Student Information & Records

Annual Notice to Parents and Eligible Students Advising of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
 
The District and any of the third parties with which it contracts are required to comply with a number of state and federal laws to protect the privacy of student educational records, information and data. The following are the most important of these laws:

FERPA and ISSRA. The Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that protects the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII) in student “education records,” and the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA), which is a state law that protects the privacy of “school student records,” both apply to all students in the District’s schools, regardless of age. These laws generally require parental consent before a school district can disclose PII from student education records to third parties. FERPA establishes the right of parents to inspect and review the student’s educational records; provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal or formal hearings; grants parents the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance office concerning alleged failures of the District to comply with FERPA; and makes provisions for notice to parents concerning their rights. The Family Policy Compliance Office: U.S. Department of Education; 400 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington DC 20202-4605

Exceptions to FERPA and ISSRA. FERPA allows the District to disclose education records of students to a third-party provider without parental consent if the provider performs a service/ function for the District that it would otherwise perform through its own employees, as long as the provider is under sufficient control by the District regarding the use/maintenance of the records and the provider does not use or re-disclose the shared data for any purpose other than by the District and as permitted by FERPA.

One such exception permits a school district to disclose PII from education records to designated authorized representatives including other local education agencies, in connection with the audit or evaluation of State or federally supported education programs. As allowed by this provision of FERPA, the District will on occasion disclose personally identifiable information from student education records to local education agencies or other authorized entities for the purpose of evaluating school educational programs to assess and improve their effectiveness. Agencies or entities, which receive such PII, may not disclose it or make it public. The District is required to keep records of such disclosures, and parents have a right to review the record of disclosures of PII from the student’s education records. ISSRA contains a similar exception to the FERPA school official exception.

PPRA and CPPEA. The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) also includes limitations on using personal information (PII) collected from students of all ages for marketing purposes and requires parents to be given notice and the opportunity to opt out of certain activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. The Illinois Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act, (CPPEA) 325 ILCS 17/, also generally prohibits the sale of personal information concerning a child under the age of 16 unless the parent(s)/guardian(s) have consented.

Exceptions to PPRA and CPPEA. PPRA includes an exception to the requirement for consent for the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions. This includes, but is not limited to, tests and assessments used by elementary school and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students (or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments) and the subsequent analysis and the public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments. Moreover, CPPEA only applies to the sale of such information.
 
COPPA. The Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) regulates commercial websites and online services directed to children under the age of 13 and requires that websites have consent from the child’s parent before knowingly collecting personal information from children.
 
Exceptions to COPPA. COPPA allows the District to consent on behalf of parents when they contract with third-party website operators that offer online programs solely for the benefit of the District, and not for any other commercial purpose, and that comply with certain notice and access requirements with respect to the District. COPPA also does not apply to students who are over age 13. Although there is some ambiguity in recent Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) guidance regarding whether the District has to obtain actual parental consent before granting consent to a provider, communications with the FTC, and review of the relevant law and guidance, indicate that schools may in good faith assume they are not required to obtain parental consent for providers that are covered by the school consent exception.
Annual Notification to Parent of Rights Concerning a Student’s Elementary School Records
 
Student Records Defined: A student record is any writing or other recorded information concerning a student and by which a student may be identified individually that is maintained by a school or at its direction or by a school employee, regardless of how or where the information is stored that contains personally, identifiable information or other information that would link the document to an individual student if it is maintained by the District, except records kept: (1) In a school staff member’s sole possession destroyed not later than the student’s graduation or permanent withdrawal, and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute teacher, or (2) by law enforcement officials working in the school.

Maintenance of School Student Records:
The District maintains both permanent and temporary records for each student.
 
The permanent record shall include:
  • Basic identifying information, including the student’s name, address, birth date and place, gender and the names and addresses of the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • Copy of the student’s birth certificate (or records submitted in lieu thereof as authorized by law)
  • Academic transcripts including grades, class rank, graduation date and grade level achieved
  • The unique student identifier assigned and used by the Student Information System
  • Attendance record
  • Health records (i.e., medical documentation necessary for enrollment and proof of examinationsrequired by 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1)
    Record of release of permanent record information in accordance with 105ILCS 10/6(c)
 
The permanent record also may include the following, if not maintained in the temporary record: honors and awards received, and information concerning participation in school-sponsored activities or athletics, or offices held in school-sponsored organizations.

No other information shall be kept in the permanent record. The Permanent Record is maintained for at least 60 years after the student transfers, graduates, or permanently withdraws. The Temporary Record is maintained for at least 5 years after the student transfers, graduates, or permanently withdraws.All information not required to be kept in the student permanent record is kept in the student Temporary record and must include:
 
  • A record of release of temporary record information in accordance with 105 ILCS 10/6(c)
  • Scores received on the State assessment tests administered in the elementary grade levels(Kindergarten through grade 8)
  • Information regarding serious infractions (those involving drugs, weapons or bodily harm to another) that resulted in expulsion, suspension, or the imposition of punishment or sanction
  • Information provided under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5/8.6), including any final finding report received from a Child Protective Service Unit.
  • Completed Home Language Survey
  • Any biometric information collected in accordance with 105 ILCS 5/10-20.40
  • Health-related information
  • Accident reports
 
The temporary record may include:
  • Family background information
  • Intelligence test scores, group and individual
  • Aptitude test scores
  • Reports of psychological evaluations, including information on intelligence, personality and academic information obtained through test administration, observation or interviews
  • Elementary and secondary achievement level test results
  • Teacher anecdotal records
  • Other disciplinary information
  • Special education files, including the report of the multidisciplinary staffing on which placement or non-placement was based, and all records and tape recordings relating to special education placement hearings and appeals
  • Records associated with Section 504 plans
  • Participation in extracurricular activities
  • Honors and awards received
  • Verified reports or information from non-educational persons, agencies or organizations of clear relevance to the student’s education
 
Temporary records that may be of assistance to a student with a disability who graduates or permanently withdraws, may, after 5 years, be transferred to the parent/guardian or to the student, if the student has succeeded to the rights of the parent/guardian.
 
Access to Student Records
The District shall grant access to student records as follows:
 
  1. Neither the District nor any of its employees shall release, disclose or grant access to information found in any student record except under the conditions set forth in the Illinois School Student Records Act.
  2. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student under 18 years of age, or designee, shall be entitled to inspect and copy information in the child’s school records; a student less than 18 years old may inspect or copy information in the student’s permanent record. Such requests shall be made in writing and directed to the Building Principal. Access to the records shall be granted within 10 business days of the District’s receipt of such a request, except that the time for response may be extended for up to 5 additional business days as permitted by Section 5 of the Illinois School Student Records Act (105 ILCS 10/5). The District may charge a fee for copies of records; please contact the Building Principal for fee information.
  3. The District may grant access to, or release information from, student records without parent/guardian consent or notification to District employees or officials or the Illinois State Board of Education, provided a current, demonstrable, educational or administrative need is shown. Access in such cases is limited to the satisfaction of that need.
  4. The District may grant access to, or release information from, student records without parent/guardian consent or notification to any person for the purpose of research, statistical reporting or planning provided that no student or parent(s)/guardian(s) can be identified from the information released, and the person to whom the information is released signs an affidavit agreeing to comply with all applicable statutes and rules pertaining to school student records.
  5. The District shall grant access to, or release information from, a student’s records pursuant to a court order, provided that the parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be given prompt written notice of such order’s terms, the nature and substance of the information proposed to be released and an opportunity to inspect and copy such records and to challenge their contents. However, the District will comply with an ex parte court order requiring it to permit the U.S. Attorney General or designee to have access to a student’s school records without notice to or the consent of the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s).
  6. The District shall grant access to, or release from, any student record as specifically required by federal or State statute.
  7. The District shall grant access to, or release from, student records to any person possessing a written, dated consent, signed by the parent(s)/guardian(s) stating to whom the records may be released, the information or record to be released, and the reason for the release. One copy of the consent form will be kept in the records and one copy is mailed to the parent(s)/guardian(s) by the Superintendent. Whenever the District requests the consent to release certain records, the Building Principal shall inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the right to limit such consent to specific portions of information in the records.
  8. The District may release student records to the Building Principal of another Illinois school, or an official with
    similar responsibilities in a non-Illinois school, in which the student has enrolled or intends to enroll, upon
    written request from such official.
  9. Prior to the release of any records, or information under items 6 and 8 above, the District shall provide prompt written notice to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of this intended action. This notification shall include a statement concerning the nature and substance of the records to be released and the right to inspect, copy and challenge the contents. If the release is under number 6 and relates to more than 25 students, a notice published in the newspaper is sufficient.
  10. The District may release student records, or information in connection with an emergency without parental consent if the knowledge is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons. The Building Principal shall make this decision taking into consideration the nature of the emergency, the seriousness of the threat to health or safety of the student or other persons, the need for such records to meet the emergency, and whether the persons to whom such records are released are in a position to deal with the emergency. The District shall notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) as soon as possible of the information released, the date of the release, the person, agency or organization to which the release was made, and the purpose of the release.
  11. The District shall grant access to, or release information from student records to juvenile authorities when necessary for the discharge of their official duties upon their request before the student’s adjudication, provided they certify in writing that the information will not be disclosed to any other party except as provided under law or order of court. “Juvenile authorities” means:
    1. a circuit court judge and court staff members designated by the judge,
    2. parties to the proceedings under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 and their attorneys;
    3. probation officers and court appointed advocates for the juvenile authorized by the judge hearing the case;
    4. any individual, public or private agency having court-ordered custody of the child;
    5. any individual, public or private agency providing education, medical or mental health service to the child when the requested information is needed to determine the appropriate service or treatment for the minor;
    6. any potential placement provider when such release is authorized by the court to determine the appropriateness of the potential placement;
    7. law enforcement officers and prosecutors;
    8. adult and juvenile prisoner review boards;
    9. authorized military personnel
    10. individuals authorized by the court.
The District shall grant access to, or release information from student records to a SHOCAP (Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program) committee member provided that:
    1. The committee member is a State or local official or authority;
    2. The disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records are to be released and the official or authority certifies in writing that the records will not be disclosed to any other party except as provided under State law without the prior written consent of the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s);
    3. The disclosure’s purpose is limited to identifying serious habitual juvenile offenders and matching those offenders with community resources pursuant to Section 5-145 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, and The release, transfer, disclosure or dissemination consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
12. Except as provided below, a record of all releases of information from student records (including all instances of access granted whether or not records were copied) shall be kept and maintained as part of such records. This record shall be maintained for the life of the student record and shall he accessible only to the parent(s)/guardian(s), Building Principal, or another official records custodian. The record of release shall include:
    1. Information released or made accessible.
    2. The name and signature of the Building Principal.
    3. The name and position if the person obtaining the release or access.
    4. The date of the release or grant of access.
    5. A copy of any consent to such release.
 
No record of a disclosure is maintained when records are disclosed according to the terms of an ex parte court order.
 
Orders of Protection
Upon receipt of a court order of protection, the Building Principal shall file it in the records of a child who is the “protected person” under the order of protection. No information or records shall be released to the Respondent named in an order of protection that prohibits the Respondent’s access to records. When a child who is a “protected person” under an order of protection transfers to public or private school, the Building Principal may, at the request of the Petitioner, provide within 24 hours of the transfer or as soon as possible, written notice the order of protection, along with a certified copy of the order, to the school to which the child is transferring.
 
The District will not disclose the following to any person against whom the District has received a certified copy of an order of protection: the location or address of the petitioner for the order of protection, or the identity of the schools in the District in which the petitioner's child or children are enrolled. The District will maintain the copy of the order of protection in the records of the child or children enrolled in the District whose parent is the petitioner of an order of protection.
 
Directory Information 23 Ill.Admin.Code §375.80
The school may release certain directory information regarding students, except that a student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) may prohibit the student’s directory information. Directory information is limited to:
    1. Name
    2. Address
    3. Grade level
    4. Birth date and place
    5. Parent(s)/guardian(s)’ names, addresses, electronic mail addresses, and telephone numbers
    6. Photographs, videos, or digital images used for informational or news-related purposes (whether by a media outlet or by the school) of a student participating in school or schoolsponsored activities, organizations, and athletics that have appeared in school publications, such as yearbooks, newspapers, or sorting or fine arts programs
    7. Academic awards, degrees and honors
    8. Information in relation to school-sponsored activities, organizations, and athletics
    9. Major field of study
    10. Period of attendance in school
 
No photograph highlighting individual faces shall be used for commercial purpose, including solicitation, advertising, promotion, or fundraising without the prior, specific, dated and written consent of the parent or eligible student (see 765 ILCS 1075/30). 23 Ill.Admin.Code §375.80. The following shall not be designated as directory information: (a) an image on a school security video, or (b) student social security number or student identification or unique student identifier. Id.
 
The notification to parents/guardians and students concerning school student records will inform them of their right to object to the release of directory information. See 7:340-AP1, E1, Notice to
Parents/Guardians and Students of Their Rights Concerning a Student’s School Records.
 
Student Record Challenges
The parent(s)/guardian(s) may challenge the accuracy, relevancy, or propriety of their student’s school records. However, when the student’s school records are being forwarded to another school, no challenge may be made to grades or references to expulsions or out-of-school suspensions. The parents/parent(s)/guardian(s) have the right to request a hearing at which each party has the right to:
    1. Present evidence and to call witnesses;
    2. Cross-examine witnesses;
    3. Counsel;
    4. A written statement of any decision and the reasons therefore; and
    5. Appeal an adverse decision to an administrative tribunal or official to be established or designated
      by the State Board.
The parent(s)/guardian(s) may insert a written statement of reasonable length describing their position on disputed information. The school will include a copy of the statement in any release of the information in dispute.
 
Rights Statement
No person may condition the granting or withholding of any right, privilege or benefits or make as a condition of employment, credit, or insurance the securing by any individual of any information from a student’s temporary record that the individual may obtain through the exercise of any right secured under state law.