The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Pennsylvania law affords parents/guardians and students eighteen (18) years of age and older (“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 forty five (45) days of the LEA’s (Local Education Agency) receipt of a written request for access.
Parents or eligible students making such requests should submit to the appropriate LEA official a written request that identifies the record(s) s/he wishes to inspect. The LEA official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If, upon inspection, a parent or eligible student requests copies of such records, a fee may be charged.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the LEA to amend a record should write the appropriate LEA official, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the LEA decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the LEA 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 consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA and State law authorizes disclosure without consent. Disclosure of personally identifiable information can be made without consent to the following:
a. School officials, including teachers, with a legitimate need to review an educational record in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. The LEA maintains a list of these school officials.
b. Officials of another school or school system in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the LEA 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 20202-8520
(5) The right to refuse to permit the designation of any or all of the categories of directory information. The LEA is permitted by law to disclose directory information without written consent of the parent or eligible student. The parent or eligible student has the right to refuse to permit the designation of any or all of the categories of directory information if a written refusal is forwarded to the LEA by the start of the current school term. Directory information which may be released may include the student’s name, address, phone contact, date and place of birth; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; the most recent and previous education agency or institution attended by the student; and other similar information.