Information for staff
The following information will provide an understanding and awareness of the access and privacy practices in Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.
School boards operate under the authority of the Education Act and are governed by legislation that protects the privacy of individuals, specifically the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and in some instances the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). These Acts give individuals basic access rights and impose various rules on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information within the school board’s custody and control. Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board complies with these laws and is committed to protecting individual privacy while striving to provide an academic program that best meets student’s needs.
What is the Education Act?
The Education Act is the provincial law that governs education in Ontario. It enables the school board to operate its business and to deliver programs and services to students. The Education Act authorizes school boards to collect personal information for the purpose of planning and delivering educational programs and services, and for reporting to the Ministry of Education as required. Under the Education Act, the principal of the school is required to compile a student record known as the Ontario Student Record (OSR). This record tracks a student’s academic progress through the Ontario Education system and follows the student when they change schools. Access and use of this record is regulated by the Ontario Student Record (OSR) Guideline 2000.
What is the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)?
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is the provincial law that requires the protection of personal information and provides individuals with a right of access to public records subject to specific and limited exemptions. The Act also provides specific provisions for how personal information may be collected, used, retained, disclosed and disposed of.
What is the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)?
The Personal Health Information Protection Act is the provincial law that establishes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health specific information about individuals. In a school board PHIPA applies to speech and language and psychological assessments.
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.
How does the board 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.
How do I access my/my child's personal information?
Students/parents/guardians can request access to information held by the school board by contacting the principal of the school they or 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.
How do I get a copy of my high school transcript (Ontario School Transcript)? If you would like a copy your transcript, please contact the high school you currently attend or last attended. Click here for contact information. Student records are confidential. A parent or guardian of a student 18 years of age or over may not request or receive a transcript without written authorization from the student.
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 make a formal request under MFIPPA?
You may make a request by completing a request form. Completed forms must include a $5.00 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 Coordinator.
Who do I contact with questions or for more information?
Questions related to the access to information or the protection of personal privacy in regard to school board records should be directed to:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
156 Ann Street, Belleville, Ontario K8N 3L3
613-966-1170 or 1-800-267-4350, extension 2270
Additional information and resources can also be obtained from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). The IPC Guide to Ontario Legislation
Covering the Release of Students’ Personal Information provides students, parents and school board staff with a basic understanding of how the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act interacts with the Education Act and other Ontario legislation to protect privacy and provide access to the personal information of students.
What is the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC)?
The 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 MFIPPA, be reviewed by the IPC.
Information for staff