South Dakota School Law - How Should School Records Be Retained and Destroyed?

In December 2017, the South Dakota Bureau of Administration issued its "South Dakota Local Schools - Records Retention and Destruction Schedule Manual."

The purpose of the manual is to provide uniform retention and destruction schedules so that school records can be managed efficiently and in compliance with S.D.C.L. 1-27-18, which requires school districts to “promote and implement the principles of efficient records management for local records.” 

A few items of note from the manual:

  • School officials are required by South Dakota Administrative Rule 24:52:11:04 to give the State Archivist 30 days notice before destroying “records more than 50 years old; records required by the Records Destruction Board to be kept 50 years or longer; annual reports, maps, minutes, and photographs.”
  • The manual sets the retention and destruction guidelines for almost 200 different types of school district documents, ranging from athletic uniform inventory to work study employment files.
  • School officials must maintain a list of documents which are destroyed.
  • For any records not listed in the manual, a school district must petition the State Records Destruction Board for authority to dispose of records.

A school district should be aware that (unless otherwise covered by specific statutes or local school board policies) the record retention and destruction schedule in this manual applies to all South Dakota school districts. This manual also establishes the "MINIMUM" amount of time local school records must be retained before they can be legally be destroyed. In the end, it's up to each school district to set up final review and disposal procedures for records which have reached the end of their retention time

The "South Dakota Local Schools - Records Retention and Destruction Schedule Manual" is available by clicking here.   

Scott Swier
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