WHEREAS some Island schools have piloted innovative, popular, and successful projects that utilize animals within their schools to support curriculum outcomes, enhance student learning, personal and emotional development, and build school-community relationships, and
WHEREAS the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, teachers, staff, and animals in a shared school environment must be given full respect, and
WHEREAS the importance of interacting with animals and nature is well-established as essential to students learning; however, schools in urban environments have less access to natural areas where students can observe and interact with animals; additionally, students living in low-income households often have less access to companion animals in their homes and
WHEREAS some students require, or would benefit from, having service or companion animals with them or present in their school; and some students would benefit from lessons that incorporate the presence of animals and
WHEREAS there is a gap in school board policy and procedures that currently limits a school’s ability to support the presence of animals in schools, negotiate agreements or moderate differences of interest related to animals in schools, or plan for programming that could include animals.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEIHSF request the English Language School Board to expedite the development of policies and procedures related to the presence of animals in schools and establish these to be in place no later than the 2015- 2016 school calendar year