Records Management at Yakima School District is performed in accordance with Washington State and federal laws. Specifically, the program operates under RCW 40.14 Preservation and Destruction of Public Records. Privacy and access to records are governed through Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) and the Public Records Act (Chapter 42.56 RCW).
The Yakima School District's records management department is responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of all records.
Records include but are not limited to records generated for the district administration, board, facilities, finance, human resources/payroll, transportation, general and technical reference records, and student educational records.
Records are vital in the overall operation of every school district and state government agency. They serve as an organization’s memory, a record of past events and a basis for future actions. No governmental activity can be accomplished without the documented evidence contained in records. Every record goes through a life cycle, which begins with its creation and ends with its disposition. Effective records management is much more complex than just setting up a filing and storage system, rather it is control of all recorded information throughout its life cycle:
- Creation: A record is created when information is received or generated for the first time.
- Active Storage: A record is in its active stage as long as it is being used or referred to regularly in the course of business.
- Inactive Storage: A record moves into the inactive stage when it is needed less often, but must be kept it for legal, fiscal or administrative purposes.
- Final Disposition: A record is at the end of its life cycle when it has outlived its retention period and is no longer needed to conduct business. The larger percentage of all records created will be destroyed at the end of their life cycle. The remaining three to five percent have permanent value and will be maintained in archival storage.
What is a Public Record?
Nearly every record in a school district is a public record. For the purposes of retention and destruction, a public record, regardless of format, was made or received in connection with the transaction of public business. RCW 40.14
Definition of a Public Record
School district 'public records' includes any "writing" containing information relating to the conduct of the school district or the performance of any function prepared, owned, used, or retained by the school district, regardless of physical form or characteristics.
A "writing" as defined by the Public Records Act means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation. RCW 42.56.010
School district records do not include the personal notes and memoranda of staff which remain in the sole possession of the maker and which are not generally accessible or revealed to other persons
Electronic records, including e-mail and web content created and received by the district in the transaction of public business, are public records and are managed consistent with all of the laws and regulations governing the retention disclosure, destruction and archiving of public records. RCW 40.14
The district manages all district records, including electronic records, according to provisions set forth in the state retention schedules. Electronic records are retained in electronic format and remain usable, searchable, retrievable and authentic for the length of the designated retention period.
Public records are property of the State and remain in the legal custody of the office in which they were originally filed. Public Records at Yakima School District are destroyed or transferred only per Washington State Records Retention Schedule and Yakima School District Records Management procedures.