Student Records (FERPA)
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guarantees parents/eligible students certain rights concerning student records.
The school has the right and responsibility to collect and maintain educational records on all students. Procedures for collection and maintenance are found in the district records policy (CV 216). That policy is based on the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the confidentiality of student records by limiting their disclosure. No information may be collected without the informed written consent of the parent or the representational consent of the school board.
FERPA guarantees parents/eligible students (18 years of age or older) certain rights described below. For a copy of the complete policy, contact the building principal.
Access to Records
Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect their child’s or their own educational records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
When a child’s parents do not live together, both parents have the right of access to all information relating to their child’s education unless there is a court document on file in the school, which specifically prohibits it. Report cards, progress reports, and other educational information routinely provided to the custodial parent by the school may also be sent to the non-custodial parent upon request. Non-custodial parents should make this request yearly.
Challenge to Records
Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record they believe is inaccurate. They should write to the principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify him or her of the decision and advise that person of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
FERPA provides that educational records, except Directory Information, not be released without the written consent of the parent or eligible student except: to other educational institutions; at the order of the court or school board; or the health or safety of the student.
This information can be disclosed to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a School Board member; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent 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.
Directory Information is excluded from FERPA's protection from release and can be released without parental or student consent. Directory information includes: student name; address; phone number; participation in school clubs, activities and sports; height and weight for athletic participation; attendance; degrees/awards; major field of study; and similar information. Federal law requires schools to provide Directory Information to military recruiters. The district may also release Directory Information to the press if deemed in the best interest of the student.
If you do not want some or all of this information about your child released, you may prevent its disclosure by sending a written request to the building principal prior to October 1 of each school year.
Records Transferred When Moving to Another District
Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Discipline records are part of your child’s educational record and will be released along with all other records, including students transferring to or from nonpublic schools.
Access to Pupil Records in Custody Situation
When a child’s parents do not live together, both parents have the right of access to all information relating to their child’s education unless there is a current court order on file in the school which specifically prohibits it.
There are many types of child custody arrangements. Specific policies to cover every situation are impractical. The following guidelines and policies will be practiced:
- Non-custodial parents shall have access to all educational information on their child unless prohibited by a court order specifically denying such access. The access is for information only. Educational decisions are made by the custodial parent.
- All educational decision-making and decision-approving signatures shall be done by the custodial parent. Non-custodial parents may participate in teacher conferences concerning their child/children but not in a decision-making capacity. Both custodial and non-custodial parents are urged to attend the conference together.
- Stepparents, grandparents, or friends of the parent do not have access to any educational information. Stepparents may have access only if a release is signed by the parent. Stepparent signatures on school documents are not permitted unless written permission is granted by the parent. Stepparents may attend parent-teacher conferences with their spouse. They may not attend without their spouse.
- Non-custodial parents may request the school to send copies of the school’s communication, report cards, and any other information relating to their child. Each year requests should be made in writing to the principal.
If you believe that the School District is not complying with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or not guaranteeing you the rights outlined above, you may file a letter of complaint with the federal office in charge of enforcing the Act at the address below:
Family Police Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605