School Visitors

District Policy No. 9150

The Board of Education welcomes and encourages visits to school by parent(s) or legal guardian(s), other adult residents of the community, and interested educators. In order for the educational program to continue undisturbed when visitors are present and to prevent the intrusion of disruptive persons into the schools, the Board directs the enforcement of rules governing school visits.

The Superintendent and Building Principal each possess the authority to prohibit the entry of any person into a school of this district or to expel any person from the school when there is reason to believe the presence of such person would be inimical to the good order of the school. If such a person refuses to leave the school grounds or creates a disturbance, the Principal is authorized to request from the local law enforcement agency whatever assistance is required to remove the individual.

Visitors shall be required to register their presence in the school. No staff member shall transact business with or permit the continuing presence in the school of a visitor who has not been duly registered.

No visitor may confer with a pupil in school without the approval of the Principal; any such conference may take place only in the presence of a teaching staff member and/or administrator.

The Superintendent shall develop regulations that will protect pupils and employees of the district from disruption to the educational program and the efficient conduct of their assigned tasks.

N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
N.J.S.A. 18A:17-42; 18A:20-1; 18A:20-34

Adopted: 21 October 2015

District Regulation No. 9150

A. Definition

“Visitor” means any person present in a school building on a school day during the hours school is in session, other than those persons whose presence is required by their enrollment in the school or employment by the Board and includes, but need not be limited to, parents or legal guardians, family members, district residents, guests, educational researchers, and members of the Board. For the purposes of this regulation, “visitor” does not include persons present in school buildings to attend meetings of the Board or events sponsored by organizations granted permission by the Board to meet in the school.

B. Registration

1. Every visitor is required to register in the school office.

2. A notice will be prominently posted at each entrance to the school building, advising visitors to report to the school office before advancing to any other part of the school. Additional signs should be posted in the lobby of each building to advise visitors not to proceed without registering in the school office.

3. The Principal will maintain a logbook in the main office of the school. Each visitor shall enter his/her name and the purpose of his/her visit in the logbook except that the Principal may exempt trades persons who make regular and frequent visits to the school.

4. Each visitor will be given an identification tag or badge, which must be worn while the visitor is in the school. The Principal may give a permanent identification tag or badge to a trades person who makes regular and frequent visits to the school.

5. The Principal or office personnel designated by the Principal shall arrange for an escort to accompany each visitor to his/her destination except that the Principal may permit visitors familiar with the school and personally known to the Principal to proceed unaccompanied.

6. A staff member who encounters a visitor without identification will request the visitor to report at the school office, and if feasible, conduct the visitor to the school office. A visitor who resists the request or refuses to be conducted to the school office shall be reported to the Principal immediately.

7. A teacher shall not admit a visitor to his/her classroom unless the visitor has the identifying tag or badge or is accompanied by the Principal or the Principal's designee.

8. When a visitor has completed the business of his/her visit, he/she will return directly to the school office, return the identification tag or badge, and promptly leave the building.

9. The provisions of this paragraph may be waived for parents or legal guardians attending scheduled parent-teacher conferences.

C. Permission to Visit Classroom

1. Permission to visit a classroom in session must be sought from and granted by the Principal.

2. In general, arrangements to visit a classroom should be made at least one day in advance of the intended visit.

3. If the intended visit would interfere with the planned instructional program, the Principal will so advise the visitor and suggest another time for the visit.

4. The Principal is authorized to exclude a visitor from a classroom if the Principal has reason to suspect that the visitor may disrupt the educational program or threaten the health and safety of pupils or staff members.

5. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who arrives at school without having sought advance approval of a classroom visit may be admitted to the classroom at the discretion of the Principal.

6. The Principal may arrange visits to classrooms by educators and student teachers with the cooperation and consent of the classroom teachers.

7. Teachers may invite guest speakers or observers to their classrooms with the approval of the Principal. Each such guest speaker and observer must sign the school logbook.

8. The Principal has the authority to evaluate all requests to visit a classroom. A denied request will be accompanied by an explanation of the denial. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who has been denied access to his/her child's classroom may appeal the Principal's decision to the Superintendent, whose determination may be appealed to the Board of Education in accordance with Policy No. 9130.

D. Limitations on Visits to School

1. Visitors are permitted in the schools only during school hours.

2. A visitor may remove a pupil from school only in strict accordance with Policy No. 5230.

3. A visitor may confer with a pupil in the school only with the approval of the Principal and in the presence of a teaching staff member.

4. A visitor to a classroom shall not interrupt the instructional program, speak to or disturb pupils, or distract the teacher. A visitor who wishes to confer with the teacher must make arrangements for a conference at a later date.

5. A visitor may not bring a child or children to a classroom without the express permission of the teacher and the Principal.

6. A classroom visit may ordinarily not exceed sixty minutes without the express permission of the teacher and the Principal.

7. The Principal may restrict the number of visitors to any classroom at any one time. Preference will be given to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of pupils in the classroom.

E. Disruptive Visitors

1. The Principal has complete authority to exclude from school premises any person whom he/she believes may:

a. Disrupt the instructional program;

b. Disturb teachers or pupils; or

c. Commit an illegal act.

2. A visitor whose presence or conduct is disruptive or whose conduct in the past suggests that he/she may be disruptive may be requested to leave the school premises. If the visitor so requested does not withdraw, the Principal may summon assistance from the Oceanport Police Department.

3. A visitor who presents a serious and immediate threat to the health and safety of persons in the school may be subdued by appropriate means pending the arrival of law enforcement officers.

4. If the Principal has been alerted to dangerous persons in the vicinity of the school or has been informed that a person intends to enter the school with the intent of doing harm, the Principal may, in his/her discretion:

a. Assign personnel to patrol entrances to the school and deny entrance to any person not properly identified or personally known to them;

b. Secure the services of professional security personnel to monitor entrances; and/or

c. Lock all school entrances other than the main entrance so that doors cannot be opened from the outside (taking all necessary steps to ensure that doors can be opened from the inside by pressure on crash bars).

Issued: 21 October 2015