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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. FERPA governs (1) release of these records (known as education records) maintained by a school or by a third party on behalf of a school and (2) access to these records.

What is an Educational Record?

Education records are any records directly related to a student and maintained by a school or by a party acting for the school. Education records include demographics, personal information,class assignments, attendance, grades, test scores, placement scores, discipline records, special services, Financial Aid, etc.

What is NOT considered an Educational Record?

- Records of instructional, supervisory, administrative, and certain 
educational
personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof, and are not accessible
or revealed to any other individual except a substitute.
- Records maintained by a law enforcement unit of an educational agency created by that
law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement and not shared with others.
- Records relating to individuals who are employed by the school, which are made and
maintained in the normal course of business, related exclusively to individuals in their
capacity as employees and not available for any other purpose (Records of individuals in
attendance at ARE EDUCATIONAL RECORDS).
- Records relating to a student which are 1) created or maintained by a physician,
psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional acting in his or her
professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity; 2) used solely in
connection with the provision of treatment to the student; and 3) not disclosed to
anyone other than individuals providing such treatment so long as the records can be
personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s
choice.
- Records of a school which contain only information relating to a person after that
person is no longer a student at the school (information gathered about alumni) unless
they refer to the period of time when the individual was a student.

What Rights Does FERPA Give a Parent (or Student if over the age of 18)?

  1. The right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day a school receives a request for access. 2 If a Parent wants to inspect or review an education record held by ECS Learning Systems, the Parent should contact the appropriate FERPA officer at the applicable school or district office. The school or district representative is then responsible for contacting ECS Learning Systems to request access to the record. The school or district should forward such requests to their account representative or CustomerCare@ECSLearn.com. The school or district must contact ECS Learning Systems within 15 business? days of any Parent request to ensure that the record can be inspected within 45 days of the request.
  2. The right to request the amendment of an education records if the parent (or student) believes them to be inaccurate. Parents (or students) may ask a school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should contact the appropriate FERPA officer at the applicable school, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the record is held by ECS Learning Systems, we will rely on the school to access whether to make the requested amendment. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent, the school is responsible for notifying the parent of the decision and advising the parent of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment (such hearing to be administered by the school).
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Instances where a school (and potentially ECS Learning Systems) may disclose personally identifiable information from education records without a parent’s (or student’s) prior written consent include (but are not limited to) the following:
    1. Directory Information unless the parent has opted out of such disclosure pursuant to the school’s Directory Information Policy.
    2. To school officials with a legitimate educational interest in the record. This may include school employees (academic, administrative, and support) and ECS Learning Systems employees who have a legitimate educational interest in the record. It may also include other third persons or entities with which the school or ECS Learning Systems has contracted (including auditors, attorneys, and vendors). A school official (or a third party) has a legitimate educational interest in a record if he or she reasonably needs access to the record as part of his or her job or contractual duties.
    3. To officials of postsecondary institutions in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, upon request of officials at that other institution.
    4. To a parent or guardian if the student is claimed as a depended under the Internal Revenue Code.
    5. To any individual if the school or ECS Learning Systems determines in its discretion that the disclosure is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.
    6. In response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
    7. To certain federal and state governmental agencies (including the U.S. Department of Education or Department of Justice)
    8. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or received if necessary to determine eligibility for or the amount of aid or to enforce terms or conditions associated with that aid.

      Please note that ECS Learning Systems’ contractual obligations may limit its ability to disclose information from education records to third parties (or limit the third parties to which ECS Learning Systems may make such disclosures) that exceed the limits established by FERPA. No ECS Learning Systems employee should make any disclosure of personally identifiable information from an education record unless they have received written approval from their supervisor and received confirmation that such disclosure is permitted, even if the disclosure falls into one of the categories above.

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605

Confidentiality

ECS Learning Systems employees must protect the privacy of student educational records and shall not disclose personally identifiable information about a student or permit inspection of the student’s records without a parent’s (or, if applicable, the student’s) written consent unless such action is permitted by FERPA (and otherwise complies with all ECS Learning Systems policies and procedures).

Directory Information

Each school may establish its own Directory Information Policy and is permitted to disclose such directory information unless the parent requests in writing that such information not be disclosed. ECS Learning Systems employees should not disclose directory information to any third party (unless otherwise compliant with FERPA). The items listed below are commonly designated as directory information:

  • Student’s name
  • Student’s address
  • Parents’ or guardians’ name(s)
  • Student’s phone number
  • Student’s home town
  • Dates of attendance
  • Academic class
  • Photographs
  • Email address (of student or parent/guardian)
  • Previous schools attended
  • Major field of study
  • Awards
  • Honors
  • Degree(s) conferred
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized activities and sports