Student Confidentiality in the School Food Service Program
INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 37
POLICY CODE: JF/KLL
TO: Superintendents of Schools/Private School Administrators
FROM: Angela Faherty, Ph.D., Commissioner of Education
DATE: October 4, 2010
RE: Student Confidentiality in the School Food Service Program
** Please forward to Assistant Superintendents, Principals, and Food Service Directors **
The economic status of students has become important information for many purposes. However, this information must be kept confidential. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) collects parent data yearly that includes economic status.
7 CFR 245(f)(1) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Code of Federal Regulations, available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/regulations.htm , specifically indicates which persons may have access to information on the economic status of students. Regulations state it is the responsibility of the School Food Service Department to determine who has access to this information.
The electronic era has made much information readily available. The economic status cannot be part of that information. The electronic database must be secure so that student economic status is available to authorized school food service personnel only.
The aggregate numbers can be released and are available on the Child Nutrition Services webpage at the following link: https://portal.maine.gov/sfsr/sfsrdev.publicreports.mainpage Select ED534 – School Lunch Free and Reduced Percentages.
Additional assistance in maintaining confidentiality was offered in Informational Letter 18, dated August 20, 2010. “To that end, the Department is prepared to provide customized individual SAU support and additional technical assistance, based on Social Security Administration guidelines, to any SAU needing support in establishing a secure system that protects the privacy rights of students.” Please contact Brian Snow, Education Data Manager, at (207) 624-6840 or Brian.Snow@Maine.Gov .
The information on the economic status of all students must be kept secure and confidential; ensuring this may require a locked cabinet and/or a secure database.
Questions may be directed to Walter Beesley at (207) 624-6875 or Walter.Beesley@Maine.Gov .