Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
A student's right to privacy is protected under FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. What this means is that we will not discuss your financial aid with anyone unless you have given us written authorization to do so.
In addition, students have the right to review their educational records, to request amendment of records, to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information, and to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education. If you have further questions about FERPA, please refer to the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook of the Escambia County School District Chapters 10 and 12G.
Here is an excerpt from the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook Chapter 10 regarding privacy:
Chapter 10: Educational Records
⦁ Annual Notice to Parents
A complete copy of the Student Record Guidelines is available for use in each school or center in the District. The principal, school counselor, or data clerk can provide access to the Student Records Guidelines. Each school keeps individual records including electronic records which are part of the cumulative records of its students. Parents/guardians and students at age eighteen (18) may ask to see these records at any time. Each school and the District have the following information about records for parents/guardians and students to read:
⦁ a complete set of written policies and procedures about educational records;
⦁ a list of the kinds of student records kept by the schools and the location of each kind of record; and
⦁ a list of District staff members, officials, or other authorized people who are allowed to see and use the records without the written consent of the parent/guardian.
Types of information kept by schools in educational records include the following:
⦁ health information
⦁ family background information
⦁ test scores
⦁ educational and vocational plans
⦁ honors and activities
⦁ work experience reports
⦁ teacher comments
⦁ reports from student services or exceptional education staffing committees
⦁ letters from agencies or professional persons
⦁ driver education certificates
⦁ a list of schools attended
⦁ written agreements of correction or deletions as a result of meetings or hearing
⦁ Right to Have Access
Parents/guardians and students eighteen (18) years of age and older have the right to view the student’s records by making a request to the principal/designee. The school will share the records as soon as possible, not to exceed thirty (30) calendar days after the request is made. Divorced parents have equal access to a student’s records unless a court order prohibiting a parent’s access is on file with the school. A school staff member will be available to explain information in the records. Parents/guardians or the student may ask for copies of information in the records. A charge of $.15 per page for copies may be assessed. The fee shall not include the cost to retrieve the educational record nor shall a fee prevent parents/guardian from inspecting or reviewing such records. Exceptional Student Education parents/guardians can access records through central files.
⦁ Right to Privacy
All school records on individual students are private and confidential. Persons other than the school staff, school health staff, or District staff will not be allowed to see any personally identifiable student records without the written consent of parents/guardians or students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older. Some exceptions to this rule may include, but are not limited to, the following:
⦁ In an emergency situation where danger to health and safety exists, some records may be shared without the parent’s/guardian’s consent.
⦁ Some state and federal officials have the right to review records.
⦁ When a student enters or plans to enter any other school, records or copies of records will be sent to that school when requested by the receiving principal, the parent/guardian, or student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older.
⦁ Some information from the record, called directory information, may be shared without written consent or permission. This information includes the student’s name, grade, address, listed telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized school activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees or awards received, and the last school attended by the student. Immunization and health information may be shared with government agencies as requested. Armed forces and recruiters are included in this release of information.
⦁ Any parent/guardian or student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older may request in writing that directory information not be released. Any such requests must be made within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving this notice, and it must be renewed annually.
⦁ Right to Waive Access
Parents/guardians and students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older have the right to waive (give up) access to letters or statements of recommendation or evaluation. The parent/guardian or student may ask to be notified of the names of persons submitting letters or statements. The letter must be used only for the purpose intended. Parents/guardians or students may not be required to give up the right to access.
⦁ Right to Challenge and Right to Hearing
If at any time a parent/guardian or student believes that information in the school record is inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate, the parent/guardian or the student may ask that the record be changed. If the school agrees, the information will be corrected or deleted. If the school disagrees with the parent/guardian, the parent/guardian and student have the right to request a hearing challenging the content of the student’s record. The parent/guardian or eligible student shall have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence at the hearing. The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
⦁ Rights of Adult Students (Secondary)
When a student reaches age eighteen (18) or is attending a postsecondary institution (after graduating from high school), he/she will have all the rights listed above. This right includes exceptional education students unless the type or severity of the exceptionality would prevent the student from understanding his/her rights and/or acting in his/her own best interest. If a student at age eighteen (18) is still a dependent student, parents/guardians may continue to share certain rights in regards to records. Parents/guardians or students who have any questions about student records should call the principal or the office of guidance services at the school.
⦁ Right for Language Interpretation
Parents/guardians who have a primary language other than English may request an interpretation from English to the primary or home language of pertinent portions of the School District of Escambia County Rights and Responsibilities Handbook including, but not limited to, Rights of Privacy. Requests for interpretation should be made to the Director of Comprehensive Planning located at the J.E. Hall Center, 30 East Texar Drive, Pensacola, Florida 32503. The request may be made by phone at (850) 469-5329.
⦁ Right to Report Violation
Complaints regarding an alleged violation of the Family Educational and Privacy Act may be reported to the U. S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. Complaints of unlawful discrimination may be made to the Office of Civil Rights, U. S. DOE.
⦁ Virtual Education Options
The Escambia County School District offers full time virtual instruction programs to all students grades K-12 that reside within our district. The open enrollment window for the 2021-22 school year will begin, June 7, 2021 and close August 10, 2021. For more information, please visit: http://www.eva-ecsd-fl.schoolloop.com/ or call the K-12 Virtual Education office at (850)469- 5457.
Excerpt from Chapter 12G regarding FERPA:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Notice for Directory Information
Parents and students have the right for the student’s education records to be protected from disclosure to anyone other than the parents/guardians. The School District is often asked to provide private education records to third parties, including but not limited to, extended family members, step-parents, attorneys, and court personnel. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that the only time the School District can disclose a student’s education records to such parties is: (1) if written consent from the parent/guardian is provided to the School District BEFORE disclosure, or (2) in response to a subpoena or court order and the parent/guardian is notified of the subpoena and intention to comply in a reasonable amount of time BEFORE compliance.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that the Escambia County School District (ECSD), with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, ECSD may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised ECSD to the contrary in accordance with ECSD procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow ECSD to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
a playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
the annual yearbook;
honor roll or other recognition lists;
sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members; and
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 (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.
If you do not want ECSD to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing within the first two weeks of each school year or enrollment. ECSD has designated the following information as directory information:
-Student’s name -Degrees, honors, and awards received
-Address -The most recent educational agency or
-Telephone listing institution attended
-Photograph -Immunization and health information may be
-Major field of student shared with government agencies as
-Dates of attendance requested.
-Grade level -Student ID number, cumulative GPA, gender,
-Participation in officially-recognized race, and date of 9th grade enrollment may be activities and sports shared with the Florida High School Athletic
-Weight and height of members of Association (FHSAA) for the sole purpose athletic teams of certifying and managing athletic eligibility
The Student ID number, electronic mail address, and course enrollment information may be shared with digital tool providers accessible through the District’s student webpage. A student’s social security number, in whole or in part, cannot be used for this purpose.
Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents certain rights regarding the School District’s participation in surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED):
political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
sex behavior or attitudes;
illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of
any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
Inspect upon request and before administration or use protected information surveys of students; instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes.