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Access Student Grades

Except for Unity health personnel and local and state health department personnel, no third party shall have access to information in or from a student record without the specific, informed written consent of the eligible student or the parent of the student whose records are being requested. Any person, except for Unity staff and specific local or state health department personnel, who request access to student records must follow Unity’s FERPA policy and records request protocol. Please see Appendix D for Unity’s FERPA policy and records request protocol. Note that submission of a request does not guarantee access to any part of a student’s records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights, described below, transfer to the student when she or he reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

● 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 records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents/guardians or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

● Student records or other identifiable information are maintained in a secure location to ensure confidentiality. Records that are no longer required or that do not need to be maintained will be disposed of in a manner that ensures confidentiality and security.

● Parents/Guardians or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records, which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. 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 the record setting forth her or his view about the contested information.

● Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent/guardian or eligible student in order to allow anyone to review information from a student’s education record or release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
  – School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  – Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  – Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  – Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  – Accrediting organizations;
  – Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  – To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; 
  – Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  – State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents/guardians and eligible students about directory information and allow parents/guardians and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. If you wish to keep your child‘s directory information confidential, please notify Unity’s Director of Operations in writing. Schools must notify parents/guardians and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

For additional information on FERPA and accessing education records for students, please utilize these resources: Advocates for Children’s Guide to Education Records. You may also contact the U.S. Department of Education for additional information or technical assistance by either calling (202) 260-3887 or TDD (202) 260-8956 or sending correspondence to Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

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