Observing & taking notes

6 Tips on Organizing Your Child’s Records in a Three-Ring Binder

By The Understood Team

64Found this helpful
64Found this helpful

A three-ring binder can help you keep track of important documents. It can also give you the big picture on how much progress your child is making. Here are some tips on organizing your child’s school records.

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Organize papers by topic.

Use section dividers and label each one: “Attendance Records,” “Behavior Correspondence,” “Medical Records,” etc. Use our checklist for a complete list of recommended sections.

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Organize papers by date.

Within each section, put the newest documents in the front. This will help you find what you’re looking for faster.

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Do not rewrite or edit original documents unless by mutual agreement.

If you’re seeking mediation or a due process hearing, it could complicate the process if documents aren’t clear.

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Make an extra copy.

For official documents such as evaluations, report cards, progress reports and letters discussing eligibility for special services, make a copy so you can mark it up. Write “COPY” in the upper right-hand corner, and store it in front of the original.

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Think long term.

Consider whether you’ll create one binder per year, or if storing multiple years in one binder makes more sense. If you’ll combine years, use different types of section dividers or labels to help you easily find the contents for a particular year.

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Include supplies.

Ideally, you want your binder to have everything you’ll need for important school meetings. That’s why it’s a good idea to put in some extra paper for taking notes. You can also get a zippered pouch to store a hole punch, highlighter, pen or pencil, sticky notes, tape recorder and extra batteries.

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About the Author

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The Understood Team is composed of writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Donna Volpitta

Donna Volpitta, Ed.D., is coauthor of The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive, Not Reactive, Parenting.

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