FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (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;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- 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.
Access to records by people other than parents without parental consent is generally prohibited. However, directory information about a student may be released without the parent’s/guardian’s prior consent. District 113A has determined directory information to include: student’s name, address, gender, grade level, birth date, and period of attendance in school; parents’ names and postal addresses; academic awards and honors; and photographs, videos, or digital images used for informational or news-related purposes (whether by a media outlet or by the school) of a student participating in school or school-sponsored activities, organizations, and athletics that have appeared in school publications, such as yearbooks, newspapers or sporting or fine arts programs. Directory information also includes parents’ e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. Parents’ e-mail addresses and telephone numbers will only be released to the following organizations which are affiliated with the school district: Lemont 113A PTO, Lemont Band Boosters, School District 113A Educational Foundation, and Warrior Booster Club. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides parents, guardians and adult students the right to prevent disclosure of directory information. To request that a child’s directory information not be released without prior consent, the child’s parent/guardian must submit a request in writing to the respective school principal. A request form is available in each school’s office, on the district’s website under the individual school tab, and at the information tab on the district’s home page.
For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.