Confidentiality - Bellwood Antis School District

Report
Confidentiality &
Professional
Communication
Bellwood-Antis School District
August 2012
1
Regulations that Govern
Confidentiality
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FERPA regulations {Family Education Rights
& Privacy Act}
IDEIA regulations [Individuals with Disabilities
Education Improvement Act of 2004]
General State Regulations [22 PA Code
12.31]
PA Special Education Regulations
Act 212 {related to early intervention}
HIPAA {Health Insurance Portability
Accountability Act}
2
FERPA, HIPPA & IDEIA
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FERPA assures access, limited disclosure, and
safeguard (amendment) procedures.
IDEIA provides an explicit duty for agencies to
safeguard confidentiality through the collection,
storage, disclosure, and destruction stages of
information.
HIPAA provides protection for the privacy of
certain individually identifiable health data,
referred to as protected health information.
3
Purpose of FERPA
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To assure student/parent ACCESS to
education records
To limit DISCLOSURE to others for
unauthorized purposes.
To provide SAFEGUARDS to individuals:
parent/student opportunity to challenge
inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate
information in records.
4
Why was FERPA enacted?
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Abuse of student records was commonplace.
Much of the abuse was done unknowingly,
yet the damage in terms of college rejections,
lost employment opportunities, & tainted
reputations was great.
Information tended to grow; was not always
factual; innuendo & gossip were often
included.
5
Why was FERPA enacted?
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Schools had denied parents access to their
child’s school records, while allowing others
access.
No process for challenging questionable
information.
Further protections were created with the shift
of records from paper to electronic formats
increasing the potential for individuals to
access, use, and disclose sensitive personal
data
6
School Policies & Procedures

216 Student Records

216.1 Student Records Plan for Special
Education Students
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Confidentiality Policies, Procedures &
Guidelines for Special Education and
Gifted Education
7
Confidentiality Policies &
Procedures
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A school confidentiality/student records policy
is a written document that outlines a school’s
plan to protect student information.
Furthermore, these documents attempt to
define boundaries that identify what type of
information can be shared and what types of
individuals are authorized to view it. Schools
put these documents in place to help ensure
that teachers, administrative staff, and all
other faculty understand their responsibilities.
8
Confidentiality Policies &
Procedures
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Part of keeping student data confidential is defining
who sees these records and under what
circumstances.
As part of their daily jobs, administrative staff will
likely need to create and maintain personal records
for each student.
To protect this data, a school confidentiality policy
might define how the school keeps this information
safe and secure. For instance, filed records are likely
to be kept in a locked area inaccessible to anyone
but staff, while data stored on a computer are liable
to be password protected and encrypted.
9
How does this Apply to Me?

DISCLOSURE: As a
school employee you
must be careful not to
discuss any protected
educational information
relating to your
students with anyone
who does not have a
legitimate need to
know.
10
Disclosure which could identify a student as one
who receives special services or reveals personal
medical information outside the scope of those
who need to know…
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Conversations with family and friends
Conversations with staff members without “need
to know”
Newsletters
Memos to staff
Emails
Faculty bulletin boards
Newspaper articles or photos
Online resources (websites, blogs, wikis,
podcasts, etc)
Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
etc)
11
Protected Student Information
Directly related to the student.
 Maintained by the educational
agency or by a party acting for the
agency.
 Any recorded information:
handwritten, verbal, print,
computer, video or audio, film, etc.

12
Personally Identifiable Information
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Date and place of birth, parent(s)
and/or guardian addresses and where
parents can be contacted in case of
emergencies.
Grades, test scores, courses taken,
academic specialization and activities,
and official letters regarding a
student's status in school.
Special education records
Disciplinary records
13
Personally Identifiable Information
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Medical and health records that the
school creates or collects and
maintains
Documentation of attendance, schools
attended, courses taken, awards
conferred and degrees earned
Personal information such as a
student's ID code, social security
number, picture or other information
that would make it easy to identify or
locate a student.
14
Directory Information OK
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Information which would not
generally be considered harmful or
an invasion of privacy if disclosed.
Unless parent/s have indicated in
writing that they do not want
directory information released
without their permission.
 annual notification to parents with
opportunity to "opt out”

15
Directory Information
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student’s name
address
telephone
date & place of
birth
Grade level
major
activities & sports
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weight & height of
members of athletic
teams
attendance
degrees & awards
most recent
previous school
Enrollment status
16
Third Party Disclosures
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Under FERPA, a school may not generally disclose
personally identifiable information from a minor student's
education records to a third party unless the student’s
parent has provided written consent.
However, there are a number of exceptions to FERPA's
prohibition against nonconsensual disclosure of
personally identifiable information from education
records. Under these exceptions, schools are permitted
to disclose personally identifiable information from
education records without consent.
17
Right to access without consent
Which school personnel have a
right to access w/o parent consent?
All school officials who have a
“legitimate educational interest”
may have access w/o consent.
18
School Officials defined as…
Although the term “school official” is not defined in the
statute or regulations, FERPA generally interprets the term
to include parties such as:
 Teacher; administrator; board member; support or
clerical staff; attorney; nurse and
 Health staff; counselor; human resources staff;
information systems specialist; school security
Personnel;
 Contractor, consultant, volunteer or other party to whom
the school has outsourced institutional services or
functions.
19
Legitimate Educational
Interest
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Part of educational decision-making
Maintain confidentiality of all information
obtained in the proper course of the
educational process
Dispense of such information only when
prescribed/directed by professional practice
(and state/federal laws).
20
Other exceptions to consent:
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Other schools to which a student is
transferring;
Specified officials for audit or evaluation
purposes;
Appropriate parties in connection with financial
aid to a student;
Organizations conducting certain studies for or
on behalf of the school;
21
Exceptions to consent:
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Accrediting organizations;
To comply with a judicial order or lawfully
issued subpoena;
Appropriate officials in cases of health and
safety emergencies; and
State and local authorities, within a juvenile
justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
22
Collection, Storage &
Destruction of Records
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Store confidential information in a
secured/locked area.
Be cautious about "passive" and unintended
releases of information (ex: leaving information
visible on desk or walking away from a computer
screen that displays student information).
Destroy or return all personally identifiable
information when the information is no longer
needed for the purposes for which it was
intended.
23
Parent Right to Access
Full rights to either custodial and noncustodial parent unless there is a court
order, State statute, or legally binding
document relating to divorce,
separation, or custody that specifically
revokes these rights.
24
Excluded from student records

Sole possession records (notes
intended only for use of the person
who took them)
Law enforcement records
 School employee records
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{refer to details of FERPA law}
25
Procedures for Amending
Records
1. Parent or eligible student requests the
agency amend the record.
2. Agency decides within a reasonable
time if it will amend.
3. If no, agency informs parent/student &
their right to a hearing.
26
Amending Records
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While the FERPA amendment procedure
may be used to challenge facts that are
inaccurately recorded, it may not be used
to challenge a grade, an opinion, or a
substantive decision made by a school
about a student.
27
Destruction of Educational
Records
Unless there is an outstanding
request by a parent to inspect and
review education records, FERPA
permits the school to destroy such
records without notice to the parent.
28
What should I do to protect
myself?
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When in doubt – don’t give it out!
Refer requests for student academic information to
the school office or designated personnel.
Do not provide anyone with student schedules or
assist anyone in trying to locate a student on campus
that is not part of the school staff. Refer them to the
school office.
Information on a computer should be treated with the
same confidentiality as a paper copy.
Do not leave confidential information displayed on an
unattended computer.
Cover or put away papers that contain confidential
information if you are going to step away from your
desk.
29
What should I do to protect
myself?
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Do not discuss any student information with anyone
that does not have a “need to know” (verify
parent/guardian rights)
When discussing, hold conversations in a private
setting to prevent others from hearing confidential
information.
Never discuss student information with anyone
outside of the school.
Ensure third party consents with outside agencies
have been secured.
When referring to other locations or making public
announcements, keep information general (ex: Room
5 or Mr. Jones classroom vs. special education class
or learning support).
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Remember:
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Never say anything bad about
a child with whom you are
working.
If its personal, don’t say it!
Treat all students as you
would like to be treated!
Maintain confidentiality at all
times!
31
Enforcement of Regulations
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FERPA is enforced by the Family Policy Compliance
Office (FPCO) of the US Dept. of Education. Contact
them with FERPA questions by phone at (202)260-3887
or by e-mail at [email protected]
IDEIA is enacted by the Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department
of Education.
The PA Department of Education oversees state
regulations under the 22 PA School Code.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces the HIPAA Privacy
Rule.
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