Public School Permanent Records

In a previous post, we talked about how to withdraw from a school. We talked about the steps you take to get started in homeschooling. Now let’s focus on the public school permanent records. Who gets them? What’s in there? Are they important in homeschooling?

File cabinet. Public school Permanent Records

When you withdraw from the traditional school, the schools need official verification that you’re enrolled elsewhere. They can remove your student from their compulsory attendance rosters. And they often want to send the permanent records to the next school.

Public School Permanent Records

Some new homeschoolers get concerned about the transfer of their public school’s permanent records. Let’s unravel the mystery of what’s in the permenent records. Inquiring minds want to know!

Here’s the deal with your student’s permanent records. The schools think that we need the permanent records in order to place the students in classes. We don’t do that though. When you homeschool, the parent is in charge of choosing curriculum and learning activities.

Sometimes the schools make a big deal about sending the records to the next school. Sometimes they don’t though. Sometimes the schools will release records, sometimes not. It’s not necessarily important for your success in homeschooling anyway.

We just want them to remove the student from compulsory attendance so you’re not counted absent (and truant).

Who gets the permanent records?
Withdrawing from the school is usually a 2-part process. Part 1: The parent will sign forms at the school which may have a section to provide the contact information for the next school. The forms include permission for this school to release the permanent records to the next school.

Part 2: Official verification from the association that the student is enrolled there. Most associations will provide a notice so the school can withdraw the student from attendance rosters. That’s the priority for you to withdraw from the compulsory attendance. The note might also include a records request.

The schools presume that these records are important for class placement. In homeschooling, the parent choses the course of study and is the official record-keeper. The parent should be the one who gets the permanent records. Schools don’t “trust” parents so they often send the records to the association instead.

What’s in the records anyway?
Mostly it’s stuff that you already gave the school or they already gave you. So, why they won’t release it to the parent–I still don’t understand. Here’s some of the things included in the permanent records:

  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Immunization record (or an immunization exemption letter)
  • Proof of residence (like apower bill or water bill)
  • Student’s Social Security card
  • Home Language Survey
  • Report Card from previous year
  • Attendance and behavior reports
  • High School Transcript
  • School pictures
  • Standardized Test results/Kindergarten Readiness Report/Maps Testing report
  • IEP testing results and meeting notes
  • Court documents

Not all of these items will be in your child’s file. Some documents vary depending on the school or the student. IEP files might be a completely separate file that has to be specifically requested.

School policies vary from district to district about releasing records. It varies depending on the school official–how they interpret and apply the policies.

  • Sometimes they release the records directly to the parent, per the parent’s request.
  • Sometimes they’re holding the records request letter in their hand, and contact me to tell me they haven’t gotten a records request from me yet.
  • Sometimes they won’t remove the student from the attendance roster until they receive a records request.
  • Sometimes they remove the student from their attendance rosters but they don’t send over any school records files at all.

Why do we need the school records anyway? 
The schools think that we need these things for placement. They’re presuming that the association chooses the course of study and sets the assignments.

Associations really don’t want these records. But, if the school insists that the student records must be transferred to the new school in order to remove them from attendence rosters. Then, we request the records.

Parents really don’t need the records either. It’s stuff you already gave the school, or they already gave you. You have a general idea of what your child is learning and doing in school. What they’re struggling with and what they’re interests are.

You can take time to deschool and figure out what your homeschool style is. You don’t need any of the school records for that.

Note: We *do* want to get a copy of the high school transcript. That is the one important document that we do want. That’s a forever document with the student’s educational resume. It’s cummulative with all the high school courses and credits.

We don’t need the permanent records from the school in order to homeschool. It’s really not as big a deal as it seems!

Read more about the records you need if you enroll back into public schoolHow to enroll a homeschool child into public school in South CarolinaVisit my Amazon Store for lots of getting started resources:


About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

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