Public schools have a lot of documents to keep in order. Every student has his or her own permanent record. Although children may fear additions to the permanent record, schools are legally obligated to keep one for each student.
What is a permanent record?
What comprises a permanent record varies between states, according to Lawyers.com. However, most contain basic information, such as:
- Identifying information, including birth date, address and parents' addresses
- Accident reports and other health-related information
- Attendance record
- Academic information and performance
- Teacher evaluations
- Any disciplinary measures issued
- Participation record, including awards and recognition
- Results for intelligence, personality, psychological or aptitude tests
According to the Illinois School Students Record Act, a temporary record will also exist, containing information that pertains directly to the student's education, but isn't included in the permanent record. This might include information about the background of the student's family and information regarding any punishment sustained during school.
Many parents wonder why so much data is collected on their children, but schools and state governments maintain the information is important for a variety of reasons. U.S. News & World Report explained teachers can be evaluated by comparing the academic performance of the students they taught. Additionally, collecting data on a student's behavior, grades or other information can individualize educational goals and strategies.
"Collecting student information causes privacy concerns for many parents."
Collecting information and data on students has caused privacy concerns for parents. However, this information is highly protected by the school. States have differing laws regarding who can access these record and who maintains them. For example, the Illinois School Student Records Act mandates that every school designate an official records custodian who is in charge of maintaining the records and keeping them safe from unauthorized access or damage.
According to Lawyers.com, most states allow a student or students' parent or legal guardian to view the record. Principals or the person in charge of collecting transfer student information are also typically allowed to see it. If a student or the student's parent gives permission to another person to see it, they can usually gain access to the record. Finally, in some cases, law enforcement is given access to the information. Usually, whenever a person requests access to a student's permanent record, their name, the date and whether or not access was granted is added to the record.
Records are usually kept long after a person graduates or leaves the school. In California, records are said to be kept indefinitely. In Illinois, permanent records are kept for 60 years after a person graduates and temporary records are held on to for five years. Once the time limit is up, the records are destroyed, usually by school officials.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 50.1 million students enrolled in grades prekindergarten through 12 in 2015. About 5 million of those students will be in either prekindergarten or kindergarten. This means in one year, throughout the U.S., 5 million new records were created and will be required to be maintained and updated for the next 14 years and kept for many years following. With about 98,500 public schools across the country, this averages about 508 new records a year per school. As a school adds this amount of new students every year, they may quickly run out of space for these records.
How Mobile Mini can help
Schools lacking the space needed to accommodate these requirements can take advantage of mobile storage containers. It's important that these records be kept nearby so they can be accessed quickly. Keeping them on-site in a storage container on the school grounds is an efficient way to accomplish this.
With the concern many parents have of privacy, these secure storage containers are equipped with a patented locking system that will keep intruders away from students' sensitive information.
Paper records can be easily ruined, but the weather-proof containers Mobile Mini offers will keep them safe and dry during stormy weather.