State/Federal Parental Notification Requirements
Sumter School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or age in admission to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. For inquiries regarding the policy, contact the Office of Human Resources, Sumter School District, 1345 Wilson Hall Road, Sumter, SC 29150 (803-469-6900) or the Office of Specialized Programs, 220 Hasel Street, Sumter, SC 29150 (803-774-5500).
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a disability as anyone who has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working); has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.
In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504, Sumter School District recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system. The school district has specific responsibilities under the Act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate and comparable educational services.
For further information, please call the Office of Specialized Programs at (803) 774-5500.
Parents’ Right to Know Under federal law, parents have the right to know whether a teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction; whether a teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and the baccalaureate degree major of a teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree. Teacher qualifications can be accessed at Educator Qualification Search on the SC Department of Education website. If parents do not have access to the Internet or wish to receive additional information, please send a letter of request addressed to the child’s school principal giving the name of the teacher and the grade or subject the person teaches, as well as the specific information you are requesting. The information will be provided to you within a reasonable period of time.
In addition to the information that parents may request, a school that receives Title I funds must provide each individual parent a timely notice that the parent’s child has been assigned, or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who does not meet the licensing requirements as set forth by the State Department of Education.
The notice and information provided to parents must be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that the parents can understand. This applies to all teachers teaching core academic subjects in a Title I school, regardless if the school has a school wide or targeted assistance program.
Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to the following:
• Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (protected information survey) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education:
o political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
o mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
o sex behavior or attitudes;
o illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
o critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
o legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors or ministers;
o religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or parents; and/or
o income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
• Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of the following:
o any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
o any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law; and/or
o activities involving collection, disclosure or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
• Inspect, upon request and before administration or use, the following:
o protected information surveys of students;
o instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above;
o marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and/or
o instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law. Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with the following:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5901
Asbestos Management Plan Notification
In compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), Sumter School District had inspections performed at each of our school buildings for asbestos containing building materials in 1988 and 1989. The inspection reports and asbestos management plans have been on file in each school’s administrative office since that time, as required by the AHERA Regulations. Reinspections are performed every three years.
Sumter School District continues to manage asbestos containing materials in place in each school until at such time the asbestos containing materials can be properly removed and disposed of at an approved landfill.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), individual student records including grades, test scores, evaluations, etc., are not available for public inspection. This information is only available to the student’s parents, guardians, or to the student of legal age. Federal law does, however, allow student information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy to be disclosed. The law refers to this as directory information.
Directory information includes the student’s name, address, phone number, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous school attended.
Sumter School District does not publish any kind of directory of students, but the information allows us to include a child’s name, photograph, accomplishment, or quote in certain school and district publications or sites. During the course of a child’s school career, he or she will participate in a variety of academic, athletic, fine arts, and other events and activities in which he or she may be photographed or interviewed by district or school staff or news media. Information about a child may appear in newspaper articles, on television, in radio broadcasts, on displays, on the website or social media, or in district or school promotional pieces. The district also discloses directory information to armed services recruiters, upon request.
If a parent/guardian objects to the release of this information, please notify the Superintendent in writing at 1345 Wilson Hall Road, Sumter, SC, 29150, within 15 days of receipt of the notice. If no objection is made, the district will be able to release this information as appropriate. The use of any information by Sumter School District is for the promotion of our students and district. Any questions concerning student records should be addressed to the guidance office of the individual school.