FERPA & ISSRA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA) afford parents certain rights with respect to their student's educational records. They are, in part, as follows:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within a reasonable time after the district receives a request for access. A parent/guardian should submit to the records custodian, principal, or other appropriate officials, written requests that identify the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The district official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent/guardian of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the district official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the parent/guardian of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the parent/guardian believes is inaccurate or misleading. A parent/guardian may ask the district to amend a record that he/she believes is inaccurate or misleading. He/she should write the district officials responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
- If the district decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent/guardian, the district will notify the parent/guardian of the decision and advise the parent/guardian of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent/guardian when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA or ISSRA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as follows: a person employed by the district in an administrative supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the district has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); or a person serving on the board of education.
- A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.
- Upon request, the district discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
The rights of parents and students regarding student records are as follows:
- "Student Permanent Record" means the minimum personal information necessary to a school in the education of the student and contained in a school student record. Such information includes:
- Students' and parents' names and addresses, date of birth, place of birth, and gender;
- Grades, class rank, graduation date, grade level achieved, and scores on college entrance exams;
- Attendance records;
- Accident reports and health record;
- Honors and awards received;
- Information regarding participation in school-sponsored activities; and-
- Record of release of student permanent record information.
Permanent records will be maintained for a period of sixty years following the student's graduation, transfer, or permanent withdrawal from the school. The principal is the official records custodian for the building.
- "Student Temporary Record" means all information contained in a school student record but not required to be in the student permanent record. Such information includes:
- Family background information;
- Intelligence and aptitude test scores;
- Psychological evaluation reports and intelligence and personality tests;
- Elementary and secondary achievement level test results;
- Participation in extra-curricular activities including any offices held in school-sponsored clubs or organizations;
- Honors and awards received;
- Teacher anecdotal records;
- Disciplinary information, including information regarding serious disciplinary infractions involving drugs, weapons, or bodily harm to another that resulted in expulsion, suspension or the imposition of punishment or sanction;
- Special education files;
- Verified reports from non-education persons, agencies or organizations;
- Other verified information of clear relevance to the education of the student; and
- Record of release of student temporary record information.
Temporary records for all students will be maintained for a minimum of five (5) years following the student's graduation, transfer, or permanent withdrawal from school.
The parents of any student who has graduated, transferred or withdrawn from school, including special education students, and/or the student him/herself if he/she has turned 18 years of age, may request the information contained in the temporary file by contacting the building principal.
- Except as provided in FERPA and ISSRA, any release of or access to student records shall require written consent of the parent or legal guardian. A parent or student may not be forced to release information from student records in order to secure any right, privilege, or benefit, including employment, credit, or insurance. A record of information released will be maintained.
- Parents and legal guardians have the right to inspect and challenge the accuracy, relevance, and/or propriety of any student record entry, exclusive of course grades. The procedure of challenge is as follows:
- The parent and/or legal guardian must prepare a written statement that identifies the follows: the entry being challenged; the reason it is being challenged; and the desired outcome.
- The parent or legal guardian must request an informal conference with the principal. Such a conference must be held within fifteen (15) school days of the request.
- If satisfaction is not reached, the parent or guardian must request a formal review by the Superintendent of Schools. Such a conference must be held within fifteen (15) days of the request, and a decision must be rendered within ten (10) school days of the conference.
- If a resolution is still not reached, the parent or legal guardian must request a review by the Superintendent of the Educational Service Region. The decision of the appeal shall be final.
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that School District 7, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records. However, School District 7 may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. 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, such as the District PTO or the yearbook publisher, without a parent's prior written consent. The primary purpose of the directory information is allow School District 7 to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
- Recognition in a School Newsletter;
- Photograph in Newsletter, Calendar or Website;
- The Yearbook;
- Student Recognition Lists;
- Graduation/Holiday/Band/Choral Programs
- The following information is designated as directory information and may be released to the general public, unless the parents request that any or all such information not be released: student's name and address; grade level; birth date and place; parents' names, home phone number and addresses; information on participation in school-sponsored activities and athletics; achievements; and period of attendance in the school. A parent or student who wishes to have this information or any reproduction of student's photograph, image, voice, film, or other recorded image excluded from publication or any sort, may do so by notifying the principal in writing. Failure to submit such request in writing shall release the Wood Dale School District, their officers, employees, agents, representatives, or their assignee, or designees from any claim or liability for invasion of privacy, libel, slander, or other course of action with respect to publication, distribution, or use of such photograph, image, voice, film, other recorded image, or any reproduction or prints thereof.
- Parents have the right to inspect and copy information contained in the student's record. There will be a small charge for copies, not to exceed 35 cents per page. This fee will be waivied for those unable to afford such costs.
- The Illinois School Student Records Act allows student records to be disseminated to a SHOCAP (Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program) committee for the purpose of identifying serious habitual offenders and matching them with community resources.
- Copies of the laws, rules, and regularions on student records are on file with the principal and the superintendent of the district.
- No person may condition the granting or witholding of any right, privlege or benefits or make as a condition of employment, credit or insurance the securing by any indicidual of any information from a student's temporary record that the individual may obtain through the exercise of any right secured under the Act.