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Seahawk Blitz joins the Muir Elementary Turkey Trot

It was all smiles and high fives at John Muir Elementary when the Seahawk Blitz joined students at the 17th Annual Turkey Trot. This event took place during lunch recesses and promotes the importance of physical fitness and activity.

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Teaching about Religion

File: IGAC-R

Classroom Instruction

Instruction shall be related to a learning objective and consistent with the district's educational program. It shall be factual and objective, neutral and non-devotional. In presenting materials which include religious references, staff members shall be sensitive to the feelings and beliefs of all students.

Instruction shall not attack religion or promote religion, nor attack or promote the absence of religion. A student or staff member shall not be required to declare a religious preference or make a statement of belief or non-belief. Individual students may voluntarily express their beliefs as part of an instructional assignment.

The three-part test of neutrality used by the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of instructional practices impinging on religion shall serve as a guide in planning instruction. Instructional activities must have a secular purpose; the principal or primary effect of activities must be one that neither advances or inhibits religion; and the activity must not impose excessive entanglement with religion on the part of the school.

Musical, Artistic, Dramatic Presentations

Musical, artistic, and dramatic presentations may include selections that are religious in nature. These selections must be related to the objectives of the instructional program and used in conjunction with non-religious works. A context for the selection must be provided which includes information such as historical background or literary or artistic significance. The presentation should serve a secular educational purpose and not be performed or offered as a devotional message or indoctrination. A winter concert program, for example, could include sacred musical selections if balanced with other selections on a non-religious theme.

Classroom Displays

Displays in the classroom which include religious materials or symbols must be related to a specific learning objective, and a context and purpose for the materials used in the display must be established. Classroom displays must be free of any suggestion of promotion or advocacy of a particular doctrine, creed, or belief.

Exemption From Instruction

Students may be exempted from instructional activities which violate their religious beliefs or non-beliefs, and may not be penalized in grading or subjected to pressure for failure to participate. Parents or guardians have the authority to decide when their children should be exempted from participation. An alternate activity shall be provided for a reasonable period of time at the local school for those students who choose not to participate.

Students who are excused from class shall participate in some form of supervised activity during that time. Those activities shall not necessarily be related to instruction, but could include such activities as supervised study in the library, peer tutoring, research, or assisting in the library, and home study with parents. Students shall be provided an opportunity to make up work missed in class.

School Assemblies

Religious services may not be held in school facilities during instructional time. School assemblies may not include presentations which inhibit, advance, promote, or disparage religion or the religious beliefs or non-beliefs of members of the school community.

Commencement, Baccalaureate Exercises

Commencement exercises which are school-sponsored shall be free from sectarian influence. A non-denominational invocation and/or benediction may be honored in the spirit of accommodation.

Baccalaureate exercises may be organized and implemented by interested parents, students, and community members. Participation by school staff members and students in such exercises shall be voluntary, and no school or district funds, or school instructional time may be used to plan or conduct the services.

Religious Holidays

The recognition of religious holidays in public schools for objective instructional purposes is permissible and appropriate. Holiday activities in schools during regular school hours and at school-sponsored events shall not be, or have the effect of being, a religious celebration.

Parents may choose to exempt their children from any school-sponsored activity or program which may offend their religious beliefs.

Gift exchanges organized as a school-sponsored activity are prohibited.

Exercise and Protection of First Amendment Freedoms

Students may practice their religion i.e. wear religious symbols if they do so in a manner which does not materially or substantially disrupt the educational process.

The district shall not conduct or sponsor any form of devotional activity, including oral or silent prayer.

Release Time for Religious Instruction

Students may be released from school for moral and religious instruction and observances upon the request of their parents or guardians. Students shall be given reasonable opportunity to make up missed work and may not be pressured to choose between school attendance and religious instruction or observances. Students shall be counted present if they attend at least 60 minutes of each morning or afternoon session of the school day.

Grievance Process

Students, parents, and community members who believe their rights under these policies have not been protected may utilize two grievance procedures which are part of existing board policy. Policies KLD and KLB explain the procedures available for patrons of the district while policy JFH describes the student grievance procedure.

Approved:
12/02/85

Revised:
03/31/86
05/07/90

Student raises hand while teacher talks to class

Foundations and Basic Commitments (Reference Code A)

General School Administration (Reference Code C)

District and school administrators working together

Policies about the school district management, the administrative structure and school building and department administration. Here, you will find the personnel policies that pertain to one the superintendent. See the Personnel section below for all other personnel policies.

Fiscal Management (Reference Code D)

Support Services (Reference Code E)

Facilities Development (Reference Code F)

Personnel (Reference Code G)

School principal and staff members working together in a classroomThe personnel policies are divided in three main subdivisions: topics that pertain to all employees; policies that pertain to professional personnel, including administrators, who must hold educational certification by the state to serve in their positions; and policies pertaining to all other personnel.

Negotiations (Reference Code H)

Staff members working together on a laptopThese policies pertain to the process of negotiating with staff units recognized by the school board.

Instruction (Reference Code I)

Student raises hand while elementary school teacher talks to classPolicies on instructional program: basic programs, special programs, activities programs, instructional resources and academic achievement.

Students (Reference Code J)

A group of diverse students sing during assemblyPolicies concerning students are found here: admissions, attendance, rights and responsibilities, conduct, discipline and health and welfare services. Policies pertaining to the curriculum, instruction of students, and extracurricular programs are in the Instruction section.

School-Community Relations (Reference Code K)

Community volunteer works with elementary school studentPolicies affecting relations with the general public and with community and public agencies except other educational agencies and groups.

Education Agency Relations (Reference Code L)