Confidentiality PowerPoint

“SCS provides a premier education of world class
distinction in a positive, collaborative environment
with high levels of community engagement…”
This PowerPoint was prepared by the Office of Human
Resources to comply with SCS School Board Policy
GAC Employee Confidentiality
Anyone who has been approved to be a volunteer
which includes observation, student teaching, or
working in any unpaid capacity in our schools may be
asked to review this presentation and sign a
Confidentiality Agreement. Although not paid
employees, they are expected to abide by the
confidentiality policies and practices outlined in this
School Board Policy GAC
Employee Confidentiality
“Spotsylvania County Schools is
committed to maintaining the highest
standard of confidentiality for all student
and employee information. Employees
have a professional and ethical
responsibility to reasonably protect the
confidentiality and privacy of employee and
student records. All employees shall
receive training on confidentiality and
privacy as they relate to the Family
Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
and the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA). As a condition
of employment with Spotsylvania County
Schools, all employees shall be required to
sign a confidentiality agreement.”
Why should we have such a policy?
 Employees have a legal and ethical
responsibility to safeguard student and
employee confidentiality. We have a
responsibility to
 create a reasonably safe environment for
our employees and students relative to
confidential information.
 to protect the confidentiality of employee
and student information that is
accessible due to the nature of one’s
position and responsibilities.
 to reinforce the expectation of
professional and ethical responsibilities
in the workplace.
 to insure that we are in compliance with
federal laws.
 to raise awareness to potential liability
and be pro-active in minimizing employee
and division exposure to damages.
How does this policy affect
me as a school employee?
As an SCS employee, you
have a collaborative
relationship with peers and
subordinates. As such, you
may be privy to information
that is confidential and can be
damaging to the individual if
the information is shared with
other employees and/or
community members.
Definition of Terms Related
to Policy GAC
Confidentiality – a person’s obligation to not
disclose or transmit information to unauthorized
Privacy – a uniquely personal right that reflects
an individual’s freedom from intrusion
Legitimate educational interest - An employee has
a legitimate educational interest if the employee
needs the information in order to fulfill his or her
professional responsibility
School official - A person employed by SCS.
NOTE: This does not include non-SCS
employees, PTA/PTO, volunteers, parents who are
not the child’s parent, and/or other students
Definition of Terms Related
to Policy GAC (cont.)
 Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
(FERPA) established in 1974 and modified in
1996 with constant changes and revisions due
to court cases and federal interpretations
 It is a federal law designed to protect the
privacy of the students’ educational
 It gives parents (and students over 18 years
old) certain rights to records maintained by
the school and school personnel.
 It gives parents a procedure for challenging
the contents of records and a hearing to
have records that are inaccurate or
misleading modified.
 It defines educational records and personal
identifiable information.
Definition of Terms Related
to Policy GAC (cont.)
Personal identifiable information
includes but is not limited to the
student’s name, name of the student’s
parent or other family member(s), social
security number, personal characteristics
that would make the student’s identity
easily traceable
Parents – those who hold custodial
rights and all natural parents whose
parental rights have not been terminated
by a court order or other legal means.
Non-custodial parent rights must be
terminated by a court order or state law.
Definition of Terms Related
to Policy GAC (cont.)
Educational records – information that may
take on different forms to include handwritten
materials, information in print, video, audio,
computer stored information, emails, pictures,
film, etc. Examples include: parent information,
grades, test scores, special education records,
health records, courses taken, student
participation in activities, discipline records,
official letters regarding student status,
attendance records, pictures, awards, etc.
NOTE: Personal notes made by teachers or other
staff members are not considered education
records if they are kept in the sole possession of
the maker, not accessible except to a substitute,
and/or used only for memory aids. Records
created and maintained by a law enforcement unit
for law enforcement purposes are also excluded.
Definition of Terms Related
to Policy GAC (cont.)
Directory Information – Information
that, if disclosed, would not generally be
considered harmful or an invasion of
privacy. This includes a student’s name,
address, phone number, information
found in yearbooks or athletic programs,
degrees/awards received, photographs,
NOTE: Unless the parents give written notification
not to, directory information can be published
without written consent.
Definition of Terms Related
to Policy GAC (cont.)
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act) insures the privacy
and security of a patient’s mental,
physical, and health information. The
Privacy and Security rules went into
effect on April 14, 2003, with stiff
penalties for those who fail to comply, or
who improperly disclose or misuse
protected health information.
Medical records – Any record that
identifies the mental, physical, or
emotional health of an individual.
Who has access to student and/or
employee Information?
“A school official with a legitimate
educational interest.”
Other than a SCS employee, who has
access to student information without
the consent of parents?
• Out of county school officials in student transfer
• Officials for audits in compliance with federal
• Legal agents who present subpoenas;
Juvenile justice authorities/law enforcement
agents; and
• Medical personnel for health and safety
Who has access to medical
 School nurses, counselors, and
instructional personnel
 Employees who work with special
education students
 Administrators who supervise
employees and students
 Employees who work with employee
and student attendance
 Human Resources and Payroll
Strictly Confidential
You must receive written consent to
disclose the following information:
Diagnosed learning disability
Current or previous status as a “special
education” student
Any diagnosed medical/mental/physical
Use of prescription medications
History of drug/alcohol abuse or
HIV or AIDS status
Official transcripts
In summary…
Questions/class projects that are intended to
illicit information about a student’s family and
their political views or religious beliefs; the
mental/physical heath and/or sexual behavior of
family members; family members engaging in
illegal conduct; and/or anything relating to the
personal beliefs of the family are prohibited.
If you have access to school records, you can
not discuss them or disclose them unless you
follow proper procedures. Make sure that they
are not accessible and are stored in a secure
Only the parents of the child and /or those who
have a legitimate educational interest should
have a right to access student or employee
Students’ records should not be discussed with
anyone outside of the school setting.
How can I be sure that I am
doing the right thing?
Collaboration with
colleagues who
teach the child and
others who have a
educational need
for the information
“Collaboration is required
for 21st Century teaching
and learning”
who loves to
share “juicy
“Loose lips
sinks ships”
How can I be sure that I am
doing the right thing?
 When in doubt, don’t release information
before consulting with your administrator or
the school counselor or school nurse.
 Obtain written consent before giving out any
identifiable student information.
 Avoid conversations about students for whom
you have no legitimate reason to discuss.
 Avoid discussions with non-employees about
any students except their own.
 Avoid comments that may be heard by others
in places where others can hear, i.e., grocery
store, sporting events, hallways, doctor’s
Safeguarding the privacy and
confidentiality of student information is
the responsibility of everyone in the
These rights are some of the most
cherished in our society.
Violations of FERPA-HIPAA can be both
costly for SCS, students, families, and
Most importantly, violations can
adversely affect a student’s life and
ability to learn.
Repercussions for Violations
Employee disciplinary action
School district can risk losing
federal dollars
Families can file punitive lawsuits
against districts
Employees are not immune from
liability (i.e., families can file
punitive lawsuits against an
Thanks! Have a GREAT School Year!