Anybody. Iowa’s public records laws allow for any person to make a request to local and state government agencies.
WHERE TO BEGIN Most school district records are available to the public, and many Earlham Community School District reports, data, policies and other information are available on this web site. If you have a public records 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.
HOW TO MAKE A REQUEST If you would like to submit a Public Records request, the best way is to do so via email or mail to:
The Earlham Community School District does maintain a log, posted to this web site, which provides a summary of public records requests made to the school district that are either pending or completed.
Student and Personnel Records
Although most school district records are public, there are certain restrictions under state and federal law pertaining to items such as student, personnel and safety records. This page provides an explanation of those records with limited or restricted access to the public.
ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS As the recipient of federal funds for various programs, Earlham Community Schools abides by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under FERPA, parents and their children have certain protections with regard to the public release of education records, such as report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact and family information, and class schedules. FERPA does provide parents with the right to review the education records of minor children; however the law generally requires schools to ask for written consent before disclosing your child’s personally identifiable information to individuals other than you. Exceptions to this rule include disclosures made to school officials with legitimate educational interests; disclosures made to another school at which the student intends to enroll; disclosures made to state or local education authorities for auditing or evaluating federal- or state-supported education programs, or enforcing federal laws that relate to those programs.
FERPA does allow for the release of “directory information,” unless the parent has opted out of such disclosure. “Directory information” includes name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, and grade level; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees, honors, and awards received; and the most recent school attended.
In addition to federal law, state law also describes what student information may or may not be made public. Under Chapter 22 of the Code of Iowa, personal information regarding a student is typically not considered an open record, and would not be released to a third party.
ACCESS TO PERSONNEL RECORDS State law requires public employers to disclose certain personnel information, but it also sets limits on public access to personnel records of public employees. Iowa law balances the goal of public accountability with the privacy and security interests of public employees. The following guidelines from Iowa’s Attorney General apply to the state’s Public Records Law and providing responsible access to information about government employees:
Records of payments to government employees are always public, including wages, reimbursed travel, or a cash payment in settlement of an employment dispute.
Information about an employee’s promotion or pay increase is public, but performance evaluations or disciplinary records may be kept confidential.
An employee’s individual vacation and sick leave record is open to the public. The public can have access to records that show the number of days employees use for vacation or sick leave, but the medical reason for an employee’s sick leave may be kept confidential.
A public employee’s name and business address is public. But government bodies may keep confidential an employee’s home address, gender, and birth date.
WHAT ELSE IS NOT A PUBLIC RECORD? Pursuant to Iowa law, the School Board may designate documents relating to school safety as confidential. These documents include security procedures, vulnerability assessments, evacuation procedures, security codes and passwords, and emergency preparedness procedures.
Earlham Community School District | 535 N. Chestnut St PO Box 430 Earlham, IA 50072 | (P) 515-758-2214 | (F) 515-758-2215 Contact
It is the policy of the Earlham Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices.