Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Information Access and the Protection of Privacy

 

What laws govern how School Boards' collect, use and disclose information?
 
School boards operate under the authority of the Education Act and are governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).
 
What is the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)?
 
The Municipal Freedom of Information (FOI) and Protection of Privacy Act is a provincial law that requires the protection of personal information and provides individuals with a right of access to government records subject to specific and limited exemptions. Included in the Act are specific provisions for how your personal information may be collected, used, retained, disclosed and disposed of.
 
How does the Board collect and use my personal information?
 
Personal information is collected directly from parents, guardians or students under the authority of the Education Act and is used to plan and deliver educational programs and services which best meet student needs. Personal information is collected indirectly only with the consent of parents, guardians or students. Under the Education Act, the Principal is required to compile a pupil record known as the Ontario Student Record (OSR). This record tracks a student’s academic progress through the Ontario Education system and follows students when they change schools. Access and use of this record is regulated by the Ontario Student Record (OSR) Guideline 2000 available on the Ministry of Education’s website. The Simcoe County District School Board complies with the OSR guideline.
 
How does the Board notify me of the use of student personal information?
 
In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, parents/guardians/students are notified annually of the Board’s routine information practices in their school handbook/student agenda. Further information is available in the following document: 

Personal information - routine collection, use and disclosure

At the time of collection of information, it is also our practice to notify you of how information will be used through a notice statement on the form.
 
Policy 2196 - Records and Information Management 
Policy 2197 - Management of Personal Information 
 
What is the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario?
 
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) is an independent oversight body and its role is to ensure that government organizations comply with the access and privacy provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, investigate privacy complaints, and resolve disputes over access to information requests. Individuals have a right to request that decisions on access to information requests made to the Board under the MFIPPA be reviewed by the IPC.
 
What is personal information?
 
“Personal information” is information about an identifiable individual and includes personal health information. The Simcoe County District School Board collects student personal information for the purpose of planning and delivering educational programs and services which best meet student needs.
 
Personal health information” is identifying information about an individual student which pertains to health care, including information about a student’s physical or mental health, receipt of health care services and health number. The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) establishes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information in a broad range of circumstances. When the Simcoe County District School Board collects student personal health information (i.e. conducts speech and language or psychological assessments to support a student’s educational program), it follows the rules in PHIPA. For further information, view SCDSB's PHIPA Written Statement.
 
The Education Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act give individuals basic privacy rights and impose various rules on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information within the Board’s custody and control. The 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.
 
How does MFIPPA provide a right of access to records?
 
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act contains access and privacy protection provisions. This means that individuals have a right to request access to general records and their own personal information held by the Simcoe County District School Board in accordance with the MFIPPA and the Education Act. Exemptions to the right of access are limited and specific and are defined in the MFIPPA.
 
How do I access my personal information?
 
Students/parents/guardians can request access to information held by the Board by contacting the teacher or principal of the school they or their child attends. 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. Board 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 access general information?
 
General information about our programs and services and contact information is posted on the Board website. For access to more specific information, you may contact the respective department or program area. For example, for information about boundaries, you may contact the Planning Department.
 
Individuals may also make a formal access request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. A formal access request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the MFIPPA.
 
How do I make a request?
 
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 the Simcoe County 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:

 

Freedom of Information Protection/Records Management Office
Simcoe County District School Board
1170 Hwy 26
Midhurst, ON   L0L 1X0

 

 
 
 
 
 

Who do I contact with questions?
 
If you have any questions related to the access to information or the protection of personal privacy in regards to the Board’s information holdings, you may contact the Superintendent of Business Services at 705-734-6363 ext. 11259.