Annual notification: A yearly notice to parents and eligible students of their rights under FERPA. The notification must include: information about an eligible student's/parent’s right to inspect and review his or her education records, the right to seek to amend the records, the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information from the records (except in certain circumstances), and the right to file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office about an alleged failure by a school to comply with FERPA. The school may provide notification by any means likely to inform eligible students and parents of their rights. Although the guidance does not explicitly state that the notification must be in writing, all of the suggested means are in writing.

Business entity: Under HIPAA, this is defined as an entity that contracts with a covered entity or hybrid entity to perform covered functions

CAPTA: The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) contains provisions regarding the confidentiality of child welfare records. CAPTA mandates that as a condition of receiving federal funding, a state must enact laws and regulations that specify when, with whom, and under what circumstances a child welfare agency may share information contained in case records.

Covered entity: Under HIPAA, this is defined as health plans, health care clearinghouses, and healthcare providers that electronically transmit any health information in connection with transactions for which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has adopted standards.

DataIn the Models for Change Information Sharing Tool Kit, “data” refers to information that is captured for reporting purposes. While the reporting is done in the aggregate, the data may or may not identify individuals.  Data is distinguished from the term “information,” which refers to records, material, communications – both unrecorded and recorded -- that may or do identify individuals.

Directory information: A term used in FERPA to refer to information about a student that can be shared without parental disclosure, such as name, address, phone number, date and place of birth, participation in school activities, dates of attendance, photograph, and field of study, as long as the school complies with certain parental notification requirements and gives parents the right to opt out of allowing such information to be released.

Education record: FERPA defines a student’s education record as records, files, documents, and other material maintained by a school or a person acting for the school and containing information directly related to a student. 

Eligible student: FERPA’s term for a student who turns 18 or enters into post-secondary education and thus has power to control his or her education record.

FERPAThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 governs access to and release of education records by public and private schools that receive federal funding. 

HIPAAThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191, was enacted in 1996 to improve efficiency in healthcare by standardizing data exchanges and setting and enforcing confidentiality standards for health data. HIPAA sets forth different rules, including HIPAA’s Privacy Rule. HIPAA’s Privacy Rule aims to protect an individual's protected health information (PHI), but also disclose it appropriately when necessary to promote high-quality health care and to protect the public's health and well-being.

Hybrid entity: Under HIPAA, this is defined as an entity that performs some covered and non-covered functions as part of its business operations.

ICWAThe Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law enacted in 1978 in response to the alarmingly high rate of American Indian children placed in out-of-home care, either in foster care or through adoption. ICWA applies to children who are members of federally recognized American Indian tribes who are in a state’s child welfare system. The law is intended to keep American Indian families together and to give tribes a voice in child placement decisions.

IDEIAThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) came into effect in 2005, superseding its predecessor, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), originally enacted in 1975. (The 2005 law is often still referred to as the IDEA). In exchange for federal funding, IDEIA requires states to provide school-age children with “free, appropriate public education” in the “least restrictive environment.” Part B of the act sets forth the process for providing such education, including evaluations for services, eligibility determinations, individualized education programs (IEPs), educational placements, and procedural safeguards. Part B also contains provisions regarding the confidentiality of these special education records. The IDEIA confidentiality regulations incorporate FERPA provisions and also include some provisions that apply only to special education records.

Information: In the Models for Change Information Sharing Tool Kit, the term “information” refers to records, material, communications – both unrecorded and recorded -- that may or do  identify individuals. This term is distinguished from “data” which refers to information that is captured for reporting purposes. While the reporting is done in the aggregate, the data may or may not identify individuals.

In loco parentisLatin for “in the role of the parent”

JJDPAThe Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is a federal law that requires any states that receive funding to establish procedures to protect the privacy rights of individuals who participate in services funded under the act. These services include state and local programs that: (1) “prevent juvenile involvement in delinquent behavior,” (2) “encourage accountability for juvenile delinquency,” and (3) “address juvenile crime through research, training, evaluation, and the dissemination of information on effective programs for combating juvenile delinquency.

Personally identifiable information: Under HIPAA, this is information that identifies an individual, or could reasonably be used to identify an individual. It includes many common identifiers such as names, addresses, birth dates, photos, and social security numbers.

Personal representativeUnder HIPAA, this is a person authorized (under State or other applicable law, e.g., tribal or military law) to act on behalf of an individual who is or has been receiving health care and who is the subject of protected health information.

PPRAThe Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) requires schools receiving U.S. Department of Education (ED) funding to notify parents at least annually at the beginning of the school year of their rights under PPRA, including the right to consent prior to their child’s participation in any survey, analysis, or evaluation funded in whole or part by ED that reveals information concerning any of the following: Political affiliations, Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family, Sex behavior and attitudes, Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior, Critical appraisals of the respondents’ close family members, Legally privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers, Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such a program).

Protected health information (PHI): In HIPAA, protected health information or PHI is individually identifiable information maintained or transmitted by covered entities in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral.

School law enforcement unit: Under FERPA, any individual or department of an educational institution, such as a unit of commissioned police officers or non-commissioned security guards that is officially authorized to enforce laws or refer individuals to an appropriate law enforcement agency.

Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA): In January 2013, the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA) amended FERPA to make it easier for caseworkers to obtain education records for youth in foster care. Parents’ right to restrict the disclosure of personally identifiable information from students’ education records under FERPA is subject to a number of exceptions. The USA added a new exception for all children and young adults in out-of-home child welfare placements, including out-of-home kinship care and various forms of congregate care. The USA allows schools to release a child’s education records without parental notification or consent to an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization. It also allows schools to comply with a court order to release a child’s education records without first notifying a child’s parents when the parents are parties to that child’s child welfare case.