Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal 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 with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
• School officials with legitimate educational interest;
• Other schools to which a student is transferring;
• Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
• Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
• Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
• Accrediting organizations;
• To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
• Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
• State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as parent contact information, student’s name, major field of study, participation in officially recognized and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, grade level, dates of attendance, degrees, honors, awards received and photographs. If you DO NOT want the District to disclose directory information (see above) from your child(ren)’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by the end of September to the principal of the school your child attends. Please note that if you do not want the District to disclose directory information and notify the District of this decision, the District will not disclose any of the above listed directory information (directory information is not a list of choices for parents) which may preclude your child(ren) from being highlighted in District publications, identified in the yearbook or recognized for his/her accomplishments.
Exclusion from Photographs, Interviews and Recordings
At times, children in Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Schools may be interviewed, photographed or recorded during the school day in order to recognize their academic, extracurricular and athletic achievements; to report on the positive work taking place in our schools; to highlight special events, activities and projects; for educational purposes; and to educate the community about the District and its schools. This includes:
• The District e-newsletter ("SchoolGram")
• Slideshows at student assemblies and ceremonies
• News releases to local newspapers such as the Ken-Ton Bee
• The District website and Facebook page
• District publications such as the calendar
Also, representatives from outside media outlets such as newspapers and television stations occasionally desire to visit schools during the school day to report on educational matters and highlight student accomplishments and distinctions. It is not unusual for students to occasionally be interviewed and for photographs or video of students to be featured for print and broadcast purposes.
To best protect our students, you may choose to exclude your child from any of these communications by completing the “Exclusion from Student Photographs, Interviews and Recordings” form for the upcoming or current school year and returning the form to your school. Click here to download or view the form.
The “Exclusion from Student Photographs, Interviews and Recordings” form does not constitute written notification regarding the disclosure of directory information as specified under FERPA, and this form does not include yearbooks. If you do not wish for your child to be included in yearbooks, please contact your child’s school. Parents who notify the District regarding the disclosure of directory information as specified under FERPA will automatically be excluded from District communications. At any time, parents who choose to have their children excluded may change their preference either indefinitely or only for a specific purpose by contacting their school.