There are two parts to a student's record. The official Transcript is the permanent record of the student, listing name, address, course titles and grades. All other information in the folder (test scores, registration materials, correspondence etc.) is part of the Temporary Record. The transcript is kept for 60 years after the student leaves the high school. The temporary record is given to seniors when they graduate.
Any high school student or parent may request to see the contents of the student folder. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Massachusetts Department of Education Student Records Regulations, 603 CMR 23.07) provides that you must be allowed to see your folder as soon as practicable and within ten days of your initial request. Your school counselor will go over any material in the folder and explain it to you.Further information regarding student records, the release of records to non-custodial parents, and the laws governing recordkeeping in this state is available on the Guidance Department website at: www.hwschools.net.
Release of Records to Non-Custodial Parents
State laws mandate standard procedures for making student records available to non-custodial parents. Any parent who by court order does not have physical custody of the student, is considered a non-custodial parent for purposes of M.G.L. c. 71, s.34H and 603 CMR 23.00. This includes parents who by court order do not reside with or supervise the student, even for short periods of time.
As required by Massachusetts state law, a non-custodial parent may have access to the student record in accordance with the following provisions:
- A non-custodial parent is eligible to obtain access to the student record unless:
- The parent has been denied legal custody based on a threat to the safety of the student or to the custodial parent, or
- The parent has been denied visitation or has been ordered to supervised visitation, or
- The parent's access to the student or to the custodial parent has been restricted by a temporary or permanent protective order, unless the protective order (or any subsequent order modifying the protective order) specifically allows access to the information contained in the student record.
- In order to obtain access, the non-custodial parent must submit a written request for the student record to the high school principal annually. The initial request must include the following:
- A certified copy of the court order or judgment relative to the custody of the student that either indicates that the requesting parent is eligible to receive access as set forth in 603 CMR 23.07(5)(a), or a certified copy of a court order specifically ordering that the student records be made available to the non-custodial parent, and
- An affidavit from the non-custodial parent that said court order or judgment remains in effect and that there is no temporary or permanent order restricting access to the custodial parent or any child in the custodial parent's custody.
- The non-custodial parent must submit a written request for access each year stating that said parent continues to be entitled to unsupervised visitation with the student and is eligible to obtain access as set forth in 603 CMR 23.07(5)(a).
- Upon receipt of the request (initial and annual) the school will immediately notify the custodial parent by certified and first class mail, in English and the primary language of the custodial parent, that it will provide the non-custodial parent with access after 21 days, unless the custodial parent provides the principal with documentation that the non-custodial parent is not eligible to obtain access as set forth in 603 CMR 23.07(5)(a).
- The school must delete the address and telephone number of the student and custodial parent from student records provided to non-custodial parents. In addition, such records must be marked to indicate that they shall not be used to enroll the student in another school.
- Upon receipt of a court order which prohibits the distribution of information pursuant to G.L.C. 71, s.34H, the school shall notify the non-custodial parent that it shall cease to provide access to the student record to the non-custodial parent.