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“Can I release that information?” This question comes up daily for staff in schools. TSD Board Policy JRA/JRC can help address those situations as they arise. There are certain circumstances that allow the release of educational records without parent consent. By familiarizing yourself with the policy, you’ll be prepared for those situations.

Thompson School District provides parents the opportunity to opt their students in or out of…

  • News Media Coverage– This includes honor roll. When reporters come into the schools to take pictures or write an article, schools should pull a list of students that have opted out of News/Media Coverage to ensure that their information isn’t published.
  • School Directory Publication– If a school publishes a school directory, staff should pull a list of student that have opted into the school directory so that only those families are published.
  • School Pictures– This permission applies to school pictures used internally and includes publication in the Yearbook.
  • District Publications – Applies to any publication put out by the Communications Department, School Websites and Social Media.
  • Military Directory – The Military Directory is released to Military Recruiters upon request. Only students that have allowed their information to be included are published in this directory. This only applies to high school students.

For more FAQ and Guidance, visit the US Department of Education website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can stepparents, grandparents, and other caregivers be considered parents under FERPA?

In some cases, a stepparent may be considered a “parent” under FERPA if the stepparent is present on a day-to-day basis with the natural parent and child and the other parent is absent from that home. Conversely, a stepparent who is not present on a day-to-day basis in the home of the child does not have rights under FERPA with respect to the child’s education records. A grandparent or other caregiver who is acting in the absence of the parent(s) may also be considered a “parent” under FERPA. Source: 34 CFR § 99.3

In the case of a divorce, do both parents have rights under FERPA?

Generally yes. Unless a school is provided with evidence that there is a court order, State law, or other legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically provides to the contrary, FERPA gives custodial and noncustodial parents alike certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. A school may ask for legal certification denoting parenthood, such as a birth certificate or court order, from the parent requesting access. Source: 34 CFR § 99.4

If a student under 18 is enrolled in both high school and a local college, do parents have the right to inspect and review his or her education records?

If a student is attending a postsecondary institution – at any age – the rights under FERPA have transferred to the student. However, in a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and a postsecondary institution, the two schools may exchange information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parents still retain the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records sent by the postsecondary institution to the high school. Additionally, the postsecondary institution may disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to the parents, without the consent of the eligible student, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes under the IRS rules.