604 Alternative Programs

604.1 Private Instruction

In the event a child of compulsory attendance age, over age six and under age sixteen, does not attend public school or an accredited nonpublic school, the child must receive competent private instruction or independent private instruction.

 

A parent choosing competent private instruction for a student by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner, competent private instruction for a student by a non-licensed individual or independent private instruction must meet the requirements outlined under Iowa law.

 

A parent choosing competent private instruction for a student by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner shall notify the school district prior to the first day of school on forms provided by the school district. The forms are available in the central administration office. One copy of the completed forms will be kept by the school district and another copy will be forwarded to the area education agency.

 

A parent choosing competent private instruction for a student by a non-licensed individual may notify the school district prior to the first day of school on forms provided by the district. The forms are available in the central administration office. One copy of the completed forms will be kept by the district and another copy will be forwarded to the appropriate Area Education Agency.

 

A parent choosing independent private instruction for a student may be asked to provide a report identifying the primary instructor, location, name of the authority responsible for the independent instruction, and the names of the students enrolled to the district.

 

The superintendent or superintendent’s designee will determine whether the completed form or report is in compliance with the law. The school district shall report noncompliance with the reporting, immunization, attendance, instructor qualifications, and assessment requirements of the compulsory attendance law to the county attorney of the county of residence of the student’s parent, guardian or custodian.

 

Students receiving competent private instruction or independent private instruction are eligible to request open enrollment to another school district. The receiving district shall not bill the resident district unless the receiving district complies with the reporting requirements. If the parent, guardian or custodian fails to comply with the compulsory attendance requirements, the receiving district shall notify the resident district. The resident district shall then report the non-compliance to the county attorney of the county of residence of the parent, guardian or custodian.

 

Students receiving competent private instruction by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner must make adequate progress, shall be monitored for progress by the supervising teacher, and may be assessed annually. The district will provide any optional assessments at no cost.

 

Students receiving competent private instruction by a non-licensed individual must make adequate progress, shall be evaluated annually by the parent, guardian, or legal custodian to ensure adequate progress is being made, and may be assessed annually. The district will provide any optional assessments at no cost.

 

Students receiving competent private instruction by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner and students receiving competent private instruction from a non-licensed individual may dual enroll with the district. Students receiving individual private instruction may not dual enroll with the district.

 

Upon the request of a parent, guardian or legal custodian of a student receiving competent private instruction or upon referral of a licensed practitioner who provides instruction or instructional supervision of a student under competent private instruction, the school district shall refer a student who may require special education to the appropriate Area Education Agency, Division of Special Education, for evaluation.

 

Legal Reference:        

Iowa Code §§ 256.11; 279.10, .11; 299.1-.6, .11, .15, .24; 299A

281 I.A.C. 31

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017     Revised 02/24/2014   

604.1R1 Criteria to Determine Equivalent Instruction

The following criteria will be used by the Board of Directors in determining equivalency of instruction for children not enrolled in the public schools.

 

Non-Public Approved School

If the instruction provided is in a non-public school, the superintendent shall contact the Iowa Department of Education. If the private school is approved by the Iowa Department of Education, the Board of Directors will consider it to have met the equivalency standards.

 

Non-Public Non-Approved School

If the non-public, non-approved school is located within the school district, the secretary of the school district shall serve notice on the principal of such school, once during each school year and at any time when requested in individual cases, to furnish to the secretary a certificate and a report in duplicate of the following information.

  1. Names of pupils
  2. Ages of pupils
  3. Number of days attendance of each pupil over seven (7) and under sixteen (16) years of age
  4. The course of study pursued by each pupil
  5. The text(s) used
  6. The names of teachers during the preceding year and from the time of the last preceding report to present time.

 

The secretary shall retain one (1) of the reports and file the other with the secretary of the Area Education Agency. The superintendent shall then evaluate the instruction of such school using the guidelines stated in the legal reference and make a recommendation to the Board as to whether equivalent instruction is being provided.

 

If the non-public, non-approved school is located in another district, the superintendent shall contact the secretary of the district within which the non-public non-approved school is located and request the above information from that individual.

 

Private Instruction

If the superintendent becomes aware of a student of compulsory education age who is receiving private instruction not in a regularly conducted school, the superintendent shall require the board secretary to request, from the person having control of the child, a certificate with the following information.

  1. Name and age of such child
  2. Period of time during which such child has been under said private instruction
  3. The details of such instructions and the name of the instructor

 

The superintendent shall then evaluate the instruction of such pupil using the guidelines as stated in the above legal reference. A recommendation to the Board of Directors whether equivalent instruction is being provided by a certified teacher will be made by the superintendent.

 

Legal Reference:                    

281 I.A.C. Chapter 31 and Chapter 257.

Code of Iowa - Iowa Code Sec. 257.25; 279.10;, 279.11; 299.15 and 299.24.

Johnson v. Charles City Community School’s Board of Education, 368 N.W.2d 74 (Iowa 1985).

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017       Revised            

604.2 Individualized Instruction

The board’s primary responsibility in the management of the school district is the operation and delivery of the regular education program. Generally, students attending the school district shall receive the regular education program offered by the district. Only in exceptional circumstances will the board approve students receiving individualized instruction at the expense of the school district.

 

Recommendations from the superintendent for individualized instruction shall state the need for the instruction, the objectives and goals sought for the instruction, the employee requirements for the instruction, the implementation procedures for the instruction and the evaluation procedures and processes that will be used to assess the value of the instruction.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations for individualized instruction.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 256.11; 279.8, .10, .11; 280.3, .14; 299.1-.6, .11, .15, .24; 299A.

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017    Revised 05/19/97   

604.3 Foreign Study

The board recognizes some students may wish to take courses outside the country. The board must approve such foreign exchange student study programs prior to acceptance of the program by the student. The board’s approval is not an assumption of liability, but rather an approval of the credits from the program toward the graduation requirements.

 

Students must obtain board approval prior to participating in the foreign exchange student program, unless it is a continuing program which has received a favorable evaluation by the administration and the program will be carried out in the future as it has been in the past.

 

The students and school district personnel or other, if they travel with the student, shall have personal insurance and liability protection. The school district assumes no liability for the participants.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board informed of ongoing programs and to bring new programs to the board’s attention.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8.

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017      Revised 02/20/2017           

604.4 Program for Talented and Gifted Students

The board recognizes some students require programming beyond the regular education program. The board will identify students with special abilities and provide education programming.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a talented and gifted program which provides for identifying students, for program evaluation, and for training of employees.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 257.42-.49.

281 I.A.C. 12.5(12); 59.

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017     Revised 11/20/06   

604.5 Program for At-Risk Students

The board recognizes some students require additional assistance in order to graduate from the regular education program. The board will provide a plan to encourage and provide an opportunity for at-risk students to achieve their potential and obtain their high school diploma.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop a plan for students at-risk which provides for identifying students, for program evaluation, and for the training of employees.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 257.38-.41; 280.19, .19A.

281 I.A.C. 12.5 (13); 33; 61; 65.

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017    Revised 11/20/06   

604.6 Religious-Based Exclusion from a School Program

Parents who wish to have their child excluded from a school program because of religious beliefs must inform the building principal. The board authorizes the administration to allow the exclusion if it is not disruptive to the education program and it does not infringe on a compelling state or educational interest. Further, the exclusion must not interfere with other school district operations.

 

In notifying the superintendent, the parents shall abide by the following:

  • The notice shall be in writing;
  • The objection shall be based on religious beliefs;
  • The objection shall state which activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  • The objection shall state why these activities or studies violate their religious beliefs; and
  • The objection shall state a proposed alternate activity or study.

 

The building principal shall have discretion to make this determination. The factors the building principal shall consider when a student requests to be excluded from a program or activity because of religious beliefs include, but are not limited to, staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded, space to house the student while the student is excluded, available superintendent-approved alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded, number of students who wish to be excluded, whether allowing the exclusion places the school in a position of supporting a particular religion, and whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.

 

Students who are allowed to be excluded from a program or activity which violates their religious beliefs shall be required to do an alternate supervised activity or study.

 

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 §§ 256.11 (6); 279.8.

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 02/20/2017     Revised 05/19/97   

604.7 Instruction at a Post-Secondary Educational Institution

In accordance with this policy, students in grades nine through twelve may receive academic or career and technical education credits that count toward the graduation requirements set out by the board for courses successfully completed in post-secondary educational institutions.  Students and parents or guardians shall be made aware of the post-secondary instructional opportunities as part of the development of each student’s individual career and academic plan as required by law.  The Superintendent or designee is responsible for developing the appropriate forms and procedures for implementing this policy and the following post-secondary educational opportunities:   

 

Concurrent Enrollment

The board may, in its discretion, enter into a contractual agreement with a community college to provide courses for eligible students in grades nine through twelve when comparable courses are not offered by the school district.  Notice of the availability of the concurrent enrollment program shall be included in the school district’s registration handbook, and the handbook shall identify which courses, if successfully completed, generate post-secondary credit.  Students shall not be charged tuition for concurrent enrollment courses and shall not be required to reimburse the school district for tuition if they do not successfully complete a course. Students or their parents or guardians may be required to pay a fee consistent with the school district’s established textbook policy and other materials for the concurrent enrollment course to the extent permitted by law.  Students or their parents or guardians may also be required to provide their own transportation to and from concurrent enrollment courses to the extent permitted by law.  However, transportation shall be the responsibility of the school district for any contracted course that is used to meet school district accreditation requirements.

 

Students who successfully complete a concurrent enrollment course, as determined by the postsecondary institution, shall receive postsecondary credit in accordance with the institution’s policies and high school credit that will be reflected on their high school transcript.  The Superintendent or designee is responsible for determining the number of high school credits that shall be granted to a student who successfully completes a concurrent enrollment course.  

 

Post-Secondary Enrollment Option

Ninth and tenth grade students who have been identified by the school district as gifted and talented, and eligible eleventh and twelfth grade students, may utilize the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (“PSEO”) program.  To qualify, a course must be a nonsectarian, credit-bearing course that leads to a degree, and in the areas of:  mathematics, science, social sciences, humanities, career and technical education.  A course is not eligible for PSEO if a comparable course is offered by the school district.  This would include courses at a community college with which the district has a concurrent enrollment agreement.  Students shall not be charged for tuition, textbooks, materials, or fees related to a PSEO course with the exception of equipment that becomes the property of the student. 

 

The school district shall reimburse the post-secondary institution for tuition and other expenses for each PSEO course up to $250.  Students who successfully complete a PSEO course, as determined by the postsecondary institution, shall receive postsecondary credit and high school credit.  The Superintendent or designee is responsible for determining the number of high school credits that shall be granted to a student who successfully completes a PSEO course.  Students may not enroll on a full-time basis to any post-secondary institution through the PSEO program.

 

 

Transportation to and from the postsecondary institution is the responsibility of the student or parent or legal guardian of the student enrolled in a PSEO course.  Eligible students may take up to seven hours of post-secondary credit during the summer months and receive high school credit upon successful completion of a post-secondary course.  However, the student or student’s parent or legal guardian are responsible for all costs associated with courses taken during the summer.   

 

Students who fail a PSEO course and fail to receive credit are required to reimburse the school district for all costs directly related to the course up to the $250.00 reimbursement maximum.  Prior to registering, students under the age of eighteen are required to have a parent or guardian sign a form indicating that the parent is responsible for the costs of the course should the student fail the course and fail to receive credit.  Reimbursement waivers may be granted by the board if sufficient verification is provided to show that the student was unable to complete the course for reasons outside the student’s control, including but not limited to physical incapacity, a death in the student’s immediate family, or a move out of the school district.   

 

Legal References:      Iowa Code §§ 256.11; 258; 261E; 279.61, 280.3, 280.14

281 I.A.C. 12 and 22

 

Approved   03/25/91       Reviewed 06/18/2018     Revised 06/18/2018   

604.8 Dual Enrollment

The parent, guardian, or custodian of a student receiving competent private instruction by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner or by a non-licensed individual may also enroll the student in the school district. The student shall be considered under dual enrollment. The parent, guardian, or custodian requesting dual enrollment for the student should notify the superintendent prior to October 1st each year on forms provided by the Iowa Department of Education. On the form, the parent, guardian, or custodian shall indicate the extracurricular and academic activities in which the student is interested in participating. The forms are available at the central administration office.

 

A dual enrollment student is eligible to participate in the school district’s extracurricular and academic activities in the same manner as other students enrolled in the school district. The policies and administrative rules of the school district shall apply to the dual enrollment students in the same manner as the other students enrolled in the school district. These policies and administrative rules shall include, but not be limited to, athletic eligibility requirements, the good conduct rule, academic eligibility requirements, and payment of the fees required for participation.

 

A dual enrollment student whose parent, guardian, or custodian has chosen standardized testing as the form of the student’s annual assessment will not be responsible for the cost of the test or the administration of the test.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 299A.

                                                281 I.A.C. 31.

 

Approved   05/19/97       Reviewed 02/20/2017     Revised 02/24/2014 

604.9 Foreign Students

Foreign students must meet all district entrance requirements including age, place of residence and immunization. Foreign students must be approved by the board. The board reserves the right to limit the number of foreign students accepted. Students who are citizens of a foreign country will be considered residents if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • The student resides with his/her parent(s) or legal guardian;
  • The student is in the United States with appropriate documentation (Form I-20) from the United States Department of Justice-Immigration and Naturalization Services; or
  • The student is a participant in a recognized foreign exchange program; and
  • The student is physically able to attend school and has provided the school district with such proof, including a current TB test.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 279.8.

 

Approved   05/19/97       Reviewed 02/20/2017     Revised            

604.10 Advanced Placement (AP) Classes

Advance placement (AP) classes are rigorous college-level courses designed to enable high-achieving students to expand their knowledge and experiences and to help prepare for college.

 

The student, to be eligible for an AP course, must have demonstrated likelihood of success in college-level courses. The student shall meet at least three of the four criteria listed below to qualify for an AP course through PCM.

  1. Current ITED score composite of 90% or higher.
  2. Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 GPA or higher.
  3. Teacher recommendation.
  4. Identified AP Potential from the PSAT test suggests placement of student into AP course.

 

AP classes are college-level courses and are significantly more rigorous than high school classes. Thus, the grade a student receives in an AP class, except an “F”, is “ratcheted up” per the table below when recorded in PCM’s records and the PCM grade is included in the student’s PCM GPA.

 

            AP Class Grade          =>       PCM Grade (weighting)

                        A                                           AA (5.0)

                        B                                             A (4.0)

                        C                                             B (3.0)

                        D                                             C (2.0)

                        F                                              F (0.0)

 

The student, for their first AP class, may choose to take the class Pass / Fail or for a grade. That decision must be made before the AP course first day of class or it will be assumed the student will take that first class Pass / Fail. All subsequent AP classes for the student, after the first AP class, will be for a grade.

 

AP classes offer a College Board Exam for college credit at the end of the course. Students are not required, per this policy, to take the College Board Exam for each AP class, including AP classes taken Pass / Fail. If student chooses to take the College Board Exam, fees for the College Board Exam are the student’s responsibility.

 

AP classes entail costs for the class, books, and miscellaneous expenses. 

 

The PCM school district will pay for the cost for the class and books (per Policy 604.7). Transportation, if needed, will be the student’s responsibility.

 

 

Approved __8/21/06____       Reviewed 02/20/2017             Revised _02/20/2017