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NASP Communiqué, Vol. 31, #1
September 2002

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 well.

Reference

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.