Bedford Public Schools
The Family Education and Privacy Act
Massachusetts Student Records Regulations
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Massachusetts Student Records Regulations (“Regulations”) together provide parents and eligible students (those who have reached that age of 14 or who have entered ninth grade) certain rights with respect to the student's education records. A general overview of those rights is provided below. Parents and students may obtain a complete copy of their rights under the Massachusetts Student Record Regulations by contacting their building principal.
(a) The right to access the student's education records. Parents or eligible students should submit their request for access to the building principal. Access is generally provided within ten days of a request. However, Massachusetts General Laws c. 71, §34H (“Section 37H”) law provides specific procedures that must be followed prior to release of records to a parent who does not have physical custody of a child. Information about these procedures can be obtained from the building principal.
(b) The right to request amendment of the student's education records. Parents or eligible students should direct their request to the principal, clearly identifying the part of the record they wish to have amended, and why.
(c) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA and the Massachusetts regulations authorize disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests in the records. Such school officials include professional, administrative and clerical staff who are employed by or under agreement with the Bedford Public Schools and who need access to a record in order to fulfill their duties. The Bedford Public Schools also discloses student records without parent/eligible student consent to officials of other elementary or secondary schools in which a student enrolls, or seeks, intends, or is instructed to enroll upon receipt of a request from such school officials. As required by federal law, the Bedford Public Schools routinely releases the name, address and telephone listing of secondary school students to military recruiters and to institutions of higher learning upon request. In the event a parent or eligible student objects to the release of any of the above information, the parent/eligible student may state that objection in writing to High School Principal. Absent receipt of a written objection for the parent or eligible student by October 1st (initial notification sent September 2005), this information will be released without further notice or consent.
(d) The right to file a complaint concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the regulations and laws governing student records. Complaints may be filed at the Massachusetts Department of Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. In addition, complaints relative to federal statutes and regulations governing student records may be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC.