Local Operating Guidelines

Student Records:  Management and Maintenance of Confidential Student Information


Confidentiality

All personally identifiable information, evaluations, and records of ARD proceedings are considered to be confidential information.  Principals assume responsibility for insuring the confidentiality of information on each campus. The Superintendent is responsible for the confidentiality at the district level. The district provides training and instruction regarding all polices and procedures to all individuals using or collecting personally identifiable information.

Individual campuses maintain current lists of names and positions of those persons having access to information contained in student records.  Persons with access to personally identifiable information on students include teachers currently serving the student, campus special education staff who are currently serving the student, the campus administrator, superintendent, members of the multi-disciplinary evaluation team, the director of special education, the consulting psychologist, the student's parent/guardian, other persons whose access has been authorized by the student's parent/guardian, and Texas Education Agency monitoring teams.

A complete copy of the Amarillo Independent School District procedures to protect the rights of parents and students and to insure the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, may be obtained upon request from Amarillo Independent School District at 7200 I-40 West Amarillo, Texas 79106 or accessed elsewhere on the AISD website in District Board Policy. 

Access to Records

Official, personally identifiable, confidential information concerning special education is contained in each student's eligibility folder which is housed on the campus the student attends.  (For students receiving services through the Regional Educational Program for the Deaf (REPD), original records are housed at the Amarillo ISD Education Support Center. Copies of these records are housed on campuses and are subject to the same rules of confidentiality as other eligibility folders.)  The eligibility folder includes; but is not limited to, the following: referral data, documentation of notices and consents, evaluation reports and supporting data, ARD committee deliberations and the IEP. All eligibility folders are stored in locked filing cabinets. A folder access form listing the names and positions of all persons with direct access to the eligibility folders is posted in close proximity to the filing cabinets. This access form must be updated annually. Each eligibility folder also contains a review form. Any person who has a legitimate educational interest in the contents of an eligibility folder but is not listed on the folder access form must sign the review form in the individual student's folder each time they access information in the folder.

Unless otherwise specified in a court order, a noncustodial parent has the right to review and obtain a copy of records on his/her child without consent for release of records from the custodial parent. Other parties need written consent from the adult student, parent, or guardian before reading or receiving copies of any information or before anyone can share the information verbally.  The written consent must indicate the name and address of the person and/or agency to receive the records, the date of the request, and the signature of the parent or adult student.

Release/Disclosure of Records

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Any release or disclosure of confidential student records will be done in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and local school board policy regarding confidentiality of student records.

Subpoenaed Records

When district or personnel receive a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena for special education records, that administrator (or designee) makes a reasonable effort  to notify the parent or eligible student in writing of the order or subpoena  in advance of sending the requested special education records.

  • the requirement to notify the parent or eligible student does not apply if a federal grand jury subpoena or law enforcement subpoena contains a statement that the parents or eligible student should not be notified

  • in most cases the campus administrator (or designee) will wait 5 business days from the date the notice of disclosure was mailed  before mailing the records to the requesting authority. If the order/subpoena has a time requirement that will not allow the 5 day written notice, the district or campus administrator (or designee) will phone the parent or eligible student to advise them of the request

  • The following is a letter that may be used as a "sample" to help draft a letter to notify the parent or eligible student of the pending disclosure

_____________________VIA CERTIFIED MAIL #

_____________________Parent / Guardian

_____________________Street / P.O.

_____________________City, State, Zip Code

 

Dear ___________ ;

As custodian of the special education records of ______________________ (name of student), I have received a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena to provide a copy of his/her special education records.

Under the terms of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g, the access to personally identifiable information in education records is limited to parents or eligible students (meaning the due process rights have been transferred to the student). Normally, educational records are released only with the consent of the parent or eligible student. However, when served either with a subpoena or other judicial order, the District is required to release these records after having given notice to the parents or eligible student.

Unless notified by the Court to the contrary, Amarillo ISD will comply with this order or subpoena by mailing the requested records on or after ______________ (date that is 5 business days after the date this notice is mailed). So that you can be fully informed, we are enclosing a copy of the subpoena or judicial order.

Very truly yours,

 

_____________________ Signature

_____________________ Title

_____________________ Date

Enclosure

Release of Information to Law Enforcement Officials

Confidential information may be released when the AISD personnel report involvement in criminal activity by a student with a disability who is receiving special education services. Upon obtaining written consent from the parent/guardian for the release of records, the principal of the campus the student attends will forward copies of the student's current Annual Review ARD and any subsequent �brief� ARDs, the most recent Full Individual Evaluation report and the student's current school year discipline records including a list of office referrals, behaviors resulting in disciplinary consequences, and the consequences to the appropriate police liaison officer.

Release of Information to Other School Districts

When a student who is receiving special education services withdraws from AISD and moves to another district, the following records should be combined with that student's permanent record and sent to the District's Office of Student Records (following procedures specified by the Office of Student Records). Upon receipt of a written request from another school district in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, the District forwards these records without a prior parental consent.

  1. Original Consent for Assessment/Evaluation
  2. Original ARD and Consent for Placement
  3. Current Full and Individual Evaluation report (including outside agency reports)
  4. Latest notice and consent regarding evaluation
  5. Latest annual ARD and IEP documents
  6. All ARD and IEP documents since the last annual review ARD
  7. Latest graduation ARD (if applicable)

Also without prior parental consent, in order to facilitate the student's receiving appropriate services, AISD personnel will disclose information from a student's special education records upon a verbal request from another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll under the following conditions:

1.    If it is known with certainty that the person requesting the information is an employee of the requesting district who has a legitimate educational interest in the student's records, the information may be given over the phone.

2.    If there is uncertainty that the person requesting the information is an employee of the requesting district who has a legitimate educational interest in the student's records, prior to disclosing the requested information the AISD employee should either wait for receipt of a written request for records on the requesting school's letterhead or obtain a phone number (which can be verified as the requesting school) and call back to provide the information.

After information is disclosed verbally, written records will be forwarded to the student's new district as specified in the first paragraph of this section.

Any time student records information is released either verbally or in writing, documentation of the request, including the requester's name and school district, the student's name, information requested, and date of request, must be made.

Records of Currently Enrolled Students

Electronic Records

For students receiving special education services, the Educational Diagnostician and/or Speech-Language Pathologist is responsible for completing and updating applicable sections of the District's electronic student information system including the Public Education Information System (PEIMS) data on each campus to which they are assigned.

Students moving within the district

If a student receiving special education services withdraws from one AISD campus and subsequently enrolls in another AISD campus, the student's eligibility folder and any other related special education records should be hand-delivered to the new campus by diagnostician, speech-language pathologist, counselor, or other designated appropriate personnel

Students not eligible for special education services

For students who continue to be enrolled in AISD and who either: 1) have received a special education evaluation and are not determined to be eligible for special education services, or 2) have been receiving special education services and are no longer eligible for those services, the following data should be placed in the student's permanent record:

  1. Original consent for testing
  2. Original ARD and Consent for Placement
  3. Latest full and individual evaluation (including outside agency reports)
  4. Latest notice and consent regarding evaluation
  5. Latest annual ARD and IEP documents
  6. All ARD and IEP documents since the last Annual Review ARD
  7. Graduation ARD (if applicable)
  8. All of the following information for the previous seven school years:

a. IEP goals and objectives

b. Schedule of services pages from ARDs

c. Eligibility reports

d. Evaluation reports

e. Consent to Access Medicaid (SHARS) Reimbursement

Destruction of Records

Paper copies of Special Education records will be destroyed after seven years from the date of "cessation of services" to the student. "Cessation of services" in regard to destruction of special education records occurs when a student no longer receives special education services from the AISD because he/she has either graduated or withdrawn from AISD.

A public notice of such destruction will be printed each year in the local newspaper. Parents/adult students/guardians are encouraged to retain copies of current data (the last comprehensive assessment, the last ARD document, etc.) in case such documents will be needed for other purposes or by other agencies.

Even though paper records are destroyed, an electronic copy of the following records will be maintained indefinitely:

      1.   Completed Special Education Data Sheet

      2.   Original Consent for Evaluation

      3.   Original ARD and Consent for Placement

      4.   Latest Full and Individual Evaluation report (including any eligibility,

            related services and/or outside agency reports)

      5.   Latest notice and consent regarding evaluation

      6.   Latest Annual Review ARD and IEP documents

      7.   All ARD and IEP documents since the last Annual Review ARD

      8.   Latest Summary of Performance (if applicable)

      9.   Graduation ARD (if applicable)

      10. Notice of Revocation of Consent (if applicable)

      11. All of the following information for the previous seven school years:

            a. IEP goals and objectives

            b. Schedule of services pages from ARDs

            c. Eligibility reports

            d. Evaluation reports

            e. Consent to Access Medicaid (SHARS) Reimbursement

Students who withdraw from AISD

When an elementary or middle school student who is receiving special education services has withdrawn from AISD without subsequent enrollment in another district, the records to be maintained indefinitely (listed above) should be combined with that student's permanent record and sent to the District's Office of Student Records (following procedures specified by the Office of Student Records).

Students who graduate from (or otherwise leave) high school

When a student who has been receiving special education services graduates or otherwise withdraws from high school, a completed Special Education Data Sheet should be placed in the student's permanent record to indicate confidential special education records exist for that student.  The paper special education records which are to be kept indefinitely (electronically) should be maintained separately from the student's permanent record. These listed special education records are sent (separately from student permanent records) to the ESC Office of Student Records one school year after the student's graduation/withdrawal date.

Designated campus personnel are responsible for completing the Special Education Data Sheet and including it in the student's permanent record. In addition, campus personnel are responsible for preparing the student's special education records to be sent to the ESC Office of Student Records. Prior to sending the records to the ESC Office of Student Records; campus personnel destroy all documents in a student's eligibility folder that are not included on the above list, place each student's listed special education records in a manila folder (or between manila folders and secured with rubber bands), and label the folder with the anticipated destruction date (seven years after the student's graduation date). The individual manila folders should be boxed and should remain on the high school campus until they are sent to the ESC Office of Student Records.