Dear HCPS Families,
Please read the entirety of this post for important information on the 2021-2022 school year, including:
–– the relaunch of the “Return to Learn” information hub
–– new district Opt-Out procedures (BDS and HES families have already received this information)
–– a survey from thr health department gathering families’ interest in a COVID-19 vaccine clinic
Return to Learn Website
The district’s Return to Learn” website at www.HCPSNC.org/ReturnToLearn has been relaunched with the operational plans for the 2021-2022 school year, and new resources including: “2021-2022 Return to Learn FAQs” in English and Spanish,”Return to School” flowcharts updated with health guidance for the 2021-2022 SY, “Close Contact/Quarantine Guidance for Schools,” and “Close Contact/Quarantine Guidance for Athletics.”
To begin the new school year, HCPS will send as-needed updates regarding operational plans, new health and safety guidelines or procedures, and “Return to Learn” school board decisions to parents and guardians through email notifications. Depending on the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, regular “R2L Weekly” updates on Thursdays may become necessary later in the school year, at which point various delivery methods will be considered.
This week, the Henderson County Department of Public Health is gauging interest from families with school-aged children who may like to receive a COVID-19 vaccination during a vaccine clinic on Saturday, Aug. 28. Please indicate your interest by answering the health department’s two-question survey here.
New Opt-Out Procedures
We want to inform parents and guardians about an important change in how student “opt outs” are being recorded statewide, and what that means for Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) students and families.
In the past, HCPS parents/guardians used our district-specific “Information & Media Opt-Out Form” to opt out of sharing certain student directory information, which is their right under the federal Family Educational rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). More information about FERPA rights can be viewed at this link.
Beginning this Fall 2021 semester, Henderson County Public Schools will be eliminating its district-specific “Information & Media Opt-Out Form” since the N.C. Department of Public Instruction has standardized the student directory opt-out procedures across NC school districts through PowerSchool’s Parent Portal.
This standardization includes required screening questions that parents/guardians will see in the form of a pop-up screen when they log in to their PowerSchool Parent Portal for the first time each school year from a computer (not the app). See screenshot below.*
*the number of screening questions in ParentPortal is based on a student’s grade level. Question 1 applies to all grade levels; Questions 2-4 applies to high school students only.
These required fields in Parent Portal provide a more user-friendly experience for parents, guardians, and school data managers across the state, plus the most accurate opt-out information for schools. However, individual districts are unable to customize or add to the screening questions in Parent Portal, such as specific opt-outs for media or yearbook.
What does this mean for Henderson County Public School families?
This means answering “No” to the ParentPortal screening Question 1: “Do you grant permission to allow directory information for non-commercial purposes?” will exclude your child’s directory information (including name and photo) from use in all of the following:
–– School yearbooks
–– Media coverage of school activities / student awards
–– School / district newsletters
–– School / district social media
–– Published honor roll lists
–– Published graduation announcements and lists
–– StudentAccess library service through HCPS
As of the 2021-2022 school year, all “opt outs” in HCPS will be informed by parent/guardian answers to the required Parent Portal screening questions.
Parents/guardians will be prompted to indicate their preferences in the Parent Portal at the beginning of each school year, and may update those preferences at any time.
Don’t have Parent Portal access? Please contact your school’s data manager to create a Parent Portal account, or to request a paper copy of the NCDPI screening questions.
Thank you for your continued support of Henderson County Public Schools. We’re looking forward to making it a great year!