401.0 — EDUCATIONAL RECORDS
Under Federal Law contained in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 99), either parent has access to all educational records, unless the district has been provided with a copy of a court order specifically revoking such rights. Therefore, no parent/guardian can restrict the other parent’s/guardian’s access to their child’s educational records, including directory information, without a court order.
Parents/guardians and adult students have the following rights to student records:
- The right of access to inspect and review all records maintained about the student by the district.
- The right to privacy with respect to data contained in personally identifiable records.
- Right to challenge and request amendment of any record thought to be inaccurate or misleading, and to a hearing if necessary.
- Right to copies of such records.
Parents/guardians and adult students requesting to review, and to receive copies of, educational records, may do so in person or in writing at the student’s school. The school shall comply within 30 days. Fees for copies of educational records shall not exceed the actual cost of reproduction and shall not exceed 15 cents ($0.15) per one-sided, letter-size page or 20 cents ($0.20) per two-sided page. The fee for a certified copy shall not exceed one dollar ($1.00).
401.1 — Directory Information
Directory information is information about students that is defined by Florida law as public information. It includes the student’s name, address, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (if an athletic team member), the name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, dates of attendance at schools in the district, grade level, and diplomas and certifications received.
Directory information other than the student’s address may be published by the school district in conjunction with news about academic awards, performances, honor rolls, athletic events and other school-related activities. All directory information also may be released to individuals or organizations in response to public records requests.
Parents, guardians and adult students may block public access to directory information pertaining to their children or themselves by withholding permission when they enroll in the district or by notifying their school in writing at any later time. The district is required to notify parents, guardians and adult students annually of their right to withhold permission to release directory information.
401.2 — Military Access to Records
Federal law requires that school districts provide military recruiters the name, address and telephone number of high school students upon request. However, a provision of the law allows parents or guardians to withhold the release of this information. If parents do not wish to release this information to military recruiters, they may check the appropriate box on the student registration form or contact the school registrar.
401.3 — Further Assistance
After seeking assistance from a school’s staff, parents/guardians and others who have questions regarding access to student records, custody issues, or contents of a student record may call Pupil Support Services at 927-9000.
401.4 — Media Releases
Occasionally the school district, newspapers, and television stations interview, photograph, and/or videotape our schools, teachers, and students to visually explain our schools’ programs and events. Those photographs and videos may be used in newspapers, on television stations, and in Sarasota County Schools publications and productions.
On the school registration forms, parents/guardians may either give or deny permission for their child to participate in these types of media events. Parents/guardians who later wish to change their decision may do so at any time by completing the appropriate form available from the school’s registrar.
401.5 — Anonymous Surveys
The district participates in various state and local surveys as requested by the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Children and Families. School and district results are used by staff, school advisory councils, and community agencies as they seek funding and provide services for youth.
- The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey results provide information for evaluating the impact of Florida’s innovative program to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
- The Youth Risk Behavior Survey results provide information on the behaviors that put youth at risk for premature death, including such factors as drug use, sexual activity and suicide attempts.
- The Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey results provide information on the attitudes, knowledge and behavior of youth regarding physical activity and nutrition.
- The student School Climate Survey results provide information about students’ perceptions and satisfaction with their school’s learning environment.
Students in grades 6-12 may be asked to complete one of these anonymous surveys. All surveys are completely confidential and voluntary. Individual students and classrooms are never identified.
At the time of a student’s initial entry into grades 6 and 9, parents/guardians either give or deny permission for their child to participate in such surveys. Parents who later wish to change their decision may do so at any time by completing the appropriate form.
401.6 — Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment affords parents/guardians certain rights regarding the district’s conducting of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These rights include:
1. The right of parents/guardians to indicate consent before students are required to participate in a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) that request or involve information regarding:
- Programs funded in whole or part by the U.S. Department of Education
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family
- Sexual behavior or attitudes
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior
- Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships
- Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as those with lawyers, doctors or ministers
- Religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or parents/guardians
- Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility
2. The right of parents/guardians to receive notice and an opportunity for their child to opt out of:
- Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding,
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student.
- Activities involving collection, disclosure or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing, or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
3. The right of parents/guardians to inspect, upon request and before administration or use:
- Protected-information surveys of students. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes.
- Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum
These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law.
The School Board of Sarasota County and the Sarasota County School District have developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents/guardians, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution purposes.
The school district will directly notify parents/guardians of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. The school district will also directly notify, through such methods as U.S. Mail or e-mail, parents/guardians of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below, and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of these specific activities or surveys. The school district will make this notification to parents/guardians at the beginning of the school year if the district has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be given reasonable notice of the planned activities and surveys and will be provided with an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents/Guardians also will be given an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys.
The specific activities and surveys covered under this requirement are:
- The collection, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution.
- The administration of any protected-information survey not funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening, as described in section 2b above.
Parents/Guardians who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
401.7 — The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act grants parents (defined as including legal guardians) and students who are 18 years of age or older certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are as follows:
1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the student’s school receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the school registrar or other authorized school official a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected or will provide copies as requested.
2. The right to request the amendment of a student’s education records that a parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to amend a record should write their school principal or other authorized school official, clearly identify the part of the record they want to be changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school official decides not to amend the record as requested, the school official will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. The notification will include additional information regarding the hearing procedures.
3. The right to provide written consent before a school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent as delineated below.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records without the consent of the parent or eligible student if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, disclosures to a party with written consent from the parent or eligible student, and disclosures directly to the parent or eligible student, §99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure. Parents and eligible students have the right to inspect and review the records of such disclosures.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by a Sarasota County School Districted school to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are as follows:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Permissible disclosures without the consent of a parent or eligible student found in 99.31 of FERPA regulations:
School officials may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining the prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student to the following recipients:
- School officials with legitimate educational interests:
- A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the School Board. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student or other volunteer 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. In general, legitimate educational interest refers to the right of certain school officials to access student information and records for the purpose of (a) serving the student; (b) protecting the health, safety and learning of this student and others; (c) maintaining the operations of the school district; (d) obtaining payment for educational programs and services; and (e) other purposes as specified by federal and/or state law.
- Other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- Officials of another school, school system, or institution of post-secondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- Authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, the Florida Department of Education or the School Board of Sarasota County, subject to the requirements of §99.35. (§99.31(a)(3)).
- Entities engaged in audits or evaluations of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- Financial aid providers to which the student has applied or from which the student has received aid, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a state statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to §99.38. (§99.31(a)(5))
- Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- Accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§99.31(a)(7))
- Parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- Officers of courts presenting a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- Appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10)
- Requesters of information the School Board has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11)) Directory information that may be released by the Sarasota County Schools includes the following as defined in School Board Policy 5.71:
C. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
D. Weight and height, if an athletic team member;
E. Name of the most recent previous school or program attended;
F. Dates of attendance at schools in the District;
G. Grade level;
H. Diplomas and certifications received.
- The parent of a student who is not an eligible student (under the age of 18) or to the student (if age 18 or over) (§99.31(a)(12))
- A victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39 (§99.31(a)(13))
401.8 — Statement on the Collection, Use or Release of Social Security Numbers of Students and/or Parents*
Pursuant to Section 119.071(5), Fla. Stat., the School Board of Sarasota County, Florida collects, uses, and/or releases Social Security Numbers (SSN) as mandated or authorized by law or when it is imperative for the performance of the School Board’s duties. The School Board collects, uses, and/or releases SSN’s of students and/or parents for the following reasons:
- Student registration and student identification numbers. Required to request by §1008.386 Fla. Stat. notes as an exception: “However, a student is not required to provide his or her social security number as a condition for enrollment or graduation.”
- Registration in an adult education program. Required by Fla. Admin. Code R. 6A-10.0381.
- Tracking of adult students enrolled in a postsecondary program. Required by Fla. Admin. Code R. 6A-1.0955(5).
- Criminal history. Level 1 and level 2 background checks / identifiers for processing fingerprints by Department of Law Enforcement/Registration information regarding sexual predators and sexual offenders. Authorized by §943.04351, Fla. Stat., and §119.071(5)(a) 2 + 6, Fla. Stat.
- Reports on students required to be submitted to Florida DOE. Authorized by §119.071(5)(a) 2 + 6, Fla. Stat.
- Tort claims and tort notices of claim against the School Board. Required by §768.28 (6), Fla. Stat.
- Use of motor vehicle information from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the district to carry out its functions and to verify the accuracy of information submitted by agent or employee to District, including to prevent fraud, in connection with insurance investigations, and to verify a commercial driver’s license. Authorized by federal law 18 U.S.C. §2721et seq.
- Information received from DOE to locate missing Florida School Children. Required by Fla. Admin. Code R. 6A-6.083.
- National School Lunch Act application verification process/Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals. Required of the adult, if the person has a number, by federal law 42 U.S.C. §1751 and federal regulations 7 C.F.R. §245.2, §245.3, and §245.6a.
- Reports from DHSMV of each student whose driver’s license is suspended for excessive unexcused absences and reports to DHSMV of non-enrollment or non-attendance upon the part of a student who is required to attend school. Required by §322.091(5) and §1003.27, Fla. Stat.
- Written verification from employer for vocational education, student follow-up. Required by Fla. Admin. Code R. 6A-10.0341.
- Child abuse report to the Department of Children and Families of student victim and subjects of the report. Required by Fla. Admin. Code R. 65C-29.002.
- Identification of blood donors. Authorized by federal law 42 U.S.C. §405(c)(2)(D)(i).
- The disclosure of the Social Security number is expressly required by federal or state law or a court order. Authorized by §19.071(5)(a)2+6, Fla. Stat.
- Collection and/ or disclosure are imperative or necessary for the performance of the district’s duties and responsibilities as prescribed by law, including but not limited for password identification to the district’s network. Authorized by §19.071(5)(a)2, Fla. Stat.
- The individual expressly consents in writing to the disclosure of his or her Social Security number. Authorized by §19.071(5)(a)6c, Fla. Stat.
- The disclosure of the Social Security number is made to prevent and combat terrorism. Authorized by the federal Patriot Act of 2001, Public Law 107-56 and Presidential Executive Order 13224.
- The disclosure of the Social Security number is made to a commercial entity for the permissible uses set forth in the following statutes and rules: Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, federal law 18 U.S.C. §2721et seq; the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §1681et seq; or the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, 15 U.S.C. §6801et seq, (provided that the authorized commercial entity complies with the requirements of paragraph 5 in §119.071, Fla. Stat.).
- Income for Medicaid eligibility, determine the amount of medical assistance payments, process Medicaid billing, and provide program follow-up. Required by federal regulation 42 C.F.R. §435.910, unless student applicant for Medicaid refuses to obtain a Social Security number, based on well-established religious objections.
*Note Separate statements set forth the reasons for collecting, using or releasing the Social Security numbers of employees and volunteers.
401.9 — Transfer of students from a classroom assignment
Parents who prefer that their student not remain in the classroom to which they are assigned may request that the student is moved to another teacher. The request must be submitted on a Request for Removal of Student from Current Classroom Assignment form available in the office of the student’s school.
The parent or guardian submitting the form must provide a reason for requesting the change and what steps they have taken to resolve their concerns prior to requesting that the student is transferred to another classroom. Requests will be approved or denied by the school principal within two weeks. If the request is approved, the teacher with whom the student is to be placed will be determined by the principal.