Student Records as School Property
Student records are the property of the school, not the student. When a student transfers to School B from School A, School A sends a COPY ONLY of the elements of the student’s permanent file to School B. School A retains the original permanent file, and School B uses the copy sent to it as the building block on which School B builds its own permanent file for the student.
The originals of the cumulative record may be sent by School A to School B. School A may want to retain copies of pertinent parts of the cumulative record if the student is likely to return to School A or if there were unresolved issues regarding the student.A school should always keep copies of any records from the cumulative file it needs to protect itself from any potential future claims regarding students, including former students.
As a reminder, 281-Iowa Administrative Code rule 12.3(4) defines permanent record as the "historical record of official information concerning the student's education. ... At a minimum, the permanent office record should contain evidence of attendance and educational progress, serve as an official transcript, contain other data for use in planning to meet student needs, and provide data for official school and school district reports."
The cumulative record includes "courses taken, scholastic progress, school attendance, physical and health record, experiences, interests, aptitudes, attitudes, abilities, honors, extracurricular activities, part-time employment, and future plans. It is the "working record" used by the instructional professional staff in understanding the student."
Student Records-Recent Issues
There have been several instances this year of high school varsity football teams allowing (knowingly or unknowingly) ineligible students to compete. The IHSAA Board of Control has imposed penalties against those schools. The purpose of this item is not to discuss the consequences but to discuss prevention of the situations that got schools into trouble.
Transfer student is known to be ineligible but is allowed to suit up in full pads and uniform for varsity games. At a point when comfortably ahead in one game, a coach yells for the "scout team" to go in for the kick-off. The ineligible player, who has been practicing with the varsity as a member of the scout team, goes in for at least one down.
Ineligible players may practice with the varsity. Thus, it is even more important that they be clearly told that this does not mean that they may compete at the varsity level. Allowing an ineligible student to be on the sidelines in full uniform (as opposed to team jersey and jeans) is an invitation to forfeiture of the game if that player - as happened here - goes in for a competitive down.
Student moves into a new district and plays varsity football in every game until - during Week 6 - someone finally notices that his 8 consecutive semesters of eligibility expired at the end of the 2005-06 school year.(He had dropped out of school after his sophomore year and was out of school one entire year. His transcript accurately reflected this.)
2) Steps to Prevent:
Check grades and dates of enrollment for all transfer students. For this current school year, any student who started his or her freshman year in 2002-03 has used up his/her eligibility.
At registration, a new student in District A states that he and his family have moved in from District B. District A requests his records from District B. The records are not sent for several months...until after the student has been allowed by District A to play in 3 varsity games. When the records come, they show that the student was EXPELLED by District B and that the period of expulsion has not expired. District A also learns that the student and family still reside within District B.
3) Steps to Prevent:
The only practical solution to situations such as this are to insist on holding a student out of varsity competition until the records come. Get the family involved to put pressure on the former district; make phone calls; do whatever it takes. In this case, the student was ineligible both conduct-wise and as a transfer student, but additionally - THIS STUDENT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ENROLLED. As an expelled student whose period of expulsion was not expired, the board of District B must affirmatively meet to vote on his admission and ideally should seek the permission of the board that expelled him before doing so. A phone call to District B would have tipped off District A as to the residency issue, and certainly would have alerted District A to the expulsion.
The safeguards suggested above are true for all students, not just secondary students and not just those involved in athletics. However, the IHSAA does intend to make a checklist available to member schools to try to decrease the number of incidents of ineligible students competing in varsity competitions.