- Alternative Programs
- Animals in Schools
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Asbestos Notice
- Bullying Prohibition
- Bus Conduct
- Canine Searches
- Distribution of Non-School-Sponsored Materials on School Premises
- Employment Background Checks
- Graduation Requirements
- Harassment Prohibition
- Hazing Prohibition
- Indoor Air Quality
- Lead in Water
- Lockers and Personal Possessions Within a Locker & Vehicles on Campus
- Notice of Violent Behavior By Students
- Parent Right to Know
- Pesticide Notice
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Radon Testing
- Remote Learning Days (e-Learning Days)
- Social Media
- Student Discipline
- Student Promotion and Retention
- Student Records
- Student Surveys
- Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
- Testing of Students
- Title IX Sex Nondiscrimination Policy, Grievance Procedure and Process
- Tobacco-Free Environment: Possession and Use of Tobacco, Tobacco-Related Devices, and Electronic Delivery Devices
- Unpaid Meals
- Weapons Prohibition
- Wellness Policy
Austin Public Schools may use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve various areas, including student performance, communication, and decision-making.
We may use AI to understand performance better and provide tailored support.
AI may help us manage routine questions through our website, email, social media, and newsletters. This may let staff focus on more complex tasks while maintaining efficient and discreet communication.
AI may generate and offer insights that help us keep our teaching materials current and effective.
We are exploring AI to distribute and generate educational content more efficiently through newsletters, social media, and other platforms.
AI could improve our ability to make informed resource allocation and strategy decisions.
Involving the Community
We may host community sessions to update you on our progress with AI.
During the past school year and continuing into the 2023-2024 school year, the following asbestos management plan activities have been or currently being completed. These activities are pursuant to the Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 763- “Asbestos Containing Materials in Schools; Final Rule and Notice.”
- One (1) Semi-Annual Periodic Surveillance Inspection
- One (1) Third-Year Re-Inspection
- Flooring and Pipe Insulation Abatement Projects as necessary– District-Wide
- Immediate response items from the Semi-Annual Periodic Surveillance Inspections
- Notification of Asbestos Locations for Short-Term Workers (Electricians, Plumbers, etc.)
- Training of District Personnel
Licensed asbestos abatement contractors completed any removal or repair work. Most likely, for the next school year, we will be removing floor tile. Austin Public Schools has contracted with the Institute for Environmental Assessment to provide environmental consulting services.
The complete updated Asbestos Management Plan for Austin Public Schools is available in the Buildings and Grounds office or in the Administrative Office at each of the school facilities. The Management Plan is available for review, without cost or restriction, during normal working hours. Copies are available for a fee of $.10 per page.
Any questions concerning this notice or an explanation of our Asbestos Management Plan may be directed to the Director of Facility Services at 507-460-1928.
Regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students, and establishes regular habits of dependability. For detailed information, see the “Student Attendance” policy.
The school district is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Acts of bullying, in any form, by either an individual student or a group of students, are prohibited on school district property, at school-related functions or activities, on school transportation, and by misuse of technology. For detailed information, see the school district’s “Bullying Prohibition” policy.
Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. The school district’s general student behavior rules are in effect for all students on school buses, including nonpublic and charter school students. The school district will not provide transportation for students whose transportation privileges have been revoked.
The school district is committed to transporting students in a safe and orderly manner. To accomplish this, student riders are expected to follow school district rules for waiting at a school bus stop and for riding on a school bus. Please review more complete transportation details here and district policy.
Austin Public Schools has teamed with the Austin Police Department to use canine drug dogs at various times during the school year. This is a proactive effort to promote a safe and drug-free environment in all schools. We hope never to find any contraband and that our efforts at prevention will discourage prohibited items from coming onto campus.
The search will be used to detect potential drugs in school buildings and on school grounds, including parking lots. When the search is on school grounds, any school building that is on said grounds may be limit movement within the building of staff and students. We expect this process to cause a minimal distraction to the learning environment as instruction will continue.
If the presence of drugs is detected the school will conduct the investigation and issue any consequences in accordance with the school boards’ policies and procedures. Please review the policy for more detailed information.
The school district recognizes that students and employees have the right to express themselves on school property. This protection includes distributing non-school-sponsored material, subject to school district regulations and procedures, at a reasonable time and place and in a reasonable manner. For detailed information, see the complete “Distribution of Materials on School District Property by Non-School Persons” policy.
The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe and healthy environment in the school district in order to promote the physical, social, and psychological well-being of its students. To that end, the school district will seek a criminal history background check for applicants who receive an offer of employment with the school district and on all individuals, except enrolled student volunteers, who are offered the opportunity to provide athletic coaching services or other extracurricular academic coaching services to the school district, regardless of whether any compensation is paid, or such other background checks as provided by this policy. The school district may also elect to do background checks of other volunteers, independent contractors and student employees in the school district. For more information review the policy here.
Materials that are part of the basic educational program are provided with state, federal, and local funds at no charge to a student. Students expected to provide their own pencils, pens, paper, erasers, notebooks, and other personal items. Students may be required to pay certain other fees or deposits, including (not an inclusive list):
- Admission fees or charges for extracurricular activities, where attendance is optional and where the admission fees or charges a student must pay to attend or participate in an extracurricular activity are the same for all students, regardless of whether the student is enrolled in a public or a home school.
- Cost for materials for a class project that exceeds minimum requirements and is kept by the student.
- Security deposits for the return of materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Personal physical education and athletic equipment and apparel.
- Items of personal use or products that a student has an option to purchase such as student publications, class rings, annuals, and graduation announcements.
- Field trips considered supplementary to the district’s educational program.
- Admission fees or costs to attend or participate in optional extracurricular activities and programs.
- Voluntarily purchased student health and accident insurance.
- Use of musical instruments owned or rented by the school district.
- A school district-sponsored driver or motorcycle education training course.
- Transportation to and from school for students living within two miles of school.
- Transportation of students to and from optional extracurricular activities or post-secondary instruction conducted at locations other than school.
Students will be charged for technology, textbooks, workbooks, and library books that are lost or destroyed. The school district may waive a required fee or deposit if the student and parent/guardian are unable to pay.
Students must meet all course credit requirements and graduation standards, as established by the state and the school board, in order to graduate from Austin Public Schools. See policy for complete details.
All students must also pass the state-identified proficiency tests, Minnesota comprehensive assessments, alternate assessments, and/or other applicable tests. Students will have the first opportunity to take a test in basic requirements, contact the Superintendent for more information. Parents may opt out of the statewide assessments for their student(s) by completing the form and returning it to the school district office.
The purpose of this policy is to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from harassment, violence, and bullying on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, or disability.
The purpose of this policy is to maintain a safe learning environment for students and staff that is free from hazing. Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational goals of the school district and are prohibited at all times.
Austin Public Schools has an indoor air quality management plan that outlines specific policies and procedures used in district to address indoor air quality issues. The District Health and Safety Committee chaired by the Director of Facility Services (507-460-1928) and Institute for Environmental Assessment, the district’s health and safety consultant, review the plan annually. Any questions concerning indoor air quality or would like to use the EPA’s Tools for Schools checklists, please contact the Director of Facility Services.
Minnesota Statute 121A.335 requires public school buildings serving kindergarten through grade 12 to test for lead in water every 5 years. This statute also requires school districts to make the results of the testing available to the public for review and to notify parents of the availability of the information. Notification may be accomplished by publishing a statement in the “Back to School” newsletter or publication that is available to staff, student, parents and the public.
Austin Public Schools is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment for employees and students. The district has developed a lead in water management plan and testing program that complies with Minnesota Statute 121A.335, as well as recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Lead Contamination Control Act (LCCA) of 1988 and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
For more information on Austin Public Schools lead reduction and testing program, please contact the Director of Facility Services at 507-460-1928.
The purpose of this policy is to provide for a safe and healthy educational environment by enforcing the school district’s policies against contraband.
Vehicles on Campus
- Patrols and Inspections
- School officials may conduct routine patrols of student parking lots and other school district locations and routine inspections of the exteriors of the motor vehicles of students. Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.
- A search of the Interior of a Student’s Motor Vehicle
- The interior of a student’s motor vehicle, including the glove and trunk compartments, in a school district location, may be searched when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of the law and/or school policy or rule. The search will be reasonable in its scope and intrusiveness. Such searches may be conducted without notice, without consent, and without a search warrant. A student will be subject to loss of parking privileges and to discipline if the student refuses to open a locked motor vehicle or its compartments under the student’s control upon a school official’s request.
Austin Public Schools provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, creed, age, religion, color, national origin, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, or disability. Inquiries about ADA, Section 504, Title VI, or Title IX may be directed to the Superintendent's office at 507-460-1900 or 401 3rd Ave NW, Austin, MN, 55912.
The school district will give notice to teachers and other appropriate school district staff before students with a history of violent behavior are placed in their classrooms. Prior to giving this notice, district officials will inform the student’s parent or guardian that the notice will be given. The student’s parents/guardians have the right to review and challenge their child’s records, including the data documenting the history of violent behavior. For more information review board policy.
If a parent requests it, the school district will provide information regarding the professional qualifications of his/her child’s classroom teachers, including, at a minimum, the following:
- whether the teacher has met state qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
- whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional licensing status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
- the baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree;
- whether the student is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
In addition, the school district will provide parents with information as to the level of achievement of their child in each of the state academic assessments. The school district will provide notice to parents if their child has been assigned to, or taught for four or more consecutive weeks by, a teacher who is not highly qualified.
MN schools are required to inform parents/guardians and school employees that they may request to be notified prior to pesticide application on school property. Pesticides include chemicals which are used to control insects, weeds, rodents or other pests as defined by the law (M.S.121A.30, Subd.9). To be notified about pesticide applications or any other questions you have regarding the District’s pest management practices, please contact the Director of Facility Services at 507-460-1928.
Records of application of weed control chemicals and pesticide treatments are maintained in the Buildings & Grounds Office.
The school board recognizes the need to display an appropriate United States flag and to provide instruction to students in the proper etiquette, display, and respect of the flag. The purpose of this policy is to provide for the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and instruction in school to help further that end.
According to Minnesota Statute 123B.571, school districts that receive health and safety revenue to conduct radon testing must conduct the testing. Reports are available for review at the District Office.
This day refers to a school day where instead of coming to a school, teachers and students communicate online or set up prior learning expectations, and the students continue their learning from home.
Teachers can opt to do this from off-campus or their classroom. For more information see policy for complete details.
You can also visit our Remote Learning Days site.
Austin Public Schools uses Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) as another outlet for parent and community communication to:
- Share news, announcements, reminders, and issues related to the school community.
- Engage parents in responsible and respectful conversations about our school district
Austin Public Schools has sole authority to control the content of posts and information distributed through its social media accounts, including Facebook.
Austin Public Schools welcomes parents, students, residents, staff, and community members to engage with and discuss the information posted on Facebook. Austin Public Schools does not intend to create a forum for public discussion of topics or information unrelated to the District and its operations.
While the District does not have an obligation to monitor this discussion at all times, it will remove comments that contain the following:
- Comments that are unrelated to the purpose of the page or post
- Offensive or inflammatory language
- Inappropriate remarks and profanity
- Personal attacks
- Posts that contain personal information about a student or staff member
- Promotional or sales-related posts or comments
- Links to other pages that contain malware, viruses, scams, criminal content, pornography, or other unacceptable content
- Language or content that targets any specific race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or veteran status
- Language or content that incites violence
- Language or content related to activities illegal for minors, such as alcohol or smoking
Austin Public Schools staff are not responsible for user-generated content. The opinions expressed in user-generated content do not necessarily reflect those of District staff. Participants are expected to treat each other with respect.
Followers should not expect responses to every question or comment posted. Further, complaints should be submitted to the District through the procedures in District policies.
The District reserves the right to close the forum and remove the ability for users to comment or post on District social media.
For more information, please refer to policy 428.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students are aware of and comply with the school district’s expectations for student conduct. Such compliance will enhance the school district’s ability to maintain discipline and ensure that there is no interference with the educational process. The school district will take appropriate disciplinary action when students fail to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct established by this policy.
Student records are classified as public, private, or confidential. State and federal laws protect student records from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents/guardians and eligible students with certain rights. For the purposes of student records, an “eligible” student is one who is 18 or older or who is enrolled in an institution of post-secondary education. Please see complete copy of the school district’s “Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records” policy (Part 1, Part 2).
Occasionally, the school district utilizes surveys to obtain student opinions and information about students. The purpose of this policy is to establish the parameters of information that may be sought in student surveys.
On July 16, 2022, the United States transitioned to the new three-digit dialing code 988 to reach crisis support. The change is part of a nationwide effort to transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (the Lifeline) to a phone number people can more easily remember and access in times of crisis. The shift also includes an online chat feature and a new texting option.
The new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline code will serve as a universal entry point, so people can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help regardless of where they live. Anyone can dial or text 988 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reach crisis support or to use an online chat feature to connect with crisis support. People can dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one needing crisis support.
Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing. This site provides information that will help parents/guardians make informed decisions that benefit their children, schools, and communities.
The school district does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities, and it is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and its implementing regulations, not to discriminate in such a manner. The requirement not to discriminate in its education program or activity extends to admission and employment. The school district is committed to maintaining an education and work environment that is free from discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment.
The school district prohibits sexual harassment that occurs within its education programs and activities. When the school district has actual knowledge of sexual harassment in its education program or activity against a person in the United States, it shall promptly respond in a manner that is not deliberately indifferent.
This policy applies to sexual harassment that occurs within the school district’s education programs and activities and that is committed by a school district employee, student, or other members of the school community. This policy does not apply to sexual harassment that occurs off school grounds, in a private setting, and outside the scope of the school district’s education programs and activities. This policy does not apply to sexual harassment that occurs outside the geographic boundaries of the United States, even if the sexual harassment occurs in the school district’s education programs or activities.
Any student, parent, or guardian having questions regarding the application of Title IX and its regulations and/or this policy and grievance process should discuss them with the Title IX Coordinator. The school district’s Title IX Coordinator(s) is:
Director of Human Resources
Questions relating solely to Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator(s), the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education, or both.
Governor Tim Walz signed into Minnesota law the omnibus Health and Human Services bill, which expanded the definition of smoking to encompass an "activated electronic delivery device." To reflect these statutory changes please review Policy 419.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students receive healthy and nutritious meals through the school district’s nutrition program and that school district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations regarding meal charges. The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day and minimize identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals as well as to maintain the financial integrity of the school nutrition program.
The purpose of this policy is to set forth methods that promote student wellness, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and assure that school meals and other food and beverages sold and otherwise made available on the school campus during the school day are consistent with applicable minimum local, state, and federal standards.