Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

Mahanaim restricts access to education records that contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about its students under FERPA, which stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. 

 

When a student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level, he or she is given certain rights with respect to his or her student records through FERPA. Such a student is called an “eligible student.” These rights are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records that are maintained by the school. 

 

Mahanaim will make the records available to view within 45 days of the student’s written request and notify the student of the time and place at which the records can be viewed. Mahanaim will only provide copies of the records when the student is unable to review the records in person due to such factors as distance. Mahanaim reserves the right to charge fees for copies of records.

2. The right to request that the school correct records which he or she believes are inaccurate or misleading.

 

If Mahanaim decides not to amend the record, the eligible student has the right to a formal hearing. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing. If the school still decides not to amend the record even after the hearing, the eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

The following requests will not be considered by the School:

  • A grade that the student disagrees with because the student thinks his or her performance in the course merited a higher grade;

  • Opinions;

  • Substantive decisions, such as disciplinary decisions taken against the student.

3. The right to consent (in writing) to the release of any information from the student’s record, including personally identifiable information (PII), to third parties.

Please note that FERPA allows schools to disclose educational records, without the consent of the student, to certain parties or under certain conditions (See below).

Also note that the School may disclose certain information about an eligible student to his or her parent without the student’s consent if:

  • The student is a dependent, being claimed as such for tax purposes. 

  • It is pursuant to a health or safety emergency;

  • The student is under 21, and the information concerns his or her illegal use or possession of alcohol or drugs;

The following parties or circumstances are exceptions to the need for student consent:

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within [School] whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. A school official typically includes a person employed by the School in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the [School] who 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, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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 responsibilities for the School.

  • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))

  • 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 a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §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)

  • In 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, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))

  • 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 to carry 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))

  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))

  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))

  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the [School] to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

 

Student Privacy Policy Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202

IMPORTANT: Directory Information

Schools may disclose “directory” information without consent. Directory information is PII from the student’s education records that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. However, the school will notify all eligible students about this directory information as well as their other rights under FERPA via email prior to the start of each academic year, and allow the student up to two weeks in their first semester each academic year to request that the school not disclose this information about them. This includes:

  1. Student’s name

  2. Address

  3. E-mail address

  4. Telephone number

  5. Date and place of birth

  6. Honors and awards

  7. Dates of attendance

  8. Enrollment Status

  9. Photograph

  10. Field of Study

  11. Certificates and awards received

  12. Most recent previous school attended

  13. Grade level

FERPA Procedures & Forms

How to View Your Educational Records

  • Submit a FERPA Record Request Form to the Registrar identifying the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.

  • The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  • If the Registrar does not maintain the record(s) in question, the Registrar will advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. 

  • If you are unable to be present on campus to view your records, you may request that a copy be sent to you via your Mahanaim email. Records will be password-protected PDF documents. The password will be sent to you separately.

How to Request an Amendment to Your Educational Record

  • Submit a FERPA Record Amendment Form to the Registrar.

  • Clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

How to Give Consent to the Release of Information in Your Educational Record to a Third Party

  • Submit a FERPA Record Release Form to the Registrar

  • Specify the specific records that would be disclosed.

  • Specific the purpose of the discloser.

  • Then include the identity of those individuals or groups who would have access to the records.

  • Sign and date the form.

How to Request Non-Disclosure of Your Directory Information

  • Submit a FERPA Non-Disclosure Form to the Registrar.

  • Forms must be submitted within the first two weeks of the start of the Spring Semester.

  • This will remain in effect until you resubmit the same form, but check the box indicating you would like to release your directory information again. 

Definitions

  • Education Records

    • Records maintained by the school or by a party acting for the school. May be in any form – handwritten, printed, or saved on computer media, video, or audiotape or film, microfilm, or microfiche. 

      • Education records do not include:

        • Records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid and are not revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker (e.g. an instructor’s handwritten notes).

        • Students’ medical and psychological treatment records in specific circumstances.

        • Records that are created and maintained by a law enforcement unit, for a law enforcement purpose;

        • Records relating to an individual employed by the school and that (i) are made and maintained in the normal course of business, (ii) relate exclusively to the individual in his or her capacity as an employee, and (iii) are not available for any other purpose (e.g. employee performance ratings)

        • Records that a school creates or receives after a student is no longer enrolled that are not directly related to his/her past attendance as a student (e.g. post-graduation alumni achievements). 

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

    • Student’s name and address;

    • Name and address of student’s parent or other family members

    • A personal identifier, such as the student’s Social Security number, student ID number, or biometric record;

    • Indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;

    • Other information that would allow re-identification of the student with reasonable certainty;

    • Information requested by a person who the school reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the record relates. 

Registrar

FERPA