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Notice of the Collection, Use and Disclosure of Student Personal Information

Our Legislative Requirements for Using and Protecting Information

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (the district) takes great care in managing personal information.  We are guided by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the Education Act.

  • The Education Act sets out duties and powers of the district school board and authorizes the district to collect personal information to plan and deliver educational programs and services.  We are required by law to report some information to the Minister of Education.  We include a notice of collection statement on forms used to advise you how the information collected will be used and/or disclosed, and to whom questions can be directed. 
  • MFIPPA is a law that sets guidelines that we must follow when collecting, using and/or disclosing personal information. Under this Act, personal information refers to recorded information about an identifiable individual. Under the MFIPPA, personal information may be used or disclosed by the OCDSB:
  • for the purpose for which it was obtained or a consistent purpose (a purpose consistent with 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;
  • to report to the Children's Aid Society regarding child protection matters, in accordance with the law, in compelling circumstances affecting health or safety of staff or students.

Under the law, the release of personal information for any other purpose requires the informed consent of:

  • the parent/guardian for children under 16 years of age;
  • the parent/guardian and the student where the student is 16 and 17;
  • the student where the student is over 18 or is 16 or 17 years of age and has withdrawn from parental control.

WHAT PERSONAL INFORMATION IS COLLECTED?

Information Collected at Registration - At the time of registration, the school district collects, name, address, date of birth, names and contact information of parents and emergency contacts, Ontario Health Number, relevant medical information, information of growth milestones and/or educational history, etcetera.  This information is stored in the Ontario Student Record.

School principals are required to 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 the student when they transfer schools. The Ontario Student Record Guideline sets out how OSRs are to be managed; the district adheres to the OSR Guideline. Parents can access the OSR of their child at the school the child attends.

Voluntary Self-Identification - Ancestry information of First Nation, Métis and Inuit students who chose to voluntarily self-identify will be used to allocate resources, improve student learning and student success, and to offer individualized supports and opportunities to students and families. This information will also be reported to the Ministry of Education and the Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO). Contact your school principal for more information about self-identification.

Student health numbers (OHIP) are collected at registration on a voluntary basis. Health numbers may also be requested for some types of field trips.

Routine Uses and/or Disclosures of Information in the School

Personal information in the student's OSR will be used by school and district 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.  As students progress from elementary to secondary school, important information is shared to ease the student's transition to secondary school. Sharing information also improves our ability to program effectively to the benefit of all students. In some cases, a secondary school may share information about each student's progress throughout secondary school with the student's previous elementary school to support continuous improvement of the elementary school program for all students. Secondary schools will send information of potential graduates (contact information, marks and transcripts) to Ontario colleges and universities to support the student's post-secondary applications.

Student medical health information provided by parents/guardians or adult students will be used to address the student's medical needs at school and during school activities. Medical emergency plans for students with life-threatening medical conditions will be shared with school staff, OSTA, contracted bus operators and bus drivers, and will be posted in identified areas of the school for emergency response purposes.

Ottawa Student Transportation Authority - Student personal information such as home addresses, student photos, life-threatening medical emergency information, accessibility and safety needs will be shared with the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) consortium, contracted bus company operators and bus drivers, for the purpose of administering the district's contracted bus program and for the safety of students.

Student Access to Technology - The district provides students and teachers with Google Docs for Education (GAFE) and the Virtual Learning Environment (Brightspace), provided by the Ministry of Education for educational purposes. In addition, students may also use social media and other digital  tools deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher. Students receive age-appropriate instruction on digital citizenship and the safe use of technology. Use of the Internet and social media sites shall be in accordance with the Appropriate Use of Technology Agreement and posting of personal information shall be with parental consent in accordance with the OCDSB – Media/School Website Permission Form.

Third Party Service Providers - The school district contracts with third party service providers to facilitate the delivery of certain services related to student learning and school operations.  This includes service contracts for software used for consistent purposes such as the development of Individual Education Plans, online learning, course and career planning, messaging to parents, electronic purchasing, etcetera.  Such contracts may require the sharing of personal information.  All service contracts with third parties are subject to confidentiality agreements.

Student and class photos - Contracted photographers will take individual and class photos of students. These photos will be used for administrative and archival purposes, on student cards, in school yearbooks and will be offered to parents for purchase.  All photographers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Surveillance equipment may be used in schools and on buses to enhance the safety of students and staff, to protect property against theft or vandalism, and to aid in the identification of intruders or persons who endanger the health, well-being or safety of school community members.

Media Permission Forms - Parents are asked annually to complete this form regarding consent to photograph a student.  Students may be recorded or photographed as part of their educational program for assessment and evaluation purposes. Where consent has been provided, photos or recordings may be shared with students and parents for the purpose of celebrating and memorializing the student's life at school. School activities and events may be reported in school and district newsletters and on school and district websites. This may include non-sensitive student personal information such as first name and last initial, and student group photos.

Student names and/or photographs may be printed in school yearbooks, school programs or brochures (commencement or graduation programs, school plays and musical productions), on student awards, honour rolls, on class assignment lists and posted throughout the school.

Student Photos in Public Spaces - Individual students would only be photographed or identified with appropriate consent. Students participating in extra-curricular activities or school events where the public is invited or that take place in public places such as field trips, malls and fairs, may be photographed by the school community or general public. This may result in photos or recordings being posted on social media sites. The school has no control over how and where these images will be posted; however parents and students are asked to practice good digital citizenship by being respectful when they post photos of others, which includes only posting photos involving other students with permission.

Public Health - Personal information such as child's name, birth date, grade, name of parents/guardians, home address and phone numbers will be shared with the local Health Unit in accordance with the Immunization of School Pupils Act. Communicable diseases shall be reported in accordance with the Health Promotion and Protection Act and the Education Act.

Special Education Services -  In keeping with the legislative requirements of the Education Act and Personal Health Information Protection Act, informed consent will be sought prior to conducting intelligence or behavioural tests and/or involvement of psychological or speech and language staff. The district follows the legislative requirements of the Child and Family Services Act for students accessing social work and/or child and youth work services with regards to informing parent(s)/guardian(s) for students 12 years of age and under prior to accessing services. A statement outlining how personal health information is collected, used or disclosed in the provision of district psychological, speech and language or social work services will be provided to parents/guardians or students, as appropriate, when students are referred to district service providers.

More Information:

Questions regarding these practices may be addressed to the school principal, or to Michele Giroux, OCDSB Privacy Officer, 133 Greenbank Road, Ottawa, Ontario K2H 6L3, 613-596-8211, ext. 8607. Please communicate any concerns you have with regards to the sharing of personal information as outlined above 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. 

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