Policy 3220


The District recognizes the importance of service animals and affirms its commitment to allowing the use of these animals by individuals with disabilities on school grounds to facilitate their full participation in and equal access to District services, programs, and activities. Service animals are distinguished from emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals. The District will comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations related to service animals. 

Additionally, the District permits the use of therapy dogs on school grounds subject to the conditions of Policy 8251. 

Service Animals

A service animal is defined as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. Psychiatric service animals that have been trained to take a specific action to help avoid an anxiety attack or to reduce its effects, however, may qualify as a service animal.

Where reasonable, the Board also allows the use of miniature horses on school grounds by individuals with disabilities. This use will only be permitted where a miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks to benefit an individual with a disability. The use of miniature horses by individuals with disabilities is subject to the considerations and restrictions permitted by federal and/or state law.

The Superintendent or designee may create procedures, regulations, and/or building-specific rules regarding the use of service animals and miniature horses on school grounds by individuals with disabilities.

Policy References:

28 CFR §§ 35.10 and 35.136
Civil Rights Law §§ 47, 47-a, and 47-b
Executive Law § 296

Refer also to Policy 8251 – The Use of Therapy Dogs in School

Adopted: 6/22/99
Revised: 9/6/22, 2/28/23

Policy 3220