Pursuant to LB 427 (2017) (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 79-2,149 to 79-2,152), beginning May 1, 2018, each school district shall adopt a written policy related to pregnancy and child care for pregnant and parenting students to be implemented beginning with the 2018-19 school year. The policy shall include provisions and procedures in conformance with standards set forth in any model policy adopted by the State Board OR shall meet the minimum standards set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-2,151. This is the State Board’s Model Policy for district’s use and consideration in that regard.
____ (School District Name) ________________________________, recognizes that pregnant and parenting students of compulsory school age have the right and responsibility to attend school. This attendance right and responsibility applies to students regardless of their marital or parental status. Further, schools have an obligation to educate pregnant and parenting students and shall provide reasonable accommodations to support and encourage all pregnant and parenting students obtain their high school diploma. No student may be excluded from, denied the benefit of, or discriminated against under any educational program or activity because of pregnancy or parenting responsibilities.
Attendance and Leave of Absences:
Pregnant and parenting students are permitted to attend to their own health care, their child’s medical care, or other pregnancy or parenting related appointments with the benefit of having any such absences or tardiness excused. A student must be permitted to take a leave of absence for pregnancy, childbirth, and any other pre and post-natal related medical needs, along with recovery therefrom for the duration that is deemed medically necessary by the student’s licensed health care provider. At the conclusion of the leave of absence, a student shall be immediately enrolled in the school of record at the same grade and status as when the leave began. Pregnant and parenting students shall be allowed to participate in all activities including extracurricular activities throughout the student’s pregnancy and thereafter. A pregnant and parenting student may be asked to obtain certification from the student’s licensed healthcare provider regarding the student’s safe participation in an extracurricular activity when such certification is required of students for other conditions requiring attention of a licensed healthcare provider.
Any absences accumulated due to pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, or care for an ill child, should not count towards any district policies in effect under Nebraska compulsory attendance requirements under Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 79-201 through 79-210. Pregnant and parenting students with excused absences or tardiness shall be treated like all other students with excused absences or tardiness for any other medical reasons.
Pregnant and parenting students will be provided with assignments, classwork and any additional needed support to ensure the student keeps up with class requirements when absent.
Alternative means to complete course work:
At least one alternate method, in addition to traditional classroom instruction, will be available to keep pregnant and parenting students in school. Such accommodations may include accessing coursework on line, home based independent study, or at home tutoring. Alternative methods of instructions or other alternative programs for pregnant and parenting students are voluntary for the student and the student may elect whether to engage in an alternative method of instruction or the traditional methods of instruction available to their peers. Pregnant and parenting students shall be allowed to attend their regular classrooms and complete regular coursework.
Reasonable time and space to accommodate lactating students to express breast milk or breastfeed during the school day will be provided. Such accommodations will be in a location, other than a bathroom or closet, that is private, clean, has an electrical outlet, a chair and is reasonably accessible. Students shall also be provided a food safe refrigerator to store breast milk safely.
If in-school child care is not provided, a list of qualified licensed child care providers will be provided to pregnant or parenting students. Such list shall be updated annually and include providers that participate in the quality rating and improvement system and meet all of the quality rating criteria for at least a step-three rating pursuant to the Step Up to Quality Child Care Act. Nothing in this policy is intended to prohibit or limit any referral for a student or a student’s child to an early head start program or any other available community resources.
Privacy and Confidentiality:
Pregnant and parenting students have the right to have their health and personal information kept confidential in accordance with law. School staff should make every effort to keep personal information and health records confidential and in compliance with Nebraska and federal law.
Information about students’ pregnancies and related conditions should not appear in their cumulative record and cannot be used when they are being considered for educational or job opportunities, awards or scholarships.
Pregnant and parenting students shall be notified that they may request additional reasonable accommodations to ensure continued participation and enrollment in school. Accommodation requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Such accommodations may include but are not limited to: additional frequency allowed for bathroom breaks, additional time allowed in between class periods, a larger desk or additional work space, and adjustments to requirements for physical education as needed.
Bullying and Harassment:
Pregnant and parenting students have the same rights as other students to be free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment. Such school policies are incorporated herein and apply to all students.
All students, staff, and parents must be informed of this policy at the beginning of each school year and shall be incorporated into the student handbook.