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Child and Family Records

All information that pertains to children and families and which are maintained by the Head Start of Lane County shall be confidential and open for inspection only in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations, and with the Head Start Performance Standards.

This policy is designed to ensure that Head Start of Lane County complies with OAR 581-021-0220 through 581-021-0440; with any other relevant laws and regulations regarding student records; and with 45 CFR1304.51(g) “Record Keeping Systems”, 45 CFR 1304.52(h)(1)“Code of Conduct”, and all other relevant Head Start Performance Standards.

Areas of Responsibility

  1. All members of staff are responsible for ensuring that Child and Family records are current, correct, and professional, and that they are kept confidential.
  2. Regional Assistants (and other staff enrolling families) are responsible for notifying parents of their rights regarding their child and family records during enrollment.
  3. Head Teachers, Teachers, Interpreters, Family Service Coordinators and Community Childcare Specialists are responsible for assisting parents who wish to review their child’s Education Record or Family Record.
  4. Regional Managers are responsible for ensuring that parents have an opportunity to review their child’s Education Record upon request and the portions of the Family Record which pertain to their partnership with Head Start.
  5. The ERSEA Manager is responsible for ensuring that the organization responds to lawful records requests and subpoenas appropriately and in a timely manner.
  6. The Information Systems Manager is responsible for ensuring, so far as is possible, that electronic information about children and families stored in digital media, including databases and electronic communications, is safe and secure.

Definitions

Directory Information means “those items of personally identifiable information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.” [OAR 581-021-0220(2)] Head Start of Lane County considers the following to be Directory Information:

  1. The name of the child enrolled in Head Start.
  2. The name of of each parent of the child.
  3. The telephone number of each parent of the child.

Education Record means all information maintained by Head Start of Lane County which is directly related to the educational progress of the Head Start child. The Education Record is limited to the following:

  1. Identifying information about the child, including his or her name, date of birth, SSN or SSID, sex, ethnicity, language, and classroom
  2. Identifying Information about the parents or legal guardians of the child, including their names, addresses, and telephone numbers
  3. Enrollment history
  4. Attendance records
  5. Screening and referral information which is directly related to the educational progress of the child
  6. Health and nutrition information related to the educational progress of the child or which is necessary to ensure the child’s safety and well-being in the classroom
  7. Assessment and progress reports
  8. Information about their eligibility to receive disabilities services
  9. Transition summaries for children going to kindergarten (see Transition policy)

Family Records means all information maintained by Head Start of Lane County which is neither Directory Information nor Education Record, except for information about child abuse or neglect.

Parent is defined as a natural parent, a guardian, an individual authorized in writing to act as a parent in the absence of a parent , or a surrogate parent appointed to represent a student with disabilities.Head Start of Lane County will give full rights to a parent unless the program has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights.

Procedures

Head Start of Lane County maintains three types of information about children and families: Directory Information, Education Record, and Family Record. The procedures for the release of each type of information differ. However, under no circumstances may any information about children and families be altered or destroyed while there is a pending subpoena or records request.

Directory Information

Directory Information may be shared with other families enrolled in Head Start as part of a class directory or class list. Directory Information shall not be used for any other purpose.

Parents of children enrolling in Head Start will be notified during enrollment of Head Start of Lane County’s policies on Directory Information, and of their rights not to have information about their child included in any class directories or class lists made available to other Head Start families.

Education Record

The parents of a child enrolled in Head Start of Lane County have a legal right to review their child’s Education Record. To review their child’s record:

  1. The parent or parents will contact their child’s Head Teacher or their Family Service Coordinator (FSC). The staff person will ask the parent for the written request for records.. The completed form should be returned to the child’s Head Teacher or the FSC.
  2. The Head Teacher or FSC will send the written request for records to the ERSEA Manager.
  3. The ERSEA Manager will collect the appropriate information, will ensure that only information defined as Education Record is provided to the parent, and will provide one copy of the Education Record to the parent at no cost within seven (7) working days from the day that they received the request.
  4. The date of the records request and the date that the information was provided will be entered into the child’s record.

Oregon law grants the parents of a child enrolled in Head Start specific legal rights regarding their child’s Education Record,including the right to request amendments to the Education Record.Please see the Education Record policy for complete details.

Head Start of Lane County is required to release the Education Record of a child enrolled in Head Start upon request to certain organizations,including “… to officials of another school, school system,institution of post secondary education, education service district,state regional program, or other educational agency that has requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or is enrolled in or receives services from the other agency or institution. The term receives services includes, but is not limited to, an evaluation or re-evaluation for purposes of determining whether a student has a disability.”[581-021-0340(2)] When Head Start of Lane County receives a records request from an educational institution or from any other organization authorized bylaw:

  1. Any records requests received at classroom centers or regional offices will be forwarded to the ERSEA Manager at the Central Office.
  2. The ERSEA Manager will ensure that the request is valid, will notify the parents of the child of the request, and will collect and provide the requested information within 30 working days from the day the request was received.
  3. The date of the records request and the date that the information was provided will be entered into the child’s record.

A summary of the Education Record of each child enrolled in Head Start of Lane County is routinely released to the school to which they are scheduled to transition prior to to start of the next school year.

Family Records

Family Records will be used solely by Head Start of Lane County staff and subcontracted employees to serve children and families and may not be shared with any other individual or agency, except when they are specifically subpoenaed by a court of law, when the release is required by other relevant laws or regulations, or when they are released to the parent of the Head Start child.

To review the relevant portions of their Family Record,

  1. The parent or parents will contact their child’s Head Teacher or their FSC. The staff person will ask for a written request for records. If the Family Record contains information about more than one parent, each parent must agree to the release of his or her personal information. The completed form should be returned to the child’s Head Teacher or the FSC.
  2. The Head Teacher or FSC will send the written request for records to the ERSEA Manager.
  3. The ERSEA Manager will review the request and the Family Record, and will collect and provide the appropriate information within 30 days of the request, ensuring that only information regarding parents who have consented to the release of their personal information is included. Information about any other parents will be redacted (blacked out) before it is released.
  4. The date of the records request and the date that the information was provided will be entered into the child’s record.

If a parent believes that information contained in their Family Record is misleading or incorrect, he or she may request that additional information be appended to the record.

Subpoenas

  1. Any subpoenas received at classroom centers or regional offices will be forwarded to the ERSEA Manager at the Central Office.
  2. The ERSEA Manager will ensure that the subpoena is valid, and that the requested information is provided by the date indicated on the subpoena.
  3. The date that the subpoena was received and the date that the information was provided will be entered into the child’s record.

Last updated: July 27, 2005, March 14, 2007. October 2015

Policy Council approved on August 9, 2005

©2005-2015 Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.