When a Proximity Learning student reaches 18 years of age or attends a post-secondary institution, he or she becomes an "eligible student," and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. The eligible student has the right to have access to his or her education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, the right to have control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the records (except in certain circumstances specified in the FERPA regulations, some of which are discussed below), and the right to file a complaint with the Department. The term "education records" is defined as those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Improper disclosure of personally identifiable information derived from education records is prohibited by Proximity Learning. Thus, information that an official obtained through personal knowledge or observation, or has heard orally from others, is not protected. This remains applicable even if education records exist which contain that information, unless the official had an official role in making a determination that generated a protected education record. Proximity Learning is required to provide certain privacy protections for those education records that it does maintain. Also, unless there is an outstanding request by an eligible student to inspect and review education records, FERPA permits the school to destroy such records without notice to the student.
Access to Education Records - Eligible Proximity Learning students will have the opportunity to inspect and review his or her education records within 45 days following its receipt of a request. Proximity Learning is required to provide and make arrangements for an eligible student to have copies of their education records. Proximity Learning is not required to provide information that is not maintained or to create education records in response to an eligible student's request. Accordingly, Proximity Learning is not required to provide an eligible student with updates on his or her progress in a course (including grade reports) or in school unless such information already exists in the form of an education record.
Amendment of Education Records - Under FERPA, an eligible Proximity Learning student has the right to request that inaccurate or misleading information in his or her education records be amended. While Proximity Learning is not required to amend education records in accordance with an eligible student's request, we are required to consider the request. If the school decides not to amend a record in accordance with an eligible student's request, the school must inform the student of his or her right to a hearing on the matter. If, as a result of the hearing, Proximity Learning still decides not to amend the record, the eligible student has the right to insert a statement in the record setting forth his or her views. That statement must remain with the contested part of the eligible student's record for as long as the record is maintained. Proximity Learning will conform to fair record keeping practices. Eligible Proximity Learning students have the right to seek to amend education records which contain inaccurate information, but this right cannot be used to challenge a grade or an individual's opinion, or a substantive decision made by Proximity Learning about a student.
Disclosure of Education Records - Proximity Learning will generally not disclose personally identifiable information from an eligible student's education records to a third party unless the eligible student has provided written consent. Under the exception below, Proximity Learning will disclose personally identifiable information from education records without consent.
First, Proximity Learning officials," including teachers, with Proximity Learning can obtain access to personally identifiable information contained in education records provided it has been determined that they have "legitimate educational interest" in the information. A school must inform eligible students of how it defines the terms "school official" and "legitimate educational interest" in its annual notification of FERPA rights. A school official generally has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Additional information about the annual notification of rights is found below in this guidance document. Secondly, Proximity Learning will provide educational records to another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. The sending school may make the disclosure if it has included in its annual notification of rights a statement that it forwards education records in such circumstances. Proximity Learning will provide an eligible student with a copy of the records that that was released if requested by the student. Thirdly, we will provide to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of Proximity Learning making the disclosure for the purposes of administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, or improving instruction.
Annual Notification of Rights - Proximity Learning will annually notify eligible students in attendance of their rights under FERPA. The annual notification must include information regarding an eligible student's right to inspect and review his or her education records, the right to seek to amend the records, the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information from the records (except in certain circumstances), and the right to file a complaint with the Office regarding an alleged failure by a school to comply with FERPA. Proximity Learning will inform eligible students the meaning of the terms for “school official" and "legitimate educational interest." Proximity Learning will provide the notice to students on the Proximity Learning website, student handbook and/or at the beginning of each online course. Students will be provided with the following website to review FERPA Guidelines, www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html
Complaint Regarding Access - If an eligible student believes that Proximity Learning has failed to comply with his or her request for access to education records, the student may complete a FERPA complaint form and should include the following specific information: the date of the request for access to the education records; the name of the school official to whom the request was made (a dated copy of any written request to the school should be provided, if possible); the response of the school official, if any; and the specific nature of the information requested.
Complaint Regarding Amendment - If an eligible student believes that Proximity Learning has failed to comply with his or her request for amendment of inaccurate information in education records or failed to offer the student an opportunity for a hearing on the matter, the student may complete a FERPA complaint form and should include the following specific information: the date of the request for amendment of the education records; the name of the school official to whom the request was made (a dated copy of any written request to the school should be provided, if possible); the response of the school official, if any; the specific nature of the inaccurate information for which amendment was requested; and evidence provided to the school to support the assertion that such information is inaccurate.
Complaint Regarding Disclosure - If an eligible student believes that Proximity Learning has improperly disclosed personally identifiable information from his or her education records to a third party, the student may complete a FERPA complaint form and should include the following specific information: the date or approximate date the alleged disclosure occurred or the date the student learned of the disclosure; the name of the school official who made the disclosure, if that is known; the third party to whom the disclosure was made; and the specific nature of the education records disclosed.