Release of Student Information: Procedures and Information
Many parents are under the misunderstanding that Katy ISD is required to keep all information about their students private. This is NOT the case; in fact the opposite is true: Katy ISD, as a governmental body, MUST disclose information to any member of the public who asks for it under the Texas Public Information Act. However, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows you, the parent or guardian of a student, to object to the release of various types of information, or to object to the release of information to certain types of requestors. You do this by filling out the Enrollment Card (given to you in your childs first day folder), or the by filling out the attached form, and choosing one of three codes: A, N, or O. In addition, secondary students must make a choice under code M. The consequences of your choices are discussed below.
The district has defined directory information to be a students name, address, phone number, photograph, organization membership, date and place of birth, weight and height, major field of study, degrees, honors, and awards received, grade level, dates of school attendance, and most recent school attended. Other information is private and will not be released to the general public, such as citizenship, income information, special program enrollment (such as special education or gifted/talented), or ethnicity.
Your Choices and the consequences of each choice:
Code A: Choose code A if you want ALL of your child's directory information released. If you choose this code, your child's information will be public, and will be released to ANYONE who asks for it, including producers of school directories, vendors and sales people, political action committees, summer camps, private schools, recreational facilities, etc.
Code N: Choose code N if you want NONE of your child's directory information released. If you choose this code, all of your child's directory information will be kept private, and will NOT be given out to anyone, including for school directories, yearbooks, programs for award ceremonies, performances or athletic events, etc. Also, photos of your child will NOT be released. (However, your child's picture may appear in a group photo if he/she is a part of a regular instructional activity and he/she is not identified by name.) Also, your child's name will not appear in news releases, including lists of awards and honors.
Code O: Choose code O if you want some information kept private and some information to be public. Under code O, some of your child's information (name, address, or phone number) will NOT be released for school directories or to the public; however, some of your child's information (name, photo, height/weight, date of birth, organizational membership, and awards received) WILL BE released for certain special publications (such as yearbooks, programs for award ceremonies, performances or athletic events).
Code M: This code is only applicable for secondary (high school and middle school) students: In addition to choosing code A, N, or O, parents of secondary students may choose code M if they want their childs name, address and telephone number kept private from military recruiters and institutions of higher education. NOTE: If you do not choose code M, your child's name, address and phone number will be given to military recruiters and institutions of higher education even if you opted for code N or code O as well.
We hope this has helped you understand Katy ISDs policies on the release of student information through Public Information Requests. The language of the policy is required by law to be available to you, and can be found on page v of the Student Handbook (Discipline Management Plan and Student Code of Conduct). If you have any additional questions, please contact the Katy ISD Communications Office at 281-396-2308.