The best approach is for the parent to talk directly with the student. Parent-child communication is not always easy, and young adults are not always forthcoming as parents would like. However, parent-child conversation is the most effective and certainly the preferred method for a parent to learn about his or her child's performance.
In this situation, you will need the student to sign a release. Download a FERPA Form (pdf). Only after the signed release is in your possession are you free to discuss a student's performance. Of course, in doing so, the faculty or staff member cannot release any information that identifies another student.
Yes. See the Texas Wesleyan University FERPA Policy web page. The policy can also be found in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs and Student Handbook.
The privacy protection FERPA gives to students is quite broad. With limited exceptions, FERPA gives privacy protection to all student education records. Education records are defined as "[t]hose records that are directly related to a student and [are] [m]aintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution." Examples of student records entitled to FERPA privacy protection are grade reports, transcripts and disciplinary records.
Under FERPA, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and secondary school settings are transferred to the student once a student has turned 18 or is attending any post-secondary educational institution (regardless of the student's age and regardless of who is paying for the student's education).
No. Information about grades and academic standing is sent directly to students. A student may complete a FERPA Form (pdf) so that a University representative may speak with a parent about their academic status.
No. Faculty members should not publicly display student grades or student work (e.g. papers, tests, laboratory reports), particularly in association with student names, identification numbers or other personal identifiers.
FERPA does not permit the posting of grades, using either the entire student ID number or a portion of the ID number. See this letter from the Department of Education for information on why this cannot be disclosed without written permission. Faculty members must develop a means of conveying grade information to students on an individual basis. You can use Blackboard's "gradebook" function to give grades to individual students without actually posting the whole spreadsheet for all in the class to view and revealing the other student grades. Each student has a tool called "view grades" in the toolbar, which they use to view their "row" of the grade book.
To use this function:
No. Although faculty members or teaching assistants can, of course, explain why a particular student performed well or poorly on a given examination or other assignment, in so doing, they should not discuss or make reference to the performance of other students. Disclosing information regarding Student A to Student B jeopardizes the privacy rights of Student A.
Faculty and staff members should not share this information with one another unless the person to whom the information is disclosed has a "legitimate educational interest" in the information. To have such an interest, the faculty or staff member must have a need to know the information to perform his or her job function. Mere curiosity is insufficient to satisfy this standard.
Prior to providing any information in response to such a request, the faculty or staff member should ensure that the licensing or accrediting organization has provided proof of the student's express written consent to disclose the information requested. No information should be disclosed without the student's express written consent.