SURVEYS OF STUDENTS Policy Code: 4720
The superintendent will ensure that all notification requirements of the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment are met, along with any other legal requirements regarding the surveying of students.
A. Protected Topics
The school district must obtain prior written consent of a parent or eligible student before the student is required to participate in any Department of Education-funded survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following “protected topics”:
- political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
- mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family;
- sex behavior and attitudes;
- illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
- critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers;
- religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or
- income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
Upon request, parents have the right to review any survey that concerns one of the protected topics or any instructional materials used in any such survey. The district will take measures to protect the identification and privacy of students participating in any survey concerning any of the protected topics. These measures may include limiting access to completed surveys and to survey results, as allowed by law.
For surveys concerning the protected topics that are not funded in whole or in part by the Department of Education, the school district will notify parents at the beginning of each school year of the specific or approximate dates when such surveys will be administered. Parents have the right to review any survey that concerns one of the protected topics or any instructional materials used in any such survey. Parents also will have the opportunity to opt their children out of participating in the survey(s).
B. Survey and Interview Guidelines
College and university researchers, other researchers and some of our own students may request the privilege of administering surveys to students. Absolutely no surveys are to be taken unless the guidelines listed below and the other requirements of this policy are observed, and the survey is cleared with the superintendent or designee.
- The researcher requesting permission to administer a poll/survey will submit in writing a statement of the objectives of the project and the intended uses of the findings, including publication, to the principal and the superintendent or designee.
- The substance and form of the poll/survey will conform to reasonable standards of good taste.
- Arrangements for administration will be made so that the project will not be disruptive of any normal school activity.
- A reasonable time and place for administration will be arranged. The time arrangements for any survey will be sufficient to obtain an adequate sample of responses, but will not exceed such boundaries.
- It is strongly recommended that student poll/survey writers obtain the counsel of club advisors or other qualified adults in preparing the poll/survey.
C. Collection of Student Data for Marketing Purposes
The school district generally will not collect, disclose or use personal student information for the purpose of marketing or selling the information or otherwise providing the information to others for that purpose. However, the district may collect such information from students if the information is used for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions, such as the following:
- College or other postsecondary education recruitment, or military recruitment.
- Book clubs, magazines, and programs providing access to low-cost literary products.
- Curriculum and instructional material used by elementary schools and secondary schools.
- Tests and assessments used by elementary schools and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students (or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments) and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments.
- The sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities.
- Student recognition programs.
If the district collects such information from students for the purpose of marketing or selling the information to develop, evaluate, or provide educational products or services as described above, upon request, parents may inspect any instrument used to collect the information, before it is administered or distributed to a student.
D. Parent Involvement
The board and superintendent will work with parents to create policies and guidelines concerning (1) the administration of surveys by third parties, (2) arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of surveys containing a protected topic, (3) parental rights to review and inspect instructional materials or survey instruments, and (4) the collection, disclosure or use of personal information for marketing or selling purposes.
Legal References: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, h, 34 C.F.R. pt. 99; G.S. 115C-36
Cross References: Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740-4010), Parental Involvement (policy 1310-4002), Disciplinary Action for Exceptional Children/Disabled Students (policy 4307), Student Discipline Records (policy 4345)
Adopted: June 17, 1997
Revised: January 6, 2003; August 28, 2006