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Home / Guidelines for Case Managers

Use these guidelines to support various ways to communicate with families, staff and students.

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email correspondence:

It is permitted to share information about individual students and share documentation via email.

Within the district (e.g. between SD68 staff):

  • Use of student’s full names is allowed
  • Sending documentation containing student information is allowed, provided it is only going to individuals requiring it (e.g. SBT notes to individual classroom teachers, but not to all staff)

Outside of the organization (e.g. parents/caregivers, doctors, MCFD):

  • Use only student initials in subject line or body of email.
  • Sending documentation containing student information is allowed, provided it is only going to guardians or to individuals for whom we have signed consent (e.g. meeting notes


  • Email correspondence is subject to Freedom of Information requests, so it is essential to keep the dialogue professional and concise.  Sensitive or potentially challenging communication should be had through dialogue (e.g. phone conversation or a meeting).

legal requirements

Student Records

A student record is defined in the School Act as any record of information in written or electronic form pertaining to (a) a student, or (b) a child registered with a school but receiving a home education. Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a student record includes anything on which information is recorded or stored. This includes electronic files, handwritten files, photographs and audio and video recordings. Section 79 of the School Act requires that Boards of Education establish and maintain a record for each student and each child registered with the board’s schools. The board is also required to permit a person providing health services, social services or other support services to obtain from the records information that is required to carry out those services.

School Act

The School Act says that school districts must establish written procedures regarding storage, retrieval and appropriate use of student records, with provisions to ensure confidentiality and privacy for students and their families. In the case of students with special needs this section is particularly important because of the sensitivity of the information contained in students’ files. Districts are also required to ensure that practices for the collection, use and disclosure of personal student information comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Section 9 of the School Act entitles a student and his or her parents “to examine all student records kept by a board pertaining to the student while accompanied by the principal or a person designated by the principal to interpret the records.”


  • Individuals through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, subject to the exceptions allowed by the Act, may also request copies of the student records. Records maintained for students with special education needs will typically include information related to identification and assessment, an Individual Education Plan and relevant follow-up and review data and information related to monitoring of progress or placement.

maintaining student files

All recorded information about a student that is either generated by or received by the school district is considered to be in the custody of, and under the control of, the school district and is the property of the school district. All student records are kept in one of the following files:

  • Official Student File (cumulative)
  • Designation File (blue file)
  • Teacher/Specialist Teacher Files and Child, Youth and Family Support Worker Files
  • Principal’s File Student files may be organized and separated into sub-files by content. All information in the student files must be kept secure from unauthorized access.
FILES SHOULD BE STORED IN LOCKED CABIINETS at all times.  Where they are signed out for a specific purpose, they should be returned to the cabinet at the end of each day. 

team meeting minutes

  • The minutes of a team meeting for one child can be maintained in the student’s file.
  • Meeting minutes that contain the names of other children should not be maintained in student files.
  • School-based team (S-BT) minutes shall be maintained by the school for a period of two years after the meeting and then destroyed in an appropriate manner. S-BT minutes are best organized in a binder and stored in a secure location.

requests for student information from non-custodial parent

If a student’s parents are separated or divorced, school staff may receive requests from the noncustodial parent for student record information or for visits with the student at school. In these cases, school officials should confirm the entitlement of the non-custodial parent to obtain such information or to have contact with the student. This will include reviewing applicable court orders respecting custody of, and access to the student and other relevant documents. The custodial parent should be notified of a non-custodial parent’s request for student information or for contact with the student at the school. If the school is unsure as to the legal entitlement of the non-custodial parent or if there is serious conflict between the parents with respect to the request, obtain advice from the school district’s information and privacy coordinator.

Parents & Guardians with the legal authority to do so may view both a student’s cumulative (regular) and designation (blue) file in it’s entirety.  Copies of information contained within the file may be copied by school staff upon request.

At no time can a file be removed from the school property. 

providing records within sd68 and to other school districts

  • When a student transfers to another school within SD68, the official student cumulative file and student support services (blue) file are sent to that school upon receipt of the appropriate request for records.
  • In the case of transfer to other schools in British Columbia, the official student cumulative file will be transferred upon receipt of a written request from the receiving school. If the child has a student support services (blue) file and you have received a written request from the receiving school accompanied with a signed consent form by the students’ legal guardian, a copy of the entire blue file may be shared. Please keep the originals.
  • In the case of a student transferring to an Independent school or an educational institution outside of British Columbia, the official student cumulative file will be copied and transferred upon receipt of a written request from the receiving school. If the child has a student support services (blue) file and you have received a written request from the receiving school accompanied with a signed consent form by the students’ legal guardian, a copy of the entire blue file may be shared. Please keep the originals.
  • No records are to be provided to ‘schools’ that are not public schools or independent schools, as defined in the Independent Schools Act and in British Columbia, listed in the Ministry document Public and Independent Schools Book.

documentation regarding suicide and/or child abuse and neglect

Notes and documentation regarding possible suicide and/or abuse/neglect must be stored securely and confidentially.

Such documentation is not to be retained/placed:

  • On a clipboard on a wall
  • In the official student file or the designation file
  • In the counsellor’s file
  • In caseload records
  • In teacher/specialist teacher files

Because these documents are based on an alleged event or suspicion that may be unfounded, they should be treated with the utmost confidentiality. Since the Learning Services Office maintains these documents and alerts schools of multiple protocols, there is no need to maintain school copies longer than you personally want to hang on to them. Please shred when no longer needed.


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Confidential records

Confidential records are typically sent  separately from the regular student files

  • Central registration will request  the general student file for incoming students.
  • As parents do not always disclose that their children have additional needs at the time of registration, the school team is responsible for ensuring any confidential records are also requested, in addition to the student’s file.

To request confidential records:

collecting student information

  • A school is authorized to collect information that relates directly to the school’s mandate of providing educational programs and services supporting the student’s educational progress.
  • Collect only that information which is required for the purpose for which it is collected.
  • Information must be collected directly from the individual (or parent), and the person must be informed of the purpose and authority for the collection, along with the name of a contact person.

guidelines regarding file notes

  • Write your notes with the expectation that others will read them with a critical eye.  Don’t alter the record after the fact. Strike out the comment and replace it with correction.
  • Be as specific and precise as possible.
  • Focus on objective, observable behaviours and statements.
  • Avoid jargon or diagnostic labels.
  • Do not state opinion, or hearsay.
  • State only the facts.

sharing information about students

Student records information CAN be shared under the following circumstances:

  • With the written consent of the parent/guardian; or
  • To avert or minimize imminent danger to the health or safety of any person; or to report a child who might need protection under the Child, Family and Community Service Act; or
  • To public health or social services if they are planning services for that student; or
  • By order of the court; or
  • As under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) to facilitate the rehabilitation of a young person; or
  • To cooperate with a police and/or child welfare investigation

Ask the Director of Instruction – Inclusive Education if you have questions related to the following circumstances:

  • There may be a health or safety issue for any individual or group(s);
  • To report criminal activity to police (pursuant to FOIPOPA);
  • Where there is a demand or request to produce information for a legal proceeding; and/or

If you have questions about how a professional code of ethics may limit disclosure. Information can NEVER be shared if there is:

  • A legislative requirement barring disclosure;
  • No consent and no need to know nor overriding health/safety concerns

removal or correction of student records

  • As permitted in Section 29 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, students, parents or guardians may request the district to correct or remove entries in a student record. Such a request must be made in writing, either on forms provided or in a letter.
  • The Principal, upon receiving such a request, should make a recommendation to the Information and Privacy Coordinator, who may consult with the Superintendent/CEO before making a final decision.
  • If the district denies the request, the applicant shall be informed of the right to appeal to the Commissioner of Information and Privacy.

security of student records

  • All employees working with students records must ensure the security and confidentiality of those records, including security of access to records.
  • All records should be returned to locked cabinets at the end of each day. 

retention and destruction of student records

  • As long as a student is enrolled in a school in the district, the official student file and designation file remain at the student’s current school.
  • Two years after a student graduates, the school may dispose of the student’s official student file and designation file. The Permanent Record Card and Transcript of Grades must be kept permanently.
  • If a student withdraws from school, the student’s official file and designation file should be kept until at least two years after when the student would have normally graduated. The Permanent Record Card and Transcript of Grades (if there is one) must be kept permanently