Special Education Brochure

Education Rights and Privacy

The Steel Valley School District and its employees are required by Federal Law and State and Federal Rules and Regulations to protect the rights of students. The foundation of these rights comes from Federal legislation entitled, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendments). There are State Rules and Regulations dealing with regular and special education students' rights and privacy. All students are covered by the State Regulations contained in Chapter 12 known as Students' Rights and Responsibilities which include regulations on the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of pupil records.

Education Records consist of information directly related to a student which are maintained by an educational agency.

The basic premise of the above-mentioned laws, rules, and regulations is that information about students can not be disclosed without written parental consent except in limited instances which include disclosure from one educational agency to another when the student transfers. There are different categories of information: Educational Records consist of information related to a student which are maintained by an educational agency. Personally Identifiable Information includes the student's name, the name of the parent or other family members, a personal identifier or a list of personal characteristics that would make the student's identity easily traceable.

Education Records and Personally Identifiable Information can not be disclosed or related without written parent consent or if a student is over eighteen without student consent, except as permitted under Federal Regulations and State Guidelines with regard to the student's transfer to another educational agency.

There is certain information that can be released without consent which is called Directory Information. Directory Information means information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The School District designates what information is labeled as Directory Information. It shall include the following: Student's name, address, phone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. We release Directory Information by informed consent. If you do not want your child's Directory Information released, then submit a letter to the building Principal within thirty days of receipt of this document.

Disclosure of information means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of education records, or the personally identifiable information contained in these records, to any party, by any means, including oral, written, or electronic means. This means that information about a student can not even be shared in conversation without permission. This also applies to other Steel Valley personnel who do not have an educationally relevant reason to possess knowledge of a student.

Written parental consent is necessary for disclosure of personally identifiable information and education records. The consent must: (1) specify the records that may be disclosed; (2) state the purpose of the disclosure; and (3) identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made. Furthermore, Steel Valley must maintain a written record of disclosure for the parents to inspect in case information has been released.

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