Quick Helps: your child’s records
You have the right to review, inspect, access, and receive copies of any and all
of your child’s educational records that are collected, used, or maintained by the school district. The educational records are those that are identified by your child’s name.
If you have not been regularly requesting and updating your own set of your child’s
records than you need to do so right now. Start
by writing a letter to your school “requesting copies of your child’s educational records, including but not limited
to, cum file, discipline file, confidential file, assessments, special education file, Section 504 file, nurse’s file,
reports, evaluations, incident reports, progress notes, teachers’ notes, memos, etc.” Be sure to date and sign the letter and keep a copy for your records. The
records should be provided within five days from receipt of your letter.
Schools may charge a fee for copying the records. If
that presents a financial hardship please let the school know. While the school
may charge a fee for copies this fee should not preclude parents from having access to school records by receiving copies
If you already have a complete set of school records then regularly make a written
request to review the educational records. This will provide you with the opportunity
to go through your child’s records, at the school site, and then request copies of those documents that you do not have.
You may not remove anything from the file or change anything in the file. Take a notepad and document any discrepancies.
You can bring discrepancies and inconsistencies to the school’s attention at a later date by writing to the principal
and keeping a copy for your records. If you believe that the record is incomplete
or inaccurate you can also write a letter of correction referencing that particular document by date and title. Send the letter of correction to the principal and keep a copy for your records.
Reviewing records at least twice a year, at the beginning and end of the school
year, is vitally important. Requesting and maintaining your own set of your child’s educational records is vitally important.
This is something that should be done by the parents and not delegated to someone else unless there are extenuating circumstances. It is vitally important that you know what the school documents state about your
child and whether or not it is accurate, complete, balanced, and thorough. It is vitally important that you read every page
so you understand the “story” the school records are telling about your child.
Far too often, and far too late, parents discover that the school has documents and a “story” that can
hinder the parent from effectively exercising their rights or effectively making their case on behalf of their child under
IDEA, Section 504, and/or ADA.
If you anticipate hiring an advocate, attorney, or Educational Strategist &
Consultant then you will want to provide them with a working copy of your child’s educational records. Always maintain an original set for yourself. Don’t write on your set or mark the pages in any way.
Make use of post-it notes and/or keep a notebook where you jot down notes and reference specific pages in the educational
more information on school records, and parent rights regarding those records under the Family Educational Right to Privacy
Act, go to:
2006 Claudia Lowe, B.S., J.D. Educational Strategist & Consultant