Department of Education/FERPA Guidance on Remote Work and Privacy
The coronavirus outbreak has forced many of us to navigate through uncommon territory. As our member institutions move to remote working and virtual learning during this time of social
distancing, we have received inquiries regarding student privacy, best practices on virtual access of student records, and how to ensure that institutions continue to adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) under changing work
to review some frequently
asked questions on FERPA and implications for distance learning due to school closures. SPPO also shared updated guidance
and available resources
on virtual learning and FERPA. The guidance includes best practices on how to email student information
and the importance of evaluating the risk associated with sending student
information and recognizing if it is personally identifiable information (PII).
The department highlights its security best practices
, which includes resources on safeguarding education records,
Additionally, the recently-released FERPA and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) FAQs
document identifies questions for school officials regarding
the health or safety emergency exception under FERPA in the context of COVID-19. A separate guidance document for interruptions of study
related to the outbreak includes temporary waivers from the federal government and accreditors on new or expanded
distance education programs. We understand our members are working diligently to respond to the quickly evolving situation and AACRAO plans to provide additional guidance on these pressing topics in the near future.