Freedom of Information Act

To better serve the community and achieve greater transparency in government, DeKalb School District #428 offers Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) forms and response documents online as a public courtesy.


How to file a FOIA request with DeKalb School District #428:

If your inquiry is merely a question and not a request to see a specific record/document, you will be best served by calling the District 428 Education Center and asking to speak with the appropriate personnel on that topic.  The number for the Education Center is (815)754-2350.  You do not need to file a FOIA unless you want to access a specific record/document.

Requests can be made during regular office hours:        Monday -  Friday, 7:30am-4:30pm

1.  E-mail:      melissa.smith@d428.org
2.  Fax:           (815)758-6933

3Written FOIA Requests
      a.  Click below to download and print the District 428 FOIA Request Form (or write your own request)

            FOIA Request Form
      b.  Complete and sign the form
      c.  File your form in one of the following ways :
                           Scan and e-mail it to:  melissa.smith@d428.org
                           Fax it to (815)758-6933
                           Mail or deliver to:        Melissa Smith
                                                            901 South Fourth Street
                                                            DeKalb, IL  60115

(If Melissa Smith is unavailable, please contact Jamie Craven at jamie.craven@d428.org)

 

As stipulated by the Freedom of Information Act, DeKalb School District will provide the first 50 black and white copies at no charge.  Additional copies are 15 cents per page.  The District reserves the right to charge the actual cost of reproduction for color or abnormally sized copies and for recording mediums such as discs or tapes when information is requested in electronic format.

If you have any questions about this process, please call Melissa Smith at (815)754-2292.

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What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
 
Citizens have a right to access public records of their governmental public bodies, including school districts. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140) gives members of the public the right to file a request with a public body to inspect or receive copies of specific public records. The Act aims to help ensure open, honest government.  However, FOIA does not require the district to create documentation in response to a request. The district is only required to supply existing records. 

To allow governmental bodies to operate efficiently and to protect personal privacy, the Act exempts (excludes) specific types of records from public release, with some general examples being medical records, student records, attorney-client privileged correspondence, staff discipline files, test questions and answers, security plans, and the minutes of closed session meetings not yet approved by Board vote for release.

The public body must respond in writing to each written request for records within 5 working days. It must give the requester written notice of any existing records relevant to the request, and, if any of those records are exempt from release, the reason(s) for the exemption. Also, if within those 5 working days the public body denies the request, it must likewise notify the requester in writing and cite the reason(s) under the law.

Under specific circumstances, the Act allows the public body to extend the response time another 5 working days, through written notification to the requester. If that extension expires without response from the public body, the request is considered denied.

The public body has 21 business days to respond to a request for records which will be used for "Commercial Purposes." Under the FOIA law, "commercial purposes" means the use of any part of a public record or documentation derived from a public record in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services.  

As the requestor, you have the right to appeal D428's response to any request. Appeals must be addressed to the Public Access Counselor in the office of the Illinois Attorney General. You can contact the Public Access Counselor by phone at (217)558-0486, by e-mail at publicaccess@atg.state.il.us or by mail: Illinois Public Access Bureau, 500 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, Illinois 62706.

 

Available Records

The following are examples of the types or categories of records maintained by the DeKalb School district:

Monthly financial statements, contracts and bids, budgets, annual audits, levy, collective bargaining agreements, minutes of the Board of Education, policies of the Board of Education, and textbook adoptions.


Description of School District 428 

FOIA requires each public body to display a brief description of itself. DeKalb Community Unit School District is organized and operates as a unit district serving the needs of children in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade and others as required by the Illinois School Code.  Located approximately 60 miles west of Chicago, we provide educational opportunities to 6,000 pre-school through 12th grade students in 11 schools.  Our district encompasses portions of the Town of Cortland, the City of DeKalb, the Village of Malta, as well as parts or all of numerous adjacent rural townships.  Our district's primary mission is to educate our children to reach their potential while preparing them to contribute to our global society.