Special Education Handbook
2015-2016


II. CONFIDENTIALITY

The District safeguards the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at use, collection, storage, retention, disclosure and destruction stages. In the District, _____________________________________ (name of responsible official) is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of personally identifiable information. The District ensures that all persons collecting or using personally identifiable information receive training and instruction regarding the Districtís policies regarding that information. The District maintains for public inspection a current listing of the names and positions of those employees within the agency who may have access to personally identifiable information. The District gives notice to all parents of students receiving special education and related services that is adequate to fully inform parents about confidentiality requirements, in accordance with 3301-51-04(C) of the Operating Standards. The District also ensures that its contractors adhere to applicable confidentiality requirements.

A. ACCESS RIGHTS

The District permits parents (or a representative of a parent) to inspect and review any education records relating to their children that are collected, maintained, or used by the District. If any education record includes information on more than one child, the parents of those children have the right to inspect and review only the information relating to their child or to be informed of that specific information. The District does not charge a fee to search for or retrieve information. The District may charge a fee for copies of records, but does not charge a fee for copies of records that will effectively prevent the parents from exercising their right to inspect and review records.

The District complies with a request to access records without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP, or any hearing pursuant to 3301-51-05 of the Operating Standards, and any resolution session pursuant to 3301-51-05 of the Operating Standards, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.

The District responds to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records, provides copies if failure to provide copies would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records and permits a representative of a parent to inspect and review records.

The District presumes that a parent has the authority to inspect and review records relative to that parent's child unless the District has been advised that the parent does not have the authority under applicable state law governing such matters as guardianship, separation and divorce.

Upon request, the District provides parents a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained or used by the District.

The District keeps a record of parties obtaining access to education records collected, maintained or used under Part B of the IDEA (except access by parents and authorized employees of the participating agency), including the name of the party, the date access was given and the purpose for which the party is authorized to use the records.

B. AMENDMENT OF RECORDS/HEARING PROCESS

If a parent requests the District to amend the information in the education records collected, maintained or used in the provision of special education or related services, the District decides whether to amend the information in accordance with the request within a reasonable period of time. If the District decides to refuse to amend the information in accordance with the request, it informs the parent of the refusal and advises the parent of the right to a hearing as set forth below and in 3301-51-04 of the Operating Standards.

(1) HEARING PROCEDURE

If the parent requests a hearing to challenge information in education records, the hearing is conducted in accordance with the procedures in 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 99.22 (July 1, 2005) and within a reasonable period of time after the District receives the request. The hearing is conducted in accordance with the following procedures:
    (a) The parents shall be given notice of the date, time and place reasonably in advance of the hearing;
    (b) The records hearing shall be conducted by any individual, including an official of the District, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing;
    (c) The parents shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the childís education records and the information the parent believes is inaccurate or misleading or violates the privacy or other rights of the child;
    (d) The parents may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of their choice, including an attorney;
    (e) The District makes its decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing; and
    (f) The decision is based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing and includes a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.


(2) RESULTS OF HEARING

If the District, as a result of the hearing, decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child, it amends the information accordingly and informs the parent in writing.

If the District, as a result of the hearing, decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child, it must inform the parent of the parentís right to place in the childís records a statement commenting on the information or setting forth any reasons the parents disagree with the decision of the District.

Any explanation placed in the records of a child are:
    (a) Maintained by the District as part of the records of the child as long as the record or contested portion is maintained by the District; and
    (b) Disclosed any time the records of the child or the contested portion is disclosed by the District to any party.


C. PARENTAL CONSENT PRIOR TO DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS

The District obtains parental consent before personally identifiable information is disclosed to parties, other than officials of participating agencies in accordance as defined by 3301-51-04(B)(3) of the Operating Standards, unless the information is contained in education records and the disclosure is authorized without parental consent under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, August 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (FERPA).

The parent's consent must be in writing, signed and dated and must:
    (1) Specify the records to 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.


The District obtains parental consent, or the consent of an eligible child who has reached the age of majority under Ohio law, before personally identifiable information is released:
    (1) To officials of participating agencies providing or paying for transition services in accordance with 3301-51-07 of the Operating Standards;
    (2) To officials in another district or school in connection with the childís enrollment in a nonpublic school; and/or
    (3) For purposes of billing insurance and/or Medicaid.


D. TRANSFER OF RIGHTS AT AGE OF MAJORITY

The District affords rights of privacy to children similar to those afforded to parents, taking into consideration the age of the child and type or severity of disability.

The rights of parents regarding education records under FERPA transfer to the child at age 18.

If the rights accorded to parents under Part B of the IDEA are transferred to a child who reaches the age of majority (which is 18 in Ohio), the rights regarding education records also transfer to the child. See Chapter IV, Procedural Safeguards, Section G, regarding the transfer of rights under IDEA at the age of majority.

Once a child reaches the age of 17, the IEP must include a statement that the child has been informed regarding this transfer of rights.

E. DISCIPLINARY INFORMATION AND REPORTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

The District includes in the records of a child with a disability a statement of any current or previous disciplinary action that has been taken against the child and transmits the statement to the same extent that disciplinary information is included in, and transmitted with, the records of nondisabled children.

When a child transfers from the District, the transmission of any of the childís records includes both the childís current IEP and any statement of current or previous disciplinary action that has been taken against the child.

A statement of disciplinary action shall:
    (1) Specify the circumstances that resulted in the disciplinary action and provide a description of the disciplinary action taken if the disciplinary action was taken because the child:
      (a) Carried a weapon to or possessed a weapon at school, on school premises or to or at a school function;
      (b) Knowingly possessed or used illegal drugs, or sold or solicited the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises or at a school function; or
      (c) Inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises or at a school function; and
    (2) Include any information that is relevant to the safety of the child and other individuals involved with the child.

A statement of disciplinary action may include a description of any other behavior engaged in by the child that required disciplinary action, and a description of the disciplinary action taken.

If the District reports a crime to the appropriate law enforcement officials, the District transmits copies of the special education and disciplinary records of the child to those officials only to the extent that the transmission is permitted by FERPA and any other applicable laws.

F. DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS

The District informs parents when personally identifiable information is no longer needed to provide educational services to the child. If the parents request, the information is then destroyed. However, a permanent record of a studentís name, address, telephone number, grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed and year completed is maintained without time limitation.