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Student Organizations: Sponsorship and Closed Student Forums, Policy No. 544

Student Organizations: Sponsorship and Closed Student Forums, Policy No. 544

Printable PDF Board Policy 544

The board is committed to the proposition that student participation in student activities and organizations can advance educational goals and otherwise benefit students and that technology center policies should further students' opportunities for participation.  The board also is mindful that the primary purpose of the technology center is to educate its students and that the board must maintain control and oversight of students' activities and experiences while attending school.

Therefore, the board has determined that only school-sponsored student organizations, as that term is defined in this policy, will be permitted to utilize school facilities for meetings or other functions.  The board intends by this policy to create a "closed forum" in regard to the utilization of technology center facilities by student organizations and groups, in that the use of technology center facilities by student organizations and groups will be restricted to those student organizations and groups that are sponsored by the technology center as provided in this policy.

Technology Center-Sponsored Student Organizations

The technology center may sponsor student organizations that the board determines are in furtherance of and consistent with the technology center's educational objectives and directly related to its curriculum ("technology center-sponsored student organizations").

An organization shall be considered to be directly related to the technology center's curriculum:  (1) if the subject matter of the group is actually taught or will soon be taught; (2) if the subject matter of the group concerns the body of courses as a whole; (3) if participation in the group is required for a particular course; (4) if participation in the group results in academic credit; or (5) if it is part of or an adjunct to student government, relating directly to the curriculum, to the extent that it addresses concerns, solicits opinions and formulates proposals pertaining to the body of courses offered by the technology center.

Technology center-sponsored student organizations shall have a faculty sponsor, whose teaching field, education, background or other expertise is reasonably related to the purpose and goals of the group.

Application for technology center sponsorship shall be made by the proposed faculty sponsor and at least five (5) students who intend to participate in the organization.  Each proposed student organization will submit its membership requirements, organizational structure and provisions of a constitution or other document setting out its organizational purpose and structure, subject to approval by the superintendent.

After the proposed organization and its constitution have received preliminary approval from the superintendent, the board shall review and approve or disapprove the organization for sponsorship based on the standards set out in this policy and, if requested, on an opinion rendered by the technology center's legal counsel that the proposed organization meets the standards of this policy.

Only technology center-sponsored student organizations shall be permitted to meet in or otherwise use technology center facilities.

Notice Regarding Student Organizations and Parental Right to Withhold Permission to Participate

The technology center shall provide annual notice to parents and guardians about technology center-sponsored student organizations in the student handbook and on the technology center’s website.  The notice shall include at least a list of the names of the clubs or organizations; their individual missions or purposes; and the names of the faculty advisors.

If technology center-sponsored student organizations are created or formed after the annual notice is distributed, the technology center shall send supplemental notice through the technology center’s website or by any other means it deems appropriate.  Like the annual notice, the supplemental notice shall specify at least the name of the organization, its mission or purpose and the name of its faculty advisor.

Parents and guardians may notify the technology center that they are withholding permission for their student to join or participate in one or more extracurricular technology center-sponsored student organizations.  However, parents and guardians may not withhold permission for student participation in clubs and organizations that are necessary for a required course of instruction.

Parents and guardians are solely responsible for preventing their student from participating in a club or organization for which they have withheld their permission.  Parents and guardians are also solely responsible for retrieving their student from attendance at a club or organization for which permission has been withheld.

Nothing in this policy prevents a club or organization from meeting when a student who is not authorized to participate is present.

The technology center may, but is not required to, provide annual (or supplemental) notice to parents and guardians about independent student-organized groups, as they are not groups directed or controlled by the technology center.  If notice of such groups is provided, the notice shall indicate that the group is independent student organized group.