PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS
How Do I Request Public Records?
Washington law requires state and local agencies to make public records available to the public. This law, the Washington State Public Records Act RCW 42.56, supports the public's right to be informed about what their government is doing.
The Act also lists certain public records that do not have to be disclosed. These exemptions are intended to prevent unreasonable invasions of personal privacy or the use of public records for personal or commercial gain.
The Act also requires that the public records requested are "identifiable." Your public records disclosure request must include a reasonable description that would allow a Tumwater School District employee to locate the records. A general question is not a public disclosure request.
To request a public record from Tumwater School District
Please include the following information in your written submission:
- Your full name
- Date and time of request
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your email address (optional)
- A detailed description of the record(s) being requested
Requests/Questions should be sent to:Laurie WiedenmeyerDirector of Communications & Community RelationsFax: 360-709-7052Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCopies of RecordsIf the requestor wishes to have copies of the records made instead of inspecting them, he or she shall make this clear in the request and arrange to pay for copies of the records or a deposit.
Exemptions to Public Records DisclosureThe Washington State Public Records Act RCW 42.56 states that certain records are exempt from disclosure. These exemptions are intended to prevent unreasonable invasions of personal privacy or the use of public records for personal or commercial gain. They include:
- Requests for lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes. RCW 42.56.070(9).
- Application materials for public employment. RCW 42.56.250(2).
- Performance evaluations. (A public employee's performance evaluation that does not specify instances of misconduct or public job performance is exempt from disclosure under Dawson v. Daly, 120 Wn.2d 782 (1993) and Brown v. Seattle School District, 71 Wn. App. 613 (1994).
- Residential addresses and phone numbers, personal cell phone numbers, personal email addresses, social security numbers, and emergency contact information of employees or volunteers. RCW 42.56.250(1).
- Criminal history background check information. RCW 43.43.834(5).
- Personal information in files maintained for students. RCW 42.5.230(1).
- The federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) likewise protect students' education records and prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information without parental consent. "Directory Information" as defined by the District is not exempt from disclosure.
- Personal information in files for employees to the extent that disclosure violates their right to privacy. RCW 42.56.230(2).
- Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations and intra-agency memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated and recommended, except that a specific record is not exempt when publicly cited by an agency in connection with agency action. RCW 42.56.280.
- Health care information of patients. RCW 70.02.020. A health care provider, an individual who assists a health care provider in the delivery of health care, or an agent and employee of a health care provider may not disclose health care information about a patient to any other person without the patient's written authorization.
- Attorney-client privileged communications and attorney work product: (1) Communications and advice between attorney and client; and (2) records relevant to a controversy to which the agency is a party and which would be unavailable under the rules of pretrial discovery. Records that fall into the first category are protected by the attorney-client privilege. Records that fall into the second category may be protected by either the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine, and in some circumstances both. See RCW 42.56.070(1); RCW 5.60.060(2)(a); RCW 42.56.290.