Safeguarding the confidentiality of individual student information is the responsibility of any and all organizations and individuals who collect, maintain, access, transfer, or use education records. This guide reviews federal privacy laws, defines related terms and concepts, summarizes organizational and individual responsibilities, and describes appropriate responses to privacy-related concerns that commonly arise in a school or district setting.
This document is meant to serve as a resource for schools and school districts, but is not a substitute for the detailed direction provided in local and state privacy laws, regulations, and procedures. For a more in-depth review of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to information collected for, and maintained in, student records, see the Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies (NCES 2004). Additional resources about FERPA and other privacy issues can be found in the online document, "FERPA Facts for School Staff." Schools and districts should also consult all local and state privacy laws, regulations, and procedures to which they are subject.