Records & Health Policies

Student Records

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents have certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.

Right to Control Access of Student Records

School officials shall release student records to the official records custodian of another school in which the student has enrolled or intends to enroll upon the written request of such official or student, provided that the parent receives prior written notice of the nature and substance of the information to be transferred. Parents may, upon written request, inspect copy and challenge such information. Once parents have been notified of their right to inspect, copy and challenge information to be transferred to another school and the parents do not respond within ten (10) school days, the records shall be forwarded to the requesting school.

Access to Records Without Parent Consent

School staff members who have a current and legitimate educational interest in the student records shall have access as needed for professional purposes to both the student’s permanent and temporary records.

School officials shall release student records without parent permission pursuant to a valid court order or subpoena presented by local, state or federal officials. However, the school officials shall notify the parents in writing regarding the judicial order and the information so provided.

Student records may be made available to researchers for statistical purposes, provided that: a) Permission has been received from the State Superintendent of Education; and b) No student or parent shall be personally identified from the information released.

Information may be released without parental consent in connection with an emergency to appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

If a student is 18 years of age and the student is financially independent of parents, the student may request the parents be denied access to his or her records. A student who desires to declare himself or herself financially independent of his or her parents shall submit a request in writing to the school's records custodian.

Mandated Reporter Policy

According to TCA 37-1-403(i)(1), all school personnel are mandated reporters of suspected abuse and/or neglect. Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child maltreatment immediately when they have reason to believe that harm has come to a child that “reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect.” Under this law, failure to report such abuse is a Class A Misdemeanor.

Once any staff member becomes aware that a student may be the victim of abuse or neglect, they must:

  • Call the DCS central intake hotline at (877) 54-ABUSE (552-2873)
  • Notify the principal
  • Complete an Explore Community School incident report.

When calling the hotline, the staff member must have the following information (or as much as is known): the name, birth date, and address of the alleged victim; the name, address, age or birth date, and relationship of the alleged perpetrator; what type of injury or harm was allegedly done to the victim; and a description of the incident (time/date, place in which it occurred, and indication of intention to harm). The staff member should also have the names and ages of other children in the household, information as to whether or not English is fluently spoken by the parents and the work phone number of the alleged perpetrator.

While these steps are taking place, the Principal will assist both the faculty member and student in understanding the ramifications of the call. The Principal will debrief the student and, when appropriate, will contact the parent(s)/guardian.

No one in the workplace, even a supervisor, is permitted to suppress, change, or edit a report of abuse. A mandated reporter who willfully fails to report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect is subject to license suspension or revocation, and commits a misdemeanor. Falsely reporting information to the hotline is also a misdemeanor.

Health Policies

Health and safety are a top priority at Explore. Before a student can enroll in the school, the school must have on file the following forms:

  • Medical Requirements Checklist. This form contains records showing that the student has: 1) up-to-date immunizations; and 2) permission to receive screening for vision, hearing, and scoliosis.
  • Health Information Form. This form provides important information about a student’s emergency contacts, health care providers, and insurance. Most importantly, it gives the school permission to initiate emergency medical treatment in the event that a parent or guardian cannot be reached.
  • Authorization to Dispense Medication Form. If a student requires medication while in school, the school must have on file an Authorization to Dispense Medication form, completed by the student's physician. No student is allowed to bring medication to the school without the school's full knowledge. Students who have provided the school with medication dispensation authorization forms should bring the medication (other than Tylenol and ibuprofen, which the school will stock in the main office) to the school on the first day, or contact to the school to make other arrangements. All medication must be presented in its original container from the pharmacy and must be brought in by a parent or accompanied by a note from the parent.
  • School Sickness. If a student has had vomiting, diarrhea, pick-eye, or a fever, then they are not allowed back in school until 24 hours after that illness has been resolved and necessary medicines have been started. This is to allow the student to heal and prevent the spread of communicable illness across the school community.

The medication dispensation authorization form requirement applies to all medication, including Tylenol and ibuprofen. If a student needs to take Tylenol or ibuprofen during the school day, he/she must have on file the authorization signed by his or her physician and a parent or guardian, giving the school permission to administer the medication during the school year. The medication dispensation authorization form requirement also applies to asthma inhalers, which students should keep in their backpacks. If a student needs to use his/her asthma inhaler during the school day, he/she should go to the main office to self-administer the inhaler.

All students needing medicine to be administered at school require the following:

  • A medical administration form signed by your doctor
  • Medicine must be in the original bottle
  • Medicine need to be transported and dropped off at the school by the parent, students cannot transport medicine via backpack