HCPSS MPIA Request #2019-123

Requested Information
First - I would like to know the school system policy on including commercial sales material in student's folders which are brought home. At least every week my child comes home with a folder stuffed with multiple advertisements for local businesses offering products or services. Many of the sales flyers are marked with "not endorsed by HCPSS" - yet the sales materials are being stuffed into the folders BY school system representatives and teachers.

Second - I would like to know the names and titles of administrative personnel and teachers at Ilchester Elementary are responsible for reviewing the commercial materials stuffed into student's folders.

Third - I would also like to know the business names, business points of contact (names and contact information) for all businesses that have a commercial relationship or partnership with Ilchester Elementary. This would cover any contract work, as well as any company or persons who have the ability to include materials in student's folders.

Fourth - I would like to know whether school administrative personnel and teachers at Ilchester Elementary are required to disclose personal business or financial relationships with businesses who have contracts with Ilchester Elementary, or who provide solicitation material into student's folders. If they ARE required to disclose this information, I would like a copy of all forms from the 2018-2019 school year. If they are NOT required to disclose those relationships, I would like to know why they do not have to disclose that information.

Fifth - I would like to know the policies that allow teachers to solicit business from students and parents (paid Lego training courses, as an example) on school property - and including those business solicitation flyers in student folders.

Sixth - I would like to know whether the Recreation and Parks before/after care program at Ilchester follows all of the guidelines and policies requested above. If not, I would like a copy of their policies related to soliciting business on school grounds.
Date Received
Response Notes

No existing records outline the procedures or staff involved in stuffing folders at Ilchester. Please note, agreements for programs/events/etc. offered by the school’s PTA organization would fall outside the scope of HCPSS records as they are a separate entity.

Under the MPIA process, and as advised in the Fourteenth Edition of the Maryland Public Information Act Manual created by Maryland’s Office of the Attorney General, an agency is only obligated to produce existing records and is not required to answer questions that would “create records to satisfy a PIA request.” Thus, responding to questions regarding who follows the responsive policies or why certain individuals are subject to provisions/policies is best addressed through direct discussion with school administrators.

Responsive Documents

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

***Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.