School & Community Relations » The Public's Right to Know

The Public's Right to Know

File: KBA
The Board of Education supports the right of the people to know about the programs and services of their schools and makes efforts to disseminate appropriate information. Each building principal is authorized and expected to keep the school’s community informed about the school’s programs and activities. The release of information of Districtwide interest is coordinated by the Superintendent.
Business of the Board is discussed and decisions are made at public meetings of the Board, except such matters required to be discussed in private executive sessions. The official minutes of the Board, its written policies, its financial records and all other public records are open for inspection in the central office during the hours when the administration offices are open.
Each Board member attends public records training every term for which he/she is elected to public office. However, the Board may designate one or more persons to attend public records training on its behalf. If so decided, the Board appoints a designee whenever the composition of the Board changes.
The District may ask that the identity of an individual requesting information and the reason the information is sought be in writing. The District first informs the requester that such disclosure is not mandatory, unless the request is for student directory information. The District also informs the requester that providing such information in writing enhances the District’s ability to identify, locate or deliver the records sought. The District may also ask that the request be put in writing, but notifies the requester that it is not mandatory to do so.
Any individual who wants to obtain or inspect a copy of a public record may request to have the record duplicated on paper, on the same medium on which the record is kept or on any other medium that the Superintendent/designee determines reasonable. If the request is ambiguous or overly broad, the District informs the requester of the manner in which records are maintained and accessed in the ordinary course of business and allows the requester to revise the request.
Records pertaining to individual students and other confidential materials are not released for inspection. Only that information deemed “directory information” may be released from an individual student’s file, and only after complying with the regulations prepared by the administration for the release of such information.
Student directory information is not released when parents have affirmatively withdrawn their consent to release in writing. Student records that consist of “personally identifiable information” generally are exempt from disclosure.
All records responsive to the request are made available in a reasonable period of time. The District makes the requester aware of any information that is exempt from disclosure requirements by notifying the requester of any redacted information or by making redactions in a plainly visible manner.
If a public records request is denied, the District provides an explanation with legal authority for the denial of the request. This explanation is provided in writing of the request is made in writing or if the Superintendent/designee determines written explanation is necessary.
The Superintendent/designee transmits the information sought by mail or by any other means of delivery requested, if the method is reasonably available. The number of mail requests sent to any one person is limited to 10 a month unless the person certifies, in writing, that the records nor the information in them will not be used for commercial purposes.
A fee may be charged for copies and/or delivery. The District may require the fee charged for copies and/or delivery be paid in advance. The Board’s public records policy is posted in a conspicuous location in the central office and in all other District buildings and employee handbooks provided by the District. The policy is distributed directly to the records custodian and receipt of the policy by the custodian is acknowledged. A copy of the records retention schedule is maintained and readily available to the public in the central office.
(Adopted: April 19, 2007, Revised: September 20, 2007)
LEGAL REFS.: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; 20 USC, Section 1232g
ORC 121.22
OAC 3301-35-03; 3301-35-04
CROSS REF.: BDC, Executive Session
BDDG, Minutes
GBL, Personnel Records
GBS, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
IGBA, Programs for Students with Disabilities
JO, Student Records
KA, School-Community Relations Goals
KKA, Recruiters in the Schools