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FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.  This includes:  staff employed by the district including 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 district has contracted to perform a specific task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist), or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary committee or grievance committee, or assisting with another school official performing his  or her task.
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring (Upon request, the district discloses educational records without consent to officials of another district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.);
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; 
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, email address, photos, videos, date and place of birth, names of parents and siblings, honors and awards, graduation confirmation and date, participation in extracurricular activities, weight and height of interscholastic athletic team members, schools attended throughout the district and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Warwick School Districts permits parents to inform the district, in writing, by September 15th or within 30 days of enrollment if they deny this disclosure.  Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA.  At Warwick, we notify parents through the printed calendar, on our website and in our parent/student handbooks.

For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service.

The right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:


Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202-4605
 


Revised: 11/18/16