Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies

5.A. Notifying Parents of Their Rights

Schools or districts are required to make public notification of parents’ rights under this law. See Exhibit 5–1 for a model notification. The 1994 amendments of FERPA require districts to “effectively inform” parents and eligible students. The notification therefore needs to be carried out in such a way that parents and students actually receive notice. However, the actual means of notification (e.g., a special letter, a newsletter article, a bulletin from the parent-teachers’ association, or inclusion in a student handbook) is the decision of each school or district. In addition, it is advisable to attempt to notify parents who have a primary or home language other than English. For instance, the notification may be translated into different languages or interpreters may provide the information to parents when they are registering their child at the school.