HCPSS MPIA Request #2020-198

Requested Information
1. For school years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20, the number of students for whom FCPS received a report of a community/reportable offense pursuant to Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-303 and /or HCPS Policy 9280.
2. For school years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19, and 2019-20, the number of students who have been removed from their regular educational program to an alternative school, evening school, home and hospital teaching or any other program outside their home school due to an arrest in the community. Please provide this data disaggregated by:
a. The date upon which your school district received notice of the community/reportable offense;
b. The reporting agency that notified your school district of the community/reportable offense;
c. The charge(s) associated with the community/reportable offense;
d. The date upon which your school district notified the parent/guardian of the notice of community/reportable offense;
e. The date a parent/guardian meeting or conference was held;
f. The date the student was removed;
g. The length of removal from the regular educational program;
h. The home school, grade, race/ethnicity, gender, whether the student had an IEP or 504 plan, and disability status of the student removed;
i. Whether the student was enrolled in any Advance Placement, honors or accelerated program at their home school;
J. The educational placement during the period of removal, or if no alternative placement was accessed during the period of removal, the reasons why;
k. The date the student was returned to a regular educational program;
l. The date that your school district received notices that the charge(s) against the student had been resolved.
3. For school years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-2020, the number of students for whom HCPS received a report of a community/reportable offense pursuant to Md. Code Ann. Educ.§ 7-303 and/or Policy 9280 who HCPS permitted to remain continuously in their home school.
4. The number of appeal requests submitted to either school administrators, the Director of Safe and Orderly Schools, or any other entity of HCPS regarding a removal for a
community/ reportable offense, and a record of how and on what date each appeal was resolved.
Date Received
Status
Complete
Response Notes

Responsive to this request, please find below an accounting of reportable offense reports received by HCPSS for SY17, SY18, SY19 and SY20YTD to include counts of cases where students were removed from their regular educational program/home school per year. Per discussions related to SY2016-2017, available data did not reflect counts of cases where students were removed. Additionally, while available data did not reflect counts of appeal requests related to removal of a student for a reportable offense under number four, staff indicates they are not aware of any such instances during the timeframe requested.

At the individual student-level, the specific items requested under number two, even with traditional personally identifiable information (PII) removed, have the potential to reveal educational records under both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which restricts access to student records, and MPIA GP § 4-313, which prevents disclosure of school district records pertaining to individual students, therefore we are unable to release. According to the U.S. Department of Education “The simple removal of nominal or direct identifiers, such as name and SSN (or other ID number), does not necessarily avoid the release of personally identifiable information” (Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 9, 2008 / Rules and Regulations at 74831).

Per discussions regarding what limited data could be released in a manner that would not reveal individual student information as outlined above under number two of your request, please find attached a chart of associated charges, home school, grade, race/ethnicity and gender for those students removed from their regular educational program/home school. Please note more than one charge can be associated with a report. Under both FERPA and MPIA GP § 4-313, HCPSS must protect against the potential disclosures of personally identifiable information about students. In accordance, HCPSS follows the Maryland State Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting and suppresses the following from responsive records: populations that fall below 10; percentages that are less than or equal to 5, or greater than or equal to 95; categories directly related to specific student records; and/or information that can reasonably identify an individual student or reveals information from an individual student’s record or could do so when combined with other publicly accessible data. As such, the only year in-which this data can be released is SY2018 where the number removed is above 10.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester’s specific document requests and remove legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student).

**Responses that contain legally protected information are not posted to this site – these responses are set directly to requesters. Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.