School Community Councils
Application of LAFOIP
A School Community Council (SCC) does not exist as a separate legal entity. The board is responsible in law for the operation of the SCC. The board is subject to the provisions of LAFOIP and the SCC is subject to LAFOIP.
The SCC and its members must deal with any information they might receive in the course of their duties in accordance with the requirements of LAFOIP. They must only use information for the purpose that it was gathered and should not retain information for longer than it is required. The SCC will also be required to release information to the public when an access request meets the requirements for release set out in LAFOIP.
Access of SCC to Personal Information of Students and Staff
Section 3.92(g) of The Education Regulations, 1986 provides that a school community council member shall:
“not discuss or be given access to personal confidential information about or complaints about any pupil, family member or guardian of any pupil, teacher, administrator or other employee of or member of the board of education. “
Virtually all staff members or student information that is gathered by a school will be considered personal information of the teacher or student and should not be shared.
SCC members cannot, therefore, be informed of disciplinary actions against teachers or students. They cannot be given details of evaluations or supervision of employees. They cannot be provided with personal information arising out of incidents that occurred in the school.
The SCC can be provided with general or statistical information about student achievement and student assessment. It cannot, however, be given educational information that would identify individual students or employees.
Even in cases where the individuals consent to the release of the personal information, the legislation is clear that the SCC should not be given access to the personal information.
Personal Information of SCC Members
As elected or appointed members there is little expectation of privacy for SCC members as they are acting as either community or parent representatives. Section 10(g) of LAFOIP Regulations specifically provides that personal information, such as a name and office, can be disclosed if it pertains to the “performance of any function or duty or the carrying out of any responsibility by an officer or employee of a local authority.”
SCC members would be considered “officers” for the purpose of LAFOIP and the publication of their names would therefore be permitted. The other information that should be released is the name of the school the SCC member represents and if the member holds a particular office. The only contact information that should be provided to the public is a contact through the school division, not home phone numbers or addresses.