Aiken County Public Schools Schools is committed to transparency and providing records to the public in accordance with South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Chapter 4, Title 30, Code of Laws of South Carolina.
All requests for information under FOIA should be submitted to Merry Glenne Piccolino, Director of Communications & Community Partnerships. Requests may be directed to Mrs. Piccolino's attention by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (copying Stephanie Behrendt, Communications Facilitator, at email@example.com), or via mail to Piccolino's attention at Aiken County Public Schools, 1000 Brookhaven Drive, Aiken, SC 29803.
FOIA Requesting Information
All FOIA requests should be in writing, signed by the requester, and should include the following information:
Detailed description of the public record being sought
Date of request
Confirmation that the information will not be used for commercial solicitation
FOIA Exemptions & Prohibitions
The FOIA does not require the creation or generation of records that do not exist, nor does it require information to be formatted in a particular manner or file type. Certain records may be exempt from release by the FOIA. Exemptions are specified in S.C. Code Section 30-4-40 and include such information as personnel records; student records; tests and examinations used to evaluate student or employee performance; records relating to the security of students, staff, or property; records protected from disclosure under attorney-client privilege; and executive session materials.
Please note that South Carolina law (FOIA Section 30-4-50) prohibits the obtaining or use of public records for commercial solicitation directed at any person.
Under the FOIA, the public body has 10 business days (excluding weekends and holidays) to notify the requester of the public availability of the requested record. Once notification has taken place, the district has an additional 30 calendar days to produce the requested material. For records that are more than 24 months old, the initial notification deadline is 20 business days, and the deadline for producing the requested material is 35 calendar days. All deadlines may be extended by mutual agreement of the requester and the public body.
Schedule of Fees for Public Records South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (§ 30-4-30(B))
A reasonable fee not to exceed the actual cost will be charged for the search, retrieval, and, when appropriate, redaction, of records produced in response to a request for public records under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Additionally, copies will be charged at a cost not to exceed the prevailing commercial rate for the producing of copies. In certain cases, particularly FOIA requests in which a large number of records or confidential information is requested, a deposit not exceeding 25% of the total estimated fee will be required prior to commencing the retrieval and production of records.
Reasonable efforts will be made to produce records at the lowest possible cost, and the following fee schedule will apply:
- Copying costs will be charged at a commercially reasonable rate of $0.10 per page, and, the fee for non-standard size documents, such as architectural plans or property plats, will be individually determined at the time of copying based on actual copying cost.
- Search, retrieval, and redaction costs of records will be charged at the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid employee who, in the reasonable discretion of the custodian of the records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the search, retrieval, and, if appropriate, redaction. Records requests involving specialized, technical, or confidential information, or otherwise requiring redaction, will in many cases require an employee with a higher salary to perform the search, retrieval, and/or redaction. The fee rate, accordingly, will vary based on the nature of the records requested, depending on the necessary skill and training level necessary. Employee time will be billed based on 1/4 hour increments.
The fee schedule may vary from time to time as salaries and commercially reasonable copying costs change.
Fees will not be charged for examination and review of documents to determine if the documents are subject to disclosure. Additionally, copying costs will not be charged for copies of records that are transmitted in electronic format, although if requested records are not already in electronic format, fees will be charged for staff time required to transfer the documents to electronic format.