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 written 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 official 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 or misleading.
Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal and clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parents or eligible students, the school will notify the parents or eligible students 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 parents or eligible students 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); a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee or a person 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 responsibilities. Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials or another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The additional disclosures the school may make without parent consent are explained in the school’s Student Records Plan available from your child’s principal.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Should parents wish to file a complaint regarding student records, the District contact is the Director of Pupil Services and Special Education, Colonial School District, 230 Flourtown Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Dept. of Education, 440 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.