Access to Student Records & Enrollment Information

South Middleton School District has in operation a Students Records Policy in accordance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the General Education Provisions Act, Title IV of Public Law 90 247 as amended. This provides for the collection and dissemination of student records with emphasis on the confidential nature of such reports.

Federal regulations give both natural parents the right to access their child’s education records unless there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document specifically prohibiting access. Where guardianship is an issue, or where the parents are separated or divorced, the school district should request notice and verification of any court order denying either parent access to the records. Moreover, in cases where the request for access to records is made by a non-custodial parent, PDE recommends that the school district verify the person’s identity and notify the custodial parent of the request. In this way the school district can ascertain whether any valid reasons exist for denying the request.

In any of the situations described above, it is the duty of the parent seeking to deny access to the records to provide the school district with a copy of the court order or other document that limits or controls access to student records. Because the burden is on the parent wishing to deny access, in the absence of an order or other document, the school district should presume that the requesting parent has the authority to inspect and review the child’s records. Conversely, if there is a court order barring access of the non-custodial parent, then the school district must advise the parent that no information will be released until the order terminates and may neither confirm nor deny that the child is enrolled in the district.

According to Act 26 of 1995, prior to admission to the school district, the parent or legal guardian of the student, upon registration for admission, must provide a sworn statement stating whether the pupil was previously suspended or expelled from any public or private school of the Commonwealth or any other state for an act or offense involving weapons, alcohol or drugs, or for the willful infliction of injury to another person, or for any act of violence committed on school property. Such registration shall be maintained as part of the student’s disciplinary record. Parents and guardians will be advised that any willful false statements made regarding this issue will be a misdemeanor of the third degree.

When a student transfers to this school district, a certified copy of the student’s disciplinary record shall be requested and obtained from the student’s previous school. This record shall be maintained as part of the student’s permanent disciplinary record, and shall be available for inspection as required by law.

The policy is available for review at any school building office.