Your Right to Public Data
Iowa’s public records law allows for any person to make a request to local and state government agencies. Most school district records are available to the public and many JCSD reports, data, policies and other information are available on this website. If you have a public request, you may wish to first use the search bar at the top of this page to see if the information you are looking for is available immediately online.
While many public records are available at no cost and in a short amount time (including immediately for items posted on our website), state law does allow public entities to charge for the actual costs associated with compiling records prior to the start of discovery. Read our Board Policy 901: Examination of District Public Records.
If you would like to submit a Public Record Request, please use the form below.
Examination of Public Records
All records of or belonging to the school district are public records and available for public examination and reproduction, except those records which are defined by law as confidential and those records which are copyrighted. It is not the practice of the Johnston Community School District to redact names or email addresses from general correspondence to the school district. Emails sent to board members and employees of the district will be considered public records under the Iowa Open Records Law and subject to disclosure unless it is a protected student or personnel record, or subject to attorney-client privilege.
Copyrighted materials of or belonging to the district are available for examination. Board records include board agendas, agenda attachments, minutes, written communications addressed to the Board of Directors or a board officer. Board records also include all other records distributed to all board members. A communication addressed to an individual board member and not distributed to all board members and not generated as part of a district board member’s official duties does not belong to the district and is not a public record.
Confidential Records are those records required or permitted by law to be confidential.
Examination of Records
Public records are available for public examination during office hours. These hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays and breaks. Persons wishing to review the school district’s public records shall contact the board secretary and make arrangements for viewing. The board secretary shall make arrangements for anyone to view the records as soon as practicable, depending on the nature of the request. Examination of records shall be done under the supervision of the district employee responsible for maintaining the records being examined or by that person’s designee. Confidential Records are not available for examination by the public.
Reproduction of Records
Original or reproduced copies of public records will be made available during office hours upon request. Persons wanting copies may be assessed a fee for the copy. Such copies will be available for a fee of 10 cents for each standard page, except as otherwise provided. Except as permitted by law, copyrighted materials or trademarked materials shall not be reproduced. Persons wanting a compilation of data may be assessed a fee for the time of the school district employee to compile such data. Requests that take longer than one hour of District personnel time will cost $35 per hour and must be prepaid. This cost is in addition to the per page reproduction cost. Records defined by law as confidential records shall only be viewed or copied upon receipt of written permission by the board secretary from the person or entity whose confidential records are being requested.
Costs for Record Requests
Iowa law does allow that persons requesting public records may be charged a fee for the actual costs of the retrieval and review of records, supervision of the examination of records and for copying records.
Examples of actual costs for public record requests to JCSD may include:
- Copies: there is no charge for the first 20 pages of photocopies. After that, there is a charge of 10 cents per single-sided sheet and 20 cents per double-sided sheet.
- A per hour charge based on the hourly rate of employees is, for data retrieval, document review and other work related to fulfilling a public records request.
- Postage will be charged, at cost, if it exceeds $1.
Please note that it is the practice of JCSD to waive the cost for one hour of work to comply with a public records request. Time beyond on hour is charged at a rate of $35 per hour.
If there is any cost associated with a request, JCSD will provide an estimate of the cost to the requester. If the estimate is agreed to, the district will require payment when the public records are provided or in advance if the estimate is more than $100. In addition, work will not begin on the request until the estimate is approved or paid by the requestor, depending upon the amount. A requestor may always amend his/her request in order to lessen or even eliminate any cost.