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Public's Right to Know
Accessibility of Records
This procedure below shall be used to implement the District’s policy regarding the public’s access to District records.
Many public records are available for inspection and/or copying on the Lake Washington School District website at any time, at no cost. Although not required, the public is encouraged to review the District’s website prior to making public records requests. http://www.lwsd.org/
The District shall make available to any person for inspection and copying any records and information not legally exempt. When processing such requests, the District will provide the fullest assistance to the requestor and provide a response in the most timely manner possible.
How to Make a Request for Public Records
Any person wishing to inspect or copy public records of the District shall make the request in writing by letter or email addressed to:
Lake Washington School District #414
ATTN: Public Information Department
P.O. Box 97039, Redmond, WA 98073-9739.
Requests made via email should be sent to: PublicRecordsRequest@lwsd.org.
Although there is no required form to submit a public records request, the District recommends that requestors make their requests in writing on the District’s public records request form. Utilizing the form helps both the requestor and the District because it better enables the District to more promptly identify the inquiry as a public records request, timely confirm its receipt which the requestor, promptly seek clarification if needed and otherwise begin processing the District’s response to the request under the Public Records Act. The form is available at the District’s office located at 16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond, WA 98052 or the website. The requestor is to give the District fair notice that he or she is making a request for records under the Public Records Act.
Requests shall be made and records shall be available for inspection and copying during the District’s regular business hours.
A request for inspection and/or copying of public records shall contain the following information:
- The name, address and contact information, including telephone or email address, of the requestor.
- A description of the public records, adequate for the District to locate and identify the records. Requestors should be as specific as possible in providing the title(s) of the documents, meaningful keywords, providing appropriate dates and any other information that will assist the District in locating the requested documents.
- The date and time of day that the request is being made.
- If the requestor wishes to have copies of the records made instead of inspecting them, he or she should indicate and make arrangements to pay for copies of the records. The District’s statutory fee schedule is below.
The District may inquire into the purpose for which the record is requested to determine whether inspection and copying would violate RCW 42.56.070(9) regarding requests for mailing lists for commercial purposes.
Processing a Request
Within 5 business days of receipt of the request, the District will do one or more of the following:
- Acknowledge receipt of the request and provide a reasonable estimate of time as to when records or an installment of records will be available; or
- Acknowledge receipt of the request and ask the requestor to provide clarification for a request that is unclear and provide, to the greatest extent possible, a reasonable estimate of time the District will require to respond to the request if it is not clarified; or
- Provide copies, either electronic or paper, of the records requested or make the records available for inspection; or
- Deny the request.
The District works diligently to respond to each request and will attempt to provide records within the reasonable time estimate period provided. The District may revise its time estimates as needed. If the District fails to meet its own internal deadline for production, this is not a violation of the Public records Act.
If the requestor fails to respond to the request for clarification and the entire request is unclear, the District need not respond to it. If the requestor does not respond to the District’s request for clarification within 30 days of the District’s request or other specified time, the District may consider the request abandoned. The District will respond, however, to those portions of the request that are clear.
Records and Information Exempt from Disclosure
There are other state and federal statutes which exempt from disclosure certain types of records and information. Below is a list of exemptions provided for informational purposes only. This list is not meant to be all inclusive. The District’s failure to list an exemption here does not affect the efficacy of any exemption.
- The federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) protects students’ education records and prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information without parental consent. 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. § 99. “Directory information” as defined by the District is not exempt from disclosure.
- Personal information in files maintained for students. RCW 42.56.230(1).
- Lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes. RCW 42.56.070(9).
- Application materials for public employment. RCW 42.56.250(2).
- Performance evaluations. (A public employee’s performance evaluation that does not specify instances of misconduct or public job performance is exempt from disclosure under Dawson v. Daly, 120 Wn.2d 782 (1993) and Brown v. Seattle School District, 71 Wn. App. 613 (1994).
- Personal information in files maintained for employees to the extent that disclosure violates their right to privacy. RCW 42.56.230(2).
- Residential addresses and phone numbers, personal cell phone numbers, personal email addresses, social security numbers, and emergency contact information of employees or volunteers. RCW 42.56.250(1).
- Examination questions for teachers or students prior to examination. RCW 28A.635.040.
- Health Care Records of Individuals. RCW 70.02 et seq and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rules, 45 C.FR. 160 – 164, adopted by authority of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 42 USC §1320d.
- Information on students receiving free or reduced lunch. 42 USC § 1758(b)(6).
- Criminal history background check information. RCW 43.43.834(5).
- Criminal Records Privacy Act, RCW 10.97 et seq.
- Abuse of Children, Protection and Procedures. RCW 26.44.010; RCW 26.44.030(9)
- Notification of Juvenile Offenders. RCW 13.04.115(3).
- Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, and intra-agency memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended, except that a specific record is not exempt when publicly cited by an agency in connection with agency action. RCW 42.56.280.
- Attorney-client privileged communications and attorney work product. RCW 42.56.070(1); RCW 5.60.060(2)(a); RCW 42.56.290.
- Records which are retained or held by volunteers who (a) do not serve in an administrative capacity; (b) have not been appointed by the agency to an agency board, commission or internship; and (c) do not have a supervisory role or delegation agency authority.
Prior to production, the District will review the records and may redact (remove) information subject to exemption under the Public Records Act, state or federal law. The District may also notify third parties who have an interest in the records that the requestor has made a public records request. The District is not obligated to create a new record to satisfy the requestor’s request.
The requestor shall be notified when copies of records are available for pick up or when records are available for inspection, if these are the modes of record delivery. If the records are to be transmitted electronically, the requestor shall be so notified of the production with electronic delivery. If the requestor fails to inspect or pick up copies of the records within 30 days of being advised that the records are ready, the District may consider the request abandoned, close the request and refile the records.
Copies of Records
The District has determined that calculating the actual costs of providing records in response to requests would be unduly burdensome because it would deprive its students of essential educational resources which support the District’s mission. The District, therefore, is using the statutory default fees for providing copies of records, which are as follows:
- 15 cents per paper page
- 10 cents a page scanned into electronic format
- 5 cents for 4 files or attachments and provided by electronic delivery
- 10 cents for a gigabyte of electronic records transmission
- The actual costs of storage media, container, envelop, postage and delivery
- Charges can be combined if more than one type of charge applies
Inspection of Records
Records may be inspected by the requestor at a reasonable time set by the District within the District’s normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the regular school year when school is in session. Record inspection will be rescheduled or not permitted if it creates an excessive interference with the District’s essential functions. There is no cost to inspect records.
All public records requests made to the District are also subject to disclosure as records under the Public Records Act.
See exhibit KBA-E for appropriate request for information form.