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Parent and Student Rights of Access to and Confidentiality of Student Records

Section 706.3 | Board Report 16-0928-PO1 | Date Adopted September 28, 2016

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That the Board amend Board Report 08-0123-PO2 Policy on Parent and Student Rights of Access to and Confidentiality of Student Records. This amendment is necessary to align this policy with the district’s current procedures and organizational structure.


To promote a legally consistent and appropriate policy for parent and student rights to access and confidentiality of student records.


I. Scope of the Policy:

This policy shall be followed by Chicago public schools, networks and central office departments. Each principal and administrator with his/her staff shall assume the responsibility for safeguarding the confidentiality and protection of student records.

II. Definitions

  • Directory Information – Information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and academic awards, dates of attendance and information concerning school-sponsored activities, organizations, and athletics. Directory information is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.
  • Student - Any person enrolled or previously enrolled in a school.
  • School - Any public preschool, day care center, kindergarten, nursery, elementary or secondary educational facility or any other elementary or secondary educational agency or institution and any person, agency or institution which maintains school student records from more than one school, but does not include a private or non-public school.
  • State Board - The Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Student Record - Any writing or other recorded information, whether in paper or electronic form, concerning a student and by which a student may be individually identified, maintained by a school or at its direction or by an employee of a school, regardless of how or where the information is stored. The following shall not be deemed student records: (i) personal notes created by teachers or other school personnel for their exclusive use, unless such notes are disclosed for purposes of serving the student’s needs at school, (ii) information or records maintained by school law enforcement and safety personnel, and (iii) records maintained to manage school or District operations and otherwise subject to the Board’s policy on the maintenance of business records.
    The Student Record is comprised of: the Permanent Student Record, the Temporary Student Record and if applicable, the Temporary Special Education Record.
    1. Permanent Student Record -
      Information that consists of the following, whether in paper or electronic form:
      • Student Elementary Transcript (including grades and attendance);
      • Student High School Transcript (including grades, attendance, and state standardized test scores);
      • Student Health Record (consisting of health records required for enrollment and continuing enrollment, e.g. immunization, health exams, vision and dental exam);
      • Student Registration Card; and
      • Student Birth Certificate.
    2. Temporary Student Record
      Any document or data record, whether in paper or electronic form, identifying a particular student and of clear relevance to the education of the student, that does not otherwise qualify as a Permanent Student Record. Temporary Student Records include, but are not limited to, a student’s cumulative folder, cumulative record card, enrollment records, elementary school state assessment scores, special education records (as defined below), bilingual education records, program participation records, records of disciplinary infractions, DCFS reports, reports of a serious student injury and other information, and correspondence of clear relevance to the education of the student, including electronic correspondence (e.g. e-mail).
    3. Temporary Special Education Record
      Information that consists of any document or data record, whether in paper or electronic form related to the identification, evaluation or placement of a student for special education services or 504 Plan or to the implementation of a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan and include, but are not limited to, the IEP and the 504 Plan in all their parts, parent notices, referrals, planning and meeting records including assessment assignments, progress notes, manifestation determination reports, behavior plans, health-related information (e.g. medication logs), transition plans, and service plans for private school students.
  • Parent - A person who is the natural or adoptive parent of the student or other person who has the primary responsibility for the care and upbringing of the student.

III. General Rights and Privileges

All rights and privileges accorded parent(s) in this policy shall become exclusively those of the student upon the student’s 18th birthday, graduation from secondary school, marriage, or entry into the military, whichever occurs first, unless the parent or the Department of Children and Family Services continues as the student’s guardian beyond the age of 18.

IV. Right to Inspect and Copy Records

A parent or any person specifically designated as a representative by a parent shall have the right to inspect and copy any and all school student records of that parent’s child, including all material that is incorporated into each student’s temporary and permanent record, with the exception of certain mental health records as described below. A non-custodial parent is entitled to review and copy school student records of his or her child unless that parent is prohibited by an order of protection or court order specifically prohibiting such access pursuant to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. The parent’s request to inspect and copy student records must by granted within a reasonable time, in no case later than 15 school days after the date of such request. If the records contain information concerning more than one student, the parent may inspect, review or be informed of only the specific information about his or her child. Either the school or parent may require that a qualified professional be present to interpret the information contained in the student record.

A student below the age of 18 shall also have the right to inspect and copy his or her own Permanent Student Record.

Pursuant to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, a parent may not have access to mental health or diagnostic records of his or her child if the child is 12 years of age or older without a court order unless the child has been informed of the request for access and does not object or if the mental health professional finds no compelling reason for denying such access.

Before any student record is destroyed or deleted, the parent shall be given reasonable prior notice and an opportunity to copy the record/information proposed to be destroyed or deleted. Parent(s) shall have the right to insert a statement of reasonable length in their child’s school student record setting forth their position on disputed information contained in that record. A copy of that statement shall be included in any subsequent dissemination of the information in dispute.

The school may not charge a fee to search for or retrieve student records, but may charge a fee of no more than $.35 per page for the copying of student records. No parents or students shall be denied copies of student records due to their inability to bear the cost of copying.

V. Confidentiality of Records

VI. Challenging the Content of Student Records

Parent(s) may review or challenge information contained in their child's record.

If the parent(s) feels that information contained in their child's records (other than academic grades) is inaccurate, misleading, irrelevant, or that it violates the child's or family's privacy, parent(s) may make a written request to the school that such information be amended. If the school does not make the amendments requested, the parents have the right to an informal meeting with the principal or principal’s designee within fifteen (15) school days from the date of the request for such a meeting. This written request should list the particular records that the parent(s) want to amend and the reasons for the requested amendment.

If the principal or the principal’s designee denies the request to amend the record, parents may appeal in writing to the network chief or the chief’s designee. The written appeal must be made within ten (10) schools days from the date of the school’s denial to amend the record.

If the network chief denies the parent’s appeal, the parent has the right to request a formal hearing by submitting a written request to the Executive Director of Policy and Procedures, Chicago Public Schools, Chief Education Office, 42 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602. A hearing officer, not employed in the attendance center in which the student is enrolled, shall be appointed by the school district within a reasonable time, but no later than fifteen (15) school days after the informal conference, unless an extension of time is agreed upon by the parent(s) and school officials. After the hearing, if the school district still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement of reasonable length with the record commenting on the contested information in the record. A copy of that statement shall be included in any subsequent dissemination of the information in dispute.

Either party shall have the right to appeal the decision of the local hearing officer to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Principal Communications Consultant, Problem Resolution Office, 100 West Randolph Street, Suite 14300, Chicago, Illinois 606013405 within twenty (20) school days after such a decision is transmitted.

The school shall be responsible for implementing the decision of the Principal Communications Consultant, Problem Resolution Office. The final decisions of the Principal Communications Consultant, Problem Resolution Office may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Cook County.

VII. Postsecondary School Requests

No student records, including student disciplinary records, shall be released to postsecondary education institutions in the course of a student’s application to such institutions or in response to requests from such institutions. Student disciplinary records that should not be disclosed include records about any infraction resulting in suspension, reassignment, or expulsion or any information about criminal arrest or adjudication. Student disciplinary record information shall only be disclosed to postsecondary education institutions when expressly directed to do so by a parent/guardian or as required by law.

VIII. Compliance With Subpoenas And Court Orders For Student Records

The Board shall respond to all student records subpoenas and court orders pursuant to the Illinois School Student Records Act and the Family Education and Rights to Privacy Act. The Board will not release any student records unless (1) it has authorization for such release by written consent of the parent, or (2) the release is authorized by one of the exceptions listed in Section III above, or (3) the release is made pursuant to a lawful court order. School officials or employees must send all student records subpoenas or court orders to the Board’s Law Department and must follow Board procedures for processing student records requests. Any school employee or Board official shall consult the Law Department at (773) 553-1700 if they have any questions about this process.

Policy References

Amends/Rescinds Amends 08-0123-PO2
Cross References 06-1025-PO1; 04-0623-PO3; 01-0725-PO2; 74-1095-1
Legal References The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232(g); Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.; The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. §7908; Illinois School Student Records Act, 105 ILCS 10/1 - 105 ILCS 10/10; Illinois Administrative Code, 23 Ill. Admin. Code 375.10 et seq; Local Records Act, 50 ILCS 205/1 et seq.; Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, 740 ILCS 110/1 et seq. Gun Free Schools Act (20 U.S.C. 8921 et seq.); 105 ILCS 5/2-3.13a

Policy Managed By Department of Policy, Ethics, and Records


1 N. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60602