FERPA and the Law

HOLLIS BROOKLINE COOPERATIVE school district and the law

The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District complies with all applicable Federal and State laws. Four federal laws, and two State laws important to mention here are: the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”), 29 U.S.C. § 794,  the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.SC. § 12132 et seq, the Child Protection Act, RSA 196-C:1, et seq., and the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act, RSA 193-F:1 et seq.  Brief information concerning these laws follows.  Additional information is available through numerous government sources and through the schools.

 

FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) affords parents and students over 18 years of age certain rights with respect to the student’s education record. These rights include: 

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 14 days (per NH RSA 189:66) after the  school receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or violate the student’s privacy rights, and the right to request a formal hearing if the request to amend is denied.
  • The right to consent, or to deny consent, to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with requirements of FERPA

The office that administers FERPA is:  Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920

For additional information on FERPA, see U.S. Department of Education Summary of FERPA, http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Additional information can also be found in the District’s Annual Notification of Rights under FERPA, which is available at: which is available on the SAU 41 and all the SAU 41 school building websites

 

DIRECTORY INFORMATION

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Hollis Brookline High School, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records. However, Hollis Brookline High School may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the Hollis Brookline High School to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain school publications.

If you do not want Hollis Brookline High School to disclose directory information from your child's education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by September 23, 2016.


Child Find Notice: CHILDREN with DISABILITIES UNDER IDEA OR SECTION 504 and the ADA

It is the policy of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District to generate public awareness of the rights of students with disabilities and to ensure that all students with disabilities are referred to the School District.  All referrals will be directed to the School Principal/Assistant Principal and the child’s parent or guardian will be notified of any referral.

The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District provides special education, related services and accommodations to eligible children with disabilities who reside within the District. The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District desires to identify, locate, and provide notice of its responsibilities to every qualified child with disabilities in its jurisdiction, including children who are homeless, who are wards of the state, and who are being home-schooled.  Hollis/Brookline Cooperative School District also seeks to identify and locate children with disabilities attending private schools located within the District.

If you suspect that your child or any child living within the boundaries of these school districts, ages 0 through 21, is or might be a student with disabilities, please contact the Coordinator listed below.

The District works with you to evaluate your child, determine if he or she qualifies for special education or related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or is a qualified person with a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and to provide a free, appropriate public education to your child to the extent he or she is eligible under these laws.  Upon request, the District will provide you with a detailed notice of your procedural safeguards under the applicable law(s). 

If you have questions, would like more information, or wish to make a referral, please contact:

 School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline Middle School
25 Main Street
 Hollis NH 03049
465-2223

 School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline High School
24 Cavalier Court
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2269

 

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Under New Hampshire law, RSA 186-C:16-b, if you want to bring an action to enforce state or federal special education laws – including those involving identification, evaluation, determination of disability, individualized education programs, placement, or the provision of a free, appropriate education for your child – you must request an impartial due process hearing from the department of education within two years of the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the alleged violation.  If you want to bring an action to recover the costs of a unilateral special education placement, you must request an impartial due process hearing within 90 days of the unilateral placement.  If you have not been given proper notice of your special education rights, including the time limitations, these limitations shall run from the time such notice is properly given.  Failure to comply with these timelines could result in the loss of your right to bring these actions.

If you wish to file a complaint regarding with the New Hampshire Department of Education, your must do so within one year of the date the alleged violation occurred.  Ed 1121.01(b).

Other limitations periods apply to claims and complaints under Section 504, FERPA, the ADA, and other laws.  

 

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT

In 1975, Congress enacted the law now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).  This law was reauthorized in 1977, 1997, 2000 and 2004 and is intended to ensure that a free, appropriate public education is available to all eligible children from ages 3 to 21 with disabilities.

 The law establishes a two-prong eligibility standard. Special education and related services are available to eligible children with disabilities who, by reason of their disability, need special education and related services. Once a child is found eligible, a team including the child’s parents and representatives of the public education system develops an individualized education program (IEP) or individualized family service plan (IFSP) that includes the services and supports necessary to meet each child’s unique needs. The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District fully complies with this law.  For more information or to initiate a referral for your child, contact:

 School Principal/Assistant Principal or Special Education Coordinator
Hollis Brookline Middle School
25 Main Street
 Hollis, NH 03049
465-2223

 School Principal/Assistant Principal or Special Education Coordinator
Hollis Brookline High School
24 Cavalier Court
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2269

 A copy of the procedural safeguards under the IDEA can be found at the New Hampshire Department of Education website:

 http://www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/organization/instruction/SpecialEd/Memos/documents/ProceduralSafeguards122308.pdf

 

SECTION 504 of the REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is an anti -discrimination statute.  In the educational system, it prohibits districts from discriminating against qualified students with disabilities, on the basis of disability. It is the policy of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District not to discriminate on the basis of disability in its educational programs, activities or employment polices. Section 504 requires the School District to locate, evaluate and determine if a student is a qualified individual requiring accommodations and services necessary to provide access to educational programs. For more information, please see the Child Find Notice: Children with Disabilities under IDEA or Section 504 and the ADA, above.

The Assistant Principals and guidance counselors at each building are designated as the Section 504 Coordinators.  They may be contacted at:

 School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline Middle School
25 Main Street
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2223

 School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline High School
24 Cavalier Court
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2269

Parents, guardians, or students eighteen years of age or older, who disagree with the decisions reached by school personnel regarding eligibility under Section 504, or accommodations and services necessary for access to educational programming and/or facilities, may either file a grievance in accord with the Section 504/ADA Grievance Procedure by notifying the school principal in writing, requesting a Section 504 impartial hearing, filing suit in federal court (please note that you may be required to exhaust administrative remedies prior to taking this action), or filing a complaint with the United States Department of Education, Boston Office, Office for Civil Rights, 33 Arch Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02110-1491.

 

SECTION 504/ADA, TITLE II GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District has an internal grievance procedure providing for the  prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).

Both Section 504 and the ADA prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

Complaints should be addressed to the respective building principal who has been designated to coordinate Section 504/ADA compliance efforts within their respective buildings. Contact information is set forth at the end of these procedures.

A complaint must be filed in writing, contain the name and address of the person filing it, describe the alleged discriminatory action and identify the date the action occurred and the names(s) of the person(s) believed to be responsible, as well as recommendations for the resolution.

  1. A complaint must be filed within a reasonable time period after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged discrimination. The complainant shall informally discuss the complaint, in person, with the building principal or at the principal’s discretion, with the 504 building committee.
  1. Unless the matter can be promptly resolved informally, an investigation will be conducted with respect to all timely filed complaints which raise issues under Section 504/Title II. The investigation shall be conducted by the building principal, or an alternate SAU 41 principal, and the 504 building committee. These rules contemplate informal but thorough and impartial investigations, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.
  1. A written determination as to the conclusion of the investigation and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the building principal or assignee and a copy forwarded to the complainant no later than forty-five days after the building principal receives the written complaint (unless the complainant provides written permission for extension of time for said investigation.)
  1. The Section 504/ADA coordinator shall maintain the files and records of the Hollis Brookline Middle School and/or Hollis Brookline High School relating to the complaints filed.
  1. The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made in writing, to the School Principal, within twenty days of receipt of the written determination.
  1. Upon receiving a request for reconsideration of any decision involving the student’s identification under Section 504 or the ADA, or the evaluation or placement of a qualified student with a disability, the school district will schedule an impartial hearing.  The district will select an impartial hearing officer, and the hearing shall be conducted within a reasonable time after the District receives a written request for a hearing.  The Section 504 Coordinator shall provide the party requesting the hearing with advance written notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. 
  1. The complainant shall have an opportunity to review all relevant records.  Both parties shall have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the request.  Both parties may, at their own expense, be represented by an attorney.   If the complainant will be represented by counsel, he or she must notify the Section 504 Coordinator, in writing, at least 5 days prior to the hearing. 
  1. The hearing officer will issue a written decision within a reasonable time period after the hearing.  The hearing officer’s decision shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
  1. Any party may appeal the final decision of the impartial hearing officer to a court of competent jurisdiction.
  1. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a Section 504 or ADA complaint with U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights or the NH Department of Education. Utilization of this grievance procedure is not the prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
  1. These procedures shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to ensure that Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District complies with Section 504, Title II, and their implementing regulations.

 

School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline Middle School
25 Main Street
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2223

 School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline High School
24 Cavalier Court
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2269

 

NOTICE OF PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS UNDER SECTION 504 AND THE ADA

The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District does not discriminate on the basis of disability in their programs and activities.

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), an individual with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. The district is obligated to provide a free, appropriate public education to each child eligible under these laws.

In accordance with Section 504 and the ADA, you, as the parent or guardian, are entitled to receive the following procedural safeguards in relation to your child:

  1.  You have the right to receive a copy of this notice with notification of any district action regarding identification, evaluation or placement of a student pursuant to Section 504. This includes any time that the district intends to screen, evaluate or reevaluate, make changes in classification, placement or any component of the child’s free, appropriate public education (“FAPE”), or upon refusal to act on any parental request. 
  2. If your child needs or is believed to need special education or related services, you have the right to an evaluation of your child (1) before the initial placement, and (2) before any subsequent significant change in placement.
  3. You have the right to an opportunity to examine all relevant records for your child.
  4. You have the right to an impartial hearing, with participation by you and representation by counsel, concerning the identification, evaluation or educational placement of your child.
  5. You have the right to appeal the final decision of the impartial hearing officer to a court of competent jurisdiction.

The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

 

School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline Middle School
25 Main Street
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2223

 School Principal/Assistant Principal
Hollis Brookline High School
24 Cavalier Court
Hollis, NH 03049
465-2269

 

The Procedural Safeguards Notice will be distributed to parents or guardians as follows:

A. Whenever the district takes any action regarding identification, evaluation or placement of a student pursuant to Section 504.  This includes any time that the district intends to screen, evaluate or reevaluate, make changes in classification, placement or any component of the child’s FAPE, or upon refusal to act on any parental request. 

B. Annually, for all students who (1) have refused services and are attending private schools, home schooling programs, or regular education classes; (2) have dropped out of school; or (3) have been identified as 504 eligible.

 

NONDISCRIMINATION AND NOTIFICATION OF GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

It is the policy of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School Board and School District not to discriminate in education programs, activities, or employment practices on the basis of race, language, sex, age, creed, color, marital status, national origin or disability status, under the provisions of Title VI and Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, as amended in 2004.

Inquiries concerning implementation of 504, Title VI, Title IX and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act may be directed to the School Principal, the Superintendent of Schools, 4 Lund Lane, PO Box 1588, Hollis, NH 03049, the United States Department of Education, Boston Office, Office for Civil Rights, 33 Arch Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02110-1491, the NH Commission for Human Rights, 2 Chenell Dr., Concord, NH 03301-8501 or the Special Education Bureau, NH Department of Education, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301-3860.

Grievance procedures are available which provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging violations of Titles VI and IX, Section 504, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Grievance procedures may be obtained at a school or SAU office.  It is also the policy of the Hollis/Brookline Cooperative School Board and School District that all employees and students in the school district should be able to work and study in an environment that is free of sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.


CHILD NEGLECT AND ABUSE

Because of their sustained contact with school-age students, school employees are often in a position to identify abused or neglected students and to refer them for treatment and protection.

To comply with the Child Protection Act (RSA: 169-C:1, et. seq.), it is the policy of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District that any employee who suspects that a student has been abused or neglected shall file a report to the Division of Children and Youth Services in accord with RSA 169-C:29-30.  Under RSA 169-C:31, school personnel who in good faith make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, have immunity from any liabilities, civil or criminal.  The good faith of the reporter is presumed.

 

PUPIL SAFETY AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION

It is the policy of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District that any school employee, or employee of a company under contract with a school or school district, who has witnessed or has reliable information that a pupil has been subjected to insults, taunts, or challenges, whether verbal or physical in nature, which are likely to intimidate or provide a violent or disorderly response that violates the school bullying policy shall report such incident to the principal, or his/her designee, who shall in turn report the incident to the superintendent and the school board.  Any school employee, or employee of a company under contract with a school or school district, who has reported violations of RSA 193-F:1, et seq., pertaining to pupil safety and violence prevention, to the principal or his/her designee, shall be immune from any cause of action which may arise from the failure to remedy the reported incident.

The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District’s pupil safety and violence prevention policy, Policy JICK, is available on the SAU website: SAU41.k12.nh.us under School Boards.

  

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Additional information is available at:

United States Department of Justice, A Guide to Disability Rights Laws, www.ada.gov/cguide

United States Department of Education, Summary of FERPA, www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa

A copy of the procedural safeguards under the IDEA can be found at the New Hampshire Department of Education website,
www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/organization/instruction/SpecialEd/Memos/documents/ProceduralSafeguards122308.pdf