Colorado Open Records Act
Colorado Open Records Act (CORA)
School districts, like all other government entities, are required under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to make their records (with important exceptions like a student’s education information) available for public inspection. CORA defines a record as essentially any writing that is made, kept or maintained by the District. This includes electronic records, such as emails and databases that are stored in the District’s digital file system (our portion of “the Cloud”), computers and servers. The purpose of this law is to allow the citizens to see into the operations of the government and how taxpayer dollars are being spent.
Douglas County School District records are public unless otherwise protected from disclosure and shall be available for inspection during regular business hours upon request made to the District. There is no duty to create a public record that does not already exist.
Inspection of the record shall take place where designated by the Public Records Manager, and will not be disruptive to the operations of the office, and shall be done in the presence of the custodian of the record.
We are proud to be transparent and ask all of our stakeholders to be responsible with the taxpayers’ resources.
Confidential Student Records
The Douglas County School District believes that honest communication between parents and the teachers, principals and others in the district regarding their child’s education is critical to the success of each student. We do everything we can within the law to keep your child’s personal education information confidential.
Is my child’s educational information disclosable under CORA?
No. Just because something is a record under the statute, that does not mean it all must be produced if someone requests it. There are some key protections to protect privacy, particularly when it comes to information about students.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects a broad range of information about students from public inspection. Under this Federal law (which is recognized by CORA), “student-identifiable education information” cannot be disclosed to anyone who doesn’t need it to educate the student in a school without parent consent. This protected information includes grades and test scores, special education information, discipline records, student health information, and communications between parents and the school about the student’s education. In addition, state law protects student addresses (including email addresses), and telephone numbers.
How does the District protect my student’s information?
When the District receives requests for records under CORA each record is reviewed privately and student education information is removed. In most instances where records and emails reference students, the entire record is protected from public disclosure.
– See more at: https://www.dcsdk12.org/cora#sthash.FSEze7sP.dpuf