What is the procedure for challenging school records?

Parent(s)/guardian(s) of students, or students themselves if eighteen years of age or older have the right to inspect and review any or all of the student’s educational records. If the information is believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of a student's privacy rights. The parent may request that information be amended or removed from the file.

  • A request to challenge the content of a student’s educational record must be based on a ministerial or clerical error(s) in the record that is discovered upon review. A challenge is not an opportunity to review substantive decisions by District administration or staff concerning evaluation of academic work or outcomes of disciplinary proceedings.
  • A request to challenge the content of a student’s educational record shall be filed in writing with the principal at the school where the student is enrolled or, if the student is no longer enrolled in a District school, with a District designee from the Student Accounting Department or Student Support Services Department, as appropriate.
  • The written request must indicate the aspect of the record being challenged and specify why that aspect is believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights. Supporting evidence must be submitted with the written complaint.
  • The principal or District designee shall review the request to determine if the aspect of the record being challenged is in fact inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights.
  • Within fifteen (15) working days following the receipt of a request, the principal or District designee will notify the Requestor in writing regarding the disposition of the request to challenge the record and whether or not the record will be amended.
    • If the disposition is to amend the record, the request and any changes shall be noted in the record. The parent/guardian or student, as appropriate, shall be notified in writing.
    • If the disposition is to not amend the record, the Requestor shall be informed of their right to a hearing.

 

Request for a FERPA Hearing

  • To exercise the right for a hearing, the Requestor shall, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the initial disposition, make a request in writing to the Superintendent  and include:
    • a description of original complaint including that aspect of the record being challenged, and any supporting evidence, and
    • A copy of the initial disposition.
  • The Superintendent shall designate a Hearing Officer, who may be an official or employee of the District, but must not have any direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
  • A date shall be set by the Hearing Officer for the hearing which shall be no more than thirty (30) days following receipt of the request.
  • The Requestor shall be notified in writing of the date, time and place set for the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed to the Requestor no later than seven (7) working days prior to the date set for the hearing.
  • Hearings shall be conducted by the Hearing Officer in an informal manner. Technical rules of evidence shall not apply and witnesses need not give testimony under oath. All relevant and material evidence is admissible and will be considered according to the circumstances, credibility and relevancy.
  • The parties, or their representatives, shall present their respective positions by written and/or oral evidence.
    • Each party will be given a maximum of thirty (30) minutes to present evidence unless exceptional circumstances require additional time.
    • Either party shall have the right to cross examine witnesses presented by the other.
    • Both parties shall have the right to presence and participation of legal counsel.
  • Unless otherwise requested by the Requestor, a hearing shall be considered confidential and shall be closed except for the parties and their witnesses.
  • No written transcript of any hearing shall be made; however, at the request of either party, a recording device may be utilized to record the proceedings.
  • The Hearing Officer shall mail the Requestor a copy of his/her written decision within ten (10) working days after the hearing unless, in the hearing officer’s judgment, additional time is required. In that case, the requestor shall be notified in writing of the additional time needed.
    • The decision shall include the reason or reasons for the Hearing Officer’s decision and a summary of the evidence.
    • The Hearing Officer’s decision is final.
  • If, upon receipt of the decision of the Hearing Officer, the Requestor is still dissatisfied with the content of the educational records, they may insert into such records an explanation regarding its content.
    • The statement must be maintained in the contested part of the record. If the contested part of the record is maintained electronically, the statement shall be limited to fifty (50) words.
    • If the contested part of the record is maintained in paper format, the statement shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) typewritten pages, one side only.
    • The Requestor shall have twenty (20) days from the date of the Hearing Officer’s decision to submit a written statement.
    • The written statement is to be submitted to the Hearing Officer.