It is the policy of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District board to balance the need of the public, its school board members and media to be informed about school programs and activities with the privacy interest of students and the responsibility of the school to operate with a minimum of disruption. Accordingly, the school principal or his or her designees shall regulate visits to the school by parents/guardians, community members, school board members or news media.
- Visitors: Visitors to the school will be required to check in at the office when they enter the school building. The principal or his or her designee will maintain a log showing the names of visitors and the date, times, in and out, and purpose of each visit. Every visitor will be issued a visitor tag which must be worn in plain view.
- Parental and Guardian visits: In the absence of a court order denying such rights to a parent/guardian, both custodial and non-custodial parents/guardians may schedule visits to their children's classes. To minimize interruptions to the learning environment, arrangements for classroom visits shall be made by contacting the school prior to the day of the intended visit. The principal may consult with the teacher involved, and may grant the request, suggest a more convenient time for a visit or deny permission. Requests by parents/guardians to visit classes may be denied by the principal when the visit would result in disruption to the learning process in the classroom.
- Visits by community members: All Persons who are not parents/guardians of school children shall comply with all security and safety procedures in schools and the SVSU when visiting. Requests to visit specific classrooms will be granted or denied after consultation with the principal, teacher or teachers involved, and will be based on a consideration of the informational needs of the person making the request and the potential for disruption of instruction or invasion of the privacy of students.
- School board members: School Board members shall comply with all security and safety procedures in schools and the SVSU when visiting. Board members shall consult with the educational leadership of the building for the potential for disruption of instruction or invasion of the privacy of students.
- Visits by news media. Permission for visits to the school by representatives of the news media or other persons seeking to interview, photograph, record, videotape or film students, staff members or school activities must be requested the principal or his or her designee. Affected teachers will be consulted before permission for such activities in classrooms is granted. At the discretion of the administration, parents and guardians may be asked to sign general or specific permission slips to authorize interviewing, photographing, filming or videotaping of their children while at school or while participating in school activities. Written parental/guardian permission must be obtained before the release to, or photographing or recording by, the media of any student work. Photographing, filming, or recording of special education students will be allowed only after specific parental/guardian permission is obtained in writing.
Legal Reference(s): Federal Family Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380)
34 C.F.R. Part 99
15 V.S.A. 670
Administrative Regulation for Policy #1020:
General permission for photographing, filming and recording shall be requested from parents/guardians annually for all students. Parents are not obligated to comply.