Ottumwa Schools Vision, Mission, and Expectations

VISION
Engage, Educate and Empower Every Student Every Day

MISSION
Inspire every student to think, learn, achieve and care

CORE BELIEFS
Every student matters
Building relationships is a foundation of success
We will meet the needs of all students
Data will drive our decision making
Collaboration and teamwork are necessary for success
All students can learn at high levels

EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY Board Policy 105
The board will not discriminate in its educational activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, socioeconomic status, or creed. 

The board requires all persons, agencies, vendors, contractors and other persons and organizations doing business with or performing services for the school district to subscribe to all applicable federal and state laws, executive orders, rules and regulations pertaining to contract compliance and equal opportunity.

The board is committed to the policy that no otherwise qualified person will be excluded from educational activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, socioeconomic status, or creed.  Further, the board affirms the right of all students and staff to be treated with respect and to be protected from intimidation, discrimination, physical harm and harassment.

NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT
It is the policy of the Ottumwa Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices.  There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination.  If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Brad McCloskey, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, 1112 N. Van Buren, Ottumwa, IA 52501, Telephone: (641) 684-6597,  Email: ([email protected]); or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661-7204, Telephone: (312) 730-1560 Facsimile: (312) 730-1576, Email: [email protected]

ANNUAL NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
Ottumwa Community School District offers Career and Technical Education programs in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Applied Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing; Business, Finance, Marketing and Management; Information Solutions; Health Sciences and Human Services.  Admission to these programs is based on interest, age appropriateness, and course pre-requisites.

It is the policy of the Ottumwa Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or handicap in its Career and Technical Education programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

It is the policy of the Ottumwa Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (employment only), marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status (students/program only) in its educational programs and its employment practices.

Ottumwa Community School District will take steps to assure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in all Career and Technical Education programs.

There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination.  District employees with questions or a grievance related to this policy should contact Dave Harper, Executive Director of Operations/Human Resources at [email protected], or (641) 684-6597.

LEVEL I INVESTIGATORS
Building principals in the Ottumwa Community School District serve as Level I Investigators for allegations of abuse of enrolled students.  Associate principals and deans of students will serve as alternative Level I Investigators and will serve as appointed by the Superintendent.  Level I Investigators will respond promptly to allegations of physical abuse and investigation of an allegation.  The processing of a complaint or allegation will be handled confidentially to the maximum extent possible, according to board policy.  Employees are required to assist in the investigation to provide information and to maintain confidentiality of the reporting and investigation process. All Level I Investigators and alternates have received the appropriate training to conduct such investigations. Board policy requires the district to release this information to parents annually.

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL
Students are more successful in school when the important adults in their lives are working together to support the efforts of the child.  A concerted effort is made by the elementary staff to keep parents informed of the skills, topics and activities being pursued and the success each child has achieved. Communications will be sent home frequently from the classroom and the office.  Please encourage your child to be responsible for bringing those home and showing them to you.  You can count on those communications containing a listing of upcoming events and notifications of changes in schedules.  We will also publish a monthly newsletter with important information.

STUDENT ASSISTANCE TEAM (S.A.T.)
A team of school educators make up the Student Assistance Team.  The team is available to assist students who may be struggling in school academically and/or socially.  For more information contact your child’s teacher.

CIVILITY EXPECTATIONS
The elementary staff will treat parents and other members of the public with respect and expect the same in return.  The school must keep classrooms and the administrative office free from disruptions and prevent unauthorized persons from entering school/district grounds. Accordingly, these practices promote mutual respect, civility, and orderly conduct among district employees, parents, and the public. We do not intend this to deprive any person of his or her right to freedom of expression. Rather, we seek to maintain, to the extent possible and reasonable, a safe, harassment-free workplace for our students and staff. In the interest of presenting teachers and other employees as positive role models, we encourage positive communications and discourage volatile, hostile, or aggressive actions. The school seeks public cooperation with this endeavor.

Disruptive Individual Must Leave School Grounds:  Any individual who disrupts or threatens school/office operations, threatens the health and safety of students or staff, willfully causes property damage, uses loud and/or offensive language that could provoke a violent reaction, or who has otherwise established a continued pattern of unauthorized entry on school district property will be directed to leave school or school district property promptly by the school’s principal or other chief administrative officer.

Directions to Staff in Dealing with Abusive Individual: If any member of the public uses obscenities or speaks in a demanding, loud, insulting, and/or demeaning manner, the administrator or employee to whom the remarks are directed will calmly and politely warn the speaker to communicate civilly.  If the abusive individual does not stop the behavior, the district employee will verbally notify the abusive individual that the meeting, conference, or telephone conversation is terminated; and, if the meeting or conference is on district premises, the employee shall direct the abusive individual to leave promptly.

Provide Policy and Report Incident: When a staff member determines that a member of the public is in the process of violating the provisions of these expectations, staff member should provide a written copy  at the time of occurrence. The staff member will then immediately notify his or her supervisor and provide written report of the incident.

DUE PROCESS
It shall be the policy of the Ottumwa Community School District that acceptable behavior be recognized as essential to the development of responsible and self-disciplined citizens and to provide an effective school program. Positive behavior is based on respect for one's self and for the worth and human dignity of others.  Development of such positive behavior in students is a dual function of the home and of the school.

All students are guaranteed, by Board Policy 503.1 and by public law, constitutional rights to due process and fundamental fairness.

  1. The student must have prior knowledge of the conduct which is required of or prohibited to him/her.
  2. The student must be aware of the specific behavior giving rise to any of the proposed penalties or discipline.
  3. The student must have some opportunity to express or convey to the decision-making authority his/her views or rebuttals regarding the incident, prior to any disciplinary action.
  4. The decision-making authority must base its decision on the incidents or matters about which the student has been appraised as indicated above.

The courts have also determined that any disciplinary action must meet the test of fairness under a given set of circumstances.  Various factors must be considered in each situation to determine the formality which is required.