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Policy and Procedures

General information about record keeping in Community Unit School District 300
Many records and forms are created in the course of the educational process and in D300's administration. As the records of a public institution, D300 records are governed by federal and state laws. Federal laws (Illinois Student Records Act) protect against unauthorized access to student records and state laws (Local Records Act) regulate the retention and disposition of official records in Illinois. D300's Local Records Representative and the Archives Manager developed a record retention schedule for D300 Central Office records. This schedule identifies record series and types and gives the required retention period (how long such records must be kept) for legal, administrative, fiscal, and historical purposes. The Bunker Hill Building and Grounds warehouse serves as the official repository for D300's records.

Record identification and retention in offices
Archiving records, whether for keeping in offices or schools or at the Bunker Hill Building and Grounds warehouse, does not merely mean storage of boxes or file drawer contents. Records must be identified-and-organized.

Records officers or clerks and offices should carefully identify the appropriate series and retention period for the records in their custody. Remember that the records schedule is written as a statewide document, which may not follow local district department names or other local information. Some sections are general, such as financial records, and all offices should consult the entire schedule rather than only checking specific sections that apply to their activities. Any questions should be referred to Everlean Dodson, the archives manager for the district, by calling 8388 or e-mailing everlean.dodson@d300.org

Proper document identification is critical as destruction dates are assigned accordingly, and responsible personnel should perform that task themselves to avoid errors by inexperienced personnel delegated the job. All office personnel should allot adequate time to organize and document their records.

Records description on destruction certificates or transmittal forms for warehouse transfers must follow the D300 Records Retention Schedule. All series numbers and titles (names for types of records) must match the schedule. Make sure your information is up to date - do not copy previous labels. Current series numbers begin with the number 1 and continue in sequence (i.e., 1, 2, and 3). Offices should not create local titles or numbers instead of using the official ones provided in the schedule. When in doubt, contact the archives manger for guidance in identifying and describing your records.

For guidance on locating or storing student records, please directly contact your school secretary or, for special education students, call the Department of Pupil Personnel Services at (847) 551-8307. The warehouse stores the permanent student records from schools, after the student's education in the District has ended either through graduation or withdrawal.

Offices may keep short term records on site and oversee their destruction at the proper time. This will lessen the documentation they need to create and will simplify the records' management and destruction process. In general, records with a retention period of two years or less should be kept on site. Smaller volumes of records with longer retentions should also be retained in the schools and offices - space limitations prevent the warehouse from accepting partially filled boxes except in unusual circumstances. Small volumes of records with indefinite retentions should also be kept on site if possible so the office can determine when the retention period will end.

When destroying records on site, please remember: Confidential records must be shredded. The official state Records Disposal Certificate and instructions for completing it are online. Completed certificates are to be mailed to the Local Records Commission in Springfield, as indicated in the instructions, for all records that are destroyed, whether confidential or not. Please refer any questions to the districts archives manager or pupil personnel for student records.

Destruction dates are assigned by year. For instance, records dated May 1, 2000 with a five year retention would be given a destruction date of 2006, five and a half years later, so that months and days do not need to be tracked. Offices transferring records with indefinite retentions to the warehouse should include information about when the records would be due for destruction according to the instructions in the schedule. For instance, some records may be destroyed after students have graduated or reached a certain age. Please estimate when the records you are archiving would meet the criteria specified for their particular records series if the series has an indefinite retention. Indicate in the description field of the transmittal when these records would be due or attach a document to the transmittal with that information. Please consult the archives manager as necessary.

Any retention periods and instructions in the schedule related to students leaving school refer to students graduating, otherwise ending their education, or leaving the District. They do not refer to moving from one school in the District to another, such as promotion from elementary to middle school, for instance.

Identifying type of correspondence Official correspondence documents the major functions of the office and the important events in its history. It has a permanent retention period. Correspondence of department heads, superintendents, board members, and principals concerning major policies and functions of their offices would fall in this category. Less official correspondence and other materials should be screened from the files periodically and removed before archiving.

General correspondence is not crucial to the preservation of the history of the office. It is typically of a non-policy nature and deals with general operations (i.e., purchase orders and requisitions). This type of correspondence is kept for only two years.

Archiving of records from offices
A transmittal form may be downloaded to your computer for completion. The archives manager does not provide boxes. All storage boxes must be purchased by the department. Records coming to the warehouse must be in standard sized boxes that will fit on the shelves (usually Banker Box# 7243 or 789).

Purge files and screen the records. Remove all non-record items such as brochures, flyers, and all items that have no operational value. Remove duplicates and blank forms. Do not mix permanent and non-permanent records in a box.

A transmittal form is completed for each box. Complete the form with careful reference to the D300 records retention schedule and associated documents - information entered should match these documents - and create three copies. Place one copy in the box, send one to the archive manager prior to the boxes being accepted, and retain a copy in your office.

Sending transmittals in; acceptance of boxes offices should send completed transmittals to the archives manager for approval before the boxes may be accepted for Archiving. The transmittals are reviewed for any problems and confusion. If the paperwork is correct the accession is then accepted and Building and Grounds is requested to make pickup.

Offices should plan archiving of boxes in groups, rather than a few at a time, to allow one pickup by B&G staff and to help manage records more efficiently. If a pickup occurs, visits planned to other locations will likely delay another pickup at your location. Please consult with others in your department to learn if they are preparing records for transfer. Offices should send all transmittals in together for review. If offices are still preparing records, the archives manager will hold transmittals before completing the transmittal review and requesting the pickups.

Time required to complete transfers depend on factors such as other outstanding requests and availability of crews for pickups. In general, the end and beginning of the traditional school year are busy times with school moves, renovations, and supplying schools. Other times may be better to transfer boxes to the warehouse.

Destruction of records held in the Warehouse
The archives manager will regularly inspect whose archived records are due for destruction. A form will be sent to the appropriate personnel to sign and approve the destruction of the records specified. Records subject to audit or litigation should be deferred from destruction until audits and/or litigation is completed. When destruction is approved, the archives manager ensures that confidential records in its custody are destroyed in a proper manner. With prior authorization from the archives manager, offices may transfer records to the warehouse to be destroyed rather than be stored if the time for their destruction has arrived. All organization, boxing, identification and documentation procedures outlined in this document must be followed for these records as well. The warehouse cannot accept records for destruction where these procedures have not been followed.

New technologies and record keeping
Records are defined by their content and type, not their medium such as paper or electronic files. Use of new technologies to create and store records does not change the requirement to maintain the records for specified retentions for legal, fiscal, administrative, and historical reasons. Correspondence conducted by e-mail is still correspondence. State laws and policies govern the way records are preserved to ensure that they will be accessible through their entire lifespan. No electronic means of preservation is yet available to ensure access to long-term records that must be kept more than ten years. Until electronic preservation is improved or other long term preservation is available, conversion to paper is another means of preservation for e-mail and some other types of electronic records that should be kept for more than ten years. Please consult the archives manager with questions about electronic records.

Microfilm and microfiche
The use of micrographics to reproduce D300 records must meet state standards if the reproduced copies are intended to replace original records. Microfilm (not microfiche) is accepted as a format for records with retentions longer than ten years if the microfilm has been produced to archival standards. Please consult the archives manager for more information about using micrographics.

District Office
Phone: 847-551-8300
Fax: 847-551-8413
Community Unit School District 300

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