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Why Your District Should Maintain a Physical Policy Manual

A stack of blue binders.

Winter storms and power outages remind Texans to consider business continuity plans, including access to your district’s most recently adopted policies during electrical or internet outages that can affect access to Policy Online®. The online version of your district’s policy manual should not be considered the official policy manual. Instead, TASB Policy Service recommends that the district maintain a hard copy version of its official policy manual.  

How to Keep Your Physical Policy Manual Up to Date 

Board policy BF(LOCAL) addresses the district’s official policy manual. In most districts, the official copy designated by the board is kept in the central administration office and the superintendent is responsible for its accuracy and integrity. Check your district’s BF(LOCAL) for specific information. 

When the district receives an update from TASB, make sure to include a printed copy of each updated policy in the district’s official policy manual. The instruction sheet in each update includes the following possible recommended actions: 

  • Replace the policy in your manual with the revised policy. 
  • Add a new policy to your manual. 
  • Delete a policy recommended for removal without replacement from your manual. 

Your district can make these changes for legal policies in your manual as soon as you receive an update packet since legal policies are not subject to board action. For local policies, wait until your board adopts recommended revisions before updating your manual to ensure that any changes include the exact language adopted by the board and the date of adoption. 

Why and How to Archive Old Local Policies and Exhibits 

Your district must follow records retention requirements under the Local Government Records Act. Most districts follow the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) retention schedule for school districts. See CPC(LOCAL) for your district’s practices. 

For most districts, legal policies only need to be kept for as long as they are administratively valuable. Legal policies can be recycled when they are deleted or replaced with a revised version. Any legal policies included in board meeting packets need to be kept as part of the board minutes for two years. 

Local policies and exhibits, however, are classified as Ordinances, Orders, and Resolutions and should be kept permanently. Many districts file old local policies and exhibits in folders by policy code — for example, a district may have separate folders for old versions of DEC(LOCAL) and FB(EXHIBIT). Districts that keep electronic archives should consult TSLAC’s guidance on electronic records standards and procedures

TASB does not and is unable to keep each district’s historical record. Your policy consultant can help you find any local policies we have in our records, but you cannot depend on TASB records to be comprehensive. 


Your policy consultant can help with any questions you have about maintaining your district’s physical policy manual. 

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Policy Service

TASB Policy Service provides timely, expert, and cost-effective development and updating of board policy and administrative regulations.