Section I: parental rights and responsibilities 3 parental involvement 3




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PARENTAL RIGHTS

Obtaining Information and Protecting Student Rights


Your child will not be required to participate without parental consent in any survey, analysis, or evaluation—funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education—that concerns:

Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent.

Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family.

Sexual behavior or attitudes.

Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.

Critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student has a close family relationship.

Relationships privileged under law, such as relationships with lawyers, physicians, and ministers.

Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents.

Income, except when the information is required by law and will be used to determine the student’s eligibility to participate in a special program or to receive financial assistance under such a program.

You will be able to inspect the survey or other instrument and any instructional materials used in connection with such a survey, analysis, or evaluation. [For further information, see Policy EF(LEGAL).]


“Opting Out” of Surveys and Activities


As a parent, you have a right to receive notice of and deny permission for your child’s participation in:

Any survey concerning the private information listed above, regardless of funding.

School activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information gathered from your child for the purpose of marketing, selling, or otherwise disclosing that information.

Any nonemergency, invasive physical examination or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered and scheduled by the school in advance and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student. Exceptions are hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law. [See Policies EF and FFAA.]


Inspecting Surveys


As a parent, you may inspect a survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed to your child.

Requesting Professional Qualifications of Teachers and Staff


You may request information regarding the professional qualifications of your child’s teachers, including whether a teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction; whether the teacher has an emergency permit or other provisional status for which state requirements have been waived; and undergraduate and graduate degree majors, graduate certifications, and the field of study of the certification or degree. You also have the right to request information about the qualifications of any paraprofessional who may provide services to your child.

Reviewing Instructional Materials


As a parent, you have a right to review teaching materials, textbooks, and other teaching aids and instructional materials used in the curriculum, and to examine tests that have been administered to your child.

[Also see Removing a Student from Human Sexuality Instruction on page 6 for additional information.]


Displaying a Student’s Artwork, Photos, and Other Original Work


Teachers may display students’ work in classrooms or elsewhere on campus as recognition of student achievement. However, the District will seek parental consent before displaying students’ artwork, special projects, photographs taken by students, and other original works on the District’s Web site, on any campus or classroom Web site, in printed material, by video, or by any other method of mass communication.

Accessing Student Records


You may review your child’s student records. These records include:

Attendance records,

Test scores,

Grades,


Disciplinary records,

Counseling records,

Psychological records,

Applications for admission,

Health and immunization information,

Other medical records,

Teacher and counselor evaluations,

Reports of behavioral patterns, and

State assessment instruments that have been administered to your child.

[See Student Records on page 5.]


Granting Permission to Video or Audio Record a Student


As a parent, you may grant or deny any written request from the District to make a video or voice recording of your child. State law, however, permits the school to make a video or voice recording without parental permission for the following circumstances:

When it is to be used for school safety;

When it relates to classroom instruction or a cocurricular or extracurricular activity; or

When it relates to media coverage of the school.


Granting Permission to Receive Parenting and Paternity Awareness Instruction


As a parent, if your child is under the age of 14, you must grant permission for your child to receive instruction in the District’s parenting and paternity awareness program or your child will not be allowed to participate in the instruction. This program, developed by the Office of the Texas Attorney General and the State Board of Education (SBOE), is incorporated into the District’s health education classes.

Removing a Student Temporarily from the Classroom


You may remove your child temporarily from the classroom if an instructional activity in which your child is scheduled to participate, conflicts with your religious or moral beliefs. The removal cannot be for the purpose of avoiding a test and may not extend for an entire semester. Further, your child must satisfy grade-level and graduation requirements as determined by the school and by the Texas Education Agency.

Removing a Student from Human Sexuality Instruction


As a part of the District’s curriculum, students receive instruction related to human sexuality. The School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is involved with the selection of course materials for such instruction.

State law requires that any instruction related to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome must:

Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age;

Devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior;

Emphasize that abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;

Direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and

If included in the content of the curriculum, teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates.

In accordance with state law, below is a summary of the District’s curriculum regarding human sexuality instruction:

Weatherford Independent School District uses Worth the Wait curriculum with students beginning in grade 6. The main topics covered in Worth the Wait are: Anatomy/Physiology, STDs, Legal Aspects and Abuse Issues, Relationship Building, and Abstinence. Parents may preview the materials at the campuses or at the Bowie Learning Center.

As a parent, you are entitled to review the curriculum materials. In addition, you may remove your child from any part of the human sexuality instruction with no academic, disciplinary, or other penalties. You may also choose to become more involved with the development of curriculum used for this purpose by becoming a member of the District’s SHAC. Please see the campus principal for additional information.


Excusing a Student from Reciting the Pledges to the U.S. and Texas Flags


As a parent, you may request that your child be excused from participation in the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag. The request must be in writing. State law does not allow your child to be excused from participation in the required minute of silence or silent activity that follows. [See Pledges of Allegiance and a Minute of Silence on page 46 and Policy EC(LEGAL).]

Excusing a Student from Reciting a Portion of the Declaration of Independence


You may request that your child be excused from recitation of a portion of the Declaration of Independence. State law requires students in social studies classes in grades 3–12 to recite a portion of the text of the Declaration of Independence during Celebrate Freedom Week unless (1) you provide a written statement requesting that your child be excused, (2) the District determines that your child has a conscientious objection to the recitation, or (3) you are a representative of a foreign government to whom the United States government extends diplomatic immunity. [See Policy EHBK(LEGAL).]

Requesting Limited or No Contact with a Student through Electronic Media


Teachers and other approved employees are permitted by the District to communicate with students through the use of electronic media within the scope of the individual’s professional responsibilities. For example, a teacher may set up a social networking page for his or her class that has information related to class work, homework, and tests. As a parent, you are welcome to join or become a member of such a page.

An employee described above may also contact a student individually through electronic media to communicate about items such as homework or upcoming tests.

If you prefer that your child not receive any one-to-one electronic communications from a district employee or if you have questions related to the use of electronic media by district employees, please contact the campus principal.

Requesting Notices of Certain Student Misconduct


A noncustodial parent may request in writing that he or she be provided, for the remainder of the school year, a copy of any written notice usually provided to a parent related to his or her child’s misconduct that may involve placement in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) or expulsion. [See Policy FO(LEGAL) and the Student Code of Conduct.]

Prohibiting the Use of Corporal Punishment


Corporal punishment—spanking or paddling the student—may be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and Policy FO(LOCAL) in the District’s policy manual.

If you do not want corporal punishment to be administered to your child as a method of student discipline, the parent must submit a written statement to the campus principal stating this decision. A signed statement must be provided each year.

You may choose to revoke this request at any time during the year by providing a signed statement to the campus principal. However, District personnel may choose to use discipline methods other than corporal punishment even if the parent requests that this method be used on the student.

School Safety Transfers


As a parent, you may:

  • Request the transfer of your child to another classroom or campus if your child has been determined by the district to have been a victim of bullying as the term is defined by Education Code 37.0832. Transportation is not provided for a transfer to another campus. Contact Dr. Nita Ellis, Executive Director of Student Services, 817-598-2803 for information.

  • Consult with District administrators if your child has been determined by the district to have engaged in bullying and the district decides to transfer your child to another campus. Transportation is not provided in this circumstance. [See Policy FDB.][See Bullying on page 17, and Policy FFI(LOCAL).]

Request the transfer of your child to attend a safe public school in the District if your child attends school at a campus identified by TEA as persistently dangerous or if your child has been a victim of a violent criminal offense while at school or on school grounds. [See Policy FDE(LOCAL).]

Request the transfer of your child to another campus if your child has been the victim of a sexual assault by another student assigned to the same campus, whether the assault occurred on or off campus, and that student has been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for that assault. [See Policy FDE.]


Requesting Classroom Assignment for Multiple Birth Siblings


As a parent, if your children are multiple birth siblings (e.g., twins, triplets, etc.) assigned to the same grade and campus, you may request that they be placed either in the same classroom or in separate classrooms. Your written request must be submitted no later than the 14th day after the enrollment of your children. [See Policy FDB(LEGAL).]

Parents of Students with Disabilities with Other School-Aged Children in the Home


If a student is receiving special education services at a campus outside his or her attendance zone, the parent or guardian may request that any other student residing in the household be transferred to the same campus, if the appropriate grade level for the transferring student is offered on that campus. [See Policy FDB(LOCAL).]

Request for the Use of a Service Animal


A parent of a student who uses a service animal because of the student’s disability must submit a request in writing to the principal at least ten District business days before bringing the service animal on campus.

Options and Requirements for Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need or May Need Special Education Services


If a child is experiencing learning difficulties, the parent may contact the person listed below to learn about the District’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including referral for a special education evaluation. Students having difficulty in the regular classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of school districts to meet the needs of all struggling students.

At any time, a parent is entitled to request an evaluation for special education services. Within a reasonable amount of time, the District must decide if the evaluation is needed. If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide informed written consent for the evaluation. The District must complete the evaluation and the report within 60 calendar days of the date the District receives the written consent. The District must give a copy of the report to the parent.

If the District determines that the evaluation is not needed, the District will provide the parent with prior written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated. This written notice will include a statement that informs the parents of their rights, if they disagree with the District. The District is required to give parents the Notice of Procedural Safeguards—Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities. Additional information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is available from the school district in a companion document, A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

The following Web sites provide information to those who are seeking information and resources specific to students with disabilities and their families:

Texas Project First, at http://www.texasprojectfirst.org/

Partners Resource Network, at http://www.partnerstx.org/howPRNhelps.html

The designated person to contact regarding options for a child experiencing learning difficulties or a referral for evaluation for special education services is Patti Young at 817-598-2800.

Parents of Students Who Speak a Primary Language Other Than English


A student may be eligible to receive specialized support if his or her primary language is not English, and the student has difficulty performing ordinary class work in English. If the student qualifies for these extra services, the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) will determine the types of services the student needs, including accommodations or modifications related to classroom instruction, local assessments, and state-mandated assessments.

Accommodations for Children of Military Families


Children of military families will be provided flexibility regarding certain District requirements, including:

Immunization requirements.

Grade level, course, or educational program placement.

Eligibility requirements for participation in extracurricular activities.

Graduation requirements.

In addition, absences related to a student visiting with his or her parent related to leave or deployment activities may be excused by the District. The District may permit excused absences for this purpose at the discretion of the Superintendent.

Additional information may be found at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=7995.

Student Records


Both federal and state laws safeguard student records from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents and eligible students certain rights of privacy. Before disclosing any personally identifiable information from a student’s records, the District must verify the identity of the person, including a parent or the student, requesting the information. For purposes of student records, an “eligible” student is one who is 18 or older OR who is attending an institution of postsecondary education.

Virtually all information pertaining to student performance, including grades, test results, and disciplinary records, is considered confidential educational records. Release is restricted to:

The parents—whether married, separated, or divorced—unless the school is given a copy of a court order terminating parental rights or the right to access a student’s education records.

Federal law requires that, as soon as a student becomes 18, is emancipated by a court, or enrolls in a postsecondary institution, control of the records goes to the student. The parents may continue to have access to the records, however, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes and under limited circumstances when there is a threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals.

District school officials who have what federal law refers to as a “legitimate educational interest” in a student’s records. School officials would include trustees and employees, such as the superintendent, administrators, and principals; teachers, counselors, diagnosticians, and support staff; a person or company with whom the District has contracted or allowed to provide a particular service or function (such as an attorney, consultant, auditor, medical consultant, therapist, or volunteer); a parent or student serving on a school committee; or a parent or student assisting a school official in the performance of his or her duties. “Legitimate educational interest” in a student’s records includes working with the student; considering disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, or an individualized education program for a student with disabilities; compiling statistical data; reviewing an educational record to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility; or investigating or evaluating programs.

Various governmental agencies, including juvenile service providers.

Individuals granted access in response to a subpoena or court order.

A school or institution of postsecondary education to which a student seeks or intends to enroll or in which he or she is already enrolled.

Release to any other person or agency—such as a prospective employer or for a scholarship application—will occur only with parental or student permission as appropriate.

The principal is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school. The principal is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated.

Records may be inspected by a parent or eligible student during regular school hours. The records custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records.

A parent or eligible student who provides a written request and pays copying costs of ten cents per page may obtain copies. If circumstances prevent inspection during regular school hours and the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, the District will either provide a copy of the records requested or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review these records.

The address(es) of the principals’ offices are:

Weatherford High School

Mrs. Lynn Pool, WHS, 2121 Bethel Road, Weatherford, Texas 76087



Weatherford Ninth Grade Center

Mrs. Kristy Dowd, NGC, 1007 S. Main, Weatherford, Texas 76086

A parent (or eligible student) may inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are considered inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. A request to correct a student’s record should be submitted to the principal. The request must clearly identify the part of the record that should be corrected and include an explanation of how the information in the record is inaccurate. If the District denies the request to amend the records, the parent or eligible student has the right to request a hearing. If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the parent or eligible student has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record. Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, contesting a student’s grade in a course is handled through the general complaint process found in Policy FNG(LOCAL). A grade issued by a classroom teacher can be changed only if, as determined by the Board of Trustees, the grade is arbitrary, erroneous, or inconsistent with the District’s grading policy. [See FINALITY OF GRADES at FNG(LEGAL), Report Cards/Progress Reports and Conferences on page 48, and Student or Parent Complaints and Concerns on page 20 for an overview of the process.]

The District’s policy regarding student records found at FL(LEGAL) and (LOCAL) is available from the principal’s or superintendent’s office or on the District’s web site at www.weatherfordisd.com.

The parent’s or eligible student’s right of access to and copies of student records do not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records—such as a teacher’s personal notes about a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher—do not have to be made available to the parents or student.

Please note:

Parents or eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the District is not in compliance with federal law regarding student records. The complaint may be mailed to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901

Directory Information


The law permits the District to designate certain personal information about students as “directory information.” This “directory information” will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it.

However, release of a student’s directory information may be prevented by the parent or an eligible student. This objection must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days of your child’s first day of instruction for this school year. [See the “Notice Regarding Directory Information and Parent’s Response Regarding Release of Student Information” which are contained in the Student Code of Conduct.


Directory Information for School-Sponsored Purposes


The District often needs to use student information for the following school-sponsored purposes listed in the Student Code of Conduct. The information used by the District as Directory Information is also listed in the Student Code of Conduct. This information will not be released to the public without the consent of the parent or eligible student.

Unless you object to the use of your child’s information for these limited purposes, the school will not need to ask your permission each time the District wishes to use this information for the school-sponsored purposes listed above.


Release of Student Information to Military Recruiters and Institutions of Higher Education


The District is required by federal law to comply with a request by a military recruiter or an institution of higher education for students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings, unless parents have advised the District not to release their child’s information without prior written consent. A form has been attached for you to complete if you do not want the District to provide this information to military recruiters or institutions of higher education.
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