The Community Independent School District maintains general education records required by law. A student’s school records are private and are protected from unauthorized inspection or use. A cumulative record is maintained for each student from the time the student enters the District until the student withdraws or graduates. This record moves with the student from school to school.
By law, both parents, whether married, separated, or divorced, have access to the records of a student who is a minor or a dependent for tax purposes. A parent whose rights have been legally terminated will be denied access to the records if the school is given a copy of the court order terminating these rights. At the District level, the Director of Student Accounting and Compliance, under the direction of the Superintendent, is the custodian of all records for currently enrolled students, and for students who have withdrawn or graduated. At the campus level, the registrar, under the direction of the principal, is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school, and for students who have withdrawn or graduated. Records may be reviewed during regular school hours. If circumstances effectively prevent a parent or eligible student from inspecting the records, the District shall either provide a copy of the requested records, or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review the requested records. The record custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records.
Parents of a minor or a student who is a dependent for tax purposes, the student (if 18 or older), and school officials with legitimate educational interests are the only persons who have general access to a student’s records. “School officials with legitimate educational interests” include any employees, agents, or Trustees of the District, or cooperatives of which the District is a member, or of facilities with which the District contracts for placement of students with disabilities, as well as their attorneys and consultants, who are (1) working with the student; (2) considering disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, or an individual education plan (IEP) of a student with disabilities; (3) compiling statistical data; or (4) investigating or evaluating programs.
Certain other officials from various governmental agencies may have limited access to the records. The District forwards a student’s records on request to a school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll without the necessity of the parent’s permission. Records also are released pursuant to court order or lawfully issued subpoena. Unless the subpoena is issued for law enforcement purposes and the subpoena orders that its contents, existence, or the information sought not be disclosed, the District shall make a reasonable effort to notify the parent or eligible student in advance of compliance. Parental consent is required to release the records to anyone else. When the student reaches 18 years of age, the right to consent to release of records transfers to the student.
The parent’s or student’s right of access to, and copies of, student records does not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records, such as teachers’ personal notes on a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher and records on former students after they are no longer students in the District, do not have to be made available to the parents or students. Students over 18 and parents of minor students may review and inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. If the District refuses the request to amend the records, the requestor has the right to request a hearing. If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the requestor has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record. Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged; parents and students are not allowed to contest a student’s grade in a course through this process. [See FNG (LEGAL) and (LOCAL) for the applicable complaint procedure.] Parents or students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the District is not in compliance with the law regarding student records.
Copies of student records are available at a cost of 10 cents per page, payable in advance. Parents may be denied copies of a student’s records (1) after the student reaches age 18 and is no longer a dependent for tax purposes; (2) when the student is attending an institution of post secondary education; (3) if the parent fails to follow proper procedures and pay the copying charge; or (4) when the District is given a copy of a court order terminating the parental rights. If the student qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches and the parents are unable to view the records during regular school hours, upon written request of the parent, one copy of the record will be provided at no charge.
The federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and state law require that “directory information” on each student be released by the District to anyone who requests it unless the parent objects in writing to the release of any or all of this information. To be in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the District will release to military recruiters and institutions of higher education, upon request, the name, address, and telephone listing of any student, unless the parent directs the District not to release this information without prior written consent. This objection must be filed with the principal within ten school days of the student’s first day of instruction for this school year. Directory information includes: student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, photographs, dates of attendance, awards received in school, and most recent previous school attended, email, enrollment status and age.
The District’s complete policy regarding student records is available from the principal’s or Superintendent’s office.