The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC), with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the school division to the contrary in accordance with procedures below. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow WJCC to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain publications. Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- Honor roll or other recognition lists;
- Graduation programs; and
- Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information for juniors and seniors—names, address, and telephone listings—unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.
If you do not want WJCCPS to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify your child’s school principal in writing by September 20, 2023 or within two weeks of school entry. WJCCPS has designated the following information as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Grade level
- Participating in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of athletic team members
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Most recent educational agency or institution attended
- Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc. A student’s SSN, in whole or part, cannot be used for this purpose.
Although the above information has been designated as directory information under FERPA, in accordance with Virginia law, the address, telephone number, and email address of a student will not be disclosed unless:
- The disclosure is required by state or federal law; The disclosure is to students enrolled in the school or to school board employees for educational purposes or school business and the parent or eligible student has not opted out of such disclosure; or
- The parent or eligible student has affirmatively consented in writing to such disclosure.