Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: FERPA
Information about student and families privacy rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) provide parents or guardians* with annual notice of their rights to inspect and review education records, amend education records, consent to disclose personally identifiable information in education records and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.
ACPS, with certain exceptions, must obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, ACPS may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless a parent or guardian has indicated to the contrary by completing Section B1 on the ACPS Signature Form. ACPS Policy JO (PDF) designates the following as directory information:
- Name of student
- Name of parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
- Date and place of birth
- Dates of attendance
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Height and weight, if member of an athletic team
- Awards and honors received
Directory information does not include the student’s social security number. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow ACPS to include this type of information in certain school publications. However, directory information may be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent or guardian’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.
Please give careful consideration before directing ACPS to not release directory information. There are instances in which the parent or guardian may desire the disclosure of this information. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Student yearbooks
- Programs for awards ceremonies or school concerts
- Rosters for sports activities
- Honors or achievements to be included in division publications, local newspapers or other publications
- Class lists for school events or activities
- Student writing/artwork on class or division web pages
- An interview, photograph, or video taken by division personnel, TV news staff, newspaper reporter or photographer for use in printed publications, websites, school marquee signs, television or radio, video programming, promotional materials, advertising or public service announcements.
**According to Virginia law, no school may disclose the address, telephone number, or email address of a student pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act unless the parent or guardian affirmatively consents in writing. Except as required by state or federal law, no school discloses the address, telephone number, or email address of a student pursuant to FERPA unless:
- the disclosure is to students enrolled in the school or to ACPS employees for educational purposes/school business and the parent or eligible student has not opted out of the disclosure;
- the parent or eligible student has affirmatively consented in writing to the disclosure.
If you do not want ACPS to disclose directory information from your child’s education record, please complete Section B1 on the ACPS Signature Form (provided in the Back-to-School Forms packet or online via Parent Access / PowerSchool) within two weeks of registering or the student’s first day of school in ACPS.
*Parent/guardian includes adult students and legally emancipated minors.