WHT Law

Records Destruction Procedures

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Records Destruction Procedures

The Illinois School Student Records Act, the Local Records Act, and the Illinois Administrative Code contain provisions pertaining to the destruction of school records. Pertinent sections are as follows:

Chapter 105: Illinois School Student Records Act

105 ILCS 10/4 (e):

Each school shall maintain student permanent records and the information contained therein for not less than 60 years after the student has transferred, graduated or otherwise permanently withdrawn from the school.

105 ILCS 10/4 (f):

Each school shall maintain student temporary records and the information contained in those records for not less than 5 years after the student has transferred, graduated, or otherwise withdrawn from the school…A school may maintain indefinitely anonymous information from student temporary records for authorized research, statistical reporting or planning purposes, provided that no student or parent can be individually identified from the information maintained.

Definitions of permanent and temporary school records

§ 105 ILCS 10/2. [Definitions]

Sec. 2. As used in this Act

(a) “Student” means any person enrolled or previously enrolled in a school.

(b) “School” means any public preschool, day care center, kindergarten, nursery, elementary or secondary educational institution, vocational school, special educational facility or any other elementary or secondary educational agency or institution and any person, agency or institution which maintains school student records from more than one school, but does not include a private or non-public school.

(c) “State Board” means the State Board of Education.

(d) “School Student Record” means any writing or other recorded information concerning a student and by which a student may be individually identified, maintained by a school or at its direction or by an employee of a school, regardless of how or where the information is stored. The following shall not be deemed school student records under this Act: writings or other recorded information maintained by an employee of a school or other person at the direction of a school for his or her exclusive use; provided that all such writings and other recorded information are destroyed not later than the student’s graduation or permanent withdrawal from the school; and provided further that no such records or recorded information may be released or disclosed to any person except a person designated by the school as a substitute unless they are first incorporated in a school student record and made subject to all of the provisions of this Act. School student records shall not include information maintained by law enforcement professionals working in the school.

(e) “Student Permanent Record” means the minimum personal information necessary to a school in the education of the student and contained in a school student record. Such information may include the student’s name, birth date, address, grades and grade level, parents’ names and addresses, attendance records, and such other entries as the State Board may require or authorize.

(f) “Student Temporary Record” means all information contained in a school student record but not contained in the student permanent record. Such information may include family background information, intelligence test scores, aptitude test scores, psychological and personality test results, teacher evaluations, and other information of clear relevance to the education of the student, all subject to regulations of the State Board. The information shall include information provided under Section 8.6 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act [325 ILCS 5/1 et seq.]. In addition, the student temporary record shall include information regarding serious disciplinary infractions that resulted in expulsion, suspension, or the imposition of punishment or sanction. For purposes of this provision, serious disciplinary infractions means: infractions involving drugs, weapons, or bodily harm to another.

Under the Illinois School Student Records Act, proper notice must be provided to parents before school records can be destroyed

105 ILCS 10/4 (h):

Before any school student record is destroyed or information deleted therefrom, the parent shall be given reasonable prior notice at his or her last known address in accordance with the regulations adopted by the State Board and an opportunity to copy the record and information proposed to be destroyed or deleted.

Relevant regulations adopted by the State Board

23 Illinois Administrative Code, Section 375.40 (c):

Upon graduation, transfer or permanent withdrawal of a student from a school, the school shall notify the parents and the student of the destruction schedule for the student permanent record and the student temporary record and of the right to request a copy of such records at any time prior to their destruction. Notification shall consist of the following: date of notification, parent name, name of records custodian, name of student and the scheduled destruction date of temporary and permanent records.

23 Illinois Administrative Code, Section 375.40 (d):

Upon graduation or permanent withdrawal of a handicapped student, as defined in Article 14 of the School Code…., psychological evaluations, special education files and other information contained in the student temporary record which may be of continued assistance to the student, may, after five years, be transferred to the custody of the parent or to the student if the student has succeeded to the rights of the parents. The school shall explain to the student and the parent the future usefulness of these records.

Additional directives via opinions of the Illinois Attorney General

“Permanent retention of student records is not required if reasonable efforts to give notice have been made but the person entitled to notice cannot be located; once a school’s obligation to give reasonable notice has been met, the records may be disposed of as authorized under the Local Records Act.

1991 Op. Atty. Gen. (91-030)

The Local Records Act is applicable to student records maintained pursuant to this [Illinois School Student Records] Act and therefore, a local school district must obtain the written approval of the appropriate local records commission before destroying or otherwise disposing of such records.

1983 Op. Atty. Gen. 60

Conclusions

Permanent and Temporary student records may be destroyed. Temporary records should be maintained for five years following graduation , transfer, or permanent withdrawal from a school district. A permanent record should be maintained for 60 years. Before school records can be destroyed, parents or guardians should receive proper, written notice as defined in the Illinois Administrative Code (see attached suggested notice). In addition, school records are subject to the Local Records Act and, therefore, a school district should obtain permission from the local records commission before any school records are destroyed.


SAMPLE RECORDS DESTRUCTION FORM

 

Notice to Parents and Guardians:

Student Records

In accordance with the Illinois School Students Records Act and the federal Family Educational Rights and Policy Act, this notice is to inform you of the policies and procedures in reference to school records. All “permanent” student records are retained for 60 years after the student has transferred, graduated, or withdrawn from the school. Student “temporary records” are retained for five (5) years after the student has transferred, graduated or withdrawn from school.

Parents, guardians, and students have the right to review and make copies of the student’s records. If you would like to review your student’s records, please send your request in writing to _____________________________.

Definitions of Permanent and Temporary Student Records

(School District name) maintains two types of school records for each student: a permanent record and a temporary record. These records may be combined.

The Permanent Record includes:

  • Basic identifying information (names, addresses, phone numbers)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Attendance record
  • Accident and Health reports

The Temporary Record includes:

  • Family background
  • Intelligence and aptitude scores
  • Psychological reports
  • Participation in extracurricular activities
  • Honors and awards
  • Disciplinary information, including information regarding any punishment for misconduct involving drugs, weapons, or bodily harm inflicted on another person
  • Special education files
  • Verified information relevant to the student’s education

The right to a copy of any school student record proposed to be destroyed or eliminated:

School records are reviewed by the administration every five (5) years or upon a student’s change in placement. At this time, (school district name) has the option of deleting or destroying student records in accordance with state and federal statutes. Parents and guardians have the right to inspect or copy students’ records pursuant to (school district name) policies and procedures and to state and federal law.

If (school district name) cannot locate parents or guardians at their last known address, and has published a bona fide notice in local or regional newspapers of its intent to destroy old records, appropriate school records will then be destroyed, according to mandated procedures. (School district name), when destroying school records, will protect the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information contained in the records, pursuant to federal regulation.

Parents and guardians have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by any school district to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The Office that administers this Act, and process complaints, is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

 

For more information on student records, please contact __________________________________________.