Erin Chawla: The Kiducation Learning Curve


Do You Know What Goes On Your Child's Student Record?

all about that mysterious file that follows your child throughout his school career

When I was a kid I remember the threat—don’t mess up or it’ll go on your permanent record! It was as if our transgressions as students would follow us around until the end of time, and that detention we got in Grade 2 would mark us for life. Obviously, this isn’t the case, but every student does have a permanent school record that follows them from grade to grade, teacher to teacher, and school to school. So what is in this mysterious file, anyway?

I can’t speak for other provinces, but I’m pretty sure that the record keeping is similar across Canada. I can certainly shed some light on what is in your child’s student file in Ontario.

The Basics:

  1. Copies of every Progress Report and Report Card from the time the student entered school
  2. Copy of birth certificate
  3. Copy of Health Card
  4. Copy of Immunization Record
  5. Copy of citizen documents (if applicable)
  6. Thumbnails of student’s school pictures (this is always my favourite part of the record)
  7. Student Success Form: completed for any student “at risk” of academic, behavioural  or social concerns, this is a record of what interventions and teaching methods have been successful and what problem areas need to be monitored
  8. Record of accumulated instruction in French as a second language (if applicable)
  9. The Ontario Student Transcript (a cumulative record of the student’s successful completion of high school courses)

Behavioural Concerns:

  1. A record of any in-school or out-of-school suspensions
  2. If a student has had persistent behaviour problems, then a behaviour log could be included
  3. A record of all meetings pertaining to behaviour

Special Education:

  1. Copies of all Individual Education Plans, since initial development of this plan
  2. A record of all meetings pertaining to education needs
  3. Medical documents that speak directly to educational needs
  4. A psycho-educational assessment (if completed)
  5. A speech-language assessment (if completed)
  6. Copies of the endless forms that the Ministry requires us to send home
  7. A copy of the Identification, Placement and Referral Committee referral package and decision sheet (if a student is identified as exceptional)
  8. Documents pertaining to any specialized equipment provided by the school board to assist with the student’s learning

English as a Second Language:

  1. A multi-lingual assessment (if completed)
  2. The English as a Second Language tracking sheet—completed annually, tracking the student’s progress in this program

Other Things that May be in There:

  1. Notices of reports to Children’s Aid Society
  2. Medical Assessments/Diagnoses that pertain to the student’s success in school
  3. Record of student allergies as they pertain to school environment (i.e., Anaphylaxis)

Some Things that are Not Included:

  1. Your address and phone number—the front office will keep a record of these personal details, but they do not go in the record available to all teachers
  2. Records of student detentions, trips to the school office, or phone calls home regarding behaviour (basically, if it hasn’t progressed to the level of a suspension, you won’t find it in the school record)
  3. Examples of student work and/or tests

So, that one time your child got zero on their spelling test? That will quickly be forgotten—at least by the school system. Don’t worry, that recess detention they once served won’t affect their college entrance. Oh, and do you want to take a look at your child's Student Record? All students and the parents or guardians of students under eighteen years of age have the right to look at the record and to receive copies of the contents if they wish. Just call your school and make an appointment.

If you liked this, you might also like: "Why Your Child's School Is Losing Great Teachers" and "Is Grade Eight Too Young To Make This Life Choice?"