What Is Record Keeping in School?

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Record keeping in school is the maintenance of information about each student, which includes basic biographical data, contact information, educational progress and modifications, attendance, discipline, and medical concerns. These records not only document information about the student, they also contain information on which a school is judged and funded. Many laws exist concerning the use and availability of these records to non-school personnel.

Record keeping in education is a very big part of the “business” of school, as accurate records keep educators accountable and facilitate the transfer of students, who are less likely to finish school in the system in which they started than they were years ago. Accurate biographical information, transcripts, medical records and special needs modifications must be transferred with a student from school to school, whether the school is within or outside the student’s previous system. Decisions about a child’s future education are often made based on school records, stressing the need for accuracy. Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, parents of students younger than 18 and students who are 18 or older have the right to inspect and amend school records. Decision about the school’s future are also made based on school records, and federal funding often relies on information contained in them. Each school or school system must utilize a method of creating, keeping, storing and disposing of records that maintains their integrity and privacy.