Student record

The permanent student record is just that | Siouxland life

Worried that a recording of the little argument you had with your high school principal might one day come back to haunt you as part of your permanent school record?

Unless you have a particularly vindictive manager, that probably won’t be the case.

Your permanent school record is just that – permanent. But the schools do not keep all the papers associated with your stay there.

Marcy Delperdang, financial secretary at South Sioux City High School, has helped compile and file the school’s graduate permanent records for 25 years. When she takes out the papers from the files to be digitized on compact disc, what information is kept and what is not?

Most of what’s included is what you’d expect: the student’s date of birth, address, and names of parents or guardians. A class transcript. Medical information such as vaccination records. All copies of a birth certificate that are on file. ACT scores.

“Those are the only things we are required to keep as permanent,” Delperdang said.

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Hinton High School Principal Sue Martens said her school kept the same information, along with attendance records and information about special needs programs the student may have attended.

Notice what’s not on file: disciplinary action. So if you’ve ever been suspended from school, relax. It is very likely that years later, no one will find any proof of it.

Not that you need to worry about that, because only a few people have access to your permanent record.

Both Delperdang and Martens said access to permanent student records is limited to school staff, the student, and their parents. Delperdang said information was also shared with spouses.

In South Sioux City, anyone else seeking access must obtain a transcript release signed by that student or a parent. It’s common practice when a student wants to have a transcript sent to a potential employer, military recruiter or college admissions office, Delperdang said.

Martens said potential employers aren’t usually interested in seeing the student’s record, they just want to verify that he or she graduated.

As expected, permanent folders are not discarded. In South Sioux City, small index card boxes containing student records dating back to 1909 are stored in a filing cabinet. Each card contains a handwritten record of each student’s grades.

Martens said she doesn’t know how far back Hinton’s records go. All school records are kept on paper. While the newer ones are all computer generated, the older ones contain hand-entered information that can sometimes be a bit difficult to read. Student files fit in four fireproof four-drawer cabinets.

Being a much larger school, South Sioux City wouldn’t have room for the records if they were all still on paper, Delperdang said. Years ago, the district began digitizing microfilm records. Now they are digitized electronically on CDs. The microfilmed recordings were also scanned onto disk. All records easily fit in a file room in the school’s main office.

Is there a time when it is acceptable for schools to delete older records? Neither Delperdang nor Martens were sure. They never really looked into it.

“As far as I know, we never went back to clean them,” Martens said.