Kent City Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

8390 - USE OF SERVICE ANIMALS

The Board of Education shall comply with the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, regarding an individual with disabilityís use of a service animal.

Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of the Districtís facilities where members of the public, as participants in services, programs or activities, or as invitees, are allowed to go.

It is imperative that representatives of the Board do not ask about the nature or extent of a person's disability; however, they may make inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. While the representatives of the Board cannot ask about the individualís disability, they may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what tasks or work the animal can perform. When the work or tasks the service animal will perform is readily apparent, the representatives of the Board should not ask.

Under no circumstances should the representatives of the Board require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.

The definition of a service animal, as established by the ADA is as follows:

 

A.

Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

   
 

1.

The ADA has also defined a miniature horse as an animal that can serve as a service animal, so long as the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability. To better determine whether the Board must allow for the use or a miniature horse or make modifications to buildings, the Board should refer to Section 35.136 (c) through (h) of the ADA.

     
 

2.

A service animal that meets the above definition shall be under the control of its handler (e.g., a student with a disability). A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).

   
 

a.

The service animalís trainer can help to develop a plan to assist the student with the dog (e.g., the studentís aide might transfer the service dogís leash from a studentís wheelchair to a tree during recess). Additionally, a younger student might need reminders from school staff about controlling the dog until s/he is comfortable handling the service animal at school.

   
 

b.

While the student is responsible for the service animalís care, including feeding and supervision, the District should develop a plan to provide the student with the necessary time to care for the animal and designate a location for the animalís toileting needs.

   
 

3.

Additionally, the Board is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.

     
 

B.

A service animal may be removed from the District premises if one (1) of the following exceptions apply:

   
 

1.

the animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it; or

   
 

2.

the animal is not housebroken.

   
 

C.

If a service animal is properly excluded from the premises, the Board shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.

   
 

D.

A representative of the Board shall not ask or require an individual with a disability to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets. If a public entity normally charges individuals for the damage they cause, an individual with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his/her service animal.

   
 

E.

A student who wants to bring his/her service animal to school must notify the Building Principal in writing, at least ten (10) school days prior to the date the animal will be coming to school so that the school staff can meet with the student and his/her parents/guardians to discuss any concerns and develop a plan. The plan, at a minimum, should address how school staff and other students will be educated about and introduced to the service animal, how the student will be accommodated to care for the dog, and how any issues will be resolved. The Principal should provide the student and staff with specific instructions concerning emergency evacuation plans, entry and egress points, areas where the animal may urinate/defecate, waste removal procedures, and building restrictions, if any.

   
 

1.

The Principal will provide written notification to all parents/guardians of students in the affected class(es) and staff in the affected class(es) that a service animal will be coming into the school setting. The notification will request that the parents/guardians and/or staff notify the Principal if their child or they have any known allergies, asthma, or other health condition that might be aggravated by the service animalís presence. The Principal will take appropriate action to protect any such students or staff members from exposure to the service animal.

   
 

2.

Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying a student or staff memberís request to have a service animal at school.

     
 

3.

When an individual whose health may be aggravated by the service animalís presence and an individual who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility Ė e.g., in a school classroom or cafeteria Ė both individuals should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.

© Neola 2015