Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Regulations
Parents who wish to visit the classroom to observe specific academic instruction need to visit with the building principal or his designee to obtain approval. Parents must provide 24-hour notice and state the purpose of the visit (identify what you wish to accomplish by the visit). The decision is entirely up to the building principal based on the purpose of the request. This rule is for the protection of all students, and the school’s instructional program. Many children in the classroom setting receive special services (ELL, Special Education, Title, Speech, etc.) during the school day due to their individual academic needs, and this information is extremely confidential. Due to FERPA (federal Law), requests will be closely scrutinized to ensure the safety and confidentiality of the student population, along with their individual programming needs. This type of request is different than volunteering time to help with a classroom project, party, or fieldtrip. If an individual is granted permission to visit a classroom to watch specific academic instruction, s/he must follow these rules:
- Sign in at the office to receive a nametag and be directed to the classroom;
- Refrain from engaging the attention of teachers or students through conversation or other means.
- Not record data that is considered confidential about how other children are learning or the services they are receiving based on IEP and other criteria.
- Remain inconspicuous and non-disruptive to the instructional process.
- Classroom visitors (parents/guardians) are not there to judge the teacher’s ability to teach; they should be there to work with the teacher to best help his/her own child.
- Parent visitations are limited to only one class period during the school day.
- When leaving the classroom—you are bound by confidentiality and FERPA Law. The main purpose of a visit is for individual parents to gather information on their own child to better help the educational process.
The Principal, or his or her designee, will keep a log showing the names of visitors and the date, time and purpose of each visit.