When the board receives general correspondence containing confidential student information how do we file and maintain these records?
All correspondence to the board is a public record. However, those letters or documents which include student information, or those portions of the letter or documents which identify students, are exempt public records. If your correspondence file is handed to anyone who asks to view it, you should put the letters in a separate ‘confidential correspondence’ file. You must retain copies of the correspondence but the length of time depends on the topic. ‘Significant’ correspondence related to board business must be kept for five years. Correspondence in the form of a complaint must be kept for at least two years after the last action associated with the complaint takes place. Other communication may fall under specific sections of the records retention requirements, (legal case records, Food/Nutrition Service Program, student records, etc.) and it is important to check to see if one of the specific areas applies. Communications which are not significant and do need meet any other requirements only need to be retained ‘as needed’.