In keeping with the spirit and requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Chesapeake Public Schools (CPS) will make the records of its official business open to the public. Citizens of our state may request access to or a copy of any business record that is not exempt from disclosure by either federal or state law.
Similarly, except in the case of an emergency, the meetings of the School Board shall be held only upon public notice and shall be open to the public. Certain portions of a meeting may be closed pursuant to special statutory authority within the FOIA provided no voting may occur in a closed session and actions considered must be decided and announced in public. See School Board Bylaw B 2-28.
The FOIA can be found in the Code of Virginia at Title 2.2, Section 3700 through 3714. Citizens may make a request to view records during regular office hours or have copies made for them at a charge which may not exceed the reasonable cost of searching for and copying the records. Records will be made available within five business days unless the person responding to the request writes to the person making the request indicating that more time is needed and why. After such a letter, seven additional working days are permitted.¹
CPS retains many public records including specific information about its 48 schools and their faculties and programs, demographic information for the entire School Division, papers announcing the agenda and the recordings of the activities of the School Board, as well as our School Board Policy Manual which is available on the CPS website.
Some records are not available to the public including those exempted by the FOIA and the Federal Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA). These include personnel records concerning particular staff, the educational records of our students, and records of the deliberations of the School Board on certain subjects identified in the FOIA.
CPS has designated Mrs. Fallon Graham, to be its contact person for FOIA requests. Mrs. Graham may be reached by telephone at 757-547-5562 or by mail at the School Administration Building, 312 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322. Mrs. Graham will be pleased to respond to requests and assist a requestor in defining his or her needs.
- In accordance with Title 2.2-3704.1: A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.