Student Records, Photographs and Information

Each student has one complete set of records; one portion is kept at his/her school while the remainder may be maintained in the Central Administration Building files. Requests for student records by a current student or the student’s parent/guardian should be directed to the building administrator at the student’s school. Requests for student records by a former student should be directed to the Student Records Department at the Central Administration Building. The cumulative folder may contain all information about a student which is collected and maintained on a routine basis, such as identifying information (name, birth date, sex, year in school, address, telephone number, parent’s name, ethnic classification, emergency information [parent’s place of employment, family doctor, babysitter, siblings]); attendance records including date of entry and withdrawal; grades and other student progress reports; results of tests of school achievement, aptitude, interests, hearing and vision; health and immunization status reports; records of school accomplishments and participation in school activities; verified reports of misconduct, including a record of disciplinary action taken; and such other information as shall enable staff to counsel with students and plan appropriate activities.

Supplementary records about a student may be collected and maintained in connection with special school concerns about the student, such as confidential health information or reports connected with assessment and placement of a student who is referred for special education services, reports from nonschool persons and organizations such as physicians, psychologists and clinics, except for general screening purposes; reports pertaining to specific problems associated with the student; and current reports of psychological tests and progress reports related to a student’s disabling condition.30 | Parents' Rights to Participate in Student's Education

For the purpose of this procedure, working notes of staff are defined as those records about students which are maintained in the sole possession of the writer and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute for that staff member. Working notes are not considered student records within the purview of this procedure.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.

They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the district receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal (or appropriate school official) will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the Tacoma School District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal or appropriate school official, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the district decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise him/ her of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One of several exceptions that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/ her employment or other responsibilities concerning the district or the student.

A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or other support staff, (including, but not limited to, health or medical professionals, or school law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a contractor engaged by the district to perform a special task (including, but not limited to, an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

Upon request, the district discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district upon official request from the enrolling district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

The district may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless the parent/gaurdian has advised the district to the contrary in accordance with district procedures as described below. Directory information is designated only for secondary students and does not apply to elementary students. Directory information is defined as the student’s name, address, date and place of birth, photographs (including yearbooks), digital/video recordings, post-high school career plans, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, types of awards and degrees received, and the most recent school attended.

Information may be released to state and local officials to whom such information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to Washington state statute (examples: reporting child abuse or referrals to juvenile court for truancy). If you do not want the following public information being shared: student’s name, address, date and place of birth, photographs (including yearbooks), digital and video recordings, post-high school career plans, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, types of awards and degrees received, and the most recent school attended, complete the "Parent Request to Restrict Release of Information" form included at the back of this handbook and sign in the appropriate space provided.

Students participating in the state Address Confidentiality Program will have a substitute address established by the Office of the Secretary of State, rather than a residential address. The actual residential address of participants in the state Address Confidentiality Program will not be available for release as directory information.

You have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605

Please see District Policy and Regulation 3231 / 3231R for a complete review of Student Records policies. Source: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1975 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99); District Policy and Regulation 3231 / 3231R