ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud area school district will discuss a new policy for service animals in schools during their Wednesday night board meeting.

The purpose of the policy is to set up procedures for the use of service animals by students, employees and visitors in school buildings and grounds.

A service animal means any dog or miniature horse that's trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability.

Some examples of work or tasks a service animal can do include: helping individuals who are blind, alerting individuals who are deaf to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, helping an individual during a seizure, and retrieving medication.

District 742 executive director of student services/special education Carol Potter says the district currently has two service animals in schools and that things are going well at those sites.

Under the proposed policy, handlers or trainers will be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all areas of school district property where members of the public, students and employees are allowed to go.

There will be several requirements for all service animals. They must be under the control of its handler, trained to do work or tasks for the individual, housebroken and properly vaccinated.

Prior to bringing a service animal to school, a parent/guardian will be asked to meet with a planning team to prepare for integration of the service animal into the school environment.