JO-R: Student Records

Classification: 
J: Students
Code: 
JO-R

What is the Permanent Student Record (PSR)?

Ministerial Order 190/91, as at 1997 September 02, states that:

"Permanent Student Record" means a record that includes the following:

 

(a)  Form 1704, completed in accordance with the Ministry of Education "Permanent Student Record Completion Instructions," which are effective at the time of completion,

(b)  the student progress reports for the two most recent years, or a copy of the Transcript of Grades, issued by the Ministry of Education, and

(c)  where letter grades are not set out in a student progress report for a student in grade 4, 5, 6, or 7, a written record of those letter grades.”

What student records must be kept?

A cumulative student file shall be kept that contains: (a) the Permanent Student Record as defined above, and (b) the student file. The Permanent Student Record may be kept in electronic and/or paper format. Schools may keep the Permanent Student Record separate from other parts of the cumulative student file. In keeping with the provisions of the School Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, all student records shall be maintained in a secure manner that guards the confidentiality of information and protects the privacy of students and their parents.

Ministerial Order 190/91, as at 1997 September 02, states that:

"A board must ensure that each record established and maintained for a student pursuant to section 79(3) of the School Act includes

(a)  he Permanent Student Record and

(b)  a student file that contains

                        (i)  all documents listed as inclusions on Form 1704

                        (ii)  a copy of the student's current Student Learning Plan, if any, and

                        (iii)  a copy of the student's current IEP, if any."

The Order specifies that a Student Learning Plan: “means the student learning plan set out in the Career and Personal Planning 8 to 12 Integrated Resource Package (1995) educational program guide."

The Order specifies that an IEP: "means an IEP as defined in Ministerial Order 638/95, the Individual Education Plan Order."

Documents listed as inclusions on Form 1704 should include records of information that an educator (in this case, the principal) deems relevant to the educational program or well-being of the student.   

The student file may be electronic or in a hard format and includes the IEP, if any, the Student Learning Plan, if any, and all records listed in the List of Inclusions on the 1704. The student file may be held separately from the Permanent Student Record and must be held in a confidential manner, in locked files, with access restricted as outlined in item 3 below. The records in the student file include confidential records related to diagnostic assessment, and other reports or services provided by the Board school psychologists, speech language pathologists, and other professional staff; school-based team minutes relating to the student; and confidential records relating to the provision of diagnostic assessment and counselling services to students from external agencies, such as the Ministry of Social Services, Ministry of Health or local Board of Health; hospitals; court orders; legal papers such as name change records; and other reports deemed by the principal to be appropriate for inclusion.

It should be noted that assessment protocols must not be placed in the student file but are to be stored in a secure manner by District Learning Services.

Teacher or classroom files may include notes and personal observations kept by a teacher electronically or in writing.  The School Act, Sec. 1, states that a student record:  "does not include a record prepared by a person if that person is the only person who will have access to the record."  However, access to teachers' notes may be requested by parents or students under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Any such requests should be referred to the school principal.  When preparing notes for insertion in teacher or classroom files, the information should be factual and worded in a careful, professional manner. Insertions intended to go into the formal student file kept in the office should be dated and signed.

While educators have a responsibility to keep all relevant student information on file and to protect the privacy of others, if information is being released, there is a companion responsibility not to retain information that is irrelevant to the student's educational program or general well-being. This is a professional responsibility that requires careful review and consideration.

Who has access to the PSR or documents in the student file?

In keeping with the School Act, Sec. 9, a student and the parents or guardians (as defined in the “Interpretation” section of the Act) of a student of school age are entitled on request and while accompanied by the principal or a person designated by the principal to interpret the records, to examine all student records kept by a board pertaining to that student, and to receive a copy of any student record that they are entitled to examine. In keeping with the provisions of the School Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, students' personal records shall be maintained in a secure manner that guards the confidentiality of information and protects the privacy of students and their parents.

Access to pertinent information in these records will be available to appropriate school and district personnel who have a ‘need to know’ in order to fulfill the duties of their position. The ‘need to know’ basis is to be strictly interpreted and authorized by the school principal with respect to student records located at the school, by the area administrators with respect to assessment reports kept at Area Learning Services offices, and by the Associate Superintendent of Learning Services with respect to records kept by District Learning Services. 

As required by the School Act, Secs, 79 and 168 (2),  and Ministerial Order M14/91, student records shall also be made available, with proper authorization, to a person planning for the delivery of, or delivering health, social, or support services to the student, or to the Board's insurer to the extent necessary to meet any claims being made against the insurance provided to the Board by that insurer.  Such records are released on the understanding that the person receiving such information shall not disclose it except for the purposes intended.  Records will also be made available in response to valid court orders and subpoenas and/or in keeping with legislation.

Who is responsible for maintaining the Permanent Student Record, records in the student file, and classroom records, and for how long?

The principal of the school attended by the student is responsible for maintaining the student's Permanent Student Record while the student is attending that school. The principal of the school attended by the student also has responsibility for the student file, while the student is attending that school. It is the principal's responsibility to decide whether or not documents are relevant to the educational program of the student and, therefore, whether they should be listed in the List of Inclusions and maintained in the student file. All student records should be up-dated and culled regularly, and must be updated and culled when a student transfers.

Records relating to the students' annual activities and work, such as the learner portfolio and samples of work, and teachers' notes on students, are retained by the teacher in the teacher or classroom file in the classroom for the current school year.

Once a student has withdrawn or graduated from a VSB school:

  • the Permanent Student Record and any legal name-change documents are transferred to student records in the Information Technology Division, which is responsible for retaining the record for 55 years from the date the student withdraws or graduates from school;
  • student files that contain assessment and diagnostic records are retained at the school for two years.  At the end of that time, schools will retain the most current version of the Vancouver School Board Psychological Report, Vancouver School Board Speech and Language Report, and the Individual Education Plan in a file at the school until after the student’s 23rd birthday. All remaining documents in the hard copy student file can then be shredded. 
  • student files that do not contain assessment and diagnostic records are retained at the school for two years after the student leaves and then shredded.
  • in the case of a student death before graduation, the records, that would normally be sent upon graduation to the Learning and Information Technology division, will be sent immediately to that division where they will be retained and administered for 55 years.

What student records must be transferred?

When a student transfers to another school, certain procedures are to be followed to transfer the student’s records, as described below. Student records should be transferred in a confidential manner and should not be sent by facsimile, since security provisions cannot be guaranteed for faxed documents.

To Public Schools within the Province of BC:

According to Ministerial Order 190/91, upon request from a receiving B.C. public school where the student is enrolled, the Board must transfer:

  • the master copy of the Permanent Student Record (the PSR 1704 plus the two most recent years of student progress reports and, where letter grades are not sent out in a student progress report for a student in grade 4, 5, 6 or 7, a written record of those letter grades);
  • the current Student Learning Plan, if any (grade 9 and up) and
  • the current IEP for a student, if any.

Documents from the student file that are listed on the List of Inclusions are part of the student file, but are not part of the Permanent Student Record. The student file must be updated and culled when a student transfers; that is, the principal should ensure that the documents listed on the List of Inclusions are still relevant to the educational program or well-being of the student. If they are not, the titles of the documents should be removed from the List of Inclusions, and the documents themselves should be removed from the student file and disposed of in a confidential manner (shredded.)  The documents remaining in the student file will be listed on the List of Inclusions and will be forwarded to a Board receiving school or to any other public school in B.C. This includes Board-generated reports and externally-prepared reports received by the school with parental permission for the purpose of assisting the planning and delivery of the educational program to the student.

To Independent Schools and Schools Outside the Province of B.C.

Only copies of the Permanent Student Record should be sent to schools outside the B.C. public school system.   When a student transfers to an independent school or an educational institution outside the province and the Board receives a request from that independent school or educational institution, the Board must transfer the current Student Learning Plan, the current IEP, and a copy of the Permanent Student Record of the student to that independent school or educational institution.  Independent schools are listed in the Ministry document Public and Independent Schools Book.

Copies of Board-generated confidential written reports listed on the List of Inclusions and included in the student file should be sent to independent schools, schools outside the province and other professional agencies only when:

  • written permission has been granted by the parent/guardian or legal representative of the student (either in a letter or through completion of the "Consent to Release Confidential Information" or another form);  or
  • it is requested by the student (either in a letter or through the completion of the "Consent to Release Confidential Information" form) after he/she is an adult; or
  • the release of the record is required by statutory declaration or court order.  

Copies of externally-prepared reports should not be transferred to an independent school, or to a school outside the Province of B.C. These reports will still be listed on the List of Inclusions. The school should refer the receiving school to the external organization, agency, or individual that generated the report. The receiving school may need to provide parental permission to the organization or agency that generated the report before the records will be sent by the organization or agency.

To "Schools" That Are Not Public or Independent Schools

No records are to be provided by the Board to “schools” that are not public schools or independent schools, as defined in the Independent School Act and, in B.C., listed in the Ministry document Public and Independent Schools Book.  If a request is received for records from such a “school”, the Board will inform the parent/guardian of the student that it is their responsibility to obtain copies of the records and provide them to the “school” that is not a public school or an independent school. 

How are transcripts provided to students once they have withdrawn or graduated from school?

Certified transcripts are provided by the school which the student last attended  through the insert portion of the Permanent Student Record, which is retained by the school, conditional on one of the following:

  • written authorization of the student if the student is 19 years of age or older;
  • written authorization of the student if the student is under 19 years of age but is able to exercise his or her own information rights; 
  • written authorization of the parent or guardian of the student if the student is under 19 years of age and is unable to exercise his or her own information rights, or if other special circumstances apply;
  • valid court order or subpoena;
  • legislated authority under the School Act, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, or other legislation.

DMT Responsibility: D-IT

 

Cross References: 
JEDB: Student Dismissal Precautions
Adopted Date: 
Monday July 10, 1978
Revision Date: 
Nov 1978
Oct 1982
Feb 1984
Aug 1990
Oct 2000
Nov 2001
May 2002