Directory Information is information that can be released to many different entities without your direct knowledge about your student unless you take the extra step to opt out. The release of Directory information has been an ongoing process for several decades and well before the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents v. California Department of Education.
The release of Student information falls under the California Education Code and is called Directory Information. It is important to know that Directory information is held by each school district, and it is the responsibility of the school district each year to notify each parent that their child's directory information can be released if the parent doesn't opt-out.
Specifically the law says:EC 49073 (a) School districts shall adopt a policy identifying those categories of directory information as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 49061 that may be released. The school district shall determine which individuals, officials, or organizations may receive directory information.
The same law goes on to say:
The school district shall determine which individuals, officials, or organizations may receive directory information. However, no information may be released to a private profit making entity other than employers, prospective employers, and representatives of the news media, including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations. For examples, scroll down to look at a sampling of Districts across California.
What is released at the District level:
- Student name
- Student birth date
- Student birthplace
- Student address
- Student Grade
- Student telephone number
- Student major course of study
- Student participation in activities and sports
- Students dates of attendance
- Student degrees and awards
- Student previous public or private schools most recently attended
- Student weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Student photographs
- Parent/Student email address
Who receives my childs information:
- Military Recruiters
- Prospective Employers
- Representatives of the News Media
- Parent Organizations (such as PTA or School Site Council)
- Law Enforcement Agencies
- Private Schools
- Colleges or Universities
- Community based organizations
- Local, State, and Federal agencies that provide or offer support services
- PlayBills for a Drama Production
- Student Year Book
- Educational agencies or institutions approved by Research/Professional Development for research studies
- Teachers, school officials, counselors, instructional assistance personnel, secretaries and clerical staff, PTA officials, and room mothers
- Non-profit agencies
- Organizations in connection with applications for or receipt of financial aid, college federally funded grants, awards or scholarships
- appropriate persons or agencies in connection with an emergency which may affect the health or safety of a student or another person
Ready to opt out? Use this sample letter!
NOTE: These links below are in .pdf format and require Adobe Acrobat. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, please download it now.
From Sacramento City Unified School District (p.16 and 17)
"The school district also makes certain student directory information available in accordance with state and federal laws. This means that each student’s name, birthdate, birthplace, address, telephone number, major course of study, participation in school activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards and the most previous public or private school of attendance may be released to certain specified agencies. In addition, height and weight of athletes may be made available. (p.16)"
"Military Recruiters Federal Law (No Child Left Behind) requires that military services representatives shall have access to directory information...Directory information may not be provided to any private profit-making entity other than employers, prospective employers or to representatives of the news media." (p17)From San Francisco Unified School District (p.96 and p.97)
"Directory Information includes: Student’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and public and private school most recently attended. (State Education Code Section 49061(c))." (p.96)
Recipients of Directory Information: Directory Information may be released to the school-sponsored SFUSD parent organization; prospective employers; military recruiters; law enforcement agencies; or private schools or colleges/universities. Directory Information may also be released to community based organizations with District MOUs that are providing support services to students, or local, state or federal government agencies that are providing or offering support services to students and families, including agencies that can use such information to directly certify families for participation in the National Free and Reduced Price Lunch program such as the San Francisco Human Services Agency and the California Department of Education"
"A separate subset of directory information includes the following school publications that will be accessible to the recipients listed above or any members of the public who are present at school activities/events and thereby obtain copies of the listed documents:
A playbill, showing the student’s role in a drama production;
Annual school yearbook, which may include the student’s photograph, activities or field of study;
Honor roll or other publically posted recognition lists;
Graduation programs, which may include student names, degrees awarded and honors;
Sports activity sheets, which may include student names, height, and/or weight.
Finally, the District may provide members of the media with information about awards and honors received by students, including the name of the award" (p.97)
From San Bernardino City School District (p.27 and 28)
"Directory information relating to a student includes student name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance (enrollment and withdrawal), degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student (EC §49061 and §49073)."
"Directory information may be released to (EC §49076):
1. school officials and district employees who have legitimate educational interests in the student (including teachers, school officials, counselors, instructional assistance personnel, secretaries and clerical staff, PTA officials, and room mothers);
2. officials and employees of other public schools or schools systems where the student intends to or is directed to enroll including County or State correctional facilities where educational programs leading to high school graduation are provided;
3. local, County, or State law enforcement officers, probation officer, parole officer or a member of a parole board, seeking information in the course of his/her duties; or to an officer or employee of any adoption agency licensed by the Department of Social Welfare, as to a minor placed with or under the supervision of that agency or another minor from the same family as such minor or as to children in families for which an investigation by the agency is required under Section 22.6 of the Civil Code;
4. parents of an 18-year-old student who is a dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code;
5. appropriate persons or agencies in connection with an emergency which may affect the health or safety of a student or another person;
6. officers or employees of a City, County, State or Federal agency responsible for the protective services to children;
7. non-profit agencies or organizations in connection with applications for or receipt of financial aid, college federally funded grants, awards or scholarships;
8. duly authorized educational accrediting agencies during the normal functioning of accrediting activities;
9. educational agencies or institutions approved by Research/Professional Development for research studies; and
10. representatives of the news media, including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations.
"Information may not be released to private profit-making agencies other than those listed above."
From Orange Unified School District (p.21)
"Directory information means information contained in an education record of a pupil that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Such pupil information includes name, address, telephone number, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous school attended (34 CFR 99.3; EC §49061)"