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Request for Service Dogs in School

Service dogs are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual. The "work or task" performed must be directly related to the adult's disability. Adults are covered under Title II of the ADA.

Appendix: Information for Employees, Parents/Guardians requesting a service dog in school

I. The success of the implementation or visit of a service dog into a school setting depends on clear communication, a well-informed school community and careful planning. The information you provide will assist the building principal and the appropriate staff (ADA Manager) to make the best possible decisions for you, the employee, parents (guardians), and the volunteers and visitors at the school. The information will be filed in your Douglas County Record.

 I will:

  • participate in meetings requested of me by the Building Principal/ or ADA Manager;
  • I understand that for the safety and protection of students and staff, which is necessary for the safe operation of the school, the school may revoke access because:

               - One of the criteria above is not present.

               - The service dog displays aggression or appears to be an imminent threat to the safety

                 or health of any person in the school. If this occurs the Building Principal/ ADA

                 Manager (for adults with service dogs) will immediately contact me to remove the dog

                 from the school property and summon Animal Control.

              - The adult handler fails to follow the Building Principal's / or ADA Manager's

                 instructions.

  • I understand the service dog's owner is solely liable for any damage to persons, premises, or facilities that were caused by the service dog. I will hold, the district, its employees or agents harmless for any injury to, including death of, the service dog.

II. The information you provide will help the Building Principal to implement your request. It is important to provide the information that addresses the safety of the students and staff. For example, the Building Principal needs to know that the dog has no history of nipping, biting, or growling at children or adults, nor exhibits aggressive protective behaviors.

III. The well-being of the dog is also very important. Its care, handling and training needs to be addressed, and your input as trained handler is valuable. The Building Principal also needs to know what other resources are available to facilitate the transition to school and the implementation of the plan. Strategies for becoming familiar with the building and school grounds, introduction to assembles/concerts, recess and staff rooms (if applicable), and informing the staff about interacting with the dog will need to be included in the planning to be as consistent and fair to the dog as possible. NOTE: A school is not a training facility for service dogs that have not finished their training. The training itself needs to happen outside of school. The handler needs to be in full control before a transition training with the dog can be considered and integrated in the plan.

IV. The Building Principal, with assistance, will develop a communication plan that informs students, staff and community members as appropriate. Additionally, training and education will be conducted to students, staff, and the community about the rights of adults to use a service dog at school and the consequences for mistreatment of dogs.

V. Your responsibilities include:

- Provide the Building Principal with all required documentation, reports, and certification in a timely manner.

- Assume monetary responsibility of the dog's training, veterinary care, city/county license and all other related costs.

- Participate in a school case conference meeting to inform the Building Principal of relevant information that may affect a child, other student, staff, and/or visitors to the school.

- Provide the required equipment and dog care items.

- Assist the Building Principal to communicate relevant information to the school community.

- Attend to the daily care needs of the dog.

- Work cooperative with the school staff to make this accommodation a success.

VI. Once the necessary information has been received, the Building Principal will consult with the ADA Manager, prior to the admittance and implementation of the service dog to the school.

VII. If the request is approved, a series of planning steps must take place to ensure a smooth transition for the entry of the service dog.

VIII. After all the discussion and planning is in place, the goal will be to implement the plan as soon as possible.