Eighth-graders at Stella Schola Middle School received a rare visit with renowned fantasy-fiction author Terry Brooks on January 22.
- Student Records and Files
- Student Records. As used in this policy statement "student records" shall include any and all official records, files, and data directly related to a student, including all material incorporated into a student's cumulative record folder. These records include, but are not necessarily limited to, identifying data, academic work completed, level of achievement grades, standardized achievement test scores), attendance data, scores on standardizes intelligence, aptitude, and psychological tests, interest inventory results, health data, family background information, teacher or counselor ratings and observations, and verified reports of serious or recurrent behavior patterns.
- Cumulative Record. A cumulative record shall be maintained for each student from his/her entrance into school through the twelfth grade. The cumulative record shall consist of:
- Personal and family data including certification of name and date of birth,
- Test data, such as aptitude, interest, and achievement tests,
- Appropriate health status reports, such as medical reports, speech and hearing evaluations,
- Permanent record cards, and,
- Attendance records.
- Supplementary Records. Supplementary records are those that contain additional information deemed helpful toward promoting optimum student progress and usually require interpretation by the writer or an otherwise appropriate professional person, e.g., anecdotal reports, pupil questionnaires, records of conferences, copies of correspondence with parents and others concerning the child, other records which may contribute to understanding the student such as psychological and medical reports, etc. Such records may originate in a non-school agency with written consent from the student's parents.
- Custody of Student Records
At each place where student records are kept, the school district shall designate one or more school officials who shall be custodians responsible for the maintaining of student records in accordance with the provisions of this policy. The custodians shall permit disclosure of information in student records only in the manner and only to the persons or entities specifically authorized herein.
- Parents' Access to Records
- Parents have the right to know whatever the school district knows about their children. Parents of students who are or have been in attendance in the school district will, upon written request to the administrators at the school attended by their child, be afforded an opportunity to inspect and review the student's records. The review shall occur promptly at the office of the custodian of the records at a mutually agreed upon time, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been received. Where records include information on more than one student, the parents of the student are entitled to review that part of the record which pertains to their child. This right extends to any natural or adoptive parent of the student, to any legal guardian of the student, and to an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian. Requests for information contained in the student's records shall not be honored when made by a student's relatives or immediate family members except with written consent of a parent, legal guardian, or individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian.
- If the parents believe that information in a student record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the parent may request in writing a meeting with school administrators for the purpose of amending the student's record. The school administrator shall decide whether to amend the record within a reasonable time of receipt of the request. Every effort shall be made to settle disputes informally regarding the contents of student records. If the school administrators decide not to amend the records of the student, they shall so notify the parents and advise them of the right to the hearing provided for in subsection c, hereof.
- The parents of a student, upon written request, shall be given an opportunity for a hearing before the Superintendent or designee if their request to amend the records is denied or if the school administrators do not resolve the dispute within 30 school days. Such hearing shall be held within a reasonable time following the receipt of the request, and the Superintendent or designee shall render a decision in writing within a reasonable period time after the hearing.
- If, as a result of the hearing, the information in the challenged record is found to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the school administrators shall amend the records accordingly and so inform the parents in writing. If the determination made after the hearing is unsatisfactory to the parents, the parents shall have the right to insert into the challenged records a written explanation or comment regarding the content of such records.
- Upon the adoption of this policy, and thereafter on an annual basis, the school district shall take such steps as are reasonably likely to inform parents and students eighteen years of age or older of:
- The existence of this policy and their rights thereunder;
- The location of student records and the title and address of the custodian of such records;
- The right to file complaints concerning alleged failures to comply with this policy; and
- The offices at which copies of this policy may be obtained.
- The right to inspect and review records shall include the right to obtain copies of the records where failure to provide such copies would effectively prevent the parents or students eighteen years of age or older from exercising the right to inspect and review. A reasonable fee, not to exceed $.15 per page, may be charged for providing copies of student records. The school administrators may deny a request for copies of a student record, without impairing the right to inspect and review, where they determine that providing such copies would be detrimental to educational interests.
- Students Access to Records
- For students under eighteen years of age, information from standard records shall be communicated to students upon request. Information contained in supplementary records shall be communicated to such students when a request is accompanied by parental consent. Students under eighteen years of age shall not have the right to examine those records, data or test results for which the Superintendent has determined direct student access may be detrimental to educational interests.
- Whenever a student has attained eighteen years of age, the permission or consent required of and the rights accorded to the parents with respect to student records shall thereafter be required of an accorded to the student, except that information from student records may be released to the parents of a student aged eighteen years or older if the student is a dependent of the parents. For the purposes of this policy "dependent" shall be defined as in Sec. 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
- Access by School Personnel
It is the policy of the school district to permit access to student records to school officials having a legitimate educational interest. Teachers, administrators and educational staff associates providing services to the student during the current year have such an interest and shall be permitted access to both standard and supplementary records. Other district certificated staff who may be involved in decision-making relative to a student shall have access to the student's records in instances where that information would have a bearing on that staff member's decision.
There shall be a log kept in all schools which shall identify the date of access to records, the person requesting access and the nature of the examination.
- Other School Districts and Educational Institutions
Other schools or school districts in which the student intends to enroll shall be provided with a transcript of the contents of the student's standard records upon receipt of an official request from the school district. A reasonable attempt to notify the parents of the student of the transfer of records shall be made except when such transfer is initiated by the parents.
Upon receipt of written request from the student or parents a transcript shall be sent to an institution of post-secondary education in which the student seeks to enroll. The student's parents shall be notified of the request and shall be sent a copy of the record if desired when a request is from other than the parents.
Supplementary record information, with appropriate interpretation, shall be provided to other school districts with written consent of parents or legal guardian provided the student is younger than eighteen years of age. Students eighteen years of age or older may provide their own written consent for such release of supplementary record material.
- Federal and State Agencies
Without written consent of parents the school district may provide access to and release data from, student records to authorized representatives of federal and state educational agencies in connection with the evaluation or audit of federally supported educational programs, or in connection with the enforcement of federal legal requirements. Except when collection of personally identifiable information is specifically authorized by federal law, such data shall be released only if the agency involved shall protect the data in a manner which shall not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons outside the agency, and if the data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for such evaluation, audit or enforcement of federal legal requirements.
- State and Local Authorities
The school district may release data from student records to state and local officials and authorities without written consent of parents when such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statutes.
- Accrediting and Educational Research Agencies
The school district may release to accrediting agencies information from student records needed to perform their accrediting functions. Such information also may be released to agencies or institutions which are conducting studies for the purpose of developing predictive tests or improving instruction, providing that such studies are conducted so as not to permit personal identification of students and their parents by persons outside the agency or institution and that the information shall be destroyed when no longer needed for such studies.
In connection with an emergency, information from student records may be released to appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or other persons.
- Other Non-School Agencies
Non-school agencies or persons, such as employers, colleges and various professionals shall be provided with appropriate information contained in the standard or supplementary records, with any necessary interpretation provided by qualified school personnel, only upon written request or consent of parents, legal guardians, or, where applicable, the senior high school student (if eighteen years of age or older).
Any court order, or order of a public officer or an administrative agency having the power of subpoena, directing the release of information concerning students shall be honored in accordance with legal provisions. The school district shall make a reasonable effort to notify parents and students of all such orders and subpoenas in advance of compliance therewith.
If information concerning students is requested by public officers or agencies, the request must be made in writing to the custodian of the records. Unless the request is pursuant to a court order or subpoena, or is within the provisions of Sections 7-11 above, the information shall be provided only if the written consent of the parent, guardian, or student (if he/she is eighteen years of age or older) has been given.
- Parents' Written Consent
Whenever student records are furnished with the parents' consent, or with the student's consent if the student is eighteen years of age or older, the consent shall be in writing and specify the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and the party or class of parties to whom release is to be made. A copy of the records to be released shall be furnished to the student's parents and to the student if desired by the parents.
- Procedure for Release of Information
All persons, agencies, or organizations desiring access to student records shall be required to sign a written request. The request shall specifically indicate the legitimate educational or other interest that such person, agency, or organization has in seeking the information.
Requests shall be kept permanently with the file of the students as a "record of access" which shall be available only to the parents, custodian of the records, and authorized auditors of the record system.
Requests for access to the records of a student by the parents of such student, or by the student if eighteen years of age or older, need not be recorded.
All personal information from student records shall only be transferred by the school district to third parties on the condition that such party shall not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the parents of the student.
- Directory Information
The term "directory information" relating to a student includes the following: the student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, course of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous school attended by the student, and other similar information designated as directory information by resolution of the Superintendent.
Directory information may be released by a school or the school district without written consent, provided that public notice shall be given of the categories defined as directory information and parents shall have the right, by written request, to designate that any or all of such information be released only with prior parental consent.
- Disposition of Student Records
If two years have elapsed since an elementary or middle school student has withdrawn from the district schools and no official request for the student's records has been received, the student's permanent record card shall be filed and the remaining standard records destroyed. Supplementary records shall then also be destroyed, except in those instances where the building principal recommends that specific information be maintained on file at the district special services office.
If no official request has been received from another school district for the records of a senior high school student by the time the class from which that student withdrew has graduated, the student permanent records card shall be filed and the remaining standard records destroyed. Supplementary records shall then also be destroyed except in such isolated instances when the building principal recommends that specific information be maintained on file at the district special services office.
When a student has graduated from high school, his/her permanent record card shall be filed and maintained in a safe, fireproof place. Other residual standard and supplemental records shall be destroyed when a student has graduated or has reached his/her eighteenth birthday, whichever is the later date.