Policies and Regulations NEPN Code: JRA-R

Student Records

Student educational records are records, files, documents and other materials (i.e., print, computer media, audio or video tape, film, microfilm, handwritten) which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the Sioux Falls School District to achieve the District’s educational goals and objectives.

Student records should provide a continuous, accurate and current record of significant information about a student's performance and growth as the student progresses through the educational system.

Educational records do not include the following:

  • Sole Possession Records: Records kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as personal memory aid and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute
  • Personal Observations
  • Employment records

Parent: Includes a natural parent, a legal guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian and parents of students over the age of 18 who are listed as a dependent on the parent’s Federal income tax return.

Eligible Students: Students who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or emancipated minors.

Classification of Educational Records
The student’s educational record will be classified as either the Active Cumulative Record or the Permanent Student Record:

Active Cumulative Records

  1. The Active Cumulative Record includes both written and electronic records that contain personal data necessary for operation of the District such as:
    1. The New Student Personal Data Form and most recent Annual Update
    2. Birth certificate or legally acceptable alternative
    3. Attendance data
    4. Level of achievement
      • transcripts, report cards
      • standardized test results
      • academic test scores
      • rank in class
      • grade point average
    5. Date of graduation
    6. Photo (when available)
    7. Disciplinary records
    8. Immunization records
    9. Program participation folders (Special Education, ELL, Section 504)
    10. Test Insert Card (ACT/SAT)
    11. Public School Exemption Certificate (if applicable)
    12. Gifted Education Card
    13. Third-party request for student information including subpoenas or release signed by parent or eligible student
    14. Legal documents (e.g. custody, protection orders)
    15. Parental request to amend records
    16. List of individuals accessing the Active Cumulative Record
  2. Maintenance of Active Cumulative Records
    The building principal/program administrator or designee shall:
    1. be the custodian of all Active Cumulative Records at the home attendance center or program location.
    2. make provision for protection of records from review by unauthorized personnel and for physical and electronic security of such records.
    3. have the overall responsibility for maintaining and preserving the confidentiality of student records.
    4. be responsible for classifying, reviewing, and deleting unnecessary documents while maintaining records.
    5. ensure that the school staff receives periodic instructions and training regarding the privacy rights of students and parents/guardians.
    6. The procedures for collection, maintenance, accessibility, dissemination, retention and confidentiality of student information shall be reviewed periodically with the staff.

Permanent Student Record
One year after graduation, age 21 or three years after a student’s enrollment with the District is dropped, the Technology & Information Services/Student Records Department shall create the Permanent Student Record which will contain the following:

  1. The Sioux Falls Cumulative Record Report
  2. The most current New Student Personal Data Form/Annual Update
  3. Birth certificate or legally acceptable alternative
  4. Immunization record
  5. Test Scores (Individual academic achievement test scores; ACT/SAT)
  6. Report Card ( K-5 any report card in the file along with most recent; 6-8 any report card in the file along with the most recent; 9-12 – retain most recent copy of student transcript
  7. Guardianship or adoption documents
  8. Parental requests to amend records
  9. Public School Exemption Certificate
  10. ELL Student Service Card
  11. Section 504 documents (most current 504 EEAP)
  12. Special Education documents:
    1. Graduates: Last three years of IEP’s, related amendments and all documents from the most recent evaluation
    2. Dropped students: Most recent IEP, related amendments and all documents from the most recent evaluation
  13. Third-party request for student information including subpoenas or release signed by parent or eligible student

Maintenance of Permanent Student Record

Records for Graduates: When a student graduates from the District, the Active Cumulative Record is stored in the home attendance center for one year for immediate reference. After one year, the Active Cumulative Record will be sent to the District’s Technology & Information Services/Student Records Department. The Permanent Student Record will be converted to a completely electronic record for permanent storage.

Records for Drop or Transfer Students

  1. The Active Cumulative Record for drop or transfer students at the elementary and middle school level will be forwarded to the Technology & Information Services Department/Student Records to be placed in an inactive file. If/when a student re-enters the District, the record is returned to the receiving school. The Active Cumulative Record remains an inactive file for three years at which time the Permanent Student Record will be converted to a completely electronic record for permanent storage.
  2. Cumulative Records for drop or transfer students at the high school level are stored in the home attendance center until students reach graduate age. At that time the records will be forwarded to the Technology & Information Services Department/Student Records at which time the Permanent Student Record will be converted to a completely electronic record for permanent storage

No records in the Active Cumulative Record education records shall be destroyed if there are outstanding requests to inspect and review the records.

Any explanation or rebuttal placed in the records of the student shall become a part of that record and be maintained by the school as long as the record or the contested portion of the record is maintained by the District.

Whenever student special education records (eg. consents, evaluation documents, Individual Education Program (IEP) documents, amendments, notices, invitations, etc.) are being considered for destruction, parents will be informed by written letter of the proposal to destroy the records and of their right to request these documents prior to disposal. If the parent does not request the records, a Request to Destroy School District Records form is completed by the Technology and Information Services Department/Student Records.

Release of Student Records

  1. Prior to honoring any requests for student records:
    1. the inquirer must be properly identified
    2. the purpose of the request must be clearly stated
    3. the type of information must be exactly stated
    4. the request must qualify under the Dissemination of Student Records section
  2. Record of Requests for Student Records
    A record shall be maintained describing each request to review or release a student’s Active Cumulative Record or Permanent Student Record. The name of the person making the request, his/her legitimate interest in requesting the information and date of the request are to be noted as well as whether or not the request is granted. This record may be inspected by the parents/guardian of the student or an eligible student (student at least 18 years of age, or emancipated minor), the school official responsible for the custody of the records and parties authorized for the purpose of auditing the record keeping procedures.
  3. Types of Requests for Student Information
    1. Telephone Requests
      Requests for information via the telephone are not honored except to other educational systems where the student plans to enroll or when the District has documented authorization.
    2. Written Requests
      Written requests for information may be honored under the following conditions:
      1. the request is made under an official letterhead or a properly completed release form
      2. the inquirer is properly identified in the correspondence
      3. the purpose and type of information requested is clearly stated
    3. In-Person Requests
      Upon presentation of proper identification, a request for information via personal visit shall be honored under the following conditions:
      1. the purpose of the request and the exact nature of the information requested must be stated and found satisfactory by a qualified staff member
      2. when necessary, a proper release form is completed
      3. the material shall be explained to the visitor by a qualified staff member
      4. the staff member shall be present during the entire in-person visit
      5. a record of the visit shall be made
    4. Electronic Requests
      Electronic requests will be accepted only after receipt of proper identification and authentication and approval for electronic consent.
  4. Access to and Release of Student Information without Prior Written Consent shall be allowed as follows:
    1. Parents and Eligible Students:
      1. a parents/guardians or an eligible student shall have access to the student’s Active Cumulative Record during school hours.
      2. both parents have full access rights to the student’s information unless the District has been provided with a copy of a court order, State law, or legally binding document that specifically revokes a parent’s rights to educational records.
      3. a school official shall be present if the records are being reviewed on site.
      4. parents and eligible students shall have an opportunity to seek an amendment of information the parent or eligible student believes to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights contained in the student's record. The District will inform the parent or eligible student in writing of its decision on the request to amend. Upon failure of the school to amend the record, the parent and/or eligible student shall have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record to insure that the record is not inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the privacy rights of the student. The request for hearing shall be addressed to the District’s In-House Counsel.
      5. all written parental/ or eligible student requests to amend the record and all District’s responses shall become part of the student’s active and permanent student record.
    2. School Officials:
      School officials include persons employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include an outside volunteer, consultant, contractor, or other party to whom the District has outsourced services or functions, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee; a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks; or an online educational services or application provider. To access student record information, a school official must have a legitimate educational interest in accessing such information. A legitimate educational interest exists if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility or to provide contracted services.
      Legitimate educational interests include, but are not limited to, assessing individual student or class needs, assessing program effectiveness, entering student information into the student record, and obtaining information to complete student recommendations.
      Non-certified school staff will have access to student records as necessary for performance of an assigned duty, with the permission of and under the direction of the building or program administrator.
      To have access to student record information, designated school officials outside of the District personnel structure must: 1) perform an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees; 2) be under the direct control of the District with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information (PII) from education records; 3) use education record information only for authorized purposes; and 4) shall not re-disclose PII to other parties. Having access to education records, or the information within the records, does not constitute authority to further share this information.
    3. Judicial Order or Subpoena: Requests for information may be released pursuant to a lawfully issued court order or subpoena after the District has made a reasonable effort in advance of compliance to notify the parent or eligible student of the court order or subpoena so that the parent or eligible student may seek protective action. The notification requirement does not apply in cases involving child abuse/neglect.
    4. Emergency situation: as needed for the health and/or safety of the student or other persons.
    5. Outside organizations: For research purposes provided that no individual student is identifiable and an appropriate written data sharing agreement is signed by the District and outside organization outlining the parameters of the research and data sharing.
    6. Directory Information and the parent or eligible student has not submitted a written or electronic notice to the District objecting to the release of any or all of the categories of directory information identified in Policy JRA.
    7. Board of Regents/ postsecondary technical institutes: will be given the name and address of secondary students unless the parent or eligible student has submitted a written or electronic notice to opt- out of the District providing this directory information without their prior written consent.
    8. Military recruiters: will be given the name, address and phone numbers of secondary school students unless the parent or eligible student has submitted a written or electronic notice to opt-out of the District providing this directory information without their prior written consent.
    9. Authorized representatives of the offices of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, and state and local educational authorities.
    10. Another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
    11. Accrediting organizations in order to carry out accrediting functions.
    12. A caseworker, or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization, when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student.
  5. Access to Student Records - Written/Electronic Consent Required
    No persons, other than those outlined in “Access to and Release of Student Information without Prior Written Consent,” may have access to non-directory personally identifiable information in a student's record except when proper written or electronic consent to the release of such records has been obtained.
    1. the consent must be given by the student's parent or the eligible student
    2. the written/electronic consent must specify the records to be released, to whom they are to be released, the reasons for such release and be signed and dated by the parent of the student or the eligible student giving the request.
    Each request for consent must be handled separately; no blanket consent for the release of information shall be accepted.
    The District will disclose non-directory personally identifiable information from a student's records only on the condition that the person to whom the information is disclosed will not disclose the information to any other party without the prior written consent of the parent or the eligible student. Personally identifiable information disclosed to any institution, agency or organization may be used by its officers, employees and agents only for the purposes for which the disclosure is made. The District will inform the persons to whom the information is disclosed of these conditions.
    The right of inspection may be exercised only during customary office hours of the District.
  6. The Right to Withhold Information
    In the course of processing a request for information, a reasonable doubt on any aspect of the request or concern about the authorization to process the request shall be deemed sufficient reason for the staff member to act in a prudent manner and to withhold all or part of the information until such time as the question is resolved, not to exceed 45 days.
  7. Records Containing Information for More than One Student
    If the records of a student contain personally identifiable information or could lead to the identification of more than one student, the parents of a student or the eligible student may inspect and review, or be informed of, only the specific information which pertains to that student.
  8. Release of Official Transcripts
    Upon receipt of a signed, written request from the parent or eligible student, the District will forward official transcripts (bearing the District seal) to accredited schools, colleges, or agencies in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. After one official transcript per student is sent or five years have elapsed since the last date attended, the District will charge for each additional transcript.

Confidentiality Relating to Student Records
Confidentiality Privilege of Counselors and School Psychologists

The confidentiality privilege as permitted by state law shall be followed regarding the records and reports of elementary and secondary counselors and school psychologists.


Legal References:

SDCL Ch. 1-27 Public Records and Files
SDCL 13-32-4.3 Effect of student’s suspension or expulsion on enrollment
SDCL 13-3-56 Test scores part of permanent record - Release of scores
ARSD: 24:52: South Dakota Local Schools Records Retention and Destruction Schedule
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99


Regulation   Board Action (formerly JRAA-R)
Approved: 02-11-08 34961  
Revised: 10-12-09 35519  
Revised: 09-12-11 36163  
Revised: 09-08-14 36702  
Reviewed: 08-24-15 37275  
Reviewed: 06-13-16 37489  
Revised: 01-22-18 37945