Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act - FERPA
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
( FERPA )
Release of Student Information
Annually, San Augustine ISD provides parents with information explaining the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Parents are asked to fill out a FERPA parent signature page and turn it in to their child's school office.
Policies Regarding Student Information
The following policies are contained in the San Augustine ISD Student Handbook.
Both federal and state laws safeguard student records from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents and eligible students certain rights of privacy. Before disclosing any personally identifiable information from a student’s records, the District must verify the identity of the person, including a parent or the student, requesting the information. For purposes of student records, an “eligible” student is one who is 18 or older OR who is attending an institution of post-secondary education.
Virtually all information pertaining to student performance, including grades, test results, and disciplinary records is considered confidential educational records. Release is restricted to:
• The parents — whether married, separated, or divorced — unless the school is given a copy of a court order terminating parental rights or the right to access a student’s education records. Federal law requires that as soon as a student becomes 18, is emancipated by a court, or enrolls in a post-secondary institution, control of the records goes to the student. The parents may continue to have access to the records; however, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes and under limited circumstances when there is a threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
• District school officials have what federal law refers to as a “legitimate educational interest” in a student’s record. School officials would include trustees and employees, such as the superintendent, administrators, and principals; teachers, counselors, diagnosticians, and support staff; a person or company with whom the District has contracted or allowed to provide a particular service or function (such as an attorney, consultant, auditor, medical consultant, therapist, or volunteer); a parent or student serving on a school committee; or a parent or student assisting a school official in the performance of his or her duties. “Legitimate educational interest” in a student’s records includes working with the student; considering disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, or an individualized education program for a student with disabilities; compiling statistical data; reviewing an educational record to fulfill the official’s responsibility; or investigating or evaluating programs.
• Various governmental agencies.
• Individuals granted access in response to a subpoena or court order.
• A school or institution of post-secondary education to which a student seeks or intends to enroll or in which he or she is already enrolled.
Release to any other person or agency — such as a prospective employer or for a scholarship application — will occur only with parental or student permission as appropriate.
The principal is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school. The superintendent is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated.
Records may be inspected by a parent or eligible student during regular school hours. The records custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records.
The District may charge ten cents per page, payable in advance, per copy for records exceeding 50 pages. If the student qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches and the parents are unable to view the records during regular school hours, one copy of the record will be provided at no charge upon written request of the parent.
A parent (or eligible student) may inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are considered inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. A request to correct a student’s record should be submitted to the principal. The request must clearly identify the part of the record that should be corrected and include an explanation of how the information in the record is inaccurate. If the District denies the request to amend the records, the parent or eligible student has the right to request a hearing. If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the parent or eligible student has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record.
Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, contesting a student’s grade in a course is handled through the general complaint process . A grade issued by a classroom teacher can be changed only if, as determined by the Board of trustees, the grade is arbitrary, erroneous, or inconsistent with the District’s grading policy.
The District’s policy regarding student records is available from the principal’s or superintendent’s office or on the District’s website.
The parent’s or eligible student’s right of access to copies of student records do not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records — such as a teacher’s personal notes about a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher — do not have to be made available to the parents or student.
Please note: Parents or eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the District is not in compliance with federal law regarding student records. The complaint may be mailed to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
The law permits the District to designate certain personal information about students as “directory information.” This “directory information” will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it.
However, release of a student’s directory information may be prevented by the parent or an eligible student. This objection must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days of your child’s first day of instruction for this school year.
Directory Information for School-Sponsored Purposes
The District has not designated a separate list of student information as directory information for school-sponsored purposes. As a result, if you object to the release of the student information included on the directory information response form, your decision will also apply to the use of that information for school-sponsored purposes, such as the honor roll, school newspaper, the yearbook, recognition activities, news releases, or athletic programs.
Granting Permission to Video or Audio Record a Student
As a parent, you may grant or deny any written request from the District to make a video or voice recording of your child. State law, however, permits the school to make a video or voice recording without parental permission for the following circumstances:
• When it is to be used for school safety.
• When it relates to classroom instruction or a co-curricular or extracurricular activity.
• When it relates to media coverage of the school.
Public Information staffers regularly photograph San Augustine ISD students for use on the district Web site and district publications. Parents who do not want their children photographed should fill out and submit the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) form to their campus office. The forms are supplied during the registration process.