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Policy 9050 - Student Records

The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and procedures for maintenance of confidentiality, disclosure of information, and security of all records related to students, in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. This policy also assures compliance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding individual student’s education records.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes its responsibility to maintain accurate records related to students, to protect the confidentiality and privacy of all records related to students, and to secure all records related to students except where federal, state, and local laws and regulations provide for disclosure.

The Board recognizes the value of parental involvement in all facets of their child’s schooling and encourages parents to inspect and review their individual student’s education records on a regular basis, especially as their child progresses from one grade level to the next, and toward graduation. The Board also recognizes the right of students and their parents to access their individual student’s education records and the right of parents and eligible students to have any specific contents that is determined to be inaccurate or misleading removed from those records.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and procedures for maintenance of confidentiality, disclosure of information, and security of all records related to students, in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. This policy also assures compliance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding individual student’s education records.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Confidential – Private, not intended to be shared with others.

  2. Confidentiality – Assurance that school system officials protect personally identifiable information (PII) and do not disclose or transmit records related to students or the PII contained therein to unauthorized parties.

  3. Directory Information – Information contained in students’ education records which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed, as defined by FERPA and COMAR.

  4. Disclosure – The act of permitting access to, the release, transfer, or other communication of records related to students or the PII contained therein, orally, in writing, or by electronic means, or by any other means to any party.

  5. Eligible Student – A student who is 18 years old or older or is attending an institution of postsecondary education.

  6. Gradebook – Teacher records of student grades, whether in physical or electronic format.

  7. Legitimate Educational Interest – A Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Board member’s or a school system official’s need to review a student education record to conduct his/her job-related responsibilities.

  8. Parent – Any one of the following, recognized as the adult(s) legally responsible for the student:

    1. Biological Parent – A natural parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    2. Adoptive Parent – A person who has legally adopted the student and whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    3. Custodian – A person or an agency appointed by the court as the legal custodian of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    4. Guardian – A person who has been placed by the court in charge of the affairs of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    5. Caregiver – An adult resident of Howard County who exercises care, custody or control over the student but who is neither the biological parent nor legal guardian, as long as the person satisfies the requirements of the Education Article, §7-101 (c) (Informal Kinship Care).

    6. Foster Parent – An adult approved to care for a child who has been placed in their home by a state agency or a licensed child placement agency as provided by the Family Law Article, §5-507.

  9. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – Any information that, alone or in combination, would make it possible to identify an individual with reasonable certainty.

  10. Record – Any documentary material in any format created or received by the HCPSS in connection with the transaction of public business.

  11. School System Official – A person employed by the HCPSS; or a person or organization contracted by the HCPSS to perform a special task, (such as an attorney, auditor, school resource officer, medical consultant, or therapist).

  12. Student Education Records – Specific records, as defined and protected by FERPA, that are directly related to an individual student and are maintained by the HCPSS or by a party acting for the HCPSS.

IV. Standards

  1. All HCPSS Board members and school system officials will adhere to federal, state, and local laws and regulations as well as HCPSS policies, procedures, and guidelines for maintaining the accuracy, integrity, quality, and confidentiality of all records related to students in any format and location.

  2. The storage, retention, and destruction of all records related to students will adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Maryland State Department of Education Student Records Manual, Policy 3050 - Records Management, and HCPSS procedures.

  3. The HCPSS will notify parents and students annually of the rights of parents and students regarding the inspection, review, amendment, and disclosure of students’ education records, rights regarding directory information, as well as their right to file complaints related to these rights with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education.

  4. Individual student’s education records that are maintained by teachers and other HCPSS school system officials are confidential by law. Access to such student education records may be granted only for the purpose of serving legitimate educational interest as specifically permitted under FERPA.

V. Responsibilities

  1. All HCPSS Board members and school system officials will maintain the confidentiality of all records related to students.

  2. HCPSS Board members and school system officials may disclose a student’s PII to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the PII is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

  3. HCPSS Board members and school system officials may disclose a student’s PII as outlined in Policy 1030 - Child Abuse and Neglect.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will monitor standards and procedures related to the confidentiality of all records related to students as set forth in federal, state, and local laws, regulations and policies.

  5. The Superintendent/Designee will inform students, school system officials, and parents annually of the general provisions of this policy.

  6. Principals will protect the confidentiality of all active or inactive records related to students that are stored in their schools.

  7. Principals will review the standards and procedures related to the confidentiality of student education records and disclosure of directory information with the appropriate employees.

  8. Principals will certify annually the accuracy of student data maintained in student education records in their schools as mandated by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the HCPSS.

  9. Principals will assign and oversee personnel trained to monitor the maintenance, review, updating, retention, and destruction of all records related to students in their schools.

  10. Principals will secure archived gradebooks in their schools until eligible for destruction in accordance with policy.

  11. The Office of Student Services will provide annual training to designated HCPSS school system officials regarding procedures for protecting the confidentiality of all records related to students.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g

  • FERPA Regulations – 34 CFR Part 99

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq.

  • IDEA Regulations – 34 CFR 300.501, 300.615, 300.618, and 300.619

  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 29 U.S.C. §794

  • Section 504 Regulations – 34 CFR 104.36

  • Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 26 U.S.C. §152

  • McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Reauthorization 2002

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7-101(c) (Informal Kinship Care)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7-303 (Reportable Offenses)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7-424 (Reporting Incidents of Harassment)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7-424.2 (Gangs and gang activity)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §8-412 (Parent Surrogates)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Family Law Article, §5-704 (Report of Abuse or Neglect – By health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human service worker)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Family Law Article, §5-507

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provision Article, §4-313 (Inspection of Student Records)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Human Services Article, §1-202 (Confidentiality of information – Child abuse and neglect reports and records)

  • COMAR 13A.05.01, Programs for Students with Disabilities

  • COMAR 13A.08.01.08, Substance Use or Distribution

  • COMAR 13A.08.01.17, School Use of Reportable Offenses

  • COMAR 13A.08.02, Student Records

  • COMAR 13A.08.07, Transfer of Educational Records for Children in State-Supervised Care

C. Relevant Data Sources

D. Other

VIII. History

ADOPTED: April 29, 1975

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED:

REVISED: October 25, 1990, November 9, 1995, May 21, 1998, June 25, 1998, December 14, 2006, June 25, 2015

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2015