Public Information Act Requests
The Board of Education of St. Mary's County is committed providing access to public records in accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act, Annotated Code of Maryland, Title 4 of the General Provisions Article (“MPIA”).
How to Submit an Application
Any person may request to inspect or obtain copies of public records of the school system, unless the requested records fall into one of the exceptions provided in the MPIA. An application for public records must be: (1) submitted in writing, (2) include the applicant’s full name, mailing address, and telephone number, (3) be signed by the applicant; and (4) reasonably identify, by brief description, the public record sought.
- Send written requests by mail to:
St. Mary's County Public Schools
23160 Moakley Street, Suite 109
Leonardtown, MD 20650
- Business E-mail and Facsimile Information:
Applications may also be e-mailed to MPIARepresentative@smcps.
org or faxed to (301) 475-4262.
- Business Phone Number: 301-475-5511 (x32177)
If the applicant chooses to submit an application for public records via electronic mail, the applicant assumes the risk that such transmittal may be compromised due to unanticipated technological errors, which may render the electronic mail transmittal undeliverable. (Note: Applications sent via e-mail or fax after 4:30 p.m. on a business day, on a weekend, or on a school system holiday will not be considered received until the next business day.)
Responses to Applications
In most cases, the school system will respond to a request for public records within 10 business days after receiving the written application and advise the applicant when the records will be available. If your application is approved, the responsive records will be produced no later than 30 days after receiving the application, unless an exemption applies or the requester agrees to an extension beyond 30 days. In accordance with the MPIA, if the records sought are precluded from disclosure, notification will be sent within 10 business days.
In accordance with the MPIA, the custodian of records may charge an applicant a reasonable fee for the search for, preparation of, and reproduction of a public record. No fee will be assessed for the first two hours of staff time that is needed to respond to a request for records. If more than two hours of staff time is needed to fulfill the request, the applicant will be notified of the estimated cost and must deposit 75 percent of the estimate before work will begin. In all cases, fees must be paid in full before any documents are delivered or access to the documents is authorized.
The fee schedule established by St. Mary's County Public Schools is as follows:
Copies – The fee for each copy is 25 cents per page if the reproduction is made by a photocopying machine within the school system. If the records are not susceptible to photocopying, the fee for copies will be based on the actual cost of reproduction. Documents of 10 or fewer pages will be copied free of charge.
Staff Time – If staff members expend greater than two hours in the search for, preparation of, and compilation of the records, fees shall be prorated for each employee’s salary and actual time attributable to the search for and preparation of the records.
CD/DVD or Flash Drive – The applicant will be charged $3.00 for each CD/DVD and $8.00 for a USB flash drive.
The fees listed above are not all-inclusive.
Documents Immediately Available