Section J - Students
Regulation Title: Student Records
Regulation Code: JR-R
Print Version (In PDF)
This procedure is designed to meet the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). All personnel in the District are expected to fulfill the requirements of policy and the following procedures in order to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages [34 C.F.R. 300.612].
The Superintendent has the responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information [34 C.F.R. 300.612].
All rights and protections given parents under the FERPA and this procedure transfer to the student upon reaching age eighteen (18) except where the student continues as a dependent under specified circumstances, or enrolling in a postsecondary school. The student then becomes an "eligible student" [34 C.F.R. 99.5 and 300.625].
For the purpose of the procedure, the District has used the following definitions of terms:
- Student - Any person who attends or has attended a program of instruction sponsored by the District and for whom the District maintains education records.
- Eligible student - A student who has reached age eighteen (18) or is attending a postsecondary school.
- Parent - Either the natural parent of a student, unless the parent's rights under the FERPA have been removed by a court order, statute, or other legal document, or a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent or guardian in the absence of the student's parent or guardian. The District may presume that the parent has the authority to inspect and review education records relating to his or her child unless the District has been advised that the parent does not have authority under applicable law.
- Education records - Any information directly related to a student recorded in any way including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm or microfiche, that is maintained by the District, an employee of the District, or any agent of the District except:
- Personal records kept by an employee of the District that meets the following tests:
- It is used only as a personal memory aid.
- It is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made it.
- It is not accessible and has never been revealed to any other person except the employee's temporary substitute.
- Medical treatment records maintained for "eligible students."
- Records collected and maintained by a law enforcement unit of the school.
- Records containing only information about a person after that individual is no longer a student in the District.
- An employment record that is used only in relation to a student's employment by the District. (Employment for this purpose does not include activities for which a student receives a grade or credit in a course.)
- Related alumni records after the student no longer attends classes provided by the District, and the records do not relate to the person as a student.
- Personal records kept by an employee of the District that meets the following tests:
- Personally identifiable information - Any data or information that makes the subject of a record known. This includes the student's name, the name(s) of the student's parent(s) or other family member(s), the student's address, the student's Social Security number, a student number, a list of personal characteristics, or other information that would make the student's identity easily traceable.
- Signed and dated written consent - May include a record and signature in electronic form that:
- Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent.
- Indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.
Locations of Education Records
A list of types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used will be provided to the parents on request [34 C.F.R. 300.616]. See Exhibit JR-EA.
Procedure to Inspect Education Records
Parents of a student, the designated representative of the parents, and an eligible student may inspect and review the student's education records that are collected, maintained, or used by the District [34 C.F.R. 300.501]. In some circumstances it may be mutually more convenient for the record custodian to provide copies of records. Charges for the copies of records will be costs of copying unless the fee would effectively prevent the parent from exercising rights to inspect and review those records [34 C.F.R. 300.613 and 300.617].
Since a student's records may be maintained in several locations, the school principal will offer to collect copies of records or the records themselves from locations other than a student's school so they may be inspected at one (1) site. However, if parents and eligible students wish to inspect records where they are maintained, the school's principal will make every effort to accommodate their wishes.
Parents, the designated representative of the parents, or the eligible student should submit to the student's school principal a signed and dated written request that identifies as precisely as possible the record or records wanted for inspection. The District will respond to any request without unnecessary delay before any meeting regarding any individual education program or hearing relating to the identification, evaluation, placement of a student, or the provision of a free appropriate public education, and in no case more than forty-five (45) days after the request has been made [34 C.F.R. 300.613 and 99.10]. See Exhibit JR-ED.
The principal, or other education records custodian, will contact the parent of the student or the eligible student to discuss how access will be best arranged (e.g., copies, at the exact location, or records brought to a single site).
Parents have the right, upon reasonable request, for explanations and interpretations of the information contained in the records and a right to request copies of the records containing the information, if not in violation of stated policy of FERPA. Parents have the right to have a representative of the parent to inspect and review the records [34 C.F.R. 300.613 and 99.10].
The principal, or other education records custodian, will make the needed arrangements as promptly as possible and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. This procedure must be completed in forty-five (45) days or less after receipt of the request for access [34 C.F.R. 300.613].
If for any valid reason, such as working hours, distance between record location sites, or health, the parent or eligible student cannot personally inspect and review a student's education records, the District will arrange for the parent or eligible student to obtain copies of the record. See below for information regarding fees for copies of records [34 C.F.R. 300.613 and 99.10].
When a record contains information about students other than a parent's child or the eligible student, the parent or eligible student may not inspect and review the records of the other students [34 C.F.R. 300.615, 99.5 and 99.12].
Fees for Copies of Records
All records subject to disclosure under this procedure shall be available for inspection free of charge. If copies are desired, they shall be furnished by the District to the parent or eligible student on request and free of charge. Additional copies may be sent to other schools or agencies without charge. However, the District reserves the right to charge up to thirty-five cents (35¢) per page for multiple or excessive requests. Copies of available records shall be produced as promptly as possible upon receipt of the request. No fee will be charged for search and retrieval of records [34 C.F.R. 300.617 and 99.11].
The District will provide copies of records:
- When the refusal to provide copies effectively denies access to the records by the parent or eligible student [34 C.F.R. 300.617].
- At the request of the parent or eligible student, when the District has provided the records to third parties by the prior consent of the parent or eligible student.
- At the request of the parent or eligible student when the District has forwarded the records to another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
The District designates the following personally identifiable information contained in a student's education records as "directory information" and may disclose that information without prior written consent [20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(5)(A)]:
- The student's name
- The student's address
- The student's telephone listing
- The student's date and place of birth
- The student's electronic mail address
- The student's photograph, video or other visual media
- The student's grade level
- The student's major field of study
- The student's dates of attendance
- The student's enrollment status (e.g., part time or full time).
- The student's participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- The student's weight and height if a member of an athletic team
- The student's honors and awards received
- The student's most recently attended educational agency or institution
Within the first three (3) weeks of each school year the District will publish in a District communication or send home with each student the above list, or a revised list, of the items of directory information designated as directory information. For a student who enrolls after the notice is published, the list will be given to the parent or eligible student at the time and place of enrollment. See Exhibit JR-EB.
After the parents or eligible student have been notified, they will have two (2) weeks to advise the District in writing (a letter to the Superintendent's office) of any or all of the items they refuse to permit the District to designate as directory information about that student.
According to state and federal law if the Governing Board permits the release of directory information relating to students to persons or organizations who inform students of educational or occupational opportunities, then the Governing Board shall provide access to directory information on the same basis to military official recruiting representatives for the purpose of informing students of educational and occupational opportunities available to them. Directory information shall be released on or before October 31 of each year unless the parent or eligible student requests in writing to the District (a letter to the Superintendent's office within two (2) weeks after notification) not to release directory information to any person or organization without prior signed and dated written consent. The District shall distribute a form, separate from any other form, designed and provided to Districts by the Arizona Department of Education allowing pupils to request that directory information not be released. If the District distributes materials to pupils through electronic communication or on an internet website, the form may be distributed in the same manner. A person who is wrongfully denied access to directory information or access to school buildings, school grounds or other property may notify the Department of Education, which shall report the alleged violation to the United States Department of Education. If the parent or eligible student refuses to allow the release of directory information without prior signed and dated written consent, then the District will not provide military recruiters, upon request, directory information containing the student's name, addresses and telephone listings.
At the end of the two (2)-week period, if the parent or eligible student has not returned the form indicating refusal to allow the release of directory information, the District will assume it has their permission to release the above-mentioned information. This designation will remain in effect until it is modified by the prior signed and dated written direction of the parent or eligible student. The student's records will be appropriately marked by the records custodian to ensure compliance with the parents' or eligible student's request.
Use of Student Education Records
To carry out their responsibilities, school officials will have access to student education records for legitimate educational purposes. The District will use the following criteria to determine who are school officials [34 C.F.R. 99.31]:
- A person duly elected to the Board (under limited circumstances).
- A person certificated by the state and appointed by the Board to an administrative or supervisory position.
- A person certificated by the state and under contract to the Board as an instructor.
- A person employed by the Board as a temporary substitute for administrative, supervisory, or instructional personnel for the period of such performance as a substitute.
- A person employed by or under contract to the Board to perform a special task, such as a secretary, a clerk, the Board attorney, or auditor, for the period of such performance as an employee or contractor.
School officials who meet the criteria listed above will have access to a student's records if they have a legitimate educational interest in doing so [34 C.F.R. 99.32]. A "legitimate educational interest" is the person's need to know in order to:
- Perform an administrative task required in the school employee's position description approved by the Board.
- Perform a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student's education.
- Perform a service or benefit for the student or the student's family, such as health care, counseling, student job placement, or student financial aid.
Records of students placed in special educational programs will be under the direct supervision of the program administration. All persons collecting or using personally identifiable information in records of students determined to be a student with a disability will receive training or instruction regarding Arizona's policies and procedures for the protection of these records at the collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages in accordance with FERPA and IDEA [34 C.F.R. 300.623].
The District will maintain for public inspection a current listing of the names and positions of employees who have access to personally identifiable information maintained on students placed in special education [34 C.F.R. 300.623]. When the information maintained in these records is no longer needed to provide educational services to the student, the District will notify the parents of their right to have the personally identifiable information destroyed [34 C.F.R. 300.624]. However a permanent record of a student's name, address, phone number, grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed will be maintained [34 C.F.R. 300.624]. Destruction of records will be accomplished in accordance with the requirements of Arizona law and regulations of the Department of Library, Archives, and Public Records [34 C.F.R. 300.623].
The District will release information from or permit access to a student's education records only with a parent's or eligible student's prior signed and dated written consent, except that the Superintendent or a person designated in writing by the Superintendent may permit disclosure [34 C.F.R. 99.30, 99.31, 99.34, and 99.37]:
- When a student seeks or intends to enroll in another school district or a postsecondary school the District will not further notify parents or eligible students prior to such a transfer of records. Parents and student have a right to obtain copies of records transferred under this provision. See Exhibit JR-EC.
- When certain federal and state officials need information in order to audit or enforce legal conditions related to federally supported education programs in the District.
- To parties who provide or may provide financial aid to a student to:
- Establish the student's eligibility for the aid.
- Determine the amount of financial aid.
- Establish the conditions for the receipt of the financial aid.
- Enforce the agreement between the provider and the receiver of financial aid.
- If a state law adopted before November 19, 1974, required certain specific items of information to be disclosed in personally identifiable form from student records to state or local officials.
- If a state law adopted before November 19, 1974, required certain specific items of information to be disclosed in personally identifiable form from student records to state or local officials of the juvenile justice system and the officials certify in writing that the information will not be disclosed to any other party, except as provided under state law, without prior signed and dated written consent of the parent or the eligible student.
- When the District has entered into a written agreement or contract for an organization to conduct studies on the District's behalf to develop tests, administer student aid, or improve instruction.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
- To parents of an eligible student if the parents claim the student as a dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. The District will make a reasonable effort to notify the parent or the eligible student before making a disclosure under this provision unless directed otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.
- To comply with an ex parte order from a court of competent jurisdiction requiring the District to permit the U.S. Attorney General or U.S. Attorney General's designee to collect education records in the possession of the District that are relevant to an authorized investigation or prosecution of an offense listed in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g)(5)(B) for an act of domestic or international terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2331. An ex parte order is an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction without notice to the adverse party. A disclosure pursuant to an ex parte order will not be recorded as a disclosure of information from a student's education records by the District.
- If the District initiates legal action against a parent or student, the District may disclose to the court, without a court order or subpoena, the education records of the student that are relevant for the District to proceed with the legal action.
- If a parent or eligible student initiates legal action against the District, the District may, without a court order or subpoena, disclose the student's education records that are relevant for the District to defend itself.
- To comply with the request of authorized law enforcement officials conducting an investigation of acts of terrorism.
- The disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency. Time is an important and limiting factor in determining whether the disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency. The District will permit any school official to make the needed disclosure from student education records in a health or safety emergency if:
- The official deems the disclosure is warranted by the seriousness of the threat to the health or safety of the student or other persons.
- The information is necessary and needed to address the emergency.
- The persons to whom the information is to be disclosed are qualified and in a position to deal with the emergency.
The District may release student attendance, disciplinary, and other education records to a law enforcement agency and county attorney pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement between the District, the law enforcement agency, the county attorney, and other state, local, or tribal government agencies to create a local or tribal juvenile justice network for the purpose of:
- Providing appropriate programs and services to intervene with juveniles currently involved in the juvenile justice system.
- Providing appropriate programs and services designed to deter at-risk juveniles from dropping out of school or other delinquent behavior.
- Increasing the safety and security of the community and its children by reducing juvenile crime.
- Education records provided pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement entered into in accord with the above provisions shall be used solely for the purposes of the agreement and shall not be disclosed to any other party, except as provided by law.
A District school official may release information from a student's education records, other than directory information, to a third party if the parent or the eligible student gives prior signed and dated written consent for the disclosure and the third party agrees that the information will not be disclosed to any other party without the prior consent of the parent or eligible student. The signed and dated written consent must include at least:
- A specification of the records to be released.
- The reasons for the disclosure.
- The person or the organization or the class of persons or organizations to whom the disclosure is to be made.
- The signature of the parent or eligible student.
- The date of the consent and, if appropriate, a date when the consent is to be terminated.
The parent or the eligible student may obtain a copy of any records disclosed under this provision, unless otherwise provided.
Records of Requests for Access and Disclosures Made from Education Records
The District will maintain an accurate record of all requests for it to disclose information from or to permit access to a student's education records, and of information it discloses and access it permits, with some exceptions as listed below. This record will be kept with, but will not be a part of, each student's cumulative school records. It will be available only to the record custodian, the eligible student, the parent of the student, or to federal, state, or local officials for the purpose of auditing or enforcing federally supported educational programs [34 C.F.R. 99.32]. See Exhibit JR-EE.
The record will include at least:
- The name of the person, organization or agency that made the request.
- The interest the person, organization or agency had in the information.
- The date the person, organization or agency made the request.
- Whether the request was granted and, if it was, the date access was permitted or the disclosure was made.
The District will maintain this record as long as it maintains the student's education records. The record will not include requests for access or access granted to:
- the parent or eligible student
- authorized law enforcement officials conducting an investigation of acts of terrorism,
- school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the student,
- requests for or disclosures of information contained in the student's education records if the request is accompanied by or authorized by the prior signed and dated written consent of the parent or eligible student, or
- For requests for or disclosures of directory information designated for that student.
Procedures to Seek to Correct Education Records
[34 C.F.R. 99.20 and 99.21]
Parents of students and eligible students have a right to seek to change any part of the student's record they believe is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of student rights [34 C.F.R. 300.618 and 99.20]. (Note: Under the FERPA, the District may decline to consider a request to change the grade a teacher assigns for a course.)
For the purpose of outlining the procedure to seek to correct education records, the term incorrect will be used to describe a record that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of student rights. The term correct will be used to describe a record that is accurate, not misleading, and not in violation of student rights. Also, in this section, the term requester will be used to describe the parent of a student or the eligible student who is asking the District to correct a record.
To establish an orderly process to review and correct education records for a requester, the District may make a decision to comply with the request for change at several levels in the procedure [34 C.F.R. 300.618 and 99.20].
First-level decision. A parent of a student or an eligible student who finds an item in the student's education records that appears to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of student rights should immediately ask the record custodian to correct it. If the record is incorrect because of an obvious error and it is a simple matter to make the record change at this level, the record custodian will make the correction. However, if the record is changed at this level, the method and result must satisfy the requester.
If the custodian cannot change the record to the requester's satisfaction or the record does not appear to be obviously incorrect, the custodian will:
- Provide the requester a copy of the questioned record at no cost.
- Ask the requester to initiate a written request for the change.
- Follow the procedure for a second-level decision.
Second-level decision. The written request to correct a student's education records through the procedure at this level should specify the correction the requester wishes the District to make. It should at least identify the item thought to be incorrect and state whether the requester believes the item:
- Is inaccurate and why,
- Is misleading and why, or
- Violates students rights and why.
The request will be dated and signed by the requester.
Within two (2) weeks after receiving a written request, the record custodian will study the request, discuss it with other school officials (the person who made the record or those who may have a professional concern about the District's response to the request), make a decision to comply or decline to comply with the request, and complete the appropriate steps to notify the requester or move the request to the next level for a decision.
If, as a result of this review and discussion, a decision is reached that the record should be corrected, the record custodian will effect the change and notify the requester, in writing, of that action. Each such notice will include an invitation for the requester to inspect and review the student's education records to make certain the record is in order and the correction is satisfactory.
If a decision is reached that the record is correct, the custodian will make a written summary of any discussions with other officials and of the findings in the matter. This summary and a copy of the written request will be transmitted to the Superintendent.
Third-level decision. The Superintendent will review the material provided by the record custodian and, if necessary, discuss the matter with other officials such as the school attorney or the Board (in executive session unless otherwise requested by parent[s]). The Superintendent will then make a decision concerning the request and complete the steps at this decision level. Ordinarily, this level of the procedure should be completed within two (2) weeks. If it will take longer, the Superintendent will notify the requester in writing of the reasons for the delay and a date when the decision will be made.
If the Superintendent decides the record is incorrect and should be changed, the record custodian will be advised to make the changes. The record custodian will advise the requester of the change.
If the Superintendent decides the record is correct, a letter to the requester will be prepared that will include [34 C.F.R. 300.619 and 99.20]:
- The District's decision that the record is correct and the basis for the decision.
- A notice to the requester explaining the requester's right to ask for a hearing to present evidence that the record is incorrect and that the District will grant such a hearing.
- Instructions for the requester to contact the Superintendent to discuss acceptable hearing officers, convenient times, and a satisfactory site for the hearing. (The District will not be bound by the requester's positions on these items but will, as far as possible, arrange the hearing as the requester wishes.)
- Advice that the requester may be represented or assisted in the hearing by other parties, including an attorney, at the requester's expense.
Fourth-level decision. After the requester has submitted (orally or in writing) any wishes concerning the hearing officer and the time and place for the hearing, the Superintendent will, within one (1) week, notify the requester when and where the District will hold the hearing and whom it has designated as the hearing officer [34 C.F.R. 300.621, 99.21, 99.22, and 99.34].
At the hearing, the hearing officer will provide the requester a full and reasonable opportunity to present material evidence and testimony to demonstrate that the questioned part of the student's education records is incorrect as shown in the requester's written request for a change in the record (second level).
Within one (1) week after the hearing, the hearing officer will submit to the Superintendent a written summary of the evidence submitted at the hearing. Along with the summary, the hearing officer will submit recommendations, based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, that the record should be changed or should remain unchanged.
The Superintendent will prepare the District's decision within two (2) weeks after the hearing. That decision will be based on the summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and on the hearing officer's recommendation. However, the District's decision will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. Therefore, the Superintendent may overrule the hearing officer if the hearing officer's recommendation is deemed inconsistent with the evidence presented. As a result of the District's decision, the Superintendent will take one (1) of the following actions:
- If the decision is that the District will change the record, the Superintendent will instruct the record custodian to correct the record. The record custodian will correct the record and notify the requester as at the second-level decision [34 C.F.R. 300.620 and 99.21].
- If the decision is that the District will not change the record, the Superintendent will prepare a written notice to the requester that will include [34 C.F.R. 300.620 and 99.21]:
- The District's decision that the record is correct and will not be changed.
- A copy of a summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and a written statement of the reasons for the District's decision.
- Advice to the requester that an explanatory statement may be placed in the student's education records stating the reasons for disagreement with the District's decision and/or the reasons for believing the record to be incorrect.
Final administrative step in the procedure. When the District receives an explanatory statement from a requester after a hearing, it will maintain that statement as part of the student's education records as long as it maintains the questioned part of the record. The statement will be attached to the questioned part of the record and whenever the questioned part of the record is disclosed the explanatory statement will also be disclosed [34 C.F.R. 300.620 and 99.21].
Reviewed: August 24, 2012 [Friday Report]
Revision: January 4, 2013 [Friday Report]