Parents and students cleaned up the grounds around Bell Elementary School after school on Friday, October 13.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents (and students over 18 years of age) have certain rights concerning how Lake Washington School District releases educational records. The district may release some basic information on the student, called directory information. Parents and students over 18 can direct the district to keep that information confidential.
Releasing Student Information
Although there are some exceptions, in general, the district cannot release information about a student without written consent from parents. One exception is that the district can forward educational records on request to a school in which a student plans to enroll. Student information may also be given to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
The district is allowed to release “directory information” – information that would normally be found in a directory – unless the parent/guardian requests privacy.
Directory information includes:
- Student’s full name
- Email addresses: personal, parent and school-assigned
- Phone number
- Schools attended
- Grade level
- Parent/guardian names
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status
- Diplomas and awards
- Date and place of birth
This information may be used in a variety of ways, such as a school yearbook, school or district newsletters or website, or released to news media.
Directory Information Withhold Process
To keep directory information private, parents/guardians must request that their child’s directory information be withheld before September 15 of each school year. If you are enrolling your student mid-year, the request must be made within five days of enrollment. These requests can be made through the Online Student Information Verification process, or you can write a letter to your school’s principal letting him/her know that you would like to opt out of the release of directory information under FERPA.
To access the Online Student Information Verification process, login to Parent Access. Then, select “Family Access” on the right hand side of the page.
Important: If you do not complete the directory information withhold processes (either online or on paper), your child’s directory information may be released.
Note: The district cannot control the release of certain directory information, such as photographs/images or names, when students participate in school events open to the general public such as athletic competitions, concerts or plays.
Military or Higher Education
Under federal law, directory information can also be released to military recruiters and to institutions of higher education for students who are in ninth grade to 12th grade. If you do not want this information released to military organizations, please check the military box on the “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information – Military & Higher Education (Grades 9-12)” form.
If you do not want this information released to institutions of higher education, please check the higher education box on the “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information – Military & Higher Education (Grades 9-12)” form.
You and your student will still be able to request sending their records to specific colleges or universities: the Directory Information Withhold request simply means the district will not include your student’s directory information in a request for information.
Please note that both military and higher education organizations may gain access to your student’s information from other sources. Checking these boxes only insures that Lake Washington School District will not provide it.
Reviewing & Appealing Contents of Records
Under the law, parents and guardians have the right to inspect and review their student’s educational records within 45 days of submitting a written request to the school principal. The principal will then notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the time and place where the records may be reviewed.
Concerns with Student Records
If parents have concerns about the accuracy or appropriateness of their student’s educational records maintained by the school, they are encouraged to inform the principal. The principal will meet with the parents and attempt to resolve the matter. If the concern is not resolved to the parents’ satisfaction within 30 school days, they will have the opportunity for a hearing before the Superintendent or designee. The request for the hearing must be made in writing. The hearing will be held within a reasonable time following the request. More information is available in the student records policies in the administrative policies section of the district website.
If parents are still not satisfied following this process, they can file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-590