Home>Resources>FERPA, HIPPA & Nondiscrimination Notices

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;

    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;

    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;

    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;

    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;

    • Accrediting organizations;

    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;

    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and

    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service. Or you may contact us at the following address:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires Palmetto Achievement Center for Excellence Academy to maintain the privacy of protected health information and to provide individuals with notice of the school’s legal duties and privacy practices with respect to this health information. HIPAA and its regulations specifically exclude any education records covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), treatment records of a student over 18 years of age that are made or maintained by a health care professional and disclosed to no other persons, and employment records held by the school in its role as an employer. Therefore, the school acknowledges that the business activities of only some of its components may be considered subject to the privacy regulations of HIPAA.

Nondiscrimination Statement

PACE Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, or immigrant status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following persons have been designated to handle the nondiscrimination policies. For questions pertaining to Section 504, contact Melissa Rabon at 803-900-0664, and for questions pertaining to Title IX, contact Traci Bryant-Riches at 803-665-2011. For more information, see full policy in the Employee and Parent/Student Handbooks or Click here to download the latest Title IX Policy.

To file a Title IX compliant, please complete this form: Title IX Complaint Form and submit it to Traci Bryant-Riches.

Annual Notice of Child Find

Upon request, PACE Academy, in accordance with the guidelines set forth by IDEA, are required to evaluate a child for eligibility for special education services. A request for evaluation is known as a referral. When the school receives a referral, the school will appoint an evaluation planning team to determine if the child has a disability and whether the child needs special education services.

PACE Academy locates, identifies, and evaluates all children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in PACE Academy. A school staff member who reasonably believes a child may be a child with a disability has a legal duty to refer the child, including a homeless child, to the Disability Services Director.

Before referring the child, the person making the referral must inform the child’s parent that the referral will be made.

Others, including parents, who reasonably believe a child is a child with a disability may also refer the child, including a homeless child, to PACE Academy where the child is enrolled. Referrals must be in writing and include the reason why the person believes the child is a child with a disability. A referral may be made by contacting:

Michelle Crane
Disability Services Director
6015 N Main Street Columbia, SC 29203
michelle.crane@choosepace.org