606 Instructional Arrangements

606.2 Class Size - Class Grouping

It shall be within the sole discretion of the board to determine the size of classes and to determine whether class grouping shall take place. The board shall review the class sizes annually.


It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to make a recommendation to the board on class size based upon the budget of the school district, the qualifications of and number of certificated personnel, and other factors deemed relevant to the board such as instructional methods used, physical space, equipment and materials available, educational research, etc.


Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8, 280.3.


Approved   3/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017       Revised 3/18/96  

606.2R1 Class Size - Class Grouping Regulation

High School

Courses are either required or elective. Class size, therefore, depends on the physical space, equipment, instructional materials available, qualified personnel and other factors that may determine if a class is offered and/or taught.


Middle School

Class size will primarily follow the middle school concept. The above factors will also determine if a subject is offered and/or taught.


Elementary Level

The District philosophy encourages small pupil-teacher ratios particularly in the kindergarten and First Grade levels. Besides the factors listed in the main policy, equity for both buildings is a major concern. Therefore, parents are encouraged to volunteer the transfer of their child/children if inequity occurs in large numbers at a particular grade level. Lacking the necessary transfers to allow equity in numbers, the Board retains the right to assign students to the appropriate grade level/building to obtain a equity and a conducive learning environment. The Board does not support setting a maximum or specific number for each class section in order to maintain flexibility.


Approved   05/19/97       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised            

606.3 Homework


Homework should be an integral and relevant part of every student’s instructional program. It should be used consistently throughout the grades and classes.


Homework is defined to be the extra class activities and assignments which may properly be considered an extensions and enrichment of the regular classroom instructional program.


The purpose of carefully assigned homework should be:

1.   Practicing research and exploratory activities;

2.   Sharing and discussing ideas;

3.   Reviewing and summarizing materials studies;

4.   Becoming acquainted with references and resource materials;

5.   Organizing student’s thoughts and thinking skills in preparation for classroom activities; and

6.   Making up incomplete course or subject assignments.


Building principals should make sure that the teaching staff members in their building assign meaningful homework assignments.


Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14.


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017      Revised            

606.4 School Ceremonies and Observances

The school district will continue school ceremonies and observances which have become a tradition and a custom of the education program. These include, but are not limited to, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and observance of holidays, such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter, by programs and performances. Such ceremonies or observances shall have a secular purpose and shall not advocate or sponsor a particular religion.


Students who do not wish to participate in these activities may be silent during the ceremony or observance or receive permission from the principal to be excused from the ceremony for religious reasons in compliance with board policy.



Legal Reference:       

U.S. Const. amend. I.

Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992).

Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, (1971).

Graham v. Central Community School District of Decatur County, 608 F. Supp. 531 (S.D. Iowa 1985).

Iowa Code §§ 279.8.


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised 05/19/97   

606.5 Animals on School Property

Live animals, with the exception of service animals, will not be allowed on school district property except under special circumstances and only for an educational purpose. Permission prior to the event will be required from the building administrator for anyone wishing to bring an animal on to school district property. Appropriate supervision of animals is required when animals are brought on to school district property.


The person bringing the animal must furnish transportation for the animal brought to school. Animals will not be allowed to travel to and from the student’s attendance center on the school bus without prior approval from the principal.


It shall be the responsibility of the principal to determine appropriate supervision of animals in the classroom.


Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8.


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised 06/20/2011   

606.6 Student Production of Materials and Services

Materials and services produced by students at the expense of the school district will be the property of the school district. Materials and services produced by students at the student’s expense, except for incidental expense to the school district, will be the property of the student.


It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to determine incidental expense.


Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8.


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised 05/19/97   

606.7 Student Field Trips and Excursions

The board recognizes that a properly planned, well conducted, and carefully supervised field trip is a vital part of the curriculum of any classroom. As such, student trips of significant educational value are to be encouraged.


Field trips shall have the prior approval of the building principal. An advance consent form of the student’s parents is required to be completed and on file in the building of attendance. This will be required for any excursion involving the use of public or private transportation.


Field trips overnight or trips outside of the state must have the approval of the board. Sufficient sponsors shall be furnished and financial provisions shall be arranged.


Administrative guidelines by building principals and approved by the superintendent of schools will determine specific procedures for each building. For example, limits may be placed on the number of trips per building and their nature, the grade level, and the classrooms each year. Typically, fees charged to attend performances, entrance to an exhibit, etc., will be paid by the students or through fund raisers by the students and not the school district.


Legal Reference:                    390 C.F.R. Pt. 390.3(f) (1993).

                                                Iowa Code §§ 279.8.

                                                281 I.A.C. 43.9.


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised             

606.7R1 Senior Trip

I.       Philosophy

         It is the philosophy of the PCM School District to support the concept of a senior trip. The trip is a privilege, not a right, which is earned by the students by proper actions and demonstrated support of the class through high school. All school rules apply on this trip. Furthermore, it is assumed by the districts that this trip is to be educational in nature and not designed as strictly an entertaining escapade.


II.      Trip Itinerary

         No later than the March board meeting of each year, a complete itinerary will be submitted for approval.


III.     Length of Trip

         The senior class trip shall not exceed seventy-two (72) hours from the time they leave PCM until they return. The trip should be limited to two (2) nights lodging plus the necessary travel time to and from the desired location. The trip will be limited to states bordering Iowa.


IV.     Qualification to go on Senior Trip

         Each student shall:

  1. Be on schedule to meet graduation requirements.
  2. Pay their share of the trip expenses.


During grades nine (9) through eleven (11), the class will be earning money for the prom and the senior class trip. All money left over following prom will go towards the class trip. The remaining cost of the trip will be divided among the seniors going on the trip. Any profits earned during the senior class fund raisers will decrease the cost of the trip.


V.      Losing Privilege of Senior Trip

  1. Any out-of-school suspension or more than one in-school suspension during the senior year. Students are entitled to an appeal through due process pursuant to Board Policy 502.6.
  2. Any expulsion during grades nine (9) thru twelve (12). Students are entitled to an appeal through due process pursuant to Board Policy 502.6.
  3. Any use of drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) during the senior year as defined by the school's good conduct policy. The senior year begins with the first day of fall activity practices. Students are entitled to an appeal through due process pursuant to Board Policy 502.6.


VI.     Deposit

         Each student will be required to make a deposit before trip arrangements are completed. If a student decides not to attend or losses the privilege of attending or is brought home early from the trip, the deposit is forfeited.


VII.    Luggage Check

         All handbags and luggage will be checked by a parent or chaperone before being loaded.




VIII.   Chaperones

         A chaperone shall be provided for each ten (10) students plus one (1) extra chaperone. These chaperones will be approved by the building principal. All lodging and fees for the chaperones will be paid by the senior class.


IX.     Trip Termination

         When, in the judgment of the chaperones, the students have become unmanageable or an embarrassment to the school, the total trip will be terminated and all students will be brought home.


         A chaperone shall be appointed to bring anyone home from the trip when action demonstrates the need to bring the student home. Listed below are some examples of behaviors that would result in sending a student home early. This list is not inclusive itself, but is designed to show the types of behavior that will result in termination of the senior class trip for the student:

  • Possession of drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)
  • Shoplifting
  • Destruction of property


         Any student brought home early from the senior trip will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies. The trip starts when the bus leaves PCM school grounds and ends when the bus arrives back on PCM school grounds. This will be strictly enforced and the boards will have special meetings to give such students their diploma.


Legal Reference:               Iowa Code §§ 279.8


Approved   3/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised 03/20/2017 

606.8 School Assembly

The principal may authorize programs or activities in the form of a school assembly when such events contribute to the achievement of education goals of the school district. Such assemblies shall comply with the school calendar.


In authorizing a school assembly, the principal shall consider the budget of the school district, the educational benefits of the activity, the inherent risks or dangers of the activity, and other factors as the principal or superintendent deems relevant.


It shall be the responsibility of the principal to inform the board of the approved school assemblies.


Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14.


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017      Revised             

606.9 Insufficient Classroom Space

Insufficient classroom space shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. In making its determination whether insufficient classroom space exists, the board may consider several factors, including but not limited to, the nature of the education program, the grade level, the available certified employees, the instructional method, the physical space, student-teacher ratios, equipment and materials, facilities either being planned or under construction, facilities planned to be closed, financial condition of the school district and projected to be available, a sharing agreement in force or planned, a bargaining agreement in force, laws or rules governing special education class size, board-adopted school district goals and objectives, and other factors considered relevant by the board.


This policy shall be reviewed by the board annually. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to bring this policy to the attention of the board each year.


Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 282.18(13).

                                                281 I.A.C. 17.6(3).


Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 03/20/2017     Revised 03/20/2017