Answer: You are correct. Information about a McKinney-Vento student’s living situation is part of the child’s educational record, protected under FERPA. That means that only other school/district staff with a legitimate educational interest should be able to access that information without specific parental consent. It seems that keeping the questionnaires in the “cum” file could allow access to a number of school/district staff who do not have a legitimate educational interest in the information. So I would be concerned about violating FERPA by including those forms in the cumulative file. More information about FERPA is available in our April 4 webinar, “FERPA, Homelessness, and Foster Care.”

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