4040 Public Access to District Records
Consistent with Washington State law, the Board is committed to providing the public full access to records concerning the administration and operations of the district. Such access promotes important public policy, maintains public confidence in the fairness of governmental processes, and protects the community’s interest in the control and operation of its common school district. At the same time, the Board desires to preserve the efficient administration of government and acknowledges the privacy rights of individuals whose records may be maintained by the district. This policy and the accompanying procedure are intended to facilitate access to school district records without compromising operational efficiency or privacy rights.
As used in this policy and the accompanying procedure, “school district records” is a broad term that includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the district or the performance of any district governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by the district regardless of physical form or characteristics. A “writing” as used in this policy and procedure is likewise a broad term that means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photocopying, photographing, or other means of recording any form of communication or representation. Included within these definitions are digital and electronic forms of communication, including emails, texts, and messages through any medium or application, pages, postings, and comments from any district-operated or district-sponsored website. The district will retain public records in compliance with state law and regulations.
The definition of “school district records” does not include records that are not otherwise required to be retained by the district and are held by volunteers who do not serve in an administrative capacity, have not been appointed by the district to a district board, commission, or internship, and do not have a supervisory role or delegated district authority.
The Board believes that trying to maintain a current index of all of the district’s records would be impracticable, unduly burdensome, and ultimately interfere with the operational work of the district. Additionally, the Board hereby finds that it would be unduly burdensome to calculate the costs of producing public records, given the multiple different electronic and manual devices used to produce public records, as well as the fluctuating costs of district supplies and labor.
The superintendent will develop, and the Board will periodically review, procedures consistent with state law that will facilitate this policy. The superintendent will also appoint a Public Records Officer who will serve as a point of contact for members of the public who request the disclosure of public records. The Public Records Officer will be trained in the laws and regulations governing the retention and disclosure of records, and will oversee the district’s compliance with this policy and state law.