PRR Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Iowa City Community School District, as a public agency, is committed to maintaining a high level of transparency and providing any member of public access to public records maintained by the school district. Under Iowa law, “every person [has] the right to examine and copy and to publish or otherwise disseminate public records.” The District has developed a public records request process to assist members of the public in gaining access to public records. Below are answers to some of the most common questions posed about the process:

  • How can I make a public records request?

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    A public records request may be submitted in writing, through e-mail, by fax, in person, or over the telephone by filling out the form available
    on the district web page. Requests should be directed to the district’s custodian of records.

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  • Can anyone request public records from the school District and do I have to identify myself?

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    The open records law states that “[e]very person shall have the right to examine and copy a public record and to publish or otherwise disseminate a public record or the information contained in a public record.” Iowa Code 22.2(1). There is no requirement that the person making a request for a public record be identified; however, the requester must provide a place for the district to send the records and provide a mechanism to provide payment in case a cost is associated with completion of the request.

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  • Does the District charge a fee for fulfilling a public records request?

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    It depends on the time needed to fulfill the request and the amount of material associated with the request. The District has developed a fee schedule for fulfilling public records requests, which is in compliance with Iowa Code §22.3. District fees are as follows:

    Retrieval, Review, and Supervision Fee: $25.00 per hour, rounded to the nearest ¼ hour

    Search of Email Archives:   Initial $25.00 fee for email search, additional $25.00 fee for every hour beyond the initial 60 minutes, rounded to the nearest ¼ hour. The standard email archive search takes approximately 90 minutes; the district will waive the initial $25.00 fee for searches that take less than 60 minutes.

    Photocopy/Scanning Fee: 1 –19 pages: No Charge, More than 20 pages: $.15 per page (including for pages 1-20)

    Mailing Fee: Actual Costs

    The District will inform the member of the public making the request of the anticipated cost of filling the request throughout the public record request process. The District requires pre-payment of any and all fees prior to the public records being made available for inspection or being delivered to the requester.

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  • Is there a way to avoid incurring high costs for my request?

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    The cost of a request can be limited by narrowing the time period for requested documents, limiting the number of individuals or offices from whom records are requested, and by providing specific detail regarding the information being requested.

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  • How quickly can I expect a response to my request?

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    The District aims to complete each request quickly, but the time for a response will depend upon many things, including the nature and scope of the request, other pending requests, and staff availability.

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  • Does the District have to provide the information I request?

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    By law, the District does have to respond to the request. However, the law provides that some documents such as certain personnel information, student education records and identifiable information, and certain other records are (or can be) deemed confidential and do not have to be released by the District in a public records request. Student information is also protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). A list of confidential records can be found in Iowa Code Chapter 22.

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  • Must the District create documents to respond to my request?

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    No, the District is not required to create documents in order to fulfill a member of the public’s request.

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  • If I make a request, does the request become a public record?

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    Yes, the District maintains a log of public record requests. This document is considered a public record. It is available for inspection.

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  • What if I have additional questions?

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    Please feel free to contact the District’s custodian of records. In addition, more information is available in Iowa Code Chapter 22, through the Iowa Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Department of Education.

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  • What if I am not satisfied with the response?

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    Please contact the custodian of records so that the district can work with you to revise the request or take other steps to help provide you with the requested information. If still unsatisfied with the response or a decision to deny (fully or in part) a request for records, you should contact Superintendent Stephen Murley, murley.stephen@iowacityschools.org.

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