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  • Section K: School Community Relations


The Board recognizes the importance of a well-informed public to the operations of the school unit.  The Board will comply with all applicable sections of Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.  

A. Public Access Officer.  The Board designates the Superintendent, and to act in the absence of the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent as the Public Access Officer for Regional School Unit 21. Both shall complete the mandated training on the requirements of Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.

B. Public Access to Meetings and Meeting Records. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all Board proceedings shall be open to the public, any person shall be permitted to attend, and any records or minutes of such proceedings that are required by law shall be made promptly and shall be open to public inspection.

C. Public Access to Other District Documents. Board agendas and minutes, proposed and approved Board policies, annual budget reports, student handbooks and Board member Freedom of Access training documentation/certificates shall be available for immediate inspection and/or copying by the individual making the request during reasonable office hours in the Superintendent’s Office.  Requests for all other public records shall be made, preferably in writing, to the Superintendent, specifying the records desired for inspection/copying.  The Superintendent/designee may request clarification concerning which public record or records are being requested. 

D. Public Record Requests

  1. Acknowledgement of Requests - The Superintendent/designee shall acknowledge receipt of a request for inspection and/or copying of public records within five working days. A good faith non-binding estimate of how long it will take to comply with the request and a cost estimate must be provided. The record must be made available (within a reasonable amount of time). 

  2. Timing of Fulfillment of Request - If the request is denied, the Superintendent/ designee shall inform the requestor in writing within five working days of the request and shall state the reason for denial.  Otherwise, inspection and/or copying may be scheduled to occur within a reasonable period of time following the request at a time that will not delay or inconvenience the regular activities of the school unit.

3. Summaries of Records The School unit is not required to prepare reports, summaries or compilations not in existence on the date of the receipt of the request. 


In compliance with the Freedom of Access Act, the school unit will provide access to an electronically stored public record as a printed document or in the medium in which the record is stored, at the requester’s option, except that the school unit is not required to provide access to an electronically stored public record as a computer file if the school unit does not have the ability to separate or prevent the disclosure of confidential information contained in or associated with that file. The school unit is not required to provide access to a computer terminal.


Except as otherwise provided by law or court order, Regional School Unit 21 may charge fees as follows:

A.  A fee of .10 per page to cover the cost of copying for standard page black and white copy.

B.  A fee of $25 per hour after the first two hours of staff time per request to cover the actual cost of searching for, retrieving, and copying the requested public record.  Where conversion of a document is necessary, RSU 21 may charge a fee to cover the actual costs of conversion. Compiling the public record includes reviewing and redacting confidential information.

C.  If conversion of a public record into a form susceptible of visual or aural comprehension or into a usable format is necessary, a fee to cover the actual cost of conversion.

D.  A charge for the actual mailing costs to mail a copy of the record.

E.  No fee shall be charged for inspection of public records, unless the record cannot be inspected without being compiled or converted, in which case paragraph B or C applies and the requester will be charged for the cost of the data storage device.

As required by law, the school unit will provide the person making the request an estimate of the reasonable amount of time necessary to complete the request and of the total cost and, if the estimated total cost exceeds $50.00, will inform the requester before proceeding.  If the estimated total cost is greater than $100.00 or if the requester has previously failed to pay a fee assessed for access to Regional School Unit 21’s records, the requester  may be required to pay all or a portion of the estimated cost prior to the search, retrieval, compiling, conversion and copying of the public record.


The Superintendent is directed to develop and implement such administrative procedures as may be necessary to carry out this policy.

Legal Reference: 1 M.R.S.A. ξ 401 et. seq.
Cross Reference: BEC – Executive Sessions
GBJ – Personnel Records and Files
BEDH - Public Participation at Board Meetings
JRA – Student Educational Records and Information 

Adopted: 05/19/14
Revised: 6/6/22
Revised: 1/29/24

  • Section K