School Records Retention Administrative Procedure

  1. Records (paper, electronic, voice) will be maintained in accordance with established school department procedures and with the Maine State Archives Rules for Disposition of Local Government Records.

  2. E-mails and computerized documents shall be treated like any other record and are subject to the same retention schedules.

  3. Examples of electronically stored information (ESI) are word processing documents (with metadata and embedded data), spreadsheets, e-mail messages and files, back-up e-mail files, deleted e-mails, instant messages, other instant message information (buddy lists, instant message logs), presentation documents, images, voice mails messages and back ups, program files, temporary files, system history files, and website logs.

  4. Junk e-mail and “spam” are not considered records and can be discarded immediately. The standard for archiving electronic records shall be .tif

  5. Personal information should not be stored on school department servers.  It should be transferred to a pen drive, CD, or other storage system within one month.

  6. Files that have not been opened for a full year should be transferred to a pen drive, CD, or other permanent storage system or destroyed.

  7. E-mail

    a.     E-mail messages will be automatically deleted according to the following schedule:

    1.  In-box folder – after 6 months

    2. Deleted items folder – after 30 days

    3. Sent items folder – after 30 days

    b.     E-mail messages will be archived at the server level for 1 year

  8. If a document or record type is not listed, consult with the superintendent of schools / designee before disposing of the document/record.  If necessary, the Maine State Archivist may be consulted for guidance on disposal.

  9. Records whose retention period has expired will be destroyed in accordance with established school department procedures.  Confidential information will be shredded.

  10. Only one copy of a document needs to be retained by the party responsible for it.  Retain the original document if legally required to do so.

  11. Drafts and notes may be destroyed except when such documents are important to official business or action of the school department, in which case they will be stored in the official file.

  12. Except as noted in the retention schedule, the retention period runs from when the record was created or received.

  13. No record related to pending or anticipated litigation may be destroyed or altered even if the record is technically past its retention date.

  14. The preservation and/or retrieval of records when litigation is anticipated or pending shall be under the direction of the superintendent of schools designee.

  15. Each school shall purge cumulative files of unnecessary documents before students go to the next grade level.  A list of necessary documents may be found at EHB-R2.

  16. Kindergarten students’ folders and transfer students folders shall have a stamp or a label indicating the date and results of screening for special education services.

  17. Discipline records shall be transferred to the Office of Special Services when special needs students leave the school system either via SchoolMaster records or paper copies.

  18. Other discipline records shall be purged when a student goes to the next grade span except in the case of disciplinary matters which are not settled or which are very significant.

  19. All student cumulative records shall have a label or other indication that there is an extension of the file and the location of that extension (e.g. Title IA, ESL, special education, SAT, etc.)

Legal Reference:         
5 M.R.S.A. § 91 et seq.
Maine State Archives Rule Chapter 10 (Rules for Disposition of Local Government Records)
Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 125 (Basic School Approval Rules)

Cross Reference:        
GBJ – Personnel Records
JRA – Student Education Records and Information
GCSA – Employee Computer and Internet Use

Adopted:  May 14, 2015