Access to Public Records and Documents
The Beaufort County School District is committed to operating in a transparent fashion, and this includes a commitment to making public records available for inspection under the provisions of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. Our FOIA procedures are designed to promote open government, citizen involvement and organizational accountability.
Any member of the public can review or obtain school district records that are determined to be public under the provisions of the FOIA. In order to maintain the effective functioning of a school district office or department, and for security reasons, certain conditions for reviewing or obtaining copies of records may apply.
Requesting public records
Describe your request as specifically as possible. If you are uncertain about which records contain the information you desire, provide a description of the type of information you are searching for, and every attempt will be made to locate the relevant records. A great deal of information about the school district is available on our web site, and this information may help you formulate your request.
Please note that certain records are exempt from disclosure under FOIA or other statutes and are not available for public inspection (S.C. Code Section 30-40-4).
The FOIA requires a timely response on our part. After we receive your request, we have 15 working days to respond as to whether the information you request will be released or whether it will be withheld due to a specific exemption in the FOIA. After the district’s initial response, the law permits a reasonable amount of time to collect and provide the information you request.
Under the FOIA, S. C. Code Section 30-4-30(b), the district may charge for “the actual cost of searching for or making copies of records.” After receiving a written request for information under FOIA, the district will provide the most reasonable available estimate of costs involved in responding. An advance deposit of half the estimated cost will be required before the district can begin the process. The remainder of the cost must be paid when the information is delivered. If the actual cost is less than estimated, only the actual cost will be charged.
Making your request
All requests for information under FOIA must be submitted in writing to District Risk Manager Jennifer Staton at:
Beaufort County School District
2900 Mink Point Blvd
PO Drawer 309
Beaufort, SC 29901-0309
To assist you in filing a request, you may choose to print out a request form HERE that can be filled out and mailed to the address listed above. You can also choose to send your request via e-mail.
The Information Request Form can be completed online HERE.
Reviewing public records in person
If you ask to review original documents, we may request that you follow procedures to protect the integrity of public records:
You may be supervised by a school district employee within the area where the records are stored and/or maintained.
You may need to review records in a designated area or schedule a particular time of day so that day-to-day activities of that specific office or department are not disrupted.