Annual Notifications & Data Privacy

Access to student records

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students over 18 years of age have the right to inspect and review the student‘s records or request an amendment of records believed to be incorrect. They can also withhold consent of disclosure of personally identifiable information, except in cases where the law allows for disclosure without consent.

Asbestos Management Plan

In accordance with federal law, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District has in place a management plan to identify and manage asbestos building materials. The Asbestos Management Plan is on file and available for review in the District Office during regular business hours.

Data Privacy

BKW Board of Education Policy

BKW Board Policy 5679 Privacy and Security for Student Data and Teacher and Principal Data

Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security

  • What are schools required to do? Provide the Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security annually to all parents/guardians and students who are at least 18 years of age.
  • Why? The Common Core Implementation Reform Act required school districts to develop a Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security to inform parents/guardians of the legal requirements regarding privacy, security and use of student data. 
  • Who is the audience? Parents/guardians of school-age children or students who are at least 18 years of age.
  • When should the notification be provided? Annually. 
  • What delivery method(s) should be used? Post on the school district website.

Note: The Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security must also be included with every contract entered into with a “third-party contractor” where the contractor receives student data or certain protected teacher/principal data.

Parents’ Bill of Rights For Data Privacy and Security

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District is committed to protecting the privacy and security of student data and teacher and principal data. In accordance with New York Education Law Section 2-d and its implementing regulations, the District informs the school community of the following:

  1. A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any commercial purposes.
  2. Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record.
  3. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to encryption, firewalls, and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred.
  4. A complete list of all student data elements collected by New York State is available for public review at the following website or by writing to the Office of Information and Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 865 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12234.
  5. Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data addressed. Complaints may be submitted to NYSED online at, by mail to: Chief Privacy Officer, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234, by email to, or by telephone at 518-474-0937. To file a complaint with our district, please schedule an in-person meeting with the Superintendent’s Office. Appointments can be made with the District Clerk Mrs. Farnam. She can be reached at The complaint will identify specifics of the complaint, e.g., date and place of incident, description of misconduct, names of any witnesses, and any previous action taken to resolve the matter. The Superintendent or the Board shall take immediate, appropriate and corrective action upon a determination of harassment. The Superintendent or the Board shall notify the complainant of any findings and action taken.
  6. Parents have the right to be notified in accordance with applicable laws and regulations if a breach or unauthorized release of their student’s PII occurs.
  7. Educational agency workers that handle PII will receive training on applicable state and federal laws, the educational agency’s policies, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices that protect PII.
  8. Educational agency contracts with vendors that receive PII will address statutory and regulatory data privacy and security requirements.

APPENDIX – Supplemental Information Regarding Third-Party Contractors

In the course of complying with its obligations under the law and providing educational services to District residents, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District has entered into agreements with certain third-party contractors. Pursuant to these agreements, third-party contractors may have access to “student data” and/or “teacher or principal data,” as those terms are defined by law and regulation.

For each contract or other written agreement that the District enters into with a third-party contractor where the third-party contractor receives student data or teacher or principal data from the District, the following supplemental information will be included with this Bill of Rights:

  1. The exclusive purposes for which the student data or teacher or principal data will be used by the third-party contractor, as defined in the contract;
  2. How the third-party contractor will ensure that the subcontractors, or other authorized persons or entities to whom the third-party contractor will disclose the student data or teacher or principal data, if any, will abide by all applicable data protection and security requirements, including but not limited to those outlined in applicable laws and regulations (e.g., FERPA; Education Law Section 2-d);
  3. The duration of the contract, including the contract’s expiration date, and a description of what will happen to the student data or teacher or principal data upon expiration of the contract or other written agreement (e.g., whether, when, and in what format it will be returned to the District, and/or whether, when, and how the data will be destroyed);
  4. If and how a parent, student, eligible student, teacher, or principal may challenge the accuracy of the student data or teacher or principal data that is collected;
  5. Where the student data or teacher or principal data will be stored, described in a manner as to protect data security, and the security protections taken to ensure the data will be protected and data privacy and security risks mitigated; and
  6. Address how the data will be protected using encryption while in motion and at rest.

BKW Data Sharing and Confidentiality Agreement

District’s Software Inventory

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

Signed into law in Sept. 2010, the Dignity for All Students Act – or DASA – was established to promote a safe and supportive learning environment in all public schools, free from harassment and discrimination from other students and adults. Read more about the Dignity for All Students Act at BKW.

Lead testing

School districts are required to report results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, Education Department and local health department, and to post the results—along with remediation plans, if required—on their official district website. The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion (ppb).” If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level. Testing conducted during April and May, 2021, detected no lead at or above the action level in BKW schools. Read more about testing and view the reports.

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Parental notifications

Pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, parents may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers and teaching assistants including:

  • Whether state requirements and licensing criteria have been met for the grade level and subject area being taught.
  • If the teacher is working under emergency or other provisional status under which state qualification and licensing criteria have been waived.
  • The teacher’s college major and subsequent advanced degrees.
    Qualifications of any teaching assistants providing services to your child.
  • If an uncertified teacher will be working in a classroom for four or more weeks.

Requests for the above information may be directed to the Superintendent of Schools, Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District, 1738 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.

Pesticide notification

It is mandatory for school districts to inform parents or guardians and staff members of potential pesticide use during the school year. To be placed on a list to receive 48-hour notification prior to the application of pesticides, please call the District Office.


Students’ names, grade levels and photos may be published on the BKW website, in school publications or released to the media to recognize student achievement or depict activities of the BKW school district. Parents who object to the use of their child’s information or image for publicity purposes should notify BOTH the superintendent of schools and their child’s building principal — in writing.

Please note: While the district will honor the request of any parent who has submitted written notification opting their child out of publicity efforts, the district is not responsible for media that covers news happenings, sporting events or school events.

Release of information to military recruiters

NCLB requires that school districts disclose to military recruiters and institutions of higher learning, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of our high school students. However, parents or students may request, in writing, that the district NOT release such information. Parents, or students who are at least 18 years old, may exercise the option to withhold their consent to release this information by contacting the high school principal’s office.

Special needs

Children with special needs may be entitled to additional services from the school district in which they reside. If your child has special needs that are not known to the school administration, please call the district office. New York state education law also requires that each public school district account for the education of all resident minors. Please help BKW comply with this requirement. If your child is home-schooled or attends a private or parochial school and has not previously been registered with the District Office, please call (518) 872-1293.

Student directory information

The district releases certain types of student information (name, address, phone number, etc.). Under FERPA, parents may object in writing to the release of that information. That spcific information can be found here:

Student health data – BMI

Because New York State is interested in child health data, schools are required to record students’ height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). If our district is surveyed by the state, we will only share group data (for instance, the number of second grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data. However, if parents wish their child’s data to be excluded from such group calculations, they may do so by contacting their school nurse.

Student privacy  – Surveys, activities

The district’s privacy policy offers parents the opportunity to excuse their child from any survey that reveals information on personal behavior or political beliefs. Parents are also notified and offered the chance to exclude their child from activities that gather personal information about students which can be used for marketing purposes.