Handbook - Rights and Responsibilities

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Rights and Responsibilities: Student, Parent and Guardian, Principal and School, Metro Schools District Office

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 

MNPS is required to provide annual notice of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the rights it provides parents and students. The FERPA gives parents, students over 18 years of age and others certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:

  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. Parents of eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  2. The right to request an amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal (or appropriate official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  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. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the MNPS Board of Public Education; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist); community partners that assist MNPS with attendance, educational and social emotional needs of students; a parent or student on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official performing his or her tasks; or an attorney from the Department of Law with a legitimate educational interest. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility. Upon request, the school can disclose education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (Note: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or eligible student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.)

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

Student directory information is restricted in accordance with FERPA guidelines. If you do not want MNPS to disclose the types of information designated below as directory information from your student's education records without your prior written consent, you must notify your student's school either in writing or by completing the Directory Information Opt-Out form, available in the permissions portal and the handbook forms packet or from the Family Information Center, by September 10, 2021.

MNPS has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student's name

  • Address

  • Photograph

  • Date and place of birth

  • Major field of study

  • Dates of attendance

  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports

  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

  • Degrees, honors and awards received

  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended

 

Student Rights and Responsibilities

 

Students have the right to:

  1. An education that prepares them for success in post-secondary education. This includes receiving support and guidance from faculty, a strong academic curriculum and high expectations in the classroom. Information on all options of post-secondary education should begin at least in the ninth-grade year.

  2. Fair communication with teachers, administrators, bus drivers and other staff; to have a safe and respectful relationship that will nurture their academic progress, while also creating a secure learning environment.

  3. Attend school and receive a free and appropriate public education as provided by law.

  4. Be taught in a safe and clean learning environment. A clean and safe building is an environment that does not pose any danger to physical safety or hinder the ability to learn. Students should participate in keeping schools clean and safe.

  5. Be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by other students and school staff.

  6. Receive a written copy of select district and school policies and procedures at the beginning of the school year and have access to district and school policies and procedures throughout the school year.

  7. Bring complaints or concerns to the school principal or staff and expect a response in a reasonable amount of time.

  8. Be told, orally or in writing, the reason(s) for disciplinary decisions and be allowed the opportunity to tell their side of the story.

  9. Request or challenge in writing an explanation of anything in their education records.

  10. Receive information about the procedures for appealing disciplinary decisions.

  11. Have a parent or guardian attend applicable disciplinary conferences and hearings.

  12. Have school staff or an administrator present when police are called, and have a parent or guardian notified when they are questioned during a police investigation with the exception of those situations that involve child abuse or neglect.

  13. Be involved and have a voice in the decision making policies that affect students and schools.

  14. Feel safe in schools without fear or worry for physical, mental or emotional well-being.

  15. Fair discipline, with district discipline policies being applied equitably in every school. The level of consequences should be based on the level of the infraction. Efforts will be made to assist students in resolving their own conflicts.

  16. Healthy food in schools. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and nutritious beverages available in the cafeteria and in snack machines.

 

Students have the responsibility to:

  1. Attend school daily, be prepared for class, and complete assignments to the best of their ability.

  2. Know and obey school and bus rules and instructions given by the school principal and staff.

  3. Tell school staff about any dangerous behavior or activity that occurs on or off school grounds or on the bus if it may result in disruption to the educational setting.

  4. Bring only those materials to school or onto the bus that are allowed.

  5. Behave respectfully toward everyone in the school community.

  6. Keep parents or guardians informed of school-related issues and give them any materials sent home for parents or guardians by MNPS.

  7. Voice opinions in constructive ways, attend key meetings and events that directly affect their education and schools, and encourage parents to participate whenever there is an opportunity for community input.

  8. Hold classmates accountable with positive peer pressure. Report when peers are carrying weapons or anything else that may be perceived as a threat. Assist in creating a classroom environment that encourages a sense of learning and support by denouncing offensive and demeaning behavior.

  9. Complete all assignments with maximum effort in a timely manner. Students agree to research post-secondary options and be proactive about taking the necessary steps (i.e. studying for tests, researching college on their own, etc.) to ensure their ability to qualify for their chosen path. Students share post-secondary goals and plans with a faculty member.

  10. Accept responsibility for their actions. Students who feel they have been disciplined unfairly should respectfully approach a staff member to discuss the situation.

  11. Get to know teachers and respect teachers, administrators, bus drivers and other staff. When necessary, students offer constructive criticism at the right time without shame or embarrassment.

  12. Hold themselves and peers accountable for cleaning up at school and on the bus.

  13. Make the healthier choice in food items when options are presented.

  14. Follow directions of the bus driver.

  15. Be at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled bus arrival time, waiting in a safe place, clear of traffic and 12 feet from where the bus stops. Wait for the bus in an orderly line and be respectful of the property around them.

  16. Cross the roadway in front of the bus after the bus has stopped, they have looked at the bus driver for a hand signal, and they have looked in both directions for traffic - left, right, left.

  17. Signal the bus driver with a waving motion if something is dropped outside of the bus and wait for the bus driver to give a signal before picking up object.

  18. Go directly to assigned seat when entering the bus and keep the aisles and exits clear.

  19. While on the bus remain properly seated, back against the seat, bottom against the bottom of the seat, and keep hands to themselves.

  20. Not eat, drink, chew gum, or bring tobacco, alcohol, drugs or any controlled substances on the bus.

  21. Not carry animals, glass objects, nuisance items, hazardous materials, or weapons onto the bus. Students may carry only objects that can be held in their laps.

  22. Refrain from using loud voices, profanity, and/or obscene gestures, and respect the rights and safety of others.

  23. Keep their head, arms or objects inside of the bus windows.

  24. Be totally silent at railroad crossings.

  25. Stay seated until time to get off the bus. The open door is the signal to get up from the bus seat.

  26. Ride the bus to which they have been assigned and get off at their assigned bus stop. Only in the event of an emergency, as determined by the principal or his/her representative, will a student be allowed to ride a different bus. Notification of this emergency must be sent to the school in a written note signed by the parent/guardian. The school administrator may grant permission after notifying the Transportation Supervisor.

  27. Keep their bus clean and in good, safe condition.

  28. Avoid using electronic devices during the operation of the school bus in a manner that interferes with the communication equipment or the bus driver's operation of the bus. The bus driver may allow wearing of headphones with an audio system on a case-by-case basis as long as it is in accordance with local school rules.

  29. Refrain from using mirrors, lasers, flash cameras, or any other lights or reflective devices in a manner that might interfere with the school bus driver's operation of the school bus.

  30. Board the school bus at the bus stop to which they are assigned; students are automatically assigned to the bus stop closest to their home address.

 

Parent and Guardian Rights and Responsibilities

 

Parents and guardians have the right to:

  1. Be actively involved in their student's education.

  2. Be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by school staff and principals.

  3. Receive information and communication related to:

    • Policies and procedures of the school and the MNPS Board of Public Education

    • Academic progress and behavior reports

    • Prompt notification of disruptive behavior and/or disciplinary actions

    • Information about due process procedures for disciplinary action

    • Ways to improve student's academic or behavioral performance

    • Services for English Language Learners and students with disabilities

  4. Translation services

 

Parents and guardians have the responsibility to:

  1. Make sure their student attends school regularly and on time and, when a student is absent, send in written excuse notes. Review the full MNPS policy on attendance and truancy.

  2. Support MNPS by being a role model for their student, talking with their student about school and expected behavior and communicating the value of education through words and action.

  3. Be respectful and courteous to staff, other parents, guardians and students while on school premises and during school activities. Inappropriate behavior may result in restricted access to the school, school grounds and school activities. The parent or guardian will be notified in writing.

  4. Give updated contact information to MNPS and their student's school annually or whenever contact information changes. Provide the school with all legal documents pertaining to custody or special circumstances in a timely manner. Parents may be requested to provide verification of the student's address if school personnel, including Transportation staff, believe that the student's address may have changed. For more information on how to make sure your contact information is accurate, visit our Family Portal page.

  5. Give their student a space to complete their homework or allow participation in after-school programs that permit the completion of homework.

  6. Encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities that promote social and emotional growth in the areas of creative arts, music and athletics.

  7. Work with principals and school staff to address any academic or behavioral concerns or complaints students may experience.

  8. Read and become familiar with the policies of the Board of Education's administrative regulations and the MNPS Student Parent Handbook.

  9. Assist students in understanding the bus safety rules and encouraging their student's compliance.

  10. Be responsible for their student's conduct and safety at all times prior to the arrival and after the departure of the school bus at the assigned bus stop.

  11. Support safe riding practices and reasonable discipline efforts.

  12. Teach their student the proper procedures for safely crossing the roadway before boarding and after leaving the school bus.

  13. Respect the rights and privileges at others at the bus stop.

  14. Monitor bus stops if possible.

  15. Notify the school when a student who receives special transportation will not ride the bus for five or more days.

  16. Be aware of illegal or undesirable activities and other dangers near the bus stop and report those to the appropriate school district representative or by calling the Family Information Center at 615-259-4636.

 

Principal and School Staff Rights and Responsibilities

 

Principals and school staff have the right to:

  1. Be treated courteously, fairly and respectfully by students, parents or guardians, and other school staff.

  2. Work in a safe and orderly environment.

  3. Communicate concerns, suggestions and complaints to the MNPS district office and receive a response within a reasonable amount of time.

  4. Receive supportive professional development and training.

  5. Receive the necessary resources to deliver quality instruction.

 

Principals and school staff have the responsibility to:

  1. Attend work daily, be punctual and use well-planned, creative and engaging instructional plans every day.

  2. Maintain safe and orderly schools by using prevention and intervention strategies, and by following the MNPS Student Parent Handbook.

  3. Be respectful and courteous to students, parents and guardians, serving as role models for students.

  4. Keep parents and guardians informed of student academic progress and behavior, create meaningful opportunities for their participation and provide regular communication in a language they understand.

  5. Be knowledgeable about the policies of the MNPS Board of Public Education's administrative regulations and rules and enforce them fairly and consistently.

  6. Be knowledgeable about federal and state laws and regulations regarding the disciplinary process for all students, including students with disabilities.

  7. Communicate policies, expectations and concerns, and respond to complaints or concerns from students and parents or guardians in a timely manner and in a language they understand.

  8. Make sure that students are referred to the appropriate committees, departments, offices, divisions, agencies and organizations when outside support is necessary.

  9. Provide make-up work for students with lawful absences (students absent due to disciplinary reasons should be considered for make-up work).

  10. Participate in required professional development opportunities.

  11. Utilize community organizations to support the individual needs of the students and families served by the school community.

 

District Office Responsibilities

 

MNPS' district office staff has the responsibility to:

  1. Ensure the legal rights of all students, including students with disabilities.

  2. Collaborate and communicate with the community to create and implement policies and procedures that promote highly effective schools that are safe and conducive to the success of students, staff and the community.

  3. Ensure all schools have the resources and leadership to support and maintain student and school success

  4. Protect the legal rights of school staff, principals, students and parents or guardians.

  5. Be courteous, respectful and fair with students, parents or guardians, school staff and principals.

  6. Provide a broad-based and varied curriculum to meet individual school needs.

  7. Ensure the legal rights of all students.

  8. Provide staff who are trained to meet the needs of students.

  9. Provide support and professional development training to principals and school staff to help them support students.

  10. Support principals and school staff in the fulfillment of their disciplinary responsibilities as defined by the MNPS Student Parent Handbook.

  11. Notify parents or guardians prior to an out-of-school disciplinary action.

  12. Provide a bus that is clean, reliable and safe.

  13. Ensure bus drivers will greet each student who enters the bus each morning and afternoon.

  14. Ensure bus drivers will clearly communicate expectations and procedures to students to ensure their safety.

  15. Ensure bus drivers will use language that is positive and welcoming in an attempt to build relationships with all riders.

  16. Ensure bus drivers will clearly communicate the behavioral interventions to be used for all riders.

  17. Ensure transportation staff will communicate issues and concerns to school staff and/or parents.

  18. Ensure transportation will be made aware of Tier I school-wide expectations and mirror (as much as possible) their expectations, policies, and procedures for student behavior on the bus.