506.1 Education Records Access
The board recognizes the importance of maintaining education records and preserving their confidentiality as provided by law. Education records are kept confidential at collection, storage, disclosure and destruction stages. The board secretary is the custodian of education records. Education records may be maintained in the central administration office or administrative office of the student’s attendance center.
For the purposes of this policy, the defined words have the following meaning:
- “Education Record” means those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
- “Eligible Student” means a student who has reached eighteen years or attends a postsecondary institution. Parents of an eligible student are provided access to education records only with the written permission of the eligible student unless the eligible student is defined as a dependent by the Internal Revenue Code. In that case, the parents may be provided access without the written permission of the student.
An education record may contain information on more than one student. Parents will have the right to access the information relating to their student or to be informed of the information. Eligible students will also have the right to access the information relating to themselves, or be informed of the information.
Parents, eligible students, and other individuals authorized in accordance with law will have a right to access the student’s education records upon request without unnecessary delay and in no instance more than forty-five calendar days after the request is made. Parents, other than parents of an eligible student, may be denied access to a student’s records if the school district has a court order stating such or when the district has been advised under the appropriate laws that the parents may not access the student records. Parents, an eligible student or an authorized representative of the parents will have the right to access the student’s education records prior to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting or hearing.
Copies of education records will be provided if failure to do so would effectively prevent the parents or student from exercising the right to access the education records. Fees for copies of the records are waived if it would prevent the parents or student from accessing the records. A fee may not be charged to search or retrieve information from education records.
Upon the request of parents or an eligible student, the school district will provide an explanation and interpretation of the education records and a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained or used by the school district.
If the parents or an eligible student believes the information in the education records is inaccurate, misleading or violates the privacy of the student, the parents or an eligible student may request that the school district amend the education records.
Education records may be disclosed in limited circumstances without parental or eligible student’s written permission. This disclosure is made on the condition that the education record will not be disclosed to a third party without the written permission of the parents or the eligible student. This disclosure may be:
- To school officials within the school district and AEA personnel whom the superintendent has determined to have a legitimate educational interest, including, but not limited to, board members, employees, school attorney, auditor, health professionals, and individuals serving on official school committees;
- To officials of another school district in which the student wishes to enroll, provided the other school district notifies the parents the education records are being sent and the parents have an opportunity to receive a copy of the records and challenge the contents of the records unless the annual notification includes a provision that records will automatically be transferred to new school districts;
- To the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education or state and local educational authorities;
- In connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it was conducted;
- To accrediting organizations;
- To parents of a dependent student as defined in the Internal Revenue Code;
- To comply with a court order or judicially issued subpoena;
- In connection with a health or safety emergency;
- As directory information; or
- In additional instances as provided by law.
The superintendent will keep a list of the individuals and their positions who are authorized to view a special education student’s education records without the permission of the parents or the eligible student. Individuals not listed are not allowed access without parental or an eligible student’s written permission. This list must be current and available for public inspection and updated as changes occur.
The superintendent will also keep a list of individuals, agencies and organizations which have requested or obtained access to a student’s education records, the date access was given and their legitimate educational interest or purpose for which they were authorized to view the records. The superintendent, however, does not need to keep a list of the parents, authorized educational employees, officers and agencies of the school district who have accessed the student’s education records. This list for an education record may be accessed by the parents, the eligible student and the custodian of education records.
Permanent education records, including a student’s name, address, phone number, grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed and year completed may be maintained without time limitation. Permanent education records will be kept in a fire-safe vault or they may be maintained electronically with a secure backup file.
When personally identifiable information, other than permanent education records, is no longer needed to provide educational services to a special education student, the parents or eligible student are notified. This notice is normally given after a student graduates or otherwise leaves the school district. If the parents or
eligible student request that the personally identifiable information be destroyed, the school district will destroy the records, except for permanent records. Prior to the destruction of the records, the school district must inform the parents or eligible student the records may be needed by the parents or eligible student for social security benefits or other purposes. For purposes of policy, “no longer needed to provide educational services” means that a record is no longer relevant to the provision of instruction, support, or related services and it is no longer needed for accountability and audit purposes. At a minimum, a record needed for accountability and audit purposes must be retained for five years after completion of the activity for which funds were used.
The school district will provide training or instruction to employees about parents’ and eligible students’ rights under this policy. Employees will also be informed about the procedures for carrying out this policy.
It is the responsibility of the superintendent to annually notify parents and eligible students that they have the right to:
- Inspect and review the student’s education records;
- Seek amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;
- Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that the law authorizes disclosure without consent; and
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the law.
The notice is given in a parents’ or eligible student’s native language. Should the school district collect personal information from students for the purposes of marketing or selling that information, the school district will annually notify parents of such activity.
The notice will include a statement that the parents have a right to file a complaint alleging the school district failed to comply with this policy. Complaints are forwarded to Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, Washington, DC. 20202-8520.
20 U.S.C. § 1232g, 1415.
34 C.F.R. Pt. 99, 300, .610 et seq.
Iowa Code §§ 22; 279.9B, 280.24, .25, 622.10.
281 I.A.C. 12.3(4); 41
Cross Reference: 501 Student Attendance
505 Student Scholastic Achievement
506 Student Records
507 Student Health and Well-Being
603.3 Special Education
708 Care, Maintenance and Disposal of School District Records
901 Public Examination of School District Records
Approved 10/20/2021 Reviewed Revised
506.1E1 Request of Non-parent for Examination or Copies of Education Records
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