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Personnel File

Disclaimer: The Site cannot and does not contain legal advice. The legal information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of legal advice. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site is solely at your own risk.

How do I access my personnel file? Why is it important to be aware of what is in my personnel file?

Article Twenty-One of the UFT Contract states that we should have one official personnel file.

The UFT sends out literature indicating:

Every UFT member has an official school file. There is only one official school file. Any additional folders, notes or critiques cannot be used as official records against the employee. This file may contain an employee’s observation reports, annual evaluation sheets, licensing information, salary documents, and in certain cases, disciplinary material.

No material derogatory to a teacher’s conduct, service, character or personality shall be placed in the files unless the teacher has had an opportunity to read the material. The teacher shall acknowledge that he/she has read the material by affixing his/her signature to the letter. Signing this material does not signify guilt or agreement with the letter. The employee’s signature is simply to acknowledge that he/she has received and read the document.

You have the right to respond to any disciplinary letter in your file. Your response will be attached to the filed copy. (Be sure to consult your chapter or district representative before attaching your response.) Upon appropriate request, an employee shall be permitted to examine and copy all of the documentation in his/her file. Letters to the file will be permanently removed from the employee’s file three (3) years after the latest incident referred to in the letter, provided disciplinary charges do not follow. An incident which has not been reduced to writing within three months of its occurrence, exclusive of the summer vacation period, cannot later be added to the file.

If your principal is an angel or a demon, we still advise you to review your personnel file annually to ensure that your observation reports, rebuttals (if any), payroll information, accolades, and other vital information is present and accounted for. It might be interesting to see if your Central Personnel file from 65 Court Street and the file from your home school are identical. If you’ve transferred schools, your old school is obligated to mail over your personnel file to your new school. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen. For example, we have heard a story of a teacher character witness at an Education Law § 3020-a hearing whose personnel file “vanished” mid-route from her old school to her new school.

Below we will walk you through some steps on how to access and review your personnel file.

From 65 Court Street

  1. Visit the HR Connect Teacher Records Department at the below address:
    65 Court Street, Room 823
    Brooklyn, NY 11201

    You must bring photo ID to access the building. Teacher Records is open from Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM, except for City holidays.

  2. Explain that you would like to make a copy of your personnel file in Teacher Records. You will be asked to sign-in and present a Photo ID.
  3. You will be given your teacher’s record folder for review.
    If you are looking for your transcripts, please be advised that we cannot guarantee that DOE will have copies on file. If your transcripts are not there, you may have to reach out to your school to obtain another transcript.
  4. If you would like, a clerk will make photocopies of the records requested. It may take up to thirty minutes to retrieve a teacher records file.

If you are located outside of New York City and are unable to visit the above location, you may perform the following:

  1. Obtain a notarized letter detailing your request and information.  
  2. Send this notarized letter along with a copy of a valid ID to:
    NYC DOE Teacher Records
    65 Court Street, Room 823
    Brooklyn, New York 11201

You may also use the following link to reach out to your UFT Borough Office for additional assistance:

www.uft.org/your-union/uft-borough-offices

If you are an active DOE employee, we also strongly encourage you to visit our HR Connect Portal: 

1.      Navigate to  https://doehrconnect.custhelp.com  

2.      Login with your DOE/Outlook User ID and password. If you are having difficulty accessing the portal, email:  portalsupport@schools.nyc.gov 

3.      After you have logged in, please use the Search feature at the top to look for information. Additionally, we recommend that you visit the “Important Announcements” article on the home page and subscribe to that article by clicking the “Notify Me” button at the bottom of the page. 

Hope this helps. 

HR Connect

From Your School

Send your principal an email asking to review your file. You might want to copy your Chapter Leader and the secretary on this email. In the email, be polite but firm. Feel free to remind your principal that “per the contract, I am entitled to request time to review my personnel file and make copies of materials as needed. Let’s talk about a mutually convenient time for us both to review the file.”

Letters to the file will be permanently removed from the employee’s file three (3) years after the latest incident referred to in the letter, provided disciplinary charges do not follow. An incident that has not been reduced to writing within three months of its occurrence, exclusive of the summer vacation period, cannot later be added to the file. This won’t happen automatically, so please make sure your District Rep and your Chapter Leader are aware that there are materials in your file that do not belong there.

If you are denied access to your personnel file, you can file a grievance like Francesco Portelos did. Please see our article on how to file a grievance.

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