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Series 801 - District-Community Relations

Adopted: June 1983
Revised: June 2021

1. Communication with the Public - The community shall be kept informed of the objectives, achievements, needs and conditions of the district. 

1.1   The superintendent shall be responsible for initiating and administering a continuous program of communication between the district and the community.   The superintendent shall use all media available to the district in discharging this responsibility.

1.2   The School Board shall provide opportunities for school district stakeholders to provide feedback and share concerns directly with School Board members through community listening sessions.

1.2.1              Community listening sessions shall be held on a monthly basis during the school year and shall be attended by up to three school board members. Each community listening session shall be up to one hour in duration.

1.2.2       Each school board member shall have an opportunity to attend one or more community listening sessions each school year.

1.2.3       Community listening sessions shall be hosted at district schools on a rotating basis at a convenient time to ensure accessibility throughout the school district.

 1.2.4       Up to ten school district stakeholders may sign up in advance to speak for up to five minutes at a community listening session. If speaking spots remain at the time the community listening session is scheduled to begin, stakeholders may sign up for the remaining spots on a first come, first served basis at the beginning of the community listening session. The community listening session will adjourn if no district stakeholder has signed up to speak within fifteen minutes after the scheduled start time of the community listening session. 

 1.2.5       School district stakeholders are defined to include district residents, district property or business owners, district employees, current students and their parents/guardians, district contractors, bidders on district contracts that are open for bidding or awarded but not completed and authorized representatives of the above-identified stakeholders.

 1.2.6       Comments offered by school district stakeholders or individual school board members at community listening sessions do not necessarily represent the views of the School Board.

 1.2.7       School district stakeholders may not use community listening sessions to air complaints about specific employees or other individuals. Such complaints should be addressed privately.

 1.2.8       The administration may adopt reasonable regulations and procedures to carry out the requirements of this policy.

2. Cooperation with Community Agencies and Organizations - The School Board shall actively cooperate with official community agencies and organizations concerned with the welfare of learners.

3. Communication with Parent and Community Advisory Groups, and Booster Clubs and Booster Organizations

3.1 The board encourages the principal of each school to develop community engagement activities and parent and community advisory groups which best meet the communication needs of his or her school.

3.2 The board encourages the principal of each school to work cooperatively with booster clubs and booster organizations for the benefit of school programs and activities.

3.3 The principal of each school will allow community members to have regular, ongoing opportunities to provide input and feedback regarding school matters.

4. Title I Parent Involvement - The district administration shall comply with Title I, Public Law 107-110, by implementing programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents of children participating in Title I programs.

5. Community Education

5.1 The board, in cooperation with the director of community education, shall appoint a Community Education Advisory Council, which shall be representative of the district population.  The task of the council shall be to suggest ways to extend use of district facilities and human resources in the community through the establishment of a community education program.

5.2 The board recognizes the value of community activities and, therefore, permits and encourages use of district facilities by community members and organizations as long as such use does not interfere with regular k-12 programs.

5.2.1 The director of community education is authorized to approve and schedule the use of district facilities by non-school groups in accordance with approved regulations.

5.2.2 In its concern for the public interest, the board reserves the right to deny the use of district facilities to any group or individual.  No group which limits its membership or attendance at its activities on the basis of race, color, creed or national origin will be allowed to use district facilities.

5.2.3  Regulations and fees regarding community use of district facilities shall be set to permit and encourage full use of district facilities by the general public without decreasing the use of such facilities for k-12 programs.

5.3 The director of community education shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a program to serve preschool-age children and their families.  In accordance with state law, the program shall provide a sliding fee scale for participants, including fee waivers for those unable to pay (see Administrative Regulation 507.2AR, Student Fees and Fines).

6. Sales, Advertising, Promotions, Fundraising and Election Campaign Activities

6.1 The use of students on school grounds or at a school activity to distribute literature or materials, or make announcements, to parents or other citizens for sales, advertising, promotions, fundraising or election campaign activities may only occur if the activity is directly related to student welfare, services or activities, and if the activity is:

6.1.1 Approved by the principal, for a school purpose, or

6.1.2 Approved by the superintendent or designee, for a districtwide or non-district purpose.

6.2 No agent or person(s) shall be permitted to solicit any student or district employee, or distribute literature or materials, or make announcements, or take up contributions, in any district building or on district premises, with the exceptions below.

6.2.1 The activity is approved by the principal or equivalent supervisory personnel, for a school purpose.

6.2.2 The activity is approved by the superintendent or designee, for a districtwide or non-district purpose.

6.2.3 Advertising is approved in accordance with Administrative Regulation 801.6.2AR, Advertising.

6.2.4 Candidates for the District 196 School Board may campaign on district property, within the following guidelines.

6.2.4.1 School Board candidates may greet district employees and/or hand out literature to employees at the entrance to a district building at the beginning or end of the work day, and may greet the public and/or hand out literature at the beginning or end of school events. 

6.2.4.2 School Board candidates are welcome to participate in school forums and other election activities as invited to do so by school site councils and other official school organizations. 

6.2.4.3 School Board candidates may not walk through district buildings to greet people, distribute campaign material in staff mailboxes or elsewhere on school premises (including on vehicles parked in district parking lots) or do anything which might disrupt the normal workday or school events.

7. Vehicles on District Property - Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 123B.02, Subd. 5, the board shall direct the administration to develop and enforce regulations for traffic and parking on property owned, leased, occupied or operated by the district.

8. Use of Students, Employees and/or District Data for Research

8.1 The board recognizes the value of educational research, but is also conscious of the need to minimize disruptions to the educational process and to protect the data privacy rights of students and employees.

8.2 Anyone who wishes to conduct research using school or district data, or employees or students as subjects, must have their research plan approved in advance by the superintendent or his or her designee.  To be approved, the research must:

8.2.1 Protect the rights and welfare of any human subjects involved;

8.2.2 Be of direct benefit to one or more district schools or the district, and/or

8.2.3 Contribute to the advancement of education in general.

References: 

  • Title I of Public Law 107-110
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.02, Subd. 5, Removal of unauthorized vehicles
  • Minnesota Statute 124D.13, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Programs
  • Minnesota Statute 124D.19, Community Education Programs, Advisory Council

Policies/801/6-29-21