Public Records Requests
On June 3, 2016, Governor Baker signed into law "An Act to Improve Public Records," enhancing public access to information. That law went into effect January 1, 2017.
What is a Public Record?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts broadly defines what constitutes a public record. The public records law includes nearly all documentary materials or data of any form generated, received or maintained by the Public Schools of Brookline, its employees, boards, committees and commissions. In order to protect certain privacy and security interests, there are certain narrowly defined statutory exemptions prohibiting particular public records, or portions thereof, from disclosure. A list of exemptions may be found at Chapter 4, Section 7(26) of the Massachusetts General Laws. For more information, follow this link: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/preinformation.htm
What is a Public Records Request?
A public records request is a request to either inspect, copy or both, public records. There is no requirement that the request be made in person or in writing, or be in any particular form. The person making the request is not required to identify himself/herself, or to provide information about the reason for the request or how the records will be used. The request must be clear enough to enable the Public Schools of Brookline to conduct a meaningful search. The Public Schools of Brookline may ask questions about the request in order to respond to the request fully and in a timely manner. The State acknowledges that access to information is a fundamental and necessary right of every citizen.
The following information is offered to guide the public in gaining access to public records in the custody of the Public Schools of Brookline. The information and lists contained herein are not exhaustive, and any questions or concerns regarding public records should be directed to the Records Access Officer.
- Public Records Division
- Chapter 121
- 950 CMR Public Records Access (PDF)
- Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law (PDF)
Student Records Request
According to Massachusetts Education Laws and Regulations, eligible students and parents shall be able to request access to all student educational records.
What is a Student Record?
Student Records include, but are not limited to, standardized test scores, evaluations by counselors, attendance rates, parent/teacher correspondence, email correspondence between staff, discipline files, etc. More information on what constitutes a student record can be found in MA 603 CMR 23.00. The Public Schools of Brookline is committed to safeguarding the privacy of student information and has created this document as a way to ensure all student records requests are handled securely and consistently throughout the district.
What is a Student Records Request?
Requests must always be made by a parent/guardian and/or legal representative but may be delivered to a third party with consent from the parent/guardian. Most often, third parties consist of attorneys or advocates acting on behalf of the family.
Requests for student records can fall within four different categories:
- Academic progress documentation
- School and family communications
- Special Education and Medical/Mental Health records
- Discipline records