FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Linda and Myron Osyf,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-132
Principal, Vernon Center Middle School,
Vernon Public Schools; and Vernon Center
Middle Schools, Vernon Public Schools,
Respondents October 28, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 19, 1998, at 
which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts, and 
presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and 
conclusions of law are reached:

	1.  The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G. S.
	2.  It is found that Vernon Center Middle School (“VCMS”) has a program called 
the Vernon Bermuda Workshop which is a course in sub-tropical island ecology held in 
Bermuda at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research.  Students must submit an 
application to be considered and are selected to participate in the program by a committee 
of teachers and guidance personnel on the basis of citizenship, science interest, academic 
proficiency and written and oral interviews.  For each criteria a student may be given a 
certain number of points up to the maximum assigned to that criteria.  The points 
received are totaled and those students with the highest totals are selected to participate in 
the program.  The directors of the workshop are Mr. Brooks, a teacher at VCMS, and Mr. 
Argenta, a teacher at the Rockville High School in Vernon.
 
	3.  It is found that the complainants’ son submitted an application and was 
considered pursuant to the criteria set forth in paragraph 2, above, but was not selected to 
participate.
 
	4.  It is found that the complainants met on March 26, 1998, and April 8, 1998, 
with the respondent principal and the two directors to discuss the programs selection 
process and how their son was evaluated in the selection process with the expectation of 
reviewing documentation of the same.
 
	5.  By letter dated May 2, 1998, and received on May 8, 1998, the complainants 
appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of 
Information (“FOI”) Act by denying them access to any and all information related to the 
program at the March 26, 1998, meeting and by denying them access to any and all 
original data regarding the selection process relative to their son at the April 8, 1998, 
meeting.
 
	6.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or 
state statute, all records maintain or kept on file by 
any public agency . . . shall be public records and 
every person shall have the right to . . . receive a 
copy of such records in accordance with the 
provisions of section 1-15.  
	7.  It is found that the records described in paragraph 5, above, are public records 
within the meaning of 1-18a(5), G.S.
 
	8.  It is found that the complainants and Mr. Brooks had several telephone 
conversations in an attempt to schedule the March 26, 1998, meeting and that the 
complainants made no request to review or to receive a copy of any documents during 
any of those telephone conversations.
 
	9.  It is found that neither the respondent principle nor the two directors were 
aware that the complainants wanted to or expected to review any documents pertaining to 
their son’s evaluation at the March 26, 1998, meeting.
 
	10.  It is found that at the March 26, 1998, meeting the complainants requested to 
review their son’s file which they believed existed because in a prior conversation with 
Mr. Brooks, there was some mention of a “file” pertaining to their son and the selection 
process.
 
	11.  It is found that at the March 26, 1998, meeting Mr. Argenta informed the 
complainants that there was no file but simply a spread sheet which listed all of the 
applicants names and the points awarded to them in each criteria, that their son’s 
information was just one line on the page, and that he did not bring a copy of the spread 
sheet to the meeting.
 
	12.  It is found that the April 8, 1998, meeting was scheduled between the 
respondents and the complainants at which the complainants would be provided with 
records pertaining to their son’s evaluation in the selection process. 
 
	13.  It is found that at the April 8, 1998, meeting the respondents provided the 
complainants with a copy of a print-out which was a one page document with the 
complainants’ son’s name and rank at the top, a listing of the criteria used, the maximum 
points that could be earned and the points their son actually earned. 
 
	14.  It is found that Mr. Argenta explained to the complainants that the document 
was generated from the spread sheet he discussed with the complainants at the March 26, 
1998, meeting which was a computer program capable of producing documents such as 
the one described in paragraph 13, above, and that the data on the spread sheet was in-
putted by him from the recommendations of the science teachers and the scores received 
on the oral and written interviews.   
 
	15.  It is found that at the April 8, 1998, meeting the complainants requested to see 
the original data from which the document described in paragraph 13, above, was 
generated.  
 
	16.  It is found that the respondents did not have the original data with them and it 
was agreed that the documents would be left at the main office of the VCMS at a later 
time for the complainants to pick up. 
 
	17.  It is found that on April 13, 1998, the complainants received the original data 
they requested which included two redacted copies of teacher recommendations with only 
the complainant’s son’s information revealed.
 
	18.  It is found that the respondents promptly complied with the complainants’ 
requests made on March 26, 1998, and April 8, 1998, for documents.
 
	19.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-19(a), G.S., by 
failing to provide the complainants with access to the requested information at the March 
26, 1998, and the April 8, 1998, meetings.
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
	1.  The complaint is hereby dismissed.
 
	2.  The Commission strongly encourages the respondents to implement measures 
which ensure more open and forth coming communications with the parents of the 
students of its school. 
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of 
October 28, 1998.

_________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF 
EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO 
THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR 
AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Linda and Myron Osyf
10 Knollwood Drive
Vernon, CT 06066
Principal, Vernon Center 
Middle School, Vernon Public
Schools; and Vernon Center 
Middle Schools, Vernon Public 
Schools
c/o Atty. Robert J. Percy
Siegel, O’Connor, Schiff & Zangari, PC
150 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT 06103


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1998-132FD/mrb11301998