The Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIP Act) is a provincial law that strikes a balance between the public's right to know and the individual's right to privacy. We must follow the FOIP Act, like all other public bodies in Alberta.
Protection of Privacy
The FOIP Act requires us to protect the privacy of students, parents and guardians by providing how we can use and disclose personal information. Personal information includes a student’s name, image, age, sex, beliefs and educational history. Personal information also includes a parent’s or guardian’s name, address, telephone number and other contact information.
We collect personal information from students, parents and guardians during the school registration process and throughout the school year. We can use or disclose the personal information we collect without obtaining consent if it is reasonably and directly connected to our responsibilities under the Alberta Education Act to provide students with educational programs that meet their needs in safe learning environments or if it is necessary for us to perform our statutory duties or to operate legally-authorized programs.
In other words, we do not need to obtain consent before we use or disclose personal information for educational and safety purposes, which may include:
- Student records, report cards, attendance lists, absenteeism verification and student identification cards
- Classroom educational activities, athletic and fine art activities, student clubs, school fairs and field trips
- Digital or online student accounts
- School newsletters and yearbooks and internal websites and publications
- Transportation services, including school buses
- Honour roll, academic or athletic awards, graduation ceremonies and scholarships
- Emergency response, including law enforcement and security
- eligibility determinations for provincial and federal funding and information sharing with Alberta Education.
On the other hand, we must obtain consent before we can use or disclose personal information for non-educational purposes such as sharing information about our schools with the general public on the internet and in our publications. Similarly, we must obtain separate consent before we can allow media organizations to record students during school activities that are closed to the general public. At the start of each school year, we ask parents and guardians to sign a form that allows them to consent to either or both options. No one is required to consent, and anyone can withdraw consent at any time by writing to the school principal.
Some school activities occur in public spaces and other school activities are open to the general public. Examples include field trips, assemblies, fine arts performances and athletic events. We cannot stop others, including the media, from recording students in public spaces or at public events. Similarly, we cannot control how others may use recordings of students made in public spaces or at public events.
Access to Student Records
In Alberta, a student record is a special record that is subject to certain laws in addition to the FOIP Act. The Alberta Education Act and Student Record Regulation provide that the following individuals can review a student record: the student, the student’s parent (except where the student is an independent student), certain guardians and certain individuals who have access to the student under certain separation agreements or court orders. A formal FOIP request is not required to review a student record. See here to submit a student record request.
Access to District Records
The FOIP Act requires us to be open and accountable to the public by providing access to our records. Schools can usually respond to requests for information without requiring a formal FOIP request. A formal FOIP request is required only if the information requested is not available through an informal request.
Please contact the school directly if you have any questions about how we collect, use or disclose information or if you want to access our records.
If the school cannot answer your questions or if you wish to make a formal FOIP request, then please contact our FOIP coordinator. Some formal FOIP requests require a processing fee of $25 or more. Our FOIP coordinator will make every reasonable effort to help you make a formal FOIP request.
Mail: FOIP Coordinator, Calgary Catholic School District, Catholic School Centre, 1000 5 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 4T9
Information and Privacy Commissioner
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta provides independent review and resolution of decisions that public bodies make under the FOIP Act. Visit oipc.ab.ca for more information.