Admin

Notification of Rights Under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older (eligible students) certain rights with respect to your student’s education records. These rights are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Parents/guardians or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records must submit a written request to the principal that identifies the record(s) the parents or eligible student wishes to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents/guardians or eligible students who wish to ask the school to amend their child’s or their education records must write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. If, as a result of the hearing, the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent/guardian or eligible student can insert a statement into the record setting forth his or her views regarding the nature of the inaccuracy. The statement must remain with the contested part of the record for as long as the record is maintained. Please note, while the FERPA amendment procedure may be used to challenge facts that are inaccurately recorded, it may not be used to challenge a grade, an opinion, or a substantive decision made by a school about a student. FERPA was intended to require only that schools conform to fair recordkeeping practices and not to override the accepted standards and procedures for making academic assessments, disciplinary rulings, or placement determinations. Additionally, if FERPA's amendment procedures are not applicable to a parent's/guardian’s request for amendment of education records, the school is not required under FERPA to hold a hearing on the matter.

3. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff; the person elected to the school board; or, a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a specific task. 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. Additionally, personally identifiable information will be released without consent to appropriate officials in emergency situations, to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena and in cases involving compulsory school attendance and child abuse. Further disclosures of personally identifiable information from educational records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible students can be found in 34 C.F.R. Part 99.31. Please note: Per FERPA, disciplinary records are also considered educational records and cannot be disclosed unless one of the above exceptions applies.

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 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.

Release of Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that OCPS, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, OCPS may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised OCPS to the contrary in accordance with OCPS procedures and Board Policy JRA, entitled, “Student Records.” The form to opt-out of the release of directory information can be obtained from your child’s school or by completing the form found at https://www.ocps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=54703&pageId=1259544. Please note, directory information, as permitted by the Board, will only be shared with contracted entities and pursuant to Board Policy JRA, title "Student Records."

In accordance with FERPA and Board Policy JRA, the following information, also known as “directory information,” can be found in your child’s school records and is not confidential:
  • Student name;
  • Student address; 
  • Telephone numbers, if listed;
  • Name of the most recent previous school or program attended;
  • Dates of attendance at schools in the district;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
  • Diplomas, certificates, and honors received;
  • Date of graduation; and
  • Date and place of birth.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. [Note: These laws are Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. § 503(c).]

In addition, the names and directory information pertaining to children of active or former law enforcement officers, investigative personnel of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, firefighters, justices and judges, and other officials, as outlined in Section 119.07, Florida Statutes, are exempt from disclosure. If such a parent/guardian makes a written request to the school that information not be released by the school without parent/guardian consent, the school shall not release such information.

Release of Educational Records to Other Educational Agencies

FERPA permits disclosure of educational records to other educational agencies or institutions in accordance with 34 C.F.R. § 99.34. OCPS may disclose educational records to other educational agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. The parent/guardian may request a copy of the record that was disclosed, and/or the parent/guardian may request a hearing as outlined in this Section. In addition, pursuant to Section 1003.25, Florida Statutes, educational records transferred to another educational agency shall include: verified reports of serious or recurrent behavior patterns, including threat assessment evaluations and intervention services; and psychological evaluations, including therapeutic treatment plans and therapy or progress notes created or maintained by OCPS, as appropriate.