EHB – Data/Records Retention

The Superintendent shall develop procedures for a records retention system that is in compliance with RSA 189:29-a, 186-C:10-a, and the New Hampshire Department of Education regulations, as well as all other pertinent state and federal law. These procedures should also address retention/destruction of all other records which are not subject to specific statutes or regulations. The procedures should ensure that all pertinent records are stored safely and are stored for such durations as are required by law. The Superintendent shall develop procedures necessary to protect individual rights and preserve confidential information consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This policy shall apply to all district records, irrespective of the specific medium of the record, i.e., paper, electronic, digital, cloud, or other media.

Although not exhaustive, the retention of specific records and under specific circumstances are addressed below. However, a review of the procedures referenced above should always occur prior to the destruction of any records.

  1. Records Pertaining to Students’ Attendance and Scholarship

In accordance with Ed 306.04(h), the District shall maintain complete and accurate records of students’ attendance and scholarship permanently safely stored in a fire-resistant file, vault, or safe.

  1. Special Education Records
    1. Upon a student’s graduation from high school, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) may request in writing that the District destroy the student’s special education records, including any final individualized education program.
    2. The parent(s)/guardian(s), or adult student who has graduated or is over the age of 21, may, at any time prior to the student’s twenty-sixth birthday, request, in writing, that the records be retained until the student’s thirtieth birthday.
    3. Absent any request by a student’s parents or adult student who has graduated or is over the age of 21, to destroy the records prior to the twenty-sixth birthday, or to retain such records until the student’s thirtieth birthday, the District shall destroy a student’s records and final individualized education program within a reasonable time after the student’s twenty-sixth birthday, provided that all such records be destroyed by the student’s thirtieth birthday.
    4. A permanent record of a student’s name, address, and phone number, his or her grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without time limitation. 34 CFR 300.624.
    5. The District shall provide parents/guardians, or where applicable, the adult student, with a written notice of the District’s document destruction policies upon the student’s graduation with a regular high school diploma or at the transfer of parental rights to the adult student, whichever occurs first.
    6. The District shall provide public notice of its document destruction policy at least annually. The method of destruction for digital, electronic, and cloud-based records shall be thorough enough to ensure that they are deleted and no longer accessible.
  1. Litigation Hold

On receipt of notice from legal counsel representing the District that a litigation hold is required, the routine destruction of governmental records, including paper and electronic or digital records, which are or may be subject to the litigation hold shall cease.  All third-party letters and notices requesting a litigation hold shall promptly be forwarded to legal counsel for the District, and routine destruction of potentially relevant records shall be suspended pending advice of counsel.

The destruction of records subject to a litigation hold shall not resume until the District has received a written directive from legal counsel authorizing resumption of the routine destruction of those records in accordance with the retention requirements of this policy and the associated procedures.

  1. Right-to-Know Request Hold

On receipt of a Right-to-Know law request to inspect or copy governmental records, the Superintendent shall cease any destruction of governmental records which are or may be the subject of the request. The records shall be retained regardless of whether they are subject to disclosure under RSA Chapter 91-A, the Right-to-Know law. If a request for inspection is denied on the grounds that the information is exempt under this chapter, the requested material shall be preserved for no less than ninety (90) days and until any lawsuit pursuant to RSA 91-A:7-8 has been finally resolved, all appeal periods have expired, and a written directive from legal counsel representing the District authorizing destruction of the records has been received.

Legal References:

  • RSA 91-A, Right to Know Law
  • RSA 186-C:10-a Retention of Individualized Education Programs
  • RSA 189:29-a, Records Retention and Disposition
  • NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04(a)(4), Records Retention
  • NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04(h), Records Retention
  • NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed. 1119.01, Confidentiality Requirements
  • 20 U.S.C. 1232g, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Category:  Priority – Required by Law

Related Policies: EH, EHAB, JRA 

See also: EHB-R (Records Retention Schedule)

1st Reading:  June 7, 2022

2nd Reading:  June 21, 2022

Adoption:  June 21, 2022