Effective date: May 4, 2023
The York Region District School Board (“YRDSB”, “we”, or “us”) is committed to respecting and protecting the personal information in our possession or control.
This Privacy Notice (“Notice”) addresses how and why YRDSB collects and handles personal information. It also describes how privacy-related questions, requests, and concerns can be submitted.
In this Notice:
“Student” or other similar phrases, refers to current, former, and prospective YRDSB students (including international students and students in our Adult Learning programs).
“You” refers to a student’s parent or guardian, YRDSB website user, or other member of the public.
“Personal information” means information about an identifiable individual, but does not include anonymized information.
This Notice applies to all interactions that you or a student may have with the YRDSB. We recommend that you review this Notice from time to time, as it may be amended occasionally.
How and why we collect personal information
We collect personal information under the authority of the Education Act. Below, we have listed the personal information we collect from a student or you.
The majority of student information collected is obtained directly from the student or the student’s parent or guardian. The types of information we collect depends on the circumstances, such as the educational program being provided. Below are the main types of information we collect:
- Biographical or registration information, including name, address, student number, date of birth, family details (such as name of parent or guardian), place of birth, gender, residency or citizenship status, and any other information required to register a student and establish their Ontario Student Record (“OSR”).
- For student registrations, we may request certain documents to verify details about a student.
- We may also require additional records to be placed in a student’s OSR, such as custody orders or special education records relevant to a student’s education.
- In some cases, a student may choose to volunteer information about their gender, race, ethnicity or religion. However, we only ask for this information as part of our surveys or other programs aimed at creating and improving diversity, equity and inclusion, and a positive climate in our schools.
- Students’ accommodation needs. Some examples include:
- Educational needs, such as languages spoken, learning abilities and disabilities.
- Physical health needs, such as a student’s medical conditions (including lifesaving medication), injuries, sicknesses, and other health conditions required for their safety. It also includes information that our physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists might collect in performing their work.
- Mental health and wellness needs, including but not limited to the information collected by our school psychologists, social workers, and counsellors to develop effective programming to optimize a student’s learning and adjustment.
- Accessibility needs, such as student transportation or other instances where a student may require accommodation to access and use YRDSB facilities, services, and programs.
- Students’ performance, such as marks, assessments, test results, and other measures of a student’s academic performance that may be reflected in a report card and/or OSR.
- Students’ images may be captured as part of a student identification card, field trip, or yearbook or with the appropriate consent, to document student programs or achievements.
- Online learning environments may involve the recording of lessons, in which case a student’s voice but not their image may be recorded.
- Interactions with us, which can include taking attendance, notes or reports by YRDSB personnel, disciplinary records, and records of communications such as email correspondence.
For students in our Adult Learning programs, we may also collect payment information, such as a credit card number, to process payments.
As a student’s parent or guardian, YRDSB website user, or a member of the public, most of the information we collect is obtained directly from you. The types of information we collect depends on the circumstances, including what information you choose to provide to us and the program, or request in question. Below are the main types of information we collect:
- Contact information, such as name, address, phone number, and email to communicate with you about students under your care or guardianship, our programs or other school updates, or to respond to an inquiry initiated by you.
- Registration information, which includes information (in addition to contact information), that we collect to register and authenticate students, such as custody information, residency, or citizenship status.
- Interactions with us, such as questions or concerns you might communicate to us or information related to parent/teacher interviews.
- Payment information, such as your credit card number or similar information used to process any payments.
Our students may also choose to share information about their personal lives with us, including information about you that can work its way into student work products such as pictures, journal entries, or essays.
In some cases, we also collect information about you and students from other sources. These sources include:
- Our education partners, including private schools, other school boards, and the Ministry of Education, such as when a student transfers into the YRDSB.
- Our service providers, such as Edsby, that allows families to report student absences and book parent-teacher interviews.
- Law enforcement, government bodies, or agencies, in rare cases, when we need to know about a safety or legal concern.
In addition, if you apply for a job or volunteer position with us, we may perform background, reference, and criminal record checks as part of assessing and processing your application.
Security cameras are in operation on school premises, vehicles, or other YRDSB property. The information is collected under the authority of the Education Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.2., s. 170(1) and in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Security cameras are used for the purposes of:
- enhancing the safety of our students, staff, and community members,
- deterring and detecting theft, vandalism, or crime on YRDSB property,
- aiding in identifying intruders,
- aiding in identifying people breaking the law, and
- aiding in the review of school incidents.
In addition, we may collect or use the types of information listed above to:
- Perform research and analytics, with the goals of improving how we deliver our educational programs to our students and sharing statistical information with the Ministry of Education.
- Meet legal obligations or requirements.
- Protect our students, staff, interests and property, including in security and legal matters.
- Investigate violations of our policies and procedures or potential wrongdoing.
Sharing your information
We may transfer or disclose your information to third parties for two main reasons:
We transfer and disclose your information as part of operating the YRDSB and delivering our programs.
Our service providers. We rely on service providers to help us operate the YRDSB and deliver our educational programs. For example, we rely on Edsby to help facilitate reporting of student absences, booking of parent-teacher interviews, student applications to school programs, and other communications with parents or guardians. If our service providers handle your or student information, we ensure it is protected through contractual requirements and other means.
Our education partners. We may exchange information with other school boards and private schools to facilitate a student transfer to or from the YRDSB, or to coordinate international exchange programs. We also exchange your and student information with these partners to coordinate the delivery of educational services or programs. For example:
- We share student information with the York Catholic District School Board as part of the Student Transportation Services of York Region consortium to provide and coordinate safe, effective, and efficient school bus transportation services.
- We exchange student information with childcare centres operating on YRDSB property if the student is enrolled in a before- or after-school childcare program. We do this to help coordinate their participation in the program and ensure their safety.
- We exchange student information with education partners that provide specialized programs, such as tutoring support programs or outdoor learning programs.
- We may exchange limited student information with the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) to help coordinate student athlete participation in OFSAA’s athletic events.
- We disclose aggregated and statistical attendance and EQAO test score data to the Ministry of Education.
- Our schools are required to report the presence of certain communicable diseases to the York Region Public Health.
Other authorized parties. Depending on the situation, we may share information about you or students with others that are authorized to access that information. We share student information with their parents or guardians, including to facilitate their education and to obtain consents on the student’s behalf. In some cases it could be someone else with the legal authority to access the information on your behalf, such as a power of attorney. The information we provide to an authorized party depends on the scope of authorization they have been given.
We may disclose your or student information in order to protect our students, you, and the YRDSB. We also disclose personal information to meet legal requirements.
Protecting our students. We may disclose your or student information to third parties where a student is harmed or faces a risk of harm. This applies to both emergency and non-emergency situations. In the case of an emergency, we may disclose personal information to first responders, including law enforcement and paramedics.
We also have a duty to report to the Children’s Aid Society where we have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child may be in need of protection. A child may be in need of protection if a child has suffered or there is a risk that a child is likely to suffer physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or has been subject to inadequate care or a pattern of neglect.
Protecting the YRDSB. We may disclose information to protect YRDSB, our employees and volunteers, our interests, and our property. This includes:
- As part of an investigation into a breach of law, school or YRDSB policy, or contract.
- Protecting you, students, and the YRDSB against fraud, error, or malicious activity.
- In response to an emergency that appears to create imminent danger to an individual.
- As part of a legal dispute.
Meeting other legal requirements. We may be required to disclose your information to meet legal obligations, such as in response to a valid regulatory or law enforcement request, warrant, or legal demand or request.
Consent and Privacy Practices
We will obtain consent before or when we collect, use, or disclose personal information, except where we are authorized or required by law (including the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Education Act) to not do so.
Consent can be express, such as when you sign a parental consent form. Consent can also be implied. For example, when an individual registers for one of our programs, it is implied that we will use the information in a registration form to deliver the program.
We may be able to obtain student consent directly from the student, or we may need to obtain it from a parent or guardian (or other authorized representative) on the student’s behalf. Whether we can obtain consent directly from a student depends on the circumstances, including the student’s age and whether they can understand the relevant information and the possible consequences of the decision.
When we obtain your consent, we may obtain it from you or someone authorized to provide it on your behalf, such as a power of attorney.
Subject to certain legal (and occasionally contractual) restrictions and reasonable notice, you or a student can refuse or withdraw consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information at any time. However, refusal to provide such consent, or withdrawal of such consent, may prevent us from providing certain programs or other services where the information is required.
In certain circumstances, we may have a duty or right to collect, use, or disclose personal information without your or student knowledge or consent.
This section describes our general practices when the YRDSB handles your personal information.
We will retain personal information only for so long as it is reasonably necessary to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected and to meet our legal, regulatory, and contractual obligations.
Sometimes the parties that we transfer information to (such as service providers) may be located outside of Ontario or Canada. Just like in Canada, personal information might be accessed by law enforcement according to the laws in those jurisdictions. We use contractual or other measures to provide a comparable level of protection of this information while the information is being processed by these third parties.
YRDSB never trades, rents, or sells personal information.
We strive to employ safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the specific information in order to protect against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, collection, use, or disclosure. Such safeguards will include physical, organizational, and technological measures.
Our website and some of our online learning tools and programs automatically collects user information through cookies and similar tools. Cookies are small packages of data stored on your internet browser that tracks your browsing behaviour. In addition, it will log a user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, browser software, and operating system.
You are free to block cookies through your browser's options. Please note that if you choose to block or disable cookies, you may not be able to access some features and services on our website.
Links to Third-Party Sites
YRDSB's website contains links to third-party websites. YRDSB is not responsible for (a) any information you provide to other websites outside of YRDSB’s domain that you access through a link on our website or (b) the privacy practices or the content of such websites outside of YRDSB’s domain.
Questions, requests, and concerns
Students, parents, and guardians can request access to their personal information held by us by contacting the Principal of the school the student attends. The Principal will provide you with the information you request if you are legally entitled to receive a copy of it.
To find a school's contact information, visit the Find my School page.
Please be aware that while an individual has access rights to their own personal information and general records, they do not have access rights to information about other individuals. Requests that go beyond the personal information of the requester or are particularly complex, broad, or sensitive in nature are called Freedom of Information ("FOI") requests. Visit the Freedom of Information Requests page to learn more.
You or a student can request that personal information be corrected for purposes of accuracy and completeness by contacting your school.
To find a school's contact information, visit the Find my School page.
Where a disagreement regarding the accuracy of your information cannot be resolved, we will annotate the information to reflect the disagreement. We may require that access or correction requests be submitted in writing, or that further information be provided to confirm the identity of the requester before we provide a response.
We encourage you to raise any privacy-related questions or concerns with the Principal or Superintendent of the school in question. If the Principal or Superintendent of the school is not able to resolve your question or concern, you can contact the YRDSB's Information Access and Privacy Office.
To find a school's contact information, visit the Find my School page. The Information Access and Privacy Office's contact information is below in the "Contact Us" section.
To the extent possible, the investigation will be conducted in a timely manner. After the investigation is completed, you will be advised of the outcome, and a resolution will be implemented, if appropriate, as soon as practicable. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation to the extent possible and consistent with the goal of a full and fair investigation.
If the YRDSB's Information Access and Privacy Office does not resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you may contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
We encourage students, parents, and guardians to speak with the school's Principal or Superintendent to:
- Request access to, correct, or update your or a student's personal information, and
- Raise any privacy-related questions or concerns of the school in question.
To find a school's contact information, visit the Find my School page.
If your question or concern was not resolved by the school's Principal or Superintendent, you may contact the Information Access and Privacy Office.
905-727-0022 x 2015
Information Access and Privacy Office
York Region District School Board
60 Wellington Street West