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Main Forums => Dear Socrateaser => Topic started by: ilovemysd on May 25, 2007, 07:40:58 AM

Title: What should be included in school records?
Post by: ilovemysd on May 25, 2007, 07:40:58 AM
Received school records from child's private school. Had sent a FERPA-type letter stating request for all school ... the line requesting the school records read...I would also like to request a complete copy of xxxxxxxxx’s entire school record from the time she entered (name of school) until the present day, to include any correspondence with parents, records of disciplinary action, grades, and any other notes which teachers and parents may have placed within.

What was received was a packet containing two letters to NCP copied to the school, several (but not all) years of achievement testing sheets, forms from two teachers outlining contents of parent/teacher conferences (child has been in the school six years). There is a copy of a letter from NCP's attorney, which had been forwarded to the school by CP after an incorrect address was used, but not the letter the CP attached to that letter stating how unreasonable NCP was being (this letter was copied to NCP at the time by CP). There is one report card from 2nd grade and one interim report from this year. There are no other grades. There is a copy of the child's original public school registration form, but no registration information for the private school.

 There are no attendance records, although there is one note from NCP excusing child from school because of a cold. There are no records of disciplinary action, including detention, and we've been told that she has had detentions over the years. There is no emergency card. It seems very spotty, incomplete, and random. Is this the way school records are? Do they not include disciplinary and attendance records? The principal and a teacher in the elementary school each wrote certifications for previous court motions, and these are not included, although a copy of a restraining order against NCP which is dated the day that the CP left the marital home and was dismissed before the hearing by the CP, and before the child entered the private school, although it could have been placed in the file by the previous public school, was included.

So, am I wrong to think this is hinky?

Title: RE: What should be included in school records?
Post by: mistoffolees on May 25, 2007, 08:13:08 AM
Depending on the school, that's not surprising. And it's not surprising that a private school would be worse than a public school - since there are fewer legal requirements.

Disciplinary records are a particular issue. In some cases, disciplinary records are periodically purged just to reduce the risk of being sued.

It is in your best interest to have a good relationship with the school. I would encourage taking the time to sit down with the school principal (and perhaps their teacher for next year) to talk about your goals and about the child and what you hope for them to accomplish in coming year. As a part of that conversation, you can ask what you can do to make it easier to stay informed of progress. It might be as simple as giving the teacher a stack of stamped envelopes at the beginning of the school year. They may have other ideas on how to stay informed. You can certainly give them the information they need to ensure that the emergency contact list is up to date (most schools require this annually).

You don't want it to become adversarial - particularly with a private school.
Title: RE: What should be included in school records?
Post by: ilovemysd on May 25, 2007, 08:39:59 AM
Too late... been there, done that... :-)

Child has been in this school for 7 years now (I did the math wrong earlier).  Mom has gone in to the school and told them sob stories about how horrible Dad is.  Dad has gone in, and asked for simple things, like copies of report cards, or his info on emergency card, and been pooh-poohed and then forgotten.  Mom had second grade teacher write a cert in a previous case stating that Dad was intimidating because they were members of the same church and Dad liked to hang out near the front doors, so the teacher felt she needed to sneak out the back door... I kid you not, she was nuts... even an elder of the church agreed that she was special and care needed to be taken with her.  She was also the teacher who informed us that Mom would go to the school at the start of every year and tell the teacher how rough life is on child because she has to see Dad.  Dad had an agreement with 4th grade teacher that when the weekly homework sheet was signed by the parents, she would expect the parents signatures on alternate weeks, so if she didn't see Dad's signature, she would know that Dad hadn't seen work, and she would step in.  It worked well until Mom accused Dad of taking schoolwork from the packet, and unilaterally told the teacher that they would be no longer doing things this way, and that she would forward copies of schoolwork to dad without signature.  Needless to say, Dad saw no more schoolwork that year.  

He has spoken to the principal, both the elementary and now the middle school principal.  The elementary principal told him they would do all they could, but then seemingly wasn't able to force the child's 5th grade teacher to return phone calls over 3 MONTHS!!!.  Three times a week, we would call the school to speak with this teacher, because he wasn't sending any work to us, and the secretary would show surprise that he wasn't calling, and she said that she informed the principal, but nothing happened.  One day when I was in the school to pick something up from another teacher, the principal saw me, and told me that she would have the nonresponsive teacher come talk to me... which she did... of course, mom got a call from someone at the school saying that I was having a conference re: child, and stormed in because I have no rights to gather info... teacher told mom that dad had asked him to give the info to me (stepmom)... That same principal has been child's reading teacher for two years now, and has sent nothing to him at all, even though she clearly knows who he is, and what he has asked for.

Six months before child transferred to middle school, dad called four times asking to have a meeting with the principal to arrange how communications could go... no response.  In an email with principal this year, principal stated that dad was on the generic email list, and the generic mailing list, but that any flyers that went home directly with the students would not be provided.  We have missed athletic games, academic honor ceremonies, and notification of other achievements because notification goes directly to mom.  Mom says school provides all info, even though dad has told her, and quoted the school, that they cannot provide any specific info about child's schooling directly to him.  

They sent the welcome packet at the beginning of the year, but removed all of the parent participation parts... the emergency cards, the internet usage forms, volunteer forms.  Of course, they include all of the fundraising stuff :-)  We have asked to know how much the child's tuition is, and they will not release that because the payment comes from Mom.

It's already adversarial, since Mom continues to tell the teachers and the administrators what a weasel Dad is.  The school went electronic with report cards this year, and even though Dad has been in contact with the school every year, no one notified him and sent him a username/password that was provided to "every parent".  It took half the year before we discovered that they went electronic and got information for him.

So, attendance records are not required to be kept?  I read somewhere that it was a parent's right to have corrections made... do you think it would be improper for Dad to request that the TRO paperwork be removed, since it does not apply to this school at all, and it was dropped before any FRO hearing was made... The grounds were that dad sharpened his army knife in front of mom and that while cleaning up their bedroom, a coloring book was tossed across the room and hit mom in the face.  It was in place for less than a month... just enough time for mom to have a police office come to help her remove the groceries from the kitchen... (kid you not, she tried to take the ritz crackers)...

Title: RE: What should be included in school records?
Post by: mistoffolees on May 25, 2007, 09:29:31 AM
Then your next step is a letter from an attorney. That will generally get more attention than your letter.

And send it to the school board President in addition to the principal.