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    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to “school officials with a legitimate educational interest.”

    FERPA defines “school official” to include “a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom an agency of institution has outsourced institutional services or functions.” The District’s annual FERPA notification informs families that a “school official” may include “a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service or function for this the school would otherwise use its own employees . . . such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist . . .”

    A review team comprised of Teaching and Learning, Department of Technology Services, Legal, and School and Community Partnerships created a process to safeguard this exemption in which community based organizations (CBOs) can apply for the institutional service (IS) exemption based on the following criteria:
    1. Program or service is for students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools and provided on school grounds;
    2. Program or service is academic or falls within the scope of the district’s K-12 education program;
    3. Program or service is comparable to a program or service provided by the district or is a program or service that would be provided by the district if resources were available;
    4. Program or service is provided directly to/for students;
    5. Program or service is provided consistently for specific students (not drop in).
    If your program/service fits the criteria list above and you would like to apply for the institutional service exemption please following the directions listed below

    Institutional Service Application & Directions
    Additional Program Pages (if needed)
    Institutional Service Criteria

    Note for Clarification:  If your program or service is designated as an institutional service you will not need to collect parent consent forms, however you will need to sign a data sharing agreement, complete the online data stewardship training and/or schedule a time to meet with a member of School & Community Partnerships to discuss data security. You will also need to work with a school designee as the designee must send the list of student IDs and names of students you are serving. Student ID numbers are identifiable data and cannot be emailed by an external email address.

    All CBOs must apply for this designation annually.

    Important Dates:

    • Institutional Service applications are accepted four times a year and then on an ongoing basis*
    • Application due dates for the 2020-2021 school year July 24th, August 21st, September 18th, October 16th, and November 13th
    • Anticipated process time from submission date: roughly 2-3 weeks, *review/approval for applications submitted after November 2020 is 4-6 weeks