Every student has the right of access to his/her OSR. Parents/guardians and students should be made aware of their right of access to the OSR. Access to OSRs must be arranged through the principal.
Supervisory officers, the principal and teachers, or staff designated by the principal are the only staff that have access to the OSR for the purpose of improving the instruction of the student.
Every person who has legal access to the OSR, and wishes to examine it, must complete the Ontario Student Record: Request to Access the OSR Form. Please contact the office for a copy of this.
Once the school principal has received this written request, he/she will establish specific criteria regarding the time and location of that access. A witness must be present during this examination. Upon written request, one copy of documents in the OSR will be provided. The completed form shall be placed in the Documentation File in the OSR and a copy given to the requester. An OSR must be released for immediate viewing within the school building when a court order or search warrant is presented. In these cases, principals must contact the appropriate supervisory officer who shall obtain legal advice about releasing copies of the OSR and any relevant matters.
If a summons or subpoena is presented, the OSR shall only be released to the court when the principal or other board official attends the court. The principal should go to court with both the original OSR and a complete and exact photocopy and should propose to the judge that the photocopy be submitted instead of the original. The Principal should also inform the judge that the subpoena is inconsistent with subsection 266 (2) of the Education Act. The principal must however, relinquish the documents if ordered to do so by the judge.
There are restrictions placed on the use of the Ontario Student Record (OSR) in court proceedings. Principals must contact the appropriate supervisory officer if requested to produce the OSR for court proceedings.
Outside agencies wishing access to information contained in an OSR, must provide a signed Release of Information form completed by the parent/guardian or students over age 18.
The Ontario Student Record
What is the Ontario Student Record (OSR)?
The OSR is the ongoing, confidential record of a student’s educational progress. The collection of this information is authorized by the Education Act. The Freedom of Information Act and Protection of Privacy Act protect its contents.
An OSR is established for each student who enrols in an elementary or secondary school that is operated by a public or separate school board in Ontario.
Where is the OSR Kept?
A student OSR is securely housed at the student’s school. If a student transfers to another school in Ontario, the OSR folder and all its contents are transferred to the new school.
What Does the OSR Contain?
An OSR consists of the OSR folder, various supporting documents and other information.
On the OSR folder itself, the following information is entered: biographical data, school attended, name(s) of student’s parent(s) or guardian(s), information on any special health conditions and other information that is considered relevant for improving the instruction of the student. Photographs may also be attached.
The following material is filed in the OSR folder:
- Report cards
- The Ontario Student Transcript, which is the cumulative record of a student’s successful completion of secondary school courses
- A Documentation file, if required, which might include such material as verification of a custody or a change-of-name order; assessment reports; placement decisions; suspension letters etc.
- The record of the student’s accumulated instruction in French as a second language, if applicable
- Additional information considered relevant for improving the instruction of the student
Who Can Access the OSR?
The information in an OSR is available only to supervisory officers, the principal and the teachers of the school for the purpose of improving the instruction of the student. Written permission is requested for any outside agency/personnel to access the OSR.
All students, and the parents/guardians of students under 18 years of age, have the right to examine the OSR and to receive a copy of its contents, if they so desire. Contact the Principal for details of the procedure to be followed.
What if There is an Error or Change Required?
If the parent/guardian or adult student feels the information contained in the student’s OSR is inaccurately recorded or inappropriate, the parent/guardian or adult student may request in writing that the principal correct the alleged inaccuracy or remove the information from the record. If the principal complies with the request, the information will be corrected or removed from the file. If the principal does not comply, the matter may be referred to the appropriate supervisory officer with a request in writing from the adult student or student’s parent/guardian.
Want to Know More?
More information can be obtained from the Ontario Ministry of Education web site: www.edu.gov.on.ca