Ascent Classical Academy is committed to transparency and open government. As outlined in the following policy, Ascent complies with Colorado’s Open Records Act (“CORA”). Ascent applies this policy in a uniform and reliable manner to ensure it satisfies both the letter and spirit of CORA. This policy is not intended to be duplicative of CORA or to supersede state law. It applies solely to records requests where Ascent has custody and control of the public records in question.
CORA Records Request
All records requests made of Ascent must be submitted online or by mail and shall be provided to the school’s Record Custodian. Records requests that cite the federal Freedom of Information Act will be treated as though they were made pursuant to CORA.
For the fastest and best response, requestors should avoid vaguely worded inquiries. Each request must be as specific, clear, and narrow as possible. Requests should include:
- Subject matter, in the most descriptive terms possible;
- Date range for search;
- Types of documents to be searched (emails, written documents, reports, etc.);
- Names of persons who you believe created the records, are in possession of the records, are the subject of the records, or transmitted the records;
- Other information that will help the school provide the correct records; and
- Contact information of the requester.
A statement explaining the requester’s reason for making the request is helpful for the school to fulfill the request, but not required.
If a request fails to meet these guidelines, the school may be unable to fulfill the request. If more information is needed to process the request, the school will make reasonable efforts to contact the requester at the contact information provided within the timeframe for responding to the request.
Consistent with CORA, Ascent will make reasonable effort to respond to a valid request within three working days. The School will consider a request received the day it receives and opens the written correspondence. The three working-day response time begins the first working day following receipt of the request. Ascent reserves the right to issue a seven-working-day extension where extenuating circumstances exist. Working days do not include school holidays and when the school office is closed.
No Ascent employee may modify, redact, or omit responsive records provided to Ascent’s Record Custodian. The Record Custodian – after consulting with Ascent’s legal counsel, if necessary – will make all determinations regarding the applicability and scope of CORA to a particular record.
When practical, Ascent will provide electronic copies to requestors. But when responsive records cannot be provided electronically to a requestor, Ascent will schedule a mutually agreeable time for the requestor to inspect the records in person. The School will schedule inspections during normal school hours.
Fees for Document Retrieval, Review, and Copies of Release of Records
When a request seeks the production of more than 25 pages of documents or demands more than one hour of staff time to locate or produce records, Ascent shall charge the requestor for all copying expenses and reasonable, actual costs associated with staff time.
In the event Ascent charges a requestor, the School may charge $0.25 per page for all photocopied documents. When producing records consumes more than one hour of staff time, Ascent shall charge $30 an hour for all staff time beyond the first hour associated with locating and producing records for a requestor. Any costs charged to a requestor shall not exceed the actual cost of producing the records. For purposes charging for staff time, all requests made by the same requestor in any 30-day period shall constitute one request.
In the event Ascent anticipates producing more than 25 pages or utilizing more than one hour of staff time, the School will provide a requestor with advance notice and an estimate of costs. Absent an alternative written arrangement, the costs must be paid in full before Ascent will produce the requested records.
Format for Produced Records
CORA requires all public records be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times. CORA does not guarantee access to public records in a specific format. Accordingly, Ascent retains the authority to determine the appropriate format for the records to be produced. This means records may not be provided in their native format.
Ascent may require that members of the public are only permitted to review copies of documents when the Records Custodian determines that allowing access to originals could interfere with the regular discharge of Ascent employees’ duties or production of original records could jeopardize those records.
The School may manipulate existing records to redact or exclude information not subject to disclosure or, at its sole discretion, create a new record in order to respond to a request. If the School is required to manipulate data to generate the record, the School may charge an hourly fee that applies in the same manner as the research or retrieval of records.
Records Generally Exempt from Disclosure
CORA exempts certain records from disclosure. The following list is not a complete account of Colorado law. A requestor should review CORA to understand precisely which records are not subject to disclosure. But as a general guideline, the following records are exempt from public disclosure:
- Certain medical, mental health, sociological, and scholastic achievement data, and electronic health records on individual persons
- Personnel files which includes home addresses, telephone numbers, financial information, and other information maintained because of the employer-employee relationship
- Letters of reference.
- Trade secrets, privileged information, and confidential information, including social security numbers.
- Specialized details of security procedures/arrangements or investigatory files compiled for any law enforcement purpose.
- Addresses and telephone numbers of Ascent’s students.
- Any records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations, whether or not such records are maintained as part of a personnel file.
- Records protected under the common law governmental or “deliberative process” privilege.
Reference: C.R.S. § 24-72-201 et seq.
Adopted: March 19, 2019