Freedom of Information, Privacy and Access
The following information is provided to promote understanding and awareness of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s (the Board) access and privacy practices in accordance with the Education Act, Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the Personal Health Information Privacy Act (PHIPA).
What is the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)?
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is a provincial law that requires the protection of personal information and provides individuals with a right of access to government records subject to specific and limited exemptions.
Included in the Act are specific provisions for how your personal information may be collected, used, retained, disclosed and disposed of.
How does the Board collect and use my personal information?
Personal information is collected directly from parents, guardians or students under the authority of the Education Act and is used to plan and deliver educational programs and services which best meet student needs. Personal information is collected indirectly only with the consent of parents, guardians or students.
Under the Education Act, the Principal is required to compile a pupil record known as the Ontario Student Record (OSR). This record tracks a student’s academic progress through the Ontario Education system and follows students when they change schools.
Access and use of this record is regulated by the Ontario Student Record (OSR) Guideline 2000 available on the Ministry of Education’s website.
To view the Board’s Ontario Student Record Policy click here.
How does MFIPPA provide a right of access to records?
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act contains access and privacy protection provisions. This means that individuals have a right to request access to general records and their own personal information held by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board in accordance with the MFIPPA and the Education Act. Exemptions to the right of access are limited and specific and are defined in the MFIPPA.
How do I access my personal information?
Students/parents/guardians can request access to information held by the Board by contacting the teacher or principal of the school they or their child attends. Please be aware that while an individual has access to their own personal information and general records, they do not have a right to access personal information about another individual. Board staff must comply with the Municipal Freedom of Information Protection Act and the Education Act and will provide you with the information you request only if you are legally entitled to receive it.
How do I access general information?
General information about our programs and services and contact information is posted on the Board website. For access to more specific information, you may contact the respective department or program area. If the information is not readily available they may direct you to make a formal Freedom of Information request. A formal access request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the MFIPPA.
Individuals may also make a more specific or formal access request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Completed forms must include a $5.00 application fee paid by cash or cheque payable to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.
Provide as much detail as possible about the information you are requesting.
Requests can be sent to the attention of:
Privacy and Records Information Management Officer
Waterloo Catholic District School Board
35 Weber St. W
What resources are available to help protect personal information?
Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released the following guidelines in January 2019:
- A Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools (42 Pages)
- Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools: A Guide for Educators (6 pages)
- Protecting Your Student’s Privacy Online Fact Sheet (2 Pages)
- Privacy in the School Fact Sheet (2 Pages)
- Your Child’s Privacy in School Fact Sheet (3 Pages)
Questions or Concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns related to the access to information or the protection of personal privacy please contact the Privacy and Records Information Management Officer at (519) 578-3660 ext. 2381.