FPCO Clarifies Scope and Requirements of FERPA

| Sep 14, 2008 | Student Matters |

The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) issued a letter to a parent seeking access to records that clarifies the scope and requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), noting that the school is not generally required by FERPA to provide a parent with access to school calendars or general notices such as announcements of parent-teacher meetings or extracurricular activities. Such general notices are not educational records pertaining to the individual student and are not subject to the FERPA access requirements.  In addition, a school is not required to create documents in response to a FERPA request, and is not required to provide a parent with periodic updates regarding student records.  Rather than submitting a “standing request”, parents seeking access to educational records under FERPA should submit a specific request for records. Unless a specific state law applies (such as Connecticut’s regulation allowing parents of special education students to have one free copy of a child’s special education records), FERPA requires that the district provide access to the parent to examine the records within 45 days of receipt of the request. Letter to Anonymous, 107 LRP 64188 (FPCO, 9/28/07).

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