Many new laws related to public education were passed by the Iowa State Legislature and signed by Governor Reynolds in the last legislative session.
It is now a requirement that the school district provide a copy of policies and regulations related to possible objections to the use of certain instructional and library materials. Policy 605.3, Regulation Code 605.3R1, and Form 605.3E5 provide guidelines to follow if you have a concern regarding materials in use in the district.
Regulation Code 605.3R1 outlines the process one would follow to request the reconsideration of the use of some learning materials in the district.
Form Code 605.3E5 is the form you would use as a parent if you did not wish for your child to access a certain library book or instructional material.
The district is now required to share a copy of Policy 213. This policy outlines how members of the public may participate in School Board meetings, and how to petition the Board to place a topic on one of its meeting agendas.
Nondiscrimination Policy 102.E2
It is the policy of the Mount Vernon 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 Equity Coordinator –
Assistant High School Principal, 731 Palisades Road SW, Mount Vernon, IA
The following links provide additional information about school district policies and procedures pertaining to our nondiscrimination practices:
If you have questions or a grievance related to these policies please contact:
Title IX Coordinator: Dr. Greg Batenhorst, Superintendent
Mount Vernon Community School District
525 Palisades Rd SW
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Grimes State Office Building
400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, Iowa
Phone: (800) 457-4416
Director of the Region VII Office of Civil Rights
Department of Education
Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661-7204
Phone: (312) 730-1560
Fax: (312) 730-1576
Equal Education Opportunity Policy – 102
It is the goal of the board to develop a healthy social, intellectual, emotional,
and physical self-concept in the students enrolled in the school district. Each
student attending school will have the opportunity to use its education
program and services as a means for self-improvement and individual
growth. In so doing, the students are expected to conduct themselves in a
manner that assures each student the same educational opportunity.
The Mount Vernon Community School District does 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. The belief in equal educational opportunity
serves as a guide for the board and employees in making decisions relating
to school district facilities, employment, selection of educational materials,
equipment, curriculum, and regulations affecting students. There is a
grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have
questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact Assistant High
School Principal 525 Palisades Rd SW Mount Vernon IA 52314, 319-895-
Board policies, rules and regulations affect students while they are on school
district property or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district;
while on school owned and/or operated school or chartered vehicles; while
attending or engaged in school activities; and while away from school
grounds if misconduct will directly affect the good order, efficient
management and welfare of the school district.
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
Inquiries by students regarding compliance with equal educational
opportunity and affirmative action laws and policies, including but not
limited to complaints of discrimination, are directed to the Affirmative
Action Coordinator by writing to the Affirmative Action Coordinator, Mount
Vernon Community School District, 525 Palisades Rd SW, Mount Vernon,
Iowa 52314; or by telephoning 319-895-8845.
Inquiries by students regarding compliance with equal educational
opportunity and affirmative action laws and policies, including but not limited
to complaints of discrimination, may also be directed in writing to the
Director of the Region VII office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of
Education, John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th
Floor, Chicago, IL, 60604 (312) 730-1560, fax (312) 730-1576
OCR.Chicago@ed.gov, the Iowa Civil Rights Commissioner,
https://icrc.iowa.gov, (515) 281-4121 or the Iowa Dept. of Education,
Grimes State Office Bldg., Des Moines, IA 50319. (515) 281-5294. This
inquiry or complaint to the federal or state office may be done instead of, or
in addition to, an inquiry or complaint at the local level.
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. §§ 1221 et seq.
20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
20 U.S.C. §§ 1701 et seq.
29 U.S.C. § 206 et seq.
29 U.S.C. § 794
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d and 2000e.
42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.
34 C.F.R. Pt. 100.
34 C.F.R. Pt. 104.
Iowa Code §§ 216.6; 216.9; 256.11; 280.3.
281 I.A.C. 12.
Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination – 102.E1
The Mount Vernon Community School District offers career and technical
programs in the following service areas: Applied Sciences, Technology,
Engineering, Manufacturing, Business, Finance, Marketing, Management, Health
Sciences, and Human Services.
It is the policy of the Mount Vernon 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 Equity Coordinator – Assistant High School Principal, 731 Palisades Road
SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314, 319-895-8843.
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: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov
Education Record Access Policy – 506.1
The board recognizes the importance of maintaining education records and
preserving their confidentiality as provided by law. Education records are kept
confidential at collection, storage, disclosure and destruction stages. The board
secretary is the custodian of education records. Education records may be
maintained in the central administration office or administrative office of the
student’s attendance center.
For the purposes of this policy, the defined words have the following meaning:
“Education Record” means those records that contain information directly
related to a student and which are maintained by an education agency or
institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
“Eligible Student” means a student who has reached eighteen years or
attends a postsecondary institution. Parents of an eligible student are
provided access to education records only with the written permission of the
eligible student unless the eligible student is defined as a dependent by the
Internal Revenue Code. In that case, the parents may be provided access
without the written permission of the student.
An education record may contain information on more than one student. Parents
will have the right to access the information relating to their student or to be
informed of the information. Eligible students will also have the right to access the
information relating to themselves, or be informed of the information.
Parents, eligible students, and other individuals authorized in accordance with law
will have a right to access the student’s education records upon request without
unnecessary delay and in no instance more than forty-five calendar days after the
request is made. Parents, other than parents of an eligible student, may be
denied access to a student’s records if the school district has a court order stating
such or when the district has been advised under the appropriate laws that the
parents may not access the student records. Parents, an eligible student or an
authorized representative of the parents will have the right to access the student’s
education records prior to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting or
Copies of education records will be provided if failure to do so would effectively
prevent the parents or student from exercising the right to access the education
records. Fees for copies of the records are waived if it would prevent the parents
or student from accessing the records. A fee may not be charged to search or
retrieve information from education records.
Upon the request of parents or an eligible student, the school district will provide
an explanation and interpretation of the education records and a list of the types
and locations of education records collected, maintained or used by the school
If the parents or an eligible student believes the information in the education
records is inaccurate, misleading or violates the privacy of the student, the parents
or an eligible student may request that the school district amend the education
Education records may be disclosed in limited circumstances without parental or
eligible student’s written permission. This disclosure is made on the condition that
the education record will not be disclosed to a third party without the written
permission of the parents or the eligible student. This disclosure may be:
To school officials within the school district and AEA personnel whom the
superintendent has determined to have a legitimate educational interest,
including, but not limited to, board members, employees, school attorney,
auditor, health professionals, and individuals serving on official school
To officials of another school district in which the student wishes to enroll,
provided the other school district notifies the parents the education records are
being sent and the parents have an opportunity to receive a copy of the records
and challenge the contents of the records unless the annual notification includes
a provision that records will automatically be transferred to new school districts;
To the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary
of Education or state and local educational authorities;
In connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or
institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive
tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such
studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal
identification of students and their parents by persons other than
representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed
when no longer needed for the purpose for which it was conducted;
To accrediting organizations;
To parents of a dependent student as defined in the Internal Revenue Code;
To comply with a court order or judicially issued subpoena;
In connection with a health or safety emergency;
As directory information; or
In additional instances as provided by law.
The superintendent will keep a list of the individuals and their positions who are
authorized to view a special education student’s education records without the
permission of the parents or the eligible student. Individuals not listed are not
allowed access without parental or an eligible student’s written permission. This
list must be current and available for public inspection and updated as changes
The superintendent will also keep a list of individuals, agencies and organizations
which have requested or obtained access to a student’s education records, the
date access was given and their legitimate educational interest or purpose for
which they were authorized to view the records. The superintendent, however,
does not need to keep a list of the parents, authorized educational employees,
officers and agencies of the school district who have accessed the student’s
education records. This list for an education record may be accessed by the
parents, the eligible student and the custodian of education records.
Permanent education records, including a student’s name, address, phone number,
grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed and year
completed may be maintained without time limitation. Permanent education
records will be kept in a fire-safe vault or they may be maintained electronically
with a secure backup file.
When personally identifiable information, other than permanent education records,
is no longer needed to provide educational services to a special education student,
the parents or eligible student are notified. This notice is normally given after a
student graduates or otherwise leaves the school district. If the parents or eligible
student request that the personally identifiable information be destroyed, the
school district will destroy the records, except for permanent records. Prior to the
destruction of the records, the school district must inform the parents or eligible
student the records may be needed by the parents or eligible student for social
security benefits or other purposes. For purposes of policy, “no longer needed to
provide educational services” means that a record is no longer relevant to the
provision of instruction, support, or related services and it is no longer needed for
accountability and audit purposes. At a minimum, a record needed for
accountability and audit purposes must be retained for five years after completion
of the activity for which funds were used.
The school district will provide training or instruction to employees about parents’
and eligible students’ rights under this policy. Employees will also be informed
about the procedures for carrying out this policy.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to annually notify parents and eligible
students that they have the right to:
(1) Inspect and review the student’s education records;
(2) Seek amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or
eligible student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in
violation of the student’s privacy rights;
(3) Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained
in the student’s education records, except to the extent that the law
authorizes disclosure without consent; and
(4) File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning
alleged failures by the district to comply with the law.
The notice is given in a parents’ or eligible student’s native language. Should the
school district collect personal information from students for the purposes of
marketing or selling that information, the school district will annually notify parents
of such activity.
The notice will include a statement that the parents have a right to file a complaint
alleging the school district failed to comply with this policy. Complaints are
forwarded to Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400
Maryland Avenue, Washington, DC. 20202-8520.
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, 1415.
34 C.F.R. Pt. 99, 300, .610 et seq.
Iowa Code §§ 22; 279.9B, 280.24, .25, 622.10.
281 I.A.C. 12.3(4); 41
1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 720, 825.
Health Education Policy – 603.5
Human Growth & Development Instruction
Students in grade levels one through twelve will receive, as part of their health
education, instruction about personal health; food and nutrition; environmental
health; safety and survival skills; consumer health; family life; human growth and
development; substance abuse and non-use, including the effects of alcohol,
tobacco, drugs and poisons on the human body; human sexuality; self-esteem;
stress management; interpersonal relationships; emotional and social health;
health resources; prevention and control of disease; and communicable diseases,
including acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The purpose of the health
education program is to help each student protect, improve and maintain physical,
emotional and social well-being.
The areas stated above are included in health education and the instruction are
adapted at each grade level to aid understanding by the students.
Parents who object to health education instruction in human growth and
development may file a written request that the student be excused from the
instruction. The written request will include a proposed alternate activity or study
acceptable to the superintendent. The superintendent will have the final authority to
determine the alternate activity or study.
Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 256.11; 279.8; 280.3-.14
281 I.A.C. 12.5.
Internet Appropriate Use Policy – 605.6
Because technology is a vital part of the school district curriculum, the Internet will be made available to employees and students. Appropriate and equitable use of the Internet will allow employees and students to access resources unavailable through traditional means.
Students will be able to access the Internet through their teachers. Individual student accounts and electronic mail addresses may be issued to students. If a student already has an electronic mail address, the student may, with the permission of the supervising teacher be permitted to use the address to send and receive mail at school.
The Internet can provide a vast collection of educational resources for students and employees. It is a global network which makes it impossible to control all available information. Because information appears, disappears and changes constantly, it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate. The school district makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of information received on the Internet. Although students will be under teacher supervision while on the network, it is not possible to constantly monitor individual students and what they are accessing on the network. Some students might encounter information which may not be of educational value. Student Internet records and access records are confidential records treated like other student records. Students’ Internet activities will be monitored by the school district to ensure students are not accessing inappropriate sites that have visual depictions that include obscenity, child pornography or are harmful to minors. The school district will use technology protection measures to protect students from inappropriate access, including sites that include obscenity, child pornography or are harmful to minors.
The school district will monitor the online activities of students and will educate students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting on social networking sites and chat rooms. Students will also be educated on cyberbullying, including awareness and response. Employees will provide age appropriate training for students who use the Internet. The training provided will be designed to promote the school district’s commitment to:
- The standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in the Internet Safety Policy;
- Student safety with regard to:
- safety on the Internet;
- appropriate behavior while online, on social networking Web sites, and
in chat rooms; and
- cyberbullying awareness and response.
- Compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act
Employees and students will be instructed on the appropriate use of the Internet. Parents will be required to sign a permission form to allow their students to access the Internet. Students will sign a form acknowledging they have read and understand the Internet Acceptable Use policy and regulations, that they will comply with the policy and regulations, and that they understand the consequences for violation of the policy or regulations
In compliance with federal law, this policy will be maintained at least five years beyond the termination of funding under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) or E-rate.
Legal References: 47 C.F.R. 54.520
Iowa Code § 279.8
Annual Asbestos Notification
In accordance with federal regulations regarding asbestos in schools, the certified inspection of the district’s buildings was conducted in November of 2018. All asbestos located in the buildings has been identified by type, quantity, location, and condition. This information and recommended response action is contained in the district’s AHERA Management Plans which are available for review in each building and also in the district office.
A requirement of the federal regulations is to inform district employees and building occupants or their legal guardians once each year as to the inspection, the response action taken, re-inspections and surveillance activities that are planned or in progress. Certified re-inspections are required every three years. Six month surveillances are completed in all schools in January and July as required.
During the 2018-2019 construction project asbestos containing materials were removed from the elementary school building teacher work room area and also in the middle school building from the commons floors, science rooms’ tables and fume hood, and the building’s exterior shingles where construction work is being completed.
Further abatement will be done as necessary. All work is performed by state-certified workers and conforms to AHERA regulations. The district is aware of the health hazards of asbestos and is taking all measures to conform to federal and state regulations.
Open Enrollment Policy
The school district will participate in open enrollment as a receiving district. As a
receiving district, the board will allow nonresident students, who meet the legal
requirements, to open enroll into the school district. The board will have complete
discretion to determine the attendance center of the students attending the school
district under open enrollment.
The superintendent will notify the sending school district and parents within five
days of the school district’s action to approve or deny the open enrollment
Open enrollment requests into the school district will not be approved if insufficient
classroom space exists. Open enrollment requests into the school district will also
not be approved for students who have been suspended or expelled by the
administration or the board of the school district the student is or was attending
until the student has been reinstated into the school district from which the
student was suspended or expelled. Once the student is reinstated, the student’s
open enrollment request will be considered in the same manner as other open
enrollment requests provided the required timelines are met.
Open enrollment requests into the school district that, if denied, would result in
students from the same nuclear family being enrolled in different school districts,
will be given highest priority. The board, in its discretion, may waive the
insufficient classroom space reason for denial for students of the same nuclear
family to prevent the division of a nuclear family between two school districts.
Other open enrollment requests into the school district are considered in the order
received by the school district with the first open enrollment request given a
higher priority than the second open enrollment request and so forth.
Students in grades nine through twelve open enrolling into the school district will
be eligible for participation in interscholastic athletics, at the varsity level only, in
accordance with applicable laws.
Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from the receiving
school district without reimbursement unless the parents qualify for transportation
assistance. Upon a parent’s request, the board may approve transportation into
the sending district. The board’s approval is subject to the sending district’s
An open enrollment request into the school district from parents of a special
education student is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The determining factors
for approval of such an open enrollment request will be whether the special
education program available in the school district is appropriate for the student’s
needs and whether the enrollment of the special education student will cause the
class size to exceed the maximum allowed. The area education agency director of
special education serving the school district will determine whether the program is
appropriate. The special education student will remain in the sending district until
the final determination is made. For children requiring special education, the
receiving district will complete and provide to the resident district the
documentation needed to seek Medicaid reimbursement for eligible services.
The policies of the school district will apply to students attending the school district
under open enrollment.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop appropriate office
procedures and administrative regulations necessary for open enrollment requests.
Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 139A.8; 274.1; 279.11; 282.1, .3, .8, .18;
299.1. 281 I.A.C. 17.