November 2019 Policy Updates

Law Enforcement Support

You may already be aware that Senate Bill 5514, which became law on July 28th, requires local law enforcement agencies to provide critical emergency notifications to all schools.  Many of you already have relationships with your local law enforcement agency, but it is good to reach out and make sure they have your name, email address and phone number in the event of an emergency, or critical communications are received by your school.  Offer a second point of contact that can be used should you be away from school.


  1. Make a list of the various sheriff’s offices and police departments that service your locale and areas immediately surrounding your locale (e.g.; if your school is near the border of a neighboring city or county, include those neighboring city or county departments on your list).
  2. Visit the websites of the law enforcement agencies on your list to capture the phone number and email addresses of the chief or sheriff. Send an email to the sheriffs and chiefs on your list.
  3. Send an email to the sheriffs and chiefs on your list to introduce yourself or provide new contact information.
  4. Remain in contact with your local law enforcement agencies. Provide annual updates at the start of the school year and whenever emergency contact information changes.
  5. Invite Law enforcement to your school. Many agencies welcome the opportunity to visit schools and share in a positive ways: canine units, motorcycle demonstrations, home security.
  6. National Law Enforcement Week is June 6-13. This may be a time to say thank you to those individuals in your community that are called to serve and protect.


Field Trip Form Update

The updated field trip form is now posted to the website Both the existing form and the new form reside on the website. Schools may continue to use the existing field trip form for trips that will occur by December 15, 2019. Any field trips planned after December 15, 2019 and beyond should use the new form to obtain student permission. Here is how the field trip form has changed:

Effective January 1, 2020

  • Children under age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat,
  • Children ages 2-4 must be properly secured in a car seat with a harness which may be either rear facing or forward facing,
  • Children ages 4 and older and less than 4’9” tall must be secured in a booster seat with seat belt (or continue in harness seat).
  • Children over height 4’9” must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt
  • (typically starting at 8-12 years old).
  • Children under age 13 required to ride in the back seat when practical to do so.


Family Handbook

A sample Family Handbook is in final review by the legal team. The Family Handbook will provide language that will support and uphold each school’s policies. The Family Handbook will be disseminated to the building principal once the review process is finished. Many schools have already published their handbooks and had parents sign receipt of the handbook availability. If you have not had the opportunity this year to publish or post the school handbook once you receive the sample handbook and added your schools important pieces of information it can be sent to families. It is important that families acknowledge receipt of the handbook. Be sure to collect and file the signature/acknowledgement from each family. More information will be shared as the Family Handbook is disseminated.


2019-20 Private School Survey

The National Center for Education Statistics [] (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education will be requesting your participation in the 2019-20 Private School Survey, a national data collection valuable to private schools across the country. NCES is authorized to conduct this survey by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA 2002, 20 U.S.C. §9543).

Private education is a critical part of the U.S. education system. Without accurate information about the nation’s private schools, policy makers have an incomplete picture of education and cannot make effective decisions on a range of important issues including those around the topic of school choice. A response to this survey ensures that YOUR school is represented in key data and reports produced by the NCES about private education and school choice. The NCES is the primary source of statistical information on education for the country. Your school’s response is needed to provide a complete picture of U.S. educational institutions.

The Private School Survey is used to generate an NCES ID number for your school which many private and federal grants require as part of their application process. NCES also uses the survey to update the private school search tool on their web site: [].  Some parents use this resource in their search to find a private school for their children. Importantly, your response to this survey ensures that your school’s voice will be heard in policy decisions.

NCES produces summaries of the data that help parents, educators and policy makers understand the current state of education in the United States. For example, results from previous Private School Surveys show that approximately 25 percent of all elementary and secondary schools in the United States are private institutions; these schools enroll approximately 10 percent of the nation’s children and employ 13 percent of the nation’s teachers.

A high response rate is very important to make sure the data represent the private education sector accurately.