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Austin Public Schools

Policy 515 - Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records (Part II)

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XIV. RIGHT TO INSPECT AND REVIEW EDUCATION RECORDS

  • Parent of a Student, an Eligible Student or the Parent of an Eligible Student Who is Also a Dependent Student
    The school district shall permit the parent of a student, an eligible student, or the parent of an eligible student who is also a dependent student who is or has been in attendance in the school district to inspect or review the education records of the student, except those records which are made confidential by state or federal law or as otherwise provided in Section VIII. of this policy.
  • Response to Request for Access
    The school district shall respond to any request pursuant to Subdivision A. of this section immediately, if possible, or within ten (10) days of the date of the request, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
  • Right to Inspect and Review
    The right to inspect and review education records under Subdivision A. of this section includes:
    • The right to a response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of records; and
    • If circumstances effectively prevent the parent or eligible student from exercising the right to inspect and review the education records, the school district shall provide the parent or eligible student with a copy of the records requested or make other arrangements for the parent or eligible student to inspect and review the requested records.
    • Nothing in this policy shall be construed as limiting the frequency of inspection of the education records of a student with a disability by the student’s parent or guardian or by the student upon the student reaching the age of majority.
  • Form of Request
    Parents or eligible students shall submit to the school district a written request to inspect education records which identify as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.
  • Collection of Student Records
    If a student’s education records are maintained in more than one location, the responsible authority may collect copies of the records or the records themselves from the various locations so they may be inspected at one site. However, if the parent or eligible student wishes to inspect these records where they are maintained, the school district shall attempt to accommodate those wishes. The parent or eligible student shall be notified of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • Records Containing Information on More Than One Student
    If the education records of a student contain information on more than one student, the parent or eligible student may inspect and review or be informed of only the specific information which pertains to that student.
  • Authority to Inspect or Review
    The school district may presume that either parent of the student has authority to inspect or review the education records of a student unless the school district has been provided with evidence that there is a legally binding instrument or a state law or court order governing such matters as marriage dissolution, separation, or custody which provides to the contrary.
  • Fees for Copies of Records
    • The school district shall charge a reasonable fee for providing photocopies or printed copies of records unless printing a copy is the only method to provide for the inspection of data. In determining the amount of the reasonable fee, the school district shall consider the following:
      • the cost of materials, including paper, used to provide the copies;
      • the cost of the labor required to prepare the copies;
      • any schedule of standard copying charges established by the school district in its normal course of operations;
      • any special costs necessary to produce such copies from machine based record-keeping systems, including but not limited to computers and microfilm systems; and
      • mailing costs.
    • If 100 or fewer pages of black and white, letter or legal size paper copies are requested, actual costs shall not be used, and, instead, the charge shall be no more than 25 cents for each page copied.
    • The cost of providing copies shall be borne by the parent or eligible student.
    • The responsible authority, however, may not impose a fee for a copy of an education record made for a parent or eligible student if doing so would effectively prevent or, in the case of a student with a disability, impair the parent or eligible student from exercising their right to inspect or review the student’s education records.

XV. REQUEST TO AMEND RECORDS; PROCEDURES TO CHALLENGE DATA

  • Request to Amend Education Records
    The parent of a student or an eligible student who believes that information contained in the education records of the student is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the privacy rights of the student may request that the school district amend those records.
    • The request shall be in writing, shall identify the item the requestor believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, shall state the reason for this belief, and shall specify the correction the requestor wishes the school district to make. The request shall be signed and dated by the requestor.
    • The school district shall decide whether to amend the education records of the student in accordance with the request within thirty (30) days after receiving the request.
    • If the school district decides to refuse to amend the education records of the student in accordance with the request, it shall inform the parent of the student or the eligible student of the refusal and advise the parent or eligible student of the right to a hearing under Subdivision B. of this section.
  • Right to a Hearing
    If the school district refuses to amend the education records of a student, the school district, on request, shall provide an opportunity for a hearing in order to challenge the content of the student’s education records to ensure that information in the education records of the student is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student. A hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Subdivision C. of this section.
    • If, as a result of the hearing, the school district decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, it shall amend the education records of the student accordingly and so inform the parent of the student or the eligible student in writing.
    • If, as a result of the hearing, the school district decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, it shall inform the parent or eligible student of the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision of the school district, or both.
    • Any statement placed in the education records of the student under Subdivision B. of this section shall:
      • be maintained by the school district as part of the education records of the student so long as the record or contested portion thereof is maintained by the school district; and
      • b. if the education records of the student or the contested portion thereof is disclosed by the school district to any party, the explanation shall also be disclosed to that party.
    • Conduct of Hearing
      • The hearing shall be held within a reasonable period of time after the school district has received the request, and the parent of the student or the eligible student shall be given notice of the date, place, and time reasonably in advance of the hearing.
      • The hearing may be conducted by any individual, including an official of the school district who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The school board attorney shall be in attendance to present the school board’s position and advise the designated hearing officer on legal and evidentiary matters.
      • The parent of the student or eligible student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity for hearing to present evidence relative to the issues raised under Subdivisions A. and B. of this section and may be assisted or represented by individuals of his or her choice at his or her own expense, including an attorney.
      • The school district shall make a decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the hearing. The decision shall be based solely on evidence presented at the hearing and shall include a summary of evidence and reasons for the decision.
    • Appeal
      The final decision of the designated hearing officer may be appealed in accordance with the applicable provisions of Minn. Stat. Ch. 14 relating to contested cases.

XVI. PROBLEMS ACCESSING DATA

  • The data practices compliance official is the designated employee to whom persons may direct questions or concerns regarding problems in obtaining access to data or other data practices problems.
  • Data practices compliance official means [designate title and actual name of individual].
  • Any request by an individual with a disability for reasonable modifications of the school district’s policies or procedures for purposes of accessing records shall be made to the data practices compliance official.

XVII. COMPLAINTS FOR NONCOMPLIANCE WITH FERPA

  • Where to File Complaints
    Complaints regarding alleged violations of rights accorded parents and eligible students by FERPA, and the rules promulgated thereunder, shall be submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202.
  • Content of Complaint
    A complaint filed pursuant to this section must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of FERPA and the rules promulgated thereunder has occurred.

XVIII. WAIVER

A parent or eligible student may waive any of his or her rights provided herein pursuant to FERPA. A waiver shall not be valid unless in writing and signed by the parent or eligible student. The school district may not require such a waiver.

XIX. ANNUAL NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS

  • Contents of Notice
    The school district shall give parents of students currently in attendance and eligible students currently in attendance annual notice by such means as are reasonably likely to inform the parents and eligible students of the following:
    • That the parent or eligible student has a right to inspect and review the student’s education records and the procedure for inspecting and reviewing education records;
    • That the parent or eligible student has a right to seek amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that those records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights and the procedure for requesting amendment of records;
    • That the parent or eligible student has a right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that federal and state law and the regulations promulgated thereunder authorize disclosure without consent;
    • That the parent or eligible student has a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education regarding an alleged failure by the school district to comply with the requirements of FERPA and the rules promulgated thereunder;
    • The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest for purposes of disclosing education records to other school officials whom the school district has determined to have legitimate educational interests; and
    • That the school district forwards education records on request to a school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled as long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer and that such records may include suspension and expulsion records pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act and, if applicable, a student’s history of violent behavior.
  • Notification to Parents of Students Having a Primary Home Language Other Than English
    The school district shall provide for the need to effectively notify parents of students identified as having a primary or home language other than English.
  • Notification to Parents or Eligible Students Who are Disabled
    The school district shall provide for the need to effectively notify parents or eligible students identified as disabled.

XX. DESTRUCTION AND RETENTION OF RECORDS

Destruction and retention of records by the school district shall be controlled by state and federal law.

XXI. COPIES OF POLICY

Copies of this policy may be obtained by parents and eligible students at the office of the superintendent.


Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
  • Minn. Stat. Ch. 14 (Administrative Procedures Act)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)
  • Minn. Stat. § 121A.40-121A.56 (The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
  • Minn. Stat. § 121A.75 (Sharing Disposition Order and Peace Officer Records)
  • Minn. Stat. § 144.341-144.347 (Consent of Minors for Health Services)
  • Minn. Stat. § 260B.171, Subds. 3 and 5 (Disposition Order and Peace Officer Records of Children)
  • Minn. Stat. § 363A.42 (Public Records; Accessibility)
  • Minn. Stat. § 626.556 (Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 1205.0100-1205.2000 (Data Practices)
  • 10 U.S.C. § 503(b) and (c) (Enlistments: Recruiting Campaigns; Compilation of Directory Information)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2331 (Definitions)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2332b (Acts of Terrorism Transcending National Boundaries)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 1232g et seq. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 6301 et seq. (No Child Left Behind)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 7908 (Armed Forces Recruiting Information)
  • 26 U.S.C. §§ 151 and 152 (Internal Revenue Code)
  • 34 C.F.R. §§ 99.1-99.67 (Family Educational Rights and Privacy)
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.610-300.627 (Confidentiality of Information)
  • 42 C.F.R. § 2.1 et seq. (Confidentiality of Drug Abuse Patient Records)
  • Gonzaga University v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 122 S.Ct. 2268, 153 L.Ed. 2d 309 (2002)

Cross References:

  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 414 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 417 (Chemical Use and Abuse)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 519 (Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 520 (Student Surveys)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 711 (Video Recording on School Buses)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 906 (Community Notification of Predatory Offenders)
  • MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin “I” (School Records – Privacy – Access to Data)

Policy Adopted: 2/14/05
Policy Revised: 4/4/06
Policy Revised: 5/10/10
Policy Revised: 2/10/14
Policy Revised: 5/11/15
Policy Reviewed: 11/9/15
Policy Reviewed: 8/13/18
Policy Updated: 10/8/18

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