Confidentiality FERPA Training


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These are the slides that accompany the Confidentiality Moodle lesson posted at The VIEW, White Oak Intermediate School's online curriculum site. Created by Pam Cranford, Testing Coordinator

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Confidentiality FERPA Training

  1. 1. White Oak ISD Confidentiality....... FERPA and You Fam il y Ed uc ati on a l R igh ts a n d Pr iv acy A ct By Pam Cranford
  2. 2. What is FERPA? FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act. It was designed to assert and protect the rights of students and their parents. The focus of FERPA is to assure parents access to their student’s education records and to protect such individuals’ rights to privacy by limiting the transferability of their records without their consent. Further amendments permitted disclosures of information without parental consent relating to acts of violence or criminal conduct committed by students.
  3. 3. Who has rights under FERPA? Parents of students who attend or have attended a school or facility that receives federal funding. Adult students (those who are 18 years of age or students younger than 18 who are attending an institution of post-secondary education)
  4. 4. Who is bound by FERPA? FERPA applies to an educational agency or institution that receives federal funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education This clearly includes funding provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  5. 5. What are the rights granted by FERPA? The right to inspect and review the education records relating to the students maintained by the schools the student attends or has attended; The right to challenge and require the school to amend any portion of the records that the parents feel is inaccurate misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights; The right to require the school to obtain written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information; The right to be informed by the school of the rights accorded parents under FERPA on an annual basis; and The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office.
  6. 6. What are education records? Educational records are defined as any official records, files, media, and data directly related to students that are created, maintained, and used by public education institutions. Most of the documentation schools create concerning students is education records.
  7. 7. What is personally identifiable information? Personally identifiable information is information about a student including: the student’s name; name of parent or other family member; address of student or student’s family; a personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number or student number; a list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable; and any other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.
  8. 8. Are there other laws besides FERPA that govern the protection of school records? With the 1994 Protection of Pupil Rights Act (PPRA)regulating what types of information about students could be collected for studies, written parent consent must be obtained before a public elementary or secondary school student is required under a survey, analysis or evaluation that is part of an applicable program to reveal personal information about behavior, income, political affiliations, family health, or privileged professional relationships. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)protects the school records for special education students.
  9. 9. What types of school records are specifically excluded from characterization as education records? Records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute. Sole possession records are records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, which are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record Records maintained by law enforcement unit of the educational agency for the purpose of law enforcement Treatment records due to HIPPA
  10. 10. What are the parents’ rights for the requirement of notice? FERPA requires that parents have the right to be effectively informed on an annual basis in the home language of the parent. It is a good idea to provide notice to any noncustodial parent as well. For parents whose primary language is not English, the school district must undertake measures to the extent that is practicable.
  11. 11. What are the parents’ rights for the requirement of review? FERPA requires that the district comply with a request for review within no more than 45 days. When a review is not feasible, a copy of the requested records must be provided. The school is also required to respond to reasonable requests for explanations of record contents. Records should not be destroyed while a request for review is pending. A parent should address a request to review records to the building principal for students actively enrolled, to the superintendent for students who are not actively enrolled or who have graduated, and to the special education director for special education records.
  12. 12. Can a parent request review of all the student’s education records? The parent is entitled to request a review of all education records maintained by a school district with no specificity of items necessary There are also no time restrictions limited to the current year.
  13. 13. May a parent’s right to review and inspect education records be exercised by a representative? The right to review and inspect education records is personal, in the sense that a school is not required to allow a parent to assign or delegate the right to review to a representative, whether that individual be an attorney, parent advocate, or a friend or relation. FERPA regulations contain no provision of the comparable right set out in IDEA regulations that does allow for review and inspection of records by a parent representative. It does not, however, preclude states or districts from choosing to allow such review, either as a general matter or in particular circumstances, assuming the parents document in writing their consent and the representative agrees not to disclose the personally identifiable information contained in the records. The school district is not responsible for a third party’s failure to keep disclosed personally identifiable information confidential.
  14. 14. May the school charge a fee? No fee may be charged for search and retrieval of educational records for parental review. A fee may be charged for copies unless the fee will effectively prevent the parent from reviewing requested education records.
  15. 15. What are the parents’ rights in regard to amend the records? If a parent believe the contents of a student’s education records are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of a student, he/she may request an amendment of records
  16. 16. What must a parent do to request an amendment of an education record? It is clearly suggested in the law that the parent write a request advising the following: (1) the information that is claimed to be inaccurate; (2)the education record in which the parent believes the information is contained; (3) the basis for the parent’s claim; and (4) the parent’s proposal for change
  17. 17. What action can a parent take if a school refuses to amend a record? The school refusing the request to amend must advise the parent that the request has been denied and that the parent has a right to a hearing. The parent may request a hearing, which is conducted by any individual, including an official of the educational agency or institution, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. One or more individuals of their own choice, including an attorney, may represent parents at a hearing. The hearing officer must respond with a written decision The parent may then file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office alleging that the district has not complied with the regulatory requirements for amendment requests.
  18. 18. May the parent include explanatory comments in a student’s educational records? The parent may place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision of the agency. The parent may include these explanatory comments without requesting or participating in a hearing. The district must disclose the parent’s comments whenever it discloses the related records, or portion of the record.
  19. 19. What are the parents’ rights to nondisclosure? The parents’ right to nondisclosure exists when other individuals or agencies other than those set out in FERPA might request records. In this situation, parents have the right to deny disclosure to these individuals or agencies with the exceptions below: ✪ Teachers or other district officials who have legitimate educational interests. ✪ Officials of another school system where the student seeks enrollment ✪ Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General or state education authorities ✪ In connection with the application for receipt of financial aid ✪ State and local juvenile justice systems ✪ Organizations conducting educational studies ✪ Accrediting organizations ✪ Parents of an eligible student is considered a dependent student by the IRS ✪ In compliance with a subpoena ✪ In connection with a health or safety emergency ✪ If designated as directory information including the student’s name, address, telephone, date and place of birth, major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height or members of athletic teams; dates of attendance, degrees and awards received; and most recent previous educational agency or institutions attended by the student