Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA)

This section houses all guidance documents, training materials, policy letters and other resources directly related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  The FERPA regulations can be found here.

Guidance and Best Practices

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 and Best Practices

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.

Guidance and Best Practices

PTAC Teacher Training Focus Groups Report

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) conducted a series of focus groups to gain insight into teachers’ needs for training on student privacy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This report documents the findings of these focus groups, as well as recommendations on how to develop new student privacy and FERPA training for teachers.

Recorded Webinars

Integrated Data Systems and Student Privacy

This webinar accompanies the guidance document on Integrated Data Systems. This presentation provides background information on what an Integrated Data System (IDS) is and why educational authorities may choose to participate in one, and clarifies how such authorities can participate in an IDS while ensuring student privacy in compliance with FERPA.

Guidance and Best Practices

FERPA General Guidance for Parents (En Español)

This compliation of letters and guidance documents provides parents with general information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This document is a compilation and update of various letters and guidance documents previously issued that respond to a variety of questions about FERPA.  This is the spanish translation.

Guidance and Best Practices

Model Notice for Directory Information (En Espanol)

This document is a template notice for notifying parents and eligible students (students over 18 years of age or attending a school beyond the high school level) about the type of information from student’s education records, designated by a School District as “directory information,” that schools may disclose without consent, unless advised to the contrary.  This version is the Spanish translation.