Freedom of Information Act
Warsaw CUSD #316 is a small rural public school district in West Central Illinois. The District Office is located at 340 South 11th Street, in Warsaw, Illinois. The telephone number for the District Office is (217) 256-4281. Katrina Nixon serves as the District Superintendent and FOIA Officer. She can be reached at the address and telephone number above or by email at email@example.com .
Access to District Public Records
Full access to the District’s public records is available to any person as provided in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), this policy, and implementing procedures. The Superintendent or designee shall: (1) provide the Board with sufficient information and data to permit the Board to monitor the District’s compliance with FOIA and this policy, and (2) report any FOIA requests during the Board’s regular meetings along with the status of the District’s response.
Freedom of Information Officer
The Superintendent shall serve as the District’s Freedom of Information Officer and assumes all the duties and powers of that office as provided in FOIA and this policy. The Superintendent may delegate these duties and powers to one or more designees, but the delegation shall not relieve the Superintendent of the responsibility for the action that was delegated.
The District’s public records are defined as records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other documentary material pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of the School District.
A request for inspection and/or copies of public records must be made in writing and may be submitted by personal delivery, mail, telefax, or email directed to the District’s Freedom of Information Officer. Oral requests may be accepted provided personnel are available to handle them Individuals making a request are not required to state a reason for the request other than to identify when the request is for a commercial purpose or when requesting a fee waiver. The Superintendent or designee shall instruct District employees to immediately forward any request for inspection and copying of a public record to the District’s Freedom of Information Officer or designee.
Responding to Requests
The Freedom of Information Officer shall approve all requests for public records unless:
The requested material does not exist;
The requested material is exempt from inspection and copying by the Freedom of Information Act; or
Complying with the request would be unduly burdensome.
Within 5 business days after receipt of a request for access to a public record, the Freedom of Information Officer shall comply with or deny the request, unless the time for response is extended as specified in Section 3 of FOIA. The Freedom of Information Officer may extend the time for a response for up to 5 business days from the original due date. If an extension is needed, the Freedom of Information Officer shall: (1) notify the person making the request of the reason for the extension, and (2) either inform the person of the date on which a response will be made, or agree with the person in writing on a compliance period.
The time periods are extended for responding to requests for records made for a commercial purpose, requests by a recurrent requester, or voluminous requests, as those terms are defined in Section 2 of FOIA. The time periods for responding to those requests are governed by Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.6 of FOIA.
When responding to a request for a record containing both exempt and non-exempt material, the Freedom of Information Officer shall redact exempt material from the record before complying with the request.
Persons making a request for copies of public records must pay any and all applicable fees. The Freedom of Information Officer shall establish a fee schedule that complies with FOIA and this policy and is subject to the Board’s review. The fee schedule shall include copying fees and all other fees to the maximum extent they are permitted by FOIA, including without limitation, search and review fees for responding to a request for a commercial purpose and fees, costs, and personnel hours in connection with responding to a voluminous request.
Copying fees, except when fixed by statute, shall be reasonably calculated to reimburse the District’s actual cost for reproducing and certifying public records and for the use, by any person, of its equipment to copy records. In no case shall the copying fees exceed the maximum fees permitted by FOIA. If the District’s actual copying costs are equal to or greater than the maximum fees permitted by FOIA, the Freedom of Information Officer is authorized to use FOIA’s maximum fees as the District’s fees. No copying fees shall be charged for: (1) the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies, or (2) electronic copies other than the actual cost of the recording medium, except if the response is to a voluminous request, as defined in FOIA.
A fee reduction is available if the request qualifies under Section 6 of FOIA. The Freedom of Information Officer shall set the amount of the reduction taking into consideration the amount of material requested and the cost of copying it.
Provision of Copies and Access to Records
A public record that is the subject of an approved access request will be available for inspection or copying at the District’s administrative office during regular business hours, unless other arrangements are made by the Freedom of Information Officer.
Many public records are immediately available from the District’s website including, but not limited to, the process for requesting a public record. The Freedom of Information Officer shall direct a requester to the District’s website if a requested record is available there. If the requester is unable to reasonably access the record online, he or she may resubmit the request for the record, stating his or her inability to reasonably access the record online, and the District shall make the requested record available for inspection and copying as otherwise provided in this policy.
Preserving Public Records
Public records, including email messages, shall be preserved and cataloged if: (1) they are evidence of the District’s organization, function, policies, procedures, or activities, (2) they contain informational data appropriate for preservation, (3) their retention is required by State or federal law, or (4) they are subject to a retention request by the Board Attorney (e.g., a litigation hold), District auditor, or other individual authorized by the Board of Education or State or federal law to make such a request. Unless its retention is required as described in items numbered 3 or 4 above, a public record, as defined by the Illinois Local Records Act, may be destroyed when authorized by the Local Records Commission.
District Employee Contracts
Warsaw CUSD #316 currently has no IMRF employees making in excess of $75,000 total compensation package. (5 ILCS 120/7.3)
In compliance with the Steven’s Amendment, the federal government has given Title I, II, IV, and VI monies to CUSD #316 to support their local programs. Anyone interested in acquiring more information as to how these monies are targeted or spent should contact Mrs. Katrina Nixon, Superintendent at 217-256-4281.
Students with Disabilities
Pursuant to Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/14-6.01), students with disabilities who do not qualify for an individualized education program as required by the Disabilities Education Act may qualify for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the child (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.
Education of Homeless Students
Each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths, including a public pre-school education. A homeless child is defined as provided in the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and the Ill. Education for Homeless Children Act. The Superintendent or designee shall act as or appoint a Liaison for Homeless Children to coordinate this policy’s implementation. A homeless child may attend the District school that the child attended when permanently housed or in which the child was last enrolled. A homeless child living in any District school’s attendance area may attend that school. The Superintendent or designee shall review and revise rules or procedures that may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless children and youths. In reviewing and revising such procedures, consideration shall be given to issues concerning transportation, immunization, residency, birth certificates, school records and other documentation, and guardianship. Transportation shall be provided in accordance with the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and State law. The Superintendent or designee shall give special attention to ensuring the enrollment and attendance of homeless children and youths who are not currently attending school. If a child is denied enrollment or transportation under this policy, the Liaison for Homeless Children shall immediately refer the child or his or her parent/guardian to the ombudsperson appointed by the Regional Superintendent and provide the child or his or her parent/guardian with a written explanation for the denial. Whenever a child and his or her parent/guardian who initially share the housing of another person due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar hardship continue to share the housing, the Liaison for Homeless Children shall, after the passage of 18 months and annually thereafter, conduct a review as to whether such hardship continues to exist in accordance with State law.
*Pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/27-23.6, Warsaw CUSD #315 does not have a specific Board Policy titled, “Anti-Bias Education Policy”. These policies address intergroup conflict and other issues related to bias.