Policy 602   Programs of Instruction

602.1 Multicultural and Gender Fair Education Opportunity
Enrolled children in the school district community shall have an equal opportunity for a quality public education without discrimination regardless of their race, creed, color, gender, marital status, national origin, ability or disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, SES or religion. The education program shall be free of such discrimination and provide equal opportunity for the participants. The education program shall foster knowledge of, respect and appreciation for, the historical and contemporary contributions of diverse cultural groups as well as men and women to society. It shall also reflect the wide variety of roles open to both men and women and provide equal opportunity to both sexes.

The district shall have a plan for ensuring multicultural, nonsexist approaches to the educational program.

Date of Adoption: November 12, 1990

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 1992; Nov. 13, 2000; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: April 11, 2011

 

602.2 Basic Instructional Program
The basic instructional program will include the courses required for each grade level by the State Department of Education. The instructional approach will be nonsexist and multicultural.

The basic instructional program of students enrolled in kindergarten is designed to develop healthy emotional and social habits, language arts and communication skills, the capacity to complete individual tasks, character education and the ability to protect and increase physical well-being with attention given to experiences relating to the development of life skills and human growth and development.

The basic instructional program of students enrolled in grades kindergarten through six will include English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, traffic safety, music, and visual art.

The basic instructional program of students enrolled in grades seven and eight will include English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, family and consumer, career, technology education, physical education, music, and visual art.

The basic instructional program of students enrolled in grades nine through twelve will include English-language arts (6 units), social studies (5 units), mathematics (6 units), science (5 units), health (1 unit), physical education (1 unit), fine arts (3 units), foreign language (4 units), and vocational education (12 units).

The board may, in its discretion, offer additional courses in the instruction program for any grade level.Each instruction program is carefully planned for optimal benefit taking into consideration the financial condition of the school district and other factors deemed relevant by the board or superintendent. Each instruction program's plan should describe the program, its goals, the effective materials, the activities and the method for student evaluation. It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations stating the required courses and optional courses for kindergarten through twelve grade.

Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994). 34 C.F.R. Pt. 98 (2002). Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 256.11; 279.8; 280.3-.14 (2003). 281 I.A.C. 12.5.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; June 10, 1996; Feb. 12, 2001; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: June 9, 1986; March 9, 1992; July 15, 1996; July 11, 2005

 

602.3 Program For Students at Risk
The board of education recognizes that some students require additional help and assistance in order to succeed in school and ultimately graduate from the regular educational program. The board shall provide a program to encourage and provide opportunities for students at risk to achieve their potential.

The program should provide for the identification of students, the development of programs or strategies to help students, for program evaluation and for the necessary training of the school district personnel.

Legal Reference: Iowa Code SS256.9, 261C, 262.71, 280.19, 442.51 - .54 (1989). 670 Iowa Admin. Code 58. 281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.5 (13) (new standards).

Date of Adoption: October 8, 1980

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

602.4 Higher Order Thinking Skills
The district shall have a plan which infuses higher order thinking skills throughout the K-12 curriculum.

Date of Adoption: November 12, 1990

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 1992; Nov. 13, 2000; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:
 
 
 
602.5 Technology and Instructional Materials
The Board supports the use of innovative methods and the use of technology in the delivery of the education program.  The district shall have a plan for the efficient and effective use of technology in the instructional program. The plan shall provide for the understanding and use of current technology by staff and students.

Date of Adoption: November 12, 1990

Legal Reference: Iowa Code SS256.17, 279.8, 282.14, (1989) 670 Iowa Admin. Code 3.5(21), 5(10), 281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.5(10) (new standards)

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 1992; Nov. 13, 2000; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

 
Amended:
 
 
 
602.6 Global Education
Because of our growing interdependence with other nations in the world, global education shall be incorporated into the education program for grades kindergarten through twelve so students have the opportunity to acquire a perspective on world issues, problems, and prospects for an awareness of the relationship between an individual's self-interest and the concerns of people elsewhere in the world. Global education is the lifelong growth in understanding, through study and participation, of the world community and the interdependency of its people and system - social, cultural, racial economic, linguistic, technological, and ecological.

The district shall have a plan which incorporates global perspectives into all areas and levels of the education program.

Date of Adoption: November 12, 1990

Legal Reference: Iowa Code S256.11 (1989) 281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.5(11) (new standards)

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 1992; Nov. 13, 2000; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014
 
Amended:
 
 
 
602.7 Career Education
Preparing students for careers is a goal of the educational program. Career education will be infused into the educational program for grades Kindergarten through twelve (12). The education shall include, but not be limited to, awareness of self in relation to others and the needs of society, exploration of employment opportunities, experience in personal decisionmaking, and experiences of integrating work values and work skills into their lives. The district shall have a plan which incorporates career education into all areas and levels of the educational program. Special attention and emphasis should be given to courses of vocational education.

Date of Adoption: December 10, 1990

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

 
Amended:
 
 
 
602.8 Summer School Instruction
Summer school shall be conducted in such buildings, on such grade levels, for such length of time, as the Board, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, may determine. The program offered during the summer school shall be designed so that the following purposes or objectives may be met:
  1.  Enrichment and extension of the program provided during the regular academic year; and
  2. Remedial for those pupils who need and can profit from further work in the basic subject matter areas.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974


Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

602.9 Special Education

The board recognizes some students have different educational needs than other students.   The board will provide a free appropriate public education program and related services to students identified in need of special education.   The special education and related services will be provided from birth until the appropriate education is completed, age twenty-one (21) or to the maximum age allowable in accordance with the law.  Students requiring special education will attend general education classes, participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities and receive services in a general education setting to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of each individual student.  The appropriate education for each student is written in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).

 Students with disabilities are required to meet the requirements stated in board policy or in their IEPs for graduation.  All students will receive the same diploma. It is the responsibility of the superintendent and the area education agency director of special education to provide or make provisions for appropriate special education and related services.

Children from birth through age 2 and children age 3 through age 5 are provided comprehensive special education services within the public education system.  The school district will work in conjunction with the area education agency to provide services, at the earliest appropriate time, to children with disabilities from birth through age 2.  This is done to ensure a smooth transition of children entitled to early childhood special education services.

  

Legal Reference:     Board of Education v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982).

Springdale School District #50 v. Grace, 693 F.2d 41 (8th Cir. 1982).

            Southeast Warren Comm. School District v. Dept. of Public

            Instruction, 285 N.W.2d 173 (Iowa 1979). 20 U.S.C. §§1400 et seq. (1994).

            34 C.F.R. Pt. 300 et seq. (1996).

Iowa Code §§ 256.11(7); 256B; 273.1, .2, .5, .9(2)-(3); 280.8   (2003).

281 I.A.C. 41.109

 

            Date of Adoption:  August 20, 1974

 

            Reviewed:  March 9, 1992; Feb. 2, 2001; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014;

                                April 13, 2015

 

            Amended:  June 9, 1986; July 11, 2005; May 11, 2015

 

 

 

602.10 Adult Education

The Board of Directors of the district recognizes that the general objectives of post-high school and adult education programs shall be the same as those of other levels of public education. These general objectives include the preparation of individuals for democratic citizenship, providing individuals with means for economic improvement and cultural development, and the enrichment of the personal lives of all the participating individuals.

The post-high school and adult education programs shall be administered by the administrative staff of the Mount Pleasant Community School System in partnership with Southeastern Community College. The physical facilities of the school district shall be made available for use in these programs when there is no conflict with regular school activities.

Recommendations for extension and expansion of adult education programs shall be made through the prescribed lines of authority and shall be presented to the Board of Directors by the Superintendent of Schools.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974
Reviewed: March 9, 1992; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014
Amended:
 
602.11 Co-Curricular Activities
The Board of Directors believe that a dynamic program of student activities is vital to the complete development
of the student. Such activities offer opportunities to serve the institution, to assist in development of fellowship
and social good will, to promote self realization and all around growth, and encourage the learning of qualities
of good citizenship.
 
Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974
  
Reviewed: March 9, 1992; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:
 
 
 
602.12 Curriculum Development
Curriculum development is an ongoing process in the school district and consists of both research and design.  Research is the studious inquiry and critical investigation of the various content areas for the purpose of revising and improving curriculum and instruction based on relevant information pertaining to the discipline.  This study is conducted both internally (what and how we are currently doing at the local level) and externally (what national standards, professional organizations, recognized experts, current research, etc. tell us relative to the content area). Design is the deliberate process of planning and selecting the standards and instructional strategies that will improve the learning experiences for all students.
 

A systematic approach to curriculum development (careful research, design, and articulation of the curriculum) serves several purposes:          

  • Focuses attention on the content standards of each discipline and ensures the identified learnings are rigorous, challenging, and represent the most important learning for our students.
  • Increases the probability that students will acquire the desired knowledge, skills and dispositions and that our schools will be successful in providing appropriate learning experiences.
  • Facilitates communication and coordination.
  • Improves classroom instruction.

 

 The superintendent is responsible for curriculum development and for determining the most effective method of conducting research and design activities. A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed in researching, designing, and articulating each curriculum area. This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures for the following curriculum development activities to:

  • Study the latest thinking, trends research and expert advice regarding the content/discipline;
  • Study the current status of the content/discipline (what and how well students are currently learning);
  • Identify content standards, benchmarks, and grade level expectations for the content/discipline;
  • Describe the desired learning behaviors, teaching and learning environment related to the content/discipline;
  • Identify differences in the desired and present program and develop a plan for addressing the differences;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding the content area;
  • Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum development decisions;
  • Verify integration of local, state, and/or federal mandates (MCNS, school-to-work, etc);
  • Verify how the standards and benchmarks of the content/discipline support each of the broader student
  • learning goals and provide a K-12 continuum that builds on the prior learning of each level.

 It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of necessary curriculum revisions, progress of each content area related to curriculum development activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum development including recommendations to the board.

 Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994). 34 C.F.R. Pt. 98 (2002). Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 256.7, 279.8; 280.3-.14  (2003). 281 I.A.C. 12.5.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: Dec. 10, 1990; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: March 9, 1992

 
 
602.13 Curriculum Implementation
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum implementation and for determining the most effective way of providing organized assistance and monitoring the level of implementation. A curriculum framework will describe the processes and procedures that will be followed to assist all staff in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully implement the developed curriculum in each content area. This framework will, at a minimum, describe the processes and procedures
for the following curriculum implementation activities to:
  • Study and identify the best instructional practices and materials to deliver the content; Identify/develop exemplars that demonstrate the learning behaviors, teaching, and learning environment to deliver the content;
  • Study the current status of instruction in the content area (how teachers are teaching); Compare the desired and present delivery system, identify differences (gap analysis), and develop a plan for addressing the differences; Organize staff into collaborative study teams to support their learning and implementation efforts (address the gaps);
  • Provide ongoing professional development related to instructional strategies and materials that focuses on theory, demonstration, practice and feedback;
  • Regularly monitor and assess the level of implementation;
  • Communicate with internal and external publics regarding curriculum implementation; Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum implementation decisions.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum implementation activities, progress of each content area related to curriculum implementation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum implementation including recommendations to the board.
 
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994). 34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (2002). Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3-.14 (2003). 281 I.A.C. 12.8(1)(c)(1).
Date of Adoption: July 11, 2005

Reviewed: March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014
Amended:
 
 
 
602.14 Curriculum Evaluation
The superintendent is responsible for curriculum evaluation and for determining the most effective way of ensuring that assessment activities are integrated into instructional practices as part of school improvement with a particular focus on improving teaching and learning. A curriculum framework will describe the procedures that will be followed to establish an evaluation process that can efficiently and effectively evaluate the total curriculum. This framework will, at a minimum, describe the procedures for the following curriculum evaluation activities:
 
  • Identify specific purposes for assessing student learning;
  • Develop a comprehensive assessment plan;
  • Select/develop assessment tools and scoring procedures that are valid and reliable;
  • Identify procedures for collecting assessment data;
  • Identify procedures for analyzing and interpreting information and drawing conclusions based on the data (including analysis of the performance of various sub-groups of students);
  • Identify procedures for establishing at least three levels of performance (specific to the content standard and the assessment tool when appropriate) to assist in determining whether students have achieved at a satisfactory level (at least two levels describe performance that is proficient or advanced and at least one level describes students who are not yet performing at the proficient level);
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information to determine long-range and annual improvement goals;
  • Identify procedures for using assessment information in making decisions focused on improving teaching and learning (data based decision making);
  • Provide support to staff in using data to make instructional decisions;
  • Define procedures for regular and clear communication about assessment results to the various internal and external publics (mandatory for communication about students receiving special education services);
  • Define data reporting procedures;
  • Verify that assessment tools are fair for all students and are consistent with all state and federal mandates;
  • Verify that assessment tools measure the curriculum that is written and delivered;
  • Identify procedures for deciding when multiple assessment measures are necessary for making good decisions and drawing appropriate conclusions about student learning;
  • Identify roles and responsibilities of key groups;

Involve staff, parents, students, and community members in curriculum evaluation; Ensure participation of eligible students receiving special education services in district-wide assessments.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board apprised of curriculum evaluation activities, the progress of each content area related to curriculum evaluation activities, and to develop administrative regulations for curriculum evaluation including recommendations to the board.

Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232h (1994). 34 C.F.R. pt. 98 (2002). Iowa Code §§ 216.9, 256.7, 279.8, 280.3-.14 (2003). 281 I.A.C. 12.8(1)(c)(1).

Date of Adoption: July 11, 2005

Reviewed: March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

602.15 Competent 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.

A parent choosing competent private instruction for a student must 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.

The superintendent will determine whether the completed form is in compliance with the law. Specifically, the superintendent will determine whether the individual providing the instruction is either the student's parent, guardian, legal custodian or an Iowa licensed practitioner; whether the licensed practitioner's license is appropriate for the age and grade level of the student; that the student is being instructed a minimum of one hundred and forty-eight days per year; that immunization evidence is provided for students placed under competent private instruction for the first time and that the report is timely filed.

The school district will 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 are eligible to request open enrollment to another school district. Prior to the request for open enrollment, the student will request dual enrollment in the resident district. The receiving district will 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 will notify the resident district. The resident district will then report the noncompliance to the county attorney of the county of residence of the parent, guardian or custodian.

Students receiving competent private instruction from a parent, guardian or legal custodian must be evaluated annually by May 1 unless such person is properly licensed. The parent, guardian or legal custodian may choose either a standardized test approved by the Iowa Department of Education or a portfolio evaluation. If the parent, guardian or legal custodian chooses standardized testing and the student is dual enrolled, the school district will pay for the cost of the standardized test and the administration of the standardized test. If the student is not dual enrolled, the parent, guardian or legal custodian will reimburse the school district for the cost of the standardized test and the administration of the standardized test. If a parent, guardian or legal custodian of a student receiving competent private instruction chooses portfolio assessment as the means of annual assessment, the portfolio evaluator must be approved by the superintendent. Portfolio evaluators must hold a valid Iowa practitioner's license or teacher certificate appropriate to the ages and grade levels of the children whose portfolios are being assessed. No annual evaluation is required for students receiving competent private instruction from an appropriately licensed or certified Iowa practitioner.

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 will refer a student who may require special education to the area education agency, Division of Special Education, for evaluation.

Students in competent private instruction must make adequate progress. Adequate progress includes scoring at the thirtieth percentile on a standardized test or a report by the portfolio evaluator indicating adequate progress. Students who fail to make adequate progress under competent private instruction provided by the student's parent, guardian or legal custodian will attend an accredited public or nonpublic school beginning the next school year. The parent, guardian or legal custodian of a student who fails to make adequate progress may apply to the director of the Department of Education for approval of continued competent private instruction under a remediation plan.

The remediation plan is for no more than one year. Before the beginning of the school year, the student may be re-tested and if the student achieves adequate progress the student may remain in competent private instruction.

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 256.11; 279.10, .11; 299.1-.6, .11;299A(2003);281 I.A.C. 31.

Date of Adoption: July 11, 2005

Reviewed: March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:
 
 
 
602.16 Dual Enrollment
 
The parent, guardian, or custodian of a student receiving competent private instruction may also enroll the student in the school district.  The student is considered under dual enrollment.  The parent, guardian, or custodian requesting dual enrollment for the student should notify the board secretary prior to the third Friday of September each year on forms provided by the school district.  On the form, they will 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.  A child under dual enrollment may participate in academic or instructional programs of the district on the same basis as any regularly enrolled student.  A child under dual enrollment must receive at least one-quarter of the child’s instruction by way of competent private instruction and no more than three-quarters by way of the district’s academic programs.  These include art, music, and exercise science, as these classes are not considered extra-curricular.  The policies and administrative rules of the school district will apply to the dual enrollment students in the same manner as the other students enrolled the school district.  These policies and administrative rules will 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.

 

The school district will notify the dual enrollment student of the extracurricular and academic activities in which the student wishes to participate.

 

 Honors and Awards

 

Home school and dual enrolled students are not full-time students and, therefore, are not eligible to receive academic honors and awards. A student is eligible for non-monetary honors and awards at the Mount Pleasant Community High School if he/she is considered a full-time student (a minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester).  Home school and dual enrolled students are eligible for extracurricular letters and awards.

 

Class Rank

 

Home school and dual enrolled students are not full-time students, and therefore are not eligible to receive a class rank.  A student is eligible to receive a class rank if he/she is considered a full-time student (a minimum of six (6) accredited credits per semester).  A home school and dual enrolled student must be enrolled full-time during their junior and senior year to be eligible for a class rank.

 

 Graduation from Mount Pleasant Community High School

 

A dual enrolled student or a student participating in a home school assistance program may be eligible for a Mount Pleasant Community High School diploma and participate in Commencement ceremonies if the student enrolls as a full-time student (a minimum of six (6) accredited credits per semester) during their senior year, and after a review of the student’s transcript, the high school administrations determines the students has met all the graduation requirements.

 

Legal Reference:      Iowa Code §§ 279.8, 299A (2003).

                                             IAC 281.31.6(2)

 

Date of Adoption:  August 8, 2005

 

            Reviewed:   March 8, 2010; Oct. 14, 2013; Aug. 11, 2014

 

            Amended:   July13, 2009; November 11, 2013