Sec. 6D-3.006 - Access to and Confidentiality of Student Records

ยง 6D-3.006. Access to and Confidentiality of Student Records

(1) Each Principal or his/her designee maintains a permanent cumulative record for each student enrolled in his/her department. Such record is maintained in the form and contains all data prescribed by regulations of the State Board of Education. The cumulative record is open to inspection only by the Board, the President, the instructional supervisors, the professional staff of the School, the parent(s) or guardian of the student, eligible student, a court of competent jurisdiction, and to such other persons as the parent(s), guardian, or eligible student may authorize in writing.

(2) The term "education records" shall mean those records and documents and other materials which contain information directly related to a student, which are maintained by an educational institution and which are accessible to other professional personnel to facilitate the instructional guidance and educational progress of student's information contained in education records shall be classified as follows:

(a) Category A, permanent information: Verified information of clear educational importance which will be retained indefinitely in the manner prescribed by Section 230.221(2), F.S.

(b) The following information is maintained for each student. The records are under the control of the Principal and are kept current:

1. Student's full name and any kind of changes, such as by marriage or adoption.

2. Authenticated birthdate, place of birth, race and sex.

3. Last known address of student.

4. Names of student's parents or guardian.

5. Name and location of last school attended.

6. Number of days present and absent, date enrolled; date withdrawn.

7. Courses taken and record of achievement, such as grades, units or certification of competence.

8. Date of graduation or date of program completion.

(c) Category B, temporary information: Verified information of clear education importance which is subject to change.

(d) These records are under the control of the Principal. The School will establish procedures to assure accuracy of information maintained and provide for periodic review and elimination of information no longer useful in the manner prescribed by Section 230.331(3) F.S. Category B information may be destroyed three (3) years after the student or his/her class graduates. These records may include, but not be limited to:

(1) health information;

(2) family background data;

(3) standardized test scores;

(4) educational and vocational plans;

(5) personal attributes;

(6 honors and activities;

(7) work experience including employer ratings;

(8) teacher/ counselor comments;

(9) reports of special services or exceptional student staffing committees including all information required by Section 230.23(4)(m) 6., F.S.;

(10) correspondence from community agencies or private professionals;

(11) driver education certificate;

(12) list of schools attended.

(3) Directory information.

(a) Directory information includes the student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, date of attendance and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. This directory information may be published annually, as well as from time to time.

(b) Parts of all of the directory information may be published as honor roll lists, team rosters, scholarship recipients, etc.

(c) Parent(s), guardians or the adult student may, within ten (10) days of annual notice of publication of directory information, in writing refuse to have personally identifiable information designated as directory information with respect to the adult student or student (under age 18).

(4) Transfer of records.

(a) Upon request of officials of educational institutions for transfer of a student's record, the student's parent(s) or guardian, or student if he/she is 18 years of age or older, shall be notified of the transfer in the form of a letter to the last known address. Under no condition will the transfer of a student's record(s) be delayed for failure to pay a fine or fee assessed by the School.

(b) When parents are notified of a transfer of the student's record(s), they must also be informed that they are entitled to review the record(s), to a copy of the record(s) if desired, and to a hearing if desired.

(c) The Principal shall transfer a copy of all Category A and Category B information and shall retain a copy of Category A information.

(5) Other transfer situations - permissive transfer requests. With the permission of the parent or guardian, or eligible student, a student's transcript may be sent to the individuals, agencies or organizations, provided that the individuals, agencies or organizations desiring access to the records of a student shall be required to sign a written form, which shall be kept permanently with the student's record, but only for inspection by the student and/or parents, indicating specifically the legitimate educational or other interest that the person, agency or organization has for wanting the record.

(6) Changes on a record. A student's permanent record may not be changed in any manner except by authorization or direction of the Principal. Any change on the record shall bear the signature of the person making the change.

(7) Availability of the record. The student's cumulative record is available only to the Board, the President, the professional staff of the School, the parent or guardian of the student, eligible student, and to such other persons as the parent or guardian may authorize in writing. Nothing contained in this section shall preclude authorized representatives of: the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary, an administrative head of an education agency, or state educational authorities from having access to student or other records which may be necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally-supported education program, or in connection with the enforcement of federal legal requirements which relate to such programs. Provided, that except when collection or personally identifiable data are specifically authorized by federal law, any data collected by such officials with respect to individual students shall not include information (including social security numbers) which would permit the personal identification of such students or their parents after the data so obtained have been collected.

(a) Rights of access.

1. Such parent, guardian, or eligible student shall have the right, upon request directly to the appropriate Principal, to be provided with a list of the types of records and reports, directly related to students, as maintained by the institutions which the student attends or has attended.

2. Such parent, guardian, or eligible student shall have the right, upon request, to be shown any record or report relating to such student maintained by any public educational institution. When the record or report includes information on more than one student, the parent, guardian, or eligible student shall be entitled to receive, or be informed of, only that part of the record or report which pertains to the student who is the subject of the request.

Upon a reasonable request, therefore, the School shall furnish such parent, guardian, or eligible student with an explanation or interpretation of any such record or report in no more than thirty (30) days after request is made.

3. Copies of any list, record, or report requested under the provisions of this paragraph shall be furnished to the parent, guardian, or eligible student upon request at a reasonable cost to be set by the Board.

(b) Right of waiver of access to confidential letters or statements. Such parent, guardian, or eligible student shall have the right to waive the right of access of letters or statements of recommendation or evaluation, except that such waiver shall apply to recommendations or evaluations only if:

1. The parent, guardian, or eligible student is, upon request, notified of the names of all persons submitting confidential letters or statements; and

2. Such recommendations or evaluations are used solely for the purpose for which they were specifically intended.

Such waivers may not be required as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid from, or receipt of any other services or benefits from, any public agency or public educational institution in Florida.

(c) Whenever written consent is required, the School shall presume that the parents, guardians or eligible student giving consent has the authority to do so unless the School has been provided with evidence that there is a legally binding instrument, or state law or court order governing such matters as divorce, separation or custody which provides to the contrary.

(d) The School will provide to parents or eligible students annual notification of their rights to inspect, review, challenge hearing, right of privacy, waiver of access, and/or have copies of their child's record. The notification will be distributed at the beginning of the school year and will be in the language of the parent or eligible student. The notice will appear in the first edition of the School paper on a yearly basis, and all parents will receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards in the beginning of the school year registration packet. Parents who do not read English will be furnished audio tapes, foreign language translations or sign language explanations of the Safeguards. The President, Principals, Supervising Teachers and the Child Study Center have copies of the School's policy on educational records. Parents may see copies of these policies upon request. Oral tapes or braille copies will be made available to parents or eligible students who are blind. This notice shall be distributed to all parents at the time of annual School registration.

(e) The School shall comply with a request to review the education records within a reasonable period of time, but in no case more than thirty (30) days after the request is made.

(f) Right of privacy. The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind will not disclose any personally identifiable information without prior written, dated consent.

1. A student's educational records and all personally identifiable information shall not be released except on the condition that the information being transferred will not be subsequently released to any other party without obtaining the consent of the parent or eligible student, and that the School has written permission from the parent or eligible student to release identifiable information to said agency, etc. (Written permission must be dated.)

2. Released copies of educational records and personally identifiable information must be destroyed when no longer required by the person to whom the information was appropriately released for the purpose stated on release form. The School will maintain a record indicating all parties, other than School officials, who have requested or obtained access to a student's record and purpose for obtaining information.

3. In order to comply with the two sections noted above, all copies of information being released will indicate that the information being released will indicate that the information may not be subsequently released to any other party without the written consent of the parent or eligible student; and that the copies of the information can be destroyed when no longer needed.

(8) Security of record.

(a) The Principal shall develop a procedure to insure the security, and accountability of such records; provided, that under no condition shall the record be removed from the School except by order of the court upon condition that parents or eligible student is notified of such order or subpoena in advance of compliance.

(b) The School must maintain a record indicating all parties, other than School officials, having requested or obtained access to a student's educational record and which will indicate specifically the legitimate interests that each party has in obtaining the information.

(c) Such record of access shall be available only to the parents, eligible student, and persons or organizations as noted in subsection 6D-3.006(1), F.A.C. All records not kept in individual School files shall be the responsibility of the President or his designees.

(9) Challenge to cumulative folder information.

(a) In all instances wherein the accuracy and/or appropriateness of data contained in student records is challenged, the Principal of the School and appropriate members of his/her staff shall endeavor to resolve the conflict with the complainant(s) at the School level.

(b) In the event such challenge or conflict cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the complainant(s) must be informed of his/her right to a formal hearing. A copy of the procedures for a hearing must also be given to the complainant(s).

1. Procedure for hearing.

a. In the event there is a challenge to the student's records and it is not resolved at the School level, the complainant shall be notified in writing that his/her challenge has been denied. The request for a hearing on the correction or deletion of inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data from the student's records must be made, in writing, to the President or his designee within ten (10) days of notification of decision at School level. The request for hearing shall contain the specific records challenged and reasons they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

b. The hearing shall be conducted in not less than fifteen (15) days nor more than thirty (30) days succeeding the date of the request.

c. The President or his qualified designee, shall serve as Chairman of the hearing.

d. The Chairman shall notify all participants in the hearing of the date for said hearing at least five (5) days preceding.

e. The Chairman shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of hearings and receive all information presented in evidence.

f. The hearing shall involve the complainant(s), their representatives, the School Principal, records personnel, and such other School personnel who may provide pertinent information.

g. The hearing shall seek to determine the following:

(I.) The accuracy and appropriateness of the challenged data.

(II.) The value of the challenged data to the educational process.

h. The proceedings of a hearing shall be recorded on tape and shall be transcribed if the complainant(s) request the decision to be reviewed in accordance with the review procedure.

i. The President and/or designated members of his/her staff shall consider the information presented at the hearing and arrive at a decision, to retain the data intact, alter (correct) it, or delete it entirely. Where there is an agreement that a student's record is to be corrected, deleted, or expunged, the agreement shall be in writing, signed and dated by the adult student or the parents or guardians of the student and School Principal or his/her designee and filed with the student's record.

j. Such decision shall be communicated to the complainant(s) by certified mail to be postmarked not later than five (5) days succeeding the decision. The notice shall also inform the complainant(s) of his/her right to request a review of the decision by the Board of Trustees of the School.

k. If review by the Board is desired, the request must be made, in writing, to the President within ten (10) days succeeding the date of the decision.

l. Upon receipt of the request for Board review, the Chairman of the Board shall appoint a reviewing officer.

m. The reviewing officer shall be furnished with a transcript of the initial hearing and such other data as he may request.

n. The reviewing officer shall report his findings and recommendations to the Board within thirty (30) days succeeding receipt of transcript and other requested data.

o. On the basis of the report and recommendation of the reviewing officer, the Board shall issue its decision to retain the data intact, alter (correct) it, or delete it entirely.

p. The decision of the Board shall be final.

q. The parent(s) or guardian or an adult student may place a statement in the education record if the decision of the hearing is that the records are not accurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of privacy. The statement may comment on the information in the education record and set forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision.

(New 1-28-80, Formerly 6D-3.06. Cf. P. L. 94-142, 20 USC 1401(18), 1412(2), (5), (6), 1414(a)(5), (6), (7), 1415(a), Federal Register Volume 42, Number 163, Regulations 121a.2, 121a.4, 121a.562.)

Specific Authority 120.53(1)(b), 242.331(3) FS. Law Implemented 120.53(1)(b), 242.331(4) FS.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.