Protection of Student Rights
Dresden, 26 January 2000
Revised, 27 March 2001
SECTION I. PROTECTION OF STUDENTS RIGHTS
Hatch Amendment 20 U.W.
Code # 1232h
Protection of Pupil Rights Sec. 439
(a) All instructional material, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary instructional material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any applicable program shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the children.
- political affiliations;
- mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or his family;
- sex behavior and attitudes;
- illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
- critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers; or
- income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program), without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor) or without the prior written consent of the parent.
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
Dresden, 28 March 2000
The School District is committed to enforcing the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 20 U.S.C. 1232h, included in the Goals 2000 Educate America Act of 1994. PPRA applies to all funding provided by the United States Department of Education and seeks to protect the rights of parents to inspect survey or instructional materials if these materials or surveys are funded by the United States Department of Education.
With respect to survey activities, survey materials, evaluation materials, and instructional materials used by students and funded by the United States Department of Education, the school district will:
- Make such materials available for inspection by parents.
- Obtain written parental consent if students are required to participate in a survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals information such as
- Political affiliations
- Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family
- Sexual behavior or attitudes
- Illegal or self-incriminating behavior (such as use or possession of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs)
- Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships
- Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, doctors, and ministers
- Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such programs).
- The purpose and benefit of the survey
- Whether participation is encouraged or required
- How anonymity will be protected
- When, where, and by whom the survey will be administered
- How results will be disseminated
- Procedures for reviewing survey materials prior to administration
- Procedures for parents/guardians to inform the district if they wish to not have their child participate in the survey.
Parents or students who believe their rights under PPRA may have been violated may file a complaint with the United States Department of Education Family Compliance Office at (202) 260-3887. Complaints must contain specific allegations of facts giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of PPRA has occurred.
Student Records; Family Privacy
The keeping of accurate and appropriate education records on students is a necessary part of a sound educational program. The information contained in students' education records belongs primarily to the students and generally to their parent, parents, or guardians. The school, as trustee of this information, maintains these records for educational purposes to serve the best interest of its students, and subscribes to the following:
The principle of confidentiality underlies all policies and procedures for the collection, maintenance, disclosure and destruction of educational records. Education records entrust information to others and as such obligate those others to safeguard and to protect the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information.
The school will annually notify parents of students currently in attendance, and eligible students currently in attendance of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Notice will be given in a manner reasonably likely to inform parents and eligible students of their rights. The notice will include a statement that the parent or eligible student has a right to:
- inspect and review the student's education records.
- Any parent or eligible student may request the Principal of the building to make available to him or her, at a time specified by the Principal, the child's cumulative record folder.
- The request for access to records shall be granted within a reasonable period of time, but in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.
- Cumulative record folders may be reviewed in a school building at a specified place in the presence of a school administrator or his or her designee.
- No material may be removed from the file nor may the file be removed from the school.
- Request the amendment of the student's education records to ensure they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights, and be provided with a process, which includes a hearing and the right to attach differing perspectives to the record.
- Parents or eligible students who believe that inappropriate material is included in the student's record should ·submit a statement in writing to the Principal of the building.
- The Principal will review the statement and either remove the controversial material or give a reason why this is not being done and inform the parents or eligible students of their right to a hearing. The hearing may be conducted by any individual, including a school official, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The decision shall be in writing within a reasonable amount of time after the hearing and shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.
- Parents or eligible students may place in the student's file a statement containing their belief that certain material is inappropriate.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent the Act authorizes disclosure without consent. These exceptions include, but are not limited to, allowing disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official includes a person who needs to review a student's educational record or information contained in that record and who is:
- A person employed by the School Administrative Unit (SAU) #70 or one of its districts as an administrator, supervisor, educator or substitute educator, paraprofessional, or support staff member, including but not limited to, tutorial, health, law enforcement, transportation, nutrition, athletic, extra- or co-curricular, clerical or other support staff;
- A member of the School Board acting on behalf of the Board and with the recommendation of the Superintendent;
- A person or company with whom the SAU #70 or the School district has contracted to perform a special task, including an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, therapist and evaluator.
- The right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The contact information for such a complaint is:
- Family Policy Compliance Office
- U.S. Department of Education
- 400 Maryland Avenue, SW
- Washington, DC 20202
- The right to obtain a copy of the school's policy and written procedures or protocols· related to student records.
The following information is designated as “directory information.” The school may release directory information without prior written consent unless the parent or eligible student informs the Principal in writing that any or all of the information designated below should not be released without prior consent.
- Student's name, address, date of birth, dates of enrollment;
- Parent or legal custodian's name and address;
- Student's grade level classification;
- Student's participation in recognized school activities and sports;
- Weight and height of member of athletic teams;
- Student's diplomas, certificates, awards, and honors received.
The superintendent is responsible for the consistent procedural implementation of this policy on education records for all students in the district. The procedures shall abide by all federal and state laws and regulations governing the collection, maintenance, disclosure, and destruction of education records.
Federal Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (PL 93-380) 34 C.F.R. Part 99
Vermont State Board of Education Manual of Rules and Practices §2193 15 VSA §670