Policy 1505, Visitors to District Property

 
 
PURPOSE

The Board of Trustees (“Board”) welcomes and encourages visits by parents/guardians and other members of the community to its schools, classrooms, and events, recognizing the benefit of these partnerships to the academic success of students.  At the same time, the Washoe County School District (“District” or “WCSD”) seeks to avoid disruption to the educational process, protect the safety and welfare of students and staff, and to protect the District’s facilities and equipment from misuse or vandalism.  This policy seeks to achieve a balance between the potential benefits and risks associated with the presence of visitors at District properties and events.

POLICY

1.  For the purposes of this policy:
 
a. A visitor is defined as an individual who is not an employee of the District or a student enrolled in that school. This includes, but is not limited to, parents/guardians and family members, volunteers, WCSD independent contractors and consultants, classroom presenters, members of the media, elected officials, non-enrolled children, and invited guests of the school/District.

b. The provisions of this policy include visits to schools and other District property/facilities, as well as District- and school-sponsored programs and activities at off-site locations. District property includes any building, owned or leased by the District, used for instruction, administration, support services, maintenance, parking lots or storage; the grounds and surrounding buildings; bus stops; and all District-owned, rented or leased vehicles.

2. Governing Principles
 
a.  The District welcomes parents/guardians and other members of the community from all nationalities and cultures to its facilities and encourages them to become informed regarding educational programs and initiatives.  Visits to schools and classrooms should have legitimate purpose and may not interfere with classroom instruction and activities. 

b.  All visitors to a District property or activity/event must comply at all times with the District’s policies, regulations, and other rules and procedures.

c.    Although visitors are generally welcome to District properties and/or events, the District’s primary concern is to provide a safe, orderly and respectful working and learning environment for staff and students in which disruptions to instructional time are minimized.  The Superintendent, facility site administrators, and each school principal shall establish and enforce reasonable rules to achieve this objective.

3. Governing Practices
 
a.  Although the District encourages visitors, the site administrator shall retain the authority to:

i.    Limit or deny a visit, particularly from a non-parent/guardian, to avoid disruption to school/District operations (e.g. during times of student instruction, assessments, or when such visitation could cause a safety concern or unreasonable distraction);

ii.    Require an approved visitor be escorted to his/her destination within the school;

iii.    Exclude from the premises any individual who is found to be a registered sex offender, on an active warrants list, or on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (F.B.I.) terrorist list; and

iv.    Exclude from the premises any visitor who disrupts the educational environment, acts in a disorderly manner, damages school property, or violates board policy or associated regulations or school rules, or federal, state or local law. Such exclusion may extend to events sponsored by the District. (See Administrative Regulation 1520, Trespass from District Property)

b.  Visitor Management.  Visitors shall comply with the District’s visitor management protocols, which may include, but are not limited to the following.  Visitors shall:

i.    Report to the main office or reception area when arriving or leaving the premises;

ii.    Provide a driver’s license or other government-issued identification, which includes a photograph, to be scanned through the District’s electronic visitor management system and used to conduct a background check.  Government issued ID cards include those issued from another country or a State of Nevada-issued ID provided to non-citizens;

1)   In situations where the electronic visitor management system is not available, the visitor shall sign the Visitor Registry (log book or electronic system).

iii.    Wear an ID badge provided by the office prominently displayed on their person while on the premises;

iv.    Acknowledge understanding of and adherence to the District’s student record confidentiality requirements.
 
c.  Visitor Types

i.    Volunteers. 

ii.    Employee Organization Representatives.  The rights of members of employee organizations and of employees of such organizations are defined in pertinent collective negotiations contracts.

iii.    Media.  Visits by the media must be pre-arranged and confidentiality of student information must be maintained pursuant to the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (“IDEA”).

iv.    Non-enrolled Children.  Visits by non-enrolled children unaccompanied by adults are prohibited and must be referred to the principal.  Additionally, staff and volunteers should not bring their child(ren) to the worksite or school in lieu of childcare services.

v.    Political Candidates and/or Public Office Holders. Visits by political candidates and holders of public officers are defined and governed by Administrative Regulation 1310, Political Activity in Schools.

vi.    Recognized government agencies (i.e. law enforcement, child protective services) and emergency responders. Representatives of recognized government agencies shall contact the school’s principal or his/her appointed representative prior to contacting a student.  Questioning of Students is defined and governed by Administrative Regulation 5010, Outside Law Enforcement and Other Government Agencies – Questioning of Students and Release of Student Records.

vii.    WCSD independent contractors and/or consultants. Independent contractors and/or consultants of the District must go through the District’s independent contractor process and must carry the appropriate insurance coverage prior to visiting a school campus and working with students.

d.  General

i.    Notices shall be displayed in each building indicating that all visitors are required to register with the school office or reception area and obtain authorization from the building principal or site administration to remain on the school/District premises.

ii.    Use of School Facilities.  During school hours on days when schools are in session, or anytime during a school-sponsored activity or program, school site facilities are intended primarily for use in educational programs; they are not open to the general public except as outlined by applicable Board Policy(s) and Administrative Regulation(s).  (See Board Policy 7120, Community Use of School Facilities, and its accompanying governing documents)

iii.    Meaningful Access:  Translation and Interpretation  (See  Administrative Regulation 1515, Meaningful Access – Document Translation / Language Interpretation)

1)   As applicable, the District shall provide a parent/guardian appropriate translation and/or interpretation services, as required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits any conduct that has a disproportionate effect on English Learners.    The District shall establish procedures related to requests for translation or interpreter assistance, to include a minimum time allowance for requests.

2)   In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the District seeks to ensure effective communication by making every reasonable effort to provide auxiliary aids and services, such as a sign language interpreter, as necessary to assist individuals with disabilities such as those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

e.  Prohibited Activities.  The District seeks to ensure the safety and security of all individuals on its properties and at its events.  All visitors shall comply with the policies and regulations of the District as well as applicable state and federal laws and regulations.  Specifically:

i.    No visitor may be impaired or under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, as defined in this policy, while on District property, at a District-sponsored event, or while representing the District as part of a school/District organization or team.  “Impaired” means under the influence of a substance such that the individual’s motor senses (i.e. sight, hearing, balance, reaction, reflex) or judgment either are or may be reasonably presumed to be affected.

ii.    The possession, use, sale, and/or distribution of alcohol, controlled substances, and/or paraphernalia by any individual on District property, on District-provided transportation, or at school- or District-sponsored activities and events is prohibited.  In accordance with federal law, this prohibition includes medical and recreational marijuana in any of its forms.

iii.    The smoking, use, and/or sale of tobacco, tobacco products, or paraphernalia by any individual while on District property, on District-provided transportation, or at school- or District-sponsored activities and events is prohibited.  This includes carrying lit tobacco products and the use of smokeless tobacco products, to include “herbal” or “fake” chew, or any device which simulates smoking such as an electronic cigarette, cigar or pipe, personal vaporizer, e-hookah, or electronic nicotine delivery system. 

iv.    The possession of a weapon by any individual on District property, on District-provided transportation, or at school- or District-sponsored activities and events.  This includes individuals with a license to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). 

1)   Only the Superintendent, in consultation with the Chief of School Police and the Office of the General Counsel, shall have the authority to grant permission to an individual to carry or possess a weapon on school property.

2)  In accordance with state law, the term weapon includes: An explosive or incendiary device; a dirk, dagger, switchblade knife, or dangerous knife; a nunchaku or trefoil; a blackjack, billy club or metal knuckles; a pistol, revolver or other firearm; and/or any device used to mark any part of a person with paint or any other substance.

3) This prohibition does not apply to peace officers as detailed in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 202.265.

v.    Surreptitious, secret or unauthorized electronic surveillance on any school property without the knowledge of the person being observed.

vi.    Any person to commit any nuisance in or to trespass on any District property; or to loiter on or near school property.

vii.    The interference with or interruption of a staff member in the performance of his/her duties.

viii.    Operating a personal for-profit business during school business hours without first obtaining an independent contractor agreement or any other applicable agreement with the District. This provision does not limit businesses from using District facilities outside of school business hours through the Facilities Use Agreement Process as cited above.

f.  Violations

i.    Violators of the provisions of this policy and its accompanying governing documents may be subject to a Trespass Warning, issued by the District’s School Police Department.  Trespass Warnings and the appeal process are defined and governed by Administrative Regulation 1520, Trespass from District Property.

ii.    Additionally, potential violations of local, state, or federal laws, except immigration status, may be subject to referral to the District’s School Police Department or other law enforcement (e.g. possession of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance).

g.  The District shall not bar members of the general public from attending meetings of the Board of Trustees without the prior knowledge and approval of the President of the Board of Trustees.

h.  The Superintendent shall establish procedures and protocols related to visitors and visitor management to include but not limited to:

i.    Guidance to school and site administrators related to visitor types such as the media, consultants, political candidates and/or office holders, and employee association representatives;

ii.    Visitor management protocols to include on-site background checks; and

iii.    Limits to visits during school hours.

DEFINITIONS
 
1.  Visitor - Any person entering school grounds or other District facilities who is not a student of the school or an officer or employee of the district.
 
2.  Trespass – The wrongful entry upon the lands of another.
 
3.  Surreptitious electronic surveillance – The unauthorized gathering of information by use of electronic devices, to include cameras and recording devices.
 
4.  “Controlled substance” includes but is not limited to any drug listed in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, or official National Formulary, including but not necessarily limited to: narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogenic or mind-altering drugs or substances, amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis/marijuana, marijuana concentrate, anabolic steroids (drugs commonly known or referred to as: acid, LSD, speed, qualudes, valium, cocaine, crack, PCP, ice, and other names), and any other controlled substances as defined in state or federal law, or any prescription or nonprescription drug, medicine, vitamin or other chemical substance not taken in accordance with the District’s policy, regulations, or procedures for administering medicines to students.  Controlled substance also includes:
 
a.  A prescription drug or medication that is not listed as a Controlled Substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances act, which has not been lawfully prescribed for the particular individual possessing or using the medication.
 
b.  A counterfeit controlled substance;
 
c.  Controlled substances presented in alternative forms such as edibles, patches, oils, etc.
 
d.  An imitation substance that an individual believes to be a controlled substance or that is represented to be such by or to a student, and/or imitation, synthetic or designer drugs that are used as substitutes or imitations for controlled substances (this includes synthetic cannabinoids or salvia divinorum). 
 
e.  A chemical compound or substance used to induce a condition of intoxication when inhaled or digested for that purpose.  This includes, but is not limited to, household or office products such as aerosol products or liquid correction tape (“white out”).
 
5.  “Alcohol” includes but is not limited to beer, wine, wine cooler, liquor, liqueur, mixed alcoholic beverages, fermented malt beverages or malt, vinous, spirituous liquors or any product, including “non-alcoholic” beer, containing an alcohol content greater than zero that is used for the purpose of intoxication;
 
6.   “Tobacco” includes but is not limited to tobacco products, smokeless tobacco products, to include “herbal” or “fake” chew, and any device which simulates smoking such as an electronic cigarette, cigar or pipe, personal vaporizer, e-hookah, or electronic nicotine delivery system.

7.  “Drug paraphernalia” refers to all equipment, products and materials of any kind that are used to facilitate or are intended or designed to facilitate, violations of this policy, including planting, growing, producing, processing, testing, analyzing, packaging, containing, injecting, and/or inhaling controlled substances. (NRS 453.554)

DESIRED OUTCOMES

1.    Through the establishment of this policy, and any accompanying governing documents, the Board of Trustees emphasizes the importance of the safety of all of its students and staff by clearly defining access to school campuses and other District facilities by establishing specific expectations for visitors.

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES & ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS

1.  This document reflects the goals of the District’s Strategic Plan and the governing documents of the District, to include:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.  This document complies with Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC), to include:
 
 
i.    NRS 202.265, Possession of dangerous weapon on school property or in vehicle of school or child care facility; penalties; exceptions.
 
b.  Chapter 393, School Property, and specifically:
 
i.    NRS 393.400 – 393.410

3.  This document complies with federal laws and regulations, to include:
 
a.  Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA)
 
b.  Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
 
c.  Civil Rights Act of 1964
 
d.  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
 
e.  Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)

REVIEW AND REPORTING
 
1.  This document shall be reviewed as part of the bi-annual review and reporting process, following each regular session of the Nevada Legislature. 
The Board of Trustees shall receive notification of any required changes to the policy as well as an audit of the accompanying governing documents.
 
2.  Administrative regulations, and/or other associated documents, will be developed as necessary to implement this policy.
 
REVISION HISTORY 
 
This policy was revised on November 27, 2018