The School Board of Polk County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the bylaws and policies of The School Board of Polk County were adopted on November 12, 2013 and were in effect beginning November 12, 2013.


The School Board recognizes its responsibility to maintain the public records of this District and to make such records available for inspection and reproduction.

Exemptions from Public Records

"Public records" generally means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business of the School Board. Due to the growing number of exemptions set forth in Florida law, it is impracticable for the School Board to provide an all-inclusive list of every document that may be exempt from inspection and copying requirements. For example, student records, medical records, documents containing genetic information, trial preparation records, and confidential law enforcement investigatory records are generally considered exempt or confidential and exempt from release.. The determination of whether a particular document is exempt from public inspection and copying will be made upon receipt of a request for release of said document as a public record and will be based on Florida law in effect at the time the request is made.

Pursuant to State law, a complaint of misconduct against a District employee, and all information obtained pursuant to an investigation by the District of the complaint of misconduct, are confidential and exempt from inspection or copying until the investigation ceases to be active, or until the District provides written notice to the employee who is the subject of the complaint, in the manner set forth below, that the District has either:

 A.concluded the investigation with a finding not to proceed with disciplinary action or file charges, or

 B.concluded the investigation with a finding to proceed with disciplinary action and/or to file charges. If the investigation results in such a finding, the District shall also file a legally sufficient complaint regarding the misconduct as required by State law and Policy 8141 - Mandatory Reporting of Misconduct by Certificated Employees.

Any material that is derogatory to an employee shall not be open to inspection for an additional ten (10) days after the employee has been notified either: certified mail, return receipt requested, to his/her address of record; or personal delivery. The employee’s signature on a copy of the materials to be filed shall be proof that such materials were given to the employee, with the understanding that such signature merely signifies receipt and does not necessarily indicate agreement with its contents.

Access to Public Records

Pursuant to State law, the Superintendent shall appoint a Records Management Liaison Officer (RMLO), who shall serve as the primary point of contact between the District and the Division of Library and Information Services of the Florida Department of State, which is the agency responsible for the State's records management program. The Superintendent may also appoint a Custodian of Records for the District who shall be responsible for implementing the requirements in State law and the State's records management program regarding the public records maintained by the District.

Any individual may inspect and request copies of public records of this District during the regular business hours of the office in which such records are maintained. The District may not require requests for public records to be in writing, nor may the person requesting the information be required to disclose name, address, or phone number unless specifically required to do so by law. The Superintendent is authorized to grant or refuse access to the records of this District in accordance with the intent of this policy and applicable law.

No record in a personnel file which is confidential and exempt from inspection and copying pursuant to applicable law shall be disclosed except as provided by applicable law.

Every person who has custody of a public record shall permit the record to be inspected and copied by any person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision of the custodian of public records.

A District employee who has custody of public records may designate another District employee to permit the inspection and copying of public records, but must disclose the identity of the designee to the person requesting to inspect or copy the public records.

A custodian of public records and/or his/her designee must promptly acknowledge, in writing, requests to inspect or copy records promptly and respond to such requests in good faith. A good faith response includes making reasonable efforts to determine from other officers or employees of the School District whether such a record exists, and, if so, the location at which the record can be accessed. Upon determination that the requested record exists, it must be reviewed to determine whether it contains any information that would be statutorily exempt from public inspection or copying as provided by law. See Policy 8350 – Confidentiality.

Duplicated copies or certified copies of the District's public records shall be provided upon payment of the appropriate fee set forth in the Florida statutes. If the nature or volume of the public records requested will require extensive use of information technology resources or more than fifteen (15) minutes of clerical or supervisory assistance by District personnel, a special service charge attributable to the extensive use of the information technology resources and/or the labor cost of the personnel providing the service will be collected as permitted by State law.

In addition, the actual cost of duplication will be collected for copies of the District's public records in a form other than a duplicated copy. The special service charge will also be collected if the requested copies of the public records in a form other than duplicated copy will require extensive use of information technology resources or more than fifteen (15) minutes of clerical or supervisory assistance by District personnel as permitted by State law.

If the request for copies of a public record in any form could result in the collection of a special service charge, an estimate of the fee that will be due and payable shall be provided to the requestor. The duplication of the requested records will commence upon payment of the estimated fee by the requestor.

No public record may be removed from the office in which it is maintained, except by a Board employee in the course of the performance of his/her duties.

All District records will be maintained in accordance with general records schedules GS1-SL and GS7, as established by the Department of State.

F.S. Chapter 119, 119.071(2)(k), 257.36(5)(a), 286.011, 1002.221, 1003.25(1)
20 U.S.C. 1232g
42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
29 C.F.R. Part 1635

Article I, Section 24, State Constitution
F.A.C. 1B-24.001, 1B-24.003, 1B-26.0021, 1B-26.003

© Neola 2013