School Seeks to Identify Children with Special Needs
The Bennett County School District, in order to fulfill the obligations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is required to inform and provide full educational opportunities to all individuals with disabilities ages birth through twenty-one.
Bennett County, Superintendent of the Bennett County School District, in conjunction with Three Rivers Special Services Cooperative, needs your assistance to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities. This public awareness notice is to inform parents and other individuals/agencies of the availability of special education and related service to all individuals who reside within the jurisdiction of the Bennett County School District and who are between the ages of birth through twenty-one, regardless of the severity of their disability. This includes individuals in all public and private agencies and institutions, highly mobile children with disabilities, such as migrant and homeless children, who reside within the legal boundaries of the district. If a child is having significant difficulty with vision, hearing, speech, behavior, is experiencing slow development typical for his/her age, physical impairments, or learning difficulty, he/she may be a child with a disability. If there is a child attending your school/program whom you suspect may have a disability, please contact the school so we can initiate the process for referral and assessment.
Anyone aware of an individual who may benefit from special education and related service is encouraged to call Bennett County, Director of Special Education for the Bennett County School District, at 605-685-1151.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Bennett County School District, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Bennett County School District may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the Bennett County School District to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
• A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
• The annual yearbook;
• Honor roll or other recognition lists;
• Graduation programs; and
• Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories—names, addresses and telephone listings—unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.
If you do not want Bennett County School District to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing when enrolling. Bennett County School District has designated the following information as directory information:
• Student’s name
• Telephone listing
• Electronic mail address
• Date and place of birth
• Major field of study
• Dates of attendance
• Grade level
• Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
• Weight and height of members of athletic teams
• Degrees, honors, and awards received
• The most recent educational agency or institution attended
• Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc. (A student’s SSN, in whole or in part, cannot be used for this purpose.)
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Notification of Rights
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the School to amend a record should write the School principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. 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 their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to privacy of personally identifiable information in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has outsourced services or functions it would otherwise use its own employees to perform (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the School discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.
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:
• 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 (ED)–
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
• Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of –
1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
2. 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
3. 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 –
1. Protected information surveys of students;
2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
3. 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.
Bennett County School District will develop and adopt policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. Bennett County School District will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Bennett County School District will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. Bennett County School District will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year if the District has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this requirement:
• Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution.
• Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by ED.
• Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.
Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against person with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 defines a person with a disability as anyone who:
1. has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity such as walking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, seeing, speaking, caring for one’s self, working, helping, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, and the operation of a bodily function ;
2. Has a record of such impairment;
3. Or is regarded as having such impairment.
In order to fulfill obligations under section 504, the Bennett County School District acknowledges its responsibility under section 504/ADA to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability shall knowingly be permitted in any program and practice in the school system.
The Bennett County School District has responsibilities under Section 504, which include the obligation to identify, evaluate, and if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to provide appropriate educational services. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, they have a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.
If there are questions, please feel free to contact the Bennett County School District at 605-685-6112.
The Bennett County School District has the following documents available for review by parents of children with disabilities and the general public:
1. Comprehensive Plan for Special Education
2. IDEA Federal Application for Funds
3. The most recent Special Education Compliance Monitoring final report.
4. Applications, evaluations, periodic program plan or reports relating to federal programs including auditor’s reports, statements of assurance, budget and grant materials.
Information will be available at the Bennett County School District’s Superintendents Office, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Published once at the total approximate cost of $172.50
Published: August 14, 2019