Current federal and state laws require the following information to be posted on an annual basis.
Freedom of Information
Pursuant to Section 4 of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.234, (the “FOIA” or the “Act”) the Lowell Area School District, (the “District”), issues this written public summary of the following:
How to Submit Written Requests to the District
The District requires individuals or entities to submit FOIA requests in writing. FOIA requests may be mailed to the following address:
Lowell Area Schools
300 High Street Lowell, MI 49331
An individual or entity may also make a request in person at the Runciman Building (District Administration Building), or email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax a request to (616) 987-2511.
Please review the following checklist to ensure a timely and accurate response to a request: a. Make sure the correspondence is addressed to the “FOIA Coordinator” and includes the proper address and/or fax number.
b. Clearly state that the request is being made for a public record(s) pursuant to the “Freedom of Information Act” or the “FOIA.”
c. Describe the public record(s) requested in sufficient detail so that it can be more easily identified and located.
d. Describe the subject matter of the public record(s) requested and, if possible, the approximate date that the public record(s) was created.
e. Clearly state the manner in which you prefer the District to provide the public records, such as: paper copies, non-paper physical media, email, etc. (please note, all requests must be within the technological capabilities of the District).
f. You can stipulate that public records be provided on non-paper, physical media, electronically mailed, or otherwise electronically provided in lieu of paper copies. If the requested public records are available on the Lowell Area School’s website and the response includes the website address, then any request for paper format or other form, such as electronic form, may result in additional charges.
How to Understand the District’s Written Responses
When the FOIA Coordinator receives a written request for a public record, the FOIA Coordinator, or his or her designee, shall, in not more than five (5) business days after the District receives the request, respond to the request in one of the following ways:
a. Grant the request.
b. Issue a written notice to the requestor denying the request.
c. Grant the request in part and issue a written notice to the requestor denying the request in part.
d. Issue a written notice extending, for not more than ten (10) business days, the period during which the District shall respond to the request.
If the estimated cost of responding to a request exceeds $50.00, the District may require a good faith deposit of 50% to be submitted before the request is processed. Once the good faith deposit is submitted, the District will process the request. The balance of the cost of the request must be paid before copies may be picked up, mailed, or delivered. Good faith deposits and fees charged for responding to FOIA requests may be mailed to the following address:
Lowell Area Schools
300 High Street Lowell, MI 49331
Please review the Fee Itemization Form, which provides a line-by-line summary and explanation of the fees that the District may charge in response to a request, pursuant to Section 4 of the Act (MCL 15.234(1)).
Avenues for Challenge and Appeal
If the requestor believes the fee estimated or charged for the request exceeds the amount permitted under the District’s procedures and guidelines or Section 4 of the Act, the requestor must submit to the Superintendent a written appeal for a fee reduction that specifically states the word "appeal" and identifies why the requestor believes the required fee exceeds the amount permitted under the District’s procedures and guidelines or Section 4 of the Act. If the requestor disagrees with the District’s final determination, the requestor may, after exhausting internal administrative remedies, commence a civil action in Circuit Court where the Lowell Area School District is located for a fee reduction. The civil action must be filed within 45 days of the District’s final determination to deny a request pursuant to Section 10(1)(b) of the Act. 3.
Any written response denying a request for a public record, in whole or in part, is a final determination to deny the request or portion of that request. A requestor may file an appeal with the Superintendent or may seek judicial review of the denial, pursuant to Section 10 of the Act (MCL 15.240). A requestor may receive attorneys’ fees and damages pursuant to the Act if the Court determines that the District has not complied with Section 5 (MCL 15.235) of the Act and orders the disclosure of all or a portion of a public record.
For additional information please review our Policies and Guidelines.
TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964
TITLE IX OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENT ACT OF 1972
TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT OF 1990
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
AGE DISCRIMINATION ACT OF 1975
Any person believing that the Lowell Area Schools or any part of the school organization has inadequately applied the principles and/or regulations of (1) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (2) Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, (3) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (4) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and (5) Title II of the Americans with Disability Act Rights of 1990 may bring forward a complaint, which shall be referred to as a grievance, to the local Civil Rights Coordinator at the following address:
Lowell Area Schools
300 High Street
Lowell, MI 49331
The person who believes a valid basis for grievance exists shall discuss the grievance informally and on a verbal basis with the local Civil Rights Coordinator, who shall in turn investigate the complaint and reply with an answer to the complaint with in five (5) business days. The complainant may initiate format procedures according to the following steps.
Step 1 - A written statement of the grievance signed by the complainant shall be submitted to the Local Civil Rights Coordinator within five (5) business days of receipt of answers to the informal complaint. The coordinator shall further investigate the matters of grievance and reply in writing to the complainant within five (5) days.
Step 2 - A complainant wishing to appeal the decision of the Local Civil Rights Coordinator may submit a signed statement of appeal to the Superintendent of Schools within five (5) business days after a receipt of the conclusion, and respond in writing to the complainant with ten (10) business days.
Step 3 - If unsatisfied, the complainant may appeal through a signed, written statement to the Board of Education within five (5) business days of receiving the superintendent’s response in step two. In an attempt to resolve the grievance, the Board of Education shall meet with the concerned parties and their representative within forty days of the receipt of such an appeal. A copy of the Board’s disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten (10) days of this meeting.
Step 4 - If at this point the grievance has not been satisfactorily settled, further appeal may be made to the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202.
Inquiries concerning the nondiscriminatory policy may be directed to:
Director, Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education,
Washington, D.C. 20202
The local Coordinator, on request, will provide a copy of the district’s grievance procedure and investigate all complaints in accordance with this procedure.
A copy of each of the Acts and the regulations on which this notice is based may be found in the Civil Rights coordinator’s office, which is located at our Administrative Building at the above address.
What is a personal curriculum?
The personal curriculum (PC) is a process to modify specific Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) high school credit requirements and/or content expectations based on a student’s unique learning needs and post-secondary goals. It is designed to serve students who want to accelerate or go beyond the MMC requirements and students who need to individualize MMC requirements to earn a high school diploma.
Who may request a personal curriculum?
- The parent/guardian of a student for whom a personal curriculum is sought
- The student, if the student is of the age of majority
- An emancipated minor
- A teacher who is currently teaching the student (who currently teaches in, or whose expertise is in, a subject area proposed to be modified by the PC, or who is determined by the principal to have qualifications otherwise relevant to developing a PC)
- A school counselor or school employee qualified to act in a counseling role.
If the request for a PC is made by the student’s parent/legal guardian or, if the student is at least age 18 or is an emancipated minor, by the student, the school district shall develop a PC for the student pursuant to the parameters outlined in 380.1278b(5).
When may a personal curriculum be requested?
If the student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the personal curriculum request may be submitted prior to 9th grade. If the student does not have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the personal curriculum request may be requested after the student has completed 9th grade.