- Souderton Area Virtual Academy (SAVA)
- Visitors to the Building
- Homeless Supports
- SASD Record Keeping Policies and F.E.R.P.A. Rights
- Parental Access to Student Records
- Notification of Rights for Elementary and Secondary School Students
- Directory Information Notice
- Notice and Consent/Opt-Out for Specific Activities
- NCLB - Parent and Public Notification Requirements
- Public Complaints
Souderton Area Virtual Academy (SAVA) is Souderton Area School District’s K-12 online learning program. SAVA students are registered with the District and all relevant guidelines from this handbook apply to SAVA students. Please see the SAVA Web site for more information about the program.
Parents/guardians are welcomed and encouraged to visit the school. Please be aware that to ensure the safety of our school, ALL DOORS WILL BE LOCKED DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. The main entrance doors can be opened by the building receptionist. Once inside the building, all visitors must report directly to the Main Office. All visitors going beyond the Main Office must have a valid state issued ID which will be scanned into our system and a visitor's pass will be issued. The visitors pass is to be visible during your visit.
The SASD recognizes the need to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in the education records of students. The SASD Records policy meets the requirements of the State Board of Education and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law.
All student records are kept in locked files in the school where that student attends.
No information from student records to outside sources will be made without prior written consent of parent or eligible student. An eligible student is a student who has reached 18 years of age. Written consent is not required when records are forwarded to other educational institutions.
Parents and/or eligible students have the right to inspect or review the student's records by appointment, after a request is received.
In the normal course of the school year, many parents stop into the school office and ask to examine their child's school records. In the majority of cases this is no problem, and the examination of records is done with ease. Generally the only delay is if the person responsible for school records, the Principal, is out of the building.
The situation is slightly different in the case of separated or divorced parents. On November 5, 1981, the Custody and Grandparent Visitation Act was signed into law becoming effective January 4, 1982. This law states that in cases where parents are separated or divorced, the school must provide access to their child's records...unless the custodial parent can provide a court order denying such access to the non-custodial parent.
In order to comply with the law and provide services to parents, the school will use the following procedure for parental access to student records:
- Parents should come into the office and request to see their child's records. The records will be reviewed in the presence of the school principal or his/her designee. The purpose of this is not to delay the review, but to help the parent understand the information contained in the records, to answer questions or to correct errors, if any, found in the records.
- In cases where the parents are separated or divorced, the parent who has custody should provide the school with legal proof of that custody.
- When the non-custodial parent requests access to a student's records, the school will first contact the custodial parent and apprise that parent of the request. The custodial parent will have five days to get a court order denying access to the child's records by the non-custodial parent. If after five days no court order is provided to the school, the non-custodial parent will be granted access to the child's records as outlined in number one above.
- In cases where the parents are separated, and custody has not been determined by the courts, the school has no choice but to provide access of student records to both parents. Procedures outlined in number one above will be used.
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:
The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a written 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.
- 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 School principal, clearly identify 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.
- 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. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or 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 responsibilities. Upon request, the School discloses education records without consent to officials your child's principal, or another school district, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The additional disclosures the School may make without parent consent are explained in the School's Student Records Plan available from your child's principal.
- 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 US Department of Education
440 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Souderton Area School District, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records. However, Souderton Area School District 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 the Souderton Area School District to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your child's role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- 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 local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories - names, addresses and telephone listings - unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their child's information disclosed without their prior written consent.
If you do not want Souderton Area School District to disclose directory information from your child's education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing.
- Dates of attendance.
- Grade level.
- The most recent educational agency or institution attended.
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232h, requires Souderton Area School District to notify you and obtain consent or allow you to opt your child out of participating in certain school activities. These activities include a student survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight areas ("protected information surveys"):
- 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.
This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes ("marketing surveys"), and certain physical examinations and screenings.
If the Souderton Area School District during the school year does become involved in conducting a survey, collecting and using information for marketing purposes, or administering certain protected physical examinations where it is legally required, the District will obtain the appropriate consent and/or opt-out for the protected information and marketing surveys. If undertaken, and if you wish, you may review any survey instrument or instructional material used in connection with any of the surveys. Board policy states parents must request in writing
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires that all parental notification must be:
- In a uniform format.
- In understandable language.
- In a language parents can understand, where practicable.
No Child Left Behind - General Notification Requirements
- Policy on parents' right to inspect instructional materials, excluding tests - (Policy 105.2) - annually at beginning of school year and within reasonable time after substantive policy revision.
- Policy on administration of non-emergency, invasive physical examinations and screenings and parent right to opt-out student - (Policy 209) - prior to administration of examination or screening - annually at beginning of school year, listing of the specific or approximate dates scheduled or expected to be scheduled, and within reasonable time after substantive policy revision.
- Policy on parents' right to inspect surveys administered by school and opt-out student; prior written consent required for 8 restricted survey topics; measure to protect student privacy - (Policy 235) - annually at beginning of school year, listing of specific or approximate dates scheduled or expected to be scheduled, and within reasonable time after substantive policy revision.
- Policy on collection, disclosure, and use of personal student information for marketing purposes; parents' right to inspect instrument and opt-out student measures to protect student privacy - (Policy 235) - annually at beginning of school year, listing of the specific or approximate dates scheduled or expected to be scheduled, and within reasonable time after substantive policy revision.
- Military recruiter access to student information (name, address, telephone number) - only to parents of secondary students’ parents can request information not be released without prior written consent - (Policy 250) - annually at beginning of school year.
- District and school report cards - must report required information - (Policy 919) - distributed to all parents; distributed to public by public means - annually when data is available, at beginning of school year.
- Individual student achievement level on state assessments - (Policy 127) - as soon as practicable after results received.
- Parents' and public's right to review assessment instruments and data (except personally identifiable information (Policy 127) - annually at beginning of school year; reasonable efforts to inform public.
- Title I Parent Involvement Policy and program - (Policy 918) - only to parents of students participating in Title I programs - annually at beginning of school year.
- Parents' right to request the qualifications of student's classroom teachers - (Policy 424) - only to parents of students attending Title I schools - annually at beginning of school year.
- Notice to parents of students being taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who is not high qualified - (Policy 424) - notice given in a timely manner.
- Parents' right to request the qualifications of paraprofessionals performing instructional duties for student - (Policy 524) - only to parents of students attending Title I schools - annually at beginning of school year.
- Limited English Proficiency Program - student's placement, program, parents' rights, and parent involvement - (Policy 138) - annually within 30 days of beginning of school year; within 2 weeks of placement for student not previously identified.
- Migrant Education Program - student's placement, program, policy and parent involvement - (Policy 142) - annually at beginning of year and placement.
- Homeless Education Program - student placement, 251) - upon enrollment and twice annually.
- Notice of school being designated "persistently dangerous" - all students' right to transfer to another school in the district - with 14 days prior to beginning of school year.
- Individual student's right to transfer to another school in district when a victim of a violent crime on school grounds - with 14 days prior to beginning of school year.
- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) - parental right to inspect test and opt-out student for any reason student is not required to answer all questions or finish the test - given when the school receives notice of class selection.
No Child Left Behind - Requirements for Specific Programs
- Violence and drug prevention efforts, programs and activities - parents can opt-out student; parent involvement - required only if district receives safe and drug-free schools funds - reasonable efforts.
- Voluntary school choice program - availability and operation of program - only if district receives specific federal grant money.
- Evaluation of 21st Century programs and activities provided by district.
- NCLB waiver requests to U.S. Department of Education - public notice.
- Terms of local flexibility agreement with U.S. Department of Education under which school consolidates funds.
No Child Left Behind - Requirements For School Identified For Improvement
- Identified for Improvement status - parents of school students.
- Identified for Improvement school choice options - parents of school students.
- Supplemental Education Services - availability, services, and providers - annually to parents of eligible students.
- Corrective Action status and plan - parents of school students and teachers.
Requirements of Other Laws - Federal and State
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - federal - student records - annually at beginning of school year.
- Individual With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)/Child Find - federal - special education - annually.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - PA - annually at beginning of school year.
- Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) - PA - annually at beginning of school year.
The School Board recognizes that misunderstandings between the public and the school district occur and hopes these can be resolved in- formally among the parties involved. When such informal meetings fail to resolve differences, complainants may use the formal procedures established by board policy 906.