Student Records (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal Law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s education records. The law applies to all schools which receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents and guardians certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student, or former student, who has reached the age of 18 or is attending any school beyond high school.

Students and former students to whom the rights have transferred are called eligible students. The Board of Education conforms in all respects to the requirements of Federal and State law regarding gathering, maintaining and allowing access to student records. The laws are as follows:

  • Parents, guardians or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of materials in education records, unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents, guardians or eligible students to inspect the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

  • Parents, guardians or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records believed to be misleading or incaccurate. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent, guardian or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent, guardian or eligible student has the right to place a statement within a record commenting on the contested information in the record.

  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parents or guardians or eligible students for releasing any eligible information from the students’ record. 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 such exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to the following parties: school employees who have a need to know; other schools to which a student is transferring; certain government officials in order to carry out lawful functions; appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student; organizations conducting certain studies for the school; accrediting organizations; individuals who have obtained court orders or subpoenas; or persons who need to know in cases of health or safety emergencies; within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law. South Brunswick School District traditionally celebrates the accomplishments of its students by sharing information with the community. To do this, the District may submit press releases which include student names and photographs to the local media. The District may also publish information about these accomplishments in District- sponsored publications or display such information at various school functions. Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” type information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.

It is the intent and practice of the School District to publish, post or distribute a student’s name and/or photograph or other information related only to student achievement (e.g. academic/athletic recognition or award received).Annually, South Brunswick School District provides parents or guardians with the opportunity to rescind this permission through the issuance of Media and Web Non-Consent forms. Parents or guardians who do not grant the District permission to release “directory” type information, as it relates to student achievement, must sign and return the necessary paperwork to the school main office by the date indicated on the form. Permission may be rescinded at any time during the school year by contacting the school directly.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.