Access to Student Education Records
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents and students age 18 or older certain rights with respect to these records.
Parent and Student Rights
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 it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records and may charge a fee for copies. To inspect and review records, contact the school principal.
- Request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
- Receive a hearing if the school determines not to amend the record. After the hearing, if the school 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.
As part of the Common Core Implementation Reform Act, Education Law §2-d requires that each educational agency in the State of New York must develop a Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security (Parents’ Bill of Rights).
The Parents’ Bill of Rights must be published on the website of each educational agency and must be included with every contract the educational agency enters into with a third party contractor, where the third party contractor receives student data or certain protected teacher/principal data related to Annual Professional Performance Reviews that is designated as confidential pursuant to Education Law §3012-c.
Under FERPA, schools may disclose “directory information” such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in school activities, weight and height of members of athletic teams, honors and awards, dates of attendance, and other similar information. Gates Chili Central School District’s policy is to not disclose directory information to outside organizations except to the military and post secondary schools as required by FERPA.
Parents and eligible students may request, in writing, that the school not disclose directory information without prior parental consent.
Exceptions to Release of Information
Generally, written parental consent is required by the district before educational records or personally identifiable information is released to any party. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
- 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
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
A copy of the complete District policy and regulations regarding access to student records is on file at each school and at the District Office, 3 Spartan Way.
If anyone believes that the requirements of FERPA have been violated, a complaint may be made to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605