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3640 - Authorization of Student Clubs

 Authorization of Student Clubs Washington County School District - Adopted 2-2008; Revised 9-2010; Revised 3-17-2015

1. Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to provide directives for students to form and participate in clubs while preserving the educational environment of the school.

2. Policy:

2.1. It is the policy of the Washington County Board of Education to promote and advance school curricular clubs that enrich the education and lives of students.

2.2. The Board also desires to allow students opportunities to organize supervised non-curricular clubs that are not related to school curriculum.

3. Procedure:

3.1. Definitions:

3.1.1. School curricular clubs are directly related to the curriculum offered in the school at which the club is organized. The school district may recognize a curricular school club and provide faculty attendance and assistance only if the following criteria are met: It is directly related to curriculum as follows: The subject matter of the club is actually taught or will soon be taught in a regularly offered course: or The subject matter of the club concerns the body of courses as a whole; Participation in the club is required for a particular class: or Participation in the club results in academic credit. The school principal or a designee shall appoint a licensed employee as advisor to the club: and The school district sponsors and supports the club by providing an advisor and possible financial support, indicated by approval of the club's charter and application. The club is organized and directed by the school advisor(s).

3.1.2. Non-curricular Student Clubs: are those organizations that are not directly related to the curriculum and which are initiated and operated by students enrolled in the school in question, open to all students in the school and at which attendance is completely voluntary. Non-curricular student clubs are operated with the permission of school authorities but are not sponsored by the school or the district. Non-curricular student clubs are operated under the supervision of a faculty supervisor.

3.1.3. Authorization of Clubs: Elementary schools (Grades K-6) shall be limited to curricular school clubs. Middle schools (Grades 7-8) and high schools (Grade 9) may have curricular school clubs and non-curricular student clubs. High schools (Grades 10 - 12) are authorized to approve curricular school clubs and non-curricular student clubs.

3.2. Formation of curricular school clubs:

3.2.1. Each curricular school club shall follow the procedures outlined in this policy. The procedures include: Filling out appropriate Washington County School District club application form. Submitting the application form to the school administration by September 15 to be considered for a second semester charter. Submitting the application form to the school administration January 15 to be considered for a first semester charter for the following school year. No additional clubs will be approved after these deadlines.

3.2.2. Clubs must renew their applications on an annual basis.

3.3. Formation of a non-curricular student club.

3.3.1. Students wishing to charter non-curricular clubs at schools where they attend must submit appropriate documentation to the school principal which provides the following information about the club: Name, purpose, and objectives of the club. The types of activities in which club members may be engaged. When the club anticipates holding regular meetings. Any materials which the club plans to use to solicit membership or to inform others of the club's existence. Limitations upon group actions including at least the following:

(1) Action or advocacy of imminent action which violates the law or administrative rule; this prohibition shall not apply to appropriate discussions concerning the changing of laws or rules, or actions taken through appropriate channels or procedures to effectuate such changes.

(2) Advocacy or approval of sexual activity outside of marriage, or presentations in violation of laws or regulations governing sex education or privacy rights of families or individuals.

(3) Action or advocacy of imminent action involving the harassment or the denigration of persons based upon race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other status-linked characteristics.

(4) Action or advocacy of imminent action with the intent to cause a person to fear to freely exercise or enjoy any right secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the state of Utah,

(5) Presentation or discussion of information relating to the use of contraceptive devices or substances, regardless of whether the use is for purposes of contraception, without the prior written, informed consent of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of those students participating in the discussion. A list of its members and the name of the faculty member willing to supervise the group. Club members must also indicate by signature that they will abide by all school rules and the rules outlined in this policy.  Only secondary schools (7-12) may authorize non-curricular clubs.

3.3.2. In order to assign faculty supervisors, non-curricular student clubs must have the documentation submitted to the school's administration by September 15 to be considered for a second semester charter and by January 15 to be considered for a first semester charter for the following school year.

3.3.3. Meetings shall take place only during non-instructional time established by the school administration. A faculty member/sponsor shall be present.  The faculty member/sponsor may not participate in the discussions or activities of a religious club except to protect the school's property and facilities and ensure that student activities are consistent with this policy and the law.

3.3.4. All meetings shall be student-initiated and open to all students in the school. Student attendance at any meeting shall be completely voluntary.

3.3.5. Non-curricular student groups may invite non-school persons to attend their meetings only upon notification of the school's principal. Non-school persons may not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend activities of the group. Non-school persons must follow the school's established procedure for allowing non-school persons on campus, including registration procedures. The schools reserve the right to limit the attendance of non-school persons if applied consistently for all student groups.

3.3.6. School administration shall determine the equal access of all non-curricular student groups to only the community bulletin board.

3.3.7. The school district may recognize a non-curricular student club only if the following conditions are met: The school faculty sponsor shall prohibit unlawful conduct at club meetings. Upon parent request for review of materials, the school faculty sponsor shall provide to a school administrator a printed copy of materials that were presented at a non-curricular club meeting by a non-school person no later than 24 hours after the club meeting.  The group will not compromise or interfere with district authority to:

(1) Maintain order and discipline on school premises.

(2) Protect the well-being of students and employees.

(3) Assure that attendance at meetings is voluntary.

3.3.8. Non-curricular student clubs must re-apply on an annual basis.

3.3.9. The principal shall specifically approve the name of the club to ensure that: The name reasonably reflects the nature, purpose, and activities of the club; and The club name would not result in undue disruptions of school operations, subject students to harassment or persecution, or imply inappropriate association with outside organizations or groups.

3.3.10. Students denied access may appeal the principal's decision to the Board of Education. Students must file a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within ten days of the date of denial by the principal. The Board will review the evidence submitted to the superintendent and the written determination of the principal. The Board's written decision will be issued within thirty days of receipt of the student's written notice of appeal.

3.4. The school, its agents and employees will not:

1. Influence the form or content of any prayer or other religious activity;

2. Require any person to participate in prayer or other religious activity;

3. Expend public funds beyond incidental costs for student-initiated costs;

4. Compel any employee to supervise meetings to which he/she objects; or

5. Impose a minimum size limit on student meetings.

3.5. The school administration shall set the time and place for all recognized non-curricular student club meetings.

3.6. School employees who supervise student club meetings must report to the school administration any violations of this policy.

3.7. Curricular school clubs or non-curricular student clubs which have been found to be in violation of this policy may be dissolved and will not be allowed to re-petition for reinstatement until the next school year.

3.8. Each school office shall maintain on file all currently approved club applications.

3.9. Parents must provide written consent for their children's participation in any school club (curricular or non-curricular); the school shall maintain the parent consent forms for the period of time that the student attends the school.

Form 1120  - Student Club Application and Charter

Form 1125 - Parental Consent Form for Student Participation in School Clubs

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