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6163.4 Therapy Animal


Northfield, New Jersey Monitored


Policy Other Reasons


The school district supports the use of therapy animals for the benefit of its students subject to the conditions of this policy. Benefits from working or visiting with a therapy animal include reduced stress, improved physical and emotional well-being, low blood pressure, decreased anxiety, improved self-esteem and normalization of the environment, increasing the likelihood of successful academic achievement by the student. Examples of activities that students may engage in with a therapy animal include petting and or hugging the animal, speaking to the animal, giving the animal simple commands that the animal is trained to respond to, and reading to the animal.

The board shall approve all therapy animals permitted to interact with the students of this district. The owner or organization shall provide proof of:


Copy of an insurance policy that provides liability coverage for each project for the work of the handler and therapy animal while the two are on school district property in the amount of $1,000,000. The policy shall name the Board of Education as additionally insured.


Proof of registration as a therapy animal handler with the individual therapy animal to be used. Such registration shall be from an organization that requires an evaluation of the therapy animal and handler prior to registration and at least every two years.


Proof from a licensed veterinarian that the therapy animal is in good health and has been immunized against diseases common to animals. Such vaccinations shall be kept current and up to date at all times.

The parents/guardians and students shall be notified prior to the first visit. This notification shall request that the parent/guardian provide information about pet allergies, fears and anxieties related to animals, and any other concerns. Appropriate precautions shall be taken when concerns are expressed to protect the student and prevent disruption to the student’s educational program.

Adopted: December 16, 2019

NJSBA Review/Update:


Key Words

Animal, Animals in the Classroom


Cross References: *5141 Student health

*5141.1 Accidents

*5141.2 Illness

*5141.21 Administration of medication

*5142 Pupil Safety

6000 Concepts and roles in instruction

*6010 Goals and objectives

*6140 Curriculum adoption

*6142 Subject fields

*6145 Extracurricular activities

*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.


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