Data Privacy & Security Information for All WNYMCS Stakeholders

At WNYMCS, we will never do anything to breach our parents', students', or employees' private information. Below, you will find a series of information and documents to assist you with your understanding about what we do within our school community to function properly, according to NY State Education Law.

Parents' Bill of Rights

The legislature and governor passed a group of bills that adjusted the Regents Education Reform Agenda. These bills are known collectively as the “Common Core Implementation Reform Act.” One of the key components of this act (Chapter 56, Part AA, Subpart L, of the laws of 2014) directed the Commissioner of Education to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). A major function of this new position is to work with school districts and parents to develop elements for a parents’ "Bill of Rights" to help ensure that student data is private and secure. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the DPO must also recommend regulations to establish standards for data security and privacy policies that will be implemented, statewide.

The NYSED Parents' Bill of Rights can be found below. WNYMCS is issuing this summary of parents’ rights under NY State Education Law 2d where applicable Data Elements have been issued by NYSED and can be found HERE.

While some additional elements will be developed in conjunction with the DPO, parents, and the Board of Regents under the Charter School Office, this summary sets forth the key rights and information that parents should be aware of in regards to ensuring the privacy and security of their student’s educational data. Parents should be aware that:

1. A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial purposes.

2. Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record.

3. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to, encryption, firewalls, and password protection, and must be in place when data is stored or transferred in any way.

4. A complete list of all student data elements collected by the State is available for public review online or by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, New York 12234.

5. Parents have the right to file complaints about possible breaches of student data. Complaints should be directed as follows by use of this digital form, by email, or by U.S. Mail to the WNYMCS approved Data Protection Officer (DPO) designated below:

Dr. Rick Jetter, Vice Commandant



2219 South Park Avenue

Buffalo, NY 14220


6. If WNYMCS enters into a third party contract in which the service provider receives student data, parent data , teacher data, or administrative data in order to provide a needed service for the Charter, supplemental information shall be developed and provided to parents which states the following under the additional numbered items below:

7. The exclusive purposes for which the data will be used.

8. How the third-party contractor will ensure that the subcontractors, persons, or entities that the third party contractor will share the data with protection and security requirements.

9. When the agreement expires and what will then happen with that data upon expiration of the agreement.

10. If and how a parent, student, or employee may challenge the accuracy of the data collected.

11. Where the parent, student, or employee data will be stored and the security protections taken to ensure such data that will be protected, including whether such data will be encrypted or open for review (and why).

Family Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) & Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The District’s procedures for the confidentiality of student records are consistent with federal statutes, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The parents, those acting in a parental relationship, or eligible students of WNYMCS are hereby notified that you have the following rights in relation to student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):

--The right to inspect and review student’s education records, unless otherwise limited by court order or other legally binding instrument, within 45 days of receipt of request.

--The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate. Parents or eligible students may request such amendment by writing to the Commandant or DPO, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate. 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 the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. Additional information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of this right.

--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.

There are exceptions which allow for disclosure without consent:

--Educational records may be released to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by a school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review the educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

--Education records of a student concerning disciplinary action taken against a student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community may be disclosed to school officials in other schools who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the behavior of the student.

--Educational records may be disclosed by school officials, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, to another school or postsecondary institution in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.

--The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of WNYMCS to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

--Release of information beyond that noted above requires parental consent. All rights and protections given to parents under the FERPA and this policy transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 and petitions for self-determination or attends a post-secondary school, or has been designated an “emancipated minor”. The student then becomes an “eligible student.”

Designated Directory Information

WNYMCS designates the following personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record as “directory information” and shall release the information without prior written consent, unless it is for commercial purposes.

a.) Student’s name and date of birth (if required for school-sponsored course, organization, activity or report)

b.) Name(s) of the student’s parent(s) or legal guardians

c.) Student’s address and phone number to law enforcement authorities for the purposes of complying with active investigations

d.) Student’s grade designation (i.e. first grade, tenth grade, etc.)

e.) Student’s extracurricular school activities and offices (e.g. member of the Math Club; Secretary of Student Council)

f.) Student’s school achievement, awards and honors (e.g. member of National Honor Society; selected for MVP award in Soccer)

g.) Relevant statistics and personal data if a member of an athletic team or other school sponsored course, organization or activity

h.) Present and previous school(s) attended by the student

What Does Opt-Out Mean?

If you do not want WNYMCS to disclose the above directory information from your child’s educational records without your prior written consent, including information provided to military recruiters, institutions of higher education, and potential employers, you must notify WNYMCS in writing by September 30th of each current school year. This notice must be sent to the Commandant or Vice Commandant on an annual basis via email to Dr. Rick Jetter, Vice Commandant (, U.S. Postal Mail, or by filling out this digital FORM.

A student photograph, video, or recording is not designated as “directory information.” However, these may be used without prior written consent in WNYMCS programs or to provide information or publicity for a school activity, the student, or Charter. If you refuse to permit use of your student’s photograph, video, or recording for these purposes, you must notify WNYMCS in writing as directed above by September 30th of each school year which then expires on June 30th of that school year.

Confidentiality Clause

In instances where the school needs to communicate with private health care providers, the parent will need to complete the required form(s) from their health care provider in order for school officials to be able to speak with them. Please be advised that confidential medical information will be shared with district personnel on a need-to-know-basis, only. This may include understanding the impact a medical condition may have on a child within the classroom setting and/or how to recognize and potentially manage significant medical concerns until medical help arrives. If you have any questions, please contact our school nurse. The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents certain rights regarding our use of student, parent, or staff surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

--Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education or is issued by a “third party”:

--Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent/guardian.

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

--Sexual behaviors or demonstrated attitudes.

--Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behaviors.

--Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships.

--Legally recognized privileged relationships such as with lawyers, doctors, or pastoral leaders.

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

--Income, other than as required by law, to determine program eligibility.

--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 NY State law.

--Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

--Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes.

--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 NY State Law.

Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with WNYMCS, first, and then if necessary, contact can be made to:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-8520

Finally, in all circumstances, WNYMCS will comply and cooperate with law enforcement and emergency services if 911 is called for any incident leading to disciplinary, health-related, or mental health assistance at which point parental contact will take place immediately after such a circumstance presents itself within the school or on school property.