FERPA for Parents
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FERPA for Parents

FERPA for Parents

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

 

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. 
It also gives parents certain rights to those records.

 

You have rights to your student’s educational information, and MPS recognizes these rights (see Policy 1040 and Policy 1040A).

As a parent, you have the right to review your child's education records and to request changes under limited circumstances (these are the “certain rights”). To protect your child's privacy, the law generally requires schools to ask for written consent before disclosing your child's personally identifiable information to individuals other than you.

If you are a staff member, you can learn even more about FERPA on our school-focused Data Privacy page (see FERPA for Schools).

Examples of protected educational data:

  • Student transcripts and grades
  • Class schedule
  • Advising record
  • Disciplinary records
  • Athletics or department recruiting information
  • Free/reduced lunch status
  • MARSS number
  • Records of drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services
  • HIV status, medical records, child abuse
  • Records of treatment for certain health and mental health conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing and treatment, pregnancy, and mental health counseling.

 

Directory Information

FERPA allows schools and districts to designate certain basic student information as “directory information,” and share that information without consent if certain additional requirements are met.

Check MPS's Student and Staff Data Protection Policy 1040 for more about Directory Information in the district.

 

Rights Violations

If you feel yours or your child's rights have been violated under FERPA, you may wish to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (see Protecting Student Privacy - File a Complaint).

FERPA generally prohibits the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information derived from education records. Thus, information that an official obtained through personal knowledge or observation, or has heard orally from others, is not protected under FERPA.

If the Department of Education receives a timely complaint that contains a specific allegation of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a school has violated FERPA, they may initiate an administrative investigation into the allegation in accordance with procedures outlined in the FERPA regulations. If a determination is made that a school violated FERPA, the school and the complainant are so advised, and the school is informed of the steps it must take to come into compliance with the law. The investigation is closed when voluntary compliance is achieved.


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