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The State Archivist's Message describes the process for adopting the manual in managing school district records and the yearly reporting requirements.
This manual reflects the general or common types of records that may be found in the state’s many school districts, and it specifies how long the district is to retain each record listed. The records are grouped by category and have a brief description of the record included to help one better understand the record’s purpose. Each record type will have listed how long that record must be kept. Typically, this is identified in terms of XX years + the current year or simply identified as being permanent.
As an example, if a record is listed as having a retention period of 5 years + current this means that the school district is to retain that record for the current school year plus the five preceding years before disposing of the record. If a record is identified as being permanent or having long term value that record is to be preserved indefinitely, but may be kept in paper form, on microfilm or in an electronic format (provided backup and data migration issues have been addressed and established).
It is also important to point out that NO RECORD SHALL BE DESTROYED UNDER THIS SCHEDULE AUTHORITY SO LONG AS IT PERTAINS TO ANY PENDING LEGAL CASE, CLAIM, ACTION OR AUDIT.
The manual will be reviewed every couple of years to address legislative and judicial directives and make additions/deletions that are necessary. It is our objective to have all Colorado school districts formally adopt this statewide school record retention policy and subsequent addendums by board resolution or minute action before September of 2008.
Terminology that may be unfamiliar to some users is explained in Appendix B – Glossary.
The Colorado School Districts Records Management Manual is organized in 17 individual schedules that group related records. Each schedule is assigned a reference number. The schedule numbers are listed with the individual records titles in the index -- the key to locating records titles in the schedules.
Record Titles and Description
Because the records titles used may not reflect the exact records titles used by some school districts, the retention schedule provides a short paragraph that gives descriptive information regarding the use and typical contents of each records series and sub-series.
Retention periods are based on legal requirements for those records governed by such legal requirements and/or on common usage and industry standards for retention of school records to meet typical administrative, educational, operational or reference requirements. The retention time period indicates the minimum length of time that the record copy should be retained by the school district before disposal can take place. A retention period is always specified for the record copy and may also be specified in some cases for duplicate copies for records that are widely distributed throughout an organization. If no retention period is specified for duplicate copies of a particular type of record, the school district may dispose of these duplicates in accordance with the following guidelines:
The retention period specified in these schedules applies to the information contained within the record, regardless of the physical format of the record (paper, microfilm, computer disk or tape, optical disk, etc.).
Guidelines for identification and handling of some non-records are discussed in Appendix A – Non-Records.
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