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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Student records contain information that is collected and maintained by the school on a routine basis for educational or operational purposes. Student records are considered confidential and, generally, personally identifiable information may not be disclosed to an individual or agency ("third party") without written parent/guardian consent, unless there exists a legitimate educational interest or other exception as allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For example, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district 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.

Accessibility to student records is guided by Valley School District policy and procedure in accordance with state and federal laws. The following documents provide information about the management of student information and records.

Under FERPA, parents, guardians and adult students have the right to:

  • Review and inspect the student’s education record.
  • Seek to amend information if they believe the record is inaccurate or misleading.
  • Provide written consent prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Parents, guardians and adult students who wish to review their education records should submit a written request to the school office where the student is enrolled. The school will make arrangements for access and notify the requester of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

Notice of Directory Information Rights

Schools may disclose appropriately designated "Directory Information" without written consent. Directory Information is student education information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if included in school or community publications or provided to outside organizations for purposes such as annual yearbooks, honor rolls, graduation, or sports activity sheets and articles. Federal law requires schools to inform parents that Directory Information might be used for certain school-related purposes. Parents and guardians have the option of restricting the release of Directory Information without their prior consent by providing written notice to the district administration office within ten (10) days of enrollment or first day of school.

What is Directory Information?

Valley School District identifies the following as directory information:

  • your child’s name and grade level
  • photographs, video and other images of your child
  • recognition, honors/awards, and diplomas received by your child
  • date and place of birth
  • most recent and previous schools attended
  • dates of enrollment and enrollment status
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight/height of student, if related to athletic participation
  • address, electronic (e-mail) address, and telephone number, including cell phone
  • student ID number (only if it cannot be used to gain access to education records)

Publishing photos of your child in district publications and websites, or in the news media, is one of the things you can restrict. Additionally, because high schools must provide student contact information (name, address, phone number) to military recruiters as directed by federal law, a parent/guardian/adult student may specifically opt out of providing such information to recruiters without his or her prior written consent.

We ask parents to think carefully before restricting this information.

Unfortunately, by restricting your child’s directory information for school publications, your student's name and photo cannot be included in student annuals and yearbooks. He or she will not be able to be part of classroom, team or club photos which are intended to be published in yearbooks. And, if you say "no" to providing contact information to outside organizations, your child's name, address and phone number/s will not be provided to non-district organizations, including: graduation supplies companies; colleges; or military recruiters; and, after graduation, school reunion committees.

What if you change your mind?

If you ask us to restrict the routine release of student Directory Information, but later change your mind, please submit a written notification to your child’s school office with a request to end restriction of the release of student Directory Information