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Sumner County Schools

Open Records Information

I.               General Policy Statement

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(g), the following Public Records Policy (the “Policy”) for Sumner County Schools (“SCS”) is hereby adopted by the Board of Education (the “Board”) to provide economical and efficient access to public records as provided under the Tennessee Public Records Act (“TPRA”) in Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-501, et seq.

The TPRA provides that all state, county, and municipal records shall, at all times during business hours, be open for personal inspection by any citizen of this state, and those in charge of the records shall not refuse such right of inspection to any citizen, unless otherwise provided by state law. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(2)(A).

Personnel of SCS shall timely and efficiently provide access and assistance to persons requesting to view or receive copies of public records.  However, the integrity and organization of public records, as well as the efficient and safe operation of SCS, shall be protected as provided by current law. Concerns about this Policy should be addressed to the Board and Community Relations Supervisor for SCS.

This Policy is available for inspection and duplication in the office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor for SCS. This Policy is also posted online at www.sumnerschools.org.  This Policy shall be reviewed periodically at the discretion of the Board.

II.                  Definitions

A.         In the interpretation and application of this Policy, the following terms shall mean:

  1. “Records Custodian” or “RC” is the office, official, or employee lawfully responsible for the direct custody and care of a public record. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(1)(C). The Records Custodian is not necessarily the original preparer or receiver of the record.
  2. “Confidential Record” is any record, or part of a record, which is defined by the Tennessee Public Records Act, or other state or federal law, as being exempt from public inspection.
  3. “Labor” means the time reasonably necessary to produce the requested records and includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the time spent locating, retrieving, reviewing, redacting, and reproducing records.
  4. “Public Records” or “Records” means all  documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by SCS.  See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(1)A).  Public Records do not include the device or equipment, including, but not limited to, a cell phone, computer, or other electronic or mechanical device or equipment, that may have been used to create or store a Public Record.
  5. “Public-Records Request Coordinator” or “PRRC” means SCS’s Board and Community Relations Supervisor. This individual is responsible for ensuring Public-Record requests are routed to the appropriate Records Custodian and are fulfilled in accordance with the TPRA. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(1)(B).  SCS’s PRRC may be reached at Attn. Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, 695 E Main St, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066; 615-451-6510.
  6. “Requestor” means any Tennessee citizen who submits a valid public-records request, consistent with this Policy and applicable law, whether it is for inspection or for copies.
  7. “Public-Records Request” or “Request” is any request to inspect or copy Records made by a Requestor in accordance with this Policy and applicable law.
  8. “Public-Records Request Form” shall mean the form by developed by the Office of Open Records Counsel.  The Public-Records Request Form is attached to this Policy as an Appendix.  See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(g). 
  9. “Public-Records Request Response Form” and the “Public-Records Request Supplemental Response Form” (the “Response Forms”) shall mean the forms adopted by the SCS and based on the response form developed by the Office of Open Records Counsel.  Both Response Forms are attached to this Policy as Appendices.  

III.       Internet Access

A.         SCS maintains an Internet website at the following URL: www.sumnerschools.org.  SCS makes the following records publicly available through this website: (1) SCS Board policies; (2) agendas from SCS Board meetings; (3) minutes from SCS Board meetings; (4) streaming content of SCS Board meetings; (5) SCS budget documents and other select financial information; and (6) the Public-Records Records Request Form developed by the Tennessee State Comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel.  A Requestor may nevertheless make a Request to inspect or copy a document that is publicly available on the SCS website if the Requestor makes a formal Public-Records Request in accordance with this Policy.

B.         If contacted about Records available through this website, the Public-Records Request Coordinator will respond, within a reasonable time, by informing the Requestor where he or she may find public access to the Record.  SCS has discretion to respond to the Requestor in any manner SCS deems reasonable, and SCS’s methods of responding under this section shall not in any way alter, affect, or constitute a waiver of the policies for making or responding to a Public-Records Request as otherwise stated herein.  SCS will not consider this communication as a Public-Records Request unless the citizen makes a formal Public-Records Request in accordance with this Policy. 

IV.       Requests to Inspect Public Records

A.         Unless otherwise required by law, SCS does not require a written request to personally inspect a Public Record and does not assess a charge to view a Public Record.  Requestors may request to inspect Public Records in person or by telephone, fax, mail, or email. SCS does not maintain an Internet portal for accepting Public-Records Requests.  In order to ensure Public-Records Requests are routed to the appropriate Records Custodian and fulfilled in a timely manner, Requestors should submit requests to inspect Public Records as follows:

  1.    If a Requestor elects to request to inspect Public Records by appearing in person, then the Requestor shall appear in person at the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, 695 E Main St, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 during regular business hours, as may be modified.
  2.    If a Requestor elects to make a written request to inspect Records, then the Requestor must make such an advance written request on the Board’s Public-Records Request Form and deliver it as follows:
    1. Hand delivery to the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, 695 E Main St, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066;
    2. Fax to the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, at (615) 451-6518;
    3. Mail to the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, 695 E Main St, Gallatin, TN 37066; or
    4. E-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
    The Public-Records Request Form is available for retrieval at the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor for SCS, on SCS’s website, and on the Office of Open Records Counsel’s (“OORC”) website.  SCS will not accept advanced written Requests for personal inspection of Records via other methods of communication.
  3.    If a Requestor elects to make a telephone request to inspect Records, then the Requestor shall call SCS’s dedicated public-records request telephone number, (615) 206-3303, during regular business hours.

B.         Prior to inspection of any Public Records, SCS will require the Requestor to present photo identification, if the Requestor possesses photo identification issued by a governmental entity that also includes the Requestor’s address.  If the Requestor does not possess such photo identification, SCS will require another form of valid identification that includes the Requestor’s address.  Proof of Tennessee citizenship by presentation of a valid Tennessee driver’s license or alternative acceptable form of ID is required as a condition to inspect or receive copies of Public Records.

C.        All Requests for inspection of a Public Record shall be sufficiently detailed to enable SCS to identify the specific Records to be located.

D.        The PRRC will determine the location for inspection of the requested Records within SCS.  Under reasonable circumstances, SCS may require an appointment for inspection or may require inspection of Records at an alternate location.

E.         If a Requestor makes two (2) or more requests to view a Public Record within a six-month period and, for each request, the Requestor fails to view the Public Record within fifteen (15) business days of receiving notification that the record is available to view, then SCS will not comply with any Public-Records Request from the Requestor for a period of six (6) months from the date of the second request to view the Public Record, unless SCS, in its sole discretion, determines that the failure to view the Public Record was for good cause.

V.        Requests for Copies of Public Records

A.         Requests for copies of Public Records shall be made in writing on the Board’s Public-Records Request Form. This form shall be delivered as follows:

  1. Hand delivery to the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, 695 E Main St, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066;
  2. Fax to the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, at (615) 451-6518;
  3. Mail to the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor, Sumner County Schools, 695 E Main St, Gallatin, TN 37066; or
  4. E-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

The Public-Records Request Form is available for retrieval at the Office of the Board and Community Relations Supervisor for SCS, on SCS’s website, and on the OORC’s website.  SCS will not accept advanced request forms for copies of records via other methods of communication.  SCS will not accept request forms for copies of Records via other methods of communication.

B.         Any Requestor making a request for copies of Records must include a copy of his or her photo identification along with the Public-Records Request Form, if the Requestor possesses photo identification issued by a governmental entity that includes the Requestor’s address.  If a Requestor does not possess such photo identification, SCS requires the submission of another form of valid identification that includes the Requestor’s address.  Proof of Tennessee citizenship by presentation of a valid Tennessee driver’s license or alternative acceptable form of ID is required as a condition to inspect or receive copies of Public Records.

C.        All requests for copies of a Public Record shall be sufficiently detailed to enable SCS to identify the specific Records to be located or copied.

D.        Copies shall be made on the copying equipment owned or leased by SCS.  No personal cameras, cell phones, or other recording or storage devices shall be utilized to copy records.

E.         Requestors shall be charged for copies, according to the fee schedule set forth in the OORC’s Schedule of Reasonable Charges and/or the OORC’s Schedule of Reasonable Charges for Frequent and Multiple Requests.  The PRRC shall provide Requestors with an estimate of the charges prior to producing copies of Records and may require pre-payment of such charges before producing requested Records.  Payment is to be made by cash or check, payable to SCS, and presented to the PRRC.

F.         The PRRC and/or Records Custodian may elect the format in which the records are provided to the Requestor.  Copies will be available for pickup at a location specified by the PRRC.  Upon payment for postage, copies will be delivered to the Requestor’s home address.

G.        If a Requestor makes a request for copies of a Public Record and, after copies have been produced, the Requestor fails to pay SCS the cost for producing such copies, then SCS will not comply with any Public-Records Request from the Requestor until the Requestor pays for such copies, provided that the Requestor was provided with an estimated cost for producing the copies in accordance with this Policy prior to producing the copies and the Requestor agreed to pay the estimated cost for such copies.      

H.        In the case of frequent and/or multiple requests for copies, SCS will aggregate record requests in accordance with the Frequent and Multiple Request Policy promulgated by the OORC when more than (4) requests are received within a calendar month (either from a single individual or a group of individuals deemed working in concert). Records will be aggregated at the level deemed appropriate by SCS.  The PRRC is responsible for making the determination that a group of individuals are working in concert. The PRRC or the RC must inform the individuals that they have been deemed to be working in concert and that they have the right to appeal the decision to the OORC.  

VI.       Procedure for Processing Public-Records Requests

A.         A Tennessee citizen shall first submit a valid Public-Records Request in accordance with this Policy and applicable law.  The Public-Records Request Coordinator will obtain a Requestor’s contact information for any further correspondence required by law or Policy. 

B.         The PRRC shall review the Public-Records Request and make an initial determination of the following:

  1. If the Requestor provided evidence of Tennessee citizenship;
  2. If the requested Records are described with sufficient specificity to identify them; and
  3. If SCS is the custodian of the Records.

C.        The PRRC shall promptly advise the Requestor of this Policy and any election(s) made regarding:

  1. Proof of Tennessee citizenship;
  2. Required form(s);
  3. Fees; and
  4. Aggregation of multiple or frequent requests.

D.        The PRRC will forward the Request to the appropriate Records Custodian in SCS.  If the Records are in the custody of a different governmental entity, and the PRRC knows the correct governmental entity, the PRRC may advise the Requestor of the correct governmental entity and PRRC for that entity, if known.  If the Records Custodian is uncertain that an applicable exemption applies, the Records Custodian may consult with the PRRC.  The PRRC may consult with counsel and/or the Office of Open Records Counsel regarding applicable exemptions.

E.         Within seven (7) business days of SCS’s actual receipt of a valid Public-Records Request, the PRRC shall acknowledge receipt of the request and take any of the following appropriate action(s):

  1. Make the Records available to the Requestor; or
  2. Deny the Request in writing and include the basis for the denial; or
  3. Advise the Requestor that it is not practicable for the Records to be made promptly available for inspection and/or copying and furnish the Requestor with the estimated time that will be reasonably necessary to produce the Record if it will not be produced within seven (7) business days.  If appropriate, the PRRC may contact the Requestor to see if the Request can be narrowed.

The PRRC shall complete a Public-Records Request Response Form and/or a Supplemental Response Form, as appropriate. 

F.         SCS is not responsible for searching through files to compile information or for creating Records that do not exist. 

G.        The Records Custodian shall redact any part of a Public Record that contains information exempt from disclosure.  If questions arise concerning redaction, the RC should coordinate with the PRRC.  Where a redacted Record is provided, the PRRC shall provide the Requestor with the basis for redaction.  The basis given for redaction shall be general in nature and shall not disclose confidential information.

H.        If a Records Custodian reasonably determines production of Records should be segmented because the Request is for a large volume of Records, or additional time is necessary to prepare the Records for access, the Records Custodian shall use a Response Form to notify the Requestor that production of the Records will be in segments and that a production schedule will be provided as expeditiously as practicable.  If appropriate, the RC should contact the Requestor to see if the Request can be narrowed.

I.          Any Tennessee citizen who has made a valid request to access SCS Public Records may inspect and/or receive copies the Public Record(s) if such record(s) exist and are not Confidential Records exempt from disclosure.

  • Policy Amendments and Addendums

If appropriate, the PRRC shall report to the Board periodically about SCS’s implementation of this Policy and shall make recommendations, if any, for improvements or amendments to this Policy.

The following forms, as may be amended from time to time, are hereby incorporated by reference and appended hereto:

  • Public Records Request Form
  • Public Records Request Response Forms
  • Office of Open Records Counsel’s Schedule of Reasonable Charges
  • Office of Open Records Counsel’s Reasonable Charges for Frequent and Multiple Requests

 

Records Request Form

 

Records Available Online
Sumner County Schools maintains a number of records that are readily available on this website. Below are links to where some of the most frequently requested items that are available on this site can be located and reviewed.

Current Agenda

Board Policies

  Frequently Requested Policies

Budget Information

Board Information

School Information

 

 

 

 

To make a request by phone, call 1-615-206-3303

Sumner County Schools is a collaborative culture of high performing students, teachers, and school communities.