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Access to Public Records Policy

Approved May 22, 2018

Requests for public records shall be made to the office of the Executive Director. The Executive Director or designee may then determine the most appropriate employee of Connecting Waters Charter Schools to assist in assembling any public records for production.

Any person may request a copy of any public record open to the public and not exempt from disclosure. While a request need not be in writing, if the request is verbal, the requestor will be asked to reduce the request to writing so there is a written record of the records being requested. If the requestor chooses not to reduce the request to writing, the Executive Director or designee shall reduce the request to writing and confirm the request with the requestor. The request for public records must clearly identify the records requested, along with the name and mailing address of the requestor.

Provisions of the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.) shall not be construed so as to delay access for purposes of inspecting or receiving copies of records open to the public. Any notification denying a request for public records shall state the name and title of each person responsible for the denial.

Connecting Waters Charter Schools may charge for copies of public records or other materials requested by individuals or groups. The charge, based on the direct cost of duplication, has been set by the Board of Directors at .15 cents per page. The direct cost of duplication includes the pro rata expense of the copying equipment used and the pro rata expense in terms of staff time required to produce the copy. It does not include the cost of locating, retrieving, or inspecting records.

Requests to waive associated fees related to the direct cost of duplication shall be submitted to the Executive Director’s Office.

Public access shall not be given to records listed as exempt from public disclosure in the

California Public Records Act or other applicable statutes.

School Board members and employees should be discouraged from using private devices and accounts for School business. To the extent this does occur, School Board members and employees shall receive training on the Public Records Act. Requests for records sent or received on private devices used by employees shall be limited to those records that can be located with reasonable effort, are related to the conduct of the School’s business, and are not exempt from public disclosure in the California Public Records Act.

Within ten (10) days of receiving any request for a copy of records, the Executive Director or designee shall determine whether the request seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of Connecting Waters Charter Schools, shall promptly inform the person making the request of Connecting Waters Charter Schools’ intent to comply with the request, and shall indicate the date that the disclosable public records shall be made available.

In unusual circumstances, the Executive Director may extend the 10-day time period for an additional 14 days by providing written notice to the requestor and setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be made. Unusual circumstances include, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to properly process the request, the following:

 

1.         The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other locations that are separate from the office processing the request;

 

2.         The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in a single request;

 

3.         The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request, or among two or more components of Connecting Waters Charter Schools having substantial subject matter interest therein;

 

4.         The need to compile data, to write programming language or a computer program, or to construct a computer report to extract data.

 

If an inspection is requested, any person shall have reasonable access, during normal business hours, to the public records of Connecting Waters Charter Schools within the requirements of state law. However, if records are not readily available, or if portions of the records to be inspected must be redacted to protect exempt material, then Connecting Waters Charter Schools must be given a reasonable period of time to perform these functions prior to inspection. Such records shall be examined in the presence of the staff member regularly responsible for their maintenance.