Proposed Amendments to Part 375 (Student Records)
College Entrance Examinations. School districts are required under Section 375.10, “Student Permanent Record”, to record on a student’s academic transcript any score received on a college entrance exam. This requirement has been in place since the rules were first promulgated in 1976. At that time, students who intended to go to college usually took one or two college entrance examinations, and it seemed advisable to include those scores on the academic transcript, which is typically provided to the postsecondary institutions to which a student applies.
Today, students often take college entrance examinations multiple times in order to improve their results. Until just recently, they had had the option of determining whether to send the scores received on any of those tests to their respective high school. By choosing to send some, but not all, of their scores, students could ensure that the transcript recorded only the best results. This flexibility is no longer available, however. As a part of measures taken to guard against fraud (i.e., having someone else take a test for an individual), test publishers are now providing to a student’s high school the results from each examination a student has taken, along with a copy of the test-taker’s photograph. Under the requirement of the rules, schools must include each of these scores on a student’s transcript, which may result in the academic transcript having one or more scores from a single college entrance exam. Additional test scores also may appear on the transcript due to schools use of college entrance exam results to chart academic progress and growth or for course placement purposes.
Under the proposed rule, parents would be able to provide a written request to remove certain scores of college entrance exams from their student’s academic transcript. School districts would be required to notify all parents upon their student’s initial enrollment or transfer of the parents’ right to ask that scores be removed. This process will help those students who have taken a particular exam multiple times to record on the transcript the score or scores that best reflect their academic achievements and skills.
Health-related Information. P.A. 97-204, effective July 28, 2011, requires school districts to adopt policies addressing concussions and to include the policy in any contract, agreement, etc., that parents are required to sign for their students’ athletic participation. At the time the law was enacted, its clear language resulted in staff’s determination that no rulemaking was necessary to implement the law’s provisions. Since that time, however, staff have received an inquiry from the local records commission about whether any documentation regarding parents’ notification would be retained in the student records. It would be appropriate for this documentation to be included as part of health-related information that is required to be placed in the temporary record.
Law Enforcement Records. P.A. 97-1104, effective January 1, 2013, amended the Juvenile Court of 1987 to restrict access to law enforcement records (as defined in Section 22-20) of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/22-20]) of minors who have been arrested or taken into custody before they turn 17 to school officials only in situations where “there is an imminent threat of physical harm to students, school personnel, or others who are present in the school or on school grounds”. Additionally, any information provided to school officials about a student who is under investigation for a matter directly related to school safety shall be presented orally only and is not to be included in the student’s school record. Acknowledgement of this statutory provision is being added to the rule.
Certain videos or other electronic recordings, however, may become part of a student’s school record under specified circumstances. The proposed amendments at Section 375.10, “School Student Record”, define those instances when the content of a video or other electronic recording may become part of a student’s school record and reminds schools of their obligation to protect the confidentiality of those records, in accordance with the Illinois School Student Records Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 USC 1232g).
Initial Review by State Board of Education: January 2013