The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Notification of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (Policy 5500)
This is to advise you of your rights with respect to the school records relating to (your son) (your daughter) (you) pursuant to the Federal “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.”
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Parents of a student under 18, or a student 18 or older, have a right to inspect and review any and all official records, files, and data directly related to their children, including all material that is incorporated into each student’s cumulative record folder, and intended for school use or to be available to parties outside the school or school system, and specifically including, but not necessarily limited to, identifying data, academic work completed, level of achievement (grades, standardized achievement test scores), attendance data, scores on standardized intelligence, aptitude, and psychological tests, interest inventory results, health data, family background information, teacher or counselor ratings and observations, and verified reports of serious or recurrent behavior patterns.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants parents or guardians and students over eighteen (18) years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. They are:
1. The right to inspect and copy the student’s education records within 45 days from the day the District receives a request for access.
Parents or guardians of students less than eighteen (18) years of age and students older than eighteen (18) years of age have the right to inspect and copy the student’s permanent record. Parents, guardians or students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent(s)/ guardian(s) or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. The District charges a nominal fee for copying, but no one will be denied their right to copies of their records for inability to pay this cost.
The rights contained in this section are denied to any person against whom an order of protection has been entered concerning a student.
2. The right to request an amendment of the student’s education records that the parent(s)/guardian(s) or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, irrelevant, or improper.
Parents/guardians or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate, misleading, irrelevant, or improper. They should write the school principal or records custodian, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify the reason.
If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent(s)/guardian(s) or eligible student, the District will notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) or eligible student of the decision and advise him or her of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent(s)/guardian(s) or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to permit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA or state law authorizes disclosure without consent.
Disclosure is permitted without consent to school officials with legitimate educational or administrative interests. A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent(s)/guardian(s) or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the District also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student has enrolled or intends to enroll, as well as to any person as specifically required by state or federal law.
Disclosure is also permitted without consent to: any person for research, statistical reporting, or planning, provided that no student or parent(s)/guardian(s) can be identified; any person named in a court order; and appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
4. The right to prohibit the release of directory information concerning the parent’s/guardian’s child. Throughout the school year, the District may release to the public student “directory information” consisting of the student’s name, date of birth and place of birth, grade level, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (if members of athletic teams), degrees and awards received, and the name of the educational agency or institution previously attended by the student (See Board Policy 5500 and 5550). A parent or eligible student may object to the release of the above directory information on an annual basis by notifying the Superintendent of Schools, in writing, by September 15 of each school year. Any written objection filed with the Superintendent will remain in effect for the duration of the school year in which it was filed.
5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605