École James S. McCormick School
Dogs in School Policy
Based on WCPS Admin Procedure 255
October 1, 2018
Note: This policy does not apply to dogs brought to school for show and tell.
For dogs to be included in the instructional environments,
- The principal must give approval in advance.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times, both indoors and out.
- There must be an educational purpose.
- see Making Comfort Dogs an Everyday Part of School
- as subjects for observation and data gathering on body characteristics, habits, movement, feeding behaviour, instinctive reactions
- for supporting the development of a sense of responsibility, kindness and concern for other living beings
- for supporting the development of a healthy respect for the animals in our local environment
- assisting with literacy
- supporting emotional regulation
- Dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations and be in generally good health.
- A dog must be a good candidate for a school setting in terms of temperament, energy, behaviour, and health, etc. For example, an unruly dog that might jump on a child and knock him over would not be considered a good candidate.
- Dogs will be identified by wearing a predetermined harness (or t-shirt, collar, etc.).
- Any room with a dog inside must have signage posted outside the room (eg., “Grace is working in the room today.”), so others have warning before opening the door. This is particularly important if a dog is left in a classroom unattended (eg., when the staff members are out on supervision). Signage will also alert emergency personnel to the fact a dog is in a room.
- Dogs new to the school environment should be introduced to other dogs under controlled circumstances when students are not present (ie., during non-student hours).
- The staff member bringing the dog to school must
- “Introduce” the dog to the staff and parents/guardians (see below)
- inform parents/guardians of the purpose and policy (see the website)
- model and ensure ethical and humane treatment
- determine the care and feeding requirements
- take the dog out to designated areas for urinating and defecating
- ensure fecal matter is cleaned up promptly
- put the identifying harness on the dog when it is in school
- put signage on the classroom door indicating a dog is in the room
- regularly provide the administration with proof of updated vaccinations once the dog has been approved
- clean the wound immediately with soap and water
- contact parents/guardians or emergency contacts immediately and recommend taking the child for medical attention right away
- fill out an accident report as a follow up, including all actions taken by the home