Written by Wendy Kreitzman Friday, 08 November 2013 00:00
In order to expedite the ability of school-related parent organizations to communicate electronically during this 2013-2014 school year, the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education revised its Policy on Student Records. The one-reading policy revision is in accordance with the school district Policy on Board Policy Development and was approved at the Oct. 21 public action meeting.
This revision addresses the identification of directory information that the school district will release to school related parent organizations and other organizations approved by the superintendent of schools to conform with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. It also describes the parameters by which such organizations can use this information.
The revised Policy on Student Records reads as follows: “The Board of Education recognizes its legal responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of student records. As part of this responsibility the board will ensure the parents/guardians and students age 18 or over have the right to inspect and review education records. The procedures for ensuring these rights shall be consistent with state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
(FERPA) and its implementing regulations. The board also recognizes its responsibility to ensure the orderly retention and disposition of the district’s student records of district sanctioned programs and activities. The district will use reasonable methods to provide access to student educational records only to those authorized under applicable law, and to authenticate the identity of the requestor.
“The district has the option under FERPA of designating certain categories of information as directory information. Except as otherwise required by law, the disclosure of directory information consisting of names, telephone numbers, mailing and parent/guardian email addresses shall be limited to district authorized school related parent organizations. Any other requests for release of directory information will require prior annual approval from the superintendent of schools or his/her designee. It is forbidden for any recipient of directory information to release it to any other individual organization or company including those who would make contact on their behalf. Once annual notification of such disclosure is given by the district, a parent/guardian, or student age 18 or over will have 14 calendar days to notify the district in writing to the school principal of their objections to the release of directory information. Once the parent/guardian or student age 18 or over provides an objection, it will remain in effect after the student is no longer enrolled in the school district. If no objection is received, the district may release this information to district authorized school related parent organizations without prior approval of the parent/guardian or student age 18 or over. All electronic messages sent by district authorized school related parent organizations must be sent in undisclosed fashion (i.e. bcc), such that directory information is not revealed. Any violation of this provision will result in the termination of authorization to use the directory information that has already been released. Future access will be conditional upon a review by the superintendent of schools or his/her designee.
“The district will document requests for and release of student records and directory information, and retain such documentation in accordance with applicable law.”
Superintendent of Schools Tom Dolan noted that that new student email addresses would be sent to students by Nov. 5 and this policy revision would enable the addresses to be released.