Protection of Pupil Rights Amendments
Adopted: October 19, 2017
The Hopkinton Public Schools adheres to the Protection of pupil Rights Amendments (PPRA) a federal law that affords parents and eligible students (those who have reached the age of 18) certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. An overview of these rights follows:
a. Consent to federally funded surveys concerning “protected information.” Schools must obtain written consent of the parent or eligible student prior to requiring the student to participate in a survey that is funded in whole or part by a program of the United States Department of Education (USDOE) if the survey concerns one or more of the following protected areas of information (“protected information survey”):
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
- Mental or psychological problems or the student or student’s family;
- Sexual 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.
b. Opt out of certain surveys and exams even if not federally funded. Parents and eligible students must receive notice of any of the following activities and have the right to opt out of them.
- Any protected information survey, regardless of funding;
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening that is required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law;
- Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for the purposes of marketing or selling or otherwise distributing the information to others.
c. Inspect certain materials. Upon request, parents and eligible students have the right to inspect the following before the school district administers or uses them:
- Protected information surveys of students;
- Surveys created by a third party;
- Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
- Instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum.
d. Receive notification of the district’s policies on the PPRA. After consultation with parents, the Public Schools has adopted the following policies to implement the PPRA:
Notice of Rights: The Superintendent will arrange for direct notice to parents and eligible students of this policy at the beginning of each school year, either though the U.S. Mail or e-mail, and will provide updates within a reasonable time period after any substantive changes. The Superintendent may also include notice of this policy along with other routine legal notices in one or more local newspapers.
Notice of Activities: The Superintendent will arrange for direct notice to parents/eligible students at least annually at the beginning of the school year of the activities or surveys identified in the PPRA that the Hopkinton Public Schools anticipates conducting. The Superintendent will provide parents/eligible students with consent forms or the opportunity to opt a student out of activities, if applicable.
Instruction of Materials: Parents or eligible students who wish to exercise their right to inspect surveys and instructional materials as identified in the PPRA may do so by sending written notice to the school Principal. The Principal will respond to requests within ten calendar days. Opportunity for inspection of applicable materials will be provided at the school or district administrative offices.
Protections of Student Privacy: The Superintendent will insure that procedures are in place to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and in the collections, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing, selling or other distribution purposes.
Parents or eligible students who believe their rights under the PPRA have been violated may file a complaint within the district by contacting the Assistant Superintendent.
Complaints may also be filed with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
- Category A - Foundations and Basic Commitments
- Category B - School Board Governance and Operations
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