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Destruction of Pupil Records

Per California State Education Code of Title V, districts must maintain certain documents for different periods of time past the date of their “usefulness”.  The date of usefulness ends the first day the student is no longer within our District. The date that a District can legally re-classify documents for destruction and or permanent status is 4 calendar years from the date that usefulness ceased. Please see below for the California Education Code on destroying documents:

Title V:

(a) No additions except routine updating shall be made to the record after high school graduation or permanent departure without the prior consent of the parent or adult pupil.

(b) Mandatory permanent pupil records shall be preserved in perpetuity by all California schools according to Chapter 2, Division 16, Part I, of this title.

(c) Unless forwarded to another district, mandatory interim pupil records may be adjudged to be disposable when the student leaves the district or when their usefulness ceases. Destruction shall be in accordance with Section 16027 of this title during the third school year following such classification.

(d) Permitted pupil records may be destroyed when their usefulness ceases. They may be destroyed after six months following the pupil's completion of or withdrawal from the educational program.

The method of destruction shall assure that records are not available to possible public inspection in the process of destruction.

5 CCR § 437, 5 CA ADC § 437

Please see a list of documents below that may be in the Students CUM file and or at your school site.   We have listed the time frame on how long you will need to keep these documents per Title 5 regulations. This list is only examples, and may not include any and all documents.

Document Time Frame



Report Cards


Parent Signature Cards


CSIR Cards (Immunization)


CHDP Cards (K or 1st Physical Forms


Test Scores (Within 3 years)


Test Scores prior to 3 years

Can be destroyed 3 years after date of usefulness ceases.

CELDT Scores (Initial Assessment)


CELDT Scores Annual

Can be destroyed 3 years after date of usefulness ceases.

Legal Documents


Pre-School Documents

Can be destroyed 3 years after date of usefulness ceases.

Gate Assessments



Can be destroyed 3 years after date of usefulness ceases.

Grade Books

Can be destroyed 4 years after date of usefulness ceases for all students in book

Attendance Notes

6 Months past the end of the prior year.

Registration Paper Work

Can be destroyed 3 years after date of usefulness ceases.

Verification of Birth Documents               


Disciplinary Files

Can be destroyed 3 years after date of usefulness ceases.

Please see chart below:

Three Types of Student Records - Active, Inactive & Transfer of Pupil Records

Varieties of Records

Mandatory Permanent

Mandatory Interim


Active Records

5 CCR 432


A.  Legal Name

B.  Date of Birth

C.  Method of Verification of birth date

D.  Sex

E.  Place of Birth

F.  Name & Address of parent

     1.  Pupil’s residence

     2.  Annual Verification

G.  Enter & leave date of each school year, summer session or other extra sessions.

H.  Subjects taken

I.  Grades & credits toward graduation

J.  Immunization/ exemptions

K.  Date of high school graduation or equivalent

L.  CAHSEE (if applicable)


A. Access Log

B. Health Records

C. Special education        tests, forms, IEP’s

D. Language training records

E. Progress reports

F. Parental restrictions regarding access to directory information

G. Rejoinders to records

H. Other parental authorizations or prohibitions

I.  Standardized tests less than 3 years old

J.  Work permits/permits to employ

K.  Absence slips & verifications (5 CCR 400)

L.  Suspension notices/expulsion records (EC 48918/49079)

M.  Independent Study evaluation/findings   (EC 51747(b))


A.  Objective staff ratings

B.  Standardized test results more than 3 years

C. Routine disciplinary data

D.  Behavior observations

E.  All disciplinary notices



Informal notes solely kept for personal use are not considered records.

(EC 49061(b))


It is suggested that Section 504 Plans are maintained as Mandatory Interim records similar to the IEP’s.

Transfer of Records

(Keep original or copy)

EC 49068 & 5 CCR 438


  • California Public Schools
  • Private Schools
  • Out-of-State Public Schools


  • California Public Schools (including number of days of suspension & expulsion record)


  • Private Schools
  • Out-of-State Schools


  • California Public Schools
  • Private Schools
  • Out-of-State Public Schools

Inactive Records – Classification for Destruction

5 CCR 437

5 CCR 16022-16025

Becomes Class 1 Permanent Record. Maintained in perpetuity.

Continuing record until student transfers/leaves, or usefulness ceases; then classified in accordance with 5 CCR 16020 et. Seq. and Board Policy

Continuing records until student transfers/leaves, or usefulness ceases; destroyed in accordance with 5 CCR 437 and Board Policy