Policy 602 Animals in the Classroom

Policy 602 Animals in the classroom, suggested changes

Adopted by: 12/15/2004 Reviewed: 2/2012
Developed by: Pedagogy Committee Reviewed by: HR committee
Contact Person: Head of School Revised by: HR
POLICY 602 ANIMALS IN THE CLASSROOM
I. PURPOSE
Bluffview Montessori School recognizes the instructional benefits of animals in the classrooms and supports their inclusion when appropriate.
II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
In regard to classroom animals, Bluffview Montessori School seeks to balance the needs of health and safety (of staff and students) and the need for hands on learning that the animals can provide.
GUIDELINES 602 ANIMALS IN THE CLASSROOM
I. ANIMALS MAY BE USED FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES
 Curriculum-related projects and activities,
 As a tool for classroom management (e.g., to calm a student),
 As an aid for an individual with disabilities.
II. CONDITIONS FOR THE PRESENCE OF ANIMALS
A. Animals may be present in school and the classroom only when the following conditions have been met:
1. The responsible staff member notifies administration in writing.
2. Provisions have been made for appropriate housing and humane care of the animal.
3. Animals are not allowed to roam, fly free or have contact with wild animals.
4. Cages or enclosures are not to be cleaned in areas where food is prepared or present.
5. Gloves are to be worn when cleaning aquariums and water from aquariums is not disposed in sinks used for food preparation or drinking water.
6. Psittacine birds (parrots, parakeets and cockatiels) need to be treated or test negative for avian chlamydiosis.
7. Children less than 5 years of ages should not have contact with amphibians to prevent salmonella infections.
8. Children under 5 should not have direct contact with ferrets to prevent bites.
9. Precautions have been taken to protect the health and safety of students and staff.
10. Other staff members and parents of students in the affected classroom(s) have been notified and adjustments have been made to accommodate verified health-related or other concerns. Except when an animal is used as an aid to a student or employee with a disability, the presence of an animal shall be disallowed if the documented health concerns of a staff member or student cannot be accommodated.
B. Due to the high incidence of salmonella, reptiles are not permitted in school.
C. Baby ducks and chicks are allowed for educational purposes, but must be removed after observation is over due to a high risk of salmonellosis and camphylobacteriosis. Children under 5 years of ages should have no contact with baby poultry.
D. Animals that pose a threat are not allowed such as poisonous animals (spiders, snakes, insects) unless venom has been surgically removed or wild animals. Examples include: hedgehogs, brushy-tailed opossums, wild rodents, wolf hybrids (crosses between wolves and dogs), and stray animals
E. Any animal displaying threatening behavior should be removed from the classroom.
III. IN CASE OF INJURY DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF ANIMALS
A. Notify parents with injury report.
B. Contact the State Department of Public Health for follow up as needed.



References: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May, 2009, Vol. 5, pp20-21.