Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives parents certain rights with respect to their child’s education records. When a student reaches the age of 18 or attends a post secondary school or college, the parent’s rights transfer to the student and the student is then an “eligible student” under the law.
Under FERPA, parents and eligible students have the following rights:
1) To inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school within 45 days of the school’s receipt of a written request. The request should identify the record(s)
being inspected. The school is not required to provide copies of records and may charge a fee if copies are requested. You will be notified of the place and time the record(s) may be available for review.
2) To request that a school correct records believes to be inaccurate or misleading. The request must be in writing and clearly specify: (a) the part of the record requesting to be changed, and (b) why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to a hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement in the record about the contested information. The school is not required to consider requests for grade or disciplinary decisions, opinions of school officials in the education record, or the child’s special education determination. The following staff person may be contacted to request an amendment to your child’s record.
3) To control the disclosure of their child’s personally identifiable information from their education record. The school or district must, with certain exceptions, obtain parent written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records. An exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school staff with legitimate educational interest, such as a person employed by the district; a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a grievance or disciplinary committee or assisting another school official; and/or an official of another school district in which a student seeks to enroll. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill a professional responsibility. A school district may also disclose personally identifiable information from education records without prior written consent to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Student directory information may also be disclosed without prior consent if the categories to be disclosed are designated and parents are given the opportunity to opt out prior to disclosure.
You have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education at the following address if you feel the school district has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605