Update on FERPA Disclosure

By Dr. Michelle C. Reid
Superintendent's Messages
December 12, 2023

Dear FCPS Community, 

I am following up with you regarding an inadvertent Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) disclosure to a parent. The breach occurred during an in-person review of documents related to the parent’s own child. At that time, information relating to other current and former FCPS students and staff was inadvertently and unknowingly made accessible to the parent. 

We deeply regret that this has happened. The parent who inadvertently received this information has confirmed to FCPS that she will not share unredacted or individual student information publicly. The parent has a blog where she shares her views on educational matters, including on FCPS. Based on a review of that blog, the parent has not shared any individual student information. Instead, she has redacted (blacked out) student names.

Since learning of its publication on November 1, after extensive review by our outside counsel, FCPS issued notification letters to all known impacted individuals on Friday, December 8. 

FCPS began an external legal investigation as soon as FCPS was made aware of this FERPA disclosure to a parent. I will share a summary once that investigation is complete.

We have already identified systemic changes that will prevent incidents such as this one going forward. We will also be implementing additional recommendations that may be advised by the independent investigation.

We are committed to safeguarding personal information and are continuing to evaluate additional actions to strengthen privacy protections for our students and the data with which we are entrusted.

If you received a letter from FCPS stating that your child may have been impacted by the inadvertent breach and have questions, please email [email protected]. A staff member will be back in touch with you as soon as possible. 

Dr. Michelle C. Reid
Superintendent of Schools

FERPA Disclosure FAQs

FAQs regarding the inadvertent Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) disclosure to a parent in October 2023.