The school district has a responsibility to maintain confidential educational records of students that reside within LMUSD boundaries. These requirements stem from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Confidentiality of Records
Definition of Education Records
600 10.(e) Confidentiality refers to the restriction of access to verbal and written communications, including clinical, medical, and Education records, to appropriate parties under Section 99.3 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.560 et seq. of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 827, 4514, 5328 and 10850 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 2890 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations and Sections 49060 through 49079 of the Education Code.
Education records are generally those records that relate directly to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting on its behalf (34 C.FR. § 99.3 (2003)). Examples of education records include:
- IEP documents
- Final course grades
- Attendance records
- Disciplinary records
- Academic counseling records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) specifically exempts several categories of records from the definition of education record. Exempted records include:
- Records kept in the sole possession of the maker used only as a personal memory aid and not accessible or revealed to anyone
- Records that only contain information about a person after the person is no longer a student at the institution
- Peer-graded assignments
- Certain medical records
Access to Education Records
- Parents may request, at any time, an opportunity to inspect and review all education records that are collected, maintained, or used on their child. Requests must be written and the district must respond within 5 days of receipt of a request.
- The public education agency must respond to parental requests for explanations or interpretations of their child’s records.
- Parents may select a representative to inspect and review their child’s records.
- Copies of the records must be provided if the parent requests. No more than the actual costs of reproduction may be charged. If the cost prevents a parent from receiving the copy, records are provided at no cost.
- Parents must be given, upon request, a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained, or used by the agency.
- Public educational agencies may not disclose personally identifiable information contained in individuals’ records without parental consent, except:
- Directory information (e.g. name, address, telephone number, birthplace and date, major activity and sports participation, attendance dates, degrees and awards, schools most recently attended)
- To persons authorized as having legitimate educational interests (local school officials, state and federal agency personnel, etc.).
- Parents who believe information contained in the records is inaccurate, misleading, or violates privacy rights of their child may request that the information be amended. If the public agency refuses to amend the record, the parent must be given the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the information. After the hearing, if the parent is still dissatisfied, the parent may place a written rationale in the child’s record explaining the objection to the information. This written explanation becomes part of the child’s record.
- Public agencies must inform parents prior to the destruction of information contained in the child’s record.
- Students are granted access, upon request, to their own records and receive all other rights of privacy afforded a parent after reaching 18 years of age or attending a school beyond the high school level.
Transfer of Student Records
Whenever a student transfers from one school district to another or to a private school, or transfers from a private school to a school district within the state, the student’s permanent record or a copy thereof shall be transferred by the former district or private school upon request from the district or private school where the student intends to enroll (Education Code Section 49068).
When a student transfers from one district school to another school within the district, the student’s entire records shall be transferred upon request to the school where the student intends to enroll. Records shall not be withheld because of any fees or charges owed by the student or his/her parent/guardian.
Destruction of Records (EC 35250–35255, 48980–48984, 49060)
Mandatory interim student records: Those student records that schools are required to compile and maintain for a minimum of three (3) years after a student leaves the district or when their usefulness
ceases. Such records include the following:
- Log or record identifying persons or organizations requesting or receiving information from student’s records
- Health information, including Child Health and Disability Prevention Program (CHDP) verification or waiver
- Case studies and records concerning participation in special education programs
- Language training records
- Grade reports and/or progress reports
- Parental restrictions regarding access to directory information or related stipulations
- Parent/guardian or adult student rejoinders to challenged records and to disciplinary actions
- Parental authorizations or prohibitions of student participation in specific programs
- Results of standardized tests administered within preceding three years
Permitted student records (optional): Those records having clear importance only to the current educational process of a student. Permitted records may be destroyed six months after the student’s completion of or withdrawal from the educational program or when their usefulness ceases. Such records may include the following:
- Objective counselor and/or teacher ratings
- Standardized test results older than three years
- Routine discipline data
- Verified reports of relevant behavioral patterns
- All disciplinary notices
- Attendance records other than required district classroom attendance records maintained at the school
*Zero Tolerance: Records of a student violation of Zero Tolerance will be maintained until the student graduates or reaches the age of 19 years and 6 months.