Hart District revises student-privacy, residency policies

The William S. Hart Union High School District. Dan Watson/The Signal
The William S. Hart Union High School District. Dan Watson/The Signal

William S. Hart Union High School District board members adopted a handful of board policies Wednesday, in order to comply with state immigration and physical education laws.

The board unanimously approved the policies, which were written by Assistant Superintendent Kathy Hunter, which dealt with district residency, student and family privacy rights, and physical education/activity, to match up district policy with changes to the state’s Education Code.

“The reason these have had revisions is because California stands on being able to allow undocumented students to have access to education,” Hunter said. “We’re not allowed to ask for passports, visas or student immigration status, or their parents’.”

Providing proof of district residency for admission to schools remains a requirement by the Hart District, but proof of legal residency is not required.

“When establishing a student’s residency for enrollment purposes, the superintendent or designee shall not inquire into a student’s citizenship or immigration status of students or their family members,” as stated in the policy.

Similar to district residency, the revision to student and family privacy rights policy was in regard to disclosing immigration status of students and family members, which Hunter said isn’t required.

The policy also states schools are prohibited from collecting and disclosing personal information for marketing purposes, which Hunter said has always been prohibited.

“The only people we’re allowed to give information to are newspapers that are going to publish recognition of a student, or the military, which can get information on students who are going to turn 18 because they have to register, and CalGrants, so students can qualify to get money for college,” said Hunter.

To comply with state physical education and activity laws, the new board policy revoked waivers that allowed students to receive physical education credits when no physical activity is required, such as in charter school programs.

“Students can no longer take P.E. (physical education) classes at a charter school that does not actually require physical activity, so that’s the major change,” said Hunter. “They’re not actually getting physical activity, and we can’t supervise, so it just doesn’t work,”

If students participate in programs such as Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), marching band or athletics, a simultaneous physical education class will not be required to receive credit.

The policy also states students in grades seven to 12 must be engaged with physical activity for 400 minutes every 10 school days, which amounts to about 40 minutes per day, to comply with California education codes.

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