|Student Records Regulations|
STUDENT RECORDS REGULATIONS
On January 28, 1975, the State Board of Education unanimously adopted regulations pertaining to student records under the authority of statutes passed by the Massachusetts General Court in 1972 and 1974. These state
regulations encompass and elaborate on the federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, better known as the "Buckley Amendment."
The state regulations establish standards and procedures that guide school administrators, parents and students in their rights and responsibilities. These state regulations apply to all public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth. The regulations allow parents and students once they reach the age of fourteen or the ninth grade, whichever comes first, to inspect, receive a copy of, add to, or request deletions or amendment of any information concerning the student that is kept by the school or school committee, and that is organized in such a way that the student may be individually identified.
(The only exception to this automatic right of access concerns information kept in the personal files of a school employee and not shared with anyone else.) Parents and eligible students must be allowed access to the student record within two consecutive weekdays after their request.
The state regulations divide student records into two categories of information. The "transcript" contains the minimum information necessary to reflect the student's educational progress, such as name, address, course titles, grades and year completed. It is to be kept by the school system for at least sixty years after the student leaves the system.
With a few exceptions, the state regulations forbid the dissemination of information about the student from the record to any "third party" without the informed, written consent of the parent or the eligible student. A
"third party" under the regulations is any person or agency except for the parent, the eligible student or "authorized personnel" employed by the school committee.
All other information kept by the school system about the student is called the "temporary record." This includes such things as standardized test results, class rank, extra-curricular activities, and evaluations. A log is to be kept with each student's temporary record, and every instance of dissemination of the information in this record is to be noted in the log. The temporary record of any student enrolled in school from now on is to be destroyed by the school five years after the student leaves.
Students and parents are to be notified when the student leaves the school that the temporary record will eventually be destroyed, and that they may receive copies of anything in the record before it is destroyed.
Finally, the state regulations establish procedures whereby parents or eligible students may appeal a decision of the principal about the student record. The regulations also require that schools notify parents and students of the general provisions of the regulation within ninety days of their effective date, and at least once during every school year thereafter. (Submitted as notification to the parents and students of Somerville in accordance with state law.)