Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Open Records Policy

This Policy shall govern all requests made for access to the public records of Bear Creek Community Charter School (the "School"), and shall repeal any previous Policy adopted by the School.

For the purpose of this Policy, the term "public record" shall have the meaning given to such term under Pennsylvania Act 3 of2008 (the "Act"), also known as the "Right-To-Know Law", as amended, to the date of adoption of this Policy, including a financial record, that: (a) is not exempt under Section 708 of the Act; (b) is not exempt from being disclosed under any Federal or State Law or Regulation or Judicial Order or Decree; or, (c) is not protected by a privilege.

The Bear Creek Community Charter School has designated Jim Smith, Chief Executive Officer, to act as the School's Open Records Officer. Contact information appears below:

Jim Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Bear Creek Community Charter School
30 Charter School Way
Bear Creek Township, PA 18702
Telephone: (570) 820-4070
Fax: (570) 970-1448

Requests for public records can be made by any person who is a legal resident of the United States and also by other local agencies. Requests shall be made in writing to the School's Open Records Officer on a form provided by the School or the form provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. (See attached form). The form will be available on the School's web site. All written requests must be addressed to the Open Records Officer. In the event that a written request for records is addressed to a School employee other than the Open Records Officer, the School employee is hereby directed to promptly forward such request to the Open Records Officer. The written request shall identify or describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to enable the Charter School to ascertain which records are being requested and shall include the name and address to which the agency should address its response.

All applicable fees shall be paid in order to receive access to the record requested. The following fees are hereby established by the School:

Record Type Fee
(A "photocopy" is either a single-sided copy or one side of a double-sided black-and-white copy of a standard 8.5” x 11” page)
Black and white copies are $0.25 per page for the first 1,000 pages and $0.20 per page for each page thereafter for the same request.
Certification of a Record: An agency may impose reasonable fees for official certification of copies if the certification is at the behest of the requester and for the purpose of legally verifying the public record. The Office of Open Records recommends no more than $5 per record to certify a public record. Please note that certification fees do not include notarization fees.
Specialized documents:
(For example, but not limited to, blue prints, color copies, non-standard sized documents)
Actual Cost
Facsimile/Microfiche/Other Media: Actual Cost
Redaction Fee: No Redaction Fee May be Imposed at This Time.
Conversion to Paper: If a record is only maintained electronically or in other non-paper media, duplication fees shall be limited to the lesser of the fee for duplication on paper or the fee for duplication in the original media unless the requester specifically requests for the record to be duplicated in the more expensive medium. (Sec. 1307(e)).
Postage Fees: Fees for postage may not exceed the actual cost of mailing.
Inspection of Redacted Records: If a requester wishes to inspect rather than receive a copy of a record and the record contains both public and non-public information, the agency shall redact the non-public information. An agency may not charge the requester for the redaction. However, the Agency may charge for the copies it must make of the redacted material in order for the requester to view the public record. The fee structure outlined above will apply. If, after inspecting the records, the requester chooses to obtain the copies, no additional fee may be charged.

The time for response shall not exceed five (5) business days from the date the written request is received by the Open Records Officer.

Upon receipt of a written request, the Open Records Officer shall determine if the request for access requires redaction of a record, requires a legal review to determine whether the record is a record subject to access under the Act, or if one of the other reasons exist which would allow an extension of time for response under Section 902 of the Act. Otherwise, the time for response shall not exceed five (5) business days from the date the written request is received by the Open Records Officer. If the School fails to send the response within five (5) business days, the written request for access shall be deemed denied. If the agency's response is a denial, the denial shall be issued in writing, and shall include the information required by Section 903 of the Act.

If a written request for access of a record is denied, or deemed denied, the requester may file an Appeal with the Office of Open Records within Fifteen (15) business days of the mailing date of the School's response, or within fifteen (15) days of a deemed denial. The written appeal should be sent to:

Executive Director
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street - Plaza Level
Harrisburg, PA 17120-022

The Office of Open Records website is:

Nothing in this Policy or in the Right-To-Know Law shall be construed to require access to any computer of the School, or that of an individual or employee of the School.

If a public records request involves both information subject to public access and information not subject to public access, the School shall grant access to those portions subject to public access. The School shall remove or redact any record or portion not subject to public access. The School shall remove or redact only any record or portion not subject to public access.

The School shall notify the person or entity seeking access as to when the records are available for inspection. Inspection shall be made at the School's administrative office, 30 Charter School Way, Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania, 18702, unless the School designates an alternative location where the records can be reviewed.

Inspection shall be made between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during any weekday (Monday through Friday), except public holidays or days when the School's offices are not otherwise generally available and open for business.

It is the intent of the School to comply with all applicable laws, including all statutes and regulations, which apply to the matters covered in this Policy. This includes all Federal, State, County, Municipal or other law binding the School. To the extent anything in this document shall be inconsistent with or prohibited by any provision of any applicable statute or regulation bearing on these matters and binding on the School, then the provisions of this Policy shall be deemed to be amended to the extent necessary for these policies to not be in violation of any applicable statute or regulation, and there is more than one (1) possible method by which the policies could be altered so as to remove such inconsistency or violation, then this Policy shall be deemed amended in the manner which results in the least possible change while still resulting in the Policy being in compliance with all applicable statutes and regulations, it being the intention that if more than one (1) change in this Policy would cure how this Policy would otherwise be in violation of any statute or regulation, then this Policy shall be deemed amended in this manner so that after such deemed amendment, this Policy remains as closely as possible to the terms and intent of the Policy as adopted by the School.

You may download the Open Records Right to Know Request Form.

If there is any question or uncertainty as to the interpretation or effect of this Policy, a written request for an interpretation or explanation or clarification shall be sent to:

Bear Creek Community Charter School
Attention: School Solicitor
30 Charter School Way
Bear Creek Township, PA 18702

This policy was approved by the Bear Creek Community Charter School's Board of Trustees on January 26, 2009 and was revised on April 12, 2012.