Requesting records from public school districts

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The easiest thing to do is call the school district's administrative office. When the phone is answered, say that you'd like to file an open records request and you want to know who at the district handles these matters. You won't be the first person who has called and asked. Normally, the person who answers the phone will immediately be able to tell you the name of the person. Sometimes the person is referred to as "the FOIA compliance officer" or a similar title.

Check that you have the correct spelling of the person's name. Then, ask what address you should use. It is often but not always the address of the main administrative office.

If you prefer to use email, you can also try searching the website of the public school district in question to see if they list an open records compliance officer. If they don't, you can try searching on the website for the superintendent's name and email address. If you find it, just send the superintendent a quick email asking for the procedure for filing an open records request.

Consider noting in your email that you tried unsuccessfully to find this information on the district's website. A polite request that the district update its website to make it easier for citizens to ask for public records will help those who come after you. We also encourage you to write to the members of your district's school board to suggest this, if the superintendent ignores it.

Sunshine Review has developed a number of projects in which they rate local school districts for accessibility of information on the districts website. To search for your district or contribute to the project, please see: Find Your School District.