515: Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records (Continued)

Continued from Policy 515: Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records

 

VIII. DISCLOSURE OF PRIVATE RECORDS

A. Private Records

For the purposes herein, education records are records which are classified as private data on individuals by state law and which are accessible only to the student who is the subject of the data and the student’s parent if the student is not an eligible student. The School District may not disclose private records or their contents except as summary data, or except as provided in Section VI. of this policy, without the prior written consent of the parent or the eligible student. The School District will use reasonable methods to identify and authenticate the identity of parents, students, school officials, and any other party to whom personally identifiable information from education records is disclosed.

B. Private Records Not Accessible to Parent

In certain cases state law intends, and clearly provides, that certain information contained in the education records of the School District pertaining to a student be accessible to the student alone, and to the parent only under special circumstances, if at all.

1. The responsible authority may deny access to private data by a parent when a minor student who is the subject of that data requests that the responsible authority deny such access. The minor student’s request must be submitted in writing setting forth the reasons for denying access to the parent and must be signed by the minor. Upon receipt of such request the responsible authority shall determine if honoring the request to deny the parent access would be in the best interest of the minor data subject. In making this determination the responsible authority shall consider the following factors:

a. whether the minor is of sufficient age and maturity to be able to explain the reasons for and understand the consequences of the request to deny access;

b. whether the personal situation of the minor is such that denying parental access may protect the minor data subject from physical or emotional harm;

c. whether there are grounds for believing that the minor data subject’s reasons for precluding parental access are reasonably accurate;

d. whether the data in question is of such a nature that disclosure of it to the parent may lead to physical or emotional harm to the minor data subject; and

e. whether the data concerns medical, dental or other health services provided pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§ 144.341-144.347, in which case the data may be released only if the failure to inform the parent would seriously jeopardize the health of the minor.

C. Private Records Not Accessible to Student

Students shall not be entitled to access to private data concerning financial records and statements of the student’s parent or any information contained therein.

IX. DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS

A. Confidential Records

Confidential records are those records and data contained therein which are made not public by state or federal law, and which are inaccessible to the student and the student’s parents or to an eligible student.

B. Reports Under the Maltreatment of Minors Reporting Act

Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 626.556, reports pertaining to a neglected and/or physically and/or sexually abused child shall be accessible only to the appropriate welfare and law enforcement agencies. In respect to other parties, such data shall be confidential and will not be made available to the parent or the subject individual by the School District. The subject individual, however, may obtain a copy of the report from either the local welfare agency, county sheriff, or the local police department subject to the provisions of Minn. Stat. § 626.556, Subd. 11.

C. Investigative Data

Data collected by the School District as part of an active investigation undertaken for the purpose of the commencement or defense of pending civil legal action, or which are retained in anticipation of a pending civil legal action are classified as protected nonpublic data in the case of data not on individuals, and confidential data in the case of data on individuals.

1. The School District may make any data classified as protected non-public or confidential pursuant to this subdivision accessible to any person, agency, or the public if the School District determines that such access will aid the law enforcement process, promote public health or safety, or dispel widespread rumor or unrest. 

2. A complainant has access to a statement he or she provided to the School District.

3. Parents or eligible students may have access to investigative data of which the student is the subject, but only to the extent the data is not inextricably intertwined with data about other School District students, School District employees, and/or attorney data as defined in Minn. Stat. § 13.393.

4. Once a civil investigation becomes inactive, civil investigative data becomes public unless the release of the data would jeopardize another pending civil legal action, except for those portions of such data that are classified as not public data under state or federal law. Any civil investigative data presented as evidence in court or made part of a court record shall be public. For purposes of this provision, a civil investigation becomes inactive upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

a. a decision by the School District, or by the chief attorney for the School District, not to pursue the civil legal action. However, such investigation may subsequently become active if the School District or its attorney decides to renew the civil legal action;

b. the expiration of the time to file a complaint under the statute of limitations or agreement applicable to the civil legal action; or c. the exhaustion or expiration of rights of appeal by either party to the civil legal action.

5. A “pending civil legal action” for purposes of this subdivision is defined as including, but not limited to, judicial, administrative, or arbitration proceedings.

D. Chemical Abuse Records 

To the extent the School District maintains records of the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any student which are maintained in connection with the performance of any drug abuse prevention function conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the United States, such records are classified as confidential and shall be disclosed only for the purposes and under the circumstances expressly authorized by law.

X. DISCLOSURE OF SCHOOL RECORDS PRIOR TO EXCLUSION OR EXPULSION HEARING

At a reasonable time prior to any exclusion or expulsion hearing, the student and the student’s parent or guardian or representative shall be given access to all School District records pertaining to the student, including any tests or reports upon which the action proposed by the School District may be based, pursuant to the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. § 121A.40, et seq.

XI. DISCLOSURE OF DATA TO MILITARY RECRUITING OFFICERS AND POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

A. The School District will release the names, addresses, and home telephone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 to military recruiting officers and postsecondary educational institutions within sixty (60) days after the date of the request unless a parent or eligible student has refused in writing to release this data pursuant to Paragraph C. below.

B. Data released to military recruiting officers under this provision:

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. cannot be further disseminated to any other person except personnel of the recruiting services of the armed forces.

C. A parent or eligible student has the right to refuse the release of the name, address, or home telephone number to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions. To refuse the release of the above information to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions, a parent or eligible student must notify the responsible authority, the Student Information Coordinator in writing. The written request must include the following information:

1. Name of student and parent, as appropriate;

2. Home address;

3. Student’s grade level;

4. School presently attended by student;

5. Parent’s legal relationship to student, if applicable;

6. Specific category or categories of information which are not to be released to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions; and

7. Specific category or categories of information which are not to be released to the public, including military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions.

D. Annually, the School District will provide public notice by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the parents and eligible students of their rights to refuse to release the names, addresses, and home phone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 without prior consent.

E. A parent or eligible student’s refusal to release the above information to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions does not affect the School District’s release of directory information to the rest of the public, which includes military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions. In order to make any directory information about a student private, the procedures contained in Section VII. of this policy also must be followed. Accordingly, to the extent the School District has designated the name, address, phone number, and grade level of students as directory information, absent a request from a parent or eligible student not to release such data, this information will be public data and accessible to members of the public, including military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions.

XII. LIMITS ON REDISCLOSURE

A. Redisclosure

Consistent with the requirements herein, the School District may only disclose personally identifiable information from the education records of a student on the condition that the party to whom the information is to be disclosed will not disclose the information to any other party without the prior written consent of the parent of the student or the eligible student, except that the officers, employees, and agents of any party receiving personally identifiable information under this section may use the information, but only for the purposes for which the disclosure was made.

B. Redisclosure Not Prohibited

1. Subdivision A. of this section does not prevent the School District from disclosing personally identifiable information under Section VI. of this policy with the understanding that the party receiving the information may make further disclosures of the information on behalf of the School District provided:

a. The disclosures meet the requirements of Section VI. of this policy; and

b. The School District has complied with the record-keeping requirements of Section XIII. of this policy.

2. Subdivision A. of this section does not apply to disclosures made pursuant to court orders or lawfully issued subpoenas or litigation, to disclosures of directory information, to disclosures to a parent or student or to parents of dependent students, or to disclosures concerning sex offenders and other individuals required to register under 42 U.S.C. § 14071. However, the School District must provide the notification required in Section XII.D. of this policy if a redisclosure is made based upon a court order or lawfully issued subpoena.

C. Classification of Disclosed Data

The information disclosed shall retain the same classification in the hands of the party receiving it as it had in the hands of the School District.

D. Notification

The School District shall, except for disclosures made pursuant to court orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosure of directory information under Section VII. of this policy, disclosures to a parent or student, disclosures to parents of a dependent student, or to disclosures concerning sex offenders and other individuals required to register under 42 U.S.C. § 14071, inform the party to whom a disclosure is made of the requirements set forth in this section. In the event that the Family Policy Compliance Office determines that a third party outside of the School District improperly rediscloses personally identifiable information from education records or fails to provide notification required under this section of this policy, the School District may not allow that third party access to personally identifiable information from education records for at least five (5) years.

XIII. RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITY; RECORD SECURITY; AND RECORD KEEPING

A. Responsible Authority

The responsible authority shall be responsible for the maintenance and security of student records.

B. Record Security

The principal of each school subject to the supervision and control of the responsible authority shall be the records manager of the school, and shall have the duty of maintaining and securing the privacy and/or confidentiality of student records.

C. Plan for Securing Student Records

The building principal shall submit to the responsible authority a written plan for securing students records by September 1 of each school year. The written plan shall contain the following information:

1. A description of records maintained;

2. Titles and addresses of person(s) responsible for the security of student records;

3. Location of student records, by category, in the buildings;

4. Means of securing student records; and

5. Procedures for access and disclosure.

D. Review of Written Plan for Securing Student Records

The responsible authority shall review the plans submitted pursuant to Paragraph C. of this section for compliance with the law, this policy and the various administrative policies of the school district. The responsible authority shall then promulgate a chart incorporating the provisions of Paragraph C. which shall be attached to and become a part of this policy.

E. Record Keeping

1. The principal shall, for each request for and each disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records of a student, maintain a record with the education records of the student which indicates:

a. the parties who have requested or received personally identifiable information from the education records of the student;

b. the legitimate interests these parties had in requesting or obtaining the information; and

c. the names of the state and local educational authorities and federal officials and agencies listed in Section VI.B.4. of this policy that may make further disclosures of personally identifiable information from the student’s education records without consent.

2. In the event the School District discloses personally identifiable information from an education record of a student pursuant to Section XII.B. of this policy, the record of disclosure required under this section shall also include:

a. the names of the additional parties to which the receiving party may disclose the information on behalf of the School District;

b. the legitimate interests under Section VI. of this policy which each of the additional parties has in requesting or obtaining the information; and

c. a copy of the record of further disclosures maintained by a state or local educational authority or federal official or agency listed in Section VI.B.4. of this policy in accordance with 34 C.F.R. § 99.32 and to whom the School District disclosed information from an education record. The School District shall request a copy of the record of further disclosures from a state or local educational authority or federal official or agency to whom education records were disclosed upon a request from a parent or eligible student to review the record of requests for disclosure.

3. Section XIII.E.1. does not apply to requests by or disclosure to a parent of a student or an eligible student, disclosures pursuant to the written consent of a parent of a student or an eligible student, requests by or disclosures to other school officials under Section VI.B.1. of this policy, to requests for disclosures of directory information under Section VII. of this policy, or to a party seeking or receiving the records as directed by a federal grand jury or other law enforcement subpoena and the issuing court or agency has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information provided in response to the subpoena not be disclosed or as directed by an ex parte court order obtained by the United States Attorney General (or designee not lower than an Assistant Attorney General) concerning investigations or prosecutions of an offense listed in 18. U.S.C. § 2332b(g)(5)(B) or an act of domestic or international terrorism.

4. The record of requests of disclosures may be inspected by:

a. the parent of the student or the eligible student;

b. the school official or his or her assistants who are responsible for the custody of the records; and

c. the parties authorized by law to audit the record-keeping procedures of the School District.

5. The School District shall record the following information when it discloses personally identifiable information from education records under the health or safety emergency exception:

a. the articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individual that formed the basis for the disclosure; and

b. the parties to whom the School District disclosed the information.

6. The record of requests and disclosures shall be maintained with the education records of the student as long as the School District maintains the student’s education records.

XIV. RIGHT TO INSPECT AND REVIEW EDUCATION RECORDS

A. 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.

B. 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.

C. Right to Inspect and Review

The right to inspect and review education records under Subdivision A. of this section includes:

1. The right to a response from the School District to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of records; and

2. 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.

3. 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.

D. 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. 

E. 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.

F. 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.

G. 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.

H. Fees for Copies of Records

1. 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:

a. the cost of materials, including paper, used to provide the copies;

b. the cost of the labor required to prepare the copies;

c. any schedule of standard copying charges established by the School District in its normal course of operations;

d. any special costs necessary to produce such copies from machine based record-keeping systems, including but not limited to computers and microfilm systems; and

e. mailing costs.

2. 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.

3. The cost of providing copies shall be borne by the parent or eligible student.

4. 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

A. 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 or other rights of the student may request that the School District amend those records.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

B. 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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Any statement placed in the education records of the student under Subdivision B. of this section shall:

a. 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.  

C. Conduct of Hearing

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

D. 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

A. 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.

B. Data practices compliance official means Assistant Superintendent.

XVII. COMPLAINTS FOR NONCOMPLIANCE

A. Where to File Complaints

Complaints regarding alleged violations of rights accorded parents and eligible students by 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, 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.

B. 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 20 U.S.C. § 1232g 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 20 U.S.C. § 1232g. 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

A. 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:

1. 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;

2. 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;

3. 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;

4. 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 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and the rules promulgated thereunder;

5. 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

6. 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.

B. 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.

C. 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.

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Reviewed: May 19. 2016
Revised: September 3, 2019, November 2020