Student Records

See Policy SR 1.11: Data Privacy Protection and Privacy of Pupil Specific Data Policy 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive federal funds.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their child’s education records. When a student reaches the age of 18 or attends a post-secondary school or college, the parent’s rights transfer to the student and the student is then an “eligible student” under the law. 


Private Data

Under FERPA, parents and eligible students have the following rights:

Inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school within 10 working days of the date a written request is received, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The request should identify the record(s) being inspected. The school is not required to provide copies of records and may charge a fee if copies are requested. Contact your building principal to seek access to your child’s record. You will be notified of the place and time the record(s) may be available for review.

Request that a school correct records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. The request must be in writing and clearly specify:

  • the part of the record you are requesting to be changed
  • why it is inaccurate or misleading

If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to a hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement in the record about the contested information. The school is not required to consider requests for grade or disciplinary decisions, opinions of school officials in the education record, or the child’s special education determination. Contact your building principal to request an amendment to your child’s record.

Control the disclosure of their child’s personally identifiable information from their education record, parents may request that the school, with certain exceptions, obtain their written consent prior to the disclosure of student information. An exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school staff with legitimate educational interests, such as a person employed by the district; a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, or therapist); a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a grievance or disciplinary committee or assisting another school official; or an official of another school district in which a student seeks to enroll. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill a professional responsibility.

Complaints concerning alleged failures by the school district to comply with the requirements of FERPA can be filed with the U.S. Department of Education at the following address:

   Family Policy Compliance Office
   U.S. Department of Education
   400 Maryland Avenue, SW
   Washington, DC  20202-4605

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Directory Information

FERPA also requires the school district, with certain exceptions, to obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s educational records. However, the school may disclose some student information without written consent when the information is designated “Directory Information” unless you have advised the district to the contrary in accordance with district procedures.

The school district has designated the following as Directory Information:

  • Student name
  • Student photograph/image/recording
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Major field of study
  • Grade level completed
  • Participation in school sponsored activities and sports
  • Most recent educational agency or institution attended
  • Dates of attendance
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
The primary use for Directory Information by the district is to include this type of information in certain school publications. It is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released. Examples of school publications are:
  • A playbill or program, showing your child’s role in a drama or music production
  • The annual school yearbook
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists published in school or in newspapers
  • Graduation programs
  • School/student directory
  • School or district website
  • Sports statistics listed in programs, such as football, which may include height and weight of team members
Directory Information can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s/guardian’s prior written consent, regardless of the reason for or source of the requested data.
 
A student’s photograph/image/recording is also directory information and may be released. Photographs and videos of students participating in school activities and events may be taken by district personnel (and by the media with permission of school/district staff) for use in publications, marketing materials or online communications.

Parents/guardians may refuse to have any or all directory information made public by completing the Student Information Release Opt-Out Form (available in Skyward Family Access) and submitting it to their school by Oct. 1 of each year.

The names, addresses and home phone numbers of students in grades 11 and 12 may also be shared with military and college recruiters, per federal law. Parents/guardians may refuse the release of this information for recruitment purposes by completing the Military/ College Recruiter section of the Student Information Release Opt-Out form.

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Special Education Records

Student special education files are kept and maintained in the school that the student attends. Current individualized education plans (IEPs) and required special education forms are also kept on the District SpEd Forms System (electronic files). Access to individual student data on the SpEd Forms System is reserved for special education staff working with the student and administration. Parents/guardians should contact the student’s special education case manager or building principal to access or request a release of information related to the files. Minnesota Statutes require that school districts retain special education records for five years after graduation. It is recommended that students and/or their parents keep copies of the last two individual educational plans (IEPs) and the most recent three-year assessment. Request for copies or release of information to other agencies can be made with written authorization by the student, if age 18 or older, or the parent/legal guardian. Direct questions to Student Support Services at 651.351.8309.

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