The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the School to amend a record should write the School principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their 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.
(3) The right to privacy of personally identifiable information in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure 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 person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has outsources services or functions it would otherwise use its own employees to perform (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another official in performing his or her tasks.
Under FERPA, Schools may disclose a student’s “directory information” which includes information generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The Richland School District has designated the following information as directory information: student’s name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, diplomas and awards received, photographs or video of the student, and the most recent school attended. The actual residential address of participants in the state Address Confidentiality Program will not be available for release as directory information. Parents or eligible students, who do not want their directory information released, must notify their school principal in writing. For those who do not wish to have this information released, there is a sample form below.
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.
Upon request, the School discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled.
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901