Public records requests
As a public agency, Portland Public Schools is committed to its obligation to make records available to the public, as required by state law (Chapter 192 of the Oregon Revised Statutes). To facilitate the process, PPS employs a Public Records Officer.
How can I request public records?
Submit your request to the public records officer, with your name, contact information, and a description of the records you are seeking. You may submit your request by email (email@example.com), by telephone (503-916-3385), by postal mail (c/o PPS Communications, 501 North Dixon Street, Portland, OR 97227), or in person.
We have prepared a form that you may use, but it is not required. All you need to do is tell us what records you are seeking. Please be as specific as possible. If you are unsure what records exist, feel free to call or email to discuss the questions you are trying to answer. We will do our best to help find the information you are seeking.
Please specify if you would like to receive electronic or physical copies. There may be charges for physical copies, depending on the format or volume of the records.
What will happen next?
The public records officer will acknowledge your request, usually in writing, within five working days of receiving it. The public records officer will then identify any records that are responsive and whether they need to be reviewed for confidential information. Once records are identified and any fees are paid, the records will be gathered, reviewed, and then shared with you.
How long will it take?
Most requests can be completed in a matter of days, but more complex requests can take several weeks or in some cases even longer. If it will take longer than fifteen working days to complete your request and provide records, we will tell you and you will receive regular updates.
Does PPS charge for public records?
PPS tries to provide the public with records at no charge cost when possible. However, the district, as allowed by state law, reserves the right to charge for requests that are time-consuming or require large-scale printing. If gathering or reviewing the records will take a large amount of time, you will be provided with a written cost estimate.
You may request a waiver or reduction of fees. The public records officer will determine whether to grant your request by considering the public interest in the information requested, and a decision will be made within fifteen working days. The public records officer is always willing to work with you to narrow the scope of a request in order to streamline processing and reduce or eliminate fees.
What if I'm not satistfied with the response?
If you don’t feel like the records answer your questions, or if you think there are records you didn’t receive, the simplest option is to submit another request. Sometimes changing a date range or keywords will make a big difference. The best way for us to help you is for you to be clear about what you’re looking for.
If you receive records that have been redacted and you don’t agree with the redactions, you have a couple of options. You may ask the public records officer to reconsider the redactions. Or, you may ask the Multnomah County District Attorney to review the public records officer’s decision to redact or withhold records. You can also ask the school board to review the decision. But the simplest option may be to simply ask for more explanation. Typically we would only redact records if there’s a very good privacy reason or if we’re required to by law.
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