By Audience: K-12 School Officials

The resources on this page are intended for staff and educators of public K-12 schools and school districts.  Resources found here typically address FERPA and how it applies to the various day-to-day operations of public schools at the administrative level.  Guidance is also provided for specific situations that occur only in the K-12 setting.

Best Practices

May Schools Disclose Information about Cases of COVID-19?

Schools across the nation are working hard to keep students, teachers, and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many schools are wondering whether the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows them to disclose information about cases of COVID-19 to the community. The Student Privacy Policy Office provided answers to these questions in our March 2020 guidance. Subsequent to issuing the guidance, we have seen reports that states, cities, school districts, and schools are continuing to face questions about disclosing COVID-19 cases.

Guidance

Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of FERPA Enforcement

The Department is committed to protecting student privacy. To provide more timely and effective assistance to parents and students and to address a recommendation made by the Department’s Office of the Inspector General to “implement a risk-based approach to processing and resolving FERPA complaints,”  the Department is modifying its investigatory practices to more efficiently address and resolve complaints and violations under FERPA.  

Guidance

Technical Assistance on Student Privacy for State and Local Educational Agencies When Administering College Admissions Examinations

The administration of college admissions examinations by SEAs and LEAs raises potential legal issues under FERPA, IDEA, PPRA, and State privacy laws, and generally raises concerns about privacy best practices. In particular, the pre-test surveys administered in connection with these exams raised privacy concerns that SEAs and LEAs must consider when contracting with the testing companies. This document discusses the legal issues, and advises SEAs and LEAs about how to remain in compliance when administering the tests. The document also conveys best practice recommendations to encourage transparency and parental involvement.