Many of you have asked what does it mean when a parent opts out of “Directory Information.” Although parents have always had the right to opt out of having their child(ren)’s directory information released, the new requirement that we mail home a “Notification of Rights Under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” as well as the “Objection to Release of Directory Information Designation” has caused a stir in our community. Previously, our District Calendar contained the FERPA information (see pages 36-38 of the 2019-2020 calendar).

So what is the impact of opting out? In short, opting out prevents certain directory information from being shared. This would include such things as the child’s name or photograph on team rosters, yearbooks, playbills for school plays and musicals, newspaper listings, college recruitment or scholarship material, class directories, etc. This opt out prevents the school or district from releasing this directory information to other parties outside of the school or district. It does not prevent the school or district from releasing directory information for testing or educationally mandated services or activities. Opting out also does not prevent schools or the district from disclosing information to others for legitimate educational interests. In addition, opting out also does not mean that parents are opting their child(ren) from remote learning and any live streaming.

In the past we have received only a small handful of requests to opt out and we have not had any issues. Parents do not need an opt out to protect confidential student records as FERPA prohibits the District from disclosing this information without the consent of parents. The only difference that we see now is the requirement that the information to opt out of the release of directory information be mailed home to each family.