Annual Notification Regarding Student Records
The protection of student rights has always been a top priority of the Ritenour School District. This document is distributed annually to all parents and students in order to comply with state and federal requirements to notify the parents/guardians and eligible students of their rights with respect to the student’s educational records.
In general, a student’s educational record includes any information maintained by the school district, which contains information directly related to a student. A major exception would be a personal record kept by a staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords to parents/guardians (“parents”) of students, and to students themselves who are over 18 years of age (“eligible students”), certain rights with respect to the student’s education records maintained by Ritenour School District (“District”).
These rights are outlined below:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the District receives a written request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies, as precisely as possible, the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the principal or appropriate official, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District 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 procedure will be provided to parent or eligible student when notified of the right to hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education record 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 the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, counselor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the District’s Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist); or a parent, student or other person serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her responsibilities for the District. The Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC) and its officers, employees, and agents are also school officials with legitimate educational interests, because they act for and on behalf of the District with respect to transfer students and the transfer program, and because they seek to advance the interests of both. A transfer student’s attendance records and other educational records relevant to the student’s participation in the program or to the program itself may accordingly be disclosed to VICC without obtaining written consent from the parent/guardian or eligible student. Upon request, the District discloses education records without consent to officials of a school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District 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 20202-4605.
- There is a set of information the District has designated as directory information. This information may be released without prior written consent to parent and student organizations for marketing purposes, such as for “buzz” books produced in the fall, and to outside organizations including, but not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks in the spring. Other examples include play bills for drama productions; yearbooks; honor rolls or other recognition lists; graduation programs; and sports activity sheets. Such information is also considered a “public record” which must be released upon demand to any person who requests it, under the Missouri Sunshine Law. If a parent, guardian, or eligible student does not want the district to release the information listed below, they must notify the Assistant to the Superintendent of Student Services in writing within 10 days of receiving this notification of the information they do not want released.
The following “Directory Information” may be released without obtaining parental consent: student’s name, parent’s name, grade level, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors, awards received, artwork or course work displayed by district, photographs, videotapes, digital images and recorded sound.
In addition, federal law requires the District to provide military recruiters, upon request, with secondary school students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings, unless parents have advised us that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.
The Assistant to the Superintendent of Student Services has district-wide responsibility for student educational records and, as such, is the custodian of the records. Anyone having questions regarding school policy relating to student records is welcome to contact Ritenour Student Services at: 2420 Woodson Road; St. Louis, MO 63114;