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Observing & taking notes

7 Steps for Requesting Your Child’s School Records

By The Understood Team

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You have the right to see your child’s school records. Would it be hard for you to view these records at school? Ask if the school can mail copies. Most will provide copies for a small fee.

1

Contact your school district.

Ask for the office of the director of special education. Someone at this office can provide you a copy of the laws and procedures that cover which student records schools keep and for how long.

2

Talk to your child’s principal.

If the district doesn’t have a request form, write a letter requesting access to your child’s records. You can use this sample letter to help you write it. Make sure you date the letter and keep a copy in your three-ring binder.

3

Ask what you need to do to see your child’s records.

If the school has a request form, fill it out. Ask the school for a copy of the form after you’ve filled it out. Keep it in your three-ring binder. Be sure to date the form.

4

Write a letter.

If the district doesn’t have a request form, write a letter requesting access to your child’s records. You can use this sample letter to help you write it. Make sure you date the letter and keep a copy in your three-ring binder.

5

Send the letter (and copy VIPs).

Send the letter to the school district’s director of special education. You may also copy (“Cc”) your child’s principal, special education teacher and others involved with your child’s education, such as the school psychologist.

6

Obtain proof the letter was delivered.

You can email the letter or send a hard copy with a tracking request or “return/receipt requested.” You can hand-deliver it and ask for a copy of the date-stamped version. If you fax it, keep a copy of the transmission report. Follow up by phone to ensure the letter was received, and note this conversation in your communications log.

7

Make more than one copy.

Once you’ve seen your child’s records, you may want to make copies so you can add them to your three-ring binder and take notes on an extra copy. Some agencies won’t accept official documents with marked-up changes on them. Be aware that schools are allowed to charge a reasonable fee for making copies.

About the Author

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The Understood Team

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

More by this author

Reviewed by Donna Volpitta, Ed.D. Mar 02, 2014 Mar 02, 2014

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