Access to District Public Records
Full access to the District’s public records is available to any person as provided in the
Illinois Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA), found in the Illinois School Code 5 ILCS
140/, and this policy. The Superintendent or designee shall: (1) provide the Board with
sufficient information and data to permit the Board to monitor the District’s
compliance with FOIA and this policy, and (2) report any FOIA requests during the
Board’s regular meetings along with the status of the District’s response.
Freedom of Information Officer
The Superintendent will appoint an employee to serve as the District’s Freedom of
Information Officer and assumes all the duties and powers of that office as provided in
FOIA and this policy. The Superintendent may delegate these duties and powers to one
or more designees, but the delegation shall not relieve the Superintendent of the
responsibility for the action that was delegated.
The District’s public records
are defined as records, reports, forms, writings, letters,
memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings,
electronic data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information
and all other documentary material pertaining to the transaction of public business,
regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or
having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of
the School District.
A request for inspection and/or copies of public records must be made in writing and
may be submitted by personal delivery, mail, telefax, or email directed to the District’s
Freedom of Information Officer. Individuals making a request are not required to state
a reason for the request other than to identify when the request is for a commercial
purpose or when requesting a fee waiver. The Superintendent or designee shall instruct
District employees to immediately forward any request for inspection and copying of a
public record to the District’s Freedom of Information Officer or designee.
Responding to Requests
The Freedom of Information Officer shall approve all requests for public records
- The requested material does not exist;
- The requested material is exempt from inspection and copying by the Freedom
of Information Act; or
Complying with the request would be unduly burdensome.
Within 5 business days after receipt of a request for access to a public record, the
Freedom of Information Officer shall comply with or deny the request, unless the time
for response is extended as specified in Section 3 of FOIA. The Freedom of Information
Officer may extend the time for a response for up to 5 business days from the original
due date. If an extension is needed, the Freedom of Information Officer shall: (1) notify
the person making the request of the reason for the extension, and (2) either inform the
person of the date on which a response will be made, or agree with the person in writing
on a compliance period.
The time periods are extended for responding to requests for records made for a
, requests by a recurrent requester
, or voluminous requests
, as those
terms are defined in Section 2 of FOIA. The time periods for responding to those
requests are governed by Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.6 of FOIA.
When responding to a request for a record containing both exempt and non-exempt
material, the Freedom of Information Officer shall redact exempt material from the
record before complying with the request.
Persons making a request for copies of public records must pay any and all applicable
fees. The Freedom of Information Officer shall establish a fee schedule that complies
with FOIA and this policy and is subject to the Board’s review. The fee schedule shall
include copying fees and all other fees to the maximum extent they are permitted by
FOIA, including without limitation, search and review fees for responding to a request
for a commercial purpose
and fees, costs, and personnel hours in connection with
responding to a voluminous request
Copying fees, except when fixed by statute, shall be reasonably calculated to reimburse
the District’s actual cost for reproducing and certifying public records and for the use,
by any person, of its equipment to copy records. In no case shall the copying fees exceed
the maximum fees permitted by FOIA. If the District’s actual copying costs are equal to
or greater than the maximum fees permitted by FOIA, the Freedom of Information
Officer is authorized to use FOIA’s maximum fees as the District’s fees. No copying fees
shall be charged for: (1) the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized
copies, or (2) electronic copies other than the actual cost of the recording medium,
except if the response is to a voluminous request
, as defined in FOIA.
A fee reduction is available if the request qualifies under Section 6 of FOIA. The
Freedom of Information Officer shall set the amount of the reduction taking into
consideration the amount of material requested and the cost of copying it.
Provision of Copies and Access to Records
A public record that is the subject of an approved access request will be available for
inspection or copying at the District’s administrative office during regular business
hours, unless other arrangements are made by the Freedom of Information Officer.
Many public records are immediately available from the District’s website including,
but not limited to, the process for requesting a public record. The Freedom of
Information Officer shall direct a requester to the District’s website if a requested
record is available there. If the requester is unable to reasonably access the record
online, he or she may resubmit the request for the record, stating his or her inability to
reasonably access the record online, and the District shall make the requested record
available for inspection and copying as otherwise provided in this policy.
Preserving Public Records
Public records, including email messages, shall be preserved and cataloged if: (1) they
are evidence of the District’s organization, function, policies, procedures, or activities,
(2) they contain informational data appropriate for preservation, (3) their retention is
required by State or federal law, or (4) they are subject to a retention request by the
Board Attorney (e.g., a litigation hold), District auditor, or other individual authorized
by the School Board or State or federal law to make such a request. Unless its retention
is required as described in items numbered 3 or 4 above, a public record, as defined by
the Illinois Local Records Act
, may be destroyed when authorized by the Local Records
Adopted: June 27, 2016
Adopted: June 27, 2016