Notice to Adult Students

Learn about the varying legal rights and support available to students when they reach adult age, including guardianship, power of attorney, and the voluntary adult caregiver process, and access forms for each (English and Spanish versions).

Parental rights transfer to a student when the student becomes age 18, unless the parent or someone else has been appointed legal guardian of the student.

Guardianship of an Adult Student

If an adult student has a legal guardian, that person has the responsibility for making decisions on behalf of the student. The guardian must ensure that TSBVI has on file current guardianship documentation. At annual registration, guardians will be asked to provide current legal documents if needed. Unless TSBVI has a current and valid court order granting guardianship, TSBVI will assume that no guardianship exists.

Power of Attorney by an Adult Student

TSBVI requires that each adult student without a guardian provide a signed and notarized Power of Attorney if the student is capable of doing so. In this document, the student designates someone as agent, such as a parent, who will have authority to act on the student’s behalf in making medical care decisions in the event that the student is unable to while the student attends TSBVI. The designated agent will have the right to make decisions or take actions for the student. TSBVI may contact or get assistance from the person, for example, if the student requires emergency medical care, if the student is unable to give consent for medical treatment, for signature on permission/authorization/release forms and/or if the student needs help in making other decisions. The student should ensure that the person designated as agent is able and willing to take on this responsibility. TSBVI will provide a Power of Attorney form for the adult student to use for this purpose.

Other Document of Legal Authority

If an adult student does not have a guardian and is not capable of providing a Power of Attorney, TSBVI may provide the student’s parent or other responsible person with an Authorization Agreement for Voluntary Adult Caregiver form to use in designating a person to assist the student in decision-making. If no appropriate document of legal authority is provided and the parent or responsible person states that the student is a dependent for tax purposes/claimed on tax returns, TSBVI will assume that person has authority to make decision on behalf of the student.

Permissions and Consents

If TSBVI has been provided current and valid guardianship documentation, the guardian will be asked to sign permission and consent forms. If not, the adult student or the person with designated authority in the Power of Attorney or other document of legal authority will sign permissions and consent.

ARD Participation

At TSBVI, we encourage parents to continue to participate and support adult students in decision-making. TSBVI recognizes that parents usually have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, so TSBVI will recommend to the student’s local school district that the student’s parents be notified and invited to all the student’s ARD meetings. Parents may not attend an ARD meeting unless invited by the adult student or school. The student, rather than the parent, will make decisions. Adult students should discuss concerns or questions regarding this arrangement with the student’s Assistant Principal.

Student Records

Federal law requires that, as soon as a student becomes 18 or is emancipated by a court, control of the records goes to the student. The parents may continue to have access to the records, however, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes.

Modifying the Visitor List

Unless there is a guardian, the adult student may modify the student’s visitor list at any time by notifying the Residential Instructor or Admissions Coordinator. When an adult student modifies the visitor list, the parent will be informed of the modification.