled if requested use interferes with the regular school programs or school sponsored activities. The School District will determine the most appropriate and available use of the district's facility space.

The purpose of this policy is to provide for distribution of materials appropriate to the school setting by non-school person and organizations (defined herein as non-staff and non-students) on School District property in a reasonable time, place, and manner which does not disrupt the educational program nor interfere with the educational objectives of the School District and takes into consideration students’ and employees’ free speech rights. Permission to distribute materials on school property by non-school persons is a privilege, not a right.

When deemed appropriate, students may be asked to carry announcements and informational materials home to be shared with their parents/guardians.

The School District recognizes the need for fundraising to enhance the resources in support of programs for students. The School District must ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place to prevent fundraising activities from becoming too numerous and overly demanding on employees, students, parents, and the community and the activities do not detract from the academic climate or learning.

The purpose of this policy is to authorize the School Board to offer rewards to persons who provide accurate and reliable information leading to the conviction of a person who has committed or conspired to commit a crime against students or school employees, volunteers, or School Board members as a result of their affiliation with the School District, or against School District property.

Hopkins School District 270 may enter into lease agreements with organizations and agencies exempt from State and Federal Income Tax for space determined to be excess in School District facilities.

In accordance with the enabling provisions of Minnesota Statutes, the Board may accept, and at times may actually seek, bequests or gifts of money or property granted for the purposes of enhancing or extending curricular, extra curricular, and co-curricular programs and the overall operation of the schools. At its discretion, the Board may accept bequests or gifts of money or property for purposes deemed to be suitable and to utilize such money or property to support curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs and to enhance and extend the general operation of the schools for the benefit of pupils and citizens.

The Hopkins School Board is responsible for naming facilities, which includes buildings, rooms, internal spaces, streets, landscape materials and associated exterior furnishings, courts, athletic fields, open spaces, forests, and all other areas owned, operated, or controlled by the Hopkins School District.