Required annual notices for families
Portland Public Schools is required annually to distribute five notices to families with important information about their rights and those of their students. Please read about: (1) distribution of “directory information” from your student’s education records; (2) family and student rights regarding student records; (3) release of information to military and college recruiters; (4) the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment; and (5) families’ right to know about teacher qualifications in Title I schools; (6) distribution of information from non-school groups; (7) annual restraint and seclusion report.
1. Directory information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, requires Portland Public Schools, with certain exceptions, to obtain your written consent before the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Portland Public Schools may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the district to the contrary in accordance with district procedures.
The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Portland Public Schools to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include: a playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production; honor roll or other recognition lists; graduation programs; and sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require schools receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information — names, addresses and telephone listings — unless the parent/guardian or the student has advised the school that they do not want the student’s information disclosed without prior written consent. If you do not want Portland Public Schools to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the district in writing.
Portland Public Schools has designated the following information as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- The most recent school attended
These laws are: Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7908), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110), the education bill, and 10 U.S.C. 503, as amended by section 544, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (P.L. 107-107), the legislation that provides funding for the nation’s armed forces.
2. Student records: Annual notification of rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
A. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
B. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the principal clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
C. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School officials include, but are not necessarily limited to: persons employed by PPS as administrators, supervisors, instructors or support staff members (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); persons serving on the school board; persons, entities or companies with whom/which PPS has contracted to perform special tasks (such as attorneys, auditors, medical consultants, or therapists) or that perform tasks on behalf of the school (such as the Portland Schools Foundation, the school based threat assessment team, or the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods Community Schools providers); and a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request from the receiving school district, Portland Public Schools discloses education records, including special education evaluation services, without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
D. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-46052
3. Release of student information to military and college recruiters
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires school districts to provide, upon request, the names, addresses and phone numbers of juniors and seniors to military recruiters and colleges or universities.
If you do not want the school district to provide information about your student to either the military or colleges or universities, you have an opportunity to “opt out.” To do so, you must check the box marked “NO” next to one or both of the categories (Military or College/University) on the student’s registration form or the yearly verification form and then sign and return the form immediately to your school. If your child is over 18, he or she must also sign the form.
If you do not check “NO” or if you fail to return the registration/verification forms, the school district must release the student information to military or college recruiters upon their request. Once this information is released, the district cannot control how these institutions use the information.
If you have questions, please contact your school counselor.
4. Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
- Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education: political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family; sex behavior or attitudes; illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior; critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships; legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers; religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
- Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of any other protected information survey, regardless of funding; any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law; and activities involving collection, disclosure or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
- Inspect, upon request and before administration or use protected information surveys of students; instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes; and instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
These rights transfer to from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law.
Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5901
Title I: Parents’ “right to know”
Upon the request of a parent, a Title I school must disclose, in a timely manner, at a minimum:
A. Whether the teacher has met state licensure requirements for the grade-level and subject area in which they are currently teaching.
B. Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or provisional status through which state licensing criteria have been waived.
C. The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher, any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree.
D. Whether the child is provided services by a paraprofessional, and if so, their qualifications.
E. In addition to notification of their right to request information on the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher, schools must also provide timely notice to parents if a child is assigned to, or has been taught for more than four consecutive weeks by a teacher that is not highly qualified.
6. Distribution of Information from non-school groups:
Under Board Policy 3.30.35 and Administrative Directive, schools may distribute information from certain non-PPS groups. The groups providing this information are not endorsed or sponsored by Portland Public Schools. District policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation BP 1.80.020. Not all outside groups comply with the district’s non-discrimination policy. Families are strongly encouraged to review all materials closely.
7. Annual Restraint and Seclusion Report
Portland Public Schools completes an annual report detailing the use of physical restraint and seclusion for the preceding school year. The report is available at our PPS website.
Unless your student is enrolled in a program, staff is not responsible for students before or after school.