FAMILY / COMMUNITY » Student Records (FERPA)

Student Records (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. They are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the district receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit a written request to the district records custodian that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The records custodian will arrange for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where they may inspect the records.

2. The right to request amendments to the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes to be inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the district to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the district decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district 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. Exceptions permitting disclosure without consent are: disclosure deemed by the district as necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals and disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district 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 district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, hearing officer, 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 district discloses educational 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 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 S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that the West Valley School District, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, the West Valley 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 West Valley 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
- the school website
- honor roll or other recognition lists
- graduation programs
- 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 West Valley 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 September 1st of each school year.

The West Valley School District has designated the following information as directory information:
- student’s name
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- address
- telephone listing
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- electronic mail address
- photograph
- degrees, honors, and awards received
- date and place of birth
- major field of study
- dates of attendance
- grade level
- the most recent education agency or institution attended

Reference: District Policy 3231