Freedom of Information

Dear Parent/Guardian and/or Adult Student:

The purpose of this communication is to notify you of how the Avon Maitland District School Board and your school use the personal information you provide to us in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). The MFIPPA is a law that sets guidelines that schools and district school boards must follow when this collecting, using and/or and disclosing students’ personal information. Under this Act, personal information refers to recorded information about an identifiable individual.

The Education Act sets out duties and powers of the Board and authorizes school boards to collect personal information for the purpose of planning and delivering educational programs and services and give information to employees to carry out their job duties. In addition, the information may be used to deal with matters of health and safety or discipline which best meet students’ needs and for reporting to the Minister of Education as required. This Act requires that the school principal maintain an Ontario Student Record (OSR) for each student attending the school. The OSR is a record of a student’s educational progress through school in Ontario and follows students when they transfer schools. The Ontario Student Record Guideline sets out how record is to be managed. The Avon Maitland District School Board adheres to this OSR guideline.

Under the MFIPPA, personal information may be used or disclosed by the Avon Maitland District School Board:

  • For the purpose for which it was obtained or a consistent purpose (a purpose consistent for the reason collected);
  • To Board officers or employees who need access to the information in the performance of their duties if necessary and proper in the discharge of the Board’s authorized functions;
  • To comply with legislation, a court order or subpoena or to aid in a law enforcement investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency;
  • In compelling circumstances affecting health or safety (providing notice of the disclosure is sent to the student’s home).

Prior to releasing confidential information for any other purpose, the school will seek informed consent from the parent/guardian for children under 16 years of age, from the parent/guardian and the student where the student is 16 and 17, and from the student where the student is over 18 or the student is 16 or 17 years of age and has withdrawn from parental control, in accordance with both MFIPPA and the Education Act.

It is our practice to include a notice statement on forms used to collect personal information to advise you how we will use and disclose the information. To help you understand how we use the information you provide to us without notification to you, we draw your attention to the following routine uses and/or disclosures of student personal information so that you may express any concerns you may have regarding the release and sharing of the information.

The student’s OSR will be used by school and board staff to support the classroom teacher in developing an educational program which best meets the student’s needs. Staff working with the classroom teacher or directly with the student may include individuals working in areas such as Special Education, guidance counselling, student success, etc.

Student information is shared in order to design and deliver programming to meet the needs of all students in our schools. To that end, learning profiles and student achievement levels are shared between staff within a school in order to better address student needs as they progress through grade levels. As students’ progress from elementary school to secondary school, important information is shared which eases a student’s transition to secondary school. Sharing it also improves our ability to program effectively to the benefit of all students. Select student information will be shared at different times as required. Please note that all information used for the transition process is limited, secure and protected at all times. Please contact your Principal if you would like more information about the transition process. The secondary school will share information about each student’s progress through secondary school with the student’s previous elementary school to support continuous improvement of the elementary school program for all students.

Home phone numbers and email addresses may be released to create contact lists for distribution as follows:

  • Emergency Procedures – to volunteers and bus operators for the purpose of making contact during an emergency, such as inclement weather situations, etc.,
  • School Councils – to be used for soliciting parent involvement in a variety of school related activities that will benefit your child.

Email addresses may be used for the purpose of school newsletter distribution. Avon Maitland schools strive to be environmentally-conscious by reducing the sending home of paper notifications. Instead, where possible, we try and use electronic communications to relay information to students and families. In accordance with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation which requires all organizations in Canada to collect consent for the receipt of commercial electronic communications, we are informing you that by providing your consent and email address you agree to receive messages electronically from the school or school board which may include information about a commercial activity. Your consent to receive these messages can be revoked at any time by contacting the school.

The school will share and update necessary student information with the Health Units. The information will include your child’s name, OEN, grade, birth date, home address, home telephone number and work number of parents, for the purpose of “establishing and maintaining a school health record according to the Health Protection and Promotion Act and Immunization of School Pupils Act”. Medical information may be shared with parent volunteers when relevant (i.e. on a school trip).

Personal Information may be provided to School Photographers such as student’s first and last name, student number, date of birth, student’s three-letter identification, school name and grade. This information will be provided electronically and may be used for the purpose of providing the student with a student identification card and will be used in the school office for identification purposes. The photographer signs a confidentiality clause that states that the information may only be used for the purpose that it was collected and no other purpose. Students may be recorded or photographed by their classroom teacher in school or during school activities as part of their educational program. Photos may be shared with the class and parents as appropriate.

Students may participate in video conferencing (a technology which allows for two or more locations to interact via simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions) to support the classroom program. Conferences may be organized with students in other AMDSB schools, students in other countries and or as virtual field trips. Be advised that an email account may be assigned to your child to support curriculum instruction. In addition, the use of collaboration tools such as blogs, wikis, Edmodo, Google and/or Facebook may be part of your child’s learning experience and may include your child’s work and/or name.

Personal Information may be provided to the Huron-Perth Student Transportation Services (HPSTS) and their contracted Bus Companies to ensure the health and safety of the students. The information may include your child’s name, grade, photo, medical notes, 911 address and mailing address. Emergency contact phone numbers will also be shared with the HPSTS.

Personal Information such as first and last name, address, age, and phone number may be given to OSBIE (Ontario School Board Insurance Exchange) in the event the student is involved in an accident or witnesses one.

Students’ work with their first and last name and possibly grade levels, may be displayed in the classroom or school hallways, or may be shared with the public through science fairs, art projects, bulletin board displays, school newspapers, Board Publications and at the Education Centre. Student names, photos and/or work are not displayed on School, Classroom and/or Board websites without a signed permission form. The permission form is provided to parents and adult students on the Confirmation of Emergency Contact and Personal Information Form annually.

Names of graduating students, as well as students, who have achieved special accomplishment, may be shared with the offices of a Member of Parliament and/or a Member of Provincial Parliament for the purpose of the student receiving a congratulatory letter.

The media may be invited to the school to take photos of students and write articles about student achievements, graduations or special events. Once again, the student may be identified by first and last name and grade level. The information gathered is used as part of the school’s communication plan to share newsworthy events that occur at the school. Media may choose to use the Internet as a communication tool and as a result photos or articles written about these events may be available online.

Photographs and videos of students (with their names and grade), collectively or individually, may be taken by Avon Maitland D.S.B. staff and/or professional photographers that have been approved by the Board and may be used in the following manner:

  • School yearbooks, school newsletters, or for school identification purposes,
  • During classroom activities, open house or parents’ night, and assessment purposes within the classroom
  • Course calendars and other Board and School Publications,
  • In local newspapers and on local television,
  • On some school buses and/or within some schools video surveillance may be in place to monitor student behaviour. All tapes will be copied over and/or erased. Refer to Administrative Procedure 525 for more information.

Parents are reminded that visitors to the school during special events (track meets, concerts etc.) might take photographs or videos of their child’s participation.

Personal Information such as first and last name, date of birth, gender and entry date to grade 9 may be given to OFSAA (Ontario Federation of Secondary Athletic Association) for students that express a desire to participate in school athletics. Personal Information such as first, middle and last name, date of birth, OEN, gender, and credits achieved may be given to OCAS and OUAC (Ontario College Application Service and Ontario University Application Centre) for students that plan to apply for post-secondary education.

Personal Information such as first, middle and last name, date of birth, gender, OEN and credits achieved will be exported to MyBlueprint to allow for students to plan their course choices and pathway for the next academic year.

School-Based Services address the comprehensive health care needs of students including counseling. School-based Services are accessed on a referral basis. Students may be referred by parent/guardians, school staff or by the student.

The Ministry of Education has provided integrated learning platforms for schools to use with their students. D2L and Homework Help are two of these tools that Avon Maitland District School Board teachers may use within their classroom. These online tools create a workspace for distributing homework, collaboration and learning support. Student names, DOB, OEN, class information and email address is shared in order to create logins and workspaces for the student.

Aboriginal ancestry information will be used by Avon Maitland DSB to allocate resources; to improve student learning and student success; and to offer individualized supports and opportunities to students and families. Aboriginal ancestry information will also be reported to the Ministry of Education and the Education Quality and Accountability Office. Families and students should be assured that the confidentiality of this identification will be protected.

Questions regarding the information contained in this notification may be addressed to the School Principal or the Manager of Information Services, 519-527-0111 ext. 111. Please communicate any concerns you have with regards to the sharing of personal information in any or all of the above-mentioned by contacting the school principal as soon as possible. The above will apply unless an objection is filed with the Principal and an alternative resolution can be found.