Parents' Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security
The South Colonie Central School District is committed to ensuring student privacy in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and district policies. To this end and pursuant to U.S. Department of Education regulations, the district is providing the following Parents' Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security:
A student's personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial or marketing purposes.
Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child's education record , including any student data maintained by the South Colonie Central School District. This right of inspection of records is consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under the more recently adopted regulations (Education Law §2-d), the rights of inspection are extended to include data, meaning parents have the right to inspect or receive copies of any data in their child’s educational record. The New York State Education Department (SED) will develop further policies and procedures related to these rights in the future.
State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred.
A complete list of all student data elements collected by the state is available for public review in an Excel file at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/documentation/NYSEDstudentData.xlsx or in a PDF file by clicking here. Parents may also obtain a copy of this list by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234.
Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints should be directed to: Dr. David Perry, South Colonie District Office, 869-3576, Ext. 2470 and to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234; e-mail address is email@example.com. SED’s complaint process is under development and will be established through regulations from the department’s chief privacy officer, who has yet to be appointed.
Additional student data privacy information
This bill of rights is subject to change based on regulations of the commissioner of education and the SED chief privacy officer, as well as emerging guidance documents from SED. For example, these changes/additions will include requirements for districts to share information about third-party contractors that have access to student data, including:
How the student, teacher or principal data will be used;
How the third-party contractors (and any subcontractors/ others with access to the data) will abide by data protection and security requirements;
What will happen to data when agreements with third-party contractors expire;
If and how parents, eligible students, teachers or principals may challenge the accuracy of data that is collected; and
Where data will be stored to
ensure security and the security precautions taken to ensure
the data is protected, including whether the data will be
If you would like more information, please contact Dr. David Perry, South Colonie District Office, 869-3576, Ext. 2470 or email him at David.Perry@southcolonie.k12.ny.us.
U.S. Department of Education press release: Guidance for Schools Issued on How to Keep Parents Better Informed on the Data They Collect on Students (PDF)
Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC): newly established one-stop resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
SOUTH COLONIE PARENTS: The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows schools to disclose, without parental consent, certain “directory information” such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in athletics, honors and awards, photograph and dates of attendance, unless parents have advised the district to the contrary.
The primary purpose of the directory information is to allow South Colonie to include this type of information in school publications (district and school newsletters, calendar and other publications and the district website, School News Notifier and social media outlets including South Colonie Facebook) and for publicity of student accomplishments or specific educational programs to the electronic (television) and print (newspaper) media.
In practice, South Colonie has historically released a student’s name, grade, honor, awards and photographs in publications and to the media. Other directory information is not routinely released. A similar procedure regarding the release of information on the school district website is in place.
Parents not wishing information about their child to be used in either district publications, release to the media or on the district web site should write a letter to the principal of their child’s school. The signed and dated letter should state that directory information about (name of student) should not be released under FERPA. You do not have to give a reason. This letter must be sent annually by December 31.
Schools required to keep student height and weight data (BMI)
Because New York State is interested in data about children’s health, schools are required to keep height and weight data and to calculate students’ Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a way of checking for underweight or overweight youngsters based on their height and weight. Some schools will be surveyed by the state Department of Health each year and asked to share the number of pupils they have in each of six possible BMI categories based on students’ age and sex. If our district is surveyed by the state, we will only share group data (for instance, the number of second grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data. However, if parents wish their child’s data to be excluded from such group calculations, they may do so by contacting their school nurse.
Vocational Ed Announcement
The South Colonie Central School District offers vocational education opportunities to students without regard to sex, race, color, national original or handicap. The district’s designated coordinator of Title IX and Section 504 compliance activities is David Seaver, 102 Loralee Drive, Albany 12205, phone number: 518-869-3576.
School facilities may be used by district residents if approved by the Board of Education. Fees are charged for certain kinds of activities and/or for extra services which the district has to provide. If you wish to use school facilities, contact the principal. Insurance coverage is required.
All students have the right to:
The right to the best education possible with the opportunity for continuous progress intellectually and emotionally.
The right to an educational environment that is stable, healthy and safe.
The right to ask questions and express opinions at the appropriate time and place.
The right to input decisions affecting the student population through elected or selected representatives.
The right to counseling and confidentiality of records.
The right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, religion or national origin.
The right to equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities.
The right to participate in extracurricular activities.
The right to due process as it applies to enforcement of school rules and regulations.
In accordance with federal and state laws and regulations regarding the maintenance of student records, the South Colonie Board of Education recognizes the legal requirement to protect the confidentiality of student records. The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that the procedures for the confidentiality of student records shall be consistent with federal and state law pursuant to the authority of the Commissioner of Education. It is the intent of the South Colonie Central School District to limit the disclosure of information contained in a student’s education records except by prior consent of the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) or the eligible student, unless otherwise provided by law.
Parent(s) or guardian(s) and eligible students have the following rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):
The right to inspect and review the student’s record
The right to be provided, on request, with a copy of all or part of the student’s education record
The right to exercise a limited control over other people’s access to the student’s education record
The right to designate a representative who will inspect, review, or copy such records
The right to request and receive from the district a reasonable explanation of information contained in the education record of the student
The right to seek to correct the student’s education record, at a hearing if necessary
The right to report violations of FERPA to the Department of Education
The right to be informed about FERPA rights
All rights and protections held by a student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) under FERPA shall vest with the student when he or she reaches the age of 18, or enrolls in a post-secondary school. For purposes of federal law, the student shall then become an “eligible student.” Additionally, on application of the parent(s) or guardian(s), a school record shall be issued promptly to a minor who presents a certificate of physical fitness and meets the specified age requirement.
Pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, parents may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers including:
Whether state requirements and licensing criteria have been met for the grade level and subject area being taught.
If the teacher is working under emergency or other provisional status for state qualifications and licensing criteria have been waived.
The teacher’s college major and subsequent advanced degrees. If an uncertified teacher will be working in a classroom for four or more weeks.
Requests for this information may be directed to the Superintendent’s Office, South Colonie Central School District, 102 Loralee Drive, Albany, NY 12205.
NCLB also requires that school districts disclose to military recruiters and institutions of higher learning, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of our high school students. However, parents or students may request, in writing, that the district NOT release such information. Parents, or students who are at least 18 years old, may exercise the option to withhold their consent to release this information by contacting the high school principal’s office. For a military opt out form, click here.
The South Colonie Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, handicap or age. Inquiries concerning this policy of equal opportunity should be directed to the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator, 102 Loralee Drive, Albany, New York 12205, or by calling (518) 869-3576.
In accordance with the EPA
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1987 (40 CFR Part
763), the South Colonie Central School District put in place a
management plan to identify and manage asbestos building materials. Periodic surveillances are done every six months. In addition, abatement projects have been conducted in conjunction with the building construction. Specific notifications are posted in the buildings where projects are done prior to the start of the abatement work. This spring the Triennial Re-inspection will be done, reviewing and updating the management plan for all of the district buildings.
The Asbestos Management Plan for the district is kept on file at the District Office. These records are available for review during regular business hours(8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.) or by making a special appointment. For more information, contact the Office of Buildings and Grounds at 869-3576.
Also, New York State Education Law requires school districts to provide written notification to all parents, faculty and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year. view the pesticide notification in full (pdf)
Annual Go Home Early Drill
Each November, South Colonie Schools sends its students home 15 minutes early to test its Emergency Management Plan. The “Go Home Early Drill” is required once a year by the New York State Education Department. The drill date is published each year in the district calendar. The purpose of the early dismissal drill is to test the effectiveness of the transportation and communications systems in the event of an emergency. Copies of the Emergency Management Plan are located in the Principal’s Office of each school, and at the District Office, 102 Loralee Drive, Albany.