FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA)
The FOIA Officers for Norfolk Public Schools are Michelle Washington, Amy Matzke-Fawcett, and Madeline Curott. All requests should be submitted through the division’s request portal: https://norfolkpublicschoolsva.justfoia.com/publicportal/home/track.
For general questions regarding FOIA that are not related to a specific request, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Office of Communications and Community Engagement at 757-628-3459. All questions about submitted requests should be made through the portal.
KBA-R. REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION REGULATION
Norfolk Public Schools is committed to full compliance with the Act, and shall process all requests for information in accordance with the following procedures:
Access to Records
1. Official records subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act shall be open to inspection and copying during the regular office hours of the Norfolk Public Schools’ central office, and within the time frame specified by the Freedom of Information Act for requesting and receiving access to inspect the records.
2. Unless otherwise specified by the superintendent, inspection of records shall take place at the central office of Norfolk Public Schools, and shall not be removed from that site. Copies may be requested in lieu of or at the time of inspection, subject to the charges listed below. Nonexempt records maintained in an electronic database shall be produced in any tangible medium or format identified by the requester that is regularly used in the ordinary course of business by Norfolk Public Schools, including delivering the records through an electronic mail address provided by the requester.
3. One of the following forms of photo identification must be presented, or a photocopy thereof must be provided, before any person shall be allowed to inspect any records or receive copies of any records:
a. Press identification identifying requester as a representative of a newspaper or magazine with circulation in the commonwealth, or of a radio or television station broadcasting in or into the commonwealth, OR
b. Driver’s License or other official photo identification showing that requester is a citizen of the commonwealth.
4. The Superintendent or a designee shall be present during inspection or copying of records. A record of each inspection shall be made, using form KBA-F2.
1. Requests for access to records shall be made with reasonable specificity.
2. Requests shall be directed to the Norfolk Public Schools central office at:
Office of Communications and Community Engagement/FOIA Request
800 E. City Hall Avenue, Suite 1008
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: (757) 628-3459
Fax: (757) 628-3807
3. Requests may also be made via electronic mail at email@example.com
4. Requesters may make their requests using Form KBA-F1.
5. Building office personnel shall provide Form KBA-F1 and a copy of this regulation upon request to any person interested in obtaining access to records, and shall instruct the requester to direct the request to the above postal address or electronic mail address. Telephone inquiries shall be redirected to the central office.
Responding to Requests
1. Promptly, but in all cases within five working days of the request, one of the following written responses shall be provided to the requester:
a. The records shall be made available to the requester for inspection, or copies thereof may be provided in lieu of inspection.
b. The requested records will be entirely withheld because their release is prohibited by law or because the Virginia Freedom of Information Act gives their custodian discretion to withhold them. A written explanation identifying with reasonable particularity the volume and subject matter of the withheld records, and with respect to each category withheld, referencing the Code section containing the specific applicable exemption(s) shall be included.
c. The requested records will be provided in part and withheld in part because the release of part of the records is prohibited by law or the custodian has exercised his discretion to withhold a portion of the records. A written explanation identifying with reasonable particularity the subject matter of the withheld portions and referencing, with respect to each category of withheld records, the specific Code section(s) which authorize the withholding of the records, shall be included.
d. If the status of the records cannot be determined within the five-day period, or if it is practically impossible to provide the records within the five-day period, the requester shall be notified of this fact and of the specific conditions which make a response within the five-day period impossible. Such notice shall be provided within five working days of the request, and one of the three preceding responses shall be provided within an additional seven-day period.
2. The five-day period shall begin on the first working day following the day the request is received by the central office, and shall end at the close of business on the fifth working day following receipt of the request. Any time that elapses between the time the requester is notified of an advance cost determination pursuant to the procedures detailed below and the time that the requester responds to that notice shall not be counted in calculating the five work days.
Processing of Requests
1. The superintendent or a designee shall, after receiving a request, promptly make an initial determination as to whether the requested records will be provided to the requester, will be withheld, either completely or in part, or if it is practically impossible to provide the requested records or to determine whether they are available within five days.
2. If the superintendent or designee is unsure whether the requested documents should be provided to the requester, legal advice shall be promptly sought.
3. If the superintendent or designee is uncertain whether the requested records exist or where they may be located, efforts shall be promptly initiated to locate the records or determine whether they exist.
4. If the requested records will be made available either in whole or in part, the superintendent or a designee shall promptly consult with central office staff to determine the cost involved to assemble the records for inspection and copying. Where portions of individual records must be redacted prior to inspection and copying, the cost of doing this shall also be taken into account.
The following costs shall be charged at the rates indicated, not to exceed actual cost:
a. Staff member search time, charged by the quarter hour based on the employee’s hourly wage.
b. Computer search time, charged by the quarter hour based on the hourly wage of the employee performing the search.
c. Computer printouts, charged at the rate of $0.05 cents per page.
d. Photocopies (including those necessary to perform redactions), charged at the rate of $.05 cents per page.
e. Incidental out-of-pocket costs necessary to assemble the records (for example: phone, postage, or courier charges).
5. If the requester has asked for an advance determination of the cost, or if the cost is expected to exceed $200.00, the requester shall be notified in advance of the cost associated with the request. If the cost of the request is determined to exceed $200.00, the school division may, before continuing to process the request, require the requester to agree to payment of a deposit not to exceed the amount of the advance determination. The deposit shall be credited toward the final cost of supplying the requested records. No further action shall be taken until the requester responds, and the requester must agree to pay the estimated amount before any further processing of the request is performed.
6. Before processing a request for records, the superintendent or designee may require the requester to pay any amounts owed to the school board for previous requests for records that remain unpaid 30 days or more after billing.
7. Any records to be disclosed shall be assembled for inspection and copying by central office staff, under the direction and supervision of the superintendent or a designee.
8. Central office staff shall be responsible for recording the date the request was received, verifying photo identification and signature, and recording and assembling additional information about the request as indicated on Form KBA-F1.
Forms for requesting information also can be obtained from the office of the superintendent.