Policy Services

MSBA Policy Services gives school districts and charter schools access to the MSBA/MASA Model Policy Manual, a comprehensive legal guide to be used in the efficient management of all aspects of the school system.

The MSBA/MASA Policy Manual is a joint product of the Minnesota School Boards Association and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. Model policies are carefully examined by the Ratwik, Rozak, and Maloney law firm to insure compliance with federal and Minnesota laws.

Most school districts and charter schools do not have the time and personnel to develop a comprehensive policy manual that includes policies, administrative regulations, and forms organized into helpful categories. In addition, school districts and charter schools would require substantial legal assistance to develop policies on their own. A Model Policy Manual subscription is much more cost effective for school districts and charter schools than policies developed and revised by their own legal counsel. For these and other reasons, more than 370 MSBA members subscribe to the MSBA/MASA Model Policy Manual.

Enrollment

Model Policy Manual subscribers must be MSBA members or associate members. The initial subscription cost for the MSBA/MASA Model Policy Manual is $2,000.  Please be sure to include the designated contact person in your district or charter school.

If your district or charter school wishes to subscribe to MSBA Policy Services, please complete this application form and submit a payment of $2,000.

Renewal: Policy Services enrollment may be renewed at an annual cost for subsequent years. The current renewal rate is $750.

Contact

If you would like more information regarding Policy Services, please contact Terence Morrow, MSBA Director of Legal and Policy Services, via email at tmorrow@mnmsba.org.

Policy Services Links

Mandatory, Legal Requirements, and Recommended Policies

Federal or Minnesota law mandates that school boards must adopt a designated set of school district policies (Mandatory Policies).  State and federal agencies look for the mandatory school district policies during accreditation visits, financial audits, investigations and as contingencies prior to the release of funds.

In addition, MSBA provides policies that incorporate federal or state legal requirements that school districts and/or charter schools must follow (Legal Requirements Policies).  Third, MSBA provides policies that blend legal provisions with best practices (Recommended Policies).

Access the MSBA ISD Mandatory, Legal Requirements, and Recommended Policies Chart 

Access the MSBA Charter School Mandatory, Legal Requirements, and Recommended Policies Chart

Annual Review Policies

A number of policies must be reviewed annually by the school board. Access the list of policies that must be reviewed annually.

MSBA Model Student Handbook

MSBA’s Model Student Handbook helps school districts provide information and required notices to students and parents or guardians. Access information here about signing up for the MSBA Model Student Handbook.

Minnesota law requires that the following be in a student handbook:

  1. Hazing Policy (must be in student handbook)
  2. Bullying Prohibition Policy (must be in student handbook)
  3. Violence and Harassment Policy (must be in student handbook)
  4. Pesticide Notice (must be in student handbook or official school policy guide)
  5. Pledge of Allegiance law (must be in student handbook)
  6. Background Check information (an approved means of providing the notice

For other required notices, school districts and charter schools can refer to the MSBA 2023-24 Annual Mandatory Parents Notifications chart. The MSBA Model Student Handbook incorporates a number of policies and other items as a means of providing the required notices. Schools may choose to provide notices in a method other than a student handbook if the law permits options (please see the Notifications chart).

MSBA/MASA Model Policy Manual

The full catalog of MSBA/MASA model policies, as well as revision history and redline versions. A school district or charter school must be a policy service subscriber to access this manual. Access the MSBA/MASA Policies.

Policy Audit

An MSBA Policy Audit may be a helpful step for Minnesota school districts and charter schools seeking a comprehensive review of current policies. MSBA will analyze the existing policies and create an informative Audit Report setting forth suggested revisions and updates. In addition, MSBA will provide comments if questions arise. The MSBA Policy Audit fee is $1,200.

Policy Services Newsletter

Members of Policy Services receive Policy Services Newsletters providing updates on the latest policy developments. Access the latest editions of the Policy Services Newsletter.

When policy updates occur, MSBA provides editable redlines so districts and charter schools can easily see what has changed.  Access the most recent editable redlines under Policy Manual in the Policy section of the Resource Library.

School Districts: To access the October 2023 Policy Revisions in one downloadable file, please click here.

Charter Schools: To access the June 2023 Charter School Policy Updates in one downloadable file, please click here.

Note: Policy 504 (Student Dress and Appearance) is now available. Please go to Resources Library—District Policies/Charter Policies and download Policy 504.  The extensive changes and the nature of the alternatives and explanations led MSBA to not include a redline version.

Updates:

1. Policy 604–Instructional Curriculum–is updated to remove the Civics Test requirement, which is no longer required under Minnesota law (July 5, 2023)

2. Policy 601–Curriculum and Instructional Goals–is updated to add a Note explaining the two effective dates related to Articles III and IV. (July 14, 2023)

3. Policy 620–Credit for Learning–is updated to remove the new provision (under Art. III, E.) regarding faith statements following a court’s preliminary injunction prohibiting the provision. (July 20, 2023)

4. Policy 406 – Public and Private Personnel Data—MSBA added provisions regarding labor organizations’ access to personnel data (Article V. F) (August 1, 2023)

5. Policy 427 – Workload Limits for Certain Special Education Teachers—MSBA removed the word ‘number’ from the introductory note to align with newly-enacted Minnesota law. In conjunction with this change, MSBA added other examples of inherent managerial authority stated in Minnesota law. (August 1, 2023)

6. Policy 413 — Harassment and Violence — The new definition of “sexual orientation” revised in the Minnesota Human Rights Act by the Minnesota legislature in 2023 replaces the previous MHRA definition. (October 16, 2023)

7. Policy 416 — Drug, Alcohol, and Cannabis Testing — The new laws on cannabis testing in the workplace are added to the policy. (October 16, 2023)

8. Policy 506 — Student Discipline–Clarifies that a one-day dismissal now counts as a suspension (Article XII, D, 4).  In addition, a Sample Discipline Complaint Process Procedure and Form is now available. (October 16, 2023)

9. Policy 507 — Corporal Punishment and Prone Restraint — Updates the policy to add the recent Minnesota Attorney General Opinions regarding reasonable force and restraint. (October 16, 2023)

10. Policy 515 Form — Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records  — Removes the phrase “and other similar information.” (October 16, 2023)

11. Policy 620 — Credit for Learning — Adds Minnesota Statutes 124D.095 reference to Article III, B to provide clarity. (October 16, 2023)

12. Policy 606.5 — Library Materials — This is a new model policy on selection and reconsideration of library materials. (October 19, 2023)

13. Policy 410 — Family and Medical Leave–Updates Art. IV, B (December 6, 2023)

14. Policy 506 — Student Discipline — Corrects references to students with a disability; adds prohibitions against use of exclusionary practices for early learners or for attendance and truancy issues (December 8, 2023)

15. Policy 606.5 — Library Materials — Adds sample form for formal reconsideration of library materials (December 8, 2023).

16. Charter Policy 411 (new) — Group Health Insurance Coverage (December 8, 2023)

17. Policy 416 — Drug, Alcohol, and Cannabis Testing — clerical, nonsubstantive corrections to the policy AND updated forms that include cannabis testing (December 11, 2023)

Council of School Attorneys (COSA)

MSBA’s Council of School Attorneys (COSA) is an organization of more than 60 Minnesota lawyers who represent school boards. COSA’s purpose is to develop and strengthen the legal representation of the state’s school boards. Learn more about COSA.

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