STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
216-G. STUDENT RECORDS
The State College Area School District recognizes that school teachers, school nurses, school administrators, and other employees are required by law to maintain student records according to school code and FERPA regulations.
I. PURPOSE (School Code Sec. 1402 (B),1532, 1533): The educational interests of the pupil and of society require the collection, retention, and use of information about individual pupils and groups of pupils. The welfare and progress of pupils is inextricably related to the maintenance of a thorough and efficient system of public schools: the latter cannot be achieved nor assessed in the absence of appropriate information about the former.
(School Code Sec. 1409): It is no less the interest of society to protect the right of each of its members against an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The primary purpose of pupil recordkeeping shall be the educational welfare and advancement of the pupil.
II. AUTHORITY (22 PACode Sec. 12.31 et seq.: 30 USC Sec. 1232g 34 C.F.R.99): The Board of School Directors has primary responsibility for the compilation of, maintenance, access to, and security of pupil records. Only records mandated by the Commonwealth or federal government or specifically permitted by the Board may be compiled by the staff.
III. DEFINITIONS: The following terms used in this policy are defined as follows:
A. “Adult Student/Eligible Student” means astudent who has attained eighteen years of age, is married, or is attending an institution of post-secondary education. Even when an individual attains the status of “adult student” the parent retains parental rights until such a time as the student is no longer dependent or reaches an age of 21.
B. “Biometric Record” means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patters; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting.
C. “Confidentiality of Student Communications” concerns the oral communication of information of a sensitive or confidential nature by a student to a member of the school staff. Such information is not considered an educational record for purposes of this plan or within the provisions of federal law governing student records such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The management of such information is governed by professional ethics and certain state laws such as Act 287 of 1972.
D. “Destruction of records” means the physical destruction or permanent removal of personally identifying data from the education records of a student so that the information is no longer personally identifiable. (Also referred to as “Purging”).
E. “Directory information” is:
Information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy is disclosed. This includes, but is not limited to:
1. Name,address & telephone number
2. Field of study
3. Weight & height of athletes
4. Previous school most recently attended
6. Date & place of birth
7. Participation in officially recognized activities & sports
8. Dates of attendance, degree & awards
9. Primary language
10. I.D. number, user I.D., or other unique personal identifier used by the student for electronic systems, but only if the I.D. number is used in conjunction with a password or other factor known or possessed only by the user.
F. “Disclosure” means permitting access to or the release, transfer or other communication of educational records of a student, or the personally identifiable information contained therein, orally or in writing, or by electronic means, or by anyother means to any party.
G. “Educational Institution” or “Educational Agency” means any public or private agency or institution, which is the recipient of funds under any Federal program.
H. “Educational Records”:
1. Means those records which:
a. are directly related to a student, and
b. are maintained by the School District or any party acting for the District.
2. The term does not include:
a. records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and educational personnel ancillary thereto which:
(1). are in sole possession of the maker thereof, and
(2). are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a substitute. For the purpose of this definition, a “substitute” means an individual who performs on a temporary basis the duties of the individual who made the record, and does not refer to an individual who permanently succeeds the maker of the record in his/her position.
b. records of an educational agency or institution, which contain only information relating to a person after that person was no longer a student at the educational agency or institution. Follow-up studies performed by the Counseling Department fall into this area.
3. Record of former student
a. Records created or received by an educational agency or institution after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related the individual’s attendance as astudent.
I. “Informed Consent” is the approval by signature of an individual (parent, guardian, or student) who has been apprised of the nature, content, and procedure of a records collection, maintenance, or release activity of an agency.
J. “LEA” means Local Education Agency
K. “Legitimate Educational Interest” describes a purposeful education involvement with a student in which there is a direct responsibility for providing instruction or supportive services.
L. “Panel” means the body, which will adjudicate cases under procedures set forth in Section VII.D.
M. “Parent/Guardian” means both natural parents, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent of the student in the absence of a parent or guardian. The school presumes that either parent of the student has authority to inspect and review the educational records of the student unless the school has been provided with evidence that there exists a legally binding instrument, state law or court order governing a divorce, separation or custody, which stipulates to the contrary.
N. “Personally Identifiable” means that the data or information includes, but is not limited to (a) the name of a student, the student’s parent/guardian or other family member; (b) the address of the student or the student’s family; (c) a personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number or student number; (d) a list of personal characteristics, which would make the student’s identity easily traceable; or(e) other information, which would make the student’s identity easily traceable.
O. “Purging” (See “Destruction of records”)
P. “Record” means any information maintained in any way, including, but not limited to:
4. computer media
5. video or audio tape
6. microfilm or microfiche
Q. “Representational Consent” as the legally elected or appointed representatives of the parents/guardians of a school district, the Board of School Directors may collectively as a body grant approval (representational consent) to such programs, processes, and procedures as are considered to be the valid, legal, and expected function of any responsible educational agency. The consent decisions of the representational agency are (subject to higher authority or judicial review) binding on all students and parents/guardians whether or not they might individually have consented.
R. “Secretary” means the Secretary of the United States Department of Education.
S. “Student” includes any individual with respect to whom the District maintains education records.
T. “Terminated Student” any student who is no longer enrolled in the school district of any reason.
U. “Transfer Student” a student who enrolls in our district from another district of a student who leaves our district to go to another.
IV. COLLECTION OF STUDENT INFORMATION
Student information collected by the educational agency or institution for record purposes no longer needs to be classified according to category. This change in federal legislation(specifically FERPA) is intended to confirm the right of parents to access all records other than those considered to be a staff member’s personal records without impediment.
Typical data collected by school entities for inclusion within student records, include the following:
A. Official administrative records that constitute the minimum personal data necessary for operation of the educational system, such as:
1. Student number, name, address, telephone number, birth date, gender, ethnic origin, dates of entry and withdrawal, academic grades, class rank, picture and attendance data.
2. First, middle and last name and emergency telephone number of the parents/guardians.
3. Group administered, standardized achievement test scores and kindergarten screenings.
4. Record of awards, letters of commendation received, and student participation in school activities.
B. Verified information of clear importance that exceeds the minimum personal data necessary for the operation of the educational system, such as:
1. Individually administered standardized intelligence and aptitude test scores.
2. Interest inventory results.
3. Health records.
4. Family background information.
5. Systematically gathered teacher or counselor ratings and classroom observations.
6. Act 26 information, certified discipline record, parent statement.
7. Verified reports of recurrent behavior problems.
8. Teacher reports on achievement.
9. Chapter 15 Service Agreements for protected handicapped students.
10. Instructional Support Team (IST) information and Student Assistance Program information, including all information gained through the SAP process.
11. Certain legal documents such as judicial orders or directives related to custody, restraining orders, and protection from abuse orders.
12. Special education records, including Permission to Evaluate, Permission to Reevaluate, Invitation to Attend an IEP Meeting or other meeting, IEP’s, ER’s, psychological reports, in-house psychiatric reports, NOREP’s, criterion-referenced and norm-referenced test booklets, report cards, summaries, and Penn Data tracking information.
C. Potentially useful information that has not yet been verified or clearly needed beyond the immediate present. Such data shall be kept separate from the student’s cumulative record files. However, this in no way impairs the parent’s right of access.
1. Unevaluated reports of teachers, counselors, and others, which may be needed in ongoing investigations and disciplinary or counseling actions.
2. Mental health or outside agency psychiatric reports (Except as provided for in specific law or regulation, these records shall be maintained and released under the same procedural guidelines as any other education records.)
3. Other legal or clinical findings, including personality test results, psychiatric reports, psychoeducational reports (other than those for special education and gifted students).
D. Professional notes maintained by school staff who are directly involved with the student’s health, education and welfare for their own use. Such notes might include transcripts of interviews, clinical diagnoses, and other memory aids. Such data are to be considered confidential and treated as such. All such data must be destroyed when their usefulness is no longer apparent or when the student leaves the school system. Such notes cannot be shared with anyone other than a temporary substitute filling the maker’s position. They cannot be passed on to another person who is permanently employed by the District, such as a counselor to whom the student may be assigned at the next grade level; nor can they be transferred to another school entity to which the student may transfer. Under the law, professional notes are not considered educational records.
V. MAINTENANCE OF STUDENT RECORDS
The School District will provide for the reviewing and updating of student information and will destroy such informationwhen it is no longer educationally relevant.
A. Maintenance Procedures
1. Data as described in Section IV.A will be maintained in individual building files or district electronic files and will be passed on or given access to the next building in progression.
2. Data as described in Section IV.B will be reviewed at the end of each level of education (elementary, middle school, high school) by the assigned staff member(s) (one or more staff shall be identified by the building principal for the purpose of record review) and material that is no longer educationally useful shall be destroyed by shredding, deleting and/or burning under the supervision of the assigned staff member(s). Special education records, Act 26and Chapter 15 service agreements shall be maintained and will not be destroyed.
a. Parent/guardians will be notified of this procedure on the district web-site, in the district calendar and/or in district/school newsletter.
b. No notification is required for the destruction of duplicate records maintained by the District.
3. Data as described in Section IV.C will be reviewed at the end of each year and will be destroyed if not verified and/or not needed beyond the immediate present. Data, which is determined still to have educational value, shall be considered to fall under the guidelines set forth for Section IV.B in future years.
a. Parent/guardians will be notified of the destruction of these records on the district website, in the district calendar and/or in district/school newsletter.
b. No notification is required for the destruction of duplicate records maintained by the District.
4. Records for students who have terminated their attendance with the district during the current school year will be sent to the registration office until the end of the academic year and then moved to permanent storage.
5. Records for students who have transferred their attendance with the district during the current school year will have their records held until requested by new district.
6. All records will be destroyed 100 years past a student’s 21st birthday.
B. Procedures for students transferring into the District
1. Parents/guardians shall complete the enrollment form, request for records and Act 26.
2. The enrollment secretary will forward the request for records to the former school.
3. The enrollment secretary will forward a copy of the enrollment form to the school counselor.
4. The school counselor will contact the former district to inquire about educational placement needs.
C. Record Storage (See Table)
Type of Record
Location of Records
School Office K-5 Counseling office 6-12
Curriculum Coordinator or Business Manager
Mental Health/ Psychiatric Reports
Other Student Information (Requests, parent notes)
Principal’s Office Counselor’s office
Counseling 6-12, Principal’s Office K-5
Drop-out Exit Interviews
Home Language Survey
Counseling 6-12, Principal’s Office K-5
Permission to Evaluate, ER’s, CER’s & GWR’s (Duplicates)
Permission to Evaluate, ER’s, CER’s & GWR’s (Originals)
Special Education Office
Supervisor of Special Education
Chapter 15 Service Agreements (Duplicates)
School Office k-5 Counseling office 6-12
Chapter 15 Service Agreements (Originals)
Special Education Student Folder (Duplicate)
Counseling and Special Education Office
Counselor Special Education Supervisor
Special Education Student Folder (Original)
Special Education office
Supervisor of Special Education
*= Maintained in a locked file. # = Maintained in a separate file.
D. Content of Cumulative Folders
1. For transfer from elementary to middle school.
a. Access Log
b. Kindergarten Screening Sheet
c. Standardized Achievement Test Profile Sheets
d. Recommendation for Retention Letters
e. Enrollment Form
f. Permanent Record Card
g. Report Cards
h. Home Language Survey
i. Act 26 Notarized Letter
j. Parent Signature Forms
2. For transfer from middle to high school.
a. Access Log
b. Standardized Achievement Test Profile Sheets
c. Recommendation for Retention Letters
d. Enrollment Form
e. Permanent Record Card
f. Report Cards
g. Home Language Survey
h. Act 26 Notarized Letter
i. Parent Signature Forms
3. Not to be included in permanentrecords for storage
a. Discipline and Bus Reports (will be maintained in electronic format and destroyed upon graduation).
b. Health Records (maintained for 2 years following graduation then destroyed)
c. Student Assistance Information
d. Instructional Support Information
f. Service Agreements
g. Progress Reports
h. All Special Education Records
i. Psychologicaland Psychiatric Reports
j. Classroom reading Tests
k. Occupational/PhysicalTherapy Reports
l. Agency Reports
m. Custody Papers
VI. PROCEDURES FOR AMENDMENT OF STUDENT’S EDUCATION RECORDS
A. If a parent/guardian or an adult student believes the education records relating to the student contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy or other rights, he/she may ask the District in writing to amend the record. The request will be directed to the Superintendent for processing.
B. The District shall decide whether to amend the record as requested within 45 school days after the District receives the request.
C. If the District decides not to amend the record as requested, it shall inform the parent/guardian or adult student in writing of its decision and of his/her right to a hearing.
VII. RIGHTS OF PARENTS/GUARDIANS OR ADULT STUDENTS TO A HEARING
A parent/guardian of a student or an adult student has the right to request a hearing to challenge any items contained in the student’s education record or verification of a change in status as described in Section V.A.3. The procedure for a hearing shall be as follows:
A. A parent/guardian or adult student desiring a hearing shall send a written request to the Superintendent setting forth the specific items being challenged. The request shall also state the reason for the challenge.
B. A hearing shall be scheduled not sooner than ten school days nor later than thirty school days after receipt of the request.
C. A written notification of the date, time and place of the hearing shall be sent by certified mail to the parent/guardian or adult student at least ten school days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing. The notification shall state that the parent/guardian or adult student has the right to counsel, to present evidence, and to examine and cross examine witnesses.
D. The hearing shall be conducted before a records panel. The records panel shall consist of the Superintendent or designee (who shall serve as chair), the building principal, and a staff member from the building chosen by the principal. The school solicitor may be present to serve in an advisory capacity if deemed necessary. In the case of a hearing dealing with psychological reports or health reports, the school psychologist or school nurse shall be present in an advisory capacity.
E. Following the hearing, the records panel shall notify the parent/guardian or adult student within five school days of the decision/action taken by the panel. If the decision is in favor of the parents/guardians or adult student, the item(s)in question will be expunged from the records. The parent/guardian or adult student will be notified that they have the right to place a statement in the record when the hearing decision does not favor the parent/guardian or adult student.
F. The decision of the records panel shall be based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing and shall include a written summary of the evidence and the reason for the decision.
A. The district may, without consent of parent of eligible student, release that data designated as directory information both during the student's enrollment and after the student is no longer in attendance within the district, subject to the following conditions:
1. The parent or eligible student shall be informed annually of the right not to permit any part of their record to be designated as directory.
2. The parent or eligible student, after notification, has thirty (30) calendar days in which to designate the part of the record not to be designated as directory.
3. The supervisor may disclose these records with no further notice or waiver needed once the student leaves the district. The last annual notice and forty-five (45) day reply period shall suffice for the life of the directory information once the student leaves the district.
4. Directory information for students with disabilities is to be screened to ensure that the child is not identified as handicapped/disabled.
B. The district may, without consent of parent or eligible student, release a student's permanent file including information contained in section IV.A and IV. B with the condition that the recipient will maintain the student's rights to privacy under existing state and federal laws and regulations:
1. To school officials and teachers within the district who have a legitimate educational interest.
2. To the Secretary of Education or his/her staff when the use is consistent with his/her statuary power and responsibilities.
3. To officials of other primary or secondary schools in which the student intends to enroll under these conditions:
a. The supervisor shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent of the student or the eligible student of the transfer of records at the last known address of the parent or eligible student.
b. Provide the parent or eligible student, upon request, with a copy of the education records which were transferred.
c. Provide the parent or eligible student with an opportunity for a hearing within this policy.
4. To officials of a postsecondary institution, providing the student intends to enroll or seeks to enroll. No further notice other than this policy shall be made to parents or eligible student in this instance.
5. To officials of service agencies or service schools; i.e., intermediate units, vocational technical schools, etc. However, the student must be enrolled in these services or schools and the agency or school must comply with the law and regulations on student recordkeeping.
6. To appropriate authorities in a health or safety emergency. Only the Superintendent or designee may consent to this disclosure and only after considering these restraints:
a. The seriousness of the threat.
b. The need for information to meet the emergency.
c. The position of the requesting party to deal with the emergency.
d. The extent to which time is of the essence in meeting the emergency.
7. To the parents of an eligible student if the student is considered as a dependent.
C. School personnel shall not divulge, in any form, to any person other than those listed above any information contained in the school education records contained in section IV.A and IV.B:
1. With written consent signed and dated by the student's parent or eligible student specifying records to be released, to whom, and with a copy of the records released provided to the parent/eligible student, if desired by either of them.
2. In complacence with judicial order or order of administrative agencies having subpoena power. Parents or eligible student shall be notified of such orders and of the school's compliance.
Under no condition shall section IV.C information be released except on judicial order or order of an agency having subpoena power. Parents or eligible student should be notified of the order and of the school's compliance.
The school district must maintain a record of each request for access to and each disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records of each student, as well as the names of State and local education authorities and Federal officials and agencies that requested the information.
IX. RIGHT OF ACCESS TO STUDENT INFORMATION
A. All students shall have access to section IV.A and IV.B data.
B. The parent or eligible student, a legal representative of the student, and/or a person designated in writing by the parent or eligible student as a representative of the student shall have access to education records including section IV.A, IV.B and IV.C.
C. An eligible student may deny the parent the right to access, providing the eligible student is not considered as a dependent.
D. The right of access includes the right to obtain a reasonable explanation of the information contained in the education records.
E. This right of access includes access to records where more than one (1) child is listed; however, the district may only release personally identifiable data pertaining to that specific child in question to authorized persons (Example would be in the case of a discipline record, if the information contains another student’s name this cannot be shared).
F. The parent or eligible student is to be informed, upon request, of the process for access to the records, including inspection, review, and/or copying.
G. If the right of access does not include the record requested, the parent or eligible student is to be informed as to the classification of the record and why it is not an education record; i.e., why access is denied.
H. If it appears to be a possibility that the information contained in the records is a highly technical nature, or a sensitive one, or may be grossly misunderstood, the Supervisor of Records may insist on a qualified staff member being present to explain or to interpret the records during the access or prior to the release of a copy.
I. The right of access shall be exercised only by appointment at a time mutually convenient to the parties concerned. Requests for copies of the records shall be fulfilled within forty-five (45) calendar days.
X. RIGHT OF CONSENT
For purposes of procedures dealing withstudent records whenever a student is emancipated or is married or is attending an institution of post-secondary education, the permission or consent required of and the rights accorded to the parents/guardians of that student shall thereafter be required of and accorded to that student’s written request.
XI. DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY
A. The Board, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, shall designate a Supervisor of Student Records to be responsible for record maintenance and access, and to inform the staff about such records and access policy. The name, title and address of the supervisor shall be made public annually. The Supervisor of Student Records shall:
1. Assure privacy rights of students andparents.
2. Develop and maintain a chart listing under each school the location(s) of student records and the person(s) responsible for the maintenance, protection and use of these records. This chart shall be available to all persons who have the right to access.
3. Provide a list of those who have access to the education records at each site. S/He shall establish criteria at each site to determine school officials and legitimate educational interest.
4. Have supervisory authority over all staff when their duties relate to student record access or disclosure.
5. Be responsible for implementing these policies and for developing forms and procedures dealing with all notification, access and challenges.
6. Student records shall be kept under lock, except when being reviewed by persons authorized by the supervisor.
7. Maintain, for public inspection, a currentlist of the names and positions of those employees and employees of agencies who have access to personally identifiable information.
8. Be responsible for the annual notification of parents and eligible students of their rights under this policy and administrative procedures pertaining thereto.
9. Be responsible for the training and instruction of personnel in the implementation of this policy and in the provision of instruction to the staff concerning the regulations and laws involved in this policy.
10. Develop procedures and make such procedures public which will list step by step the process a parent or eligible student should follow to obtain the right to access.
11. Maintain a record of all requests and disclosures or information to parties other than parents, students, officials and professionals with legitimate educational interest.
Nothing contained herein shall preclude authorized representatives of: (a) the Comptroller General of the United States; (b) the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; (c) the Commissioner; (d) The Director of NIE; (e) the Assistant Secretary for Education; or (f) the Pennsylvania State Education authorities from having access to student education records or other records which may be necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally supported educational programs, or in connection with the enforcement of the federal legal requirements which relate to such programs.
XII. ANNUAL NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS
The School District shall give parents/guardians of students in attendance or adult students in attendance annual notice by means on the District’s web-site and in the annual District Calendar to inform them of the following:
A. Their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and their rights contained in the District Record Policy, which is available in the District Administration Office and on the District website at www.scasd.org.
B. The right to file complaints concerning alleged failures of the District to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Such complaints should be directed to the Department of Education’s Office of Records Policy Compliance in Washington, DC.
C. The School District shall provide for the need to effectively notify parents/guardians of students identified as having a primary or home language other English, hearing or visual impairment.