The DOE takes the confidentiality of information about students very seriously. There are several federal and state laws, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and New York State Education Law 2-d, and local regulations, such as Chancellor’s Regulation A-820, that protect students’ “personally identifiable information” (PII). These laws also place responsibilities on the DOE and outside parties that are given access to children’s PII, including the requirement for the DOE and schools to provide families with the following annual notices:
- Annual FERPA Notification (scroll to the bottom of the page for parent letter and translations); and
- Parent Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security.
You may distribute these notices in various ways, including as part of your school’s handbook, backpacking them home, posting them on school bulletin boards, and/or displaying them on your school’s website.
For more information, review the Student Data Privacy and Security Policies, the Data Privacy and Security Compliance Process, and last year’s Student Privacy Training in WeLearn. Additionally, please note these policy highlights:
- You and your staff must not disclose student information to union representatives. Union representatives are not considered school officials and generally cannot be copied on emails that contain student information without parents’ or eligible students’ consent. For more information, refer to the Disclosure to Outside Parties section of the Student Data Privacy and Security Policies InfoHub page.
- You must redact incident (OORS) reports before sharing them with a family so that PII for other students, including names, contact information, parents’ names, grade levels, etc., are not disclosed to the family receiving the report.
- Student helpers and family/community volunteers must not receive or have access to student information, such as students’ names, attendance, or contact information, as part of their responsibilities.
For questions, email your senior field counsel.