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Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA)

The District’s procedures for the confidentiality of student records are consistent with federal statutes, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The parents, those acting in a parental relationship, or eligible students of the Williamsville Central School District are hereby notified that you have the following rights in relation to student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Board of Education Policy #7240:

1.      The right to inspect and review student’s education records, unless otherwise limited by court order or other legally binding instrument, within 45 days of receipt of request.

2.      The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate. Parents or eligible students may request such amendment by writing to the School Principal (or appropriate school official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate.  If the School decides 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 and advise them of the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. Additional information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of this right.

3.      The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

4.      There are exceptions which allow for disclosure without consent:

  • Educational records may be released to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by a school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (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 the educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • Education records of a student concerning disciplinary action taken against a student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community may be disclosed to school officials in other schools who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the behavior of the student.
  • Educational records may be disclosed by school officials, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, to another school or postsecondary institution in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.

5.     The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

6.     If either a student’s parent, those acting in a parental relationship, or the eligible student desire to obtain copies of the policy pertaining to student records, notification should be presented to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Exceptional Education, 105 Casey Rd., PO Box 5000, East Amherst, NY 14051-5000.

Release of information beyond that noted above requires parental consent.

Note – All rights and protections given parents under the FERPA and this policy transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 and petitions for self-determination, or attends a post-secondary school, or has been designated an “emancipated minor”. The student then becomes an “eligible student.”

Designated Directory Information

The District designates the following personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record as “directory information” and shall release the information without prior written consent, unless it is for commercial purposes:

1.      Student’s name and date of birth (if required for school-sponsored course, organization, activity or report)

2.      Name(s) of the student’s parent(s) or legal guardians

3.      Student’s address and phone number to law enforcement authorities for the purposes of complying with active investigations

4.      Student’s grade designation (i.e. first grade, tenth grade, etc.)

5.      Student’s extracurricular school activities and offices (e.g. member of the Math Club; Secretary of Student Council)

6.      Student’s school achievement, awards and honors (e.g. member of National Honor Society; selected for MVP award in Soccer)

7.      Relevant statistics and personal data if a member of an athletic team or other school sponsored course, organization or activity

8.      Present and previous school(s) attended by the student

Opt-Out - If you do not want the District to disclose the above directory information from your child’s educational records without your prior written consent, including to military recruiters, institutions of higher education, and potential employers, you must notify the District in writing by September 30 for the current school year. This notice must be sent to the building principal of your child’s school on a yearly basis.

Please note – A student photograph, video, or recording is not designated as “directory information.”  However, these may be used without prior written consent in District programs or to provide information or publicity for a school activity, the student, school or District.   If you refuse to permit use of your student’s photograph, video or recording for these District purposes, you must notify the District in writing as directed above by September 30 for the current school year and expires on June 30 of that school year.

Confidentiality

The District adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Private health care providers must follow other laws called Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In instances where the school needs to communicate with private health care providers, the parent will need to complete the required form(s) from their health care provider in order for school officials to be able to speak with them. Please be advised that confidential medical information will be shared with district personnel who need to know. This may include understanding the impact a medical condition may have on a child within the classroom setting and/or how to recognize and potentially manage significant medical concerns until medical help arrives. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.