Student Information Management
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA give parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review records. School may charge a fee for copies.
Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent; to the following parties or under the following conditions;
- o School officials with legitimate educational interest
- o Other school to which a student is transferring
- o Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
- o Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
- o Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
- o Accrediting organizations
- o To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
- o Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and State and local authorities, within a juvenile system, pursuant to specific State Law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in PTA bulleting, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
Temporary Attendance Excuses
Principals or teachers in any public, private, or other school may excuse any child for nonattendance during temporary periods following their respective school district’s policy and Pennsylvania law in excusing students. The board of school directors is required to adopt written policies governing pupil absences and excusals. (See School Board Policy #204)
DISTRICT ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES- Absences/Late Arrivals/Early
The school district is responsible for monitoring and maintaining records of the attendance of students. All absences will be treated as unlawful until the school district receives a written excuse explaining the reason(s) for an absence. State law requires that parents/guardians furnish a written explanation of the absence, late arrival or early dismissal of a student. This card/note is to include the date of the absence, late arrival, or early dismissal, reason for the occurrence, and signature of parent/guardian. Parents/guardians are required to call the school office on days of absence by 9 AM and send in a signed excuse card/note for all absences within three school days after returning to school.
1) Excused – Specific reason for which a student may be excused from school for an entire school day, arriving late or leaving early include:
- · Illness
- · Prearranged medical appointments
- · Quarantine
- · Death in family
- · Impassable roads
- · Non-district sponsored educational tours & trips
- · Recovery from an accident
- · Required court attendance
- · Religious holidays, in accordance with the religion that the student practices, observed by bona fide religious groups - Religious instruction pursuant to Section 1546 of the School Code (up to 36 hours)
- · Exceptionally urgent reasons determined on a case-by-case basis by the Principal
- · Visits to post-secondary educational facilities with prior consent by the Principal and/or the Principal's designee.
2) Unexcused – If a student absence or lateness does not fall into one of the aforementioned categories the absence will be considered either unlawful or unexcused depending on the infraction. These include but are not limited to;
- · Truancy
- · Parental neglect
- · Illegal employment
- · Missed bus
- · Overslept
B. Late Arrivals
1) Students must present an attendance card/note stating the reason for the lateness signed by the parent/guardian within 24 hours of the occurrence. If no such card/note is presented within the stated time frame, the lateness will be recorded as unlawful.
2) Students are tardy if they are not in their assigned area by the start of school.
3) Students can be assigned detention for unexcused/unlawful tardiness to school
4) Time lost due to unexcused/unlawful tardiness can result in either a citation to court or a referral to Children and Youth Services.
C. Early Dismissals
1) Once a student arrives on school property, the student may not leave school property until dismissal time without administrative permission.
2) In order to be released from school during the normal school day, students must present an excuse card/note signed by the parent/guardian indicating the reason for leaving early before they leave school ground
Cumulative Lawful Absences
A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences verified by parental notification may be permitted during a school year. All absences beyond ten cumulative days require an excuse from a physician.
Students who miss ten consecutive school days shall be dropped from the active membership roll unless the school is provided with evidence the excuse is legal.
Non-school Sponsored Educational Tours
In cases of non-school sponsored educational tours and trips, the District may excuse a student from attendance in order to participate if these pre-requisites are met:
1) The parents/guardians submit a written request for excusal prior to the trip.
2) The student’s participation in the trip has been approved by the principal or his/her designee.
3). The number of days of excused absences for non-District sponsored educational tours and trips is limited to ten (10) per school year.
4) Students are responsible for making up work missed due to such trips.
Parents/guardians should request that his or her child be excused in advance if it is known in advance that an absence, tardiness, or early dismissal is planned to occur. The parent/guardian shall make the request in writing on a card/note that includes the date of the absence, late arrival, or early dismissal, reason for the occurrence, and signature of parent/guardian].