As a new year begins, it is common to look back on the ups, downs and general progress made in the previous year. That way, you can plan how you wish to move forward.
The same can apply to your child’s education. As a parent or guardian, it is critical to know that you have the right to view your child’s education records at any time.
Reviewing your child’s cumulative file
All students in California schools have a cumulative file. This includes relevant information and records from your child’s journey through school, including:
- Grades and transcripts
- Disciplinary actions
- Health records
- Standardized test scores
If your child obtains special education services, then their cumulative file should also include a special education file containing records related to their services. For example, you might find:
- Individualized education programs (IEPs)
- IEP meeting notes
- Educational evaluation findings and reports
- Progress reports and transition plans
Schools use these records to track students’ progress throughout their careers. However, parents and guardians also have the right to view these records. California rules actually require superintendents to inform parents of this right.
Why should you review your child’s records?
Reviewing your child’s records can help you:
- Be informed and gather specific data before attending IEP meetings
- Better understand your child’s needs and progress
- Ensure that the services being provided are sufficient and relevant
- Correct potential errors in your child’s reports
If you wish to view these records, you will have to submit a written request to the school. Reviewing your child’s records is not necessary, but knowing all of the rights you have as a parent of a California student is important.