a. Student Records and Files - Definition
1) As used in this policy statement, "student records" shall include any and all official records, files, and data directly related to a student including all material incorporated into a student's cumulative record folder. A cumulative record shall be maintained for each student from his/her entrance into school through the twelfth grade. The cumulative record shall consist of both standard and supplementary records. Data recorded in student records shall be under the direction of the certificated personnel responsible for the information.
(a) Standard Records
Standard Records consists of: Personal and family data including certification of name and date of birth, test data such as aptitude, interest and achievement tests, appropriate health status reports such as speech and hearing, evaluations, permanent record cards, attendance records, courses taken, grades received, credits earned and other pertinent information.
(b) Supplementary Records
Supplementary records are those that contain additional information deemed helpful toward promoting optimum student progress and usually require interpretation by the writer or an otherwise appropriate professional person, e.g., anecdotal reports; pupil questionnaires; records of conferences; copies of correspondence with parents and others concerning the child, other records which may contribute to understanding the students, such as psychological and medical reports, etc.
b. Custody of Student Records
At each place where student records are kept, the school district will designate one or more school officials who will be custodians responsible for the maintenance of the student records in accordance with the provisions of this policy. The custodians will permit access to the information in student records only in the manner and only to the persons or entities specifically authorized herein. Standard records will be maintained at each school by the building principal or designee. Supplemental records will be maintained by the custodian of records in the Central Office Files located in the District Educational Resources and Administrative Center.
c. Access to Records
A parent desiring to inspect and review a student's records shall present a written request to the administrator of the school attended by the child. The review shall occur as soon as practicable at the office of the custodian of the records at a mutually agreed upon time, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been received. Where records include information on more than one student, the parent of a child is entitled to review that part of the record which pertains to the child. This right extends to any natural or adoptive parent of the student, and to any legal guardian of the student, hereinafter referred to as parent, unless by appropriate law or court order this right has been denied. Requests for information contained in the student's record shall not be honored when made by a student's relatives or immediate family members other than the parent except with written consent from one of the parents. If a parent believes that information in a student's record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, such parent may request in writing a meeting with school administrators. If the parent's challenge to the content of the child's record is not resolved satisfactorily within 30 days, the parent, upon written request, shall be given the opportunity for a hearing before the Board of Directors or a committee thereof. Such hearing shall be held within a reasonable time following the receipt of the request. If the determination made after the hearing is unsatisfactory to the parent, the parent shall have the right to insert into the challenged records a written explanation relative to the content of such records.
For students under eighteen years of age, information from standard records shall be interpreted to students upon request. Information contained in supplementary records shall be interpreted to such students when a request is accompanied by parental consent. Students under eighteen years of age shall not have the right to examine those records, data or test results for which the Board of Directors has determined direct student access may be detrimental to educational interests. Whenever a student has attained eighteen years of age, permission or consent required of and the rights accorded to the parent with respect to student records shall thereafter be required of and accorded to the student, except that information from student records may be released to the parent of a student eighteen years of age or older if the student is a dependent of the parent. For the purposes of this policy "dependent" shall be defined as in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
3) School Personnel
Teachers, administrators and educational staff associates involved with the student during the current year shall have access to both standard and to supplementary records. Other district certified staff who may be involved in decision making related to a student shall have access to the student's records in instances where that information might have a bearing on that staff member's decision.
4) Other School Districts and Educational Institutions
Other schools or school districts in which the student intends to enroll will be provided with a transcript of the contents of a student's standard records upon receipt of an official request from the school district. A parent of the student shall be notified of transfer of records, and shall receive a copy of the transcript, if desired. If the student is eighteen years of age or older, then such student shall be notified of transfer of records and shall receive a copy of the transcript, if desired.
Upon receipt of a written request from the student or a parent, a transcript will be sent to an institution of post-secondary education in which the student seeks to enroll. The student's parent shall be notified of the request and shall be sent a copy of the record if desired when a request is from a student under eighteen years of age.
Supplementary record information, with appropriate interpretation, shall be provided to other school districts with the written consent of a parent provided the student is younger than eighteen years of age. Students eighteen years of age or older may provide their own written consent for such release of supplementary record material.
5) Federal Agencies
Without written consent of a parent or the student (if eighteen years of age or older), the school district may provide access to, and release data from, student records to authorized representatives of federal educational agencies in connection with the evaluation or audit of federally supported educational programs, or in connection with the enforcement of federal legal requirements. Except when collection of personally identifiable information is specifically authorized by federal law, such data shall be released only if the agency involved will protect the data in a manner which will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons outside the agency, and if the data will be destroyed when no longer needed for such evaluation, audit, or enforcement of federal legal requirements.
6) State and Local Agencies
The school district may release data from student records to state and local agencies and authorities without written consent of a parent or the student (if eighteen years of age or older), when such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statutes adopted prior to November 19, 1975.
7) Accrediting and Educational Research Agencies
The school district may release to accrediting agencies information from student records needed to perform their accrediting functions. Such information may also be released to agencies or institutions which are conducting studies for the purpose of developing predictive tests or improving instruction, provided that such studies are conducted so as not to permit personal identification of students and their parents by persons outside the agency or institution and that the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for such studies.
In connection with an emergency, information from student records may be released to appropriate persons if, in the district's opinion, the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or other persons.
9) Other Non-School Agencies
Non-school agencies or persons, such as employers and various professionals will be provided with appropriate information contained in the standard or supplementary records, with any necessary interpretation provided by qualified school personnel, upon written request or consent of a parent, or the student (if eighteen years of age or older).
Any court order or order of a public officer or an administrative agency having the power of subpoena directing the release of information concerning a student will be honored in accordance with legal provisions. The student and a parent, if the student is under eighteen years of age, shall be notified of all such orders and subpoenas in advance of compliance by the school district.
If information concerning a student is requested by public officers or agencies, the request must be made in writing of the appropriate building principal or custodian of central office files. Unless the request is pursuant to a court order or subpoena, or is within the provisions of Sections c.5 -c.10, the information shall be provided only if the written consent of a parent or the student (if eighteen years of age or older) has been given.
10) Directory Information
The term "directory information" relating to a student includes the following: the student's name, address, telephone listing, date of birth, course of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous school attended by the student.
Directory information may be released by a school or the school district without written consent, provided that public notice shall be given of the categories defined as directory information, and a parent or the student (if eighteen years of age or older) shall have the right to designate that any or all of such information be released only with prior consent.
d. Parent's Written Consent
Whenever student records are furnished with a parent's or student's consent (if the student is eighteen years of age or older), the consent shall be in writing and specify the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and to whom release is to be made. A copy of the records to be released shall be furnished to the consenting individual and to the student (if below eighteen years of age) if desired by the parent.
e. Procedure of Release of Information
All persons, agencies, or organizations (other than school personnel identified in Section c.3 above) desiring access to student records shall be required to sign a written request. The request shall specifically indicate the legitimate educational or other interest that such person, agency, or organization has in seeking the information. Requests shall be kept permanently with the file of the student as a "record of access" which shall be available only to the parents, student (if eighteen years of age or older), custodian of the records, and authorized auditors of the record system.
All personal information from student records shall be transferred by the school district to third parties only on the condition that such party will not permit any other party to have access to such information without the express written consent of a parent or the student (if eighteen years of age or older).
f. Disposition of Student Records
If three years have elapsed since an elementary or middle school student has withdrawn from the district schools and no official request for the student's records has been received, the student's permanent record card shall be filed and the remaining standard records destroyed. Supplementary records shall then also be destroyed, except in those instances where the building principal recommends that specific information be maintained on file at the District Central Files Office.
If five (5) years after graduation or withdrawal from senior high school have elapsed, the student's permanent record card shall be filed, and the remaining standard records destroyed. Supplementary records shall then also be destroyed except in such isolated instances when the building principal recommends that specific information be maintained on file at the District Central Files Office.
Supplemental records dealing with special, handicapped and gifted student services records shall be retained for five (5) years after provision of educational service has ended (graduation or withdrawal) or five (5) years after the student has reached the age of twenty- one (21) whichever comes first.
When a copy of the student's permanent record card is filed, it shall be maintained in a safe, fireproof place.
g. Instructional Material in Experimental Programs
A research or "experimental program" is a program designed to explore or develop new or unproven teaching methods or techniques.
All instructional materials, including teachers' manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary instructional materials which will be used in connection with any research or experimental program or project shall be available for inspection by the parents of the children engaged in such program or project. A parent desiring to inspect these instructional materials shall present a written request to the administrators of the school attended by the child. The materials will be made available at the child's school at a mutually agreed upon time.
h. Upon the adoption of this policy, and thereafter on an annual basis, the school district shall take such steps as may be practicable to advise parents and students, eighteen years of age or older, of the existence of this policy and their rights thereunder.
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: August 28, 1985
Revised by the Superintendent: 01.19