8310a Operations_Public Records

The District shall allow persons to have access to public records of the District in accordance with this procedure,
which is intended to conform with applicable law including, but not limited to, the Wisconsin Public Records Law.
To the extent that this procedure is ambiguous or conflicts with applicable law, the law shall govern.
 
District Records Officer
 
The Superintendent, or in his/her absence, the Director of Business Services, are designated as the District
Records Officer ("DRO") and shall be the legal custodians of records for the District. The DRO shall safely keep
and preserve the public records of the District and shall have the authority to render decisions and carry out duties
related to those public records. The DRO may deny access to records only in accordance with the law. The DRO
is authorized and encouraged to consult with the District’s legal counsel to determine whether to deny access to a
records request in whole or in part.
 
Requests for Public Records
 
Public records of the District will be made available for inspection at the District office during normal, regular
business hours upon request. No original public records of the District shall be removed from the possession of the
DRO. The DRO shall be responsible for administering the District’s Open Records Policy including, but not limited
to, designating where, when and how the public records of the District may be inspected and copied.
 
Requests for records of the District may be submitted orally or in writing to the DRO. It is not necessary that any
person requesting access to the public records of the District identify himself/herself in order to obtain a record, nor
need any person requesting access to the public records of the District state any reason for his/her request.
 
Any request for a public record must reasonably describe the record or information sought. If the DRO cannot
reasonably determine what records or information are being requested, the request shall be denied in writing and
the reason for the denial shall be stated. Any denial of a written request must be in writing and any denial of an oral
request may be given orally or in writing.
 
General Procedures for Release, Inspection and/or Reproduction of Public Records
 
The DRO will respond to a public records request as soon as practicable and without delay.  If a request is denied,
it will be denied in writing and contain a written statement of all of the reasons for denying the request. The denial
must also notify the requester of his/her right to have the determination reviewed by mandamus or upon application
to the attorney general or a district attorney.
 
If any records of the District are requested that are necessary for the day-to-day operation of the District, then the
DRO may arrange for the records to be inspected after normal working hours.
 
If the DRO determines that portions of any records requested contain information that should not be released, the
custodian will redact portions or remove material not to be released and thereafter release the balance of the
document. The DRO shall inform the requestor of the nature of the material or portions withheld and the authority
under which access has been denied.
 
The DRO will refer any requests for computer records of the District to the individual in charge of the equipment
involved to determine the cost of any computer search, printing charges, and possible time available on the
machine. Since computer time can be expensive, computer information will not be provided until the person
requesting the information is informed of the estimated costs and makes payment in advance if the cost exceeds
$50.00.
 
Time and Location to Review Records
 
Public records may be inspected, copied, and/or abstracted at the District's office during the following established
District office hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
 
Step-by-Step Procedure for Review and Release of Personnel Records
 
    A. Step 1
 
        Determine that Request is For a "Record" That the District Maintains.
 
        "Record" means any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information
        is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which has been created or is being
        kept by an authority.
 
        "Record" does not include the following:
 
            1. Drafts, notes, preliminary computations and like materials prepared for the originator's personal use or
                prepared by the originator for in the name of a person for whom the originator is working;
 
            2. Materials which are purely the personal property of the custodian and have no relation to his/her office;
 
            3. Materials to which access is limited by copyright, patent, or bequest;
 
            4. Published materials that are available for sale or which are available for inspection at a public library.
 
        The District need not create a record that does not exist, such as a compilation of data or statistics that the
        District has not compiled but for which the raw data is in the possession of the District.
 
        If the request relates to a "record" of the District that it is in possession of, the DRO must continue to Step 2.
 
    B. Step 2
 
        Determine The Type of Individual Whose Records Are Being Requested.
 
        Upon receipt of a public records request, determine whether the personnel records being sought are of an
        "employee" or of someone in "local public office".
 
        "Employee" means any individual who is employed by the District, other than an individual holding local
        public office or any individual who is employed by an employer other than an authority. 
 
        "Local public office" has the meaning given in s. 19.42 (7w), and also includes any appointive office or
        position of a local governmental unit in which an individual serves as the head of a department, agency, or
        division of the local governmental unit, but does not include any office or position filled by a municipal
        employee, as defined in s. 111.70(1)(i).
 
        Option 1:   If the request is regarding an "employee", skip to Step 6.
 
        Option 2:   If the request is regarding someone in "local public office", go to Step 3.
 
    C. Step 3
 
        Determine If the Request Is For Local Public Office Personnel Records That May Not Be Released.
 
        Records of a person in local public office that may not be released are those that contain information
        maintained, prepared, or provided by the school district concerning:
 
            1. home address;
 
            2. home electronic mail address;
 
            3. home telephone number;
 
            4. social security number.
 
    This does not apply if the individual authorizes the authority to provide access to such information.
 
    This does not apply to the home address of an individual who holds an elective public office or to the home
    address of an individual who, as a condition of employment, is required to reside in a specified location.
 
    Option 1:   If the requested records are not precluded from release, go to Step 4.
 
    Option 2:   If the records are precluded from release, deny the request in writing citing reasons for denial and
                     following denial process. Stop.
 
    D. Step 4
 
        Conduct The Balancing Test For Local Public Official Personnel Records Requested
 
        Conduct a balancing test to determine if release of the records would result in harm to the public interest that
        outweighs the legislative policy recognizing the public interest in being informed about the affairs of
        government.
 
        Also, determine if there are statutory or common law reasons to deny access to the requested records. If so,
        the DRO may deny the request in accordance with the requirements of the Public Records Law by stating
        every statutory and/or common law principle upon which the decision is based.
 
        Option 1:   If the DRO decision is to release the requested records, go to Step 5.
 
        Option 2:   If the DRO decision is not to release the requested records, deny the request in writing citing
                         reasons for denial and following denial process. Stop.
 
    E. Step 5
 
        Notification of Local Public Official Of Impending Release
 
        Provide the local public official with notice that satisfies the requirements of the Public Records law within
        three (3) business days of the decision to release. The notice must be either personally served (document
        this) or sent certified mail with a return receipt requested (to confirm date of receipt).
 
        Upon receipt of the notification, the local public office holder has five (5) business days to "augment the
        record to be released with written comments and documentation selected by the record subject."
 
        Five (5) business days after receipt of the notice by the local public official, release the records in accordance
        with the public records process, including any augmented records such as comments or documentation by
        the local public official. This completes the process for release of records regarding local public office holders.
 
    F. Step 6
 
        Determine If the Request For Employee Records That May Not Be Released.
 
        Records of an employee that may not be released are the following:
 
            1. Information maintained, prepared, or provided by the District concerning:
 
                    a. home address
 
                    b. home electronic mail address
 
                    c. home telephone number
 
                    d. social security number of an employee
 
                    (Note: This does not apply if the employee authorizes the District to provide access to such
                    information.)
 
            2. Information relating to the current investigation of a possible criminal offense or possible misconduct
                connected with employment by an employee prior to disposition of the investigation.
 
            3. Information pertaining to an employee’s employment examination, except an examination score if
                access to that score is not otherwise prohibited.
 
            4. Information relating to one or more specific employees that is used by an authority or by the employer
                of the employees for:
 
                    a. staff management planning, including performance evaluation, judgements, or recommendations
                        concerning future salary adjustments or other wage treatments;
 
                    b. management bonus plans;
 
                    c. promotions;
 
                    d. job assignments;
 
                    e.  letters of reference, or other comments of reference, or other comments or ratings relating to
                        employees.
 
        Option 1: If the requested records are not precluded from release, go to Step 7.
 
        Option 2: If the records are precluded from release, deny the request in writing citing reasons for denial and
                        following denial process. Stop.
 
    G. Step 7
 
        Conduct The Balancing Test For Employee Personnel Records Requested.
 
        Conduct a balancing test to determine if release of the records would result in harm to the public interest that
        outweighs the legislative policy recognizing the public interest in being informed about the affairs of
        government.
 
        Also, determine if there are statutory or common law reasons to deny access to the requested records. If so,
        the DRO may deny the request in accordance with the requirements of the Public Records Law by stating
        every statutory and common law principle upon which the decision is based.
 
        Option 1:   If the DRO decision is to release the requested records go to Step 8.
 
        Option 2:   If the DRO decision is not to release the requested records, deny the request in writing citing
                          reasons for denial and following denial process. Stop.
 
    H. Step 8
 
        Determine if the subject of the records is entitled to notice regarding the request. A records subject is only
        entitled to notice if the request calls for the release of the following documents:
 
            1. A record containing information relating to an employee that is created or kept by the authority and that
                is the result of an investigation into a disciplinary matter involving the employee or possible employ-
                ment-related violation by the employee of a statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, or policy of the
                employee’s employer.
 
            2. A record obtained by the authority through a subpoena or search warrant.
 
            3. A record prepared by an employer other than an authority, if that record contains information relating to
                an employee of that employer, unless the employee authorizes the authority to provide access to that
                information.
 
            This does not apply to a school district who provides access to a record pertaining to an employee to the
            employee who is the subject of the record or to his/her representative to the extent required under Sec.
            103.13 Wis. Stats. or to a recognized or certified collective bargaining representative to the extent required
            to fulfill a duty to bargain or pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement under Ch. 111.
 
            This does not apply to releases to the Equal Rights Division or the Personnel Commission for
            discrimination claim investigation purposes.
 
            Option 1: If the DRO determines that the requested records do not fall into one (1) of the categories
                           above, no notice to the employee is required. The records may be released in accordance with
                           the normal public records process. Stop.
 
            Option 2: If the DRO determines that the requested records do fall into one (1) of the categories above, go
                          to Step 9.
 
    I.  Step 9
 
        Notice to Employees That are the Subject of a Records Request.
 
        Provide the employee with a notice that satisfies the requirements of the Public Records law within three (3)
        business days of the decision to release. This notification must be either personally served (document this)
        or sent certified mail with a return receipt requested (to confirm date of receipt).
 
        Twelve (12) business days after sending of the notice to the employee, the District may release the records
        in accordance with the normal public records process, UNLESS the employee provided the District with
        written notification within five (5) business days of receipt of the notice of his/her intent to seek a court order
        restraining the District from releasing the record. If the employee provides the District with timely written
        notice, the DRO should not release the records. In addition, records may not be released during pendency of
        any legal action, including any appeals.
 
        The employee has ten (10) business days after receipt of the notice to commence legal action seeking a
        court order restraining the District from releasing the records.
 
Fees and Costs
 
Individuals may receive a reproduction of a public record of the District. Individuals will be informed in advance of
the fees and costs of locating and reproducing public records. Fees and costs for responding to a public record
request shall be as follows:
 
    A. Costs of Locating Documents
 
        There will be no fee imposed upon any person who requests a record if the costs of locating that record do
        not exceed $50.00.
 
        Some of the records of the District are in off-site storage, archived, not on-line on the District’s computer or
        otherwise not immediately available. In those cases where a record is not readily available for whatever
        reason, and where it appears that the costs of locating a record will exceed $50.00, the legal custodian will
        seek the prior written approval of the requestor before proceeding. In addition, the custodian will endeavor, but
        will not be required to provide an estimate of the total anticipated costs for locating the record.
 
        The District will determine the costs of locating a record by using the hourly rate of employees involved in
        attempting to locate the record.
 
    B. Reproduction Expenses
 
            1. Costs of reproducing records where equipment is available:
 
                    a. The per page costs for reproduction will be twenty cents ($.20).
 
                    b. The actual costs to the District or the tapes or other medium used for reproduction shall also be
                        paid by the person making the request.
 
                    c. When a copy reproduction is estimated to require at least three (3) hours of staff time, or whenever
                        the records require transcription, the District will charge the requester for the cost of staff time.
                        The DRO shall determine this charge based upon the employee’s salary and fringe benefits. The
                        requester shall be charged for each quarter hour of time or portion thereof.
 
            2. Costs of reproducing where equipment is not available within the District.
 
                    a. If equipment necessary for any reproduction is not available within the District, then the District will
                        rent whatever equipment is necessary to perform the function and will require the person to make
                        payment in advance before proceeding.
 
                        The actual cost to the District of the equipment used for reproduction shall be paid by the person
                        making the request.
 
    C. Disputes
 
        The DRO shall report any disputes that arise under this fee schedule to the Board.
 
    D. Payment of Fees
 
            1. The DRO may acquire the payment of fees and costs provided herein in advance if the total cost
                exceeds $50.00.
 
            2. The DRO may, in his/her sole discretion, elect to waive the imposition of the costs provided for herein.
 
Notice
 
The District will display in a prominent location in each school building and office a Public Records Notice
conforming to the Public Records Law.
 
19.21, et seq., Wis. Stat.
 
Approved/Adopted:  July 13, 2009
ĉ
Shari Weinstock,
Aug 3, 2011, 11:57 AM