Colorado Open Records Act
RECORDS REQUESTS PROCEDURES
Academy District 20 will only accept records requests made in writing via the asd20.org CORA form.
A request is considered “received” by Academy District 20 the day a request is made using the online form. A request received after 4:30 p.m. mountain standard time or any day Academy District 20 is officially closed, is considered received when opened following the closure.
Academy District 20 shall make every effort to respond within three working days, as provided by § 24-72-203(3)(b), C.R.S. The district may extend its response time if it finds extenuating circumstances exist and communicates that finding to the requestor in writing, as described in § 24-72-203(3)(b), C.R.S. The three working-day response time begins the first working day after the request is received.
If records are stored in paper format, Academy District 20 staff will work with the requestor to schedule a time to inspect the records in person. The department is generally open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Academy District 20 may require that members of the public or press only view copies of documents when the custodian of records determines that allowing access to originals could interfere with the regular discharge of duties of the district or its staff or that the review of original records could jeopardize the condition of the records.
Academy District 20 will not be responsible for conducting analysis of records on behalf of a requestor.
PROTECTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Academy District 20 staff will not assume a record is exempt from CORA and will always consult the Director for Communications and/or legal counsel before making a determination to not provide a record. Any redactions or removal of information that Academy District 20 is legally required or allowed to withhold, pursuant to § 24-72-204, C.R.S., will not be done without approval from the Director for Communications and/or review of counsel.
Academy District 20 shall not provide any personally identifiable information that is confidential pursuant to state or federal law. Colorado’s Student Data Transparency and Security Act protects the confidentiality of “information that, alone or in combination, personally identifies an individual student or the student’s parent or family, and that is collected, maintained, generated, or inferred by a public education entity…” (See § 22-16-101, et. seq., C.R.S).
Similarly, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the confidentiality of student’s identifiable information that is maintained in education records and includes direct identifiers, such as a student’s name or identification number, indirect identifiers, such as a student’s date of birth, race/ethnicity, disability status or other information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity either directly or indirectly through linkages with other information (See 34 CFR §99.3). When it may be possible to determine a student’s personally identifiable information from a record by using simple calculations, Academy District 20 will redact the data to the extent necessary to protect student privacy. Academy District 20 is also required to protect the confidentiality of licensed personnel evaluations, in accordance with § 22-9-109, C.R.S.
Finally, under CORA, Academy District 20 may deny a request for any of the reasons outlined in § 24-72-204, C.R.S. For a complete list of the types of records that Academy District 20 may withhold, please refer all appropriate sections of statute. A general list of the types of protected records applicable to Academy District 20 is below:
- Any investigatory files compiled for any law enforcement purpose;
- Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data pertaining to administration of a licensing examination, examination for employment, or academic examination;
- The specific details of bona fide research projects being conducted by a state institution;
- Electronic mail addresses provided by a person to an agency, institution, or political subdivision of the state;
- Specialized details of security arrangements or investigations;
- Medical, mental health, sociological, and scholastic achievement data on individual persons;
- Personnel files;
- Letters of reference;
- Trade secrets, privileged information, and confidential commercial, financial, geological, or geophysical data;
- Library and museum material contributed by private persons;
- Addresses and telephone numbers of students in any public elementary or secondary school;
- Library records disclosing the identity of a user;
- All statements, records, schedules, working papers, and memoranda made by a certified public accountant incident to or in the course of professional service to a client by the certified public accountant, except financial statements submitted by a certified public accountant to a client and books and records prepared for the use of the client;
- Any records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations; or
- Records protected under the common law governmental or "deliberative process" privilege.
Not all emails are public records that may be requested through CORA. To be a ‘public record,’ an e-mail message must be for use in the performance of public functions or involve the receipt and expenditure of public funds.
FORMAT FOR RECORDS PRODUCED
If a public record is stored in a digital format, whether searchable, sortable, or neither, Academy District 20 will provide that record in the format in which it is stored. Academy District 20 may modify the format of digital records if:
- Providing the records in their current format would violate copyright, the terms of a licensing agreement, or would result in the release of a third-party’s proprietary information; or
- Using the current format, it is not technologically or practically feasible to remove information that Academy District 20 is allowed or required to withhold.
FEES FOR DOCUMENT RETRIEVAL, REVIEW AND COPIES OF RELEASE OF RECORDS
The first hour of staff time researching and retrieving requested records and up to 25 pages of printing is provided at no charge. A page is defined as one side of one page. Printing both sides of a single page is considered two pages. Academy District 20 will charge the requestor for all copying expenses in excess of 25 pages and actual costs associated with research and retrieval in excess of one hour, in accordance with §§ 24-72-205(5)(a) and (6)(a), C.R.S.
If a records request requires more than mere retrieval of records—such as technical expertise to synthesize or reconfigure data or legal expertise from attorneys in order to identify how to comply with confidentiality requirements—Academy District 20 will charge the requestor for such costs, in accordance with the guidelines below. Any costs charged to a requestor shall not exceed the actual cost of producing the records, in accordance with § 24-72- 205(5)(a), C.R.S.
Prior to producing requested records, Academy District 20 will provide an estimate of the costs of production to the requestor. If the requestor does not wish to pay the fees, Academy District 20 can provide the requestor with information on how the request can be modified to reduce or eliminate the fees. After a requestor has agreed to the costs of production, Academy District 20 will keep the requestor informed if any additional costs are anticipated and will not incur any additional costs without the requestor’s consent. After producing the requested records, Academy District 20 will provide an invoice to the requestor. Costs must be paid in full before records are released.
Academy District 20 will charge for the actual costs of a request based on the following guidelines:
|Type of Request||Actual Costs Based on the Below Rates|
|Records request that exceeds 25 pages||$0.25 per page for all documents photocopied|
|Requests that require more than one hour of staff time for retrieval of records||$30 per hour, after the first hour|
|Requests that require more than mere retrieval of records, such as technical expertise to synthesize or reconfigure data, apply unique suppression rules to remove identifiability and/or legal expertise to determine how to comply with confidentiality requirements||Hourly rate of staff member (based on actual salary divided by annual hours), attorney billable hourly rate, or contractor hourly rate, as applicable|