Utah law only allows parents access to a student’s records. The school shall release records to the legal custodial parent/guardian or non-custodial parent/guardian, unless a court order restricts a non-custodial parent/guardian and the school has a record of such. In addition to Utah statutes (§53G-7-204), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) makes students’ school records confidential and lays out the requirements for student records requests.
Students who have 1) graduated or 2) turn 18 (whichever occurs last) or are 3) emancipated (eligible student) become the custodian of their own educational records. Parents/guardians do not have access to these students’ records without a written request of records authorized by the student. An adult who requests records of a person who is 18 years or older must have court papers showing legal guardianship of that person or be able to prove that they claimed that person on their income taxes.
The school does not need to provide education records to parents at the time of the request, and can as long as the requested records are provided in a timely manner. Under FERPA, the school is required to make records ready for review by the parent or eligible student within 45 days of a request. If the parent is 50 miles or more away, the school can mail or fax the records with proof of identification. Lunch records are considered a school record and the Skyward Gradebook is a school record; both the custodial and the noncustodial parent may have access to the student’s gradebook if the court orders allows or the custodial parent approves it in writing. Records do not include police records maintained by the school resource officer.
A school that receives a request for educational records shall:
Obtain a written “Request for Educational Records” for each instance of a records request. Written consent includes all of the following:
- Signature of the eligible student or the parent of a non-eligible student consenting to allow another person to see the education record(s);
- Date that the consent was signed;
- Name of the person(s) who may see the education record(s);
- Description of the education record(s) that may be disclosed (or the information from the education record(s) that may be disclosed); and
- The reason for allowing the person or party to see the education record(s).
Verify that the requestor has a right to the educational record.
- Verify identification (Picture ID and Skyward Family tab, Families #1 & #2)
- If a non-custodial parent, consult the most recent legal document, and provide a courtesy call to the custodial parent/guardian prior to fulfilling the records request to determine if you have the most recent legal document.
Non-Custodial Parent Requests
A non-custodial parent has the right to written education records. A new records request form must be completed for each request. A school may presume that the non-custodial parent of a minor child has authority to inspect and review the education records of the child unless the school/principal is provided with evidence that there is a legal binding instrument or court order which provides to the contrary. The school principal shall contact the custodial parent to determine if there is a court order or other legally binding document prohibiting the non-custodial parent access to the child’s education records. Access to a student’s record granted to a non-custodial parent includes electronic access to academic and attendance records unless court documents indicate otherwise.
Parent/Student Request to Amend a Record
The custodial parent, guardian, or 18-year-old student has a right to request the amendment of the student’s education record. Parents or eligible students may ask the school principal to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading in writing, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school shall notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing, through Planning and Student Services.