Good idea to review those building files!
It's a good practice to review your building file at least once a year to ensure that the information in it is accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to your current assignment. In fact, our contract provides for this by stating, "Each year, during the summary evaluation conference, the principal and the employee will review, at the employee's request, the building file and remove anything that they mutually agree is no longer pertinent."
For those of you who have been with the district for many years, your building file has the potential of containing very old information that may not be particularly helpful to have around. For example, a complaint letter from one disgruntled parent 15 years ago is not likely to be reflective of your career accomplishments, so it would make sense to remove it.
You should be aware of the contents of your building file. In other words, there shouldn't be anything in your file that you haven't seen and that you don't know is in there. Our contract states that employees will be requested to sign each document kept in their building files. Your signature acknowledges that you've seen the item-not necessarily that you agree with its contents.
One way you can ensure that your file is well-rounded is to give your principal representative samples of positive parent letters, commendations, and accomplishments. That way any reader of your file will have a clear picture of your overall performance from a variety of sources.
Your current principal will be in a much better position to decide whether or not certain information in your file is relevant than your new principal (who may want to keep everything simply because he/she doesn't know you yet).
If you disagree with the contents of a document, and your principal does not agree to remove it, you have the right to attach a written rebuttal to it. Another option is to contact LWEA for assistance in working with you and your principal to see if some kind of common ground can be reached.
While your district file (your permanent file kept at Human Resources) is much more likely to have only pertinent information contained in it, you have the right to review that file as well. If you want to see your district file, you need to make an appointment with HR. Human Resources will not be able to remove anything from your district file, so if there's something in it that concerns you, please contact LWEA for advice and assistance.
You also have the right to have a copy of anything in either of your files, so you may want to make copies and maintain a file at home for your own records.
Bottom line-review your building file every year, ask to have items removed that are no longer pertinent, and add items that will ensure that your file reflects your accomplishments.