Series 800 – Community Relations

Key to reading DMPS Policies:

(BP) = Board Policy. Responsibility for policies with this designation lies with the Board of Directors.

(AP) = Administrative Policy. Responsibility for policies with this designation lies with the Superintendent and Superintendent鈥檚 designee(s).


Policy 800 (AP): Guiding Principles

The District places a high priority on positive school/community relations. The Department of Board and Community Relations is responsible for developing and implementing an integrated public relations/marketing plan involving all district stakeholders.

Revised August 4, 1992; October 15, 2019
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 801 (AP): Parents as Partners

The most successful education of children depends on effective parent involvement.

Although parents are diverse in culture, language, and needs and family structures vary widely, they share the school鈥檚 commitment to the educational success of their children. The school district and schools, along with parents, shall identify programs and practices that enhance parent involvement and address the specific needs of students and their families.

The Superintendent will encourage the development, implementation, and regular review of parent involvement. Parent involvement may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • information and programs for parents about how they can assist their own children to learn;
  • involvement of parents in instructional and support roles at the school and at home;
  • activities to encourage parental volunteer opportunities in schools;
  • information and programs for parents on how to establish a home environment to support learning and appropriate behavior;
  • effective two-way communication between all parents and schools;
  • encouragement of parents as leaders and decision makers;
  • assistance to help parents be involved in educational lobbying; and
  • cooperation with other agencies to meet the needs of all children and their families.

For purposes of this policy, the term 鈥減arent鈥 shall have the definition under federal and state law governing access to student information and records. The term 鈥減arent鈥 also includes biological or adoptive parents, both custodial and non-custodial parents (unless otherwise restricted by law or lawful authority), legal guardian, and an adult individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

Adopted September 5, 1995
Revised: October 15, 2019
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 804 (AP): District and Building Meetings and Activities

All available means of communication will be used to encourage participation in district-wide meetings and activities.

The public will be informed of meetings and activities held at individual schools through news releases, building newsletters, student publications, and other appropriate means.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 805 (AP): Public Records

The District believes the community鈥檚 involvement in and support for the District is enhanced with the public鈥檚 access to public records regarding operations of the District. The public has a right to access public school district records, and the District has an obligation to share those public records which are requested. This policy establishes guidelines for the examination and dissemination of public records of or belonging to the school district.

The Superintendent has the responsibility for implementing the requirements of Chapter 22, Code of Iowa, relating to the examination of public records. In addition, all school employees are responsible individually for complying with the public鈥檚 right to examine public records within the scope of each employee鈥檚 jurisdiction. This policy should not be construed to require the school district or any of its employees to release confidential records, as defined by law.

All school district records, except those which are confidential as provided by law, are public records. In addition, documents related to school safety are allowed to be designated by the Board as confidential. These documents include:

  • Security procedures,
  • Vulnerability assessments,
  • Evacuation procedures,
  • Security codes and passwords,
  • Emergency preparedness procedures.

The examination, reproduction, and dissemination of public records shall be done in accordance with procedures established by the Superintendent. Such procedures shall include:

  1. methods by which public records are made available for examination, reproduction, and distribution to the public; and
  2. a schedule of fees for the reproduction and distribution of public records.

See District Codes 213, 510 and 513
Iowa Code Section 22.7, Code Supplement 2005
Adopted June 21, 1994
Revised August 1, 2006
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 806 (AP): Staff/Community Relations

All school personnel play an important role in positive district communications. Staff members are expected to demonstrate fair and courteous behavior in dealing with pupils, parents, other staff members, and the general public.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 807 (AP): Use of School Time for Non-Instructional Purposes

The use of school time by non-school affiliated organizations to promote, implement, or execute projects with no relationship to instruction is prohibited. The primary purpose of the school day is for instruction and other activities related to the education program.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 816 (AP): Parent-Teacher Associations/Parent Support Groups

Parent involvement and support are essential to a successful education experience for students at all levels. The Board of Directors encourages participation of parent organizations and support groups in building-level and district-wide activities and decisions. It is the responsibility of staff members to work cooperatively with parent organizations and volunteers.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 817 (AP): Citizen Advisory Committees

Recognizing the value of public input in specific issues confronting the school district, the Superintendent may appoint citizens having talents, skills, and experience in particular fields to serve on study and advisory committees in the investigation of specific issues.

Recommendations by such committees shall be advisory only and shall not reduce the responsibility of the Board of Directors nor administration for policies adopted.

Revised August 4, 1992; October 15, 2019
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy: 818 (AP): Electronic and Information Technology

The District complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in ensuring people with disabilities have an opportunity equal to that of their nondisabled peers to participate in the District鈥檚 programs, benefits, and services, including those delivered through electronic and information technology. This means that the District will take actions to ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the same benefits or services as their nondisabled peers.

To meet this end, the District will provide online content and functionality which meets the World Wide Web Consortium鈥檚 (W3C鈥檚) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content. The only exception is that online content and functionality for video content shall conform to W3C鈥檚 WCAG 2.0 Level A (collectively, the 鈥淎ccessibility Standards鈥). The Accessibility Standards shall apply to current and new, newly-added, or modified online content, and may be subject to change with or without notice if they become obsolete.

Notwithstanding the forgoing, if conformance with any Accessibility Standard constitutes a fundamental alteration or undue burden to the District, the District shall provide equally effective alternative access. Providing 鈥渆qually effective alternative access鈥 means the District will take any actions that do not result in a fundamental alteration or undue financial and administrative burdens, but nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the same online benefits or services as their nondisabled peers. Please note that alternatives are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for persons with and without disabilities, but will afford persons with disabilities equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement, in the most integrated setting appropriate to the person鈥檚 needs.

The District will adopt procedures to ensure that all new, newly-added, or modified online content is consistent with the Accessibility Standards.

Adopted September 19,聽2017
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 835 (AP): Combined Charitable Campaign

The Superintendent believes the District鈥檚 employees should have an opportunity to make charitable contributions in the work place with a minimum of disruption and administrative costs. The Superintendent supports an annual campaign for federations of agencies or district-wide school affiliated organizations whose basic purpose is to support health and human welfare services readily available to the residents of the District. Contributions received by federations as a result of this policy shall not be used by the federations or their member agencies for capital expenditures. This policy shall not in any way be construed as an endorsement by the District of support for any individual federation of agencies or district-wide school affiliated organization. As used in this statement of policies and the corresponding procedures, the term 鈥渆mployee鈥 means those employees of the District subject to the District鈥檚 payroll system, and the term 鈥渇ederation of agencies鈥 shall mean an organization consisting of 15 or more separate agencies eligible to receive contributions pursuant to this policy and implementing procedure and which may be deducted on the contributor鈥檚 federal and Iowa individual income tax returns.

Adopted June 21, 1994
Revised: October 15, 2019
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 841 (AP): Public Conduct at School Event

School sponsored or approved activities are an important part of the school program and offer students the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities not offered during the regular school day. School sponsored or approved activities are provided for the enjoyment and opportunity for involvement they afford the students.

Spectators are permitted to attend school sponsored or approved activities only as guests of the school district, and, as a condition of such permission, they must comply with the school district鈥檚 rules and policies. Spectators will not be allowed to interfere with the enjoyment of the students participating, other spectators, or with the performance of employees and officials supervising the school sponsored or approved activity. Spectators, like the student participants, are expected to display mature behavior and sportsmanship. The failure of spectators to do so is not only disruptive but disrespectful to the students, the school district, and the entire community.

To protect the rights of students to participate without fear of interference, and to permit the school staff members and volunteers and officials of sponsored or approved activities to perform their duties without interference, the following provisions are in effect:

  • Abusive verbal or physical conduct of spectators directed at participants, officials, or school staff members and volunteers of sponsored or approved activities or at other spectators will not be tolerated.
  • Verbal or physical conduct of spectators that interferes with the performance of students, officials, or school staff members and volunteers of sponsored or approved activities will not be tolerated.
  • The use of vulgar, obscene, or demeaning expression directed at students, officials or sponsors participating in a sponsored or approved activity or at other spectators will not be tolerated.

If a spectator at a sponsored or approved activity becomes physically or verbally abusive, uses vulgar, obscene or demeaning expression, or in any way impedes the performance of an activity, the spectator may be removed from the event by聽the individual in charge of the event, and the Superintendent may exclude the spectator at future sponsored or approved activities.

The Superintendent shall cause a notice of exclusion from sponsored or approved activities to be sent to the spectator involved. The notice shall advise the spectator of the District鈥檚 right to exclude the individual from school district activities and events and the duration of the exclusion. If the spectator disobeys the school official or District鈥檚 order, law enforcement authorities may be contacted and asked to remove the spectator. If a spectator has been notified of exclusion and thereafter attends a sponsored or approved activity, the spectator shall be advised that his/her attendance will result in prosecution. The District may obtain a court order for permanent exclusion from future school sponsored or approved activities.

Legal Reference: 聽 Iowa Code Sections 279.8; 716.7 (1999)
Adopted: April 18, 2000
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 850 (BP): Fundraising

Fundraising activities may be authorized to achieve an identified relevant need to support activities or to accomplish specific goals.

Fundraising activities are permissible if:

  • they do not detract from the instructional program of the school;
  • participation (students, parents, and staff) is entirely voluntary; and
  • activities are held with the single purpose of benefiting DMPS students.

No student will be excluded from any event or program because of non-participation in fundraising by the student or their parents/guardians. Fundraising activities must comply with all relevant federal, state, and local laws and district policies.

Fundraising activities may only be initiated for school-sponsored events and organizations with the prior approval of the Activities Director/Student Engagement Coordinator (for middle and high schools), building administrator, and the district Executive Director of Operations (if the fundraiser is for a capital improvement project).

Proceeds from fundraising activities may be spent only for the purpose for which the fundraising event(s) was approved. All items and money generated are subject to the same controls and regulations as other district property/funds. Accordingly, all school-sponsored fundraising activity shall be accounted for by the school district and deposited into the appropriate student activity fund.

Collection boxes for school fundraising must have prior approval from the building administrator before being placed on school property.

Student fundraising can enhance a student鈥檚 educational experience; but it must not be at the expense of the safety and education of the district鈥檚 students. For safety purposes, students will not be asked to solicit door to door.

Crowdfunding is limited to online fundraising platforms previously approved by the District.

Any student fundraising activity which utilizes the district name, likeness, and/or logo should be coordinated with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and the building administrator.

Fundraising by students for events other than school-sponsored events is not allowed at school or during school hours.

It is the responsibility of the Superintendent, or Superintendent鈥檚 designee, to develop administrative procedures regarding this policy.

Adopted: August, 08, 2023
Last Review: August, 08, 2023

Policy 853 (AP): Student Participation in Community Activities and Public Functions

Students are encouraged to contribute to civic and community activities through personal involvement.

Participation of students in public functions is encouraged when such involvement contributes to the educational processes and objectives of the school. Group participation in community activities and performances should be approved by the building principals and designed for minimal interruption of learning time.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 855 (AP): Request for Charitable Contributions from Students

Solicitation of charitable contributions from students shall be limited to those approved by the building administrator in consultation with the parent support organization and which are made to a bona fide charitable organization.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 860 (AP): Volunteers

The Superintendent promotes and encourages the ongoing and active use of volunteers to help further develop parental, community, and civic involvement with school sites while at the same time ensuring an appropriate level of safety and security in our buildings. Volunteers are recognized as an important component of a successful and comprehensive school program design by enriching and expanding the educational opportunities available to the students of the District.

All prospective volunteers must complete a volunteer application and consent to a background check including but not limited to screening for assault, felony convictions, and child and dependent abuse charges.

A volunteer is defined as a non-paid person functioning within DMPS Board and Administrative policies who shall serve under the immediate supervision and discretion of the professional staff to whom he/she is assigned.

The District will provide a fair, supportive, and non-discriminatory environment for all volunteers and will not discriminate against volunteers or prospective volunteers on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status.

Adopted: September 6, 1994;
Revised: April 1, 1997; October 2, 2012; October 15, 2019
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 864 (AP): Education Foundations

Education foundations are recognized as viable means of supporting public education. Foundations may be established for the support of individual schools and their students. The fund-raising efforts of such foundations should be limited to their own student body, parents, graduates, faculty, and the school neighborhoods.

Revised August 4, 1992; August 17, 2004
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 866 (AP): Cooperation with Staff Agencies and Non-Profit Organizations

The District will cooperate with official state agencies and organizations concerned with the education, health, and welfare of children.

Public and approved non-profit organizations are encouraged to consider the value of input from the District in the development and implementation of their services.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 867 (AP): Business/School Partnerships

Collaboration with businesses in the pursuit of educational excellence is recognized and encouraged. All partnerships are to reflect district policies and are to be operated cooperatively by district staff, building personnel, and the business partners.

Revised August 4, 1992
Last Review: October 15, 2019

Policy 868 (AP): Endorsements

The Superintendent believes it is in the best interest of public institutions, such as the school district, that caution be exercised by district employees in making endorsements of commercial and non-commercial products and services. Endorsements on behalf of the school district are permitted only by approval of the Superintendent.

Revised August 16, 1994; October 15, 2019
Last Review: October 15, 2019