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Inquiries Regarding Student Information or Student Records

Subpoenas

APS employees are often contacted with regard to legal matters to which APS is not a party.

APS employees are prohibited from meeting or talking with anyone other than a student's parent or guardian about a student without a written release or in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In every case where APS employees are contacted by an attorney, attorney's agent, or any officer of the court regarding APS students, personnel, or other district business, they must, within forty-eight (48) hours, notify Risk Management and the Custodian of Records and alert their immediate supervisor.

In some cases, teachers or other personnel, such as counselors and diagnosticians, are asked to serve as witnesses. Leave with pay will be granted to a teacher where a lawful subpoena requires absence from duty. Subpoenas and witness fees received will be submitted to the Custodian of Records.

APS staff are advised not to volunteer to serve as witnesses in family disputes and shall remain objective.

Student Record Requests

Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes the rights of parents and guardians to access their student’s educational records in accordance with FERPA. In addition, students who are at least 18 years old may access their own records. In brief, these rights include:

  • Parents, guardians, or students who are emancipated or at least 18 years old

    • have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records

    • have the right to request that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate

    • have a right to a formal hearing if a school decides not to change the record

    • have a right to place a statement with the record about his/her view of the contested information after the hearing if the school decides not to change the record

Students shall enroll with their full legal name to be displayed on official documents. The transcript is the only official record of high school coursework completion and graduation. Students may request that their names on transcripts be changed to match their legal name by providing a court order showing the name change.

Parents, guardians, or students who are emancipated or who are at least 18 years old must give written permission for a school to release a student’s educational record to third parties not exempted by FERPA. FERPA allows schools to disclose a student’s information without consent to the following parties or under the following circumstances. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide student directory information to the military unless parents have advised the Local Education Agency (LEA) that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. Parties who may receive student information without parental consent include:

  • School officials with a legitimate educational interest

  • Other educational institutions where the student is enrolled or seeks to enroll

  • Department of Education, state or local education authorities

  • Appropriate parties connected to financial aid for the student

  • Certain state or local officials

  • Accrediting organizations

  • Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school

  • Judicial order or subpoena

  • Appropriate officials in cases of health or safety emergencies

School sites shall direct all questions about fulfilling these requests for student information to the Custodian of Records. APS will redact students’ personally identifiable information from responses to requests for records from third parties.

Student Directory Information

If a parent, guardian, or student who is emancipated or who is at least 18 years old does not want to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from a student’s education records without their prior written consent, the parent, guardian, or student who is emancipated or who is at least 18 years old must notify the school district in writing. Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes the following types of information as student directory information:

  1. Name

  2. Address

  3. Telephone number

  4. Name of school

  5. Current grade

  6. Graduation year

  7. Eligibility and participation in officially recognized activities

  8. Height and weight of athletic team members

  9. Honors and awards received

  10. Yearbooks

  11. Identification in visual media, including photographs, videotapes, and visual images, depicting school programs or activities

  12. A student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to educational records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or other factors known or possessed by the authorized user

A primary purpose of directory information is to allow APS to include the type of information from student education records in certain school and district publications. Examples include:

  • A playbill showing a student’s role in a drama production

  • The annual yearbook

  • Honor roll or other recognition lists

  • School and district websites and newsletters

  • Graduation programs and

  • Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, show team members’ height and weight

Directory information is available to anyone who asks for it, and its use is not limited by APS, however, APS has an expectation that all information be used ethically.

Through the annual registration process, the district shall notify students and parents/legal guardians of the option to withhold directory information. Parents/guardians or students who are at least 18 years old may refuse to allow APS to designate any or all of those types of information about their student as directory information, provided the notice of such refusal is given to APS upon annual registration. Parents, guardians, or students who are emancipated or at least 18 years old may also designate in writing all or any of those items they do not wish to be designated as directory information. If the parent, guardian, or student who is emancipated or at least 18 years old desires to opt out after the annual registration process, they must submit an opt-out in writing to the executive director of the Student, Parent, and Employee Service Center. 

Parents may opt out of student directory requests from military recruiters or recruiters from institutions of higher educationThe Elementary and Secondary Education Act mandates that, upon request by a military recruiter or recruiter for an institution of higher education, school districts must provide access to all currently enrolled secondary school student’s directory information, specifically name, addresses, and telephone listing, except in instances when the parents have “opted out” of the release of directory information about their student without their consent.  A secondary school student who is emancipated or who is at least 18 years old or the parent or legal guardian of the student may request that the student’s directory information not be released to any military or post-secondary recruiter by submitting an online opt-out request. The district shall notify students and parents, legal guardians, and students of this option to withhold directory information. The district shall comply with these “opt-out” requests regarding releasing student directory information.

Opt Out of Third Party Requests

Directory information for students whose parents have blocked the release of their directory information under FERPA will be excluded from any third-party data requests. APS will notify parents or guardians of the matters considered to be directory information and the period for opting out at least annually through the registration process or other reasonable forms of parental notification.

When a third party submits a request for student directory information, the Custodian of Records may inform the requester that pursuant to NMSA 22-21-2(A), it is against the law to sell or use student, faculty or staff lists with personal identifying information obtained from a public school or a local school district for the purpose of marketing goods or services directly to students, faculty or staff or their families by means of telephone or mail.

Record Retention

APS records retention varies by record type. APS cannot guarantee the availability of all records or the feasibility of changing records. A high school transcript is the only officially recognized record of high school coursework and graduation. Diplomas are only available from the school at the time of graduation. Copies of the diplomas are not retained by the school district, but a transcript will generally be available.

Students shall enroll with their full legal name to be displayed on official documents. The transcript is the only official record of high school coursework completion and graduation. Students may request that their names on transcripts be changed to match their legal name by providing a court order showing the name change.

Administrative Position:

  • Chief of Schools

  • Chief Information and Strategy Officer

  • Associate Superintendents of Leadership and Learning

Department Director:       

  • Executive Director of Student, Parent and Employee Service Center

  • Custodian of Public Records

  • System Administrator, Student Information Systems

References:
Legal Cross Ref:                             

Procedural Directives Cross Ref:         

Forms:                                                               

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JRC

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Reviewed: April 22, 2019
Revised: April 26, 2019
Reviewed: May 4, 2022
Revised: May 13, 2022
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Revised: July 15, 2022

Reviewed: February 23,2024

Revised: February 23, 2024