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Student Records

 

Student records are confidential and are protected from unauthorized inspection or use. Employees should take precautions to maintain the confidentiality of all student records. The following people are the only people who have general access to a student’s records:

  • Parents: Married, separated, or divorced unless parental rights have been legally terminated and the school has been given a copy of the court order terminating parental rights

  • The student: The rights of parents transfer to a student who turns 18 or is enrolled in an institution of post-secondary education. A district is not prohibited from granting the student access to the student’s records before this time.

  • School officials with legitimate educational interests

A parent may review his or her child’s records. These records include: Attendance records, Test scores, Grades, Disciplinary records, Counseling records, Psychological records, Applications for admission, Health and immunization information, Other medical records, Teacher and school counselor evaluations, Reports of behavioral patterns, Records relating to assistance provided for learning difficulties, including information collected regarding any intervention strategies used with the child, as the term “intervention strategy” is defined by law, State assessment instruments that have been administered to the child, and Teaching materials and tests used in the child’s classroom

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and eligible students certain rights regarding student education records. For purposes of student records, an “eligible” student is anyone age 18 or older or who attends a postsecondary educational institution. These rights, as discussed here and at Objecting to the Release of Directory Information on page , are the right to: Inspect and review student records within 45 days after the day the school receives a request for access; Request an amendment to a student record the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of FERPA; Provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning failures by the school to comply with FERPA requirements. Both FERPA and state laws safeguard student records from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents and eligible students certain rights of privacy. Before disclosing personally identifiable information from a student’s records, the district must verify the identity of the person, including a parent or the student, requesting the information. Virtually all information pertaining to student performance—including grades, test results,  and disciplinary records—is considered confidential educational records. Inspection and release of student records is restricted to an eligible student or a student’s parent unless the school receives a copy of a court order terminating parental rights or the right to access a student’s education records. A parent’s rights regarding access to student records are not affected by the parent’s marital status. Federal law requires that control of the records goes to the student as soon as the student: Reaches the age of 18, Is emancipated by a court, or Enrolls in a postsecondary educational institution. However, the parent may continue to have access to the records if the student is a dependent for tax purposes and, under limited circumstances, when there is a threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals. FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without written consent of the parent or eligible student when school officials have what federal law refers to as a “legitimate educational interest” in a student’s records. Legitimate educational interest may include: Working with the student; Considering disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, or an individualized education program for a student with disabilities; Compiling statistical data; Reviewing an educational record to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility; or Investigating or evaluating programs. School officials may include: Board members and employees, such as the superintendent, administrators, and principals, Teachers, school counselors, diagnosticians, and support staff (including district health or medical staff); A person or company with whom the district has contracted or allowed to provide a specific institutional service or function (such as an attorney, consultant, third-party vendor that offers online programs or software, auditor, medical consultant, therapist, school resource officer, or volunteer); A person appointed to serve on a team to support the district’s safe and supportive school program; A parent or student serving on a school committee; or A parent or student assisting a school official in the performance of his or her duties.

    FERPA also permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information without written consent: To authorized representatives of various governmental agencies, including juvenile service providers, the U.S. Comptroller General’s office, the U.S. Attorney General’s office, the U.S. Secretary of Education, the Texas Education Agency, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s office, and Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers or, in certain cases, other child welfare representatives.

    • To individuals or entities granted access in response to a subpoena or court order.

    • To another school, district/system, or postsecondary educational institution to which a student seeks or intends to enroll or in which the student already is enrolled.

    • In connection with financial aid for which a student has applied or has received.

    • To accrediting organizations to carry out accrediting functions.

    • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.

    • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency.

    • When the district discloses directory information-designated details. 

    Release of personally identifiable information to any other person or agency—such as a prospective employer or for a scholarship application—will occur only with parental or student permission as appropriate. The campus principal or their designee is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school. The campus principal or their designee is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated. A parent or eligible student who wants to inspect the student’s records should submit a written request to the custodian of records identifying the records he or she wants to inspect. Records may be reviewed in person during regular school hours. The records custodian or designee will be available to explain the record and to answer questions. A parent or eligible student who submits a written request and pays copying costs of ten cents per page may obtain copies. If circumstances prevent inspection during regular school hours and the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, the district will either provide a copy of the records requested or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review the records. You may contact the custodian of records for currently enrolled students at your child’s campus. You may contact the custodian of records for students who have withdrawn or graduated at the last campus the student attended. A parent or eligible student may inspect the student’s records and request a correction or amendment if the records are considered inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. A request to correct a student’s record should be submitted to the appropriate records custodian. The request must clearly identify the part of the record that should be corrected and include an explanation of how the information is inaccurate. If the district denies the request to amend the records, the parent or eligible student has the right to request a hearing. If after the hearing the records are not amended, the parent or eligible student has 30 school days to place a statement in the student’s record. Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, contesting a student’s grade in a course or on an examination is handled through the complaint process found in policy FNG(LOCAL). A grade issued by a teacher can be changed only if, as determined by the board of trustees, the grade is arbitrary, erroneous, or inconsistent with the district’s grading guidelines. The parent’s or eligible student’s right of access to and copies of student records does not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records—such as a teacher’s personal notes about a student shared only with a substitute teacher—do not have to be made available.

  • Teachers may display a student’s work in classrooms or elsewhere on campus as recognition of student achievement without seeking prior parental consent. These displays may include personally identifiable student information. Student work includes: Artwork, Special projects, Photographs, Original videos or voice recordings, and Other original works. However, the district will seek parental consent before displaying a student’s work on the district’s website, a website affiliated or sponsored by the district (such as a campus or classroom website), or in district publications, which may include printed materials, videos, or other methods of mass communication. A student under age 14 must have parental permission to participate in the district’s parenting and paternity awareness program. This program was developed by the Office of the Texas Attorney General and the State Board of Education (SBOE) to be incorporated into health education classes. State law permits the school to make a video or voice recording without parental permission when it: Is to be used for school safety, Relates to classroom instruction or a co curricular or extracurricular activity, Relates to media coverage of the school, or Relates to the promotion of student safety as provided by law for a student receiving special education services in certain settings. In other circumstances, the district will seek written parental consent before making a video or voice recording of a student. Please note that parents and visitors to a classroom, both virtual and in person, may not record video or audio or take photographs or other still images without permission from the teacher or other school official.
  • Directory. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, permits the district to disclose appropriately designated “directory information” from a student’s education records without written consent. “Directory information” is information that, if released, is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. Examples include:A student’s photograph (for publication in the school yearbook); A student’s name and grade level (for communicating class and teacher assignments); The name, weight, and height of an athlete (for publication in a school athletic program); A list of student birthdays (for generating schoolwide or classroom recognition), A student’s name and photograph (posted on a district-approved and

    -managed social media platform); and The names and grade levels of students submitted by the district to a local newspaper or other community publication (to recognize the A/B honor roll for a specific grading period.) Directory information will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it. However, a parent or eligible student may object to the release of this information. Any objection must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days of the student’s first day of instruction for this school year. The district requests that families living in a shelter for survivors of family violence or trafficking notify district personnel that the student currently resides in such a shelter. Families may want to opt out of the release of directory information so that the district does not release any information that might reveal the location of such a shelter. If a parent objects to the release of the student’s information included on the directory information response form, this objection also applies to the use of that information for school-sponsored purposes, such as: Honor roll, School newspaper, Yearbook, Recognition activities, News releases, and Athletic programs.

     

    Military Recruiters and Institutions of Higher Education. Unless a parent has advised the district not to release his or her student’s information, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires the district to comply with requests from military recruiters or institutions of higher education for the student’s: Name, Address, and Telephone listing. Military recruiters may also have access to a student’s district-provided email address, unless a parent has advised the district not to release this information.

     

    Participation in Third-Party Surveys. The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) provides parents certain rights regarding participation in surveys, the collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. A parent has the right to consent before a student is required to submit to a survey funded by the U.S. Department of Education that concerns any of the following protected areas: Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family; Sex behavior or attitudes; Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior; Critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student has a close family relationship; Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, and ministers; Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parent; or Income, except when the information is required by law and will be used to determine the student’s eligibility for a program. A parent can inspect the survey or other instrument and any corresponding instructional materials used in connection with such a survey. The PPRA gives parents the right to receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of: activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information gathered from the child for the purpose of marketing, selling, or otherwise disclosing that information to others; or any nonemergency, invasive physical examination or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student. Exceptions are hearing, vision, or spinal screenings, or any physical examination or screening permitted or required under state law. A parent may inspect: protected information surveys of students and surveys created by a third party; Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

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