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Special Education Tip – Parental Request for Records – 35-2017

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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

Viewing Records Online or in Person Satisfies a Parental Request for Records

Often, a school will receive repeated requests for records. The repeated copying of records is time consuming for staff and a waste of paper. According to a recent FERPA decision of the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the U.S. Department of Education, a school system has satisfied the obligation to disclose a student’s records to a parent if it makes the records available to the parent through the school’s internet portal or by making the records available to the parent for viewing at the school. It does not matter that it would be more convenient for the parent to be sent copies of the records. A parent is only entitled to be sent copies of records or to pick up copies of records when circumstances prevent the parent from viewing the records online or if not viewable online, if the parent does not live within commuting distance of the school. Be sure the school system has a procedure in place for requiring a per page fee for copying records, which fee should apply unless the parent is indigent.

If a parent is viewing a file, be sure to have a staff member sit with the parent. Also, take those testing protocols out of the file. They do not belong there.

Notice: Mark your calendars. We have just been advised by MABE that the annual Special Education Update will be held in Annapolis on May 26, 2017.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
Copyright © 2016 Pessin Katz Law, P.A. All rights reserved.
Tips may be reproduced for distribution within the educational institution, the individual school or school system and is for use by their staff. Additional distribution must be approved by author.
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