FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS
The Cranston Public Schools makes school records available to parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This Act is amendable only by the U.S. Congress and any changes in the law shall supersede local policy. This policy will be reviewed for appropriate amendments within a reasonable period after changes in the law and/or regulation. In regard to the student’s education records, FERPA affords the following rights to parents and "eligible students":
1.) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the District receives a request for access, unless a shorter time is required by any other state or federal statute. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional Information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3.) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an
official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Directory type information is also disclosed without consent in a manner consistent with FERPA and the District policy regarding education records. Directory type information includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, electronic mail address, photograph, grade level, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous education agency or institution attended.
4.) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
A copy of the Cranston Public Schools policy regarding education records is available in the Office of the Superintendent of Schools.
POLICY AMENDED: August 17, 2009 Cranston Public Schools
RESOLUTION NO. 09-8-19 Cranston, Rhode Island
POLICY ADOPTED: 8-17-98
CRANSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
EDUCATION RECORDS AND CONFIDENTIALITY
The following procedures, which have been established by the Cranston Public School Committee to protect the confidentiality of education records, are based upon the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (34CFR, Part 99 as amended), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the General Laws of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Regulations of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education Governing the Special Education of Students with Disabilities. These policies and procedures pertain to the inspection, review, amendment, transfer, maintenance and destruction of education records.
A. DEFINITION OF TERMS
In its policies and procedures for student education records, the Cranston Public Schools uses the following definition of terms:
1. Student any person who attends or has attended a school in the Cranston Public School District.
2. Eligible Student a student or former student who has reached eighteen (18)
years of age or is attending an institution of post secondary education.
3. Parent a parent of a student, including natural parent, a guardian or individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.
4. Education Records
any information recorded in any way, including but not limited to, handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and computer media, that is: 1) directly related to a student 2) maintained by the school district or by a party acting for the school district and 3) directory information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes but is not limited to, the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, electronic mail address, photograph, grade level, major field of study,
participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous education agency or institution attended.
5. Educational Records
Do Not Include
(1) Records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
(2) Records of the law enforcement unit of an educational agency or institution, subject to the provisions of §99.8.
(3) (i) Records relating to an individual who is employed by an educational agency or institution that:
(A) Are made and maintained in the normal course of business;
(B) Relate exclusively to the individual in that individual’s capacity as an employee; and
(C) Are not available for use for any other purpose.
(ii) Records relating to an individual in attendance at the agency or institution who is employed as a result of his or her status as a student are education records and not excepted under paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this definition.
(4) Records on a student who is 18 years of age or older, or is attending an institution of postsecondary education, that are:
(i) Made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity;
(ii) Made, maintained, or used only in connection with treatment of student; and
(iii) Disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment. For the purpose of this definition, "treatment" does not include remedial educational activities or activities that are part of the program of instruction at the agency or institution; and
(5) Records created or received by an educational agency or institution after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.
(6) Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
6. Personally Identifiable Information information that includes, but is not limited to:
- the student’s name
- the name of the student’s parent or other family members
- the address of the student or student’s family
- a personal identifier, such as the student’s social security
number, student’s school identification number, or biometric record
- a list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable
- other information that would make the student’s identity consent easily traceable
- information requested by a person who the educational agency or institution reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the educational record relates.
7. Written Consent Original signed authorization only. The Cranston Public Schools will not accept photocopied authorizations or facsimile transmissions for request for records. Authorization/requests must be signed in ink and include the name, date of birth and the types of educational records requested. Telecopied requests must be followed by the original signed authorization before records will be released.
B. CONFIDENTIALITY/ANNUAL NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS
Appropriate records of attendance, evaluation, suspension or withdrawal are maintained for each student, kept in a protected location and treated in a confidential manner. Parents and eligible students are notified annually by the Cranston Public Schools of the rights accorded to them by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as amended by the Improving America’s School Act of 1994 and the USDE regulations of November, 1996 and revised FERPA regulations issued on December 8, 2008, which took effect January 8, 2009. Parents of middle school, high school students, and eligible students are notified annually of their FERPA rights through publication in the middle school and high school handbooks. Parents of all students are notified annually through publication in the summer edition of the CRANSTON QUARTERLY.
The annual notification of rights informs parents/eligible students that they have the right to:
1. Inspect and review the student’s education records;
2. Request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation the student’s privacy rights or other rights;
3. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education record, except to the extent that FERPA regulations authorize disclosure without consent;
4. File with the United States Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the Cranston Public Schools to comply with the FERPA regulations; and
5. Obtain a copy of the policies of the Cranston Public Schools for student education records. Copies of these policies are located in the offices of the Superintendent of Schools and the Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
C. CUSTODIAN OF EDUCATION RECORDS
The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee is the district-wide custodian of education records. The Office of the Superintendent is located at 845 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910.
Listed below are the types and locations of education records that are maintained by the Cranston Public Schools and the school personnel whom the Superintendent designates as building-level custodian of these records: Types of Records
Cumulative School Records (including attendance & discipline)
Limited English Proficiency
Chapter I & Literacy
Special Services Center & Copy at the School
Exec. Dir. Of Pupil Personnel Srvc c/o
Dir. Of Special Ed
Office of School Nurse at School in which Student is Currently Enrolled