Help tracking down my Permanent School Records California/Oregon
June 22, 2022 7:34 AM   Subscribe

I started school in California, moved after middle school for 3 years to Oregon in High School, then finished at a small private high school in California (OC) The last high school is being cagey about my Full Permanent Record. What should they have, have kept etc.? Help!?

After my mom died my dad threw all my childhood things away. I live in Europe now and am trying to register my children's birth abroad. I would like to have this complete record to show residence and from what I can tell, this school SHOULD have my complete records (the mandatory parts) indefinitely unless put to microfilm. I emailed my official request with passport picture and they didn't answer, I followed up a week later and said they could only have records from people who graduated there (soooooo, hadn't read my email) I reiterated AGAIN I wanted my complete records from elementry, middle school and high school, my reason why and submitted another formal request. This morning she just sent an email with my high school transcript that said "here you go".... sooooo I have been reading about this and it seems like there are statutory requirements that this should have been kept and I can imagine many reasons people would need them as historical evidence for many things... where you lived, who your teachers were, if your grades suddenly changed, if you were up to date with vaccinations as a child... and there are lots of reasons people would not have these (like forest fires and mean dads who throw stuff in the trash) and anyway, I would like them. Can anyone point me to the actual sources that have the statutory guidance? I have found a pdf with lines of guidance with statutes printed next to them but nothing else... I am going to try Oregon just in case they didn't send everything over... but this behavior seems a little crappy. Is there a way to escalate this? Or other ideas to actually find them? Anyone who knows more about this and can educate me?
posted by catspajammies to Law & Government (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you contacted the other schools directly? I have not read the statute, but I think in NY each school district would be responsible for maintaining its records. When you transfer, they presumably send a transcript to new school upon request, but new school may not be required to maintain that transcript bc they are not the primary source. (I briefly volunteered with my local NY school administration.)
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:53 AM on June 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I contacted my elementry school who were GREAT they told me how to call the right person and make a formal request and they marched into the dusty warehouse... but had already sent everything to Oregon but they said in general everything gets sent with each student as they go forward so everything should be at the final school. So now I am just speaking with the final school who don't even seem to know what a Mandatory Pupil Record is. In the meantime I have found the codes which define what they should have (all the basic enrollment records and where you lived and if you were vaccinated from kindergarten)... THEY SHOULD DEFINITELY HAVE IT UNLESS IT IS ON MICROFILM or unless they weren't sent it... which is why this is puzzling.
posted by catspajammies at 8:14 AM on June 22, 2022

What year did you graduate? It looks like the law related to how long records need to be kept may have changed in 2010.

Also Oregon's standard for forwarding student records may be completely different from California's, and they seem to have an odd requirement that only years ending in 0 or 5 are kept permanently (section 42), so if the three years you were at school in Oregon were, like, 1996-1999, they may not have any permanent records for you.

Actually I take it back: it seems like your Oregon school should keep your student record for 75 years even though you transferred. 
posted by mskyle at 8:24 AM on June 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well I have my high school transcripts from Oregon, but I just called my Oregon school and she said she really didn't think they would have kept my elementry school records they wouldn't have copied them, they would have sent them back to california.
posted by catspajammies at 8:33 AM on June 22, 2022

Response by poster: 1999
posted by catspajammies at 8:34 AM on June 22, 2022

Sorry your dad did that. More on Oregon Student Education Records at the SoS gov site. If your school record can't be resolved, possible avenues for documenting your time in Oregon: vaccination record request; request health/medical records from your then-provider; enrollment forms/rosters if you participated in any extracurricular activities or were involved in any secular or religious organizations.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:52 PM on June 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

“Mandatory Permanent Student Records”, which shall be kept indefinitely, include:

However, it's unclear to me whether this law applies specifically to private schools. It's probably worth reaching out to the CA Department of Education about this.
posted by oceano at 10:09 PM on June 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! The lady I was speaking to has referred this to the school principal and in the meantime I did find the CDE page that lists the regulations that apply to private schools and it includes a small note pointing to the the regulation of maintaining the mandatory Pupil Record, in addition it seems to be an expectation of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, so hopefully it’s somewhere! Thanks so far!
posted by catspajammies at 9:26 AM on June 23, 2022

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