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Why School Systems Need Reliable Document Destruction

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

document destruction for schools and school systems

Every single student has a student record. Whether they stayed until graduation, or only attended for a few months, schools always keep important information on hand. Schools also need to keep financial documentation, employee and staff records, and other documents. So what can a school do with these records once they are no longer needed?

What is in a student record?

All kinds of personal information is stored in a student’s personal file. It’s definitely not something you want to fall into the wrong hands. A student’s record usually contains their:


  • Social security number
  • Directory information like name, address, and phone number
  • Medical and health records
  • School disciplinary actions
  • Standardized test scores
  • Guardian contact information
  • Courses taken, honors, and activities

School records and student privacy are protected under state and federal laws. Because these records contain so much sensitive information, there are only a few people who should be able to access them. If the student is over 18, they can view their own records. Legal guardians, school officials, financial aid officials, and authorities in child welfare or juvenile justice are the only others with this authority.

Other forms of information schools may keep

School district offices, in particular, will hold information on employees, not just the schools themselves. They will also need to retain many other records. The following should be held for standard periods and destroyed safely when allowed.

  • Individual school assessments
  • Lesson plans
  • Meeting notes and minutes
  • Audits
  • Certificates
  • Employee and staff files
  • Supply records

When do records need to be destroyed?

Just like an office or other business, schools also need to get rid of documents eventually. Destroying old records frees up space, reduces costs, and helps protect the privacy of students and staff. While there are several laws protecting privacy, like FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), there are no rules stating how long a school must keep records. Under FERPA, student records can only be disposed of if there is no longer an active need for them. Most schools come up with their own retention policies and usually set a limit of 5 to 7 years after the student leaves their institution.

For other documents, the time frames can vary from one year to decades to forever. State, federal, and local laws should be consulted before destroying documents.

How should school records be destroyed?

To meet FERPA’s requirements, student records must be destroyed in a way that leaves them indecipherable. Both paper and electronic records must be completely destroyed to prevent identity theft and breach of privacy. The easiest and most secure way to properly dispose of these records and others is to contact a mobile shredding company.

Mobile shredding companies offer on-site document destruction and are required to be certified and compliant with all state regulations. Their staff go through background checks and strict training and sign non-disclosure agreements before ever handling the records. You can be sure the documents will be monitored and protected throughout the entire process, from pick-up to recycling.

Document destruction in Amarillo, Texas

Do you need a reliable mobile shredding company to take care of your school records? UCI Document Destruction is here to help. We offer safe, secure data destruction and on-site shredding you can trust. No job is too large and we can set up monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly shredding schedules. We are NAID AAA certified and compliant with recycling standards. Contact us at (806) 372-7722 or Send Us an Email to find out more about our Services.