"Parents' Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children's Education Records"

Parents' Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children's Education Records is a 2-page legal document that was released by the U.S. Department of Education and used nation-wide.

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Parents’ Guide
Contact Information
A school may disclose directory information
Family
to the
to anyone, without consent, if it has given
parents: general notice of the information it has
For further information about FERPA,
Educational Rights
designated as “directory information”; the right
contact the Department’s Family Policy
to opt out of these disclosures; and the period of
Compliance Office.
and Privacy Act:
time they have to notify the school of their desire
Family Policy Compliance Office
to opt out.
U.S. Department of Education
Rights Regarding
Does FERPA give me a right to
400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-5920
see the education records of
Children’s Education
202-260-3887
my son or daughter who is in
For quick, informal responses to routine
Records
college?
questions about FERPA, parents may also
e-mail the Family Policy Compliance Office at
FERPA.Customer@ED.Gov.
When a student turns 18 years old or enters a
postsecondary institution at any age, all rights
Additional information and guidance may
afforded to you as a parent under FERPA transfer
be found at FPCO’s Web site at:
http://www.
to the student (“eligible student”). However,
ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html.
FERPA provides ways in which a school may—but
is not required to—share information from an
eligible student’s education records with parents,
without the student’s consent. For example:
• Schools may disclose education records
to parents if the student is claimed as a
dependent for tax purposes.
• Schools may disclose education records to
parents if a health or safety emergency involves
their son or daughter.
• Schools may inform parents if the student, if
he or she is under age 21, has violated any law
or policy concerning the use or possession of
alcohol or a controlled substance.
• A school official may generally share with
a parent information that is based on that
official’s personal knowledge or observation of
the student.
Parents’ Guide
Contact Information
A school may disclose directory information
Family
to the
to anyone, without consent, if it has given
parents: general notice of the information it has
For further information about FERPA,
Educational Rights
designated as “directory information”; the right
contact the Department’s Family Policy
to opt out of these disclosures; and the period of
Compliance Office.
and Privacy Act:
time they have to notify the school of their desire
Family Policy Compliance Office
to opt out.
U.S. Department of Education
Rights Regarding
Does FERPA give me a right to
400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-5920
see the education records of
Children’s Education
202-260-3887
my son or daughter who is in
For quick, informal responses to routine
Records
college?
questions about FERPA, parents may also
e-mail the Family Policy Compliance Office at
FERPA.Customer@ED.Gov.
When a student turns 18 years old or enters a
postsecondary institution at any age, all rights
Additional information and guidance may
afforded to you as a parent under FERPA transfer
be found at FPCO’s Web site at:
http://www.
to the student (“eligible student”). However,
ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html.
FERPA provides ways in which a school may—but
is not required to—share information from an
eligible student’s education records with parents,
without the student’s consent. For example:
• Schools may disclose education records
to parents if the student is claimed as a
dependent for tax purposes.
• Schools may disclose education records to
parents if a health or safety emergency involves
their son or daughter.
• Schools may inform parents if the student, if
he or she is under age 21, has violated any law
or policy concerning the use or possession of
alcohol or a controlled substance.
• A school official may generally share with
a parent information that is based on that
official’s personal knowledge or observation of
the student.
What is FERPA?
My child’s school won’t show
Who else gets to see my child’s
me her or his education records.
education records?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy
Does the school have to provide
Act (FERPA) is a federal privacy law that gives
me with a copy of the records if
To protect your child’s privacy, schools are
parents certain protections with regard to their
generally prohibited from disclosing personally
children’s education records, such as report
I request them?
identifiable information about your child
cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact
without your written consent. Exceptions to
and family information, and class schedules. As a
parent, you have the right to review your child’s
this rule include:
Schools must honor your request to review
education records and to request changes under
your child’s education records within 45 days of
• disclosures made to school officials with
limited circumstances. To protect your child’s
receiving the request. Some states have laws
legitimate educational interests;
privacy, the law generally requires schools to ask
similar to FERPA that require schools to provide
for written consent before disclosing your child’s
• disclosures made to another school at which
access within a shorter period of time. FERPA
personally identifiable information to individuals
the student intends to enroll;
requires that schools provide parents with an
other than you.
opportunity to inspect and review education
• disclosures made to state or local education
records, but not to receive copies, except in
The following questions and answers are intended
authorities for auditing or evaluating federal-
limited circumstances.
to help you understand your rights as a parent
or state-supported education programs, or
under FERPA. If you have further questions,
enforcing federal laws that relate to those
Parents whose children receive services under the
please contact the U.S. Department of Education’s
programs; and
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Family Policy Compliance Office using the contact
may have additional rights and remedies with
• disclosures including information the school
information provided below.
regard to their children’s education records. The
has designated as “directory information. ”
school district, local special education director,
or state special education director can answer
What is directory information?
questions about IDEA.
FERPA defines “directory information” as
information contained in a student’s education
record that generally would not be considered
harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.
Directory information could include:
• name, address, telephone listing, electronic
mail address, date and place of birth, dates of
attendance, and grade level;
• participation in officially recognized activities
and sports;
• weight and height of members of athletic teams;
• degrees, honors, and awards received; and
• the most recent school attended.
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