Sunnyside School District recognizes the importance of public records and providing full disclosure and transparency in making public records available. If you have questions or comments regarding the School District’s public records process, please send them to Jessica Morgan, the Sunnyside School District's Communications Director and Public Records Officer at email@example.com, by mail at 1110 S. Sixth Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944, Attn: Communications Office, or by calling (509) 836-8703.
Frequently Requested Public Records
Some Public Records may be accessed through the District website without needing to submit a Public Records Request Form.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the Public Records Act?RCW 42.56.070 requires each agency to make available for inspection and copying non-exempt public records in accordance with the Public Records Act (PRA). The purpose of the Act is to provide the public full access to information concerning the conduct of government, mindful of individuals’ privacy rights. View the Public Records Act.What is a public record?The PRA defines a public record as "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics."How do I request public records?Any person wishing to inspect or obtain public records should make the request in writing to the Sunnyside School District Communications Department. The request should include the requestor’s name, contact information, detailed description of the record, and date of the request. For assistance in submitting a request, please call (509) 836-8703.How do I know which records to ask for?If you’re not sure what to request, feel free to call (509) 836-8703 for assistance. If you can tell us what it is you’re looking for, we can help identify the record you need or the staff member who can provide the information.Under Public Records laws, a requestor is not required to identify the exact record he/she seeks, but is required to request an “identifiable record.” An “identifiable record” is one that agency staff can reasonably locate.How can I get the records I need quickly?The District receives and processes many records requests every month. If you would like to obtain records quickly, the following information may help:
- Focus on specific records you need. For example, “Minutes from the March 3, 2016 Community Task Force Meeting."
- Provide clear, specific details about the records you are seeking to assist the District in processing your request quickly and efficiently.
- Avoid making an overly-broad request. For example, if you want to know how much the District spent on a particular item, identifying the item and approximate time it was purchased would allow the District to respond much more quickly and efficiently than requesting records of all expenditures for an undetermined period of time.
- Depending on the nature/volume of anticipated records responsive to your request, the District may need to respond to your request in installments. Please provide any guidance as to whether you have a preference or priority set of documents (e.g. records from a specific date range, records from a specific department/staff member, records on one particular subject before another, etc.). Such clarification will allow the District to prioritize the process in order to gather all responsive records and provide them to you in the most efficient manner possible.
- Please keep in mind, a broad and unclear request will take longer to process and may require additional clarification. If you are unsure which records might contain information you are specifically looking for, please contact us for assistance.
- Avoid using phrases such “regarding” or “related to” when describing records. Those inexact phrases often cause a delay because records you think are “related” could be different from what the District thinks are “related.” A more precise request is for “records that discuss [insert your subject here]”
What about E-Mails and Electronic Records?The District receives and sends large volumes of emails on a daily basis. These emails are archived through an internal email system. Please be aware that email records requests may take longer to process than other records requests.To expediate the process, please provide a specific a date range and search terms that will allow the District to identify records responsive to your request.In some cases, emails may contain student names or other identifiable information for a variety of reasons. The District will need additional time to review and redact emails that contain student issues, education, assignments, etc.What is the District’s policy on disclosure of public records?It is the School Board’s policy to disclose public records pursuant to the public records laws.How Does the District Process Public Records Requests?The Public Records Act governs each agency to provide access to public records and protect records from damage. The District will provide the fullest assistance to requestors, and provide a timely response to public records requests. The public records officer or designee will process requests in the order allowing the most requests to be processed in the most efficient manner and without excessive interference with other essential functions of the District.Within five (5) business days of receipt of the request, the public records officer will do one or more of the following:a) Acknowledge receipt of request and provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available; orb) Make the records available for inspection or copying; orc) Seek clarification of request if the request is unclear or does not sufficiently identify the requested records. Such clarification may be requested and provided by telephone; ord) Deny the request.Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. To view the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, click here: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
- If you have any questions about how to identify records, please call the District (836-8703).