The Watertown School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:
Dr. Jeff Danielsen, Superintendent
PO Box 730, Watertown, SD 57201
Mr. Derek Barrios, Assistant Superintendent
PO Box 730, Watertown, SD 57201
For further information on notice of non-discrimination, see list of OCR Enforcement Offices for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g , Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at How to File a Complaint and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Watertown School District offers a district level Title I preschool at McKinley Elementary School. Preschool students must be four years of age on or before September 1st. Qualifications for the preschool program are based on developmental screening scores, family income, and other environmental criteria. The preschool curriculum is based on SD Early Learning Guidelines and Head Start Standards. While attending preschool, students have the opportunity to attend library, SAFE, and participate in a language group taught by a district speech therapist. Additional program highlights include informational sessions for parents, home visits, and educational consulting. Our program provides an opportunity, for students that qualify, to start strong.
Parents interested in obtaining more information about the preschool program may contact McKinley Elementary School at 605-882-6350.
The Watertown School District has an ongoing "Child Find" system, which is designed to locate, identify and evaluate any child residing within its geographical boundaries who may have a disability and be in need of Special Education or 504 services. This includes children who are no in school; those who are in public, private or home school; those who are highly mobile such as children who are migrant or homeless; and those who are advancing from grade to grade who may need but are not receiving Special Education or 504 services.
The Watertown School District will make sure any child enrolled in its district who qualifies for Special Education or 504 services, regardless of how severe the disability, is provided appropriate Special Education or 504 services at no cost to the parents of the child.
If you know of a child who lives within the boundaries of the Watertown School District, who may have a disability, and may need but is not receiving Special Education or 504 services, please contact Dr. Jennifer Bollinger, Special Services Director, at 605-882-6398.
"Child Find" activities will continue throughout the school year. As part of these efforts the Watertown School District will use screening information, student records, and basic assessment information it collects on all children in the District to help locate those children who have a disability and need Special Education or 504 services. Any information the District collects through "Child Find" is maintained confidentially.
A parent, student, employee, or District stakeholder who has a complaint regarding the use of federal NCLB funds and is unable to solve the issue, may address the complaint in writing to the District's Superintendent.
Disputes addressing the enrollment, transportation (including inter-district disputes), and other barriers to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness are also address under this procedure. Parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youth may initiate the dispute resolution process directly at the school they choose, as well as at the District or District's homeless liaison's office. The parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth
shall be provided with a written explanation of the school's decision including the rights of the parent, guardian, or youth to appeal the decision. Students should be provided with all services for which they are eligible while disputes are resolved.
The superintendent will investigate, within one week, the circumstances of the complaint and render a decision within two weeks, after receipt of the complaint.
The superintendent will notify the complainant of the decision in writing.
The complainant will either accept or disagree with the decision and will provide acknowledgement in writing, addressed to the District's superintendent.
If the issue is not resolved with the superintendent, the complaint will be forwarded to the District's School Board for further review. The parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth shall be provided with a written explanation of the District's decision including the rights of the parent, guardian or youth to appeal the decision.
Unresolved complaints may be forwarded by the stakeholder to the South Dakota Department of Education for review-(Consult SD Department of Education Complaint Procedure)
Notification of Rights for Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:
The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Watertown School District official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal [or appropriate official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the Watertown School District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the Watertown School District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the Watertown School District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
[NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or eligible student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-5901
Under FERPA, the Watertown School District may disclose directory information without consent, unless the parent or eligible student has requested the Watertown School District not disclose directory information about them. The parent or eligible student has fifteen calendar days from the date of the annual publication of FERPA to submit a written request to the student’s building principal or superintendent regarding the non-disclosure of directory information.
“Directory information” means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part time), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.
FEPRA requires that school districts use a reasonable method to identify and authenticate the identity of parents, students, school officials, and any other parties to whom they disclose personally identifiable information from education records. The Watertown School District method for verification of identity will include requiring photo identification for any individual who is not a current student in the Watertown School District, or is not a current member of the district staff who seeks educational records in person. Requests for records in writing will be made on the letterhead of the school or agency making the request.