Data Privacy and Security

A picture of the high school from the outside with a bus parked and students walking into school. Header stating "data privacy and security"

New York State Education Law gives you the right to information about how Herkimer Central School District is safeguarding student and staff data. Click on the following links to jump directly to sections of this page:

Data Privacy Icon 1 in black Data Privacy and Security Policy

Data Privacy Icon 2 in black Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

Data Privacy Icon 3 in black Supplemental Information: Third-Party Vendors

Data Privacy Icon 4 in black  Data Breaches or Concerns

Data Privacy Icon 5 in black Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Data Privacy Icon 6 in black Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

 

Data Privacy Icon 1 in dark green Data Privacy and Security Policy

The district has adopted Policy No. 5306: Protection of Student, Teacher, and Principal Personal Information (Data Security and Privacy) to support the privacy and security of personal information.

Statement of policy: In order to conduct a successful education program, Herkimer Central School District receives, creates, stores, and transfers information about students, teachers, and principals that is protected by state and federal law. The district takes active steps to protect the confidentiality of protected information in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws. The district expects all district officers, employees and partners to maintain the confidentiality of protected information in accordance with state and federal law and all applicable Board Policies.

You can find this policy in its entirety by going through Herkimer Central School District’s online policy manual or going directly to the manual’s listing for Policy No. 5306.

 

Data Privacy Icon 2 in dark green Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

Herkimer Central School District seeks to use current technology, including electronic storage, retrieval, and analysis of information about students’ education experience in the district, to enhance the opportunities for learning and to increase the efficiency of our district and school operations.

Herkimer Central School District seeks to ensure that parents have information about how the district stores, retrieves and uses information about students, and to meet all legal requirements for maintaining the privacy and security of protected student data and protected principal and teacher data, including Section 2-d of the New York State Education Law.

To further these goals, Herkimer Central School District has posted this Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security. Parents (includes legal guardians or persons in parental relationships) and eligible students (students 18 years and older) can expect the following:

  1. A student’s personally identifiable information (PII) cannot be sold or released for any commercial purpose.
  2. Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record, including any data maintained by Herkimer Central School District. This right might not apply to parents of an eligible student. The procedures for exercising this right can be found in Board Policy No. 7240-Student Records: Access and Challenge. You can find this policy by going through Herkimer Central School District’s online policy manual or going directly to the manual’s listing for Policy No. 7240.
  3. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of a student’s personally identifiable information.
  4. Safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices – including but not limited to encryption, firewalls and password protection – must be in place when student PII is stored or transferred.
  5. A complete list of all student data elements collected by NYSED is available at http://www.nysed.gov/data-privacy-security/student-data-inventory and by writing to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234.
  6. Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data and unauthorized disclosures of personally identifiable information addressed. Complaints may be submitted to NYSED at http://www.nysed.gov/data-privacy-security/report-improper-disclosure, by mail to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234; by email to privacy@nysed.gov; or by telephone at 518-474- 0937.
  7. To be notified in accordance with applicable laws and regulations if a breach or unauthorized release of PII occurs.
  8. Educational agency workers that handle PII will receive training on applicable state and federal laws, policies and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices that protect PII.
  9. Educational agency contracts with vendors that receive PII will address statutory and regulatory data privacy and security requirements.
  10. Parents who have concerns or complaints about data privacy or security may file a complaint by contacting Herkimer Central School District Data Protection Officer Richard Mathy at rmathy@herkimercsd.org.

 

Data Privacy Icon 3 in dark green Supplemental Information: Third-Party Vendors

Herkimer Central School District works with many third-party vendors to provide services to our employees, students and families. You can review our contracts with these third-party partners here:

Supplemental Contract Information

Additional Supplemental Information for Third-Party Vendors

 

Data Privacy Icon 4 in dark green Data Breaches or Concerns

If at any time the district learns that student and/or teacher/principal data has been compromised, parents and guardians will be notified, and the data breach will be reported to the state Education Department. Parents who have concerns or complaints about data privacy or security may file a complaint by contacting Herkimer Central School District Data Protection Officer and Technology Coordinator Ryan Orilio at rorilio@herkimercsd.org.

 

Data Privacy Icon 5 in dark green Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords parents or “eligible students” (students who are over 18 years of age or enter a postsecondary educational institution) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.

The following is the contact information for the district’s records access officer:

Mrs. Michelle Ploss
District Records Access Officer
Herkimer Central School District
801 W. German St.
Herkimer, NY 13350
Telephone: 315-866-2230

FERPA rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Written requests for such access may be submitted to the Records Access Officer between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any school day. Such requests should be submitted on the district’s “Application for Inspection of Student Records” form that is located in the office of the records access officer.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate, misleading or an invasion of the student’s privacy rights. A request for an amendment may be submitted to the records access officer during regular business hours. Such requests should be submitted on the district’s “Request for Correction of Student Records” form that is located in the office of the records access officer. If the records access officer denies a properly submitted request for an amendment, the person seeking the amendment will be advised of his/her right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment.

3. 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. For example, the district may, without consent, disclose:

a. Personally identifiable information to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member, including health or medical staff; a person elected to the school board; a person or company employed by or under contract to the district to perform a special task, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official may be a contractor, consultant, volunteer or other party to whom the district has outsourced instructional services and functions if that individual or entity is performing services district employees otherwise perform (is not selling products or services), is under the direct control of the district with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records and is restricted from re-disclosing the education records except as permitted by FERPA. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement; performing a task related to a student’s education; performing a task related to the discipline of a student; providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid; or maintaining the safety and security of the campus. The district receives services from the Madison-Oneida BOCES Regional Information Center and its vendors in accordance with FERPA. A request for a complete list of current vendors may be submitted to the Records Access Officer.

b. Appropriately designated “directory information”, unless the parent or eligible student has advised the district to the contrary by filling out and returning the district’s “Request to Limit Disclosure of Directory Information” form. The form can be found at the end of Board Policy No. 7500.4: Student Privacy FERPA Notice. That policy can be found by going through Herkimer Central School District’s online policy manual or going directly to the manual’s listing for Policy No. 7500.4. For further assistance, contact the records access officer. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the district to include this type of information from the student’s education records in certain school publications such as a playbill (showing the student’s role in a drama production), an annual yearbook, an honor roll or other recognition list, a graduation program, or a sports activity sheet (such as a wrestling program that discloses participants height or weight), etc. Directory information may also be disclosed to outside organizations such as companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks or other companies. Additionally, federal law requires districts receiving certain federal assistance to provide requesting military recruiters with secondary school names, addresses, telephone listings and possibly other directory information, unless parents or eligible students have advised the district that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without prior written consent.

4. The right to know that the district has designated the following information as directory information: student’s name, parent’s name, address, date and place of birth, telephone number, email address, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, most recent previous educational agency attended by student, photograph, and video images of students engaged in routine activities when those images are not records of the district’s law enforcement unit. If you do not want the district to disclose directory information without your prior written consent, you must complete and return to the district the district’s “Request to Limit Disclosure of Directory Information” form.

5. The right to file a complaint with the following office if you believe the district has violated your FERPA rights: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Additionally, please be aware that:

  • It is the district’s policy to disclose education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, and;
  • The district uses video surveillance cameras on school property and in school vehicles to maintain the physical security and safety of the campus. The district has designated its security office as its law enforcement unit and has assigned to them the responsibility of maintaining the video surveillance images.
  • If video surveillance is used: The district has assigned the school records officers the responsibility of maintaining the video surveillance images.
More about disclosures without prior consent

Disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records is permitted without the consent of the parent/guardian or eligible student if it meets certain conditions, such as if the disclosure is:

  • To officials of another school, school system or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled;
  • To authorized representatives of the U.S. comptroller general, the U.S. attorney general, the U.S. secretary of education or state and local educational authorities;
  • In connection with applications or determinations for financial aid;
  • To state and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a state statute that concerns the juvenile justice system;
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school that meet certain requirements;
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions;
  • To parents/guardians of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency;
  • In case where the information is designated as “directory information” by the district (see more above);
  • To an agency caseworker or other representative of a state or local child welfare agency or tribal organization that is authorized to access a student’s case plan;
  • To the secretary of agriculture or authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service for national school lunch and nutrition programs.

 

Data Privacy Icon 6 in dark green Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment provides parents/guardians with certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes and certain physical exams. In particular, if a survey is funded in whole or part by the U.S. Department of Education, parents/guardians have the right to consent before students are required to complete a survey that asks about any of the following protected areas:

  • Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents/guardians;
  • Mental or psychological problems of 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 student’s parent/guardian; or
  • Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

Parents/guardians will also receive a notice and an opportunity to opt students out of the following:

  • Any other survey that asks about the above protected areas;
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attending school or school functions, with the exception of physical exams or screenings required or permitted by state law (e.g. hearing, vision or scoliosis); and
  • Activities involving collection, disclosure or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
  • Parents/guardians have the right to inspect any surveys that ask about the above protected areas, as well as surveys created by third parties that are used to collect personal information from students for marketing purposes and instructional materials used as part of the curriculum.

The school district will directly notify parents/guardians of its student privacy policy at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Parents/guardians will also be provided with reasonable notification of specific activities or surveys covered by this policy and the ability to opt their child out of such activities.

These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to their child who is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.

Anyone who believes their rights have been violated may file a complaint with: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202.

Additional information about the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, view Board Policy No. 7501.1: Student Privacy – PPRA Opt-Out Letter. You can view the policy by going through Herkimer Central School District’s online policy manual or going directly to the manual’s listing for Policy No. 7501.1.

 

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