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400.14 Email Retention

Staff are to be aware email messages are public records when they are created or received in the transaction of public business. The District specifically finds email is to managed and deleted after its useful life span has expired. This Email Retention policy is intended to help employees determine what information sent or received by email should be retained and for how long. All employees are expected to familiarize themselves with this Email Retention policy. This policy is meant to address typical records that may be contained in email and does not necessarily reference to the types of records, such as paper or other types of electronic forms or data.

The information covered in this policy includes, but is not limited to, records that are either stored or shared via electronic mail. If instant messaging is used for official business, also retain instant messages.

The sender is responsible for retaining emails in a specific folder/printed copy that originate with the Ankeny Community Schools. The recipient is responsible for retaining emails that originate outside the Ankeny Community Schools. Email retention is generally subject to the following retention periods:

  • Routine correspondence below the executive level, involving day to day office administration and activities that do not concern policies and procedures. (30 days)
  • Executive level documentation, including minutes, agendas, organizational charts, reports, studies, news releases, and correspondence. (4 years)
  • Non-executive level planning and working files. (2 years)
  • Any current public record request for specific public records and any litigation hold notices for records in response to potential litigation. ( retain until notified that the destruction can occur)

Examples of e-mail messages which may be deleted without printing a hard copy or otherwise preserving. See detailed definitions below:

  • Messages addressing routine administrative, curricular and co-curricular matters, announcements of meetings, schedule of events, etc.
  • Messages taking the place of informal discussion and which, if they were printed, would not be retained in a school record.
  • Messages transmitting generic information and are not specific to a student’s educational program.
  • Messages addressing personal matters unrelated to the District.

Examples of e-mail messages which should be printed and retained or otherwise preserved:

  • Messages addressing significant aspects of a specific student’s educational program including, but not limited to, health, discipline, special education program, interaction with state agencies and the courts and communication with parent relating to specific aspects of the student’s interaction with the District.
  • Messages addressing and or providing information used in making policy decisions, concerning curricular or co-curricular activities, personnel actions or that relate to the business transactions of the District.
  • Messages addressing activities of significant interest in the community relating to the District.
  • Any current public record request for specific public records and any litigation hold notices for records in response to potential litigation.


Routine Correspondence: Routine correspondence concerning day to day office administration and activities. These records include intra-agency correspondence; routine correspondence with other agencies; and/or correspondence with the public on routine matters. This category does not include executive level correspondence or correspondence concerning policies and procedures.

Transitory administrative records: Records which have not administrative, legal, fiscal, or archival requirement for their retention. These records include personal messages and announcements not related to business, information only copies of published materials; duplicate copies; preliminary drafts, internal requests for information; transmittal memos, reservations and confirmations; routine letters.

Executive level documentation: These records include correspondence and memos at the executive level to and from public officials, the public, and others, concerning policy issues, concerns, actions, or issues.

Non-executive planning and working files: These records include project design plans, survey forms, and charges, diagrams, and statistics, preliminary analysis reporting, research materials, drafts, and other documentation related to management studies, non-fiscal audits surveys, and planning studies.

The Superintendent/designee is directed to facilitate developing rules and regulations under this policy.

May 21, 2012

May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017