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Public Information Act Requests

Information on this page is related to Maryland Public Information Act requests. If you are trying to contact the Public Information Office, please email publicinfo@hcpss.org or call 410-313-6682.

In Accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act

The Howard County Public School System is committed to providing access to public records in accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act.

The HCPSS Public Information Office disseminates information to the public in a timely manner and serves as the communications hub during emergencies and crises. The office works closely with the Howard County Board of Education, parents and the community to develop publications to assist parents in understanding the school system.

Every effort has been made to include the most requested information about HCPSS on this website. We encourage you to search our website before making a Public Information Act request. You can most easily do this by clicking on the “search” option in the top blue menu bar. You also may find the information you are looking for on the Howard County Board of Education’s BoardDocs website or in the Maryland State Department of Education’s Maryland Report Card.

If you are not able to find the information you are looking for on our website, HCPSS officials often make public records available for inspection without requiring a formal PIA request. Most requests can be handled quickly and simply by calling the Public Information Office at 410-313-6682 or emailing publicinfo@hcpss.org.

How to Submit a Request

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. A request for public records should include the applicant’s contact information, and reasonably and briefly identify the public record sought. If you have any questions about how to submit a request, please call the Public Information Office at 410-313-6682.

Please email requests to: PIA_Requests@hcpss.org.

Send written requests by mail to:

Howard County Public School System
Attention: Public Information Office, PIA Request
10910 Clarksville Pike
Ellicott City, Maryland 21042

Complete an online request form here.

If an applicant chooses to submit a request for public records electronically, the applicant assumes the risk that such transmittal may be compromised due to unanticipated technological errors, which may render the request undeliverable.

Applications sent via email after 4:30 p.m. on a business day, on a weekend, on a school system holiday or day the Public Information Office is closed will not be considered received until the next business day.

Responses to Requests

HCPSS will respond to requests as directed in the Maryland Public Information Act.

Fees

Under MPIA GP § 4-206, an official custodian may charge reasonable fees for the search and preparation of records for inspection and copying. The fees for a response will be calculated based on hourly rates of staff and/or attorneys involved by the actual time they will spend on the response. Fees will not be charged for the first two hours of search and preparation. Prior to any response being produced, a cost estimate will be sent to the applicant, who may elect to pay the fees or cancel the Public Information Act request.

The fee schedule for copying and certifying copies of records is as follows:

  • Copies: The fee for each copy is twenty (20) cents per page, if the copy is made on a photocopying machine within the school system. If records are not susceptible to photocopying (for example, punch cards, magnetic tapes, blueprints or microfilm), the fee for copies will be based on the actual cost of reproduction.
  • Certification of Copies: If a person requests that a copy of a record be certified as a true copy, an additional fee of $1.00 per page or, if appropriate, per item shall be charged.
  • Minimum Fee Charged: A charge will not be made if the total amount of the fee would be $1.00 or less.