Thank you all for the great advice! I sent my son's school one of the FERPA letters that I found on here, and 2 days later, my son's teacher called me to talk! She was very happy to hear from me and set up a conference for this week! She said that she wanted to allow at least an hour to go over everthing with me because of all of the problems that my son has been having this year and last. She told me that she would give me a copy of his spelling words, report card, discipline reports and everything else he has done this year. She said she will also like me to come in at least once every couple of months to check in with her on my son's progress! I was so happy to hear from her! I am finally getting to be a part of my son's education! I'm sure biomom will be pissed when or if she hears about this, but she needs to realize that I have the right to be active in his life. Thanks to you all!
A comment from the SPARC message boards: Title: Principal called the day he received the letter...
The principal from my SD school called today and siad he will be sending her records in the mail and he did not have a problem with my husband attending all school functions. I just mailed the letter yesterday...talk about a fast response!! Im so excited and happy for my husband. Thanks to this site we have made some real progress in the last several weeks.
Thanks for everyone's advice and help!! A comment from the SPARC message boards:Wow! I can't tell you how great it was to get the school records! Thanks everyone for helping me with this one. At least this is one vicory (even though a small one).
Our attorney rec'd a letter from bio-mom saying that the school called her for permission to send the records and she denied them. Well, this was within the 45 days the school has to respond but we wrote to the school right away. We sent them one of the fancy FERPA letters on this site and whammo! A few days later we get stepdaughter's latest report card.
Today we got a phone call. My comments in parenthesis...
"Hello Mr.Dad. I am calling to let you know I just recieved your request for ******'s records. (Yea right. You mean you just got done checking to see if you HAD to send them. They were mailed and recieved 4/29 and your cut-off date is 5/10. I'd say your cuttin' it close) I was out with strep throat and I just recieved the papers because no one filled in for me while I was out. YOU WILL BE GETTING THE PAPERS SHORTLY..."
This is from the middle school. We have yet to hear from the High School, tho. I will keep praying for those records!
I just wanted to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU first to God for answering this prayer and second to this SPARC site and all the wonderful, wonderful people who have given and continue to give us their support & wisdom with the issues of our kids.
If it wasn't for this site, We would have NEVER known about having access to the boys records. Certainly after 10 years, NO ATTORNEY EVER MENTIONED IT TO US!!!!! This will be the FIRST time that we will have anything that has to do with the boys school records!!!!Dont give up!!Keep plugging away!!! We may not have the boys but atleast we will be able to know what's going on with them at school now.
I wrote before about Intent for Visitation letter and that we were going to use it because DH's ex has not let him see his kids since before June. Well, this letter WORKED! Yesterday she called him and told him that after consulting with her attorney, it would be in HER best interests to let him see the kids! Thanks to everybody who was supportive on this board. We see them this Sunday and I am hoping all goes well.
I want to thank everyone that has responded to my messages. They helped me alot. In fact I sent off a letter of request to my childrens school so that I get to know what is going on just like my X. They at first said no until I quoted the law to them and there story changed real quick. So thank you all very much, I had no idea that I had the right as a mother who doesn't have custody of her children.
A comment from the DivorceSource bulletin boards:
...My hubby had sent the FERPA letter in September to his son's middle school and daughter's elementary school...(text removed)...Daughter's principal said she would have to check with the lawyers and get back to him. So, he now has school records of son and a relationship with the associate principal (who told counselor to forward copies of report cards, etc to him). Who, by the way, is a divorced man that had similar problems with his ex so he understands what my husband is dealing with. It is only a matter of time before he gets daughter's records...
A comment from the DivorceNet bulletin boards:
...So (my husband) sent a version of the SPARC letter with a copy of the bill attached to the doc asking to be provided with copies of the medical records, and have his contact information in all appropriate spots as the father. Well, this apparently freaked the doctor out COMPLETELY and she called him at work and said she was almost going to send it to legal but decided to call him first. She said they had to verify joint custody (and apparently found his name as father somewhere in the file - but this ticked DH off because what if it wasn't in there?) and then she said 'Next time, perhaps you need to take a soft approach first.' To which my husband (who will need his rough edges smoothed out before he leaves the military I think) said 'Sometimes, it's ok to kill a gnat with a sledgehammer.' LOL!
Thanks so much, (once again). Your info provided me with everything I needed to make that call and get my son's records. You are a GEM!
We had to get records from the Dakota Clinic, which is based in Fargo but the actual office we wanted records from was in MN. Anyway...we used the letter from here word for word and included a cut and paste of the actual MN state statute. Not only did they send EVERYTHING posthaste but they called first just to make sure that a regular copy of everything in the file was OK with us.
A comment from the DivorceSource bulletin boards:
". . .I think the school letter from the deltabravo site was very professional sounding. Better than anything I would have come up with. I had my husband send this to his sons school and the guidance counselor called right away (within a week of us sending the letters out) She was very pleasant and just asked if we could fax a copy of the divorce decree that states joint legal custody and she said she has no problems with keeping him informed and will try to send as much stuff as possible. We put SASE's in with the letter. My husband recently was informed of an openhouse and he went and got to personally meet the guidence counselor along with his teachers."
I used your format for a letter to my son's school concerning his school information. The school contacted me the morning that they received my letter. They took care of every request that I made and were very helpful.
Thanks for having this site.
DH (Dear Husband) finally sent the dental letter to the dentist (Thank you Waylon!) and after seeing these results, has sent one to the ortho and drs. offices, can't wait to see what is in store there!!!
OK Is everyone sitting down? The Ex responded to my "Notice of Intent to Exercise Visitation" Letter.
I stated that I was picking my son up after school at school and returning him to school the next morning. She sent a post-it note (Kentuckian's idea of stationery) informing me that my son has hand-bell choir practice after school on Tuesday. Are you ready for this.....
"Would I please pick him up at 3:30pm after practice behind the church."
Well you could have knock me over with a feather. Unless of course her church sactions stonings for those who encourage children to participate in Halloween. Hmmmm....Maybe I should wear a helmet and pads. LOL
Anyway the final word is I get to go Trick or Treating with my son!
"...we used the letter for school records from your site and it worked much better in IL than in IN. The letter got passed straight to the Superintendant, who called DH immediately to say that the school would provide everything DH wants WHENEVER he wants." Thought I would give you an update to let you sometimes it does work. We sent the letter last year from your website to the schools in PA. There was never a question about it. (It helped that my youngest stepsons teacher used to be a family atty). Anyway.. i digress. From that point forward, we have never had any problems with getting information.
"Whoever made the letter to the school in the back, it is TERRIFIC!!! We just got a packet from the school my stepson has been attending since 24 FEB 98. It has only 1/3 with report cards and the rest is 'other info.'"
This doctor apparently got his panties in a bunch after receiving our Request For Medical Records letter. Although the good doctor got a little stuffy, you'll notice that he did send the medical records. :) -SPARC Admin
I had used the "form Letter" posted on this site to gain access to medical information for my sd. This is the letter I received in response:
Dear Mr. XXXXXX,
I am in receipt of your letter dated September 18,2000 which I found to be offensive in tone. I certainly do not need you to inform me of any of (your) rights under "state and federal law" nor things I need to do "immediately". Nevertheless, as requested, I am enclosing copies of my records and the information represents the total of the information on your daughter. As I have not seen (child's name) in over a year, the file had been archived and it took some time to retrieve and copy it.
Please be aware that by releasing these records to you, I am performing the last official action associated with you and your situation. The only perceived exceptions to this are: 1) I will gladly forward copies of my notes regarding contact with your daughter to any clinician you designate, and 2) should you need help in finding an appropriate counselor for xxxxxx, I would be happy to supply you with a list of clinicians not associated with my practice. I will do either of these upon receiving written request for such.
I hope (child's name) is doing well and I wish her the best.
The letter SPARC provides is sooooo good that all 3 doctors and dentist replied with our request almost immediately. be sure to send them certified and with a return receipt (that way you know when they got them)! For instance one of the doctors, signed for the letter Friday, May 26 and responded on Tuesday, May 30! now that is service!
'SMof2' (Step Mom of 2)
"Thank you SPARC!! Using the letter format from this site, I sent away for stepson's school records last week. The registar CALLED this morning to say that they want to provide everything they can as long as (my husband) has rights to it. So I faxed the parenting plan, and they are compiling ALL his records to be sent. Just another note, she said he's asking for a lot of info, did you read the letter he sent? Had to chuckle over that, for those of you that have never read it, it's very detailed. Also, until they received that letter they didn't know dh was even on this planet. All records were (are) blank where the father info goes!!! One down and one to go, waiting to hear back from the youngest stepson's school now."
'TX step mom' "Sample Letters Work! Thank you so much for the information. We sent letters to both the doctor and the school. The doctor had his attorney send my DH an affidavit to sign and notarize, (because ex has HER husband listed as the daughter's father! They didn't even know my husband existed!) and the doctor's office called yesterday saying that they were sending the records out. We also got a copy of a report card-the first one in 4 yrs. The report card doesn't look so good. It's almost all D's! My husband wants to help, but SD won't speak to him and ex writes constantly telling my hubby to stay out of their lives. But at least we're getting some info about the daughter. Thank you very much. Everyone here is GREAT!" "Husband has been trying to get medical records for stepdaughter; was told by stepdaughter's doctor that he had no right to see them and they would not send them. Well, (my husband) sent the letter copied from this site. Lo and behold, last night received a call from the BIg-wig at the clinic who apologized and said she would personally make sure that today everything would be sent to us and to our doctor here. Not a big victory, but hey! We'll take what we can!!! :) Have a nice day!" "The clinic called the other day to talk to my husband about the letter we sent, we used the one from the articles page and it worked like a charm. They were a little alarmed by its forceful tone, as if we might be calling in the attorney... Anyway, thanks to all who came up with that form, it was great. I know if we had just called they would have told us to go jump. But we did indeed get ALL the records in the mail today!!!!!" "Just to let you know that my Significant Other went to the school and, armed with everything I printed out here, got most of the stuff he asked for. I don't think he would've gotten it without the sense of empowerment that the information on this site gave him. He didn't have to use half of it, but he did have everything he needed. Thanks for this site and here's to hoping for all of our battles to be resolved this easily." "We could never get ANY information on my husband's son from the school. We sent the school letter just like you said and within two weeks we had EVERYTHING we wanted! This is after YEARS of the school telling us we couldn't have his records. THANK YOU!!" "Well, after first sending the form letter from this site in January.. following up and getting a threatening letter from the clinic stating we must obtain "the MOTHER'S written APPROVAL" for access to medical records... sending another very stern letter quoting MD law and again including language from this site... 10 days ago we got a response from the clinic.. they sent a certified letter to the mother giving her 7 days to produce an order preventing my husband from obtaining access to step son's medical records... my husband followed up today, because he did not receive anything... and the clinic director said they would be sent the records and he should receive them today or tomorrow." "I love your site. As a second wife, the SPARC website has given me wonderful resources to help my husband fight to maintain a active and meaningful relationship with his kids. I have used both the school records letter and the medical records letter with wonderful results." "I am sure that if we had all the information available to us 5 years ago (from this site!) my husband would have custody of his kids right now. But that was then, this is now... and thanks to this site, with ONE recommended letter the old, ugly bag is already running scared! (sorry for the description, but she is)." "...I would like to thank SPARC for for the info on my rights to obtain (my child's) records. I ran into alot of resistance from the female workers telling me I had no rights to his records because he lived with his mom and I had to say they had big smiles on there faces when they were informing my that it was against the law for them to give it to me....I pulled out my paper work from my brief case and educated them with the print outs on parents rights from SPARC and links and also my shared parent rights. It would have cost me 150 dollars an hour for the attorney to do it for me but it cost me over 25 dollars for the copies to get my self. They gave them to me (another small victory for your average working DAD)." "My husband and I thank you all. This doesn't apply to this post but we were not aware of FERPA till now. Knowing about FERPA will make my husband's access to his son's school records SO much easier. We thought that he would have to drive there with his court order, now we may be able to do this by mail (or maybe to start with email?) " "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. We would never have known this much, I've done a LOT of research for my husband on this and NEVER heard about FERPA before, I feel that I have my state's statutes dancing in my head at this time - NOT sugarplums." Thank you for your advise on getting copies of my daughters school records. WOW, did I ever open a can of worms. The school called my X and left her a message that I had been there. She was LIVID!! At least I got a phone call that's more than I get any other time.
After reviewing her progress reports and standard achievement tests I believe I have a pretty good idea why they didn't want me to see them. I attempted to set a conference time with her teachers but the school is hesitant. I'm sure my X put on quite a show.
I'm further along today in knowing what is going on than I have been in a long time. Thanks to the site and the links you recommended my wife and I have done lots of research and are seeing I have rights I never knew I had as a DAD. Thanks Again.