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An Introduction to FERPA. The F AMILY E DUCATIONAL R IGHTS AND P RIVACY A CT. What is FERPA?. FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy interests of parents and students with regard to “ education records ”

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an introduction to ferpa

An Introduction to FERPA


what is ferpa
What is FERPA?
  • FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy interests of parents and students with regard to “education records”
  • Generally, FERPA gives parents the right to inspect and review their children’s education records, request amendment of the records, and have some control over the release of those record.
  • It affects every public elementary and secondary school
what are education records
What are “Education Records”?
  • “Education records” includes:
    • All records
    • Files
    • Documents
    • And other materials such as films, tapes, or photographs

…that are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or by a party acting for the agency

examples of education records
Examples of “education records”
  • Report Cards
  • Discipline records
  • Surveys and Assessments
  • Health Records
  • Special Education Records
  • Correspondence between the school and other entities
  • Information that the school may maintain about parents
release of education records
Release of Education Records
  • FERPA restricts the release of education records that are “personally identifiable information” (e.g. social security, student name plus info on that student)
  • Before releasing any such information, the school must obtain parent permission, unless the student 18 or over, or unless an exception applies
when parent consent is not required
When Parent Consent is not required
  • Parent consent is not required when:
    • Released to other school staff who have a “legitimate educational interest” (i.e., a valid reason) to view the records
    • There is a student health or safety emergency
    • To provide “directory information”
directory information
Directory Information
  • “Directory information” is student records that are not generally considered harmful, and their release is not considered an invasion of privacy
  • What’s included in directory information depends on whether it’s released for school purposes (e.g., a graduation program or campus director) OR for an outside purpose (e.g., a private company requests student names for marketing purposes)
  • Before releasing any information (even if you think it’s director information), contact the Policies & Procedures Officer
parent rights to release directory information
Parent Rights to Release Directory Information
  • School districts must establish a policy and give notice as to the specific types of directory information they intend to disclose
  • Parents retain the right to opt in or out of disclosing directory info (parents fill out a form during registration)
recordkeeping rules
Recordkeeping Rules
  • Any time there is a request for a student’s education records (other than by a parent), schools must maintain a record of:
    • Who requested the record?
    • What was the legitimate interest that each party had in obtaining the information?
    • What record was released and when?
administrative procedure f19
Administrative Procedure F19
  • F19 is the administrative procedure that further explains FERPA
  • Forms are provided for:
    • Parent Conference and/or Student Educational Discussion Permission
    • Certificate of Nondisclosure
    • Request for Release of Student Records
important things to remember
Important Things to Remember
  • Disclose education records only with parent consent or under one of the exceptions in FERPA
  • “Education records” includes ALL records that contain information on a student and are maintained by a school
  • Give notice to parents of a court order or subpoena for education records before compliance
  • Document, document, document----keep records of disclosures