FERPA is the federal law which provides equal access to written student records. FERPA applies to any record about a student and that is maintained by the school:
Under FERPA, a school must provide a parent (custodial and noncustodial alike) with an opportunity to inspect and review his or her child's education records within 45 days following its receipt of a request. A school is required to provide a parent with copies of education records, or make other arrangements, if a failure to do so would effectively prevent the parent from obtaining access to the records. A case in point would be a situation in which the parent does not live within commuting distance of the school.
A school is not generally required by FERPA to provide a parent with access to school calendars or general notices such as announcements of parent-teacher meetings or extra-curricular activities. That type of information is not generally directly related to an individual student and, therefore, does not meet the definition of an education record. A note in the corner of a planner to refresh memory is not a record that is maintained by the school. If that information becomes incorporated into the student’s record, it then becomes accessible by both parents. Records that are used as memory aids and kept in the sole possession of their maker are exceptions to FERPA.
Under FERPA, a school is not required to provide information that is not maintained or to create education records in response to a parent's request. Accordingly, a school is not required to provide a parent with updates on his or her child's progress in school unless such information already exists in the form of an education record.
The records of a police officer (SRO) that is working in your school are considered to be maintained by the police department and as such are not covered by FERPA. Parents wanting to access those records would need to make that request from the law enforcement agency.
The "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act" notification must be included with online or mailed registration materials and provided to all new parents/students who register during the year (found in the “School Resources” section). The notification shall be included in school registration booklets prepared by the District, and with online registration materials in Skyward. Schools should provide this form to any student who registers during the school year.
The following directory information may be disclosed in accordance with the following Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines:
Directory information 20 U.S.C. 1232g (a) (5) (A) includes: student’s name, address, telephone listing, grade, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, photograph, dates of attendance, honors and awards, date of graduation, school awarding graduation credential, title of credential, and most recent school attended.
Directory information may be disclosed without prior written consent unless a parent or eligible student has notified the local school principal in writing within fourteen (14) days after the beginning of the school year, according to the FERPA notification that is provided with registration materials each year. The principal must have in their possession a written letter from the parent or eligible student. A list of these students is to be sent to the Planning and Student Services office (you may send a copy of each letter or note if you choose).
Merely marking a box on a PTA survey or on a school directory form does not constitute “written consent or notification.” Do not send the list of students who have chosen to be excluded from the school directory in their registration packet. The organization sponsoring the school directory may want to get student information from the parents, not from the school or district. In which case, the permission slip to include the student in the school directory will need to be filled out by the parent to include any information that is being requested, such as name, grade, address, and phone.
All public, military, etc. requests for student directory information should go through Planning and Student Services. The master list of those who do not want their directory information released is in this department. We can avoid releasing information of a student(s) who may have transferred between schools by processing all requests through this one central place.
Additional guidelines and forms:
- Student Records and Retention
- Protection of Pupil Rights Notification and Consent/Opt-out (PPRA)
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Notification
- Request for Educational Records with Notary Form
- FERPA Health or Safety Reason for Disclosure of Information