What Is a School Record?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 24, 2020 6:31:14 PM ET
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A school record can refer to different education-related things, including an official record of a student's grades, conduct and disciplinary history or a more general reference to a student's academic performance and extracurricular participation while in school. In most places in the United States, official educational and disciplinary records should be closed to the general public to protect student privacy, but parents and students may be able to request access to their (or their child's) record. An academic transcript is one of the most commonly requested records, particularly for high school students who are applying for college.

When used as a general reference, "school record" can encompass everything from grades to specific classes taken. For example, the College Board, a not-for-profit college prep organization, discusses everything from summer activities to Advanced Placement classes and teacher recommendations for college applicants under the category of "high school record." School children may discuss, perhaps with some fear or trepidation, the concept of a "permanent record," or an official file that tracks a student's bad behavior and stays around to haunt him or her for life, but there is no real proof that such a system of formal behavior tracking actually exists and, if it does, that it has any real impact on a student's life beyond a college application.