Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act . From the moment a child enters the school system, sensitive information is collected about the child (and even the family) and maintained in educational records throughout the school years. .

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Family educational rights and privacy act

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


Family educational rights and privacy act

From the moment a child enters the school system, sensitive information is collected about the child (and even the family) and maintained in educational records throughout the school years.


Family educational rights and privacy act

As a school district employee, you are responsible for knowing the privacy rights protected the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and protecting those rights.


Family educational rights and privacy act

  • The Rights Provided by the Act

  • (Schools must provide annual notification to parents and students of their FERPA rights):

  • The right of parents and adult-age students to inspect and receive a copy of student records.

  • The right to deny access to others, specifically those outside the school system, with some exceptions.

  • A process to correct errors, including a hearing.

  • The right to opt-out of military recruitment.

  • The right to opt-out of the disclosure of a student’s directory information. (effective until rescinded

  • A complaint process, handled by the Family Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education.


Family educational rights and privacy act

  • What it does NOT do:

  • It does not give individuals the right to sue the school. Only the U.S. Department of Education can sanction schools that have violated FERPA.

  • It does not require districts to get parents’ permission to share directory information; it puts the burden on students and parents to respond to opt-out opportunities, such as disclosure of directory information.

  • It does not dictate requirements for safeguarding education records.


Definition of education records

Definition of Education Records

Under FERPA, education records consist of “personally identifiable informationdirectly related to a student” that is maintained by an educational agency or institution.


Information that alone or in combination is linked or linkable to a specific student

Definition of Personally Identifiable Information:

Information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student.


Family educational rights and privacy act

  • “Personally Identifiable” includes:

  • The student's name and address as well as the name and address of parents and family members.

  • Personal identifiers such as Social Security number or student number.


Family educational rights and privacy act

A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

Indirect identifiers such as the student’s date or place of birth and mother’s maiden name.

Biometric records such as fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voiceprints, DNA sequences, facial characteristics and handwriting


Examples of educational records

Examples Of Educational Records:

  • Test Scores

  • Advising records

  • Education services received

  • Disciplinary actions

Health Records

Grades

Transcripts

Courses taken

Class Schedule


What are not considered education records

What are not considered education records?

  • Records of teachers and administrators that are kept in their sole possession and not revealed to any other individual

  • Records of a law enforcement unit of the educational institution, such as the campus security office.

  • Personnel records of those individuals employed by the educational institution.

  • Directory Information (*opt-out option required)


Under ferpa directory information can include

Under FERPA, directory information can include:

  • Student’s name

  • Address

  • Telephone listing

  • Electronic mail address

  • Photograph (*Published school media)

  • Date and place of birth

  • Major field of study

  • Grade level

  • Enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time)

  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports

  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

  • Dates of attendance

  • Degrees, honors and awards received

  • Name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.


Who may have access to these records without parental eligible student consent

Who may have access to these records without parental/eligible student consent?

  • Parents themselves and eligible students 18 yrs. or older

  • Officials of other schools or school systems to which the student is being transferred. (notification required)

  • In cases of emergency, appropriate persons, including parents of an adult student, may gain access if the information is needed to protect the health or safety of the student or others.


Who may have access to these records without parental eligible student consent1

Who may have access to these records without parental/eligible student consent?

  • State educational agencies (SEAs) may disclose information about a student’s scores on state assessments to other schools within the state where a student seeks or intends to enroll.

  • Organizations conducting studies for educational institutions to develop or evaluate tests, student aid programs, or to improve education. (*conditions apply)

  • Contractors, consultants, and other parties to whom a state educational agency has outsourced services or functions provided the state agency has direct control over the outside party.


Who may have access to these records without parental eligible student consent2

Who may have access to these records without parental/eligible student consent?

  • Financial aid purposes.

  • School officials who have been determined to have legitimate need to view the records. These would include teachers and administrators within the same school.


Definition of legitimate educational interest

Definition of Legitimate Educational Interest

  • Districts are allowed to determine their own criteria and eligibility as long as the following apply:*

  • Access only given on Need-to-know basis

  • Access only for those students included in the “need to know”

  • Access is only for as long as the “need to know” exists; after, information to be destroyed if in hard copy form.

  • *Districts must include in an annual notification to public.


Definition of legitimate educational interest1

Definition of Legitimate Educational Interest

Even though districts can determine “legitimate educational interest,” regulations and guidelines have specified the following:

  • Blanket access to all staff because they are employed by the district is not acceptable*

  • Blanket access because it is more convenient or easier to do a job is not acceptable

  • Access does not have to be given electronically

  • *Employees should be careful not to share with third parties (subs, other teachers, other parents)


Family educational rights and privacy act

As part of your employment, you signed a confidentiality agreement, and violation of FERPA is considered a breach of contract.


Family educational rights and privacy act

Violation of FERPA can also impact the district, resulting in sanctions and loss of federal funding. Violations can result in an investigation and enforcement by the U.S. department of education upon receiving a formal complaint. Anyone can file the complaint.


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