Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code 7820


Personnel files, which may consist of paper or electronic records, will be maintained in the human resources office for all employees as provided by law. The superintendent and all supervisors are directed to ensure that all appropriate employment-related information is submitted to the files. Employees will be provided all procedural protections as provided by law.

The superintendent has overall responsibility for granting or denying access to personnel records consistent with this policy.


    The following records must be maintained in the personnel file:

    1. evaluation reports made by the administration;
    2. commendations for and complaints against the employee (see Section C);
    3. written suggestions for corrections and improvements made by the administration;
    4. certificates;
    5. employee’s standard test scores;
    6. employee’s academic records;
    7. application forms;
    8. any request to the State Board of Education to revoke the employee's teaching
       license; and
    9. other pertinent records or reports.


    The following employee information shall be kept separate from the employee’s general
    personnel information, in accordance with legal and/or board requirements:

 1. Pre-Employment Information

           Letters of reference about an employee obtained before his or her employment
           and, for teachers, any other pre-employment information collected, must be filed
           separately from the employee’s general personnel information and must not be
           made available to the employee.

 2. Criminal Record Check

           Data from a criminal history check must be maintained in a locked, secure
           location separate from the employee’s personnel file. The superintendent shall
           designate which school officials have a need to know the results of the criminal

Avery County Schools Policy Code 7820 Page 1 of 6 Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code 7820 history check. Only those officials so designated may obtain access to the records.

  1. Medical Information

           Employee medical information, including the following, must be kept in a
           separate confidential file and may be subject to special disclosure rules:
       a. health certificates (see board policy 7120, Employee Health Certificates);
       b. drug test results, except that drug use or alcohol use contrary to board policy or
          law also may be documented in the employee's personnel file (see board policy
          7241, Drug and Alcohol Testing of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators);
       c. information related to an employee’s communicable disease/condition or possible
          occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens (see board policies 7260,
          Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, and 7262, Communicable
          Diseases – Employees);
       d. medical information related to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
          (see board policy 7520, Family and Medical Leave); and
       e. genetic information, as defined by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
          of 2008.
  2. Complaints/Reports of Harassment or Discrimination

           The superintendent or his or her designee shall maintain records of all reports and
           complaints of harassment and discrimination and the resolution of such
           complaints.      Allegations of harassment or discrimination must be kept
           confidential to the extent possible. Employees involved in the allegations shall be
           identified only to individuals who need the information to investigate or resolve
           the matter or to ensure that due process is provided to the accused employee. (See
           board policies 1710/4021/7230, Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment
           and Bullying, and 1755/7237, Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure.)
           If the allegations are substantiated through investigation, the superintendent or
           designee shall ensure that the provisions of Section C, below, are followed to the
           extent that they do not conflict with the rights of any individual.


    All evaluations, commendations, complaints or suggestions for correction or
    improvement must be placed in the employee's central office personnel file after the
    following requirements are met:
  1. the comment is signed and dated by the person making the evaluation, commendation, complaint or suggestion;
  2. if the comment is a complaint, the employee's supervisor has attempted to resolve the issue raised therein and documentation of such efforts is attached with the supervisor’s

Avery County Schools Policy Code 7820 Page 2 of 6 Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code 7820 recommendation to the superintendent as to whether the complaint contains any invalid, irrelevant, outdated or false information; and 3. the employee has received a copy of the evaluation, commendation, complaint or suggestion five days before it is placed in the file.

    All written complaints that are signed and dated must be submitted regardless of whether
    the supervisor considers the complaint to be resolved.

    The supervisor is expected to use good judgment in determining when documents should
    be submitted to the file immediately and when a delay is justified, such as when there
    exists a plan of improvement that is frequently revised. However, all evaluations,
    commendations, complaints or suggestions for correction or improvement should be
    submitted by the end of the school year or in time to be considered in an evaluation
    process, whichever is sooner. The supervisor or principal should seek clarification from
    the director of human resources as necessary to comply with this policy.

    The employee may offer a denial or explanation of the evaluation, commendation,
    complaint or suggestion, and any such denial or explanation will become part of his or
    her personnel file, provided that it is signed and dated.

    The superintendent may exercise statutory authority not to place in an employee’s file a
    letter of complaint that contains invalid, irrelevant, outdated or false information or a
    letter of complaint when there is no documentation of an attempt to resolve the issue.

    As provided in policy 7900, Resignation, if a career employee who has been
    recommended for dismissal under the applicable state law resigns without the written
    consent of the superintendent, then: (1) the superintendent shall report the matter to the
    State Board of Education; (2) the employee shall be deemed to have consented to the
    placement of the written notice of the superintendent’s intention to recommend dismissal
    in the employee’s personnel file; and (3) the employee shall be deemed to have consented
    to the release to prospective employers, upon request, of the fact that the superintendent
    has reported this employee to the State Board of Education. For purposes of this
    provision, “career employee” means (1) a teacher or an administrator with career status,
    or (2) an administrator or a non-career status teacher during the term of his or her


    1. Every employee shall have the right during regular working hours to inspect his or her
    personnel file, including any portions of the file maintained in electronic format only,
    during regular working hours, provided that three days’ notice is given to the human
    resources office.

    2. Access to a personnel file may be permitted to the following persons without the
    consent of the employee about whom the file is maintained:

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         a) those school officials involved in the screening, selection, or evaluation of the
            individual for employment or other personnel action;
         b) the members of the board of education, if the examination of the file relates to the
            duties and responsibilities of the board;
         c) the board attorney;
         d) the superintendent and other supervisory personnel;
         e) the hearing officer in a demotion or dismissal procedure regarding the employee;
         f) law enforcement and the District Attorney to assist in the investigation of a report
            made to law enforcement pursuant to G.S. 115C-288(g) or regarding an arson; an
            attempted arson; or the destruction of, theft from, theft of, embezzlement from, or
            embezzlement of any personal or real property owned by the board. Five days’
            written notice shall be given to the employee prior to such disclosure.

 3. No other person may have access to a personnel file except under the following

    a)      when an employee gives written consent to the release of his or her records which
            consent specifies the records to be released and to whom they are to be released;
    b)      when subpoenaed or pursuant to court order; or
    c)      when the board has determined, and the superintendent has documented, that the
            release or inspection of information is essential to maintaining the integrity of the
            board or the quality of services provided by the board; or
    d)      the superintendent or designee determines that disclosure to a court of law, or a
    state or federal administrative agency having a quasi-judicial function, is necessary to
    adequately defend against a claim filed by a current or former employee against the board
    or a school official or employee for any alleged act or omission arising during the course
    and scope of his or her official duties or employment. Such disclosures will be limited to
    those confidential portions of the personnel file of the employee who filed the claim and
    only to the extent necessary for the defense of the board.

 4. Each request for consent to release records must be handled separately.

 5. It is a criminal violation for an employee or board member to do either of the following:
    a) knowingly, willfully and with malice permit any unauthorized person to have access
    to information contained in a personnel file, or
    b) knowingly and willfully examine, remove or copy a personnel file that he/she is not
    specifically authorized to access pursuant to G.S. 115C-321.


    The following information about a student’s teacher(s) or paraprofessional(s) providing
    services to a student shall be provided upon request to the parent of a student attending a
    Title I school:

Avery County Schools Policy Code 7820 Page 4 of 6 Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code 7820 1. whether the teacher has met North Carolina qualification and licensing criteria for the grade level(s) and subject areas(s) in which the teacher provides instruction; 2. whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which North Carolina qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; 3. whether the teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of his or her certification; and 4. the qualifications of any paraprofessional providing services to the student.


      1.     The following information contained in an employee’s personnel file is public
      record and may be released to members of the general public upon request:

              a)      name;
              b)      age;
              c)      date of original employment or appointment;
              d)      the terms of any past or current contract by which the employee is
                      employed, whether written or oral, to the extent that the board has the
                      written contract or a record of the oral contract in its possession;
              e)      current position;
              f)      title;
              g)      current salary (includes pay, benefits, incentives, bonuses, deferred
                      compensation, and all other forms of compensation paid to the employee);
              h)      date and amount of each increase or decrease in salary;
              i)      date and type of each promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension,
                      separation, or other change in position classification with the board;
              j)      date and general description of the reasons for each promotion with the
              k)      date and type of each dismissal, suspension or demotion for disciplinary
                      reasons taken by the board, and if the disciplinary action was a dismissal,
                      a copy o the written notice of the final decision of the board setting forth
                      the specific acts or omissions that are the basis of the dismissal; and
              l)      the office or station to which the employee is currently assigned.

      2.      The name of a participant in the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program
      is not a public record, is not open to inspection, and must be redacted from any records

      3.      Volunteer records are not considered public records.

      4.     Unless an employee submits a written objection to the personnel office, the board
      also may make the following information available about each employee as part of an
      employee directory:

           a) address;
           b) telephone number;
           c) photograph;

Avery County Schools Policy Code 7820 Page 5 of 6 Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code 7820 d) participation in officially recognized activities and sports; or e) degrees and awards received.

  1. Employees will be notified of their right to object before any such directory is compiled or revised.

  2. Under no circumstances shall the following be released pursuant to a public records request or as part of an employee directory:

    a) personal identifying information, as defined in board policy 4705/7825, Confidentiality of Personal Identifying Information; or b) name, address or telephone number of a participant in the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.


   An employee may petition the board of education to remove any information from his or
   her personnel file that the employee deems invalid, irrelevant or outdated.

Legal References: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq.; Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 6312(e)(1)(A); G.S. 115C-36, - 47(18), -209.1, -288(g)-319 to -321, -325(b) and (o) (applicable to career status teachers) -325.2 and 325.9 (applicable to non-career status teachers); 143B-931; 16 NCAC 06C .0313

Cross References: Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (policy 1710/4021/7230), Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Complaint Procedure (policy 1720/4015/7225); Confidential Information (policy 2125/7315), North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program (policy 4250/5075/7316), Confidentiality of Personal Identifying Information (policy 4705/7825), Public Records (policy 5070), Employee Health Certificates (policy 7120), Drug and Alcohol Testing of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators (policy 7241), Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens (policy 7260), Communicable Diseases – Employees (policy 7262), Family and Medical Leave, (policy 7520), Petition for Removal of Personnel Records (policy 7821); Resignation (policy 7900)

Adopted: 11/06/06

Revised: 12/03/07; 2/14/11; 12/9/14; 12/19/17

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