Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
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. They are:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the District receives a request for access.
Parents and eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the record(s) may be inspected.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record(s) that the parent or eligible student believes inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students may ask the Middle Country Central School District to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District will notify the parent or eligible student 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 parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) The right to provide written consent before the District discloses 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 District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel), or a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist), or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or 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 responsibility.
Another exception permits disclosure without consent to an authorized representative. An authorized representative is any individual or entity designated by a State or local educational authority or a Federal agency headed by the Secretary, the Comptroller General or the Attorney General to carry out audits, evaluations, or enforcement or compliance activities relating to educational programs.
The Board directs that “directory information” such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major course of study, participation in school activities or sports, weight and height if a member of an athletic team, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent school attended.
A directory of names, addresses and telephone numbers of 11th and 12th grade students will also be released to the Armed Services unless a written parental request is made preventing disclosure of this information.
Upon request, the District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
(4) The right to file complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
*All rights and protections given parents under the FERPA and this procedure transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or enrolls in a post-secondary school. The student then becomes an “eligible student.” The following information is designated as student “Directory Information:” student’s name, address, date of birth, grade level, extra-curricular participation, awards or honors, photograph, height and weight (if a member of an athletic team), previous school attended, parent’s name. “Directory Information” may be disclosed without prior written consent. Parents or eligible students will have two weeks from the beginning of the school year or date a student enrolls to advise the school district, in writing, of any and all items they refuse to permit the district to designate as directory information for the balance of the school year.