ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIVE KBA 11/07

 

Requests for Information

 

TO:                  All Principals, Administrators, and Supervisory Staff

 

FROM:           Carol S. Fenn, Ed.D., Division Superintendent

 

DATE:                        November 27, 2007

 

 

Request Procedures

 

1.         Requests for access to records shall be made with reasonable specificity.

2.         Requests shall be directed to the Rockingham County Public Schools central office at:  100 Mt. Clinton Pike, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802, (phone) 540-564-3230, (fax) 540-564-3241.

3.         Requesters should make their requests using Form KBA-F1.  Requests received at the central office via telephone shall be transcribed onto Form KBA-F1 by central office staff.  Written requests other than on Form KBA-F1 shall be appended to a copy of the form by central office staff, who shall fill out as much of the form as possible.

4.         School office personnel shall provide Form KBA-F1 and a copy of this regulation upon request to any person interested in obtaining access to records, and shall instruct the requester to direct the request to the central office.  Telephone inquiries shall be redirected to the central office.  Any written requests received by building personnel shall be immediately forwarded to the central office, with a notation indicating the date and time the request was received.

 

Responding to Requests

 

1.         Promptly, but in all cases within five working days of receiving the request, one of the following written responses shall be provided to the requester:

 

(a)        The records shall be made available to the requester for inspection, or copies thereof may be provided in lieu of inspection.

(b)       The requested records will be entirely withheld because their release is prohibited by law or because the Virginia Freedom of Information Act gives their custodian discretion to withhold them.  A written explanation identifying with reasonable particularity the volume and subject matter of the withheld records, and with respect to each category withheld, referencing the Virginia Code section that authorizes the withholding of the records.

                                                (continued)

 

 

KBA 11/07

(page 2)

 

(c)        The requested records will be provided in part and withheld in part because the release of part of the records is prohibited by law or the custodian has exercised his discretion to withhold a portion of the records.  A written explanation identifying with reasonable particularity the subject matter of the withheld portions and referencing, with respect to each category of withheld records, the specific Virginia Code section(s) which authorize the withholding of the records, shall be included.  When a portion of a requested record is withheld, the school division will delete only that portion of the record to which an exemption applies and will release the remainder of the record.

(d)       The requested records could not be found or do not exist.  No public body shall be required to create a new record if the record does not already exist.  If the school division knows that another public body has the requested records, the response will include contact information for the other public body.

(e)        If it is practically impossible to provide the records within the five-day period, the requester shall be notified of this fact and of the specific conditions which make a response within the five-day period impossible.  Such notice shall be provided within five working days of the request, and one of the preceding responses shall be provided within an additional seven-day period.

 

2.         The-five-day period shall begin on the first working day following the day the request is received by the central office or by a building office, and shall end at the close of business on the fifth working day following receipt of the request.  Any time that elapses between the time the requester is notified of an advance cost determination pursuant to the procedures detailed below and the time that the requester responds to that notice shall not be counted in calculating the five work days.

3.         The school division may petition the appropriate court for additional time to respond to a request for records when the request is for an extraordinary volume of records or requires an extraordinarily lengthy search, and a response within the time outlined above will prevent the school division from meeting its operational responsibilities.  Before proceeding with the petition, the school division will make reasonable efforts to reach an agreement with the requester concerning the production of the records requested.

 

 

 

 

(continued)

 

 

KBA 11/07

(page 3)

 

Processing of Requests

 

1.         The Superintendent or a designee shall, after receiving a request, promptly make an initial determination as to whether the requested records will be provided to the requester, will be withheld, either completely or in part, or if it is practically impossible to provide the requested records or to determine whether they are available within five days.

2.         If the Superintendent or designee is unsure whether the requested documents should be provided to the requester, legal advice shall be promptly sought.

3.         If the Superintendent or designee is uncertain whether the requested records exist or where they may be located, efforts shall be promptly initiated to locate the records or determine whether they exist.

4.         If the requested records will be made available either in whole or in part, the Superintendent or a designee shall promptly consult with central office staff to determine the cost involved to assemble the records for inspection and copying. 

Where portions of individual records must be redacted prior to inspection and copying, the cost of doing this shall also be taken into account.  The following costs shall be charged at the rates indicated, not to exceed actual cost:

      Staff member search time, charged by the quarter hour.  Depending on the staff member(s) involved in the search, a rate of $4.00 per quarter hour may apply.

      Computer search time, charged at the rate of $4.00 per quarter hour.

      Computer printouts, charged at the rate of 25 cents per page.

      Photocopies (including those necessary to perform redactions), charged at the rate of 10 cents per page.

      Incidental out-of-pocket costs necessary to assemble the records (for example: phone, postage, or courier charges).

 

5.         If the requester has asked for an advance determination of the cost, or if the cost is expected to exceed $200, the requester shall be notified in advance of the cost associated with the request.  If the cost of the request is determined to exceed $200, the school board may, before continuing to process the request, require the requester to agree to payment of a deposit not to exceed the amount of the advance determination.  The deposit shall be credited toward the final cost of supplying the requested records.  No further action shall be taken until the requester responds, and the requester must agree to pay the estimated amount before any further processing of the request is performed.

6.         Before processing a request for records, the Superintendent or designee may require the requester to pay any amounts owed to the school board for previous requests for records that remain unpaid 30 days or more after billing.

 

 

(continued)

KBA 11/07

(page 4)

 

7.         Any records to be disclosed shall be assembled for inspection and copying by central office staff, under the direction and supervision of the Superintendent or a designee.

8.         Central office staff shall be responsible for recording the date the request was received, verifying photo identification and signature, and recording and assembling additional information about the request as indicated on Form

KBA-F1.