The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents and students over 18 years of age certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:
- The rights to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. A written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect should be submitted to the school principal. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify parents or the eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Schools are not required to provide copies unless it is impossible to review. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
- The right to request that a school correct records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record they believe is inaccurate by writing the school principal, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed and why it is inaccurate. If the school decides not to amend the record the parent or eligible student will be notified by the school advising them of their right to a hearing regarding the request.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records. FERPA allows schools to disclose without consent to the following parties: School officials with legitimate educational interests (person employed by the district; a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the school district has contracted to perform a special task; or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee) can review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the school district will forward records to another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school district to comply with the above FERPA requirements. The office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that The School District of Indian River County, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records. However, the school district may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the district to the contrary in accordance with district procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the school district to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain school publications. Examples include: A playbill, showing your student's role in a drama production; the annual yearbook; honor roll or other recognition lists; graduation programs; and sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent's prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories - names, addresses and telephone listings - unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student's information disclosed without their prior written consent.
If you do not want the school district to disclose directory information from your child's education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the district in writing by November 1. The following information is designated as directory information: The district may, but does not have to, include all the information listed below.
- Student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Electronic mail address
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance and grade level
- The most recent educational agency or institution attended