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Notification of Rights under FERPA

Notice of School Records

The Appleton Area School District maintains student records for each student attending school. State and federal laws require that the maintenance of such records assure confidentiality. These records are maintained in the interest of students to assist in providing appropriate educational experiences. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible student”) certain rights with respect to the student’s educational records. They are:

  • 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/guardians or eligible students should submit to the respective District building principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect and obtain a copy consistent with the Board’s student records policy and procedures. The building principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent/guardian or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents/guardians or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the building principal and clearly identify the part of the record they want changed as well as specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. Additional information regarding amendment or hearing procedures will be provided to the parent/guardian or eligible student. If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent/guardian or adult student, the District will notify the parent/guardian or adult student of the decision and advise him/her of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. The purpose of this hearing is to provide an opportunity for correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate data. The right to a hearing does not extend to permit a parent/guardian or student to contest the grade given for a student’s performance.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA or state law authorizes disclosure without consent. Under present state and federal law, school officials can transfer educational records without parent/guardian or eligible student consent under specified circumstances. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials who are determined to have legitimate school interest including safety concerns. 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; or a parent or student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer 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.

Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another District in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.

If a School Board has designated directory data in accordance with § 118.125, Wis. Stats., the District must notify parents, legal guardians or guardians ad litem of the categories of information, which the Board has designated as directory data, which may be released without the prior consent of the parent, legal guardian or guardian ad litem. Directory information includes items that would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It may not include things such as a student’s social security number or grades. Directory data means those pupil records which include the pupil’s name, address, telephone listing, field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, photographs, degrees and awards received, and the name of the school most recently attended by the pupil. This includes information recorded in any way, including but not limited to handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm or microfiche. The District has a procedure which may allow such information to be disclosed upon request. Any parent, legal guardian, or an adult student or eligible student may request that any part of the directory data may not be released without prior consent.

Each school district may designate the categories of directory data information that will be released. AASD has designated the following student information as directory data: Student name, address, major field of study (grade level), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, photographs, awards received and name of school most recently attended by student.

If parents or guardians do not wish to have any or all of the categories of designated directory data released without prior parent/guardian consent, they must notify the school in writing within 14 days of this notice being provided.