Freedom of Information
As a public organization, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board must adhere to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). Under this law, individuals can request access to their own personal information or general information held by provincial and municipal government institutions.
For student record requests, most information can be provided to parents/guardians or adult students over age 18 through your child’s/your school (if it is personal information related to your child/you) by simple request.
Additional information about privacy and access to information is available from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario website at www.ipc.on.ca
Other information requests that are large, complex, or sensitive may require a more formal process.
Formal requests must be made in writing using the MFIPPA Access/Correction Form and accompanied by a $5 application fee. In addition to the application fee, you may be required to pay other fees. The rules regarding the payment and amount of fees are set out in MFIPPA and its regulations.
Generally, HPEDSB has 30 calendar days to respond. You will be notified when:
- further information or clarification is required;
- a time extension is required due to volume of records or the number of staff to be consulted is large;
- the fee is estimated to be more than $25; and
- a decision is made to either grant or deny access (along with rationale).
Formal requests for information under the MFIPPA may be sent to the following address:
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
156 Ann Street
Belleville, ON K8N 3L3
Telephone: 613-966-1170, extension. 62354 or toll-free at 1-800-267-4350
What is the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC)?
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) is an independent oversight body. It’s role is to uphold and promote open government and the protection of personal privacy in Ontario. Individuals have a right to request that decisions on access to information requests made to the school board under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), be reviewed by the IPC.
How do I make a formal request under MFIPPA?
You may make a request by completing a request form (pdf). Completed forms must include a $5 application fee paid by cash or cheque payable to Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Your request should provide as much detail as possible about the information you are requesting and be sent to the attention of the freedom of information officer.
How do I access general information?
General information about programs and services and contact information is posted on the board website. For access to more specific information, please contact Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board at 613-966-1170 or 1-800-263-4350. You will be directed to the department responsible for the records you are seeking. The appropriate department staff will determine if the records will be provided as a routine disclosure or if you should submit a request formally under MFIPPA.
How do I get a copy of my high school transcript?
Transcripts are provided by the school you attended. A list of schools and contact information is online. A small fee may be charged for this service; the school representative will confirm the amount.
NOTE: Transcripts for students who attended Belleville Collegiate Institute and Vocational Institute are provided by Quinte Adult Education.
Please be aware that the availability of transcripts may be limited during the summer months due to vacation schedules at secondary schools. Transcripts cannot be produced at the Education Centre, they must come from the school.
How do I access my/my child’s personal information?
Parents/guardians of students under age 18 can request access to information held by the school board by contacting the principal of the school their child attends or last attended. Please be aware that while an individual has access to their own personal information and general records, they do not have a right to access personal information about another individual. Staff must comply with the Municipal Freedom of Information Protection Act and the Education Act and will provide you with the information you request only if you are legally entitled to receive it. Students who are over age 18 may request copies of their records without parental consent.
How does HPEDSB collect and use personal student information?
Personal student information is collected directly from parents, guardians or students under the authority of the Education Act. Information collected will be used in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act:
- for planning and delivering educational programs and services or for consistent purposes;
- by board employees who need access to the information in order to do their job;
- to comply with legislation or law enforcement; and/or
- in compelling circumstances affecting health or safety (with appropriate notice).
Notification of the collection and use of student information is indicated on the student registration form and updated annually through the student information form. Personal information collected and used for any other purpose requires consent of the parent, guardian or adult student.
What is personal information?
Personal information means any recorded information about an identifiable person including but not limited to race, nationality or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, education, medical, background, identifying number or symbol, address, telephone number, and personal views or opinions.
What is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)?
CASL is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation which came into effect July 1, 2014. Its purpose is to minimize receipt of unsolicited electronic messages, whether in the form of email, text messages, social media or other means of telecommunication, that are sent for commercial reasons. It is also intended to reduce electronic threats to commerce, including phishing, pharming, malware and spyware.
CASL prohibits the sending of a commercial electronic message (CEM) that promotes or encourages participation in a commercial activity unless specific requirements are met. This means that anyone who sends a CEM must do the following:
- obtain consent from the recipient first;
- provide prescribed identification to the recipient: and
- provide an unsubscribe option on the outgoing message.
Why comply with CASL?
Individuals and organizations found to be in violation of CASL could face significant fines. Everyone must ensure they have done their due diligence to prevent a violation.
Does this include schools?
Yes, because schools often send out electronic newsletters with invitations to special school events like concerts, barbecues, fundraisers, etc.
What does this mean for parents and guardians?
We want to keep parents and guardians informed about what’s happening at schools across the district. Email and other electronic messages are often the best ways to stay in touch. These communications may include information about offers, advertisements or promotions related to school activities such as fundraisers, field trip opportunities, student photos, lunch programs or similar school related activities. If your child’s school has practices in place to communicate with you electronically, please ensure that you have signed and returned a CASL consent form to your child’s school in order to continue to receive these types of communications. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting the school principal.
What does this mean for HPEDSB?
Schools, school councils, student councils, trustees and employees must comply with CASL if they send CEMs that encourage participation in a commercial activity. Seeking consent is crucial. School board strategies and mechanisms to ensure compliance are being developed and implemented.
What are examples of school board CEMs?
School board CEMs may include the following:
- messages to parents, guardians and community members with promotions, advertising or offers of sale such as school pictures, yearbooks, team uniforms or equipment, prom tickets, food programs such as pizza days, field trips and fund raising activities;
- school newsletters that contain messaging about these types of activities;
- promotion of community and local business events when they include promotions or offers for sale;
- emails that redirect the recipient to another website, and forwarded emails that contain commercial content;
- messages, e-newsletters and advertisements for general interest courses, business partnerships and request for proposals;
- emails regarding non-board business such as an invitation to sponsor a colleague or offer an item for sale.
Electronic messages that are not of a commercial nature, but are simply for informational purposes (i.e. student progress, notice of a community or school council meeting) do not fall under CASL. Hard copy communications such as newsletters, flyers and letters, faxes and voice messages, even if they contain commercial content, are exempt from the legislation.
What is a commercial activity?
A commercial activity refers to a transaction that is of commercial nature, whether or not there is expectation of profit. A commercial activity includes an offer to purchase, sell or lease products or goods.
Phone: 613-966-1170 extension 62201
Email: [email protected]