SWAMPSCOTT PUBLIC SCHOOL’S ANNUAL NOTICE
THE FAMILY AND EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
MASSACHUSETTS STUDENT RECORDS REGULATIONS
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Massachusetts Student Records Regulations (Massachusetts Regulations) together provide parents and eligible students (those who have reached the age of 14 or who have entered the ninth grade) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. A general overview of those rights is provided below. Parents and students may obtain a complete copy of their rights under the Massachusetts Student Records Regulations by contacting the Office of the Superintendent of Schools at 781-596-8800 ext. 370 or 371. These rights include:
1. The right to access the student’s education records. Parents or eligible students should submit their request for access to the building principal. Access is generally provided within ten days of a request. Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 71, Sec. 34H, however, provides specific procedures that must be
followed prior to release of records to a parent who does not have physical custody of a child. Information about these procedures can be obtained from the building principal of the Director of Student Support Services.
2. The right to request amendment of the student’s education records. Parents or eligible students should direct their request to the principal, clearly identifying the part of the record they wish to have amended and why.
3. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA and the Massachusetts Regulations authorize disclosure without consent.
Some of the Exceptions:
- One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. 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 responsibilities. Such school officials include professional, administrative and clerical staff who are employed by the Swampscott Public Schools as well as contractors, consultants, or other parties to whom Swampscott Public Schools has outsourced institutional services or functions.
- The Swampscott Public Schools also discloses student records without parent/eligible student consent to officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, upon receipt of a request from such school officials.
- “Directory information”, which is information that generally is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can be disclosed without parent/eligible student consent. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the district to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Information that a district designates as directory information may be disclosed to outside organizations (for example class ring manufacturers and yearbook publishers) without prior consent.
The Swampscott Public Schools has designated students’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, date of birth, and grade level as “directory information” that may be disclosed without parent/eligible student consent. In addition, federal law requires that the Swampscott Public Schools provide military recruiters or officials of institutions of higher education, upon request, with three categories of directory information – names, addresses and telephone listings – of all secondary students. If a parent or eligible student does not want the Swampscott Public Schools to disclose any of the above directory information, the parent/eligible student must notify the building principal in writing by October 1, otherwise the information will be released without further notice or written
4. The right to file a complaint concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the regulations and laws governing student records. Complaints
may be filed with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 and/or the Family
Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5901.