FERPA for School Officials

 

click here Frequently Asked Questions  regarding the  Confidentiality Requirements of Early Childhood Programs

Welcome to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) page for school officials at public elementary and secondary schools,  most public and private postsecondary institutions, and for State education officials.  This page contains information and resources geared  to educate and inform these officials of their obligations under FERPA.  FERPA generally does not apply to most private elementary and secondary schools, as they do not typically receive U.S. Department of Education funding.  FERPA provides that educational agencies and institutions that receive U.S. Department of Education funds may not have a policy or practice of denying parents and eligible students of the  right to:

  • Inspect and review education records within 45 days of a request
  • Seek to amend education records believed to be inaccurate; and
  • Click here to view The Dear Colleague Letter on Protecting Student Medical RecordsConsent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records,
    except as specified by law.

Educational agencies and institutions also must annually notify parents and eligible students of their rights under FERPA.  They must also notify parents and eligible students of the educational agencies’ or institutions’ directory information policy, if they have one.   Educational agencies and institutions must comply with FERPA’s recordation and redisclosure provisions and other provisions under FERPA. 

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In addition, State education officials who have access to student information must understand their roles and responsibilities under FERPA to protect that information and uphold the parent and eligible student’s right to privacy under FERPA.

FPCO recognizes that school officials at the elementary and secondary school levels may have different FERPA-related challenges and questions than those school officials at the postsecondary level.  Thus, the resources and FAQs found here are, where appropriate, organized to address your unique FERPA questions and issues. 

If after reviewing the FAQs and other resources provided you are unable to find the answer to your question, you may submit your question here.  

 

FERPA Description & FPCO Mission Statement

General FERPA Description:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children's education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student ("eligible student"). The FERPA statute is found at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and the FERPA regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99.

Mission Statement For FPCO:
The mission of the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) is to meet the needs of the Department's primary customers--learners of all ages--by effectively implementing two laws that seek to ensure student and parental rights in education: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

FERPA Resources for K-12, SEA and LEA School Officials

FAQ

FERPA for School Officials Guidance and Notices

Model Notifications for LEA Officials

Guidance for Reasonable Methods and Written Agreements

FPCO Letters for K-12 and SEA Officials

Model Form for Disclosure to Parents of Dependent Students and Consent Form for Disclosure to Parents          (  En español  PDF )

Model Form for Disclosure to Parents of Dependent Students    (  En español  PDF )

FERPA Model Notice for Directory Information    (  En español  PDF )

Laws and Regulations

Title 34, Part 99 - Family Educational Rights and Privacy

December 2, 2011 Rules and Regulations (PDF)

FERPA for School Officials FAQ PDF

Addressing Emergencies on Campus

FERPA and the Disclosure of Student Information Related to Emergencies and Disasters

FERPA and the H1N1 Virus

Joint Guidance on the Application of FERPA and HIPAA to Student Health Records

Disclosure of Student Financial Aid Information

Amendments to FERPA Relating to Anti-Terrorism Activities

The Legislative History of FERPA

The Uninterrupted Scholars Act

IDEA and FERPA Confidentiality Provisions

Notice to Chief State School Officers

Notice to Superintendents

FERPA Final Regulations Relating to Electronic Consent and Signature, 34 CFR Part 99s

Dear Colleague Letter re: conditions under which institutions may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to Federal Student Aid (SFA) without consent

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Model Notice for Directory Information