Accounting - Records Retention
District employees must maintain all records according to state guidelines. The Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, has created a records retention manual. Each department and school must have access to this manual at their location and adhere to the retention schedules that apply to their records.
Records may be destroyed when authorized by the general records retention schedule. Records must be reduced to an illegible condition by one of the following methods:
- Shredding (our method of choice)
- Recycling (only under special circumstances)
Please follow these procedures when storing and disposing of public records:
- When storing public records, clearly mark the following on the outside of the box:
- Fiscal year
- Description of contents
- Box # of ## (i.e. Box 1 of 4)
- Date or alphabetic range of records
- Destruction date
- Fill out a records storage/destruction log for the records you are authorized to destroy. Please include the general schedule disposition authority number. in the right-hand column. Send the original to Accounting before you destroy any records. The records officer will look over the log, sign it and return a copy to you as authorization to destroy the records.
- Process an on-line requisition made out to recall destruction for items you need shredded. Each location is responsible for paying the cost of this service. Accounting will send the PO directly to the vendor unless you request we return it to the school for call-in.
- The Washington State Archives records retention manual and schedules are available by clicking here.
- For general government documents, first check the Local Government Common Records Retention Schedule (CORE). This link contains records retention information that pertains to various functions of the district, administrative, risk management, payroll, etc. With a keyword or description of the item, you may use the search database to quickly locate the disposition authorization number.
- If the item is more specific and related to school districts (such as fire drill records and field trip forms), you may search the School Districts and Educational Service Districts Records Retention Schedule.
- If the item in question is not on the schedule, contact the records retention officer for clarification. Please verify who holds the primary copy prior to destroying records. For example, Business Services has the primary copy of accounts payable vouchers and invoices, therefore the schools can destroy those after audit. On the other hand, schools have the primary copy of receipts and so must keep them for six years.
Certain records provide significant historical value and must be kept permanently, or transferred to the state archives. Examples of those records include:
- Annual high school report for standards and accreditation
- Course description catalog
- District publications
- Graduating class history file
- Master class schedules
- Report of evaluation of accreditation
- School bulletins and newspapers
- School history material
- Statements on graduation requirements
- Student handbook
- Other records that provide significant historical value
Current Records Retention Officer: Shannon Smythe