What laws address my student's privacy and protection?

FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law passed in 1974 that bars the disclosure of personally identifiable (PII) data in student records to third parties without parental consent.

Parental Rights under FERPA:
    • The right to inspect the information in their child’s education records, whether this data is held by the state, the local district or their child’s school.
    • The right to correct information in their child’s records if there are errors. 
    • The right to be informed as the school/district’s criteria in determining who constitutes a school official or other third party with a legitimate educational interest to whom the school/district intends to disclose personally identifiable information without parental consent. 
    • The right to opt out of any “directory information” about their child being made public.
    • The right to opt out of having their child’s name, address and telephone from being provided to military recruiters. 
    • The right to be informed of their FERPA rights each year by their school or district.
FERPA in the Cedarburg School District
School District Board Policy  8330 Student Records, addresses the use of student information and release of "Directory Information."  
"In order to provide appropriate educational services and programming the District must collect, retain and use information about individual students. Simultaneously, the Board recognizes the need to safeguard students' privacy and restrict access to students' personally identifiable information."

In policy and as a practice "Student records shall only be available to students and their parents, eligible students, designated school officials who have legitimate educational interest in the information or to other Individuals or organizations as permitted by law."

Each year, during Online Pre-registration and Information Verification in Skyward Family Access, parents determine the release of their student's directory information. Directory Information is defined as  a student's name; address; telephone number; date and place of birth; major field of study; participation in officially-recognized activities and sports; height and weight, if a member of an athletic team; dates of attendance; date of graduation or awards received.


CIPA - Children's Internet Protection Act
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 (updated in 2011) to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the Federal E-rate program.

Schools must have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

Schools subject to CIPA have two additional certification requirements:
  • their Internet safety policies must include monitoring the online activities of minors; and 
  • as required by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, they must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing:
  • Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet;
  • The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
  • Unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
  • Measures restricting minors' access to materials harmful to them.

CIPA in the Cedarburg School District
School Board Policy 7540.03 Student Acceptable Use and Safety governs and addresses the use of educational technology resources in the district. Parents acknowledge that they have read and understand this policy during Online Registration and Information Verification in Skyward Family Access each year.  Students review this policy yearly in their classrooms.

The school district Internet access is filtered by a product called iBoss to provide a safe educational environment for our staff and students. Student email Google Apps files are electronically filtered or scanned (using a service called Gaggle Student Safety Management) to block inappropriate content from being sent, received or shared with them.  Each year classroom teachers provide instruction educating their students in digital citizenship topics including appropriate online behavior, protecting their privacy/information and cyberbullying awareness and response.

COPPA - Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
Congress enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998, which is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.

The primary goal of COPPA is to allow parents to have control over what information is collected online from their children under age 13. The law applies to any operators of websites, online services including web-based testing, programs or “apps” that collect, use, or disclose children’s personal information, whether at home or at school. However, COPPA only applies to personal information collected online from children; it does not cover information collected from adults that may pertain to children.

The personal information can include the child’s name,email, phone number or other persistent unique identifier, and information about parents, friends and other persons. The law recognizes that the school can consent on behalf of the parent to create accounts and enter personal information into the online system– but only where the operator collects personal information for the use and benefit of the school, and for no other commercial purpose.

COPPA in the Cedarburg School District
Each year, during Online Registration and Information Verification in Skyward Family Access, parents determine permissions for their K-8 students use of Google Apps for Education.  


Similarly, when classroom teachers use online educational resources that may utilize a student name, username, or similar directory information, parents are provided information and asked for permission. 

Information compiled from US Department of Education|Laws and Guidance