Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
2023-2024 School Year
Dear Parent, Guardian or Student:
This is to advise you of your rights with respect to school records pursuant to the Federal “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.” This notice has been updated to include electronic and/or digital contact information as Directory Information, which may be disclosed without prior consent as explained below.
Parents/Guardians of a student under 18, or a student 18 or older, have a right to inspect and review any and all official records, files, and data directly related to their children, including all material that is incorporated into each student’s cumulative record folder and intended for school use or to be available to parties outside the school or school system, and specifically including, but not necessarily limited to, identifying data, academic work completed, level of achievement (grades, standardized achievement test scores, etc.) attendance, data, scores on standardized intelligence, aptitude, and psychological tests, interest inventory results, health data, family background information, teacher or counselor ratings and observations, and verified reports of serious or recurrent behavior patterns.
Student records, and any material contained therein which is personally identifiable, are confidential and may not be released or made available to persons other than parent(s) or guardian(s) or the students themselves without the written consent of such parent(s) or guardian(s) or the student. There are a number of exceptions to this rule, such as other school employees and officials, and certain state and federal officials, who have a legitimate educational need for access to such records in the course of their employment.
An additional exception is directory information, which is personally identifiable information that the district may disclose. The Port Washington School District has designated the following as Directory Information:
Student's name, parent's name, address, telephone number, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees and awards received, student photographs, electronic and/or digital contact information, including but not limited to student's and parent's e-mail addresses.
Some of this information, such as names or photographs, may be used in District publications, including our website, or shared with newspapers, media outlets and social media.
The District may disclose any of those items without prior written consent unless the principal of the school where the student is enrolled is notified in writing by the parent(s) or guardian(s) or an eligible student about the specific information that is not to be disclosed. You have the right to refuse to let the District designate any or all of the above types of information as directory information, by notifying the school principal in writing within fourteen (14) days following receipt of this notice or fourteen (14) days after your child enters the Port Washington Schools, whichever is later, that you do not wish to have any or all of the above types of information designated as directory information.
Copies of the School District policy on student records may be picked up at the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. Copies will also be mailed upon receipt of a written request.
A parent or guardian of a student under 18 years of age or a student 18 years of age or older shall make a request for access to that student’s school records in writing to the building principal. Upon receipt of such requests, arrangements shall be made to provide access to such records within a reasonable period of time, but in any case, not more than thirty (30) days after the request has been received.
Such parent(s) or guardian(s) and students are also entitled to an opportunity to request that records be amended to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. Any questions concerning the procedures to be followed in requesting an amendment should be directed to the superintendent of schools. If the request for an amendment is denied, the parent(s) or guardian(s) and students have a right to request a hearing with the superintendent of schools.
Finally, such parent(s) or guardian(s) and students are entitled to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education where it is believed that there was a failure on the part of the School District to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and its regulations. The Office of the Superintendent of Schools will provide an address to use for the filing of such complaints.
Hopefully, as we work together, we can minimize problems and misunderstandings wherever possible.
Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools