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Educational Student Records (FERPA)

Annual Notification of Rights Regarding Student Records, Privacy and Related Rights
Notification of Rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives parents, and students 18 years of age and over ("eligible students"), certain rights with respect to the student's education records. This notification provides you with information about those rights.

INSPECTION OF EDUCATION RECORDS: You have the right to inspect and review your student's education records within 45 days of the day the School receives your request for access.

Procedure for Requesting Review of Records

Parents or eligible students must submit to the school principal a Request to Review Education Records By Parent/Guardian/Eligible Student that identifies the record(s) they are requesting to inspect. The School will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

Third-Party (Non-Parent/Guardian/Eligible Student) Request to Review Education Record form (Tercera Parte (Que no sean-los Padres / el – la Guardían / El – La Estudiante Elegible) Solicitud para revisar el Expediente Escolar).

AMENDMENT OF EDUCATION RECORDS: You have the right to request an amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

Procedure for Requesting Amendment of Student Records

Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the School to amend an educational record must complete and submit, to the school principal, a Request to Amend Educational Records form. The school principal shall, within fifteen school days of his or her receipt of the request, decide whether to amend the record as requested. If a decision is made not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision in writing, and advise them of their right to request a hearing to challenge the decision.
Information regarding hearing requests and procedures is contained in the Regulation to Board Policy 5220.

EDUCATIONAL RECORDS CONSENT: You have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA (20 U.S.C 1232g) and its regulations (34 C.F.R. 99.3 et seq.) authorize disclosure without consent. Some of these exceptions are:

Disclosures to School Officials within Westside Community Schools

Disclosure without consent can be made when disclosure is to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Westside Community Schools as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using its own employees or officials (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.

Disclosures to School Officials of Other Schools

The School discloses education records, without parent/guardian/eligible student consent, to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, upon written request of that school district. Parents/guardians/eligible students may also initiate the release of the records by completing a Release of Records to Transfer School form (Cesión del Expediente Escolar a la Escuela Traslativa Por el Padre - la Madre / el - la Guardián / el - la Estudiante Elegible). The parent/guardian/eligible student shall, upon request, be provided a copy of the records disclosed, and may contest the content of the educational records by following the procedures contained in the “Amendment of Educational Records” section above.

Disclosures to Agencies and Individuals by Parent/Guardian/Eligible student

Directory Information

Another exception to the requirement that parents or eligible students consent to disclosure of their student’s educational records is when the information is “Directory Information.” Directory Information is defined under FERPA as information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory Information may be included in school publications and disclosed to outside organizations – unless the parent or eligible student has opted out of such disclosure. Westside Community Schools has designated the following information as “Directory Information”:
  • Student's name, address and telephone listing
  • Electronic Mail address
  • Photographs (including use of photographs of students in District publications and on the District’s website)
  • Video/Film of Student
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance, enrollment status, and grade level
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended

Examples of when directory information is disclosed to the public include:

  • Community Club publications
  • Playbill, showing a student's role in a drama production
  • Annual yearbook
  • District’s website, calendars, newsletters, and other District publications
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists
  • Graduation programs/ school production programs
  • Sports activity sheets
  • Disclosure to outside organizations, such as (but not limited to) those that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks
  • Disclosure as required by federal law to military recruiters and institutions of higher learning for 11th and 12th grade students.

Opting-Out of Disclosure of Directory Information

Parents or eligible students have the right to opt-out of disclosure of any or all of the information that Westside Community Schools has designated as Directory Information, and may also submit an opt-out limited to prohibiting disclosure to military recruiters.

In order to opt-out you must submit a written Denial of Permission form, which can be obtained from the principal’s office at the elementary schools, and from the guidance offices at the middle school and high school. It is also available for printing by clicking on this link: Opt Out of Directory Information form. Those wishing to limit opt-out only for disclosure to military recruitment and/or institutions of higher learning must complete the Military/Higher Ed Opt Out form.

The Denial of Permission form must be submitted to the principal’s office for students at elementary schools, and to the school guidance offices for students attending the middle school or high school. Denial of Permission Forms are due by September 1, 2013. Denial of Permission Forms submitted after September 1, 2013 will be accepted, however some Directory Information on the student may have already been submitted for printing/dissemination and will not be able to be changed or removed.

COMPLAINTS: If you have a complaint or a concern about any of the above rights, you may contact your school’s principal, or if you prefer you may contact the ABC Building to speak with the designated Director.

You also have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Westside Community Schools to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901

Procedure for Requests for Education Records of Deceased Students

Westside Community Schools does not permit the release of education records of a deceased student for 25 years after his/her death unless authorized in writing by the executor/executrix of the deceased student’s estate. If an executor/executrix has not been appointed or is no longer functioning in that capacity, a release must be given by the student’s parent, or if no parent is living, by the deceased student’s closest living relative.
The Westside Community School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin or disability.
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