School Board Policy 520



Occasionally the school district utilizes surveys to obtain student opinions and information about students. The purpose of this policy is to establish the parameters of information that may be sought in student surveys.


Student surveys may be conducted as determined necessary by the school district. Surveys, analyses and evaluations conducted as part of any program funded through the U.S. Department of Education must comply with 20 U.S.C. § 1232h.


  1. Student surveys will be conducted anonymously and in an indiscernible fashion. No mechanism will be used for identifying the participating student in any way. No attempt will be made in any way to identify a student survey participant. There will be no requirement that the student return the survey, and no record of the student's returning a survey will be maintained.

  2. The superintendent may choose not to approve any survey that seeks probing personal and/or sensitive information that could result in identifying the survey participant, or is discriminatory in nature based on age, race, color, sex, disability, religion, or national origin.

  3. Surveys containing questions pertaining to the student's or the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality and religion will not be administered to any student unless the parent or guardian of the student is notified in writing that such survey is to be administered and the parent or guardian of the student gives written permission for the student to participate or the opportunity to opt out of the survey depending upon how the survey is funded. Any and all documents containing the written permission of a parent for a student to participate in a survey will be maintained by the school district in a file separate from the survey responses.

  4. Although the survey is conducted anonymously, potential exists for personally identifiable information to be provided in response thereto. To the extent that personally identifiable information of a student is contained in his or her responses to a survey, the school district will take appropriate steps to ensure the data is protected in accordance with Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and 34 C.F.R. Part 99.


  1. All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the students.

  2. No student shall be required, as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent, to submit to a survey that reveals information concerning:

    1. political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parent;

    2. mental and psychological problems of the student or the student's family;

    3. sex behavior or attitudes;

    4. illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;

    5. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

    6. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

    7. religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student's parent; or

    8. income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

  3. Since the school district receives funds under programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education, local policies consistent with Sections IV.A. and IV.B., above, concerning student privacy, parental access to information, and administration of certain physical examinations to minors shall be followed.

    1. Local policy on student surveys:

      1. Parents have the right to inspect, on request, a survey, including an evaluation, created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed by the school to a student. Requests in writing must be received at least one week prior to the scheduled distribution of the survey.
        "Parent" means a legal guardian or other person acting in loco parentis (in place of a parent), such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the welfare of the child.
      2. To protect student privacy in the event of the administration or distribution of a survey, including an evaluation, to a student which contains one or more of the items listed in Section IV.B., above, including the right of a parent of a student to inspect, on request, any such survey, special envelopes will be provided for students to put the surveys. Once all students have completed the survey, the envelope shall be sealed and delivered to the office to be sent to the appropriate third party.
      3. Parents of a student have the right to inspect, on request, any instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum for the student. The written request shall list all materials a parent is requesting to review and given to the principal. A conference for the parent to review the material will be scheduled.
        "Instructional material" means instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of format, including printed or representational materials, audio-visual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats (i.e., materials accessible through the Internet). The term does not include academic tests or academic assessments.
      4. Students in grades kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 11 are a given yearly hearing screening. Students in grade kindergarten through grade 12 are given a yearly vision screening; with children in grade 4 given a color vision screening. Scoliosis screening is conducted yearly on students in grades 5, 7 and 9. Pre-school screenings consist of yearly health, vision and hearing. If referrals are necessary, parents are either called or sent a letter. The height and weight of students in grades kindergarten through 10 are recorded twice a year by the physical education instructors. This provision does not apply to a survey administered to a student in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq.).
      5. The collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information (or otherwise providing the information to others for that purpose), including arrangements to protect student privacy that are provided by the school district in the event of such collection, disclosure, or use.
      • (1) "Personal information" means individually identifiable information including a student or parent's first and last name; a home or other physical address (including street name and the name of the city or town); a telephone number.
      • (2) This provision does not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions, such as:
        • (a) college or other postsecondary education recruitment or military;
        • (b) book clubs, magazines, and programs providing access to low cost literary products;
        • (c) curriculum and instructional materials used by elementary and secondary schools;
        • (d) tests and assessments used by elementary schools and secondary schools to provide cognitive, evaluative, diagnostic, clinical, aptitude, or achievement information about students, or to generate other statistically useful data for the purpose of securing such tests and assessments and the subsequent analysis and public release of the aggregate data from such tests and assessments;
        • (e) the sale by students of products or services to raise funds for school-related or education-related activities; and (f) student recognition programs.
      • (3) A parent to inspect, on written request, any instrument used in the collection of information, as described in Section IV.C.1., Subparagraph e., above, before the instrument is administered or distributed to a student.
    2. The policies adopted under Section IV.C., Subparagraph 1., above, shall provide for reasonable notice of the adoption or continued use of such policies directly to parents of students enrolled in or served by the school district.

      1. The notice will be provided at least annually and within a reasonable period of time after any substantive change in a policy.
      2. The notice will provide parents with an opportunity to opt out of participation in the following activities:
        • (1) Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information, or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose.
        • (2) The administration of any third-party survey (non-Department of Education funded) containing one or more of the items contained in Section IV.B., above.
        • (3) Any nonemergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student or other students.
          "Invasive physical examination" means any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or act during such examination that includes incision, insertion, or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision, or scoliosis screening.
      3. The notice will advise students of the specific or approximate dates during the school year when the activities in Section IV.C.2., Subparagraph b., above, are scheduled, or expected to be scheduled.
      4. The notice provisions shall not be construed to preempt applicable provisions of state law that require parental notification and do not apply to any physical examination or screening that is permitted or required by applicable state law, including physical examinations or screenings that are permitted without parental notification.
  4. The school district shall give parents and students notice of their rights under this section.

Legal References:

Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
20 U.S.C. 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
20 U.S.C. 1232h (Protection of Pupil Rights)
34 C.F.R. Part 99
Gonzaga University vs. Doe, 536 U.S. 273 (2002)

Cross References:

School Board Policy 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)
School Board Policy 521 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)
School Board Policy 522 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)

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