Berkeley County School District (BCSD) supports the public's right to information regarding the affairs of the district and its schools, employees, and students.
In compliance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the District works to quickly and clearly respond to requests of non-exempt documents made by the general public and the press.
Read below to learn about how to request information from BCSD under FOIA.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING FOIA
Which documents are exempt under FOIA?
FOIA provides the public with access to existing non-exempt official records of a public agency. It does not require the district to generate or create reports or records. Certain categories of information are exempt and are withheld. Items that are exempt from disclosure include—but are not limited to—personnel records, student records, tests and examinations used to evaluate student or employee performance, particular records relating to security, records protected from disclosure under attorney-client privileges, and Board Meeting executive session materials.
How do I make a FOIA request involving district information?
To ensure that responses may be provided as quickly and efficiently as possible, requests for official public records made under FOIA should be specific in regards to the particular information requested.
The written FOIA request should be dated and signed and include a return address. It is also helpful to provide a phone number and/or email address, so that, if necessary, the Public Information Officer may contact the requesting individual and clarify a request.
The request may be submitted via mail, fax or email to the Public Information Office using the information below.
Katie Orvin Tanner, J.D.
Public Information Officer
Department of Communications and Community Engagement
Berkeley County School District
P.O. Box 608
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
When can I expect a response, and will I need to pay for the requested information?
Please note that though the district strives to respond to FOIA requests as quickly as possible, the law specifies that public bodies have a maximum of 10 working days—excluding weekends and holidays—to respond.
Reasonable fees not to exceed the actual costs of searching for, retrieving, redacting, and reproducing records requested under the FOIA will be charged in accordance with S.C. Ann. 30-4-30 (B). The fee for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records shall not exceed the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid employee who, in the reasonable discretion of the custodian of the records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the request.
If it is determined that a fee will be assessed, the requester will be invoiced and payment is required in full before the public records are released.
If the request is deemed to be of a large volume, the requester will be notified and given an opportunity to narrow the request or will be required to pay a deposit of 25% in advance of any work being initiated. Payment in full will still be required before the public records are released.
All fees are subject to change at any time without notice.
*$20.00 per hour for search, retrieval and redaction time.
$5.00 per disc/USB flash drive
$ .011 per B/W – Letter size
$ .062 per Color – Letter size
$ .0156 per B/W – Legal size
$ .0698 per Color – Legal
*Labor fees are based upon the minimum hourly wage of the lowest paid positions, which in BCSD's reasonable discretion, have the necessary skill and training to respond to basic FOIA requests. FOIA requests requiring a higher level of skill and training to respond will incur higher hourly labor rates.
Mailing costs will be assessed as charged by the U.S. Postal Service.
**Non-standard sizes will be billed at the actual cost to the Berkeley County School District**
Berkeley County School District prefers to transmit responses electronically, via email, if that option is available. No mailing cost will be incurred if the response is sent via email.
I still have questions. Whom may I contact?
Please contact Katie Orvin Tanner, J.D., Public Information Officer at: firstname.lastname@example.org.