Annual Notifications

Current federal and state laws require the following information to be posted on an annual basis.

Child Find Assurance Statement

Child Find activities are provided by Lowell Area Schools to assure we are meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). IDEA requires the evaluation and identification of all students ages 0-25 who are suspected of having a disability that may impact their educational performance and who may require special education and/or related services. This includes students with disabilities who are homeless or are wards of the state and children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of the disability. If you feel your child may have a disability that interferes with their ability to succeed educationally, please contact your child’s building principal or the Special Education Office at (616) 987-2516.

Concussion Information

The Michigan Sports Concussion Law went into full effect on June 30th, 2013, and was recently amended in October of 2017.  The sports concussion legislation requires all coaches, employees, volunteers and other adults involved with youth athletics to complete concussion awareness training every three years, or more frequently as determined by DHHS.  The law also requires Lowell Area Schools to provide educational materials on sports concussions to parents/guardians and obtain signatures acknowledging receipt to keep on record.  Lowell Area Schools provides the Parent & Athlete Concussion Information Sheet to all new enrollees to obtain the signed acknowledgement.  We encourage parents and student-athletes to visit the External LinkMichigan Department of Health and Human Services website to read about the new law and for additional information.

Discrimination Notice

It shall continue to be the policy of the Lowell Area Schools to comply with all federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination  and  with  all  requirements  and  regulations  of the U.S. Department of Education. It is the policy of the Lowell Board of Education that no person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, equal pay, disability, genetic information, sex, or marital status shall be discriminated against, excluded from participation in, denied the  benefits of, or otherwise  be subjected to discrimination in any program or activity to which it  is responsible for or for which it receives financial  assistance  from the U.S. Department of  Education.

All students shall have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from all academic and extra-curricular activities and services. Any questions concerning Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis  of sex: Grievance procedures for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972; Title II of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, should be directed to: John Zielinski, Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator , 300 High Street, Lowell, Ml 49331, (616) 987-2512 .

Inquiries related to Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap, should be directed to: Mari Price, Sec. 504 Coordinator, 300 High Street, Lowell, Ml  49331, (616) 987-2516.

 

District School Improvement Plan

Emergency Drills

Freedom of Information

Pursuant to Section 4 of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.234, (the “FOIA” or the “Act”) the Lowell Area School District, (the “District”), issues this written public summary of the following:

How to Submit Written Requests to the District
The District requires individuals or entities to submit FOIA requests in writing. FOIA requests may be mailed to the following address:

FOIA Coordinator
Lowell Area Schools
300 High Street Lowell, MI 49331

An individual or entity may also make a request in person at the Runciman Building (District Administration Building), or email a request to jzielinski@lowellschools.com or fax a request to (616) 987-2511.

Please review the following checklist to ensure a timely and accurate response to a request: a. Make sure the correspondence is addressed to the “FOIA Coordinator” and includes the proper address and/or fax number.
b. Clearly state that the request is being made for a public record(s) pursuant to the “Freedom of Information Act” or the “FOIA.”
c. Describe the public record(s) requested in sufficient detail so that it can be more easily identified and located.
d. Describe the subject matter of the public record(s) requested and, if possible, the approximate date that the public record(s) was created.
e. Clearly state the manner in which you prefer the District to provide the public records, such as: paper copies, non-paper physical media, email, etc. (please note, all requests must be within the technological capabilities of the District).
f. You can stipulate that public records be provided on non-paper, physical media, electronically mailed, or otherwise electronically provided in lieu of paper copies. If the requested public records are available on the Lowell Area School’s website and the response includes the website address, then any request for paper format or other form, such as electronic form, may result in additional charges.

How to Understand the District’s Written Responses
When the FOIA Coordinator receives a written request for a public record, the FOIA Coordinator, or his or her designee, shall, in not more than five (5) business days after the District receives the request, respond to the request in one of the following ways:
a. Grant the request.
b. Issue a written notice to the requestor denying the request.
c. Grant the request in part and issue a written notice to the requestor denying the request in part.
d. Issue a written notice extending, for not more than ten (10) business days, the period during which the District shall respond to the request.

Deposit Requirements
If the estimated cost of responding to a request exceeds $50.00, the District may require a good faith deposit of 50% to be submitted before the request is processed. Once the good faith deposit is submitted, the District will process the request. The balance of the cost of the request must be paid before copies may be picked up, mailed, or delivered. Good faith deposits and fees charged for responding to FOIA requests may be mailed to the following address:

FOIA Coordinator
Lowell Area Schools
300 High Street Lowell, MI 49331

Fee Calculations
Please review the PDF DocumentFee Itemization Form, which provides a line-by-line summary and explanation of the fees that the District may charge in response to a request, pursuant to Section 4 of the Act (MCL 15.234(1)).

Avenues for Challenge and Appeal
If the requestor believes the fee estimated or charged for the request exceeds the amount permitted under the District’s procedures and guidelines or Section 4 of the Act, the requestor must submit to the Superintendent a written appeal for a fee reduction that specifically states the word "appeal" and identifies why the requestor believes the required fee exceeds the amount permitted under the District’s procedures and guidelines or Section 4 of the Act. If the requestor disagrees with the District’s final determination, the requestor may, after exhausting internal administrative remedies, commence a civil action in Circuit Court where the Lowell Area School District is located for a fee reduction. The civil action must be filed within 45 days of the District’s final determination to deny a request pursuant to Section 10(1)(b) of the Act. 3.

Any written response denying a request for a public record, in whole or in part, is a final determination to deny the request or portion of that request. A requestor may file an appeal with the Superintendent or may seek judicial review of the denial, pursuant to Section 10 of the Act (MCL 15.240). A requestor may receive attorneys’ fees and damages pursuant to the Act if the Court determines that the District has not complied with Section 5 (MCL 15.235) of the Act and orders the disclosure of all or a portion of a public record. 

For additional information please review our PDF DocumentPolicies and Guidelines.

Grievance Procedure

TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
TITLE IX OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENT ACT OF 1972
TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT OF 1990
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
AGE DISCRIMINATION ACT OF 1975

Section I
Any person believing that the Lowell Area Schools or any part of the school organization has inadequately applied the principles and/or regulations of (1) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (2) Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, (3) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (4) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and (5) Title II of the Americans with Disability Act Rights of 1990 may bring forward a complaint, which shall be referred to as a grievance, to the local Civil Rights Coordinator at the following address:

Lowell Area Schools
300 High Street
Lowell, MI 49331

Section II
The person who believes a valid basis for grievance exists shall discuss the grievance informally and on a verbal basis with the local Civil Rights Coordinator, who shall in turn investigate the complaint and reply with an answer to the complaint with in five (5) business days.  The complainant may initiate format procedures according to the following steps.

Step 1 - A written statement of the grievance signed by the complainant shall be submitted to the Local Civil Rights Coordinator within five (5) business days of receipt of answers to the informal complaint.  The coordinator shall further investigate the matters of grievance and reply in writing to the complainant within five (5) days.
Step 2 - A complainant wishing to appeal the decision of the Local Civil Rights Coordinator may submit a signed statement of appeal to the Superintendent of Schools within five (5) business days after a receipt of the conclusion, and respond in writing to the complainant with ten (10) business days.
Step 3 - If unsatisfied, the complainant may appeal through a signed, written statement to the Board of Education within five (5) business days of receiving the superintendent’s response in step two.  In an attempt to resolve the grievance, the Board of Education shall meet with the concerned parties and their representative within forty days of the receipt of such an appeal.  A copy of the Board’s disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten (10) days of this meeting.
Step 4 - If at this point the grievance has not been satisfactorily settled, further appeal may be made to the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202.

Inquiries concerning the nondiscriminatory policy may be directed to:

Director, Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education,
Washington, D.C. 20202

The local Coordinator, on request, will provide a copy of the district’s grievance procedure and investigate all complaints in accordance with this procedure.

A copy of each of the Acts and the regulations on which this notice is based may be found in the Civil Rights coordinator’s office, which is located at our Administrative Building at the above address.

 

Homeless Information

If your family lives in any of the following situations:  shelter, motel, vehicle, campground, on the street, or other inadequate accommodations, or doubled up with friends/relatives because you cannot afford housing, contact: 

Nate Fowler, Homeless Coordinator
(616) 987-2524.

External LinkMcKinney-Vento Information

Notification of Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal [or appropriate official], clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. [Optional] Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.  [NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or eligible student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.]
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Personal Curriculum

What is a personal curriculum?
The personal curriculum (PC) is a process to modify specific Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) high school credit requirements and/or content expectations based on a student’s unique learning needs and post-secondary goals. It is designed to serve students who want to accelerate or go beyond the MMC requirements and students who need to individualize MMC requirements to earn a high school diploma.

Who may request a personal curriculum?

  • The parent/guardian of a student for whom a personal curriculum is sought
  • The student, if the student is of the age of majority
  • An emancipated minor 
  • A teacher who is currently teaching the student (who currently teaches in, or whose expertise is in, a subject area proposed to be modified by the PC, or who is determined by the principal to have qualifications otherwise relevant to developing a PC)
  • A school counselor or school employee qualified to act in a counseling role.

If the request for a PC is made by the student’s parent/legal guardian or, if the student is at least age 18 or is an emancipated minor, by the student, the school district shall develop a PC for the student pursuant to the parameters outlined in 380.1278b(5).

When may a personal curriculum be requested?
If the student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the personal curriculum request may be submitted prior to 9th grade. If the student does not have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the personal curriculum request may be requested after the student has completed 9th grade.

Quality Control Statement

Indoor Air Quality
Lowell Area Schools has taken a proactive approach to indoor air quality at all of our school buildings by using monthly walk-through assessments.  Observation is made for water incursion and fungal growth, as well as for odor detection.

Asbestos Management
Our school has implemented an asbestos management plan that was approved by the Michigan Department of Public Health on July 31, 1989.  This plan details the response actions that the district has taken regarding asbestos-containing materials found in our schools.  The plan is available for inspection at our Administration Office, 300 High Street, during normal business hours.  We are confident that the proper management of asbestos-containing building materials will protect human health and the environment.  Please direct questions or concerns regarding asbestos to our asbestos program coordinator, Steve Turnbull, (616) 987-2514.

Pesticides
Lowell Area Schools utilizes an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to control of pests.  IPM is a pest management system that utilizes all suitable techniques in a total pest management system with the intent of preventing pests from reaching unacceptable levels or to reduce an existing population to an acceptable level.  Pest management techniques emphasize sanitation, pest exclusion and biological controls.  One of the objective of using an IPM approach is to reduce or eliminate the need for chemical applications of pesticides.  However, certain situations may require the need for pesticides to be utilized. As required by State of Michigan law, you will receive advance notice regarding the non-emergency application of a pesticide such as an insecticide, fungicide or herbicide, other than a bait or gel formulation, that is made to the school grounds or buildings during this school year.  Please note that notification is not given for the use of sanitizers, germicides, disinfectants or anti-microbial cleaners.  In certain emergencies, such as an infestation of stinging insects, pesticides may be applied without prior notice to prevent injury to students, but you will be notified following any such application. 

Qualification of Staff

Lowell Area Schools, as an educational institution that receives funds under Title I Part A., hereby notifies all parents that you may request information regarding the professional qualifications of your child’s classroom teacher including:

  • whether the teacher has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade level(s) and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
  • whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
  • the baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree;
  • whether your child is provided services by Title I para-educators and if so, their qualification.

Those requesting this information may do so by contacting:

Chief Financial Officer and Personnel Director
300 High Street, Lowell, Michigan 49331
(616) 987-2512 

Student Accident Insurance

As a service to students and their families, Lowell Area Schools is making available a student accident insurance plan through FIRST AGENCY, INC for any enrolled child in grades Pre-K thru 12 at a nominal cost.  Due to the significant total cost to the district, we financially cannot provide any type of health or accident insurance for injuries incurred by your child at school or during participation in interscholastic sports.  The most basic plan covers your child while s/he is at school and involved in supervised events (classroom, halls, playground, etc.), excluding interscholastic sports.  This plan is $62 for the year.  Many other plan purchase options would provide additional coverage for up to 24-hours including interscholastic sports, except grades 9-12 football, for an annual maximum amount of $290.  Grade 9-12 football participation coverage is available as a stand-alone policy for $375 for the 2018-2019 season.

This plan will provide benefits for medical expenses incurred due to an accident.  Many health plans have increased the amount of out-of-pocket expenses with higher deductibles and co-pays a family would incur with an accident needing medical attention.  Deductibles and co-pays in your current health plan require you to pay out of pocket costs first, while this plan allows benefits to be applied to your deductible or co-pays.  This plan would be a secondary plan to any other insurance covering your child.  If you have no other insurance, this plan will become your primary accident plan.  If you have no insurance at all for your child, this is an opportunity to provide at least a base level of coverage during the school day. 

For more information, or to purchase coverage on-line (either by printing and mailing an enrollment form with a check, or with Visa or Mastercard), contact External LinkFirst Agency  then follow directions by choosing “Michigan” in the STATE box and typing Lowell in the “SCHOOL DISTRICT” box.  Lowell Area Schools makes no warranty or guarantee on this insurance plan and is not responsible in the administering of benefits.  We are not an agent of FIRST AGENCY, INC and receive no compensation of any kind or form for offering this service or any enrollments generated.  Coverage does not become effective until the later of the date premium is received at First Agency, Inc. or the 1st day of school.  All questions regarding this coverage should be directed to First Agency, Inc. at 269) 381-6630, or toll free (800) 243-6298.

 

Student Directory Information

No Child Left Behind (Section 9528) requires student directory information be made available to military recruiters and institutions of higher education.  Under the family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student or his/her parents may request that information not be released without prior written consent.  FERPA Requirements:  Lowell Area Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information defined as a student’s name, address, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.  However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.  Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA.  The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a newsletter, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.  Because of the difficulty of keeping a multitude of mailing lists, most schools will honor a parent or student’s blocking request by blocking the release to any and all requesters.  Parents and students will thus need to know if blocking the release of information for one purpose will result in a student’s information being blocked for all purposes.  To make this request, please contact your student’s school office in order to opt out of directory information release.

School Improvement Plan

Water Quality Report

The Amendments to Act 1976 PA 399, Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, R 325.1016 stipulates that school districts must disclose information regarding water quality in our school buildings that are not supplied by municipal water supplies.  The Lowell Area Schools conducted the required water testing at all school buildings in the 2017-2018 school year.  All water samples taken show results in our buildings to be compliant with Act 1976 PA 399, Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, and R 325.10416.  Questions can be directed to Steven Turnbull, Director of Facilities at (616) 987-2514.

Wellness

Lowell Area Schools makes a commitment to create a healthy school environment for its students and staff.  This commitment is important for the development of healthy eating habits, as well as essential to developing healthy lifestyles.  These developing lifestyles will be the foundation of maintaining health and wellness throughout one’s life.  During the school year, staff and children are encouraged to walk more and eat healthier.

Through the adoption by the Board of Education of Lowell Area Schools’ Wellness Policy, healthy lifestyle messages will continue to be integrated into the school day through physical education and health and nutrition education.  Parents and staff will be encouraged to celebrate birthdays and holidays using healthy snacks and not to use food as a reward system.  Supporting healthy fundraisers is another way to create awareness about good nutrition and its benefits for all persons.  These positive messages about nutrition and the importance of regular daily exercise will give students the tools they need to adopt a healthy lifestyle for themselves as part of our community.  Together as we work toward healthier and more active lives, our collective support of this program will enhance the living environment of our community.