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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that [School District], with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, [School District] may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures.

The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the [School District] to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications.

Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- Honor roll or other recognition lists;
- Graduation programs; and
- Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.

If you do not want [School District] to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by [insert date]. [School District] has designated the following information as directory information: [Note: an LEA may, but does not have to, include all the information listed below.]

-Student’s name, address, phone, e-mail
-Date and place of birth
-Dates of attendance
-Grade level
-Major field of study
-Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
-Weight and height of members of athletic teams
-Degrees, honors, and awards received
-The most recent educational agency or institution attended
These laws are: Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7908), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110), the education bill, and 10 U.S.C. 503, as amended by section 544, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (P.L. 107-107), the legislation that provides funding for the Nation’s armed forces.


For more information, contact the South Dakota Department of Education
800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3327