Protecting the personal information of students and parents is very important at Richmond Hill Montessori & Elementary Private School (“RHMS” or “the school”). The school is committed to meeting or exceeding the privacy standards established under the Canadian Standards Association’s Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information.
“personal information” means any information about an identifiable individual. Personal information does not include the position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email, and business fax number of an individual;
“parent” means the parent, guardian or other legal representative of a student;
“student” means a prospective, current, or past student of Richmond Hill Montessori & Elementary Private School;
“collect” means to gather, receive, or record personal information from any source or by any method;
“use” means the management of personal information by RHMS for any purpose;
“disclose” means to make personal information available to, or known to, someone outside of RHMS;
“record” includes books, documents, maps, letters, papers, photographs, and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical, or other means.
WHAT INFORMATION IS COLLECTED?
Most of the information that RHMS collects comes to the school directly from parents or students, or is information regarding a student’s school activities, performance, or behaviour, such as attendance records or grades. This also includes information on academic, health, and personal matters needed by the school to provide its students with education and co-curricular programs.
Examples of personal information that RHMS collects and keeps with respect to its students include, but are not limited to:
a) Name, age, gender, home address and telephone number, emergency contact, photographs (for identification and security purposes);
b) Health and medical information, such as physician contact information, severe allergies or other known medical conditions;
c) Information required for the administration of payment and collection of school fees and billing;
d) Information required for security purposes;
e) Any information required or authorized by law.
In some circumstances, parents may wish to provide RHMS with other personal information, such as a personal email address, or next of kin. Please note that the Emergency Contact should speak English so he/she can communicate with the teacher/school if a situation occurs. If they do not speak English you will need to have a translator readily available to help the teacher/school communicate with the Emergency Contact. Please make sure that you provide the administration office with the Translator’s contact information, if applicable.
PURPOSES FOR WHICH PERSONAL INFORMATION IS COLLECTED
RHMS collects and uses personal information to provide students with the best possible learning experience. RHMS requires the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information for, but not limited to, the following purposes:
- To communicate with students and parents, process applications, assess and determine the suitability of a prospective or current student for admission and for a particular grade, level, or classroom.
- To administer and provide educational and extra-curricular programs.
- To enable the school to operate its administrative functions, including payment and collection of school fees; administration; billing and accounting; and maintenance of non-educational school programs, including parent and volunteer participation.
- To maintain the smooth operation of building security policies, including sign out registers and phone calls.
- To communicate with members of RHMS staff about physical or emotional health issues that are deemed important for the safety of the student and for the maintenance a safe and harassment-free environment.
- To monitor use of RHMS facilities, including email and internet use, in accordance with RHMS Policies and Guidelines, a copy of which has been provided to each student’s parents.
- To communicate with current and former students and their parents regarding school activities, special events, future plans, opportunities to volunteer.
- To comply with applicable statutes.
RHMS may also use anonymous information, such as information collected through surveys or statistical information regarding students, to constantly improve our school.
Personal information is communicated within RHMS only to persons for whom such information is necessary for the performance of their functions and duties.
RHMS may provide personal information to outside organizations contracted by the school to perform specialized services such as printing, consulting, market research or data processing. Suppliers of specialized services are given only the information necessary to perform those services, and RHMS takes appropriate steps to ensure that such information is securely transferred and stored and is used only to fulfill the purposes for which it was communicated to the service provider.
Personal information may be disclosed to third parties to enable the school to perform the purposes set out above or in accordance with specific consent obtained in other circumstances, as described below.
Disclosure Without Consent
RHMS may, without the consent of the student or parent, disclose personal information it holds about the student or parent in the following circumstances:
a) as permitted or required by applicable law or regulatory requirements, most often in relation to family court issues, legal proceedings, court orders, government tax reporting requirements or Ontario Ministry of Education purposes;
b) to a person responsible for the prevention or detection of a crime or a statutory offence;
c) to comply with valid legal processes such as search warrants, subpoenas, or court orders;
d) to a government body that collects such information as part of its functions;
e) to a person who must act urgently to protect the life, health, or safety of the person concerned or of other individuals;
f) to law enforcement authorities or investigation agencies when RHMS has serious reasons to believe that a fraud or statutory offence may be or has been committed.
In the above-mentioned situations, RHMS will endeavour not to disclose more personal information than is required under the circumstances.
- Providing prospective students and their parents with contact information of current students or parents.
- Providing para-educational and administrative services operated by, or on behalf of, the school with contact information, including phoning committees, participation groups, parent meetings, annual general meetings, etc.
- Providing other educational institutions with personal information about students. For example, if a student applies to another school, or to college or university, student records are requested by the enrolling institution.
- To provide health, psychological, or legal information to third party professionals in connection with specialized services in those areas, or as adjunct information in delivering educational services.
- For purposes of student or parent photographs and/or testimonials in RHMS promotional materials.
RHMS retains personal information in order to satisfy the purposes for which it was collected, to satisfy its legal obligations and to protect its interests. RHMS will destroy personal information or render it anonymous when the purpose for which that information was collected is no longer being served, and retention is no longer necessary for legal or business purposes.
RHMS recognizes that it is important to keep personal information accurate, complete and up-to-date and will take appropriate steps to ensure that the personal information collected is as accurate and complete as is reasonably required in connection with the purposes for which it was collected, used or disclosed. Students and parents must promptly report changes in personal information (address, telephone number, etc.) to RHMS administration. RHMS does not continually update the personal information it holds regarding a student unless this is necessary for the purposes for which this information was collected.
RHMS will protect personal information by security safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity level of the information to ensure the confidentiality of the information and to prevent loss, unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, or disposal.
The School’s Employees
In the course of daily operations, all personal information is treated as confidential and is only used by RHMS employees or disclosed to third parties if needed for the performance of their duties or the execution of their mandates, except where use or disclosure without consent is permitted or required by law. For example, teachers will have access to personal information about students but not your account with the school.
All employees who have access to personal information are appropriately educated about the importance of privacy and their obligation to ensure that such information is safeguarded, and agree to respect and maintain the confidentiality of personal information which they may handle or have access to in the course of their duties.
Student files are stored in secured filing cabinets. Access is restricted to only those employees (teachers, teacher-aides, counsellors, secretaries, etc.) who, by nature of their work, are required to see them.
The school manages electronic files appropriately with passwords and security measures that limit access by unauthorized personnel. The school’s security practices are reviewed periodically to ensure that the privacy of personal information is not compromised.
Every individual has the right, upon request, to obtain an account of personal information which concerns him/her and which is held by the school, and to be informed of the ways in which the personal information has been and is being used, and the names of the individuals and organizations to whom it has been disclosed.
RHMS will make a reasonable effort to:
- Assist an individual who is requesting personal information;
- Respond accurately and completely to requests; and
- Provide the requested personal information, or provide an opportunity to examine the information where it cannot reasonably be provided.
Parents and students may access and verify any personal information with appropriate notice so that the office is able to supply the information required. RHMS will respond within 30 days of a request and will make reasonable efforts to provide the personal information requested sooner where possible.
In certain circumstances, RHMS may not provide access to all or part of the personal information requested, for example, where disclosure would reveal personal information about another individual, where the information was collected for the purpose of an investigation, or where disclosure would threaten the safety or health of an individual.
In the event that RHMS cannot provide access to personal information, it will inform the individual of the reasons why, subject to any legal or regulatory restrictions and it will inform the individual regarding any recourse available.
QUESTIONS or CONCERNS
Any questions or concerns about the school’s privacy and confidentiality policies and practices should be directed to the school’s Privacy Officer:
189 Weldrick Road East
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Phone: (905) 508.2228
Fax: (905) 508.2229