CHAPTER 12GENERAL ACCREDITATION STANDARDS[Prior to 9/7/88, see Public Instruction Department Ch 4]PreambleThe goal for the early childhood through twelfth grade educational system in Iowa is to improve the learning, achievement, and performance of all students so they become successful members of a community and workforce. It is expected that each school and school district shall continue to improve its educational system so that more students will increase their learning, achievement, and performance.Accreditation focuses on an ongoing school improvement process for schools and school districts. However, general accreditation standards are the minimum requirements that must be met by an Iowa public school district to be accredited. A public school district that does not maintain accreditation shall be merged, by the state board of education, with one or more contiguous school districts as required by Iowa Code subsection 256.11(12). A nonpublic school must meet the general accreditation standards if it wishes to be designated as accredited for operation in Iowa.General accreditation standards are intended to fulfill the state’s responsibility for making available an appropriate educational program that has high expectations for all students in Iowa. The accreditation standards ensure that each child has access to an educational program that meets the needs and abilities of the child regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, marital status, geographic location, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status.With local community input, school districts and accredited nonpublic schools shall incorporate accountability for student achievement into comprehensive school improvement plans designed to increase the learning, achievement, and performance of all students. As applicable, and to the extent possible, comprehensive school improvement plans shall consolidate federal and state program goal setting, planning, and reporting requirements. Provisions for multicultural and gender fair education, technology integration, global education, gifted and talented students, at-risk students, students with disabilities, and the professional development of all staff shall be incorporated, as applicable, into the comprehensive school improvement plan. See subrules 12.5(8) to 12.5(13), 12.7(1), and 12.8(1).DIVISION IGENERAL STANDARDS28112.1(256) General standards. 12.1(1) Schools and school districts governed by general accreditation standards. These standards govern the accreditation of all prekindergarten, if offered, or kindergarten through grade 12 school districts operated by public school corporations and the accreditation, if requested, of prekindergarten or kindergarten through grade 12 schools operated under nonpublic auspices. Each school district shall take affirmative steps to integrate students in attendance centers and courses. Schools and school districts shall collect and annually review district, attendance center, and course enrollment data on the basis of race, national origin, gender, and disability. Equal opportunity in programs shall be provided to all students regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation as defined in Iowa Code section 216.2 as amended by 2007 Iowa Acts, Senate File 427, section 1, gender identity as defined in Iowa Code section 216.2 as amended by 2007 Iowa Acts, Senate File 427, section 1, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, or creed. Nothing in this rule shall be construed as prohibiting any bona fide religious institution from imposing qualifications based upon religion when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose. 12.1(2) School board. Each school or school district shall be governed by an identifiable authority which shall exercise the functions necessary for the effective operation of the school and referred to in these rules as the “board.” 12.1(3) Application for accreditation. The board of any school or school district that is not accredited on the effective date of these standards and which seeks accreditation shall file an application with the director, department of education, on or before the first day of January of the school year preceding the school year for which accreditation is sought. 12.1(4) Accredited schools and school districts. Each school or school district receiving accreditation under the provisions of these standards shall remain accredited except when by action of the state board of education it is removed from the list of accredited schools maintained by the department of education in accordance with Iowa Code subsections 256.11(11) and 256.11(12). 12.1(5) When nonaccredited. A school district shall be nonaccredited on the day after the date it is removed from the list of accredited schools by action of the state board of education. A nonpublic school shall be nonaccredited on the date established by the resolution of the state board, which shall be no later than the end of the school year in which the nonpublic school is declared to be nonaccredited. 12.1(6) Alternative provisions for accreditation. School districts may meet accreditation requirements through the provisions of Iowa Code sections 256.13, nonresident students; 273.7A, services to school districts; 279.20, superintendent—term; 280.15, joint employment and sharing; 282.7, attending in another corporation—payment; and 282.10, whole grade sharing. Nonpublic schools may meet accreditation requirements through the provisions of Iowa Code section 256.12. 12.1(7) Minimum school calendar: set by annual hours or days of instruction. The board of directors of a school district and the authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school shall adopt a school calendar that sets the number of days or hours of required attendance for student instruction, staff development and in-service time, and time for parent-teacher conferences. Prior to adopting the school calendar, the board of directors of a school district shall hold a public hearing on any proposed school calendar. The board and authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school shall notify the department annually of their decision to have a calendar based on days or based on hours. The length of the school calendar does not dictate the length of contract hours or days of employment for instructional and noninstructional staff. Time recorded under either a days or hours calendar system may include passing time between classes but shall exclude the lunch period. Time spent on parent-teacher conferences shall be considered instructional time. The school calendar may be operated any time during the school year of July 1 to June 30 as defined by Iowa Code section 279.10 as amended by 2013 Iowa Acts, House File 215, section 81. A minimum of 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction shall be set in the school calendar, for school districts and accredited nonpublic schools beginning no sooner than a day during the calendar week in which the first day of September falls, and shall be used for student instruction. However, if the first day of September falls on a Sunday, school may begin any day during the calendar week preceding September 1. These 180 days shall meet the requirements of “day of school” for those districts or accredited nonpublic schools that are utilizing a schedule based on days, defined in paragraph 12.1(8)“a,” “minimum school day” defined in subrule 12.1(9), and “day or hour of attendance” defined in subrule 12.1(10). (Exception: A school or school district may, by board policy, excuse graduating seniors up to five days or 30 hours of instruction after school or school district requirements for graduation have been met.) If additional days are added to the regular school calendar because of inclement weather, a graduating senior who has met the school district’s requirements for graduation may be excused from attendance during the extended school calendar. A school district may begin employment of instructional and noninstructional staff, for in-service training and development purposes, earlier than the first day of school. A school or school district choosing a schedule based on hours shall follow the definition of “hour of school” set forth in paragraph 12.1(8)“b.” 12.1(8) Day and hour of school. a. Day of school. A day of school is a day during which the school or school district is in session and students are under the guidance and instruction of the instructional professional staff. School shall be considered in session during parent-teacher conferences as well as during activities such as field trips if students are engaged in programs or activities under the guidance and direction of the instructional professional staff. All grade levels of the school or school district must be operated and available for attendance by all students. An exception is if either the elementary or secondary grades are closed and provided that the time missed is made up at some other point during the school calendar so as to meet the minimum of 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction for all grades 1 through 12. b. Hour of school. For schools or school districts adopting a calendar based on a 1,080-hour minimum schedule, an official hour of school is an hour in which the school or school district is in session and students are under the guidance and instruction of the instructional professional staff. For purposes of this rule, an “hour” is defined as 60 minutes. The calculation of minimum hours shall exclude the lunch period. Passing time between classes may be counted as part of the hour requirement. School shall be considered in session during parent-teacher conferences as well as during activities such as field trips if students are engaged in programs or activities under the guidance and direction of the instructional professional staff. All grade levels of the school or school district must be operated and available for attendance by all students. Schools or school districts have flexibility on how they can reach the threshold of 1,080 hours of instruction but must keep annual documentation of how they met that standard. The school calendar may include more than or less than or may equal the 180-day schedule. The hours included in an individual day under an hours format may vary. 12.1(9) Minimum school day. A school day, for those utilizing a school calendar based on days, shall consist of a minimum of 6 hours of instructional time for all grades 1 through 12. The minimum hours shall exclude the lunch period. Passing time between classes may be counted as part of the 6-hour requirement. School shall be considered in session during parent-teacher conferences as well as during activities such as field trips if students are engaged in programs or activities under the guidance and direction of the instructional professional staff. 12.1(10) Day or hour of attendance. A day or hour of attendance shall be a day or hour during which students were present and under the guidance and instruction of the instructional professional staff. When staff development designated by the board or by authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school occurs outside of the time required for a “minimum school day,” students shall be counted in attendance. 12.1(11) Kindergarten. The number of instructional days or hours within the school calendar and the length of the school day for kindergarten shall be defined by the board or by authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school that operates a kindergarten program.Related ARC(s): 1115CDIVISION IIDEFINITIONS28112.2(256) Definitions. For purposes of these rules, the following definitions shall apply:
"Alternative options education programs" means alternative programs or schools as identified in Iowa Code section 280.19A.
"Alternative program" means a class or environment established within the regular educational program and designed to accommodate specific student educational needs such as, but not limited to, work-related training; reading, mathematics or science skills; communication skills; social skills; physical skills; employability skills; study skills; or life skills.
"Alternative school" means an environment established apart from the regular educational program and that includes policies and rules, staff, and resources designed to accommodate student needs and to provide a comprehensive education consistent with the student learning goals and content standards established by the school district or by the school districts participating in a consortium. Students attend by choice.
"Annual improvement goals" means the desired one-year rate of improvement for students. Data from multiple measures may be used to determine the rate of improvement.
"At-risk student" means any identified student who needs additional support and who is not meeting or not expected to meet the established goals of the educational program (academic, personal/social, career/vocational). At-risk students include but are not limited to students in the following groups: homeless children and youth, dropouts, returning dropouts, and potential dropouts.
"Baseline data" means information gathered at a selected point in time and used thereafter as a basis from which to monitor change.
"Benchmarks" means specific knowledge and skills anchored to content standards that a student needs to accomplish by a specific grade or grade span.
"Board" means the board of directors in charge of a public school district or the authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school.
"Competency-based education" means that learners advance through content or earn credit based on demonstration of proficiency of competencies. Proficiency for this context is the demonstrated skill or knowledge required to advance to and be successful in higher levels of learning in that content area. Some students may advance through more content or earn more credit than in a traditional school year while others might take more than a traditional school year to advance through the same content and to earn credit. A student must meet the requirements of 12.5(14) to be awarded credit in a competency-based system of education.
"Comprehensive school improvement plan" means a design that shall describe how the school or school district will increase student learning, achievement, and performance. This ongoing improvement design may address more than student learning, achievement, and performance.
"Content standards" means broad statements about what students are expected to know and be able to do.
"Curriculum" means a plan that outlines what students shall be taught. Curriculum refers to all the courses offered, or all the courses offered in a particular area of study.
"Department" means the department of education.
"Districtwide" means all attendance centers within a school district or accredited nonpublic school.
"Districtwide assessments" means large-scale achievement or performance measures. At least one districtwide assessment shall allow for the following: the comparison of the same group of students over time as they progress through the grades or the cross-sectional comparison of students at the same grades over multiple years.
"Districtwide progress" means the quantifiable change in school or school district student achievement and performance.
"Dropout" means a school-age student who is served by a public school district and enrolled in any of grades seven through twelve and who does not attend school or withdraws from school for a reason other than death or transfer to another approved school or school district or has been expelled with no option to return.
"Educational program." The educational program adopted by the board is the entire offering of the school, including out-of-class activities and the sequence of curriculum areas and activities. The educational program shall provide articulated, developmental learning experiences from the date of student entrance until high school graduation.
"Enrolled student" means a person that has officially registered with the school or school district and is taking part in the educational program.
"Incorporate" means integrating career education, multicultural and gender fair education, technology education, global education, higher-order thinking skills, learning skills, and communication skills into the total educational program.
"Indicators" provide information about the general status, quality, or performance of an educational system.
"Library program" means an articulated sequential kindergarten through grade 12 library or media program that enhances student achievement and is integral to the school district’s curricula and instructional program. The library program is planned and implemented by a qualified teacher librarian working collaboratively with the district’s administration and instructional staff. The library program services provided to students and staff shall include the following:
- Support of the overall school curricula;
- Collaborative planning and teaching;
- Promotion of reading and literacy;
- Information literacy instruction;
- Access to a diverse and appropriate school library collection; and
- Learning enhancement through technologies.
"Long-range goals" means desired targets to be reached over an extended period of time.
"Multiple assessment measures," for reporting to the local community or the state, means more than one valid and reliable instrument that quantifies districtwide student learning, including specific grade-level data.
"Performance levels." The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that at least three levels of performance be established to assist in determining which students have or have not achieved a satisfactory or proficient level of performance. At least two of those three levels shall describe what all students ought to know or be able to do if their achievement or performance is deemed proficient or advanced. The third level shall describe students who are not yet performing at the proficient level. A school or school district may establish more than three performance levels that include all students for districtwide or other assessments.
"Physical activity" means any movement, manipulation, or exertion of the body that can lead to improved levels of physical fitness and quality of life.
"Potential dropouts" means resident pupils who are enrolled in a public or nonpublic school who demonstrate poor school adjustment as indicated by two or more of the following:
- High rate of absenteeism, truancy, or frequent tardiness.
- Limited or no extracurricular participation or lack of identification with school including, but not limited to, expressed feelings of not belonging.
- Poor grades including, but not limited to, failing in one or more school subjects or grade levels.
- Low achievement scores in reading or mathematics which reflect achievement at two years or more below grade level.
"Prekindergarten program" includes a school district’s implementation of the preschool program established pursuant to 2007 Iowa Acts, House File 877, section 2, and is otherwise described herein in subrule 12.5(1).
"Proficient," as it relates to content standards, characterizes student performance at a level that is acceptable by the school or school district.
"Returning dropouts" means resident pupils who have been enrolled in a public or nonpublic school in any of grades seven through twelve who withdrew from school for a reason other than transfer to another school or school district and who subsequently enrolled in a public school in the district.
"School" means an accredited nonpublic school.
"School counseling program" means an articulated sequential kindergarten through grade 12 program that is comprehensive in scope, preventive in design, developmental in nature, driven by data, and integral to the school district’s curricula and instructional program. The program is implemented by at least one school counselor, appropriately licensed by the board of educational examiners, who works collaboratively with the district’s administration and instructional staff. The program standards are described in subrule 12.3(11). The program’s delivery system components shall include the following:
- School guidance curriculum;
- Support of the overall school curriculum;
- Individual student planning;
- Responsive services; and
- System support.
"School district" means a public school district.
"School improvement advisory committee" means a committee, as defined in Iowa Code section 280.12, that is appointed by the board. Committee membership shall include students, parents, teachers, administrators, and representatives from the local community which may include business, industry, labor, community agencies, higher education, or other community constituents. To the extent possible, committee membership shall have balanced representation of the following: race, gender, national origin, and disability. The school improvement advisory committee as defined by Iowa Code section 280.12 and the board are also part of, but not inclusive of, the local community.
"Student learning goals" means general statements of expectations for all graduates.
"Students with disabilities" means students who have individualized education programs regardless of the disability.
"Subgroups" means a subset of the student population that has a common characteristic. Subgroups include, but are not limited to, gender, race, students with disabilities, and socioeconomic status.
"Successful employment in Iowa" may be determined by, but is not limited to, reviewing student achievement and performance based on locally identified indicators such as earnings, educational attainment, reduced unemployment, and the attainment of employability skills.Related ARC(s): 7783B, 1116CDIVISION IIIADMINISTRATION28112.3(256) Administration. The following standards shall apply to the administration of accredited schools and school districts. 12.3(1) Board records. Each board shall adopt by written policy a system for maintaining accurate records. The system shall provide for recording and maintaining the minutes of all board meetings, coding all receipts and expenditures, and recording and filing all reports required by the Iowa Code or requested by the director of the department of education. Financial records of school districts shall be maintained in a manner as to be easily audited according to accepted accounting procedures. 12.3(2) Policy manual. The board shall develop and maintain a policy manual which provides a codification of its policies, including the adoption date, the review date, and any revision date for each policy. Policies shall be reviewed at least every five years to ensure relevance to current practices and compliance with the Iowa Code, administrative rules and decisions, and court decisions. 12.3(3) Personnel evaluation. Each board shall adopt evaluation criteria and procedures for all contracted staff. The evaluation processes shall conform to Iowa Code sections 279.14 and 279.23A. 12.3(4) Student records. Each board shall require its administrative staff to establish and maintain a system of student records. This system shall include for each student a permanent office record and a cumulative record.The permanent office record shall serve as a historical record of official information concerning the student’s education. The permanent office record shall be recorded and maintained under the student’s legal name. At a minimum, the permanent office record should contain evidence of attendance and educational progress, serve as an official transcript, contain other data for use in planning to meet student needs, and provide data for official school and school district reports. This record is to be permanently maintained and stored in a fire-resistant safe or vault or can be maintained and stored electronically with a secure backup file.The cumulative record shall provide a continuous and current record of significant information on progress and growth. It should reflect information such as courses taken, scholastic progress, school attendance, physical and health record, experiences, interests, aptitudes, attitudes, abilities, honors, extracurricular activities, part-time employment, and future plans. It is the “working record” used by the instructional professional staff in understanding the student. At the request of a receiving school or school district, a copy of the cumulative record shall be sent to officials of that school when a student transfers.For the sole purpose of implementing an interagency agreement with state and local agencies in accordance with Iowa Code section 280.25, a student’s permanent record may include information contained in the cumulative record as defined above.The board shall adopt a policy concerning the accessibility and confidentiality of student records that complies with the provisions of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and Iowa Code chapter 22. 12.3(5) Requirements for graduation. Each board providing a program through grade 12 shall adopt a policy establishing the requirements students must meet for high school graduation. This policy shall make provision for early graduation and shall be consistent with these requirements, Iowa Code section 280.14, and the requirements in the introductory paragraph of subrule 12.5(5). 12.3(6) Student responsibility and discipline. The board shall adopt student responsibility and discipline policies as required by Iowa Code section 279.8. The board shall involve parents, students, instructional and noninstructional professional staff, and community members in the development and revision of those policies where practicable or unless specific policy is mandated by legislation. The policies shall relate to the educational purposes of the school or school district. The policies shall include, but are not limited to, the following: attendance; use of tobacco; the use or possession of alcoholic beverages or any controlled substance; harassment of or by students and staff as detailed in subrule 12.3(13); violent, destructive, and seriously disruptive behavior; suspension, expulsion, emergency removal, weapons, and physical restraint; out-of-school behavior; participation in extracurricular activities; academic progress; and citizenship.The policies shall ensure due process rights for students and parents, including consideration for students who have been identified as requiring special education programs and services.The board shall also consider the potential, disparate impact of the policies on students because of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation as defined in Iowa Code section 216.2 as amended by 2007 Iowa Acts, Senate File 427, section 1, gender identity as defined in Iowa Code section 216.2 as amended by 2007 Iowa Acts, Senate File 427, section 1, disability, religion, creed, or socioeconomic status.The board shall publicize its support of these policies, its support of the staff in enforcing them, and the staff’s accountability for implementing them. 12.3(7) Health services. Rescinded IAB 12/5/07, effective 1/9/08. 12.3(8) Audit of school funds. This subrule applies to school districts. The results of the annual audit of all school district funds conducted by the state auditor or a private auditing firm shall be made part of the official records of the board as described in Iowa Code section 11.6. 12.3(9) School or school district building grade-level organization. The board shall adopt a grade-level organization for the buildings under its jurisdiction as described in Iowa Code section 279.39. 12.3(10) Report on accredited nonpublic school students. Rescinded IAB 12/5/07, effective 1/9/08. 12.3(11) Standards for school counseling programs. The board of directors of each school district shall establish a K-12 comprehensive school counseling program, driven by student data and based on standards in academic, career, personal, and social areas, which supports the student achievement goals of the total school curriculum and to which all students have equitable access. a. A qualified school counselor, licensed by the board of educational examiners, who works collaboratively with students, teachers, support staff and administrators shall direct the program and provide services and instruction in support of the curricular goals of each attendance center. The school counselor shall be the member of the attendance center instructional team with special expertise in identifying resources and technologies to support teaching and learning. The school counselor and classroom teachers shall collaborate to develop, teach, and evaluate attendance center curricular goals with emphasis on the following: (1) Sequentially presented curriculum, programs, and responsive services that address growth and development of all students; and (2) Attainment of student competencies in academic, career, personal, and social areas. b. The program shall be regularly reviewed and revised and shall be designed to provide all of the following: (1) Curriculum that is embedded throughout the district’s overall curriculum and systemically delivered by the school counselor in collaboration with instructional staff through classroom and group activities and that consists of structured lessons to help students achieve desired competencies and to provide all students with the knowledge and skills appropriate for their developmental levels; (2) Individual student planning through ongoing systemic activities designed to help students establish educational and career goals to develop future plans; (3) Responsive services through intervention and curriculum that meet students’ immediate and future needs as occasioned by events and conditions in students’ lives and that may require any of the following: individual or group counseling; consultation with parents, teachers, and other educators; referrals to other school support services or community resources; peer helping; and information; and (4) Systemic support through management activities that establish, maintain, and enhance the total school counseling program, including professional development, consultation, collaboration, program management, and operations. 12.3(12) Standards for library programs. The board of directors of each school district shall establish a K-12 library program to support the student achievement goals of the total school curriculum. a. A qualified teacher librarian, licensed by the board of educational examiners, who works with students, teachers, support staff and administrators shall direct the library program and provide services and instruction in support of the curricular goals of each attendance center. The teacher librarian shall be a member of the attendance center instructional team with special expertise in identifying resources and technologies to support teaching and learning. The teacher librarian and classroom teachers shall collaborate to develop, teach, and evaluate attendance center curricular goals with emphasis on promoting inquiry and critical thinking; providing information literacy learning experiences to help students access, evaluate, use, create, and communicate information; enhancing learning and teaching through technology; and promoting literacy through reader guidance and activities that develop capable and independent readers. b. The library program shall be regularly reviewed and revised and shall be designed to meet the following goals: (1) To provide for methods to improve library collections to meet student and staff needs; (2) To make connections with parents and the community; (3) To support the district’s school improvement plan; (4) To provide access to or support for professional development for the teacher librarian; (5) To provide current technology and electronic resources to ensure that students become skillful and discriminating users of information; (6) To include a current and diverse collection of fiction and nonfiction materials in a variety of formats to support student and curricular needs; and (7) To include a plan for annually updating and replacing library materials, supports, and equipment. c. The board of directors of each school district shall adopt policies to address selection and reconsideration of school library materials; confidentiality of student library records; and legal and ethical use of information resources, including plagiarism and intellectual property rights. 12.3(13) Policy declaring harassment and bullying against state and school policy. The policy adopted by the board regarding harassment of or by students and staff shall declare harassment and bullying in schools, on school property, and at any school function or school-sponsored activity regardless of its location to be against state and school policy. The board shall make a copy of the policy available to all school employees, volunteers, students, and parents or guardians and shall take all appropriate steps to bring the policy against harassment and bullying and the responsibilities set forth in the policy to the attention of school employees, volunteers, students, and parents or guardians. Each policy shall, at a minimum, include all of the following components: a. A statement declaring harassment and bullying to be against state and school policy. The statement shall include but not be limited to the following provisions: (1) School employees, volunteers, and students in school, on school property, or at any school function or school-sponsored activity shall not engage in harassing and bullying behavior. (2) School employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, a witness, or an individual who has reliable information about such an act of harassment or bullying. b. A definition of harassment and bullying consistent with the following: Harassment and bullying shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on the student’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status, and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions: (1) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property. (2) Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health. (3) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance. (4) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.The local board policy must set forth all 17 of the above-enumerated traits or characteristics, but does not need to be limited to the 17 enumerated traits or characteristics. c. A description of the type of behavior expected from school employees, volunteers, parents or guardians, and students relative to prevention, reporting, and investigation of harassment or bullying. d. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who violates the antiharassment and antibullying policy. e. A procedure for reporting an act of harassment or bullying, including the identification by job title of the school official responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented, and the identification of the person or persons responsible for receiving reports of harassment or bullying. f. A procedure for the prompt investigation of complaints, identifying either the school superintendent or the superintendent’s designee as the individual responsible for conducting the investigation, including a statement that investigators will consider the totality of circumstances presented in determining whether conduct objectively constitutes harassment or bullying under this subrule. g. A statement of the manner in which the policy will be publicized.The board shall integrate its policy into its comprehensive school improvement plan. The board shall develop and maintain a system to collect harassment and bullying incidence data, and report such data, on forms specified by the department, to the local community and to the department. 12.3(14) Policy prohibiting the aiding and abetting of sexual abuse. a. General. The department and each public school district and area education agency shall adopt policies that prohibit any individual who is a school employee, contractor, or agent, or any state educational agency or local educational agency, from assisting a school employee, contractor, or agent in obtaining a new job, apart from the routine transmission of administrative and personnel files, if the individual or agency knows, or has probable cause to believe, that such school employee, contractor, or agent engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of the law. b. Exception. The requirements of paragraph 12.3(14)“a” shall not apply if all of the following conditions are met. (1) The information giving rise to probable cause has been properly reported to a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the alleged misconduct; and has been properly reported to any other authorities as required by federal, state, or local law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) and the regulations implementing such title under Part 106 of Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, or any succeeding regulations. (2) The matter has been officially closed or the prosecutor or police with jurisdiction over the alleged misconduct have investigated the allegations and notified school officials that there is insufficient information to establish probable cause that the school employee, contractor, or agent engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of the law; or the school employee, contractor, or agent has been charged with, and acquitted or otherwise exonerated of, the alleged misconduct; or the case or investigation remains open and there have been no charges filed against, or indictment of, the school employee, contractor, or agent within four years of the date on which the information was reported to a law enforcement agency.Related ARC(s): 0016C, 3980CDIVISION IVSCHOOL PERSONNEL28112.4(256) School personnel. License/certificate and endorsement standards required in this rule relate to licenses/certificates and endorsements issued by the state board of educational examiners. The following standards shall apply to personnel employed in accredited schools. 12.4(1) Instructional professional staff. Each person who holds a license/certificate endorsed for the service for which that person is employed shall be eligible for classification as a member of the instructional professional staff. 12.4(2) Noninstructional professional staff. A person who holds a statement of professional recognition, including but not limited to a physician, dentist, nurse, speech therapist, or a person in one of the other noninstructional professional areas designated by the state board of education, shall be eligible for classification as a member of the noninstructional professional staff. 12.4(3) Basis for approval of professional staff. Each member of the professional staff shall be classified as either instructional or noninstructional. An instructional professional staff member shall be regarded as approved when holding either an appropriate license/certificate with endorsement or endorsements, or a license/certificate with an endorsement statement, indicating the specific teaching assignments that may be given. A noninstructional professional staff member shall be regarded as approved when holding a statement of professional recognition for the specific type of noninstructional professional school service for which employed. 12.4(4) Required administrative personnel. Each board that operates both an elementary school and a secondary school shall employ as its executive officer and chief administrator a person who holds a license/certificate endorsed for service as a superintendent. The board of a school district may meet this requirement by contracting with its area education agency for “superintendency services” as provided by Iowa Code section 273.7A. The individual employed or contracted for as superintendent may serve as an elementary principal or as a high school principal in that school or school district provided that the superintendent holds the proper licensure/certification. For purposes of this subrule, high school means a school which commences with either grade 9 or grade 10, as determined by the board of directors of the school district, or by the governing authority of the nonpublic school in the case of nonpublic schools. Boards of school districts may jointly employ a superintendent, provided such arrangements comply with the provisions of Iowa Code subsection 279.23(4). 12.4(5) Staffing policies—elementary schools. The board operating an elementary school shall develop and adopt staffing policies designed to attract, retain, and effectively utilize competent personnel. Each board operating an elementary school shall employ at least one elementary principal. This position may be combined with that of secondary principal or with a teaching assignment at the elementary or secondary level, provided the individual holds the proper licenses/certificates and endorsements.When grades seven and eight are part of an organized and administered junior high school, the staffing policies adopted by the board for secondary schools shall apply. When grades seven and eight are part of an organized and administered middle school, the staffing policies adopted by the board for elementary schools shall apply. 12.4(6) Staffing policies—secondary schools. The board operating a secondary school shall develop and adopt staffing policies designed to attract, retain, and effectively utilize competent personnel. Each board operating a secondary school shall employ at least one secondary principal. This position may be combined with that of elementary principal or with a teaching assignment at the elementary or secondary level, provided the individual holds the proper licenses/certificates and endorsements. This position may be combined with that of superintendent, but one person may not serve as elementary principal, secondary principal, and superintendent. 12.4(7) Principal. “Principal” means a licensed/certificated member of a school’s instructional staff who serves as an instructional leader, coordinates the process and substance of educational and instructional programs, coordinates the budget of the school, provides formative evaluation for all practitioners and other persons in the school, recommends or has effective authority to appoint, assign, promote, or transfer personnel in a school building, implements the local school board’s policy in a manner consistent with professional practice and ethics, and assists in the development and supervision of a school’s student activities program. 12.4(8) Teacher. A teacher shall be defined as a member of the instructional professional staff who holds a license/certificate endorsed for the type of position in which employed. A teacher diagnoses, prescribes, evaluates, and directs student learnings in terms of the school’s objectives, either singly or in concert with other professional staff members; shares responsibility with the total professional staff for developing educational procedures and student activities to be used in achieving the school’s objectives; supervises educational aides who assist in serving students for whom the teacher is responsible; and evaluates or assesses student progress during and following instruction in terms of the objectives sought, and uses this information to develop further educational procedures. 12.4(9) Educational assistant. An educational assistant shall be defined as an employee who, in the presence or absence of an instructional professional staff member but under the direction, supervision, and control of the instructional professional staff, supervises students or assists in providing instructional and other direct educational services to students and their families. An educational assistant shall not substitute for or replace the functions and duties of a teacher as established in subrule 12.4(8).During the initial year of employment, an educational assistant shall complete staff development approved by the board as provided in subrule 12.7(1). 12.4(10) Record of license/certificate or statement of professional recognition. The board shall require each administrator, teacher, support service staff member, and noninstructional professional staff member on its staff to supply evidence that each holds a license/certificate or statement of professional recognition which is in force and valid for the type of position in which employed. 12.4(11) Record required regarding teacher and administrative assignments. The board shall require its superintendent or other designated administrator to maintain a file for all regularly employed members of the instructional professional staff, including substitute teachers. The file shall consist of legal licenses/certificates or copies thereof for all members of the instructional professional staff, including substitute teachers, showing that they are eligible for the position in which employed. The official shall also maintain on file a legal license/certificate or statement of professional recognition as defined in subrule 12.4(2) for each member of the noninstructional professional staff. These records shall be on file at the beginning of and throughout each school year and shall be updated annually to reflect all professional growth.On December 1 of each year, the official shall verify to the department of education the licensure/certification and endorsement status of each member of the instructional and administrative staff. This report shall be on forms provided by the department of education and shall identify all persons holding authorizations and their specific assignment(s) with the authorization(s). 12.4(12) Nurses. The board of each school district shall employ a school nurse and shall require a current license to be filed with the superintendent or other designated administrator as specified in subrule 12.4(10). 12.4(13) Prekindergarten staff. Prekindergarten teachers shall hold a license/certificate valid for the prekindergarten level. The board shall employ personnel as necessary to provide effective supervision and instruction in the prekindergarten program. 12.4(14) Physical examination. Rescinded IAB 2/22/12, effective 3/28/12. 12.4(15) Support staff. The board shall develop and implement procedures for the use of educational support staff to augment classroom instruction and to meet individual student needs. These staff members may be employed by the board or by the area education agency. 12.4(16) Volunteer. A volunteer shall be defined as an individual who, without compensation or remuneration, provides a supportive role and performs tasks under the direction, supervision, and control of the school or school district staff. A volunteer shall not work as a substitute for or replace the functions and duties of a teacher as established in subrule 12.4(8).Related ARC(s): 0016CDIVISION VEDUCATION PROGRAM28112.5(256) Education program. The following education program standards shall be met by schools and school districts for accreditation with the start of the 1989-1990 school year. 12.5(1) Prekindergarten program. If a school offers a prekindergarten program, the program shall be designed to help children to work and play with others, to express themselves, to learn to use and manage their bodies, and to extend their interests and understanding of the world about them. The prekindergarten program shall relate the role of the family to the child’s developing sense of self and perception of others. Planning and carrying out prekindergarten activities designed to encourage cooperative efforts between home and school shall focus on community resources. A prekindergarten teacher shall hold a license/certificate licensing/certifying that the holder is qualified to teach in prekindergarten. A nonpublic school which offers only a prekindergarten may, but is not required to, seek and obtain accreditation. 12.5(2) Kindergarten program. The kindergarten program shall include experiences designed to develop healthy emotional and social habits and growth in the language arts and communication skills, as well as a capacity for the completion of individual tasks, and protect and increase physical well-being with attention given to experiences relating to the development of life skills and human growth and development. A kindergarten teacher shall be licensed/certificated to teach in kindergarten. An accredited nonpublic school must meet the requirements of this subrule only if the nonpublic school offers a kindergarten program. 12.5(3) Elementary program, grades 1-6. The following areas shall be taught in grades one through six: English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, traffic safety, music, and visual art. Computer science instruction incorporating the standards established under rule 281—12.11(256) shall be offered in at least one grade level commencing with the school year beginning July 1, 2023.In implementing the elementary program standards, the following general curriculum definitions shall be used. a. English-language arts. English-language arts instruction shall include the following communication processes: speaking; listening; reading; writing; viewing; and visual expression and nonverbal communication. Instruction shall incorporate language learning and creative, logical, and critical thinking. The following shall be taught: oral and written composition; communication processes and skills, including handwriting and spelling; literature; creative dramatics; and reading. b. Social studies. Social studies instruction shall include citizenship education, history, and social sciences. Democratic beliefs and values, problem-solving skills, and social and political participation skills shall be incorporated. Instruction shall encompass geography, history of the United States and Iowa, and cultures of other peoples and nations. American citizenship, including the study of national, state, and local government; and the awareness of the physical, social, emotional and mental self shall be infused in the instructional program. c. Mathematics. Mathematics instruction shall include number sense and numeration; concepts and computational skills with whole numbers, fractions, mixed numbers and decimals; estimation and mental arithmetic; geometry; measurement; statistics and probability; and patterns and relationships. This content shall be taught through an emphasis on mathematical problem solving, reasoning, and applications; language and symbolism to communicate mathematical ideas; and connections among mathematical topics and between mathematics and other disciplines. Calculators and computers shall be used in concept development and problem solving. d. Science. Science instruction shall include life, earth, and physical science and shall incorporate hands-on process skills; scientific knowledge; application of the skills and knowledge to students and society; conservation of natural resources; and environmental awareness. e. Health. Health instruction shall include personal health; food and nutrition; environmental health; safety and survival skills; consumer health; family life; substance abuse and nonuse, encompassing the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and poisons on the human body; human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, and interpersonal relationships; emotional and social health; health resources; and prevention and control of disease, and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome. f. Physical education. Physical education instruction shall include movement experiences and body mechanics; fitness activities; rhythmic activities; stunts and tumbling; simple games and relays; sports skills and activities; and water safety. g. Traffic safety. Traffic safety instruction shall include pedestrian safety; bicycle safety; auto passenger safety; school bus passenger safety; seat belt use; substance education; and the application of legal responsibility and risk management to these concepts. h. Music. Music instruction shall include skills, knowledge, and attitudes and shall include singing and playing music; listening to and using music; reading and writing music; recognizing the value of the world’s musical heritage; respecting individual musical aspirations and values; and preparing for consuming, performing, or composing. i. Visual art. Visual art instruction shall include perceiving, comprehending, and evaluating the visual world; viewing and understanding the visual arts; developing and communicating imaginative and inventive ideas; and making art. 12.5(4) Junior high program, grades 7 and 8. The following shall be taught in grades 7 and 8: English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, music, visual art, family and consumer education, career education, and technology education. Instruction in the following areas shall include the contributions and perspectives of persons with disabilities, both men and women, and persons from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and shall be designed to eliminate career and employment stereotypes. Computer science instruction incorporating the standards established under rule 281—12.11(256) shall be offered in at least one grade level commencing with the school year beginning July 1, 2023.In implementing the junior high program standards, the following general curriculum definitions shall be used. a. English-language arts. Same definition as in 12.5(3)“a” with the exclusion of handwriting. b. Social studies. Social studies instruction shall include citizenship education, history and social sciences. Democratic beliefs and values, problem-solving skills, and social and political participation skills shall be incorporated. Instruction shall encompass history, economics, geography, government including American citizenship, behavioral sciences, and the cultures of other peoples and nations. Strategies for continued development of positive self-perceptions shall be infused. c. Mathematics. Mathematics instruction shall include number and number relationships including ratio, proportion, and percent; number systems and number theory; estimation and computation; geometry; measurement; statistics and probability; and algebraic concepts of variables, patterns, and functions. This content shall be taught through an emphasis on mathematical problem solving, reasoning, and applications; language and symbolism to communicate mathematical ideas; and connections among mathematical topics and between mathematics and other disciplines. Calculators and computers shall be used in concept development and problem solving. d. Science. Same definition as in 12.5(3)“d.” e. Health. Health instruction shall include personal health; food and nutrition; environmental health; safety and survival skills; consumer health; family life; substance abuse and nonuse, encompassing the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and poisons on the human body; human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, and interpersonal relationships; emotional and social health; health resources; and prevention and control of disease and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. f. Physical education. Physical education shall include the physical fitness activities that increase cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility; sports and games; tumbling and gymnastics; rhythms and dance; water safety; leisure and lifetime activities. g. Music. Same definition as in 12.5(3)“h” with the addition of using music as an avocation or vocation. h. Visual art. Same definition as in 12.5(3)“i” with the addition of using visual arts as an avocation or vocation. i. Family and consumer education. Family and consumer education instruction shall include the development of positive self-concept, understanding personal growth and development and relationships with peers and family members in the home, school and community, including men, women, minorities and persons with disabilities. Subject matter emphasizes the home and family, including parenting, child development, textiles and clothing, consumer and resource management, foods and nutrition, housing, and family and individual health. This subrule shall not apply to nonpublic schools. j. Career education. Career education instruction shall include exploration of employment opportunities, experiences in career decision making, and experiences to help students integrate work values and work skills into their lives. This subrule shall not apply to nonpublic schools. However, nonpublic schools shall comply with subrule 12.5(7). k. Technology education. Technology education instruction shall include awareness of technology and its impact on society and the environment; furthering students’ career development by contributing to their scientific principles, technical information and skills to solve problems related to an advanced technological society; and orienting students to technologies which impact occupations in all six of the required service areas. The purpose of this instruction is to help students become technologically literate and become equipped with the necessary skills to cope with, live in, work in, and contribute to a highly technological society. This subrule shall not apply to nonpublic schools. l. Secondary credit. (1) An individual pupil in a grade that precedes ninth grade may take a course for secondary credit if all of the following are true:
- The pupil satisfactorily completes the course.
- The course is taught by a teacher licensed by the Iowa board of educational examiners for grades 9 through 12 and endorsed in the subject area.
- The course meets all components listed in subrule 12.5(5) for the specific curricular area.
- The board of the school district or the authorities in charge of the nonpublic school have developed enrollment criteria that a student must meet to be enrolled in the course.
- “Consumer and family science” programs may be taught to prepare individuals for a multiple role of homemaker and wage earner and may include such content areas as food and nutrition; consumer education; family living and parenthood; child development and guidance; family and individual health; housing and home management; and clothing and textiles.
- “Home economics occupations programs” prepare individuals for paid employment in such home economics-related occupations as child care aide/assistant, food production management and services, and homemaker/home health aide.
- Statement of philosophy, beliefs, mission, or vision;
- Major educational needs; and
- Student learning goals.
- Major educational needs;
- Student learning goals;
- Long-range goals that include, but are not limited to, the state indicators that address reading, mathematics, and science achievement; and
- Harassment or bullying prevention goals, programs, training, and other initiatives.
- Progress achieved with the annual improvement goals for the state indicators that address reading, mathematics, and science in subrule 12.8(3);
- Progress achieved with other locally determined core indicators; and
- Annual improvement goals for the state indicators that address reading, mathematics, and science achievement.
- State indicators and other locally determined indicators;
- Locally established student learning goals; and
- Specific data collection required by federal and state programs.
- A review of the comprehensive school improvement plan.
- A review of each attendance center’s student achievement data.
- Identification of factors that influenced the lack of goal attainment.
- Submission of new annual improvement goals, if necessary.
- Submission, if necessary, of a revised comprehensive school improvement plan.
- School improvement site visit team. The department shall determine the size and composition of the school improvement site visit team. The team shall include members of the department staff and may include other members such as, but not limited to, area education agency staff, postsecondary staff, and other school district or school staff.
- Previsit actions. The school improvement team shall review the five-year comprehensive school improvement plan, annual progress reports, and any other information requested by the department.
- The site visit report. Upon review of documentation and site visit findings, the department shall provide a written report to the school or school district based on the comprehensive school improvement plan and other general accreditation standards. The report shall state areas of strength, areas in need of improvement, and areas, if any, of noncompliance. For areas of noncompliance, the school or school district shall submit, within a reasonable time frame, an action plan to the department. The department shall determine if the school or school district is implementing the necessary actions to address areas of noncompliance. If the department determines that the school or school district is not taking the necessary actions, the director of the department may place the school or school district in a Phase II accreditation process.
- The school or school district shall remain accredited.
- The school or school district shall remain accredited under certain specified conditions.
- The school or school district shall have its accreditation removed as outlined in Iowa Code section 256.11(12).