Outline of the state of Iowa

Policies or Plans to Encourage Community Involvement

Policies or Plans to Encourage Community Involvement

State law requires districts to adopt community involvement plans or policies.

Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.8 Accountability for student achievement.

12.8 (1) Comprehensive school improvement. As a part of ongoing improvement in its educational system, the board shall adopt a written comprehensive school improvement plan designed for continuous school, parental, and community involvement in the development and monitoring of a plan that is aligned with school or school district determined needs. The plan shall incorporate, to the extent possible, the consolidation of federal and state planning, goal setting, and reporting requirements. The plan shall contain, but is not limited to, the following components:

  • a. Community involvement.
  • (1) Local community. The school or school district shall involve the local community in decision-making processes as appropriate. The school or school district shall seek input from the local community about, but not limited to, the following elements at least once every five years:
    1. Statement of philosophy, beliefs, mission, or vision;
    1. Major educational needs; and
    1. Student learning goals.
Policy Type

Iowa Code 256.18 Character education policy.

a. It is the policy of the general assembly that Iowa’s schools be the best and safest possible. To that end, each school is encouraged to instill the highest character and academic excellence in each student, in close cooperation with the student’s parents, and with input from the community and educators.

Policy Type

Iowa Code 256.7 Duties of state board.

Except for the college student aid commission, the commission of libraries and division of library services, and the public broadcasting board and division, the state board shall:

  1. Develop and adopt rules incorporating accountability for, and reporting of, student achievement into the Standard and accreditation process described in section 256.11. The rules shall provide for all of the following:
    • a. Requirements that all school districts and accredited nonpublic schools develop, implement, and file with the department a comprehensive school improvement plan that includes, but is not limited to, demonstrated school, parental, and community involvement in assessing educational needs, establishing local education Standard and student achievement levels, and, as applicable, the consolidation of federal and state planning, goal-setting, and reporting requirements.
Policy Type

Iowa Code 276.10 Establishment of program.

  1. The board of directors of a local school district may establish a community education program for schools in the district and provide for the general supervision of the program. Financial support for the program shall be provided from funds raised pursuant to chapter 300 and from any private funds and any federal funds made available for the purpose of implementing this chapter. The program which recognizes that the schools belong to the people and which shall be centered in the schools may include but shall not be limited to the use of the school facilities day and night, year round including weekends and regular school vacation periods for educational, recreational, cultural, and other community services and programs for all age, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups residing in the community.

  2. If a community education program is established, the board shall appoint a community education director who shall have professional training in the field of community education, recreation, or comparable experience.

  3. Upon establishment of a community education program, the board shall provide for the selection of a district-wide advisory council which shall be responsible to the board and shall cooperate with and assist the board and the local community education director. The board shall also provide for the selection of local advisory councils.

  4. The board shall receive an annual report and budget recommendation from the district-wide advisory council and may request supplementary reports as needed.

  5. The school districts may cooperate with community colleges, institutions under the control of the state board of regents, and area education agencies in providing community education programs.

  6. The board may use opportunities available under Pub. L. No. 93-380.

  7. The board may approve cooperation and pooling of funds with other school districts.

Policy Type

Iowa Code 276.2 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to provide educational, recreational, cultural, and other community services and programs through the establishment of the concept of community education with the community school serving as the center for such activity. In cooperation with other community agencies and groups, it is the purpose of the community education Act to mobilize community resources to solve identified community concerns and to promote a more efficient and expanded use of existing school buildings and equipment, to provide leadership in working with other entities, to mobilize the human and financial resources of a community, and to provide a wide range of opportunities for all socioeconomic, ethnic, and age groups. A related purpose of this chapter is to develop a sense of community in which the citizenry cooperates with the school and community agencies and groups to resolve their school and community concerns and to recognize that the schools belong to the people, and that as the entity located in every neighborhood, the schools are available for use by the community day and night, year-round or any time when the programming will not interfere with the elementary and secondary program.

Policy Type

Iowa Code 276.3 Definitions.

As used in sections 276.1 to 276.11 unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Community education” means a lifelong education process concerning itself with every facet that affects the well-being of all citizens within a given community and serves all of the following purposes:
    • a. To extend the role of the school from one of teaching children through an elementary and secondary program to one of providing for citizen participation in identifying the wants, needs, and concerns of the neighborhood community and coordinating all educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities within the community with community education being the catalyst for providing for citizen participation in the development and implementation of programs toward the goal of improving the entire community.
    • b. To energize people to strive for the achievement of determined goals and stimulate capable persons to assume leadership responsibilities.
    • c. To welcome and work with all groups without drawing any lines.
    • d. To serve as the one institution in the entire community that has the opportunity to reach all people and groups and to gain their cooperation.
Policy Type

Iowa Code 276.8 Duties of district-wide advisory council.

The district-wide advisory council shall:

  1. Provide guidance to local advisory councils, training and orientation for community persons, evaluation and assessment of needs and delivery systems for school districts.

  2. Develop a “sense of total community” and promote democratic thinking and action.

  3. Promote meaningful involvement of total community in the identifying, prioritizing, and resolving of school-community concerns.

  4. Serve as an advocate of community education and foster community cooperation.

  5. Provide an annual budget recommendation and annual report to the local board of education.

  6. Mobilize available human and financial resources of the community to meet needs, interests, and concerns of people in the total community.

  7. Make school facilities and resources available to all age groups from the total community, day and night, year round.

  8. Facilitate the assessment of community-wide needs with the understanding that local advisory councils will manage their own assessments of needs.

  9. Provide support and act as a resource group for local advisory councils and the community education director.

  10. Help plan and recommend a community education budget for approval by the local board of education.

  11. Recommend to the board, regulations, guidelines, and fees, if any, for facility usage.

  12. Define short and long-range community education goals and objectives.

  13. Communicate through inquiring, informing, suggesting, recommending and evaluating community education for the community.

  14. Cooperate with other agencies and organizations including the community colleges and institutions under the control of the state board of regents toward common goals.

  15. Perform the functions of the local advisory council in the event that the board determines that the size of the district does not warrant the establishment of a local advisory council.

Policy Type

Iowa Code 276.9 Duties of local advisory council.

The local advisory council shall:

  1. Determine needs and priorities and provide programs to serve the needs of the community located within the attendance boundaries of an individual school.

  2. Provide programming which is available to any community resident.

  3. Promote meaningful involvement of the total neighborhood community in its identification and resolution of school and community concerns.

  4. Mobilize available human and financial resources of the community to meet the wants and needs in that neighborhood community.

  5. Use existing programs and community resources for delivery of services whenever feasible.

  6. Use funds as allocated by district-wide advisory council after budget approval by board.

  7. Evaluate the success of programs in meeting needs, interests, and concerns and in resolving responsible needs and concerns.

Policy Type