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Policies » Section I: Instruction » IMG: Animals in the Classroom

Policy Date: 10/18/2011

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The Hooksett School Board recognizes that under the proper conditions, animals can be an
effective teaching aid. In order to protect both children and animals, the following guidelines are
adopted for use in all schools in the district:
1. The bringing of animals into the classroom must not violate city, state, and federal
2. The only animals allowed in a classroom must be for a specific and appropriate educational
purpose and shall be allowed for the amount of time necessary to achieve the educational
3. All animals must be in good physical condition and vaccinated against transmittable diseases.
Dogs, cats, and ferrets will require proof of original and booster rabies vaccination.
4. Special consideration should be given to the effect of furred and feathered animals on allergic
children before bringing the animals into the classroom.
5. The teacher will be responsible for the proper control of animals brought to school for
instructional purposes, including the effective protection of children when animals are in the
school. This will include keeping the animal in an appropriate cage or container and handling
fecal material in a sanitary manner.
6. No animals are to be allowed to run freely in the classrooms, food areas, or activity areas.
7. All fecal material must be cleaned from the cage of any mammal or rodent on an as needed
basis (at a minimum of one time per week) and appropriate sanitizer used. Reptiles, fish,
and insects must be cared for in a manner to minimize odor and maintain health. Persons
cleaning cages must wear gloves, masks, and glasses or goggles.

It will be the responsibility of the teacher to provide for a plan of care for classroom housed
animals in the event of an emergency school closing which might cause disruption of the routine
care of the animals. In each school where these animals are housed, there should be a plan
whereby the staff member who visits the school daily during the emergency closing will be aware
of the animals’ presence and see to their care. If no staff member visits the school daily in such
circumstances, the teacher is responsible for the daily care of the animals.

Teachers must be contacted prior to having animals in their classroom. No animal shall be at
school unless the teacher involved is familiar with the appropriate care, feeding, and handling of
that animal and of any potential dangers caused by that animal. Many different diseases and
afflictions may be transmitted by animal hair, dander, bites, and fecal material. It shall be the
responsibility of the teacher to become familiar with each animal as it relates to the well-being of
the individual students in the particular classroom.

The building Principal shall be advised of any animals to be housed in the classroom. At the
building Principal’s discretion, permission to keep the animal may be denied based on these
1. The purpose for the animal’s presence.
2. The ability of the teacher to control the animal.
3. The past practice in the classroom.

Adopted: November 6, 2001
Reviewed: October 18, 2011