NASP Communiqué, Vol. 31, #1
Copying Protocols to Parents: Clarification of FERPA Requirements
By Andrea Canter, NCSP
Since the publication of "Test Protocols" (Canter, Communiqué,
May 2001), NASP staff and Ethics Committee members have continued to review
available laws and regulations, as well as reported experiences and district
policies, regarding the review and release of copies of test protocols.
Recently a New York City NASP member provided material from Wrightslaw
(Wright & Wright, 1999) citing complete text of the Family Education
Records and Privacy Act (FERPA), highlighting a section regarding the
release of copies of test protocols.
As previously reported, FERPA, IDEA and Section 504 all require that
parents be given access to school records (including test protocols),
and that this access is limited to a review of records unless the
records can not be provided for review within 45 days. When such a delay
occurs, then parents are to receive copies of the records. Further,
parents may request that actual copies of records be released to appropriate
third parties (such as community mental health providers). FERPA includes
an additional provision neglected in our earlier analysis: Once the parent
has formally requested release of school records to a third party, the
parent is then entitled to copies of the same records. In other
words, once schools have released copies of protocols to a third party
at the parents' request, the parent may request and receive copies as
Wright, P.W.D. & Wright, P.D. (1999). Wrightslaw: Special Education
Law. Hartfield, VA: Harbor House Law Press.
Thanks to the New York City NASP member (whose name was not accurately
obtained) for passing along this information. School psychologists are
cautioned that the above information is not intended to substitute for
legal advice and district legal counsel should be consulted regarding
interpretation of federal and state regulations.