School Board Policy 515 -
Protection and Privacy of Student Records

Adopted: September 8, 1997
Revised: June 12, 2000
Revised: April 9, 2001
Revised: September 9, 2002
Revised: May 9, 2005
Revised: November 8, 2007
Revised: January 14, 2008

Revised: March 8, 2010
rEVISED: September 12, 2011
rEVISED: September 10, 2012
rEVISED: April 14, 2014
rEVISED: January 8, 2018
rEVISED: December 14, 2020
rEVISED: jANUARY 8, 2024

I. Purpose

The school district recognizes its responsibility in regard to the collection, maintenance and dissemination of student records and the protection of the privacy rights of students as provided in federal law and state statutes.

II. General Statement of Policy

The following procedures and policies regarding the protection and privacy of parents and students are adopted by the school district, pursuant to the requirements of 20 United States Code, section 1232g, et seq., (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA]), 34 Code of Federal Regulations part 99, and consistent with the requirements of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minnesota Statutes, chapter 13, and Minnesota Rules, parts 1205.0100 - 1205.2000.

III. General Classification

State law provides that all data collected, created, received or maintained by a school district are public unless classified by state or federal law as not public or private or confidential. State law classifies all data on individuals maintained by a school district which relates to a student as private data on individuals. This data may not be disclosed to parties other than the parent or eligible student without consent, except pursuant to a valid court order, certain state statutes authorizing access, and the provisions of FERPA and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

IV. Confidential Records

A. “Confidential Record,” means those records and data contained therein which are made not public by state or federal law, and which are inaccessible to the student and the student's parents or to an eligible student.

B. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, chapter 260E, written copies of reports pertaining to a neglected, and/or physically, and/or sexually abused child shall be accessible only to the appropriate welfare and law enforcement agencies. In respect to other parties, such data shall be confidential and will not be made available to the parent or the subject individual by the school district. The individual subject, however, may obtain a copy of the report from either the local welfare agency, county sheriff, or the local police department subject to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 260E.

Regardless of whether a written report is made under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 260E, as soon as practicable after a school receives information regarding an incident that may constitute maltreatment of a child in a school facility, the school shall inform the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of the child that an incident occurred that may constitute maltreatment of the child, when the incident occurred, and the nature of the conduct that may constitute maltreatment.

C. Data collected by the school district as part of an active investigation undertaken for the purpose of the commencement or defense of pending civil legal action, or which are retained in anticipation of a pending civil legal action are classified as protected nonpublic data in the case of data not on individuals, and confidential data in the case of data on individuals.

D. To the extent the school district maintains records of the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any student which are maintained in connection with the performance of any drug abuse prevention function conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the United States, such records are classified as confidential and shall be disclosed only for the purposes and under the circumstances expressly authorized by law.

V. Directory Information

A. “Directory Information,” under federal law, means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes the student's name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time); dates of attendance; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees, honors, and awards received; and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.

1. Under Minnesota law, a school district may not designate a student’s home address, telephone number, email address, or other personal contact information as “directory information.”

2. The directory information described is the White Bear Lake Area School District’s listing of public information.

a) Student’s name
b) Photograph
c) Information provided by the student for inclusion in school-approved publications, including district and school social media sites; yearbooks; electronic newsletters; cable TV or newspapers
d) Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
e) Weight and height of members of athletic teams
f) Names and pictures of students participating in or attending extra-curricular activities, school events, and High School League activities or events 
g) Major field of study
h) Dates of attendance
i) Grade level
j) Enrollment status (i.e., full-time or part-time
k) Degrees, honors, and awards received
l) Previous educational agency or institution attended

B. The school district may disclose directory information from the education records of a student and information regarding parents without prior written consent of the parent of the student or eligible student, except as provided herein.

1. Disclosure of directory information will be limited to the following individuals, agencies, or parties:

a) companies that have a contract with the district to publish yearbooks or distribute class rings;
b) organizations that exist to promote the school district’s interest, such as parent-teacher organizations and area education foundations; and
c) other organizations determined by the district to promote the interests of the district’s students.

2. In addition, Military Recruitment Officers and Post-Secondary Educational Institutions are able to request and access Federal Directory Information.

C. When conducting the directory information designation and notice process required by federal law, the school district shall give parents and students notice of the right to refuse to let the district designate specified data about the student as directory information.

1. The school district shall give annual public notice by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the parents and eligible students of:

a. the types of personally identifiable information regarding students and/or parents that the school district has designated as directory information;

b. the parent's or eligible student's right to refuse to let the school district designate any or all of those types of information about the student and/or the parent as directory information; and

c. the period of time in which a parent or eligible student has to notify the school district in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information about the student and/or the parent designated as directory information.

2. Allow a reasonable period of time after such notice has been given for a parent or eligible student to inform the school district, in writing, that any or all of the information so designated should not be disclosed without the parent's or eligible student's prior written consent, except as provided in Section VI.C. of this policy.

D. The designation of any information as directory information about a student or parents will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year unless the parent or eligible student provides the written notifications provided herein.

VI. Educational Records

A. “Educational Record,” means those records that are: (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by the school district or by a party acting for the school district. For the purposes herein, education records are records which are classified as private data on individuals by state law and which are accessible only to the student who is the subject of the data and the student's parent if the student is not an eligible student. The school district may not disclose private records or their contents except as summary data, or except as provided in Section VI.C. of this policy, without the prior written consent of the parent or the eligible student. The school district will use reasonable methods to identify and authenticate the identity of parents, students, school officials, and any other party to whom personally identifiable information from education records is disclosed.

B. Private Records Not Accessible to Parent

In certain cases state law intends, and clearly provides, that certain information contained in the education records of the school district pertaining to a student be accessible to the student alone, and to the parent only under special circumstances, if at all.

1. The responsible authority may deny access to private data by a parent when a minor student who is the subject of that data requests that the responsible authority deny such access. The minor student's request must be submitted in writing setting forth the reasons for denying access to the parent and must be signed by the minor. Upon receipt of such request the responsible authority shall determine if honoring the request to deny the parent access would be in the best interest of the minor data subject. In making this determination the responsible authority shall consider the following factors:

a. whether the minor is of sufficient age and maturity to be able to explain the reasons for and understand the consequences of the request to deny access;

b. whether the personal situation of the minor is such that denying parental access may protect the minor data subject from physical or emotional harm;

c. whether there are grounds for believing that the minor data subject's reasons for precluding parental access are reasonably accurate;

d. whether the data in question is of such a nature that disclosure of it to the parent may lead to physical or emotional harm to the minor data subject; and

e. whether the data concerns medical, dental or other health service provided pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, sections 144.341 - 144.347, in which case the data may be released only if the failure to inform the parent would seriously jeopardize the health of the minor.

C. Private Records Not Accessible to Student

Students shall not be entitled to access to private data concerning financial records and statements of the student's parent or any information contained therein.

D. Consent Required for Disclosure

The school district shall obtain a signed and dated written informed consent of the parent of a student or the eligible student before disclosing personally identifiable information from the education records of the student, except as provided herein.

E. Prior Consent Not Required for Disclosure

The school district may disclose personally identifiable information from the education records of a student without the written consent of the parent of the student or the eligible student unless otherwise provided herein, if the disclosure is:

1. To other school officials, including teachers, within the school district whom the school district determines to have a legitimate educational interest in such records;

2. To a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom the school district has outsourced institutional services or functions;

3. To officials of other schools, school districts, or post-secondary educational institutions in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled, as long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer;

4. To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, or the Commissioner of the State Department of Education or their representative, subject to the conditions relative to such disclosure provided under federal law;

5. In connection with financial aid for which a student has applied or has received;

6. To state and local officials or authorities to whom such information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed;

7. To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs or improving instruction;

8. To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions;

9. To parents of a student eighteen (18) years of age or older if the student is a dependent of the parents for income tax purposes;

10. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;

11. To appropriate parties, including parents of an eligible student, in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health, including the mental health, or safety of the student or other individuals;

12. To the juvenile justice system if information about the behavior of a student who poses a risk of harm is reasonable necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals;

13. Information the school district has designated as "directory information" pursuant to Section V. of this policy;

14. To military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions pursuant to Section VII. of this policy;

15. To the parent of a student who is not an eligible student or to the student himself or herself;

16. To appropriate health authorities to the extent necessary to administer immunization programs and for bona fide epidemiological investigations which the Commissioner of Health determines are necessary to prevent disease or disability to individuals in the public educational agency or institution in which the investigation is being conducted;

17. To volunteers who are determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the data and who are conducting activities and events sponsored by or endorsed by the educational agency or institution for students or former students;

18. To the juvenile justice system, upon written request that certifies that the information will not be disclosed to any other person except as authorized by law without the written consent of the parent of the student. The written requests of the juvenile justice system member(s), as well as a record of any release, must be maintained in the student’s file;

19. To the principal or administrator of the school where the student attends and to any counselor directly supervising or reporting on the behavior or progress of the student if it is information from a disposition order received by a Superintendent under Minnesota Statutes, section 260B.171. subdivision 3;

20. To the principal or administrator of the school where the student attends if it is information from a peace officer’s record of children received by a Superintendent under Minnesota Statutes, section 260B.171, subdivision 5;

21. To the Secretary of Agriculture, or authorized representative from the Food and Nutrition Service or contractors acting on behalf of the Food and Nutrition Service, for the purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of state and local educational and other agencies and institutions receiving funding or providing benefits of one or more programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966;

22. To an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency, or tribal organization (as defined in section 25 United States Code, section 5304) who has the right to access a student’s case plan, as defined and determined by the State or tribal organization, when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or Tribal law, for the care and protection of the student;

23. When requested, the school district must share personal contact information and directory information, whether public or private, with the Minnesota Department of Education, as required for federal reporting purposes.

F. Nonpublic School Students

The school district may disclose personally identifiable information from the education records of a nonpublic school student, other than a student who receives shared time educational services, without the written consent of the parent of the student or the eligible student unless otherwise provided herein, if the disclosure is:

1. Pursuant to a valid court order;

2. Pursuant to a statute specifically authorizing access to the private data; or

3. To appropriate health authorities to the extent necessary to administer immunization programs and for bona fide epidemiological investigations which the commissioner of health determines are necessary to prevent disease or disability to individuals in the public educational agency or institution in which the investigation is being conducted.

VII. Military Recruitment Officers and Post-Secondary Educational Institutions Data Disclosure

A. The school district will release the names, addresses, and home telephone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions within 60 days after the date of the request unless a parent or eligible student has refused in writing to release this data.

B. Annually, the school district will provide public notice by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the parents and eligible students of their rights to refuse to release the names, addresses, and home phone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 without prior consent.

C. A parent or eligible student has the right to refuse the release of the name, address, or home telephone number to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions. To refuse the release of the above information to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions, a parent or eligible student must make a written request to the office of the Superintendent within thirty (30) days after the date of the last publication of the public notice.

D. A parent or eligible student’s refusal to release the above information to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions does not affect the school district’s release of directory information to the rest of the public, which includes military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions. In order to make any directory information about a student private, the procedures contained in Section V.D. of this policy also must be followed. Accordingly, to the extent the school district has designated the name, address, phone number, and grade level of students as directory information, absent a request from a parent or eligible student not to release such data, this information will be public data and accessible to members of the public, including military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions.

VIII. Statement and Annual Notification of Rights

A. The school district shall give parents of students currently in attendance and eligible students currently in attendance annual notice by such means as are reasonably likely to inform the parents and eligible students of the following:

1. That the parent or eligible student has a right to inspect and review the student's education records, except those records which are made confidential by state or federal law and the procedure for inspecting and reviewing education records;

2. That the parent or eligible student has a right to request the amendment of the student's education records to ensure that those records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights and the procedure for requesting amendment of records;

3. The right to a hearing if the school district refuses to amend the education records of a student in order to challenge the content of the student's education records to ensure that information in the education records of the student is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student.

4. That the parent or eligible student has a right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that federal and state law and the regulations promulgated thereunder authorize disclosure without consent;

5. That the parent or eligible student has a right to refuse release of students’ names, addresses, and home telephone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 to military recruiting officers and post-secondary educational institutions;

6. That the parent or eligible student has a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education regarding an alleged failure by the school district to comply with the requirements of FERPA, and the rules promulgated thereunder;

7. That the school district forwards education records on request to a school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled as long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer and that such records may include suspension and expulsion records pursuant to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and, if applicable, a student’s history of violent behavior;

8. The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest for purposes of disclosing education records to other school officials whom the school district has determined to have legitimate educational interests;

9. The right to be informed about rights under the federal law; and

10. The right to obtain a copy of this policy at the location set forth in Section XV of this policy.

B. The school district shall provide for the need to effectively notify parents of students identified as having a primary or home language other than English.

C. The school district shall provide for the need to effectively notify parents or eligible students identified as disabled.

IX. Limits on Redisclosure

A. Consistent with the requirements herein, the school district may only disclose personally identifiable information from the education records of a student on the condition that the party to whom the information is to be disclosed will not disclose the information to any other party without the prior written consent of the parent of the student or the eligible student, except that the officers, employees and agents of any party receiving personally identifiable information under this section may use the information, but only for the purposes for which the disclosure was made.

B. Subdivision A of this section does not prevent the school district from disclosing personally identifiable information under Section VI. of this policy with the understanding that the party receiving the information may make further disclosures of the information on behalf of the school district.

C. The school district shall inform the party to whom a disclosure is made of the requirements set forth in this section.

XI. Problems Accessing Data

A. The Data Practices Compliance Official is the designated employee to whom persons may direct questions or concerns regarding problems in obtaining access to data or other data practices problems.

B. Data Practices Compliance Official means Superintendent or designee.

C. Any request by an individual with a disability for reasonable modifications of the school district’s policies or procedures for purposes of accessing records shall be made to the data practices compliance official.

XII. Complaints For Noncompliance with FERPA

A. Complaints regarding alleged violations of rights accorded parents and eligible students by FERPA, and the rules promulgated thereunder, shall be submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202.

XIII. Waiver

A parent or eligible student may waive any of their rights provided herein pursuant to FERPA. A waiver shall not be valid unless in writing and signed by the parent or eligible student. The school district may not require such a waiver.

XIV. Destruction and Retention of Records

Destruction and retention of records by the school district shall be controlled by state and federal law.

XV. Copies of Policy

Copies of the school district’s policy regarding the protection and privacy of school records are located on the school district’s website at https://www.isd624.org/about/district-policies and may be obtained at the office of the Superintendent.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
Minn. Stat. § 13.32, Subd. 5 (Directory Information)
Minn. Stat. § 13.393 (Attorneys)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 14 (Administrative Procedures Act)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.40 - 121A.56 (The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act) Minn. Stat. § 121A.75 (Receipt of Records; Sharing)
Minn. Stat. § 127A.852 (Military-Connected Youth Identifier)
Minn. Stat. § 144.341-144.347 (Consent of Minors for Health Services)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 256B (Medical Assistance for Needy Persons)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 256L (MinnesotaCare)
Minn. Stat. § 260B.171. Subds. 3 and 5 (Disposition Order and Peace Officer Records of Children)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 260E (Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors)
Minn. Stat. § 363A.42 (Public Records; Accessibility)
Minn. Stat. § 626.557 (Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults)
Minn. Rules Parts 1205.0100-1205.2000 (Data Practices)
10 U.S.C. § 503(b) and (c) (Enlistments: Recruiting Campaigns; Compilation of Directory Information)
18 U.S.C. § 2331 (Definitions)
18 U.S.C. § 2332b (Acts of Terrorism Transcending National Boundaries)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g et seq. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
20 U.S.C. § 6301 et seq. (Every Student Succeeds Act)
20 U.S.C. § 7908 (Armed Forces Recruiting Information)
20 U.S.C. § 7917 (Transfer of School Disciplinary Records)
25 U.S.C. § 5304 (Definitions - Tribal Organization)
26 U.S.C. §§ 151 and 152 (Internal Revenue Code)
42 U.S.C. § 1711 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act)
42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. (Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act)
34 C.F.R. §§ 99.1-99.67 (Family Educational Rights and Privacy)
34 C.F.R. § 300.610-300.627 (Confidentiality of Information)
42 C.F.R. § 2.1 et seq. (Confidentiality of Drug Abuse Patient Records)
Gonzaga University v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273 309 (2002)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 21-008 (December 8, 2021)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 413 (Addendum B: Responding to a Racial and Biased Harm Protocol)
WBLASB Policy 413 (Addendum C: Administrative Guidelines for Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students)
WBLASB Policy 414 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)
WBLASB Policy 417 (Chemical Use and Abuse)
WBLASB Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
WBLASB Policy 519 (Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies) WBLASB Policy 520 (Student Surveys)
WBLASB Policy 529 (Notification to Staff Regarding Placement of Students with Violent Behavior)
WBLASB Policy 711 (Videotaping on School Bus)
WBLASB Policy 722 (Public Data Requests)
WBLASB Policy 906 (Community Notification of Predatory Offenders)
MSBA School Law Bulletin “I” (School Records - Privacy - Access to Data)