# Grades and FERPA
As we continue to deliver courses in alternate ways, it is crucial for us to maintain our high standards of FERPA compliance. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, is a federal law that governs educational records. It grants specific rights to students and regulates how institutions must handle educational records, including grades. The main focus of FERPA is to give students rights to see their records and to protect against disclosures of certain information without the student's consent or specific legal authorization.
Much of the content for this section is taken from the Registrar's Guidelines
For more information, please see the FERPA section of the Office of the Registrar.
The Registrar's Office dictates that we may NOT email student grades over insecure email. To assure compliance, most courses utilize a learning management system (LMS) like Moodle or Compass2g.
If you would like to use a compliant grade book but do not wish to use a learning management system, we strongly suggest that you consider the ALTAS Gradebook. To add your course to the ATLAS Gradebook, please email email@example.com with your course number, sections, and NetIDs of anyone who should have the ability to edit grades.
People currently using the departmental gradebook will be permitted to do so for the remainder of the semester. However, we hope to retire the departmental gradebook in the future.
# Discussing Student Performance
You may NOT discuss a student’s performance or grade in your class with the student’s parent unless you have written permission from the student or other provisions of the law are met. You should refer all inquiries from parents to Registration Services in the Office of the Registrar (333-6565) to obtain or confirm the required documentation before approving any release of records or information. (Under FERPA, parents are not entitled to information in the student record unless the parent can prove that the student is legally their dependent or the student has given consent to the disclosure.)
You may NOT provide a verbal or written reference for a student that discusses the student’s educational performance unless you have written permission from the student.