Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Each year the Plainwell Community Schools is required to notify parents or students of rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are: Right to Inspect: The right to inspect and review substantially all of the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. This right extends to parents under 18 years of age and to any dependent student age 18 or older. Right to Request Amendment: The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal (or appropriate official), clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school 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. Right to Prevent Disclosures: 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 school 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 school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); to a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility. [NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent of eligible student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.] Right to Complain: 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 is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC 20202-4605. Right to Obtain Policy: Parents have the right to obtain a copy of the policy adopted by the Board of Education in compliance with FERPA. A copy may be obtained in person or by mail from: Susan Wakefield, Superintendent, Plainwell Community Schools. Right to Object to Release of Directory Information: Generally, school officials must have written permission from the parent of a student or an eligible student before releasing any information from a student’s record. However, FERPA allows school districts to disclose, without consent, “directory” type information. The Board of Education of the Plainwell Community Schools has designated the following personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record as “directory information;” student’s name, participation in officially recognized activities and sports; height and weight if a member of an athletic team; dates of attendance; awards received; honor rolls and scholarships. The district will make such “directory” type information available upon a legitimate request, unless a parent, guardian, or adult student notifies the district in writing within 10 days of receipt of this notice. The written objection should list all types of information about the student to be excluded from directory information. The same notification requirement applies to high school students who do not want directory information released to military recruiters. Upon such written objection, this information will not be released without the prior consent of the parent or eligible student. If no objection to disclosure is made, student names, photographs and directory information may also be posted on the school district’s website. Your objections should be addressed to: Susan Wakefield, Superintendent of Schools Plainwell Community Schools 600 School Drive Plainwell, Michigan 49080