Pursuant to the requirements of Independent School District No. 47 policy along with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding educational data privacy, the following constitutes the school district’s annual notification to parents and students regarding data privacy practices of the school district. The school district has adopted a data privacy and student records policy incorporating state and federal requirements as to data privacy rights. In summary, the policy provides:
A. Privacy Rights
Educational records which identify or could be used to identify a student other than directory information, may not be released to members of the public without the written permission of the student’s parents or guardians or the student if s/he is 18, attends a post-secondary institution, is married, or has graduated. This general rule is subject to specific and limited exceptions which cannot be set out here due to limitations of space, but which are set out in district policy.
B. Directory Information:
“Directory Information” includes a student’s parents’ name, student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, sex, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, grade levels completed, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and other similar information. Directory information may be released to the public without prior parent or student consent unless the parent or eligible student has objected in writing to the release of such information.
Directory information does not include identifying data which references religion, race, color, social position, or nationality.
A parent of a student or an eligible student in the district may refuse to permit the release of any or all categories of directory information by contacting the building principal in which said student attends and submitting a short written statement clearly indicating that the directory information should not be released. This objection must be given to the district within thirty (30) days of this public notice.
C. Military Recruiter Access to Student Data:
A secondary institution shall release to military recruiting officers the names, address, and home telephone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 within sixty days after the date of the request, except as otherwise provided by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13.32, subdivision 5a. A secondary institution shall give parents and students notice of the right to refuse release of this data to military recruiting officers. Data released to military recruiting officers, under this subdivision: (1) may be used only for the purpose of providing information to students about military service, state and federal veterans’ education benefits, and other career and educational opportunities provided by the military; and (2) shall not be further disseminated to any other person except personnel of the recruiting services of the armed forces.
D. Inspection of Records:
Parents of a student or a student who is 18 or older may request to inspect and review any of the student’s educational records except those which are, by state or federal law, made confidential. The school district will comply with the request immediately if possible and, if not, within five (5) days exclusive of week-ends and holidays. In certain special circumstances, an additional five (5) days may be required in order to comply. Copies of records may be obtained at the actual cost of reproduction.
E. Challenge to Accuracy of Records:
A parent of an eligible student who believes that specific information in the student’s educational records is inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, or violates the privacy or other rights of the student, may request that the school district amend or correct the record in question.
If the superintendent, within a period of thirty (30) days, declines to amend the record as requested, the parent or student who is 18 or older will be advised in writing of the right to request and obtain a hearing.
If either the superintendent or, after the hearing, the hearing officer appointed by the school district determines that the record in question is inaccurate, misleading, incomplete or violates the privacy or other rights of the student, the record will be amended, the parents or student age 18 or older notified of the change, and an attempt will be made to notify past recipients of the data.
If, as a result of the hearing, it is determined that the challenged record is not inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the parent or student of age 18 or older will be notified of the right to place a statement with the record commenting upon it and setting out any reason for disagreeing with the decision of the school district. Data in dispute will be disclosed only if the statement of disagreement is included with the disputed data.
The decision of the superintendent or hearing officer is the final decision of the school district and may be appealed under the provision of the State Administrative Procedure Act, Minnesota Statute Chapter 15, relating to contested cases.
F. Transfer of Records to Other Schools:
Independent School District No. 47 forwards educational records of students to other schools and school districts in which a student seeks or intends to enroll upon request of that school or school district. A parent or student who is 18 years of age may request and receive a copy of the records which are transferred and may, pursuant to this policy, challenge the accuracy of the records. The district does not, however, notify parents or students of age 18 or older prior to such transfers.
G. Use of Student Pictures:
It is the practice of Independent School District No. 47 to make use of individual and group photos of students for district newsletters and other official publications of the school. In addition, the local media regularly requests pictures of award winners and other noteworthy students. These photographs often identify the group or individual by name, though no information of a confidential nature is revealed, pursuant to law and policy, about the students in the pictures. Individuals who do not wish to have the names of their students identified in group or individual photographs shall state said objection in writing which shall be kept on file in the principal’s office of the building of attendance.
H. Data Collection Rights:
A parent or eligible student, when asked to supply private or confidential data, shall be informed of: (a) the purpose and intended use of the requested data; (b) whether s/he may refuse or is legally required to supply the requested data; (c) any known consequence arising from his/her supplying or refusing to supply the data, and (d) the identity of the persons or entities authorized by state or federal law to receive the data.
I. Complaints for Non-Compliance:
Parents and students of age 18 or older may submit written complaints of violation of rights accorded them by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Office, United States Department of Education, 400 SW Maryland Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
This review of the data privacy rights of students and parents in the educational records maintained by Independent School District No. 47 is intended only to be a summary of the provisions of school district policy and applicable state and federal law. Requests for copies of the policy and questions should be addressed to:
Bruce Watkins, Superintendent
Independent School District No. 47
1833 NE Osauka Road
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379