School facilities-use, data access polices approved

The Princeton School Board has approved two new policies — one on use of school facilities, and the other on requesting school district data.
The board approved both policies together in one motion in a 6-1 vote, with board member Chuck Nagle voting no. Nagle said his disagreement related to notices in the data request policy.
Facilities use
The facilities use policy includes use of the district’s performing arts center located in the high school and available for community use. Superintendent Julia Espe explained that a number of residents last fall said there hasn’t been enough availability of the performing arts center to rent or use and that the rental rates are too high. Espe noted that a number of changes in the facilities policy addresses those criticisms.
Sundays (noon to 4 p.m.) have been added for when the middle school and high school are available. A site supervisor would be provided for after-school and weekend activities to oversee use of the facilities.
Surcharges and special access fees have been removed, but the renter would absorb additional costs for off-hour events. A $100 fee has been removed for district events that were not scheduled on the facilities calendar. Also, the schools are now open for booster club and local businesses to use conference rooms for meetings at no cost.
Also, when a renter chooses to serve food without use of district food services, the renter must hold a food service license or obtain a concession license through the Minnesota Department of Health. A fee for not showing up has been removed.
The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited at district facilities.
New data access policy
The Data Practices Act presumes that all government data is public unless the state or federal laws say the data is not public. The school district must also keep its data in a way that makes it easy to access.
Persons wanting to obtain data from the Princeton School District must request it in writing, using either a data request form or their own form stating that they are making a request under the Data Practices Act, Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13. The written request must also show if theywould like to just look at the data, get copies or both.  The request must give a clear description of the data.
The school district cannot require the person requesting the data to identify themselves or explain the reason for the data request. But certain information would be needed if the material is to be mailed.
Once the district receives the request, it will “notify you in writing as soon as reasonably possible.” The district will also notify the applicant if the requested data is not public and the specific law governing that.
Copies and scan charges are 25 cents per page and prepayment is expected. A $5 fee will charged for each CD. Reports in email or PDF format will cost $5 per file.
The Data Practices Act does not require the district to create or collect new data in response to a data request if the district does not have the data. It is also not required to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if the district does not keep the data that way.
Espe and her executive assistant, Bridget Sorenson, are the data practices contacts.`

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