The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of students` education records. As an educational institution, you must comply with FERPA to ensure that student records are kept confidential and secure. This includes providing guidance on reasonable methods and written agreements to protect students` rights under FERPA.
As an educational institution, you must ensure that all student records are kept safe and secure. This includes using reasonable methods to prevent unauthorized access to those records. Some reasonable methods that you can use are:
1. Password-secured online portals: These portals can be used to store confidential student information such as grades, attendance records, and disciplinary records. Passwords can be provided only to authorized personnel who have legitimate educational interests in the information.
2. Shredding: Any records that are no longer needed should be shredded to prevent unauthorized access. This applies to both paper records and electronic records.
3. Secure file storage: All student records should be stored in secure file cabinets that have locks or in secure electronic databases that require password access.
4. Data encryption: Any student information that is transmitted electronically should be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
FERPA requires that educational institutions obtain written consent from students or their parents before disclosing any information from student records. These disclosures may be made to other educational institutions, potential employers, or other third parties. Some key provisions of written agreements that you should consider are:
1. Scope: The written agreement should specify what information is being disclosed and to whom. Only information that is necessary should be disclosed.
2. Purpose: The written agreement should specify the purpose of the disclosure and how the disclosed information will be used.
3. Limitations: The written agreement should include limitations on the use and redisclosure of the information by the recipient. The recipient should be instructed to use the information only for the purpose specified in the agreement.
4. Expiration: The written agreement should include an expiration date, after which the recipient is no longer authorized to use or disclose the information.
FERPA is a critical law that ensures that student records are kept safe and secured. As an educational institution, you must comply with FERPA by using reasonable methods to protect student records and by obtaining appropriate written agreements before disclosing any information from those records. This will help protect the privacy rights of your students and keep their information confidential and secure.