5500 - Student Records

 

Adoption Date: 11/9/2000, Revised: 3/14/2013, 2/13/14, 7/9/15, 7/21/15, 04/14/2016, 09/14/2017, 12/13/2018

5000 - Students

5500 Student Records 

The Board of Education recognizes its legal responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of student records. As part of this responsibility, eligible students and parents/guardians have the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend education records and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the education records. These rights shall be consistent with state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and its implementing regulations.

The Board also recognizes its responsibility for the retention and disposition of the District’s student records in accordance with Schedule ED-1 as adopted by the Board in policy 1120.

The District will use reasonable methods to provide access to student education records only to those authorized under the law and to authenticate the identity of the requestor. The District will document requests for and release of records, and retain the documentation in accordance with law. Furthermore, pursuant to Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2014, the District will execute agreements with third-party contractors who collect, process, store, organize, manage or analyze student personally identifiable information (PII) to verify that the contractors comply with the law in using appropriate means to safeguard the data.

The Superintendent of Schools shall be responsible for all requirements under law and the Commissioner’s regulations are carried out by the District.

Definitions

Authorized Representative: an authorized representative is any individual or entity designated by a State or local educational authority or a Federal agency headed by the Secretary, the Comptroller General or the Attorney General to carry out audits, evaluations, or enforcement or compliance activities relating to educational programs. 

Education Record: records, in any format, directly related to the student and maintained by the District or by a party acting on behalf of the District, except:

(a)  Records in the sole possession of the individual who made them and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute (e.g. memory joggers);

(b) Records of the District’s law enforcement unit;

(c)  Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.

Eligible Student: a student who has reached the age of 18 or is attending postsecondary school.

Legitimate educational interest: a school official has a legitimate educational interest if he/she needs to review a student’s record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.

Personally identifiable information: information that would allow a reasonable person in the school or its community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty. Such data might include social security number, student identification number, parent’s name and/or address, a biometric record, etc.

School official: a person who has a legitimate educational interest in a student record who is employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a member of the Board of Education; a person or company with whom the District 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 performing his or her tasks. Volunteers may be considered school officials for purposes of access to personally identifiable information if they are under the direct control of the District, are trained in the requirements of law under this policy, have a legitimate educational interest, and the District uses reasonable methods to limit access to only the information that is necessary to fulfill their volunteer duties. Volunteers may only access the information necessary for the assignment, and must not disclose student information to anyone other than a school official with a legitimate educational interest. The building principal shall provide adequate training on confidentiality of students’ records.

Third party contractor: is any person or entity, other than an educational agency, that receives student data or teacher or principal data from an educational agency pursuant to a contract or other written agreement for purposes of providing services to such educational agency, including but not limited to data management or storage services, conducting studies or audit or evaluation of publicly funded programs.

Annual Notification

At the beginning of each school year, the District shall publish a notification that informs parents, guardians and students currently in attendance of their rights under FERPA and New York State Law and the procedures for exercising those rights. A ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security’ will be posted on the District website and included in any agreements with third-party contractors. This notice and ‘Bills Of Rights’ may be published in a newspaper, handbook or other school bulletin or publication. This notice and ‘Bill of Rights’ will also be provided to parents, guardians, and students who enroll during the school year.

The notice and Parents’ Bill of Rights will include a statement that the parent/guardian or eligible student has a right to:

1. inspect and review the student's education records;

2. request that records be amended so they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights;

3.  consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and

4. file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging failure of the District to comply with FERPA and its regulations; and/or file a complaint regarding a possible data breech by a third party contractor with the District and/or the New York State Education Department’s Chief Privacy Officer for failure to comply with state law.

The annual notice and Parents’ Bill of Rights will inform parents/guardians and students:

1.  that it is the District’s policy to disclose personally identifiable information from student records, without consent, to other school officials within the District whom the District has determined to have legitimate educational interests. The notice will define “school official” and “legitimate educational interest”.

2.  that, upon request, the District will disclose education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks to or intends to enroll or is actually enrolled.

3.  that personally identifiable information will be released to third party authorized representatives for the purposes of educational program audit, evaluation, enforcement or compliance purposes.

4.  that the District, at its discretion, releases directory information (see definition below) without prior consent, unless the parent/guardian or eligible student has exercised his/her right to prohibit release of the information without prior written consent. The District will not sell directory information.

5.  that, upon request, the District will disclose a high school student’s name, address and telephone number to military recruiters and institutions of higher learning unless the parent or secondary school student exercises his/her right to prohibit release of the information without prior written consent.

6. of the procedure for exercising the right to inspect, review and request amendment of student records.

7. that the District will provide information as a supplement to the ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ about third parties with which the District contracts that use or have access to personally identifiable student data.  

The District may also release student education records, or the personally identifiable information contained within, without consent, where permitted under federal law and regulation.

The District shall effectively notify parents/guardians and students who have a primary or home language other than English.

In the absence of the parent or secondary school student exercising his/her right to opt out of the release of information to the military, the District is required, under federal law, to release the information indicated in number five (5) above.

Directory Information

The District has the option under FERPA of designating certain categories of student information as “directory information.” The Board directs that “directory information” include a student’s:

·       Name

·       ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by a student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems (only if the ID cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the student’s identity)

·       Address (except information about a homeless student’s living situation, as described below)

·       Telephone number

·       Date and place of birth

·       Major course of study

·       Participation in school activities or sports

·       Weight and height if a member of an athletic team

·       Dates of attendance

·       Degrees and awards received

·       Most recent school attended

·       Grade level

·       Photograph

·       E-mail address

·       Enrollment status

Information about a homeless student’s living situation shall be treated as a student educational record, and shall not be deemed directory information. A parent/guardian or eligible student may elect, but cannot be compelled, to consent to release of a student’s address information in the same way they would for other student education records. The District’s McKinney-Vento liaison shall take reasonable measures to provide homeless students with beneficial activities. The District permits the parent/guardian to select the school’s address as the student’s address for purposes of directory information.

Social security numbers or other personally identifiable information will not be considered directory information.

Students who opt out of having directory information shared are still required to disclose their student ID cards.

Once the proper FERPA notification is given by the District, a parent/guardian or student will have 14 days to notify the District of any objections he/she has to any of the “directory information” designations. If no objection is received, the District may release this information, at the discretion of the Superintendent, without prior approval of the parent/guardian or student for the release. The purposes for which directory information may be released include, and shall be limited to, placing the information in school newsletters, school yearbooks, school-sponsored websites, and school sports programs, and disclosure to the media for school purposes to celebrate the academic and extra-curricular achievements of individual students.

Once the student or parent/guardian provides the “opt-out”, it will remain in effect after the student is no longer enrolled in the School District.

The District may elect to provide a single notice regarding both directory information and information disclosed to military recruiters and institutions of higher education.

Policy References:
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, as amended, 20 USC 1232-g; 34 CFR Part 99
No Child Left Behind Act, 20 USC §7908
10 USC §503 as amended by §544 of the National Defense Reauthorization Act for FY 2002
Education Law §§ 2-a; 2-b; 2-c; 2-d; 225
Public Officers Law §87(2)(a)
Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Article 57-A
8 NYCRR Part 185.12 (Appendix I) Records Retention and Disposition, Schedule ED-1 for Use by School Districts and BOCES
“Guidance for Reasonable Methods and Written Agreements,” http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/reasonablemtd_agreement.pdf
Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security, July 29, 2014
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/docs/arents-bill-of-rights.pdf
Family Policy Compliance Office website:
http:/www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

Policy Cross References:
 » 1120 - School District Records
 »   4321 - Programs for Students with Disabilities
 »   5550   - Student Privacy
      5151 – Homeless Children