FERPA

What is student data and what does it include?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (see 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99) protects personally identifiable information (PII) from students' education records from unauthorized disclosure. FERPA defines education records as "records that are: (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution" (see 34 CFR § 99.3 definition of "education record"). FERPA also defines the term PII, which includes direct identifiers (such as a student's or other family member's name) and indirect identifiers (such as a student's date of birth, place of birth, or mother's maiden name) (see 34 CFR § 99.3 definition of "personally identifiable information"). For more information about FERPA, please visit the Family Policy Compliance Office's website.

Some types of online educational services do use FERPA-protected information. For example, a district may decide to use an online system to allow students (and their parents) to log in and access class materials. In order to create student accounts, the district or school will likely need to give the provider the students' names and contact information from the students' education records, which are protected by FERPA. Conversely, other types of online educational services may not implicate FERPA-protected information. For example, a teacher may have students watch video tutorials or complete interactive exercises offered by a provider that does not require individual students to log in. In these cases, no PII from the students' education records would be disclosed to (or maintained by) the provider (Source: PTAC)

Quakertown Community School District Notification of Rights under FERPA:

The Family Educational Rights and 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 a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School principal 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.

    Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the School principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained 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 contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

    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.

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Quakertown Community School District 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

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