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Confidentiality, Privacy, and Student Records

Confidentiality, Privacy, and Student Records

  • The Department of Public Instruction offers a two-part, online training to help educators understand how to manage pupil records consistent with both state and federal laws. These trainings can fulfill the requirement in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations to have employees who access special education records complete training (34 CFR 300.623).
  • Confidential Services Available to Youth in Wisconsin describes the circumstances under which youth may access confidential services independently under Wisconsin law. Statutory references are included.
  • The mission of the Family Policy Compliance Office within the federal Department of Education is to meet the needs of the Department's primary customers--learners of all ages--by effectively implementing two laws that seek to ensure student and parental rights in education: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment. Complaints under either FERPA or PPRA may be filed with the FPCO.
  • The Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information gives a general overview of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to the information collected for, and kept in, student records. It provides background on the key principles and concepts in student privacy, summarizes federal privacy laws and any recent changes to them, and suggests good data management practices for schools, districts, and state education agencies.
  • Protecting Student Privacy in Wisconsin includes links to state and federal websites; publications that address the issues of student confidentiality, privacy, and student records, and available online training.
  • Student Data Privacy Training website provides training resources on Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Student Records and Confidentiality, Sharing Information Across Systems, FERPA Training, and Data Privacy. Use these materials yourself or share with others in your organization to ensure everyone understands data privacy and confidentiality.  
  • Student Records and Confidentiality is an electronic publication of the Department of Public Instruction that describes state and federal statutes related to student records, including definition, access and disclosure, maintenance and transfer of records, parents’ and students’ rights and access, and additional requirements related to special education.
  • The Wisconsin Court System Access website provides public access to the records of the Wisconsin circuit courts for counties using the Consolidated Court Automation Programs Case Management system. These records are open to public view under Wisconsin's Open Records law, sections 19.31-19.39, Wisconsin Statutes. This website can be helpful in conducting a search regarding criminal activity.
  • Wisconsin Records Retention Schedule for School Districts
  • Understanding Guardianships, Legal Custody, and Physical Custody for School Professionals in Wisconsin - While parents usually retain legal authority over important decisions regarding their children, there are sometimes exceptions made by the court. This document outlines basic information about public and private guardianships, legal custody, and physical custody in Wisconsin to assist school professionals in supporting students and families. After definitions are described, some common questions and answers related to educational decision-making authority are discussed.
  • Wisconsin Subpoenas & Court Orders Affecting Disclosure of Pupil Records

Contact Information

For questions about access, disclosure, and maintenance of Personally Indefinable Information (PII) from pupil records, contact Julie Incitti (608) 266-0963.

For questions from employers, colleges, and universities who need to verify that a candidate has a GED or HSED from Wisconsin, view the GED/HSED Credential Verifications page.

For copies of a GED/HSED Transcript or Credential, view the GED/HSED Transcripts and Credentials page.

For access to an individual pupil record from a Wisconsin school, please contact the local school district.

To request confidential data, including a record indicating that a student graduated from a Wisconsin high school, please fill out the form on the DPI Confidential Data Application page.