Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (as amended by Public Act 096-0542  ) is a state statute that provides the public the right to access government documents and records. The law provides that a person can ask a public body for a copy of its records on a specific subject and the public body must provide those records, unless there is an exemption in the statute that protects those records from disclosure (for example: records containing information concerning trade secrets or personal privacy).

Exemptions are described under 5 ILCS 140, Section 7 and Section 7.5.  In addition, some records may be subject to confidentiality provisions imposed by other state or federal laws; the FOIA process for disclosure of information does not supersede these other applicable statutory and judicial mandates.

The Freedom of Information Act is designed to allow a person to inspect or receive copies of records.  It is not designed to require a public body to answer questions.

How to Submit a FOIA Request

FOIA requests must be in writing.

FOIA requests must be submitted by mail to the below address.

Contact Information:

Michelle Navarre, FOIA Officer, Head of School

Polaris Charter Academy

620 North Sawyer Avenue

Chicago, Illinois 60624

Non-commercial requests have a 5-10 business day turnaround (excluding weekends and holidays). If more time is needed to respond, the FOIA Officer will inform the requestor of the additional time needed. In addition, a written agreement with the requestor can extend the deadline for response beyond the statutory time requirements. For commercial purpose* requests, a response will be provided within 21 business days.
There is also no fee for the first 50 pages of black & white, letter (8 ½ x 11) or legal size (11 x 14) paper copies.  Each additional page is copied at 15 cents per page.  There may be an additional charge for documents provided in color, or in any size other than legal or letter size.  For color copies or abnormal size copies, the charge is the actual cost of copying.  For documents provided in electronic mediums, such as CD, disc, etc., the fee is the actual cost of purchasing the recording medium.

If you are requesting a waiver of any fees for copying the documents, you must include a statement of the purpose of the request with a specific explanation as to why your request for information is in the public interest.

* A Commercial Purpose means “the use of any part of a public record or records, or information derived from public records, in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services.” 5 ILCS 140/2(c-10).