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The IDEA gives you the right to look at all of your child’s education records. This includes records about his or her identification, evaluation, educational placement, and special education program. You also have the right to ask the school to explain and interpret the records for you. You may ask the school to give you a copy of your child’s records. They may charge you a reasonable fee for making a copy. (For more information about school records and your rights as a parent, see Question #22 in NICHCY’s publication called Questions and Answers about IDEA .)

What might be some reasons to request copies of my child’s school records?

School records contain valuable information about your child’s strengths and areas of need. These records can provide a formal way of communicating between the professionals at your child’s school, you, and other professionals who may work with your child. Here are some reasons you might have for requesting a copy of your child’s records:

  • Reviewing records lets you be sure that the records are correct and contain all necessary information.
  • When your family is moving to a new school district, records may need to be sent.
  • When you’re taking your child for an independent evaluation, copies of past records may be useful.
  • The records may help the staff at other programs your child attends (like camp, tutors, or in-hospital schools) design their activities.
  • Postsecondary programs may need to see copies of your child’s records.
  • It’s a good idea to have a copy for your home files, especially if your child is finishing school.

Sample Letter 4: Requesting your child’s records

Today’s Date (include month, day, and year)

Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Daytime telephone number

Name of Person to Whom You Are Writing
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (name),

I am writing to schedule a time to come and review all of my child’s records. My son/daughter, (child’s name), is in the (___) grade at (name of school), in (teacher’s name) class. I will also need copies of some or all of these records.

Please let me know where and when I can come in to see the records. I need these records by (date). You can reach me during the day at (give your phone number).

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for your assistance.


Your name

This information is copyright free.

Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY). NICHCY Parent Guides are published in response to questions from individuals and organizations that contact us. We encourage you to share your ideas and feedback with us!

Publication of this document is made possible through a Cooperative Agreement between the Academy for Educational Development and the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013
v/tty: (800) 695-0285
Fax: (202) 884-8441
e-mail: [email protected]

Excerpted from Communication with Your Child’s School Through Letters. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2002). Washington, D.C.: Academy for Educational Development.
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