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THE FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS & PRIVACY ACT (FERPA). Presented by: Robin B. Snyder, Esquire . Requirement to Protect Confidential Student Information. Federal and state laws regulate confidential student information Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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the family education rights privacy act ferpa


Presented by:

Robin B. Snyder, Esquire

requirement to protect confidential student information
Requirement to Protect Confidential Student Information
  • Federal and state laws regulate confidential student information
    • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    • Hatch Amendment/The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
    • Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.2(a) requires redaction
    • Breach of Personal Information Notification Act

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA")

  • Overview of key provisions
    • FERPA protects a student's privacy.
what is its purpose
What is its Purpose?
  • Gives students in postsecondary schools the right to review and confirm the accuracy of education records.
  • When students reach the age of 18, or when they become students at postsecondary education institutions, they become "eligible students" and rights under FERPA transfer to them.
  • Education records may not be released without consent
what is its purpose1
What is its Purpose?
  • What about parents?
    • When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student.
    • Parents may obtain directory information at the discretion of the institution.
    • Parents may obtain non-directory information (grades, GPA, etc.) only at the discretion of the institution AND after it has been documented that their child is legally their dependent.
    • The Office of Undergraduate Studies maintains signed consent from students who have chosen to allow release of non-directory information to parents. Parents of undergraduate students should be referred to the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Information provided in response to a subpoena or an emergency "to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons"
  • Directory information
directory information
Directory Information
  • "Information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed." 34 C.F.R. 99.3.
directory information includes
Directory Information Includes
  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
education records include
Education Records Include
  • Directory information as defined by FERPA
  • Grades, transcripts and testing scores, including standardized tests
  • Attendance records
  • Special education documents
  • Guidance counseling documentation, excluding sole possession notes
  • Discipline documentation
  • School health records
  • E-mail correspondence with parents if removed from the server and placed in an education file
education records do not include
Education Records DO NOT Include
  • Sole possession records, i.e., records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel which are maintained solely by them and are not accessible or revealed to anyone else
  • Records maintained by a law enforcement unit (maintained and created by the law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement)
  • Personnel records of employees who are not attending the institution and relate exclusively to that person's capacity as an employee and are not available for another purpose
education records do not include1
Education Records DO NOT Include
  • Physician, psychiatric and psychological records on a student 18 years of age:
    • Attending post secondary education
    • Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist
    • Who is acting in his professional or paraprofessional capacity
    • Made, maintained or used in connection with a version of treatment
    • Not available to any other person except someone providing treatment
teacher records
Teacher Records
  • Teacher records are generally not education records which relate directly to a student.
what may be released without consent
What May Be Released Without Consent?
  • Even if a parent objects to the release of any and all directory information, education records may be released:
    • To those with legitimate educational interests
    • Officials in other schools or school systems in which the student seeks enrollment after notification to the parents and an opportunity to challenge
    • Authorized representatives of government
    • Financial aid officers in connection with an application for financial aid
    • Accrediting organizations
thank you


Robin B. Snyder, Esquire