KBA: Public Records
The Board supports the right of people to know about the programs and services of 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 District-wide interest is coordinated by the Chief Executive Officer and/or the Chief Engagement Officer.
The Board discusses business and makes decisions at public meetings of the Board, except for matters discussed in executive sessions.
The Board's official minutes, its written policies, the District's financial records, and all other public records are open for inspection in the District offices during regular business hours.
Each Board member is encouraged to attend public records training every appointed term. However, the Board may designate one or more persons to participate in public records training on its behalf.
The District may ask that an individual's identity requesting information and the reason the information is sought be in writing. Except for student records, as noted below, the District first informs the requester that such disclosure is not mandatory. 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.
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 Chief Executive Officer and/or designee determines reasonable. If the request is ambiguous or overly broad, the District informs the requester of the manner in which the records are maintained and accessed in the ordinary course of business and allows the requester to revise the request.
Records of 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may be released from an individual student's file, and only if the parents or legal guardians have not affirmatively withdrawn their consent to release in writing and only if the information will not be used in a profit-making plan or activity. In addition, the District may require the disclosure of the requester's identity or the intended use of the directory information. Other student records of "personally identifiable information" are generally exempt from public disclosure. Board Policy JO, Student Records, contains the definition of directory information.
All records responsive to the request are made available in a reasonable period of time. The District makes the requester aware of any information exempt from disclosure requirements by notifying the requester of any redacted information or visibly making redactions. If a public records request is denied, the District explains the denial of the request with legal authority. This explanation is provided in writing if the request is made in writing or if the Chief Executive Officer and/or designee determine(s) written explanation is necessary.
The Chief Executive Officer and/or designee transmit the information sought by mail or any other means of delivery requested if the method is reasonably available. The number of mail requests sent by any one person is limited to ten a month unless the person certifies, in writing, that neither the records nor the information in them will be used for commercial purposes. The term "commercial" does not include reporting or gathering news.
A fee may be charged for copies and/or delivery. The District may require the fee charged for copies and/or delivery to be paid in advance.
Each District building posts the Board's public records policy in a visible location in all District buildings and on the District's website. The policy is distributed directly to the Chief Financial Officer or other person designated as records custodian, and receipt of the policy is acknowledged. In addition, a copy of the records retention schedule is available in the District office and on the District website.
Public records may be requested by:
Mail: Office of Legal Services – Public Records Request
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
1111 Superior Ave E, Suite 1800
Cleveland, OH 44114
- Adopted: September 25, 2007
- Amended: January 25, 2022