The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over eighteen years of age certain rights with respect to student educational records. Those rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within forty-five (45) days of the date Georgia Cyber Academy receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the school administrator (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record (s) they wish to inspect. The administrator or designee will arrange a records inspection for the parent or eligible student.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the parent or eligible student believe are inaccurate or misleading.
Parents or eligible students (age 18 or above) may ask Georgia Cyber Academy to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school administrator, clearly identify the part of the record that they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
Should Georgia Cyber Academy decide not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, we will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures is available to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before Georgia Cyber Academy discloses personally identifiable information (“PII”) contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official includes a person employed by Georgia Cyber Academy as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the board. A school official also may include a volunteer, contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by the school, performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, collection agency, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. (34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(1)).
Further, upon request, Georgia Cyber Academy discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer. (34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(2)).
FERPA also permits disclosure of PII from students’ education records without consent:
- To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency in the parent or eligible student’s State (SEA). Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of 34 C.F.R. § 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal-or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35).
- connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, the amount of the aid, the conditions of the aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid (§ 99.31(a)(4)).
- To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to § 99.38 (§ 99.31(a)(5)).
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction (§ 99.31(a)(6)).
- To accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions (§ 99.31(a)(7)).
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes (§ 99.31(a)(8)).
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena (§ 99.31(a)(9)).
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36 (§ 99.31(a)(10)).
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37 (§ 99.31(a)(11)).
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Georgia Cyber Academy 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, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-8520
Note: Georgia Cyber Academy does not disclose any identifiable student information other than first and last name for the senior class honors program, graduation program, and graduate honors recognitions in newspapers and other media publications unless specific approval is obtained from the student’s parent or legal guardian. The student’s parent or legal guardian has the opportunity to opt out of such graduation related inclusions. To opt out, a parent or eligible student must notify Georgia Cyber Academy in writing that he or she does not want this graduation related information released. Such written notice must be provided no less than two months prior to the student’s graduation date at GCA.