Policy 6830 – Animals in School

The School Board recognizes animals in a classroom as part of the science curriculum. Animals can add to educational enrichment programs relating to the study of biological sciences as a valuable way for students to learn and experience life sciences. Most importantly, that the Board maintains the health, safety, and welfare of students, staff, and animals is paramount. Live animals will be allowed in the classroom as part of a curriculum or as classroom pets and will be permitted for laboratory study providing the provisions of this policy are met. Care and maintenance of living organisms as defined in the science curriculum must be followed. Dissection of animals or animal parts is limited to students at the High School level as defined in the curriculum. All staff and students must conform to the procedures described in the District’s Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan.


  • Wisconsin Statutes
    • Sections 120.13 [Board power to do all things reasonable for cause of education]
    • 121.02 (1)(e) and (i) [Safe and healthful facilities and emergency nursing service standards]
    • 252.21 [Reporting suspected communicable diseases]
    • 254.56 [Responsibility for keeping public buildings clean and sanitary]
  • Wisconsin Administrative Code
    • TRANS 300.16 [Animals on school buses]
    • HFS 145 [Communicable disease control]


  • 3600 School Safety
  • 5531 Emergency Care Procedures
  • 5533, Communicable Disease Control
  • 5334, Administering Medication to Students
  • 6100, District Vision
  • District Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan


  • 6830(1), Building Application Form for Animals in the Classroom
  • 6830(2), Parent Information for Animals in the Classroom Administrative Regulation
  • 6830(3), Staff Information for Animals in the Classroom

AFFIRMED: December 14, 2004

Rule 6830 – Animals in School

District procedures must be followed to have live animals as part of the science curriculum and for educational enrichment programs relating to the study of biological science or as classroom pets.

Animal(s) should always be part of a well-documented curriculum that details how the animal will be integrated into the classroom setting. The teacher/caretaker must receive permission from the building principal, before any animal is brought to school. The following steps must be followed.

  1. The teacher/caretaker must
    1. notify parents/guardians in writing, prior to the animal being brought to school. A verification form from parents/guardians that students do not have any known allergies to the animal must be kept on file. If individuals exhibit adverse reactions to the animal(s), the animal(s) must be removed.
    2. notify building staff members of the animal’s presence who will be near or handling the animal. Staff members must also be allowed to verify that they do not have any known allergies to the animal.
    3. only bring an animal known to be in good health and appropriately immunized.
    4. use, and instruct students to use the standards in the District’s Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan.
    5. make provisions for the care and maintenance of the animal during the period of time when school is not in session (weekends, vacations, evenings).
  2. Animal(s) must be humanely and properly housed in cages, aquariums, etc., specific for the species. Animal cages, aquariums, etc., and the surrounding areas must be meticulously maintained and completely cleaned at least weekly. Animal waste and materials from animal cages, aquariums, etc., will be removed and disposed of in an appropriate manner. Waste materials from animals should be bagged separately, sealed, and marked “animal waste”.
  3. Animal(s) will not be at large in classrooms or in the building. Animal(s) will never be permitted in areas where food is prepared or served.
  4. No reptiles or amphibians will be permitted in grades EC through 5th grade classrooms. In grades 6-12 reptiles and amphibians will be permitted, but must be maintained in a science laboratory, or by a person who is very knowledgeable in reptiles and amphibians.
  5. If any individual is bitten or scratched by an animal and the skin is broken, the affected area must be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water and then reported to the individual’s parent/guardian and principal. Public Health authorities will be notified when appropriate to determine the appropriate action(s) to follow.
  6. Animals trained or being trained to assist individuals with disabilities will be allowed in school. Modifications may be required to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of all students.
  7. Students may bring pets in for show and tell, unit study, etc. for a limited time. Principal permission must be granted and the owner/parent/guardian must remain with the animal(s) and provide supervision during its entire stay in the classroom. In addition, the parent/guardian and staff verification forms stipulations in 1a above must be met prior to the animal(s) classroom visit.
  8. Non-domestic animals, ferrets or wolf hybrid dogs may not be brought to school. Exceptions may be made for exhibits and presentations by recognized agencies that have programs specifically designed for schools or children in a public setting.
  9. The use of dead organs and tissues for dissection units is permitted as defined in the curriculum. All animals or animal parts being used for dissection must be purchased from a reputable biological dealer. No dead animals or animal parts may be brought into schools unless preserved through a professional taxidermist.