Last week, I provided some tips on closing out the 2018-2019 school year. In addition to end of year activities, it is also time to start looking toward the 2019-2020 school year. To avoid the rush in August, use the summer break to review and prepare your school’s student/family handbook, annual notice, and board policies. Today I focus on one of these: annual notice.
Annual Notice Is Not Just for School Districts
School districts are bound by Education Code section 48980, commonly referred to as “annual notice.” This law requires the governing board of each school district to notify parents and guardians of numerous rights and responsibilities at the beginning of every school year. Charter schools are exempt from most provisions of the Education Code, including Section 48980. Yet, charter School leaders must be alert!
Although exempt from Section 48980, many state and federal laws separately include annual notice requirements applicable to charter schools. Charter schools must annually notify parents/guardians about the school’s sexual harassment policy, the release of directory information, the comprehensive school safety plan, suicide prevention, and nondiscrimination (to name just a few). Ensure your school is compliant!
Adapting a Model Notice
Do not fret, help is available for both districts and charter schools in preparing the annual notice. First, many county offices of education prepare an annual notice for the districts and charter schools within their boundaries. Check out these model notices:
San Diego County Office of Education: https://www.sdcoe.net/student-services/student-support/Pages/Resources-and-Forms-for-School-Districts.aspx
Los Angeles County Office of Education: https://www.lacoe.edu//Portals/0/zBulletins/4956.pdf.
The notices come in a variety of formats, using a variety of language. The Los Angeles County of Education cautions all districts and charter schools: “These notices will need to be created at each LEA according to local policies. There may not be sample language as each district and charter school is unique.” I could not agree more—be careful about adopting wholesale any particular model annual notice. Review all the language and determine what applies to your charter school or district.
Keep in mind that the laws change from year to year. Do not use the same annual notice each year because you may fail to include newly required language.
The Law Offices of Megan M. Moore Can Help
I provide legal advice and support for the creation and review of annual notices. If you have questions about these requirements, the Law Offices of Megan M. Moore can help!
Posts in Moore on School Law are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect any laws, subjects, or information shared. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this or any update from Moore on School Law.