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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS PERTAINING TO STUDENT RECORDS AND CONSENT FOR COLLECTION OF STUDENT INFORMATION AND PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES

Student Records

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 student’s educational records.  Please refer to Board Policy 216 and its accompanying procedures (which are accessible at http://www.lmsd.org/departments/board/policies/200/ or by contacting the District at the above address and phone number) for specifics of the District’s procedures for the classification, maintenance and destruction of student records.  A summary of these rights follows:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the District receives a request for access.
    • Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect.  The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
    • Parents or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading.  They should write the school principal clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

      If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  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.
    • One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the District 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 an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

      The District discloses educational records without consent to officials of other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which a student attends or seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. 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
      600 Independence Ave., S.W.
      Washington, DC 20202-4605

The District may disclose the following types of information (known as “directory information”) without your consent unless you notify the District (School Principal or the Senior Director of Policy, Personnel and School Programs) in writing within 20 days of the date you receive this notice that you do not want any or all of those types of information about the student designated as directory information.  Directory information includes the following information relating to a student: the student/family members’ name, address, telephone number, District-provided electronic mail; address, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and other similar information.  Directory information may be disclosed for purposes beneficial to the student and the school district only with the approval of the district superintendent or his designee.

Testing protocols and other raw data from the provision of psychological services, performed by the District with parental consent, may be destroyed in accordance with the District’s Administration of Student Records policy and applicable regulations unless you request in writing that this information be maintained.

Consent for Collection of Student Information and Photographic Images

The School Board elected by the residents of the School District, or the Superintendent, as the appointed representative of the School Board, may provide consent for the gathering of certain types of student information as specified below. Such representational consent will suffice in lieu of student, parental, guardian or surrogate consent for the collection of the following types of information:

  1. Name, address, phone number of student
  2. Parents’ or guardians’ or surrogates’ name, address, phone number, place of work
  3. Scores of group aptitude and achievement tests
  4. Grades on teacher-prepared tests relating to subject matter curriculum
  5. Grades on report cards
  6. Vocational skill assessment
  7. Hearing and vision screening devices
  8. Such other information that is routinely collected and deemed necessary by the Superintendent or a designee, provided it has been specified through the above representational consent procedures.

If you wish to appeal the decision of such representational consent, you must direct your appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools.

From time to time, photographs, video recording and other images (“collectively photographic images”) may be taken of your child for District public relations publications such as the District calendar, District teacher websites, or other school-related purposes. These photographic images (which are not considered student records) will be used in a manner designed to ensure that confidential information about your child’s educational program will not be revealed. If you object to the use of your child’s photographic image by the District in any manner, you must indicate in writing by Friday, September 29 that you do NOT want your child’s image utilized by the District. Please send these requests to the attention of LMSD School & Community Relations at the address listed above via email to info@lmsd.org and include your child’s name, grade level and school.