The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the students’ education records. Educational records are records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or school by a person acting for the agency of school. Excluded from the term “educational records” are records of instructional, supervisory, or administrative personnel that are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a supervisor. All information regarding students and their families is collected, maintained, and disseminated using the safeguards necessary to comply with Federal and State laws.
These rights are:
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
The right to provide written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained within the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA and Louisiana law authorize the disclosure without consent.
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 at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Personally identifiable data/information (PII) includes the following:
The student’s name;
The name of the student’s parent or other family members;
The address of the student or student’s family member;
A personal identifier that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity such as social security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name or biometric records
Any other information that is linked or linkable to a specific student such as medical, educational, financial, and employment information.
Two or more pieces of information that separately or when linked together can be sued to reasonably ascertain the identity of the person.
Legitimate educational interest is interest that requires regular access for purposes of adding material, periodic review, filing new student data, and/or removing inadequate, ambiguous, irrelevant data; the interest having the educational well-being of the student in mind for purposes of continuing, improving, or changing the education program of the student; and that interest in which the person has a legitimate need to know. The Superintendent shall have the authority to determine those individuals who have legitimate educational interests for purposes of this policy, except that any such authorization must be consistent with federal law (FERPA).
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Directory Information Notice
Unless directed in writing otherwise by a student’s parent, legal guardian or a student who has reached the age of majority, GGCA approves a person employed in a school or person authorized by the Superintendent to provide access to certain student personally identifiable information to further a legitimate educational purpose, in accordance with FERPA and La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914 as follows:
- Information to facilitate a student’s participation in a school-sanctioned extracurricular activity, including but not limited to a sport, organization or club;
Information to facilitate the operation and daily activities within district facilities, including but not limited to the display and use of student information in and around student facilities;
Programs and activities related to school-sanctioned performances or productions, events, award programs, and graduations;
University transcript requests, scholarships, and admissions;
LHSAA, NCAA, and other related sports programs or sanctioning entities;
Online resources and educational tools;
School photography and yearbook providers;
Any other information considered “Directory Information”, to the extent allowed in FERPA.
In addition, two federal laws require School Boards receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the School Board that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. [Note: These laws are Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. §7908) and 10 U.S.C. §503(c).]. In accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the School Board shall honor the requests of military recruiters for names, addresses and phone numbers of high school students, unless parents have specified that such information not be released to military recruiters. Opt-out procedures will be provided in the student handbook.
Student Information Disclosures
In accordance with La Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914(H) and FERPA, access to student PII may be authorized by the Superintendent without parent/eligible student consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. Disclosure of personally identifiable information from students’ education records is also authorized without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets other conditions set forth below.
The Superintendent is authorized to disclose PII from the education records of a student, without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or eligible student, as follows
a. To other school officials whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests in accordance with the annual notification of FERPA rights. For contractors, the student PII may be transferred to computers operated and maintained by the contractor and the contractor shall not allow access to or release student PII to any person or entity except as specified in the contract.
b. Upon request, to officials of another school, school system or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), if a student with a disability is enrolled, or is going to enroll in a private school that is not located in the geographic jurisdiction of the Bossier Parish School Board of the parent's residence, parental consent must be obtained before any personally identifiable information about the student is released between the School Board and the private school.
c. To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or the Louisiana Department of Education. Disclosures may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal and State legal requirements that relate to those programs. Student information provided to School Board members, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE), or the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) shall be identifiable only by a student's identification number and aggregate data and shall be disclosed solely for the purpose of satisfying state and federal reporting requirements. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf, if applicable requirements are met
d. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. Once the parent, guardian, or student of majority age has granted written consent for collection of certain data in accordance with La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914(K), such data shall be disclosed solely for purposes of processing a student’s application to a Louisiana postsecondary education institution or to the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance for receipt of financial aid pursuant to such consent. Failure to provide such consent may result in delays or prevent successful application for admission to a postsecondary educational institution and state and federal student aid. Consent provided under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914(K) shall continue unless withdrawn in writing. Notice of a parent’s right to withdraw their previously provided consent will be provided annually. Courts, upon the issuance of proper orders or subpoenas.
e. To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed as authorized a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released.
f. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction, if applicable requirements are met. In no case shall a contractor be permitted to use student information to conduct predictive modeling for the purpose of limiting the educational opportunities of students.
g. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
h. To parents of an eligible student, if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
i. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, subject to the requirements of federal and State law.
j. To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to the requirements of federal and State law.
k. To an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization who is authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student in foster care placement.
l. To the Secretary of Agriculture or authorized representatives of the Food and Nutrition Service for purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, under certain conditions.
m. Information provided in accordance with a contract between the School Board and a public or private entity which has been contracted to perform student or education services, but only to the extent provided for in such a contract. Pursuant to La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3913, information concerning the release of PII pursuant to any contract shall be available at the School Board’s central office.
n. Information required to be reported pursuant to Article 609 of the Louisiana Children’s Code.
Electronic Data Governance
Except as provided below, no person or public or private entity shall access a public school computer system on which student information is stored. No official or employee of a public school system shall authorize access to such a computer system to any person or public or private entity except as authorized in this policy.
The following persons may access a public school computer system on which student information for students at a particular school is stored:
- A student who has reached the age of eighteen or is judicially emancipated or emancipated by marriage and the parent or legal guardian of a student who is under the age of eighteen (18) and not emancipated. For a student who has reached the age of eighteen (18) or is emancipated, such access is limited to information about the student. For the parent or legal guardian of a student who has not reached the age of eighteen and is not emancipated, such access shall be limited to information about the student. A student who has reached the age of eighteen or is emancipated and the parent or legal guardian of a student who has not reached the age of eighteen and is not emancipated may authorize, in writing, another person to access such information.
A teacher of record. Such access shall be limited to information about his current students.
The school principal and school registrar.
A school system employee employed at the school and designated by the principal. Such access shall be limited to student information necessary to perform his/her duties.
A person authorized by the Superintendent to maintain or repair the computer system or to provide services that the school system would otherwise provide.
A person authorized by the state to audit student records. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914(D)(2).
The following persons may access a computer system of a city, parish, or other local public school system on which student information for students from throughout the system is stored:
The Superintendent of the school system.
A school system employee designated by the Superintendent. Such access shall be limited to student information necessary to perform his/her duties.
A person authorized by the Superintendent to maintain or repair the computer system or to provide services that the school system would otherwise provide.
A person authorized by the state to audit student records. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914(D)(3).
Any person who is authorized to access a public school computer system, except a parent or legal guardian, shall maintain the confidentiality of any student information to which he/she has access.
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA affords parents and students who are 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights regarding conducting of surveys, collections and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical examinations. These include the right to:
1. Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (protected information survey) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education:
a. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents.
b. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family.
c. Sex behavior or attitudes.
d. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.
e. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships.
f. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers.
g. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents.
h. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
2. Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:
a. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding.
b. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, and any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law.
c. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
3. Inspect, upon request and before administration or use:
a. Protected information surveys of students.
b. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes.
c. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
Parents/eligible students who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U. S. Department of Education.