TITLE XV
EDUCATION

Chapter 189
SCHOOL BOARDS, SUPERINTENDENTS, TEACHERS, AND TRUANT OFFICERS; SCHOOL CENSUS

School Boards, Transportation and Instruction of Pupils

Section 189:1

    189:1 Days of School. – The school board of every district shall provide standard schools for at least 180 days in each year, or the equivalent number of hours as required in the rules of the department of education, at such places in the district as will best serve the interests of education and give to all the pupils within the district as nearly equal advantages as are practicable.

Source. 1883, 43:6. PS 92:1. 1919, 106:20. 1921, 85, II:1. PL 117:1. RL 135:1. RSA 189:1. 1959, 133:1. 2007, 71:1. 2011, 42:1, eff. July 8, 2011.

Section 189:1-a

    189:1-a Duty to Provide Education. –
I. It shall be the duty of the school board to provide, at district expense, elementary and secondary education to all pupils who reside in the district until such time as the pupil has acquired a high school diploma or has reached age 21, whichever occurs first; provided, that the board may exclude specific pupils for gross misconduct or for neglect or refusal to conform to the reasonable rules of the school, and further provided that this section shall not apply to pupils who have been exempted from school attendance in accordance with RSA 193:5.
II. Elected school boards shall be responsible for establishing the structure, accountability, advocacy, and delivery of instruction in each school operated and governed in its district. To accomplish this end, and to support flexibility in implementing diverse educational approaches, school boards shall establish, in each school operated and governed in its district, instructional policies that establish instructional goals based upon available information about the knowledge and skills pupils will need in the future.
III. School boards shall adopt a teacher performance evaluation system, with the involvement of teachers and principals, for use in the school district. A school board may consider any resources it deems reasonable and appropriate, including any resources that may be provided by the state department of education. In this paragraph, "teacher" shall have the same meaning as in RSA 189:14-a, V.
IV. Pursuant to RSA 193:3, VI, a school board may execute a contract with any approved nonsectarian private school approved by the school board as a school tuition program as defined in RSA 193:3, VII to provide for the education of a child who resides in the school district, and may raise and appropriate money for the purposes of the contract, if the school district does not have a public school at the pupil's grade level and the school board decides it is in the best interest of the pupil.

Source. 1969, 356:10. 1973, 72:28. 1975, 22:1. 1983, 84:1. 2011, 108:1. 2013, 243:1. 2017, 182:1, eff. Aug. 28, 2017.

Section 189:1-b

    189:1-b Freedom of Assembly; Freedom of Religion. –
I. On each school day, before classes of instruction officially convene in the public schools of this sovereign state, a period of not more than 5 minutes shall be available to those who may wish to exercise their right to freedom of assembly and participate voluntarily in the free exercise of religion.
II. There shall be no teacher supervision of this free exercise of religion, nor shall there be any prescribed or proscribed form or content of prayer.

Source. 1977, 182:1, eff. Aug. 13, 1977.

Section 189:1-c

    189:1-c Student Member. – In addition to the school board members authorized in RSA 671:4, the members of the school board may choose by a simple majority to add one or more nonvoting student members from a high school within its district to the board. The powers and duties of a student member shall be as described in RSA 194:23-f. In districts having more than one public high school, the school board may rotate the student member representation as determined by the board.

Source. 1983, 111:2. 2009, 5:1, eff. June 16, 2009.

Section 189:1-d

    189:1-d Definitions. –
In this chapter:
I. "Attendance" means full-time participation in a program of instruction under the direction of a teacher employed by the school district. Educationally disabled home educated pupils educated at school district expense under the direction of a teacher employed by the school district shall be included.
II. "Membership" means pupils of whom attendance is expected, whether a pupil is present or absent on any given day.
III. "Average daily membership in attendance" means the aggregate half-day membership of pupils attending schools operated by a school district divided by the number of half-days of instruction offered. The average daily membership in attendance for preschool and kindergarten pupils shall be divided by the number of instructional days offered to higher-level elementary grades.
IV. "Average daily membership in residence" means the average daily membership in attendance of pupils who are legal residents of the school district pursuant to RSA 193:12 or RSA 193:27, IV and attend a state-approved public or nonpublic school as assigned by the school district in which the pupil resides, or by the state, or attend an approved chartered public school.

Source. 1993, 322:5. 2003, 241:9. 2008, 354:1. 2009, 297:1, eff. Sept. 29, 2009.

Section 189:1-e

    189:1-e Directory Information. –
A local education agency which maintains education records may provide information designated as directory information consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Each year schools shall give parents public notice of the types of information designated as directory information. By a specified time after parents are notified of their review rights, parents shall request in writing to remove all or part of the information on their child that they do not wish to be available to the public. Such approval shall be renewed on an annual basis. Items of directory information, which is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed, may include:
I. Name and address of a student.
II. Field of study.
III. Weight and height of athletes.
IV. Most recent previous school attended.
V. Date and place of birth.
VI. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports.
VII. Date of attendance, degrees, and awards.

Source. 1997, 255:1, eff. Aug. 18, 1997.

Section 189:2

    189:2 Reduction of Time. – If the school board of any district shall decide that, by reason of special conditions or circumstances, the maintenance of standard schools for 180 days, or the equivalent number of hours if approved by the commissioner of the department of education, in said district is undesirable, said school board may so represent in writing to the state board. If, upon hearing, the state board, or the commissioner when authorized by the state board, shall be of the opinion that the representation is true, it may reduce the time of maintaining such schools in said district to such limits as it may deem wise. Provided, however, that the state board, or the commissioner if authorized, shall not reduce the days during which schools shall be in session, as provided in RSA 189:1, on account of workshops, conventions or teachers' institutes.

Source. 1919, 106:20. 1921, 85, II:1. PL 117:2. RL 135:2. RSA 189:2. 1959, 133:2. 1981, 318:5. 2007, 71:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2007.

Section 189:3

    189:3 Other Modifications. – If any other provisions in the laws which relate to education shall be found by the state board to impose upon any district obligations which, by reason of unusual circumstances or of exceptional conditions in that district, result in an unnecessary expenditure of school money, or in a procedure which is inimical to the best interests of education therein, the state board, upon like proceedings, may suspend or modify such obligations as in its judgment may be reasonable.

Source. 1919, 106:20. 1921, 85, II:1. PL 117:3. RL 135:3.

Section 189:4

    189:4 Decisions of State Board. – All such decisions of the state board shall be made in writing, recorded by it and a copy sent for record to the clerk of the district affected thereby.

Source. 1919, 106:20. 1921, 85, II:1. PL 117:4. RL 135:4.

Section 189:5

    189:5 Repealed by 1969, 104:1, eff. June 24, 1969. –

Section 189:6

    189:6 Transportation of Pupils. – The local school district shall furnish transportation to pupils in kindergarten through grade 8 who live more than 2 miles from the school to which they are assigned. The local school district may furnish transportation to pupils in kindergarten through grade 8 who live 2 miles or less from the school to which they are assigned, and to pupils in grades 9 through 12, when it finds that this is appropriate, and shall furnish it when so directed by the commissioner of education.

Source. 1885, 43:6. PS 92:1. 1919, 106:20. 1921, 125:6. PL 117:6. RL 135:6. RSA 189:6. 1992, 159:1, eff. July 5, 1992. 2019, 181:1, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 189:6-a

    189:6-a School Bus Safety. –
The district shall instruct all pupils, who are transported by the district as provided in RSA 189:6, in the following:
I. School bus safety.
II. The evacuation procedure for buses in emergency situations.
III. Any other matters regarding the safety of pupils being transported to school.

Source. 1996, 19:1, eff. July 1, 1996.

Section 189:6-b

    189:6-b Transportation Between Schools and Before-and-After-School Programs. – To achieve maximum utilization of available before-and-after-school programs for school-age children, school districts shall be permitted to transport pupils between schools and legally-operating before-and-after-school programs upon the approval of the school district in the same manner as the school budget is adopted by that district. Such approval shall continue until revoked in the same manner.

Source. 1997, 308:2, eff. Aug. 19, 1997.

Section 189:6-c

    189:6-c Pupils Transported in a Mixed Use School Bus. –
I. Pupils may be transported to or from school activities in a mixed use school bus, as defined by RSA 259:96-a, which bears a valid state inspection sticker and is operated by a driver who holds a valid driver's license to operate that vehicle. An operator of a mixed use school bus that qualifies as a commercial motor vehicle as defined in RSA 259:12-e shall hold a valid commercial driver license pursuant to RSA 263:86 appropriate for the type and class of mixed use school bus being driven.
II. Pupils with disabilities may be transported to or from school activities in a mixed use school bus unless the pupil's individualized education program as defined in RSA 186-C:2, III, or the pupil's accommodation plan pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. section 794, states that such a vehicle shall not be used.
III. In this section, "school activities" shall include, but is not limited to, sporting events, intramural events, events associated with student clubs or organizations, job training programs, field trips, and special education transition services. "School activities" shall not include transportation between home and school.

Source. 2011, 44:1. 2015, 100:1. 2016, 138:1, eff. July 26, 2016.

Section 189:6-d

    189:6-d Repealed by 2018, 333:2, eff. Nov. 1, 2018. –

Section 189:6-e

    189:6-e Pupils Transported in a Contract Carrier. –
I. A school district may contract with a contract carrier of passengers, as defined by RSA 376:2, VII, that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the operator, to transport pupils to or from school activities. The motor vehicle used by the contract carrier of passengers shall bear a valid state inspection sticker, comply with applicable provisions of RSA 376, and be operated by a driver who holds a valid commercial driver's license.
II. In this section, "school activities" shall include, but is not limited to, sporting events, intramural events, events associated with student clubs or organizations, job training programs, field trips, special education transition services that require travel of at least 150 miles round trip. "School activities" shall not include transportation between home and school.

Source. 2021, 209:2, Pt. III, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 10, 2021.

Section 189:7

    189:7 Repealed by 1992, 159:3, eff. July 5, 1992. –

Section 189:8

    189:8 Limitations and Additions. – Pupils entitled to transportation in accordance with RSA 189:6 may be required to walk a distance not to exceed one mile to a school bus stop established by the local school board. Pupils residing in areas which are inaccessible by a local school district's established mode of transportation may be required to walk a distance not to exceed 11/2 miles to a school bus stop, provided that the vehicle, route and schedule have been approved by the commissioner of education. School districts shall assure that pupils shall not be subject to unsafe conditions while walking the required distance to a school bus stop and that the school bus stop is established in a safe location.

Source. 1919, 106:20. 1921, 125:6. PL 117:7. 1933, 76:1. RL 135:8. RSA 189:8. 1992, 159:2, eff. July 5, 1992.

Section 189:9

    189:9 Pupils in Private Schools. – Pupils attending approved private schools, up to and including the twelfth grade, shall be entitled to the same transportation privileges within any town or district as are provided for pupils in public schools.

Source. 1937, 199:1. RL 135:9. RSA 189:9. 1973, 501:3, eff. June 30, 1973.

Section 189:9-a

    189:9-a Pupils Prohibited for Disciplinary Reasons. –
Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 189:6-8, the superintendent, or a representative as designated in writing, is authorized to suspend the right of pupils from riding in a school bus when said pupils fail to conform to the reasonable rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the school board. Any suspension to continue beyond 20 school days must be approved by the school board. Said suspension shall not begin until the next school day following the day notification of suspension is sent to the pupil's parent or legal guardian.
I. If a pupil has been denied the right to ride a school bus for disciplinary reasons, the parent or guardian of that pupil has a right of appeal within 10 days of suspension to the authority that suspended this pupil's right.
II. Until the appeal is heard, or if the suspension of pupil's right to ride the school bus is upheld, it shall be the parents' or guardians' responsibility to provide transportation to and from school for that pupil for the period of the suspension.

Source. 1973, 462:1. 1995, 174:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Section 189:10

    189:10 Studies. – The school board shall ensure that health education and physical education are taught to pupils as part of the basic curriculum. The school board shall ensure that all studies prescribed by the state board of education are thoroughly taught, especially physiology, hygiene, and health and physical education as they relate to the effects of alcohol and other drugs, child abuse as established in the definition of "abused child" under RSA 169-C:3, II, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and sexually transmitted diseases on the human system. The department of education shall survey school districts biennially to receive reports on compliance with this section, and provide the report to the president of the senate, speaker of the house of representatives, the chairpersons of the senate and house committees with jurisdiction over education, the senate committee with jurisdiction over health and human services, and the house committee with jurisdiction over child and family law.

Source. 1858, 208:2. GS 81:5. GL 89:5. 1883, 37:2. 1887, 52:1. PS 92:6. 1895, 40:1; 50:2. 1899, 12:1. 1903, 31:1. 1909, 49:1. 1911, 136:1. 1921, 85, II:2. PL 117:8. RL 135:10. RSA 189:10. 1959, 130:1. 1973, 242:2; 529:37. 1975, 183:1. 2008, 251:3. 2016, 56:1, eff. July 4, 2016. 2020, 38:18, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 189:11

    189:11 Instruction in National and State History and Government. –
I. In all public and private schools in the state there shall be given regular courses of instruction in the history, government and constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire, including the organization and operation of New Hampshire municipal, county and state government and of the federal government. Such instruction shall begin not later than the beginning of the eighth grade and shall continue in all high schools as a component of a one credit course of instruction required for high school graduation in United States and New Hampshire history and a one-half credit course of instruction required for high school graduation in United States and New Hampshire government/civics. A school district shall develop and offer the United States and New Hampshire government/civics course and at a minimum, the course shall include instruction in the following areas:
(a) Opportunities and responsibilities for civic involvement.
(b) Skills to effectively participate in civic affairs.
(c) The U.S. Constitution and the principles stated in the Articles and Amendments of the U.S. Constitution that provide the foundation for the democratic government of the United States.
(d) The New Hampshire constitution and the principles stated in the articles of the New Hampshire constitution that provide the foundation for the democratic government of New Hampshire.
(e) The structure and functions of the 3 branches comprising federal and state governments: legislative, judicial, and executive.
(f) The role, opportunities, and responsibilities of a citizen to engage in civic activity.
(g) The role and interactions of the state of New Hampshire and local governments within the framework of the U.S. Constitution and of extended powers and functions provided to local governments.
(h) How federal, state, and local governments address problems and issues by making decisions, creating laws, enforcing regulations, and taking action.
(i) The role and actions of government in the flow of economic activity and the regulation of monetary policy.
(j) How intolerance, bigotry, antisemitism, and national, ethnic, racial, or religious hatred and discrimination have evolved in the past, and can evolve, into genocide and mass violence, such as the Holocaust, and how to prevent the evolution of such practices.

[Paragraph II effective until July 1, 2023; see also paragraph II set out below.]


II. As a component of instruction under paragraph I, a locally developed competency assessment of United States government and civics that includes, but is not limited to, the nature, purpose, structure, function, and history of the United States government, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and noteworthy government and civic leaders, shall be administered to students as part of the high school course in history and government of the United States and New Hampshire. Students who attain a passing grade on the competency assessment shall be eligible for a certificate issued by the school district. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) test may be used to satisfy the requirement of this paragraph. By June 30 of each year, each school district shall submit the results of either the locally developed competency assessment of United States government and civics or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) test to the department of education.

[Paragraph II effective July 1, 2023; see also paragraph II set out above.]


II. As a component of instruction under paragraph I, a locally developed competency assessment of United States government and civics that includes, but is not limited to, the nature, purpose, structure, function, and history of the United States government, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and noteworthy government and civic leaders, shall be administered to students as part of the required high school course in history and government of the United States and New Hampshire. To be eligible for a graduation certificate, a student shall attain a locally sanctioned passing grade on the competency assessment, and a grade of 70 percent or better on the 128 question civics (history and government) naturalization examination developed by the 2020 United States Citizen and Immigration Services. Schools may modify the naturalization examination for a child with a disability in accordance with the child's individualized education program. By June 30 of each year, each school district shall submit the results of either the locally developed competency assessment of United States government and civics or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) test to the department of education.

Source. 1923, 47:2. PL 117:9. RL 135:11. RSA 189:11. 1975, 183:2. 2016, 7:1. 2017, 107:1, eff. Aug. 7, 2017. 2018, 352:4, eff. Aug. 31, 2018. 2020, 29:14, eff. Sept. 21, 2020. 2021, 157:1, eff. July 1, 2023.

Section 189:11-a

    189:11-a Food and Nutrition Programs. –
I. Each school board shall make at least one meal available during school hours to every pupil under its jurisdiction. Such meals shall be served without cost or at a reduced cost to any child who meets federal income eligibility guidelines. The state board of education shall ensure compliance with this section and shall establish minimum nutritional standards for such meals as well as income guidelines set for the family size used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the operation of both a breakfast and lunch program in the same school.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, the requirements thereof may be waived as hereinafter provided:
(a) The school board of any school may make application for a waiver to the state board.
(b) Requests for such waiver may be granted by the commissioner of education upon the receipt of such application and shall remain in force until the state board determines otherwise as hereinafter provided.
(c) The state board is authorized and directed to study the schools which have been granted a waiver and to formulate a plan to implement the requirements of this section in such schools.
(d) The state board shall, after formulating such a plan, notify the school board granted such a waiver of the date when said waiver will terminate.
(e) After the termination of a waiver, a school board shall comply with the requirements of RSA 189:11-a, I.
(f) The state board may also grant a waiver to any school which is being phased out of use; however, such waiver may not exceed the period of one school year.
III. The state board shall prepare and distribute a curriculum for nutrition education and such curriculum shall be integrated into the regular courses of instruction for kindergarten and grades one through 12 during the school year.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. The school board of each school district shall develop and adopt a policy recommending that all pupils participate in developmentally appropriate daily physical activity, exercise, or physical education as a way to minimize the health risks created by chronic inactivity, childhood obesity, and other related health problems.
VI. The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to a model physical activity policy and distribute such policy to each public school in the state.
VII. (a) Each school district which participates in the National School Breakfast Program shall maintain annual statistics on the number of breakfast meals served to pupils.
(b) Such school which demonstrates to the department of education that an approved school wellness policy, as required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296, and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1758b is in effect, and that such school is providing breakfast meals to pupils that meet or exceed the United States Department of Agriculture's child nutrition criteria may apply for and receive a 3 cent reimbursement for each breakfast meal served to a pupil and an additional 27 cent reimbursement for each meal served to students eligible for a reduced price meal. The department of education shall request biennial appropriations in an amount sufficient to meet projected school breakfast reimbursements to ensure students eligible for reduced price meals are offered breakfast at no cost. The department of education shall prescribe forms as necessary under this paragraph.
VIII. A school lunch meal payment policy which is implemented by a school board either before or after the effective date of this section shall ensure that all students have access to a healthy school lunch, that the school district will make every reasonable effort to inform parents of the policy, and that no student will be subject to different treatment from the standard school lunch meal or school cafeteria procedures. The department of education or the state board of education, upon request of the local school board, may provide communication assistance to school districts and parents of school children regarding the school lunch meal payment policy.

Source. 1973, 170:1. 1977, 183:1. 1979, 82:1. 1981, 318:6. 2001, 83:2, I. 2004, 33:2. 2006, 127:2. 2016, 48:1, eff. July 2, 2016. 2019, 301:1, 2, eff. July 1, 2019; 346:321, 322, eff. July 1, 2019.

Section 189:11-b

    189:11-b Learning Disability Teacher. – The school board of each school district may provide the services of a learning disability teacher under such conditions and with such exceptions, as the state board of education may prescribe.

Source. 1973, 209:1, eff. Sept. 1, 1974.

Section 189:11-c

    189:11-c Cursive Handwriting and Memorization of Multiplication Tables. – The school board of each school district is encouraged to provide instruction in cursive handwriting and memorization of multiplication tables.

Source. 2015, 41:1, eff. July 8, 2015.

Section 189:11-d

    189:11-d Drug and Alcohol Education. –
I. Each public school in the state, as part of the school board-approved kindergarten through grade 12 health education program, shall provide age and developmentally appropriate drug and alcohol education to pupils based upon the needs of the pupils and the community. The school board may authorize the use of an evidence-based prevention program.
II. School boards shall develop policies authorizing school district personnel to provide pupils, parents, and legal guardians with information and resources relative to existing drug and alcohol counseling and treatment for pupils. Nothing in this section shall require a school district to add additional programs or services, but only to provide information about available programs and services.

Source. 2016, 301:1, eff. Aug. 20, 2016.

Section 189:12

    189:12 Repealed by 1998, 389:10, eff. Oct. 1, 1998. –

Section 189:13

    189:13 Dismissal of Teacher. – The school board may dismiss any teacher found by them to be immoral, or who has not satisfactorily maintained the competency standards established by the school district, or one who does not conform to regulations prescribed; provided, that no teacher shall be so dismissed before the expiration of the period for which said teacher was engaged without having previously been notified of the cause of such dismissal, nor without having previously been granted a full and fair hearing.

Source. GS 81:8. GL 89:8. PS 92:3. 1895, 51:1. 1905, 59:1. 1921, 85, II:5. PL 117:11. RL 135:13. 2005, 178:1, eff. Aug. 29, 2005.

Section 189:13-a

    189:13-a School Employee and Designated School Volunteer Criminal History Records Check. –
I. (a) The employing school administrative unit, school district, or chartered public school shall complete a criminal history records check on every selected applicant for employment in any position in the school administrative unit, school district, or chartered public school prior to a final offer of employment. A public academy approved by the New Hampshire state board of education shall submit a criminal history records check on applicants for employment pursuant to this section to the division of state police. The superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy may extend a conditional offer of employment to a selected applicant, with a final offer of employment subject to a successfully completed criminal history records check. No selected applicant may be extended a final offer of employment unless the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy has completed a criminal history records check. The school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy shall not be held liable in any lawsuit alleging that the extension of a conditional or final offer of employment to an applicant, or the acceptance of volunteer services from a designated volunteer, with a criminal history was in any way negligent or deficient, if the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy fulfilled the requirements of this section.
(b) A nonpublic school may elect to require a criminal history records check on selected applicants for employment or selected volunteers. A nonpublic school that elects to conduct a criminal history records check shall comply with the procedures and requirements set forth in this section.
II. The selected applicant for employment or designated volunteer with a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy shall submit to the employer a criminal history records release form, as provided by the division of state police, which authorizes the division of state police to conduct a criminal history records check through its state records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to release, for the purposes of paragraph V, a report of the applicant's criminal history and record information, including confidential criminal history record information, to the superintendent or designee of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy. For the purposes of this section, a designee may be the assistant superintendent, the head of human resources, the personnel director, the business administrator, or the finance director. The applicant shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern and a second set of fingerprints is necessary in order to complete the criminal history records check, the conditional offer of employment shall remain in effect. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where an applicant has lived during the past 5 years.
III. The department of education shall conduct training concerning the reading and interpretation of criminal history records. The superintendent or designee of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy shall complete such training and maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph. The superintendent of the school administrative unit, or chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy shall review the criminal history records information in accordance with paragraph V. If the criminal history records information indicates that the applicant has been convicted of any crime or has been charged pending disposition for or convicted of a crime listed in paragraph V, the superintendent or designee of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy shall review the information for a hiring decision If the applicant's criminal history records information indicates that the applicant has been charged pending disposition for or has been convicted of a crime listed in paragraph V, the superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy shall notify the department of education.
III-a. The superintendent of the school administrative unit or chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy shall destroy any criminal history record information within 60 days of receipt. The superintendent of the school administrative unit or chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy shall destroy any criminal history record information that indicates a criminal record within 60 days of receiving said information.
IV. The school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy may require the selected applicant for employment or designated volunteer to pay the actual costs of the criminal history records check.
V. Any person who has been charged pending disposition for or convicted of any violation or attempted violation of RSA 630:1; 630:1-a; 630:1-b; 630:2; 632-A:2; 632-A:3; 632-A:4; 633:1; 633:7, 639:2; 639:3; 645:1, II or III; 645:2; 649-A:3; 649-A:3-a; 649-A:3-b; 649-B:3; or 649-B:4; or any violation or any attempted violation of RSA 650:2 where the act involves a child in material deemed obscene; in this state, or under any statute prohibiting the same conduct in another state, territory, or possession of the United States, shall not be hired by a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy. The superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school or public academy may deny a selected applicant a final offer of employment if such person has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or felony, in addition to those listed above. The governing body of a school district, chartered public school, or public academy shall adopt a policy relative to hiring practices based on the results of the criminal history records check and report of misdemeanors and felonies received under paragraph II. Such policy may include language stating that any person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor, or any of a list of misdemeanors, may not be hired. Such policy may also include language stating that any person who has been convicted of any felony, or any of a list of felonies, shall not be hired.
VI. In accordance with paragraphs I-V, this section shall apply to any employee, including substitute teachers, selected applicant for employment, designated volunteer, volunteer organization, or individual or entity which contracts with a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy to provide services, including but not limited to cafeteria workers, school bus drivers, custodial personnel, or any other service where the contractor or employees of the contractor provide services directly to students of the district, chartered public school, or public academy. The employing school administrative unit, school district, or chartered public school shall be responsible for completing the criminal history records check on the people identified in this paragraph, except for school bus drivers and transportation monitors, as provided in RSA 189:13-b. The cost for criminal history records checks for employees or selected applicants for employment with such contractors shall be borne by the contractor.
VII. The school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy shall not be required to complete a criminal history records check on volunteers, provided that the governing body of a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy shall adopt a policy designating certain categories of volunteers as "designated volunteers" who shall be required to undergo a criminal history records check.
VIII. A school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, public academy, or school official acting pursuant to a policy establishing procedures for certain volunteers shall be immune from civil or criminal liability, provided the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, public academy, or school official has in good faith acted in accordance with said policy. Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to grant immunity to any person for that person's reckless or wanton conduct.
IX. (a) Upon placement of a candidate, as defined in RSA 189:13-c, as a student teacher, the receiving school administrative unit, school district, or chartered public school shall conduct a criminal history records check of the candidate and shall follow the same procedures for assessing the candidate's criminal history background as for applicants for employment.
(b) A receiving school administrative unit, school district, or chartered public school may conduct a criminal history records check upon a candidate, as defined in RSA 189:13-c.
X. Violations of this section shall be jointly investigated by the state police and the department of education. Information obtained through such investigations shall remain confidential and shall not be subject to RSA 91-A.
XI. In this section, "public academy" shall have the same meaning as in RSA 194:23, II.
XII. The employing school administrative unit, school district, or chartered public school shall provide every school employee whose position requires a criminal background check under this section with informational materials, training, or other education, either online or in person, concerning child sexual abuse prevention, sexual assault and harassment policy training, warning signs of child abuse, and reporting mandates. For the purposes of this paragraph, school employees include coaches and those enumerated in RSA 189:13-a, I(a), VI, and IX(a). Such training shall be completed within 30 days of employment and renewed every 2 years for all employees.

Source. 1993, 324:1. 1995, 260:5. 1997, 77:2. 1998, 256:6; 314:6. 2000, 214:1, 2. 2007, 319:1, 4. 2008, 323:8, 12; 354:1. 2010, 138:1; 318:1. 2013, 250:7. 2014, 55:1. 2016, 117:1. 2017, 245:2, eff. Sept. 16, 2017. 2018, 318:12, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2020, 38:17, 31, 32, eff. Jan. 1, 2021. 2021, 71:1, eff. July 1, 2021; 142:1, eff. Sept. 21, 2021; 206:2, Pt. VII, Secs. 1-3, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 189:13-b

    189:13-b School Bus Driver and Transportation Monitor Criminal History Records Check. –
I. The department shall complete a criminal history records check on all school bus drivers and transportation monitors as would school administrative units, school districts, and chartered public schools pursuant to RSA 189:13-a.
II. The selected applicant for employment or designated volunteer with a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, or public academy in a school bus driver or transportation monitor position shall submit to the department a criminal history records release form, as provided by the division of state police, which authorizes the division of state police to conduct a criminal history records check through its state records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to release a report of the applicant's criminal history record information, including confidential criminal history record information, to the background check coordinator of the department, as described in RSA 21-N:8-a, I-a.

Source. 2020, 38:33, eff. Jan. 1, 2021.

Section 189:13-c

    189:13-c Credentialing Applicant and Candidate Criminal History Records Check. –
I. Definitions:
(a) "Credentialing applicant" means a first-time applicant for a New Hampshire teaching credential.
(b) "Candidate" means a student at an institution of higher education in New Hampshire who has been selected to participate in a K-12 educator preparation program.
II. (a) The department shall complete a confidential criminal history records check on all first-time applicants for a teaching license, under RSA 21-N:9, II(s), as shall school administrative units, school districts, and chartered public schools pursuant to RSA 189:13-a.
(b) The department shall complete a confidential criminal history records check on all candidates as shall school administrative units, school districts, and chartered public schools pursuant to RSA 189:13-a. The department shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to coordination with institutions of higher education in New Hampshire on procedures for conducting clearances for candidates for K-12 educator preparation programs.
(c) The criminal history records check on a candidate shall valid for a period of 3 years.
III. (a) The credentialing applicant or candidate shall submit to the department a criminal history records release form, as provided by the division of state police, which authorizes the division of state police to conduct a criminal history records check through its state records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to release a report of the credentialing applicant's or candidate's criminal history record information, including confidential criminal history record information, to the background check coordinator of the department, as described in RSA 21-N:8-a, I-a.
(b) The credentialing applicant or candidate shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the department of education. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, a second set of fingerprints shall be taken in order to complete the criminal history records check. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the department may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearance from every city, town, or county where an applicant or candidate has lived during the past 5 years.
IV. (a) The department shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph. The department shall destroy all criminal history record information within 60 days of receiving said information.
(b) The department may require the credentialing applicant or candidate to pay the actual costs of the criminal history records check.
V. Any person who has been charged pending disposition for or convicted of any violation or attempted violation of RSA 630:1; 630:1-a; 630:1-b; 630:2; 632-A:2; 632-A:3; 632-A:4; 633:1; 639:2; 639:3; 645:1, II or III; 645:2; 649-A:3; 649-A:3-a; 649-A:3-b; 649-B:3; or 649-B:4; or any violation or any attempted violation of RSA 650:2 where the act involves a child in material deemed obscene in this state, or under any statute prohibiting the same conduct in another state, territory, or possession of the United States, shall not be granted a teaching credential by the department nor shall candidates be granted clearance.
VI. The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, governing the rights of a credentialing applicant and candidate and their ability to appeal a denial of a teaching credential or clearance pursuant to a charge pending disposition for or a conviction of any of the offenses under paragraph V.
VII. If a credentialing applicant had submitted to a criminal history records check within the prior 6 months as a candidate, that check shall be deemed valid for purposes of this section.

Source. 2021, 206:2, Pt. VII, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 189:14

    189:14 Liability of District. – The district shall be liable in the action of assumpsit to any teacher dismissed in violation of the provisions of RSA 189:13, to the extent of the full salary for the period for which such teacher was engaged.

Source. 1845, 225. CS 77:3. GS 81:9. GL 89:8. PS 92:4. 1905, 59:1. 1921, 85, II:6. PL 117:12. RL 135:14.

Section 189:14-a

    189:14-a Failure to be Renominated or Reelected. –
I. (a) Any teacher who has a professional standards certificate from the state board of education and who has taught for one or more years in the same school district shall be notified in writing on or before April 15 or within 15 days of the adoption of the district budget by the legislative body, whichever is later, if that teacher is not to be renominated or reelected, provided that no notification shall occur later than the Friday following the second Tuesday in May.
(b) School boards shall have a teacher performance evaluation policy.
(c) Any such teacher who has taught for 5 consecutive years or more in the teacher's current school district, or who taught for 3 consecutive years or more in the teacher's current school district before July 1, 2011, and who has been so notified may request in writing within 10 days of receipt of said notice a hearing before the school board and may in said request ask for reasons for failure to be renominated or reelected. For purposes of this section only, a leave of absence shall not interrupt the consecutive nature of a teacher's service, but neither shall such a leave be included in the computation of a teacher's service. Computation of a teacher's service for any other purposes shall not be affected by this section. The notice shall advise the teacher of all of the teacher's rights under this section. The school board, upon receipt of said request, shall provide for a hearing on the request to be held within 15 days. The school board shall issue its decision in writing within 15 days of the close of the hearing.
II. Any teacher who has a professional standards certificate from the state board of education shall be entitled to all of the rights for notification and hearing in paragraphs I(b), III, and IV of this section if:
(a) The teacher has taught for 5 consecutive years or more in any school district in the state and has taught for 3 consecutive years or more in the teacher's current school district; or
(b) Before July 1, 2011, the teacher taught for 3 consecutive years or more in any school district in the state and taught for 2 consecutive years or more in the teacher's current school district.
III. In cases of nonrenomination or nonreelection because of reduction in force, the reduction in force shall not be based solely on seniority.
IV. In all proceedings before the school board under this section, the burden of proof for nonrenewal of a teacher shall be on the superintendent of the local school district by a preponderance of the evidence. Except as provided in paragraph III, the grounds for nonrenomination and nonreelection shall be determined at the sole discretion of the school board.
V. "Teacher" means any professional employee of any school district whose position requires certification as a professional engaged in teaching. The term "teacher" shall also include principals, assistant principals, librarians, and guidance counselors.

Source. 1957, 285:1. 1981, 250:1. 1986, 39:1. 1995, 174:2. 2000, 16:8. 2003, 204:2, 3. 2011, 267:1, eff. July 1, 2011.

Section 189:14-b

    189:14-b Review by State Board. –
I. A teacher aggrieved by such decision may either petition the state board of education for review thereof or request arbitration under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to RSA 273-A:4, if applicable, but may not do both. Such petition must be in writing and filed with the state board within 10 days after the issuance of the decision to be reviewed. Upon receipt of such petition, the state board shall notify the school board of the petition for review, and shall forthwith proceed to a consideration of the matter. Such consideration shall include a hearing if either party shall request it. The state board shall issue its decision within 15 days after the petition for review is filed, and the decision of the state board shall be final and binding upon both parties. A petition for review under this section shall constitute the exclusive remedy available to a teacher on the issue of the nonrenewal of such teacher.
II. The state board of education shall uphold a decision of a local school board to nonrenew a teacher's contract unless the local school board's decision is clearly erroneous.

Source. 1957, 285:1. 2003, 204:4. 2008, 246:1. 2011, 267:2, eff. July 1, 2011.

Section 189:14-c

    189:14-c Revocation of Certification. – Any teacher certified in this state who has been convicted of any felony involving child sexual abuse images or of a felonious physical assault on a minor or of any sexual assault, shall have such teacher certification revoked by the New Hampshire state board of education.

Source. 1988, 257:3. 1995, 174:11. 2017, 91:5, eff. Aug. 6, 2017.

Section 189:14-d

    189:14-d Termination of Employment. – Employees of a school administrative unit or school district in this state who have been convicted of homicide, an offense involving child sexual abuse images, aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, or kidnapping, in this state or under any statute prohibiting the same conduct in another state, territory or possession of the United States, shall have their employment terminated by the school administrative unit or school district after it receives notice of the conviction.

Source. 1993, 324:2. 2017, 91:5, eff. Aug. 6, 2017.

Section 189:14-e

    189:14-e Speech-Language Specialists. –
I. (a) The department of education shall certify speech-language specialists pursuant to RSA 21-N:9, II(s). Certified speech-language specialists shall provide speech-language pathology services for schools only.
(b) The department of education shall establish the criteria for certification as a speech-language specialist which shall include a minimum of a masters degree in speech-language pathology, or its equivalent as determined by the state board of education.
II. Speech-language pathologists licensed pursuant to RSA 326-F and 328-F shall automatically meet certification requirements under this section.

Source. 1996, 271:4. 1997, 287:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Section 189:14-f

    189:14-f Master Teacher. –
I. The state board of education shall establish the educational credential of master teacher and grant it to those persons who have fulfilled at least the following requirements:
(a) Academic preparation which shall include a master's-level degree and graduate coursework in curriculum development, supervision, and evaluation;
(b) Teaching experience, including at least 7 years during which a teaching certificate was held; and
(c) Demonstrated quality teaching to be satisfied by meeting professional criteria developed by the professional standards board and approved by the state board of education, which criteria shall include:
(1) Quantitative evaluations of teaching quality from students, parents, peers, and administrators;
(2) At least 3 classroom observations of the candidate by an independent observer from outside the candidate's school district; and
(3) At least 4 significant and rigorous written tasks and exercises.
II. The purposes of the credential are to allow experienced teachers an opportunity for professional growth and development, and to identify highly qualified, experienced teachers to serve as resources in their areas of expertise in curriculum development, mentoring, supervising, evaluating teachers, and in other areas as may be determined by their schools and school districts.
III. Master teachers shall have no authority to effectively recommend any personnel action. However, their activities may form the basis for an independent administrative performance review.

Source. 1998, 314:4, eff. Aug. 25, 1998.

Section 189:14-g

    189:14-g Teacher Signature Certification. –
I. A teacher applying for certification through the bureau of credentialing, department of education, shall complete and submit either a written application or an electronic application, both of which shall include a declaration and verification statement to read substantially as follows:
"I hereby certify that I am the individual listed in this application, and that all information provided herein, including all accompanying documentation, is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge."
II. Any willful misrepresentation or omission of facts shall constitute just cause for denial of certification or revocation of existing certifications, and possible criminal prosecution.

Source. 2001, 87:1. 2003, 39:2, eff. July 1, 2003.

Section 189:14-h

    189:14-h Notice to Education Support Personnel and Non-Certified School District Employees Required. – No later than the last day of school each year, the superintendent shall notify, in writing, all education support personnel and non-certified school district employees who have completed their probationary employment period of the intent to continue or not to continue that employment into the next school year. The notification may contain special circumstances as may be defined by the employer. Nothing in this section shall be construed to amend, replace, or otherwise modify a school district's policy on dismissal, collective bargaining agreements, or any employee benefits package. The receipt of notification under this section shall not constitute a private right of action against a school district.

Source. 2010, 279:1, eff. Sept. 6, 2010.

Section 189:15

    189:15 Regulations. – The school board may, unless otherwise provided by statute or state board regulations, prescribe regulations for the attendance upon, and for the management, classification and discipline of, the schools; and such regulations, when recorded in the official records of the school board, shall be binding upon pupils and teachers.

Source. RS 73:2. GS 81:10. 1868, 9:1. GL 89:10. 1883, 37:3. 1887, 52:1. PS 92:5. 1898, 208:1. 1905, 59:1. 1921, 85, II:7. PL 117:13. RL 135:15. RSA 189:15. 1965, 110:1. 1969, 104:2, eff. June 24, 1969.

Section 189:15-a

    189:15-a Purchase of School Insurance. – The school board may purchase, at the expense of the district, accident or injury insurance covering all students while participating in any school activity or may make such insurance available at the option and expense of the parent or guardian of each student.

Source. 1969, 104:3, eff. June 24, 1969.

Section 189:16

    189:16 Textbooks; Supplies. – The school board shall purchase, at the expense of the city or town in which the district is situated, textbooks and other supplies required for use in the public schools; and shall loan the same to the pupils of such schools free of charge, subject to such regulations for their care and custody as the board may prescribe; and shall sell such books at cost to pupils of the school wishing to purchase them for their own use.

Source. RS 73:11. CS 77:12. 1863, 27:21. GS 81:17. GL 89:11. 1883, 37:2. 1889, 13:1. PS 92:7. 1895, 90:3. 1921, 85, II:8. PL 117:14. RL 135:16.

Section 189:16-a

    189:16-a Menstrual Hygiene Products. –
I. The school district shall make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost in all gender neutral bathrooms and bathrooms designated for females located in public middle and high schools.
II. Menstrual hygiene products shall include sanitary napkins and tampons.
III. The school district shall bear the cost of supplying menstrual hygiene products. A school district may seek grants or partner with a nonprofit or community-based organization to fulfill this obligation.

Source. 2019, 252:1, eff. July 17, 2019.

Section 189:17

    189:17 Flags; Penalty. – The school board shall supply a United States and a New Hampshire state flag; the flags shall be made not less than 5 feet in length, with a flagstaff and appliances for displaying the same, for every schoolhouse in the district in which a public school is taught, at the expense of the district. They shall prescribe rules and regulations for the proper custody, care and display of these flags; the regulations shall require that wherever possible, the United States flag and the New Hampshire state flag shall be displayed on separate staffs of equal height. When the flags are displayed on the same staff, the United States flag shall be displayed above the New Hampshire flag. The regulations shall further require that such flags shall be displayed prominently outside of the schoolhouse. When they are otherwise displayed, the flags shall be placed conspicuously in the principal room of assembly of the schoolhouse. The governing board of every private school shall supply a United States flag, such flag to be made not less than 5 feet in length, with a flagstaff and appliances for displaying same. They shall make provisions similar to those required in the public schools for the display of said flag. Any members of a school board or the governing board who shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1903, 39:1. 1921, 85, II:9. 1925, 128:1. PL 117:15. RL 135:17. RSA 189:17. 1969, 104:4. 1971, 291:1. 1973, 531:45. 1977, 51:1, eff. June 13, 1977.

Section 189:17-a

    189:17-a Flags Provided by Other Than School District. –
I. State agencies, private groups, or individual citizens may provide and have placed in a public school classroom an American flag or a New Hampshire state flag, or both, and appliances for displaying such flag or flags, where none is already displayed.
II. Upon receipt of an American flag or a New Hampshire state flag, or both, and appliances donated pursuant to paragraph I of this section, a school shall display such flag or flags in a classroom where none is already displayed.
III. The local school board shall have the authority to accept the donation of flags and appliances, and to determine the location of the flags in the classrooms.

Source. 1988, 30:1, eff. March 24, 1988.

Section 189:17-b

    189:17-b Authority of Schools to Display the National and State Mottos. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no power or authority of the state of New Hampshire, or any political subdivision thereof, shall in any way restrict, or be construed to restrict, the authority of any school or school district to display the national motto, "In God We Trust," or the state motto, "Live Free or Die," in any school building.

Source. 2021, 161:1, eff. Sept. 28, 2021.

Section 189:18

    189:18 Patriotic Exercises. – In all public schools of the state one session, or a portion thereof, during the weeks in which Memorial Day and Veterans Day fall, shall be devoted to exercises of a patriotic nature, which shall include a discussion of the words, meaning, and history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner.

Source. 1897, 14:1. 1921, 85, II:23. PL 117:16. 1933, 3:1. RL 135:18. 2016, 67:1, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 189:18-a

    189:18-a Memorial or Memorial Plaque on School Property. – The placement of a memorial or memorial plaque on school property in memory of an alumnus of a junior high school or high school in the district who died honorably during active duty shall require approval from the school board or approval of a warrant article acted upon at the annual school district meeting. The cost for design, manufacture, installation, or maintenance of the memorial shall not be a charge to the state, any municipality, or the school district. This section shall not apply to the addition of names to already existing memorials or to plans for memorials initiated by the municipality or school district.

Source. 2016, 77:1, eff. July 18, 2016.

Section 189:19

    189:19 English Required. – In the instruction of children in all schools, including private schools, in reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, geography, physiology, history, civil government, music, and drawing, the English language shall be used exclusively, both for the purposes of instruction therein and for purposes of general administration. Educational programs in the field of bilingual education shall be permitted under the provisions of this section with the approval of the state board of education and the local school district.

Source. 1919, 106:13. 1921, 85, II:10. PL 117:17. RL 135:19. RSA 189:19. 1969, 139:1. 1977, 110:1, eff. July 30, 1977.

Section 189:20

    189:20 Foreign Languages. – A foreign language may be taught in elementary schools; provided, that the course of study (or its equivalent) outlined by the state board in the branches named in RSA 189:19 be not abridged but be taught in compliance with the law of the state.

Source. 1919, 106:13. 1921, 85, II:10. PL 117:18. RL 135:20.

Section 189:21

    189:21 Language of Devotional Exercises in Private Schools. – The exclusive use of English for purposes of instruction and administration shall not prohibit the conduct of devotional exercises in private schools in a language other than English.

Source. 1919, 106:13. 1921, 85, II:10. PL 117:19. RL 135:21.

Section 189:22

    189:22 Copies of State Constitution and Election Laws to be Furnished. – The secretary of state is hereby directed to furnish to the state board of education such number of copies of the state constitution and the election laws as may be necessary.

Source. 1937, 31:1. RL 135:22.

Section 189:23

    189:23 Distribution. – The state board of education is hereby directed to distribute copies of the state constitution and election laws to all teachers of history and civics in the upper grades of elementary schools and to teachers of United States history in junior and senior high schools to be used by them in instructing their pupils relative to the laws governing election and voting.

Source. 1937, 31:1. RL 135:23.

Section 189:24

    189:24 Standard School. – A standard school is one approved by the state board of education, and maintained for at least 180 days in each year, or the equivalent number of hours as required in the rules of the department of education, in a suitable and sanitary building, equipped with approved furniture, books, maps and other necessary appliances, taught by teachers, directed and supervised by a principal and a superintendent, each of whom shall hold valid educational credentials issued by the state board of education, with suitable provision for the care of the health and physical welfare of all pupils. A standard school shall provide instruction in all subjects prescribed by statute or by the state board of education for the grade level of pupils in attendance.

Source. 1919, 106:24. 1921, 85, II:11. PL 117:20. RL 135:24. RSA 189:24. 1959, 133:3. 1971, 371:1. 2007, 71:2. 2011, 42:2, eff. July 8, 2011.

Section 189:25

    189:25 Elementary School. – An elementary school is any school approved by the state board of education in which the subjects taught are those prescribed by the state board for the grades kindergarten through 8 of the public schools. However, a separate organization consisting of grades 7 through 9, or any grouping of these grades, may be recognized as a junior high school and so approved by the board. Also a separate organization consisting of grades 4 through 8 or any grouping of these grades may be recognized as a middle school and so approved by the state board. Any elementary school may include a kindergarten program which, if it is provided, shall precede the other elementary grades.

Source. 1919, 106:25. 1921, 85, II:12. PL 117:21. RL 135:25. RSA 189:25. 1963, 288:1. 1971, 178:1. 2007, 71:2, eff. Aug. 10, 2007.

Section 189:25-a

    189:25-a Universal Service Fund; Definition of "School." – For the purpose of obtaining discounts pursuant to the universal service fund, otherwise known as "E-rate" discounts, as established by section 254 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, "school" means any public or private elementary or secondary school, and any regional career and technical educational center designated under RSA 188-E, including educational programs offered at such career and technical educational centers for pre-kindergarten, adult education programs, and juvenile justice programs.

Source. 2001, 84:1. 2015, 252:12, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 189:26

    189:26 Books Excluded. – No book shall be introduced into the public schools calculated to favor any particular religious sect or political party.

Source. RS 73:11, 12. CS 77:12, 13. GS 81:12. GL 89:12. PS 92:9. 1895, 50:5. 1921, 85, II:13. PL 117:22. RL 135:26.

Section 189:27

    189:27 Register. – The school board shall furnish to the responsible person a supply of blank registers provided by the state board.

Source. RS 73:2. CS 72:2. 1861, 25:68. GS 81:14, 16. GL 89:15, 17. PS 92:10. 1921, 85, II:14. PL 117:23. RL 135:27. RSA 189:27. 1967, 448:2. 1971, 149:2, eff. July 25, 1971.

Section 189:27-a

    189:27-a Computerization of Pupil Registers. – School boards, or the governing persons or governing bodies of public academies or non-public schools, may choose to maintain pupil registration and enrollment information through the use of a computer, instead of using a register provided by the state board of education. The software program for any such computer application shall be capable of providing in printed form at least the information required by RSA 186:11, VI.

Source. 1988, 103:1, eff. July 1, 1988.

Section 189:27-b

    189:27-b Retention of Pupil Registers. – Pupil registers, whether kept manually or by means of a computer, shall be retained as a permanent record of the school district, public academy, or nonpublic school.

Source. 1988, 103:1, eff. July 1, 1988. 2018, 223:2, eff. Aug. 7, 2018.

Reports

Section 189:28

    189:28 Statistical Reports; Failure to File Report. –
I. The governing body of every public, chartered public school, and nonpublic education agency, shall, on or before the deadline established by the department as deemed appropriate in each year, submit to the department of education those statistical reports necessary to compute the average daily membership of pupils attending each school district, and the average daily membership of pupils resident in each school district. Information relating to the fall enrollment, drop-outs, staffing census, and prior year annual safety reports as of October 1 of each school year, and other reports necessary to meet state and federal requirements as determined by the department, shall be submitted to the department of education on or before the deadline established by the department.
I-a. The governing body of every public and chartered public school shall submit the average teacher salary as of October 1 of each school year to the department of education on or before the deadline established by the department.
I-b. Nonpublic schools shall submit the following: general statistics of nonpublic schools, nonpublic school restraint and seclusion collection data, general fall report of nonpublic schools, school emergency operation plan, and other reports necessary to meet state and federal requirements as determined by the department of education. If the governing body of a nonpublic school fails to submit the statistical reports by the established deadlines for 2 consecutive years, the commissioner may request the state board of education to revoke the enabling charter or approval.
II. (a) The information needed to determine compliance with performance or accountability measures of public education agency under RSA 193-E:3 or federal law, shall be submitted to the department of education in a timely manner as determined by the department of education. The state board of education shall ensure the accuracy and completeness of such data and shall take enforcement or other actions when necessary, including verification checks, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this section.
(b) If the department of education requests verification of information relevant to reports submitted, the public education agency shall provide corrected information or verification within 10 business days of such request. The governing body of every public education agency shall maintain files of all records, data, and other information submitted pursuant to this section for not less than 5 years from the date of submission. The state board of education shall have access to such records, data, and information for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy of reported information.
III. Each statistical report submitted under this section by a public education agency may be submitted electronically and shall include a written or electronic certification, signed by the chief executive official that states: "I certify, under the pains and penalties of perjury, that all of the information contained in this document is true, accurate, and complete, and that the school board chairperson has received a copy of this document."
IV. The commissioner of the department of education may grant a public school, chartered public school, or nonpublic school up to a 30-day extension of the reporting deadline set forth in paragraph I, provided that such extension will not delay the statewide calculations. The commissioner of the department of education shall notify the governing body of the public education agency that all state aid to education and all federal aid, if the report is required by federal law, shall be withheld until such time as complete and accurate information is submitted.
V. The department of education shall determine the average daily membership in attendance of every public education agency, and private institution that operates an elementary or secondary school, and the average daily membership in residence of each school district, municipality within a cooperative school district, and unincorporated place.
VI. In this section, "public education agency" means a school district, city, joint maintenance agreement, chartered public school, or approved public academy.

Source. 1874, 43:3. GL 92:3. 1887, 50:9, 10. PS 92:13. 1895, 50:7. 1903, 5:1. 1917, 122:1. 1921, 85, II:15. PL 117:24. RL 135:28. RSA 189:28. 1991, 169:1. 1998, 389:2. 2003, 314:2. 2005, 189:1. 2006, 60:1. 2008, 354:1. 2016, 8:8, eff. Mar. 16, 2016. 2018, 223:1, eff. Aug. 7, 2018. 2021, 44:2, 3, eff. May 17, 2021.

Section 189:28-a

    189:28-a Report to the Public. –
I. School boards shall publish in the next annual report, or post at the annual meeting, the general fund balance sheet from the most recently completed audited financial statements or from the most recently completed financial report filed pursuant to RSA 21-J:34, V.
II. In the case of an accumulated general fund deficit, the school board shall insert an article in the warrant recommending such action as they deem appropriate, which may include, but is not limited to, raising a sum of money for the purpose of reducing that deficit.

Source. 1994, 147:5, eff. July 22, 1994.

Section 189:29

    189:29 Repealed by 1998, 389:11, eff. Oct. 1, 1998. –

Section 189:29-a

    189:29-a Records Retention and Disposition. – Members of the school board shall establish a records retention and disposition schedule for all official records of the school district. If records are microfilmed, 2 films shall be made, properly labeled and stored in 2 different locations. At least one copy shall be stored in a fireproof container. Records which have been microfilmed may be retained or destroyed in accordance with the schedule determined by the members of the board. A complete record of all records destroyed or discarded shall be maintained along with notations of the methods and dates of disposal.

Source. 1983, 94:1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Section 189:29-b

    189:29-b Identification and Accommodation of Gifted and Talented Students. –
I. In this section, "gifted and talented student" means a student identified as having unique academic, artistic, or athletic potential according to assessments selected and administered locally.
II. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, every New Hampshire public school shall submit to the department of education, no later than August 1, an annual narrative report detailing the policies, programs, and procedures that are in place to identify and accommodate the unique needs of gifted and talented students. If no such policies, programs, or procedures exist, the report shall so state.
III. The department shall develop a standardized format for the submission of such information and shall reassess the format each year to ensure the required information is useful. The department shall make the reports available on its public Internet website.

Source. 2021, 139:1, eff. July 23, 2021.

Superintendents

Section 189:30

    189:30 Repealed by 1986, 41:29, V, eff. April 3, 1988. –

Section 189:31

    189:31 Removal of Teacher. – Superintendents shall direct and supervise the work of teachers, and for cause may remove a teacher or other employee of the district. The person so removed shall continue as an employee of the district unless discharged by the local school board but may not return to the classroom or undertake to perform the duties of such person's position unless reinstated by the superintendent.

Source. RS 70:10. CS 74:12. GS 79:14. GL 87:14. PS 92:2. 1919, 106:12. 1921, 85, II:4. PL 117:27. RL 135:31. RSA 189:31. 1969, 196:4. 1995, 174:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Section 189:32

    189:32 Appeal. – Any person so removed, unless dismissed by the school board, may appeal to the state board. The board shall prescribe the manner in which appeals shall be made, and when one is made shall investigate the matter in any way it sees fit, and make such orders as justice requires.

Source. 1919, 106:12. 1921, 85, II:4. PL 117:28. RL 135:32. RSA 189:32. 1969, 196:5. 1986, 41:19, eff. April 3, 1988.

Section 189:33

    189:33 Conferences; Reports. – It shall be the duty of superintendents to attend all conferences called by the state board. Each superintendent shall report to the proper officers any violation of the provisions of the laws of this state in reference to the public schools, school buildings, the employment of persons under 18 years of age who cannot read and speak the English language understandingly, the protection of children and violations of the rules and regulations prescribed by the state board for the efficient administration of the public schools.

Source. 1919, 106:12. 1921, 85, I:4. 1925, 138:2. PL 117:29. RL 135:33. RSA 189:33. 1973, 72:13, eff. June 3, 1973.

Truant Officers

Section 189:34

    189:34 Appointment. –
I. School boards shall appoint truant officers for their districts.
II. School board policies on truancy shall include but not be limited to:
(a) A definition of "excused absence" and a process for considering exceptions to absences not otherwise excused.
(b) A process for intervention designed to address individual cases of truancy as quickly as possible and to reduce the number of habitual truants in the school district. The process shall consider whether school record keeping practices and notification provided to parents or guardians of the child's absences have an effect on the child's attendance. The board shall provide for the participation of parents in the development of the policy. The policy shall include early parental involvement in the intervention process. The policy shall also designate an employee in each school as the person responsible for truancy issues.

Source. 1852, 1278. CS 78:2. GS 83:7. GL 91:7. 1881, 42:1. PS 92:15. 1899, 70:1. 1921, 85, II:17. PL 117:30. RL 135:34. 2010, 9:1. 2013, 249:14, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

Section 189:35

    189:35 Term; Removal. – Truant officers shall hold office for one year and until their successors are appointed, but they may be removed by the school board at any time for cause.

Source. 1881, 42:2. PS 92:16. 1921, 85, II:18. PL 117:31. RL 135:35.

Section 189:35-a

    189:35-a Truancy Defined. –
I. For the purposes of this subdivision, "truancy" means an unexcused absence from school or class and "unexcused absence" is an absence which has not been excused in accordance with RSA 189:34, II(a).
II. Ten half days of unexcused absence during a school year shall constitute habitual truancy.
III. A school district shall define the term "half day of absence."
IV. Nothing in this section shall affect or limit a school district's power to adopt bylaws concerning truancy pursuant to RSA 193:16.
V. Nothing in this section shall affect or limit the duties of a parent pursuant to RSA 193:1.
VI. School district attendance records shall be presumed to be true and accurate unless evidence to the contrary is presented.

Source. 2005, 7:1. 2010, 9:2, eff. July 6, 2010.

Section 189:36

    189:36 Duties. –
I. Truant officers shall, when directed by the school board, enforce the laws and regulations relating to truants and children between the ages of 6 and 18 years not attending school or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I(h); and the laws relating to the attendance at school of children between the ages of 6 and 18 years; and shall have authority without a warrant to take and place in school any children found employed contrary to the laws relating to the employment of children, or violating the laws relating to the compulsory attendance at school of children under the age of 18 years, and the laws relating to child labor. No home school pupil nor any person between the ages of 6 and 18 who meets any of the requirements of RSA 193:1, I(c)-(h) shall be deemed a truant.
II. A truant officer or school official shall not file a petition alleging that the child is in need of services pursuant to RSA 169-D:2, II until all steps in the school district's intervention process under RSA 189:34, II have been followed.

Source. 1852, 1278. CS 78:2. GS 83:7. GL 91:7. 1881, 42:3. PS 92:17. 1899, 70:2. 1911, 162:16. 1921, 85, II:19. PL 117:32. RL 135:36. RSA 189:36. 1973, 72:29. 2007, 350:4. 2010, 9:3. 2011, 224:281, eff. Sept. 30, 2011.

Section 189:37

    189:37 Additional Officers. – The state board may require school boards to appoint additional truant officers if in its judgment such additional officers are necessary; and may require the school board of any school district to remove any truant officer found by it to be incompetent, and to appoint a competent successor; and upon the failure or neglect of the school board to do so, it may appoint such truant officer and fix compensation, which shall be paid by the district.

Source. 1911, 162:18. 1921, 85, III:33. PL 117:34. 1927, 29:1. RL 135:38. 1995, 174:4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

School Census

Section 189:38

    189:38 Repealed by 1992, 29:1, eff. June 2, 1992. –

Teachers

Section 189:39

    189:39 How Chosen. – Superintendents shall nominate and school boards elect all teachers employed in the schools in their school administrative unit, providing such teachers hold a valid educational credential issued by the state board of education.

Source. RS 70:10. CS 74:12. GS 79:14. GL 87:14. PS 92:2. 1919, 106:12. 1921, 85, II:4. PL 117:35. RL 135:39. RSA 189:39. 1971, 371:2, eff. Aug. 27, 1971.

Section 189:39-a

    189:39-a Critical Staffing Shortages. – Notwithstanding a determination of critical staffing shortage made by the department of education, a superintendent, with the approval of the local school board, may determine that a critical staffing shortage exists in one or more specific teaching areas within the school district. The department of education shall be notified of any critical staffing shortages which have been determined in a school district within 30 days of such determination.

Source. 2002, 117:1, eff. July 2, 2002.

Section 189:39-b

    189:39-b One-Year Certificate of Eligibility. –
I. The local school board, in consultation with the superintendent, may offer a one-time, one year certificate of eligibility to any person interested in teaching on a full-time or part-time basis, without requiring a person to possess a teaching credential, teaching license, or other teaching certification provided that such person:
(a) Possesses at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution.
(b) Is subject to a criminal history records check pursuant to RSA 189:13-a.
(c) Is qualified for the position by relevant experience and education.
I-a. The provision of subparagraph I(a) shall not apply to an individual applying to teach a course in a CTE specialty area.
II. The school board, with input from the superintendent, shall formulate the terms of the certificate of eligibility which shall contain no tenure provisions.
III. The department of education shall be notified of the issuance of all certificates of eligibility within 30 days of the date of issuance.
IV. Any person who has had a teaching credential, teaching license, or other teaching certification revoked under RSA 189:14-c or RSA 189:14-d, or who has been rendered ineligible to be employed as a teacher under another provision of law, shall not be eligible to teach under this section.
V. No person shall be offered more than one certificate of eligibility under this section.

Source. 2002, 117:1. 2010, 318:2, eff. Sept. 18, 2010. 2021, 28:1, eff. July 5, 2021.

Section 189:40

    189:40 School Sessions. – In the absence of express contract, a session of 3 hours in the forenoon and 3 hours in the afternoon shall constitute a school day, 5 such days a school week, and 4 such weeks a school month, in the public schools.

Source. 1883, 33:1. PS 92:20. 1921, 85, II:21. PL 117:36. RL 135:40.

Section 189:41

    189:41 Repealed by 1969, 104:5, eff. June 24, 1969. –

Section 189:42

    189:42 Registers. – The person responsible shall make the entries in the register required by the state board of education, and at the close of the term return the register to the school board.

Source. 1861, 250:81. GS 81:14, 15. GL 89:15, 16. PS 92:11. 1921, 85, II:24. PL 117:38. RL 135:42. RSA 189:42. 1967, 448:3. 2003, 41:1, eff. July 5, 2003.

School Administrative Units

Section 189:43 to 189:47-a

    189:43 to 189:47-a Repealed by 1996, 298:5, II, eff. Aug. 9, 1996. –

Section 189:48

    189:48 Repealed by 1986, 41:29, V, eff. April 3, 1988. –

Child Benefit Services

Section 189:49

    189:49 Optional Services. –
The school board of any school district may provide the following child benefit services for pupils in each public and nonpublic school in the district or in another school district in this state:
I. School physician services under the provisions of RSA 200:26-41.
II. School nurse services.
III. School health services.
IV. School guidance and psychologist services.
V. Educational testing services.
VI. Transportation under the provisions of RSA 189:9.
VII. Textbooks and instructional materials.
VIII. Health and welfare services equivalent to those provided by public schools including speech correction and remedial and diagnostic services.
IX. Driver education.
X. Educational television services.
XI. Programs for the deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, children with disabilities; audio-visual aids; and programs for the improvement of the educational studies of pupils with disabilities.
XII. Physical education.
XIII. Hot lunch program.
In the event that a court rules invalid one or more of the above services the other services shall not be deemed void but shall continue in effect.

Source. 1970, 51:1. 1971, 499:4; 566:1. 1973, 501:1. 1990, 140:4, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 189:49-a

    189:49-a Fingerprinting Program. –
I. The state board of education in conjunction with the department of safety shall adopt a model fingerprinting program which shall be made available to the board of education of each school district in the state. The state board of education shall encourage each school district to adopt this program in the interest of uniformity throughout the state.
II. If the school district adopts the fingerprinting program it shall be for the sole purpose of providing a means by which a missing child might be located or identified and shall be operated on the following basis:
(a) No student shall be required to participate in the program.
(b) In order for a student to participate in the program, the parents, custodial parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person responsible for the student shall authorize the student's participation by signing a form that shall be developed by the board of education or by the principal or chief administrative officer of the nonpublic school for the program.
(c) All fingerprint cards shall be given to the parents, custodial parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person responsible for a student after the fingerprinting of the student. A copy of a fingerprint card may be retained by a school or school district, if written permission is given by the student's parent, guardian, or legal custodian. The student, upon reaching the age of 18, or the parent at any time, shall have the right to have the card returned and no copy shall be retained by the school or school district.
(d) The name, sex, hair and eye color, height, weight, and date and place of birth of the student and other information may be indicated on the fingerprint sheet or card.
III. Fingerprints obtained pursuant to this section, or any medical, psychological, guidance, counseling, or other information that is derived from the use of the fingerprints, shall not be admissible as evidence against the minor who is the subject of the fingerprints in any proceeding in any court, and shall not be used against the minor after the minor reaches the age of majority.
IV. A principal or chief administrative officer of a public school, or any employee of a public school who is authorized to handle school records, shall provide access to the relevant records of a student to a law enforcement officer who indicates that an investigation is being conducted by such officer and that the student is or may be a missing child. Copies of information in the relevant records of a student shall be provided, upon request, to the law enforcement officer, if prior approval is given by the student's parent, guardian, or legal custodian. Information obtained by the officer shall be used solely in the investigation of the case. The information may be used by law enforcement agency personnel in any manner that is appropriate to solving the case, including, but not limited to, providing the information to other law enforcement officers and agencies and to the office of the attorney general, division of public protection, bureau of criminal justice, for purposes of computer integration pursuant to RSA 7:10-a.

Source. 1985, 318:5. 1995, 174:9, 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Section 189:50

    189:50 Appropriations. – A town may raise and appropriate money to carry the provisions of this subdivision into effect.

Source. 1970, 51:1, eff. May 4, 1970.

Section 189:51

    189:51 Limitation. – Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to allow either a deletion or diminution of a program or purchase adopted through normal budgetary procedure.

Source. 1971, 566:2, eff. Sept. 29, 1971.

Literacy Instruction and Dropout Prevention

Section 189:52

    189:52 Repealed by 1995, 288:3, I, eff. July 1, 1995. –

Section 189:53

    189:53 Literacy Skill Development in Elementary Grades. – All school districts which provide elementary education shall have instruction in literacy for all students through grade 3, including instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening, reasoning, and mathematics. All instruction shall be designed to assist students to achieve literacy and to provide the opportunity for each child to learn according to such child's needs and abilities as set forth by the state board of education in the minimum standards for New Hampshire public elementary schools.

Source. 1988, 274:3. 1995, 174:12, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Section 189:54

    189:54 Repealed by 1997, 13:1, eff. June 21, 1997. –

Section 189:55

    189:55 Repealed by 2003, 288:2, eff. Sept. 16, 2003. –

Section 189:56

    189:56 Repealed by 1995, 288:3, II, eff. July 1, 1995. –

Section 189:57

    189:57 Coordination With Special Population Programs. – Educational and youth employment programs serving special population students shall be coordinated with the requirements of this subdivision. All such coordinating efforts shall not exempt participating school districts or public or private employers from meeting all requirements of state or federal laws.

Source. 1988, 274:3, eff. July 1, 1989.

Section 189:58

    189:58 Rulemaking. – The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the procedures and guidelines necessary to effect the purposes of this subdivision.

Source. 1988, 274:3, eff. June 29, 1988.

Dropout Prevention and Dropout Recovery Program

Section 189:59

    189:59 Dropout Prevention and Dropout Recovery Program Established. –
I. There is hereby established a dropout prevention and dropout recovery program in the department of education. The department is authorized to provide the services described in this subdivision to the state and to public, quasi-public, and private entities to assist pupils in successfully completing high school. The program shall:
(a) Provide and coordinate services designed to assist pupils in the successful completion of high school.
(b) Encourage individual, corporate, and state support and involvement to promote employment opportunities for New Hampshire's students.
(c) Render assistance in ensuring student placement in quality jobs with ample career opportunities.
(d) Encourage students to pursue postsecondary education by assisting in securing appropriate part-time work to accompany that education.
(e) Encourage lifelong learning by introducing students to the importance of skills training and demonstrating how learning is relevant to skills necessary in the workplace.
(f) Provide tutoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to successful completion of secondary school, including dropout prevention strategies through a school-site mentor.
(g) Provide alternative secondary school services with high academic standards.
(h) Deliver pre-employment and work maturity skill training, paid and unpaid work, work-based learning experiences that teach all aspects of industry-specific and general workplace competencies, including internships, job shadowing, and school sponsored workplace mentoring.
(i) Provide opportunities which may include community service and peer- centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social behaviors during non-school hours, including linking youth and adult mentoring, as appropriate.
(j) Provide support services and transitional links that assist students in the elimination of barriers.
(k) Establish an 85 percent graduation rate, and a 90 percent return to school rate as performance goals for program participants most likely to drop out. "Graduation rate" means the number of seniors who receive a diploma from a high school divided by the number enrolled in this program at such high school. "Return to school rate" means the percentage of students in grades 9-11 enrolled in the program who return to school for the next school year.
II. The commissioner of the department of education shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relevant to the implementation of this subdivision. Such rules shall include:
(a) Procedures for securing funds for participating entities.
(b) Methods for tracking compliance with program goals and reporting performance outcomes.

Source. 2003, 288:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2003.

Section 189:60

    189:60 Repealed by 2020, 37:4, XIV, eff. July 29, 2020. –

Section 189:61

    189:61 Local Matching Funds Required. – A school district may receive dropout prevention and dropout recovery services by a favorable vote of its legislative body authorizing the expenditure of not less than 10 percent of estimated program costs for such school district.

Source. 2003, 288:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2003.

Section 189:62

    189:62 Eligible Program Participants. –
I. All programs shall be eligible to apply for dropout prevention and dropout recovery programs and funds under this subdivision, provided that such programs and funds shall be targeted, to the extent available, to those high schools with the highest dropout rate, as determined by the department of education.
II. Program participants shall be certified by the department of education according to the following criteria:
(a) Programs which focus on youth development strategies.
(b) A minimum of 3 years and preferably 10 or more years of experience at the state and national levels in providing dropout prevention and dropout recovery programming to at-risk youth.
(c) Experience in program delivery in both rural and city high schools in New Hampshire.
(d) Programs shall be existing operations with boards of directors.
(e) Documentable accountability and performance measures with supporting data.
(f) State or national recognition for dropout prevention or dropout recovery.
(g) Ability to provide multiple sources of funds for the purposes of expansion and efficiency of service delivery.
(h) Programs which are members of the National Career Association.
(i) Provide nationally normed outcomes in the following areas:
(1) Basic academic competencies.
(2) Career development.
(3) Job attainment.
(4) Leadership and self development.
(5) Personal skills.
(6) Job survival competencies.
(j) Connection with an established tracking and reporting system.

Source. 2003, 288:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2003.

Section 189:63

    189:63 Repealed by 2020, 37:4, XIV, eff. July 29, 2020. –

Emergency Response Plans

Section 189:64

    189:64 Emergency Response Plans. –
I. Every public, chartered public, and nonpublic school shall develop a site-specific school emergency response plan which is based on and conforms to the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System and submit such plan to the department of education by September 1 of each year. Upon receiving a school's emergency management plan, the department shall provide a copy of such plan to the director of homeland security and emergency management, department of safety. The plan should be documented at the time of school approval review. The plan shall provide that at least 4 of the currently required number of fire evacuation drills shall be emergency, all-hazard response drills of which at least one shall test emergency response to an armed assailant. The armed assailant drill may be discussion based. The types of all-hazard drills and exercises and the manner and time in which these activities take place shall be determined by the school in collaboration with local public safety, emergency management, and public health officials. The school may include students and first responders in all-hazard response drills or activities, as appropriate. The plan shall address hazards including but not limited to acts of violence, threats, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, structural fire, wildfire, internal and external hazardous materials releases, medical emergencies, and any other hazard deemed necessary by school officials and local emergency authorities. The first emergency response drill shall be conducted within one year of the completion of the plan. If the school has a building schematic floor plan diagram, the school may, with the approval of the local school board, submit the diagram to the division of homeland security and emergency management, department of safety, in a commonly used digital format. Submission of the diagram will enable the state to better prepare, respond, and mitigate potentially dangerous conditions should the need arise.
II. Each school shall provide the plan to, and coordinate the plan with, local emergency authorities and with the emergency operations plan in the municipality in which the school is located. Each school shall review its plan at least annually and update the plan, as necessary, and shall submit the updated plan to the department of education by September 1. If after review, the plan is unchanged, the school shall notify the department by September 1 that the plan is unchanged. The department shall provide a copy of any updated plan to the director of homeland security and emergency management, department of safety. The director of homeland security and emergency management, department of safety shall assist school districts in conducting training for and providing support to school districts in the development, implementation, and review of an emergency response plan, as may be needed.

Source. 2007, 92:1. 2014, 87:1. 2017, 14:1, eff. June 16, 2017. 2018, 35:1, eff. July 14, 2018. 2019, 20:1, eff. July 14, 2019.

Student and Teacher Information Protection and Privacy

Section 189:65

    189:65 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Biometric" means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voiceprints, DNA sequence, facial characteristics, and handwriting.
II. "Board" means the state board of education.
III. "Department" means the department of education.
IV. "District", "school", or "school district" means a school district, including the school administrative unit to which it may belong, and the high school educational program at the state prison or county jail in which an inmate under the age of 21 is participating.
V. "Disclosure" means permitting access to, revealing, releasing, transferring, or otherwise communicating, personally identifiable information contained in education records to any party, by any means, including oral, written, or electronic.
VI. "Statewide longitudinal data system" (SLDS) means the department's statewide longitudinal data system containing student information collected pursuant to RSA 193-E:5 and the state longitudinal database created to house data pursuant to RSA 193-E:5.
VII. "Student personally-identifiable data" means:
(a) The student's name.
(b) The name of the student's parents or other family members.
(c) The address of the student or student's family.
(d) Indirect identifiers, including the student's date of birth, place of birth, social security number, email, social media address, or other electronic address, telephone number, credit card account number, insurance account number, and financial services account number.
(e) Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty.
VII-a. "Teacher personally-identifiable data" or "teacher data," which shall apply to teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, school employees, contractors, and other administrators, means:
(a) Social security number.
(b) Date of birth.
(c) Personal street address.
(d) Personal email address.
(e) Personal telephone number.
(f) Performance evaluations.
(g) Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific teacher, paraprofessional, principal, or administrator that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify any with reasonable certainty.
(h) Information requested by a person who the department reasonably believes or knows the identity of the teacher, paraprofessional, principal, or administrator to whom the education record relates.
VIII. "Testing entity" means a third party, within or outside of New Hampshire, contracted to administer the state assessment as defined in RSA 193-C:6.
IX. "Workforce information" means information related to unemployment insurance, wage records, unemployment benefit claims, or employment and earnings data from workforce data sources, such as state wage records, wage record interchange system (WRIS) data or the federal employment data exchange system (FEDES).

Source. 2014, 68:1. 2015, 71:2, eff. Aug. 1, 2015.

Section 189:66

    189:66 Data Inventory and Policies Publication. –
I. The department shall create, maintain, and make publicly available an annually-updated index of data elements containing definitions of individual student personally-identifiable data fields or fields identified in RSA 189:68 currently in the SLDS or any other database maintained by the department, or added or proposed to be added thereto, including:
(a) Any individual student personally-identifiable data required to be reported by state or federal law.
(b) Any individual student personally-identifiable data which has been proposed for inclusion in the SLDS with a statement explaining the purpose or reason for the proposed collection.
(c) Any individual student personally-identifiable data that the department collects or maintains.
(d) Any data identified in RSA 189:68.
II. The department shall develop a detailed data security plan to present to the state board and the commissioner of the department of information technology. The plan shall include:
(a) Privacy compliance standards.
(b) Privacy and security audits.
(c) Breach planning, notification, and procedures.
(d) Data retention and disposition policies.
III. The security plan shall:
(a) Require notification as soon as practicable to:
(1) Any teacher or student whose personally identifiable information could reasonably be assumed to have been part of any data security breach, consistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the integrity of the data system; and
(2) The governor, state board, senate president, speaker of the house of representatives, chairperson of the senate committee with primary jurisdiction over education, chairperson of the house committee with primary jurisdiction over education, and commissioner of the department of information technology.
(b) Require the department to issue an annual data security breach report to the governor, state board, senate president, speaker of the house of representatives, chairperson of the senate committee with primary jurisdiction over education, chairperson of the house committee with primary jurisdiction over education, and commissioner of the department of information technology. The breach report shall also be posted to the department's public Internet website and shall not include any information that itself would pose a security threat to a database or data system. The report shall include:
(1) The name of the organization reporting the breach.
(2) Any types of personal information that were or are reasonably believed to have been the subject of a breach.
(3) The date, estimated date, or date range of the breach.
(4) A general description of the breach incident.
(5) The estimated number of students and teachers affected by the breach, if any.
(6) Information about what the reporting organization has done to protect individuals whose information has been breached.
IV. The department and each local education agency shall make publicly available students' and parents' rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. section 1232g, et seq., and applicable state law including:
(a) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 14 days after the day the school receives a request for access.
(b) The right to request amendment of a student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
(c) The right to provide written consent before the school discloses student personally identifiable data from the student's education records, provided in applicable state and federal law.
(d) The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office in the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
V. The department shall establish minimum standards for privacy and security of student and employee data, based on best practices, for local education agencies. Each local education agency shall develop a data and privacy governance plan which shall be presented to the school board for review and approval by June 30, 2019. The plan shall be updated annually and presented to the school board. The plan shall include:
(a) An inventory of all software applications, digital tools, and extensions. The inventory shall include users of the applications, the provider, purpose, publisher, privacy statement, and terms of use.
(b) A review of all software applications, digital tools, and extensions and an assurance that they meet or exceed standards set by the department.
(c) Policies and procedures for access to data and protection of privacy for students and staff including acceptable use policy for applications, digital tools, and extensions.
(d) A response plan for any breach of information.
(e) A requirement for a service provider to meet or exceed standards for data protection and privacy.

Source. 2014, 68:1. 2015, 136:1, eff. Aug. 11, 2015. 2018, 252:1, 2, eff. Aug. 11, 2018. 2020, 37:15, 16, eff. July 29, 2020.

Section 189:67

    189:67 Limits on Disclosure of Information. –
I. A school shall, on request, disclose student personally-identifiable data about a student to the parent, foster parent, or legal guardian of the student under the age of 18 or to the eligible student.
II. A school or the department may disclose to a testing entity the student's name, unique pupil identifier, and birth date for the sole purpose of identifying the test taker. Except when collected in conjunction with the SAT or ACT:
(a) When such tests are used for the purpose of the state assessment as defined in RSA 193-C:6, the data shall be maintained by the testing entity in accordance with RSA 193-C:12.
(b) The data shall not be disclosed by the testing entity to any other person, organization, entity, or government or any component thereof, other than the parent or guardian, the department, school or school district, and shall not be used by the testing entity for any other purpose except as provided in RSA 193-C:12.
II-a. Students taking the SAT or ACT, when such tests are used for the purpose of the state assessment as defined in RSA 193-C:6, may opt to have all personal information destroyed by the testing entity, following the completion and verification of the test.
III. Except as provided in RSA 193-C:12 or when collected in conjunction with the SAT or ACT, when such tests are used for the purpose of the state assessment as defined in RSA 193-C:6, neither a school nor the department shall disclose or permit the disclosure of student or teacher personally-identifiable data, the unique pupil identifier, or any other data listed in RSA 189:68, I to any testing entity performing test-data analysis. The testing entity may perform the test analysis but shall not connect such data to other student data.
IV. Except as provided in RSA 193-E:5, or pursuant to a court order signed by a judge, the department shall not disclose student personally-identifiable data in the SLDS or teacher personally-identifiable data in other department data systems to any individual, person, organization, entity, government or component thereof, but may disclose such data to the school district in which the student resides or the teacher is employed.
V. Student personally-identifiable data shall be considered confidential and privileged and shall not be disclosed, directly or indirectly, as a result of administrative or judicial proceedings.
VI. The department shall report quarterly on its website the number of times it disclosed student personally-identifiable data to any person, organization entity or government or a component thereof, other than the student, his or her parents, foster parents or legal guardian and the school district, early childhood program or post-secondary institution in which the student was enrolled at the time of disclosure; the name of the recipient or entity of the disclosure; and the legal basis for the disclosure.

Source. 2014, 68:1. 2015, 71:3. 2016, 69:1, eff. July 4, 2016. 2019, 323:2, 3, eff. Oct. 12, 2019.

Section 189:68

    189:68 Student Privacy. –
I. Except as provided in RSA 193-C:12, the department shall not collect or maintain the following data in the SLDS:
(a) Name of the student's parents or other family members.
(b) Address of the student or student's family.
(c) Student email or other electronic address.
(d) Student or family telephone number.
(e) Student or parent credit card account number, insurance account number, or financial services account number.
(f) Juvenile delinquency records.
(g) Criminal records.
(h) Medical and dental insurance information.
(i) Student birth information, other than birth date and town of birth.
(j) Student social security number.
(k) Student biometric information.
(l) Student postsecondary workforce information including the employer's name, and the name of a college attended outside of New Hampshire.
(m) Height and weight.
(n) Body mass index (BMI).
(o) Political affiliations or beliefs of student or parents.
(p) Family income, excluding free and reduced lunch program eligibility as determined by Food Nutrition Services of the United States Department of Agriculture.
(q) Mother's maiden name.
(r) Parent's social security number.
(s) Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student's family.
(t) Sex behavior or attitudes.
(u) Indication of a student pregnancy.
(v) Religious or ethical practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student's parents.
II. No school shall require a student to use an identification device that uses radio frequency identification, or similar technology, to identify the student, transmit information regarding the student, or monitor or track the student without approval of the school board, after a public hearing, and without the written consent of a parent of legal guardian of an affected student which may be withheld without consequence.
III. No school shall install remote surveillance software on a school supplied computing device provided to a student without the approval of the school board, after a public hearing and without the written consent of a parent, foster parent, or legal guardian of the affected student which may be withheld without consequence. In this paragraph, "surveillance" means observing, capturing images, listening, or recording and shall not include locating equipment when there is reason to believe the equipment is about to be or has been stolen or damaged.
IV. No school shall record in any way a school classroom for the purpose of teacher evaluations without school board approval after a public hearing, and without written consent of the teacher and the parent or legal guardian of each affected student.
V. (a) Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of audio or video recordings for use with or by a child with a disability, or by such child's teacher or service provider when the child's individualized education program or accommodation plan includes audio or video recording as part of the child's special education, related services, assistive technology service, or methodology, so long as such audio or video recordings are made, used, and maintained in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1232g, and applicable state law.
(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of audio or video recordings for student instructional purposes.
(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of audio or video recordings for use in the instruction of teacher interns or student teachers after written notification to the parent or legal guardian of each affected student as to the purpose of, and privacy policy for, the recordings.

Source. 2014, 68:1. 2015, 71:4. 2016, 87:1, eff. May 19, 2016. 2019, 323:4, eff. Oct. 12, 2019.

Section 189:68-a

    189:68-a Student Online Personal Information. –
I. For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Operator" means the operator of an Internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application with actual knowledge that the site, service, or application is used primarily for K-12 school purposes and was designed and marketed for K-12 school purposes.
(b) "Covered information" means personally identifiable information or materials, in any media or format that meets any of the following:
(1) Is created or provided by a student, or the student's parent or legal guardian, to an operator in the course of the student's, parent's, or legal guardian's use of the operator's site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes.
(2) Is created or provided by an employee or agent of the K-12 school, school district, local education agency, or county office of education, to an operator.
(3) Is gathered by an operator through the operation of a site, service, or application described in subparagraph (a) and is descriptive of a student or otherwise identifies a student, including, but not limited to, information in the student's educational record or email, first and last name, home address, date of birth, telephone number, unique pupil identifier, social security number, financial or insurance account numbers, email address, other information that allows physical or online contact, discipline records, test results, special education data, juvenile dependency records, grades, evaluations, criminal records, medical records, health records, biometric information, disabilities, socioeconomic information, food purchases, political affiliations, religious information, text messages, documents, other student identifiers, search activity, photos, voice recordings, or geo-location information.
(c) "K-12 school purposes" means purposes that customarily take place at the direction of the K-12 school, teacher, or school district or aid in the administration of school activities, including, but not limited to, instruction in the classroom or at home, administrative activities, and collaboration between students, school personnel, or parents, or are for the use and benefit of the school.
(d) "Online service" includes cloud computing services, which shall comply with this section if they otherwise meet the definition of an operator.
II. (a) No operator shall knowingly engage in any of the following activities with respect to their site, service, or application:
(1) Targeted advertising on the operator's site, service, or application, or targeted advertising on any other site, service, or application when the targeting of the advertising is based upon any information, including covered information and persistent unique identifiers, that the operator has acquired because of the use of that operator's site, service, or application.
(2) Use of information, including persistent unique identifiers, created or gathered by the operator's site, service, or application, to amass a profile about a K-12 student.
(3) Sale, lease, rent, trade, or otherwise make available a student's information, including covered information. This prohibition does not apply to the purchase, merger, or other type of acquisition of an operator by another entity, provided that the operator or successor entity continues to be subject to the provisions of this section with respect to previously acquired student information.
(4) Disclosing protected information unless the disclosure is made to respond to or participate in judicial process.
(b) An operator shall:
(1) Implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the covered information, and protect that information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.
(2) Delete a student's covered information if the school or district requests deletion of data under the control of the school or district.
(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an operator from using de-identified student covered information as follows:
(1) Within the operator's site, service, or application or other sites, services, or applications owned by the operator to improve educational products.
(2) To demonstrate the effectiveness of the operator's products or services, including in its marketing.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an operator from sharing aggregated de-identified student covered information for the development and improvement of educational sites, services, or applications.
III. This section shall not apply to general audience Internet websites, general audience online services, general audience online applications, or general audience mobile applications, even if login credentials created for an operator's site, service, or application may be used to access those general audience sites, services, or applications.
IV. This section shall not limit Internet service providers from providing Internet connectivity to schools or students and their families.
V. This section shall not be construed to prohibit an operator of an Internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application from marketing educational products directly to parents so long as the marketing did not result from the use of covered information obtained by the operator through the provision of services covered under this section.
VI. This section shall not be construed to impose a duty upon a provider of an electronic store, gateway, marketplace, or other means of purchasing or downloading software or applications to review or enforce compliance with this section on those applications or software.
VII. This section shall not be construed to impose a duty upon a provider of an interactive computer service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. section 230, to review or enforce compliance with this section by third-party content providers.
VIII. This section shall not impede the ability of students to download, export, or otherwise save or maintain their own student created data or documents.
IX. The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

Source. 2015, 128:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Commission to Study Sexual Abuse Prevention Education in Elementary and Secondary Schools

Section 189:69

    189:69 Repealed by 2014, 143:2, eff. July 1, 2015. –

Educational Institution Policies on Social Media

Section 189:70

    189:70 Educational Institution Policies on Social Media. –
I. An educational institution shall not:
(a) Require or request a student or prospective student to disclose or to provide access to a personal social media account through the student's or prospective student's user name, password, or other means of authentication that provides access.
(b) Require or request a student or prospective student to access a personal social media account in the presence of any employee of the educational institution in a manner that enables the employee to observe the contents of the personal social media account.
(c) Compel a student or prospective student to add anyone to his or her list of contacts associated with a personal social media account or require, request, suggest, or cause a student or prospective student to change the privacy settings associated with a personal social media account.
(d) Take or threaten to take any action against a student or prospective student to discipline or prohibit such student or prospective student from participation in curricular or co-curricular activities for refusal to disclose information or to take actions specified in subparagraphs (a)-(c).
(e) Fail or refuse to admit a prospective student as a result of the refusal by the prospective student to disclose information or to take actions specified in subparagraphs (a)-(c).
II. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit an educational institution from adopting a policy which permits:
(a) Conducting an investigation, without requiring or requesting access to a personal social media account through username, password, or other means of authentication, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with applicable law or educational institution's policies against student misconduct based on the receipt of specific information about activity associated with a student's social media account. In the case of a minor, the educational institution may request the student's parent or guardian to provide specific data from the student's social media account.
(b) Revoking a student's access, in whole or in part, to equipment or computer networks owned or operated by the educational institution.
(c) Monitoring the usage of the educational institution's computer network.
(d) Requesting a student voluntarily share a printed copy of a specific communication from the student's social media account that is relevant to an ongoing investigation.
III. This subdivision shall not apply to personal social media accounts that are created or provided by the educational institution if the student has been provided advance notice that the account may be monitored at any time by employees of the educational institution.
IV. In this section:
(a) "Educational institution" means a public or private school, college, university, or other institution that offers students, participants, or trainees an organized course of study or training that is academic, technical, vocational, trade-oriented, or designed to prepare a person for employment. "Educational institution" shall not include a military school.
(b) "Social media account" means an account, service, or profile on a social networking website that is used by a current or prospective student primarily for personal communications. This definition shall not apply to an account opened or provided by an educational institution and intended to be used solely on behalf of the educational institution.

Source. 2015, 270:1, eff. Sept. 19, 2015.

Military Uniforms

Section 189:71

    189:71 Military Uniform. –
A student shall have the right to wear a dress uniform issued to the student by a branch of the United States armed forces while participating in the graduation ceremony for the student's high school if that student meets the following requirements:
I. The student has fulfilled all of the requirements for receiving a high school diploma in the state of New Hampshire and the school district and is otherwise eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony.
II. The student has completed basic training for and is an active member of a branch of the United States armed forces.

Source. 2016, 32:2, eff. July 1, 2016.

Child Abuse or Neglect Information

Section 189:72

    189:72 Child Abuse or Neglect Information. – The school board of each public school and chartered public school shall post in a clearly visible location in a public area of the school that is readily accessible to students a sign that is provided in an electronic or printed form by the division for children, youth, and families, and that contains the telephone number operated by the New Hampshire division for children, youth, and families of the department of health and human services, to receive reports of child abuse or neglect and instructions on how to access the division for children, youth, and families website.

Source. 2017, 245:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2017.

Family and Medical Leave Coverage

Section 189:73

    189:73 Family and Medical Leave Coverage. – A school district employee who has been employed by the school district for at least 12 months and who has worked at least 900 hours in the previous 12-month period shall be eligible for family and medical leave under the same terms and conditions as leave provided to eligible employees under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-3), 29 U.S.C. section 2611, et seq., as amended.

Source. 2019, 346:324, eff. June 30, 2019.