“General” Parent Notices for Annual Back to School Communications
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY
Our school district will communicate with parents and our citizens as often as we can during the coming school year on a variety of important issues. Among those issues are the following, which we believe will assist students and parents in understanding how our schools meet performance standards established for all Ohio schools, how we protect and respond to student matters of rights and privacy, and options that are available to parents in supporting their child’s education. If you have questions or need further information on any of these issues, please contact your child’s Principal or the Superintendent’s office.
ANNUAL DISTRICT REPORT CARD
Your school district provides a Report Card to parents and the community each year to demonstrate how well our schools are doing in meeting Ohio’s school district and building performance standards. This annual Report Card is created by the Ohio Department of Education, and compares our school buildings and district with similar districts in Ohio in dozens of different categories of data. This annual Report Card is provided to parents and posted on the Ohio Department of Education’s website (www.ode.state.oh.us) before October 1 of each year.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF ASSESSMENT RESULTS
Ohio school districts must annually review the academic assessments and other progress indicators identified by the State of Ohio to determine whether those schools are making adequate yearly progress. Our school district routinely reviews how well our students are performing academically, and communicates our status in a variety of ways each year to parents, teachers, principals, schools, and the community so that we may improve our programs and instruction. Parents may request, if they do not receive, information on the specific level of achievement of their child in each of the State’s required assessments. If you have a question about how your child, school building or district is performing, please contact your child’s Principal or the Superintendent’s office.
ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS (AYP)
We work hard to ensure that our school district is performing at or beyond Ohio’s performance standards. If our district is ever identified by the State for improvement, corrective action or restructuring, we will provide to parents a comprehensive description about what the State’s identification means, why we are so identified, and what we will do to improve. If this identification ever does occur, parents may have educational options available to them for their child, and we will notify parents of such.
*TEACHER AND PARAPROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
Parents in our school district have the right to request information about the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher(s), including whether the teacher holds appropriate certification for the subject(s) and grades and the college degrees and major areas of study of the teacher. Parents also may request the qualifications of classroom paraprofessionals (teacher aides or assistants) who work with their child. If you wish to inquire about these qualifications, please contact your building Principal or the Superintendent’s office.
*TEACHERS WHO ARE NOT “HIGHLY QUALIFIED”
Our school district places a priority on hiring the most qualified professionals to teach our children. The district will notify parents when a child has been assigned to a teacher who is not “highly qualified” according to the Federal No Child Left Behind and Ohio regulations, or will be or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who is not “highly qualified”.
ANNUAL TITLE I PARENT MEETINGS
Our school district provides an annual meeting each fall to inform parents of our school’s participation in Title I programs and to invite parent input in ways that will improve our school buildings and district and to help children succeed. Among the issues discussed at these meetings are the curricula in place in our schools, the forms of assessment used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet. Parent issues and questions about our Title I program will be addressed and become a part of our school district Title I Plan. If you have a question about how our Title I program and funds support our children, please contact your district’s Title I Coordinator or your child’s Principal.
TITLE I PROGRAM and PLAN
Our district creates and monitors a school-wide comprehensive Title I Plan that provides direction to school building Principals and teachers and is always available to parents who may request it. Included in this Plan is a description of how the school will provide individual student academic assessment results to parents. We work hard to ensure that this Plan is understandable and provided in a language that parents can understand.
Our school district may be eligible for “school-wide program authority”, which permits us to consolidate funds that we receive from Federal, State and local sources to support programs and instruction to our students. As a part of the Annual Title I parent meetings, we will notify parents if our school district has this authority and how it will impact what we can do to improve our school district and help our children succeed.
*LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT STUDENTS (LEP)
Our school district is aggressive in identifying students who are not native speakers of the English language and who need special assistance in order to meet the district’s and Ohio’s levels of proficiency. Our efforts include opportunities for parents to meet with your child’s Principal and teacher(s), information about how parents can be involved in their child’s education, and how parents can help their child attain English proficiency and succeed in the classroom. We work hard to provide information to parents in a format and language that they can understand; if we are not succeeding in this, we would ask you to contact us so that we may improve and provide you what you need.
In September of each school year, our school district will notify the parents of a LEP student of the reasons their child has been so identified, the child’s level of English proficiency and how it was assessed, the methods of instruction used in our and other programs, how our program will help your child, and when your child is expected to gain English proficiency.
Our school district can also provide parents of LEP students information about Parent Information and Resource Centers that may help with additional training and support. Parents of LEP students who fail to make progress on annual achievement objectives shall be notified of the child’s failure within 30 days.
UNSAFE SCHOOLS IN OHIO
States that receive Federal funds, including Ohio, must permit students to attend a safe public school. Our school district is considered a “safe school” for our students in all definitions of that term.
HB 116 - THE JESSICA LOGAN ACT
Our school must be a safe haven where all students feel physically and emotionally safe and secure at all times. Parents can assist the school and help protect our children by joining in this effort. HB116 requires all Ohio schools to have policies prohibiting bullying. Our school district continues to have policies for documenting, investigating and disciplining students that show these negative behaviors. At the beginning of every school year the administration discusses with every child the definition of bullying, consequences for bullying and procedures for reporting bullying issues. Parents and students are also encouraged to utilize our online notification tool along with notifying a staff member or the administration of a bullying incident.
*Notification of Rights for Elementary and Secondary Schools
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 request for access. Parents or eligible students must submit to the School Principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. A School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students must 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, a School official 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 release of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception exists when a school official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. The School also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- 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
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
If you have a question about how your school district complies with FERPA, please contact your building Principal.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that your school district, with certain exceptions, obtain parental or adult student consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records. However, the district may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures identified in this newsletter. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow your school district to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain school publications, such as the yearbook, honor roll, graduation programs, etc.
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 your school district to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories - names, addresses and telephone listings - unless parents have advised the school that they do not want their student's information disclosed without their prior written consent.
If you do not want your school district to disclose directory information from your child's education records, including disclosure for all marketing activities, without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by October 1.
Your school district has designated the following information as directory information:
1. Student's name
2. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
4. Telephone listing
5. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
6. Electronic mail address
8. Degrees, honors, and awards received
9. Date and place of birth
10. Major field of study
11. Dates of attendance
12. Grade level
13. The most recent educational agency or institution attended
*Access to Information by College Recruiters
In addition to military recruiters identified above, our school district, by law and upon request, provides access to the names, addresses and telephone listings of secondary students to colleges and universities. A secondary school student or his/her parent or guardian may request that the student's name, address, and telephone number not be released by the district without prior written parental consent. If you would like to make such a request, please notify your child’s Principal in writing no later than October 1 that you either (1) do not want such information released to any recruiter; or (2) specify the types or specific recruiters to whom you wish such information released.
*Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) requires your 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:
- Political affiliations;
- Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family;
- Sex behavior and attitudes;
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
- Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
- Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams and screenings.
Our district seldom involves students in surveys that request their response on these issues. If it does, it is anonymous, and is typically to assist in activities such as grant applications, research projects, etc. If you wish to opt your child out of participation in surveys and other activities that ask him/her to respond, please write to your child’s Principal prior to October 1 and specify the activity or activities that you do not wish your child to participate in.
Parents or students who believe their rights under PPRA may have been violated should first contact their building Principal. If concerns still exist, they may file a complaint by writing the Family Policy Compliance Office. Complaints must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of PPRA occurred.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
*Before a section heading above indicates that the issue may involve a parent notice to the school or a school notice to the parent.