Protecting the Privacy of Student Education Records
Student education records are official and confidential documents protected by one of the nations strongest privacy laws, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Education records that schools or education agencies maintain about students in any manner. Examples are personal information, Special Education records, disciplinary records, medical and health records, and documentation of attendance, schools attended, courses taken, and degrees awarded.
FERPA gives parents and students the right to view and confirm the accuracy of education records. Parents have the right to consent to disclosures of personally, identifiable information in the record, except under authorized circumstances.When a student reaches the age of 18 when he/she becomes a student at a post secondary education institution then he/she become "eligible students" and rights under FERPA transfer to them. This law insures that school records can only be released for specific and legally defined purposes. Schools must comply with FERPA in order to continue to receive federal education funds.
Part of a education record, known as a directory information, includes a student's name, address, and telephone number. Schools must give parents public notice and a specified time for parents who may ask to remove all or part of the information on their child.
There are five areas designated as priorities in Special Education known as the Analyze, Improve, and Measure (AIM) targets. They are as follows:
1. Initial Assessment- Must be completed in 60 days
-It determines whether a student has a disability and needs special education services
-It provides instructional information, helps determine the individualized education program, and the goals in the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting.
2. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
-The general education instructional setting must be considered first.
-There must be a continuum of services available.
-Include non-academic and extracurricular activities with non-disabled peers.
3. Related Services
-Support goals in the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
-Are based on assessment and educational needs.
-Can be delivered in a variety of ways and locations.
-Students must be considered for reevaluation every three years.
-Reevaluation determines whether a student is still eligible.
-Focuses on how to meet specific educational needs.
-The ARD will meet to review existing data and determine the scope of reevaluation
-On or before the age of 14, transition services must be discussed and a course of study planned.
-On or before the age of 16, an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) must be written.
-The ITP must be incorporated into the student's IEP.
-The student participates in the development of the ITP.
-Outside agencies may be involved in the meetings.
-30 days notice required to ITP meetings for agency participation.