4007 Social Media and Online Communication
The Board of Directors recognizes that the role of technology in the modern workplace is continually expanding and now includes social media and online communication tools that facilitate interactive information sharing and collaboration. These media sites are increasingly important outreach and communication tools for teachers and administrators.
Social networking can improve communication between schools, staff, students, families and the community at-large, and often reaches new and different populations from traditional media. Social media and online communication tools may be used for many purposes in an educational environment; examples include quick dissemination of time-sensitive information (e.g., emergency information, travel disruptions or changes, or district facility closures) and marketing/promotion of events or programs to the widest possible audience or a targeted audience, such as students in a specific class or club. Social media postings and online communication tools may include many different media formats, including written text, images, audio and video.
Social media and online communication tools may include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, media sharing, virtual worlds, school and teacher websites and messaging platforms.
The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and responsibilities for the use of social media and online communication tools by employees who represent the district, schools, school groups, teams or clubs, or individuals within schools or programs.
All use of approved social media and online communication sites by schools and staff should be consistent with applicable state, federal and local laws, regulations and related district policies. These include information technology security policies; responsible use policies; the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); nondiscrimination policies; copyright and trademark laws; maintaining professional staff/student boundary policy, and applicable public records retention policies and schedules.
Development of Procedures
The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures to ensure that approved social media and online communication sites are appropriately used, secured and managed. The procedures shall be designed to protect students, employees and the district, as well as ensure consistency across the district.
Policy 2021 Library Information and Technology Programs
Policy 2022 Student Responsible Use Procedure
Policy 2024 Online Learning
Policy 2025 Copyright Compliance
Policy 2331 Controversial Issues/Guest Speakers
Policy 3200 Student Rights and Responsibilities
Policy 3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
Policy 3220 Freedom of Expression
Policy 3231 Student Records
Policy 4020 Confidential Communication
Policy 4040 Public Access to District Records
Policy 5252 Staff Participation in Political Activities
Policy 5253 Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries
Policy 8410 Records Management and Retention
Policy News, Date? Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy
Records Retention Schedule for School Districts and ESDs
REVISED:Procedure No. 4007 Social Media and Online Communication
These guidelines are intended to support staff by clearly identifying the many factors and possible ramifications of using social media and online communication tools in a district-approved manner within district-approved platforms or spaces. These guidelines are in addition to, and complement, existing School Board policies.
Before creating or using a social media or online communication site, a district employee must consider the following in determining whether the use of the tool is appropriate:
- Who is the target audience for communication?
- What information is the district, school, group or individual attempting to communicate?
- Which online media tool is the best to distribute the information?
- Who is responsible for managing and monitoring the social media or online communication tool/accounts?
Employees should be thoughtful and professional about how they present the district, their school, school group, team or club, or individuals within schools or programs through the professional use of online media sites. Employees must consider these issues:
- Confidentiality. Employees should not post or release proprietary, confidential or protected personally identifiable information, or district intellectual property on social media or online communication sites.
- Privacy. As in other venues, employees must follow the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and must not post a student’s image (including photos and/or video) or other protected personally identifiable information if a student’s guardian has opted out of publication of student’s name or photo.
- Site Monitoring. Sites should be monitored for inappropriate posts or comments; such posts should be removed. Sites should be kept updated. If a site is abandoned, it should be taken down.
Creating and Administering Accounts
District employees wishing to create a social media or online communication sites representing the district, their school, school group, team or club, or individuals within schools or programs will request permission with building principal approval to the Communication Director. The Communications Director will determine final approval. The Communications Director shall be given administrative rights and/or passwords to the site at the time of creation and reserves the right to remove inappropriate content or otherwise make necessary changes to the site.
Approved social media or online communication site accounts will post the following notice:
This is an official publication of Yelm Community Schools (YCS). YCS reserves the right to monitor and remove posts or comments that violate Policy 4007P.
Mitigation of Risks
When creating social media or online communication site accounts that require individual identification, district employees must use their actual name, not pseudonyms, and district contact information.
Students will not be given access to social media accounts to update or post any information representing the district.
The district’s use of social media or online communication sites is limited to promoting the mission and goals of the district. While the district may choose to allow user-generated content on its social-media sites, by doing so the district does not intend to create an open public forum for speech. Nor does the district express approval or support for the views expressed by third-parties that appear on its social-media sites. The district reserves the right to remove inappropriate content or comments posted on district generated social media that are
- Sexually suggestive, malicious, obscene, profane, threatening or intimidating
- Constituting harassment or bullying
- Supportive of illegal activity
- Violating copyright or trademark laws
- Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems
- Supports or opposes political candidates or ballot propositions
- Promotes commercial services or products
- Promotes, fosters, perpetuates discrimination, or contributes to a hostile education or work environment on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.
The district will not, however, remove otherwise permissible comments based on the user’s viewpoint on a topic or issue raised by the district.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE PUBLIC
4000 Public Information Program
4007 Social Media and Online Communication
4020 Confidential Communications
4040 Public Access to District Records
4060 Distribution of Materials
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE SCHOOLS
4110 Citizen's Advisory Committees and Task Forces
4120 School-Support Organizations
4129 Family Involvement
4130 Title 1 Parent Involvement
PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCHOOLS, STAFF AND STUDENTS
4200 Safe and Orderly Learning Environment
4210 Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises
4215 Use of Tobacco and Nicotine Products and Delivery Devices
4217 Effective Communication
4218 Language Access Plan
4220 Complaints Concerning Staff or Programs
4235 Public Performances
4237 Contests, Advertising and Promotions
4238 Business Advertising/Sponsorships
4260 Use of School Facilities
4265 Community Schools' Program
RELATIONS WITH OTHER AGENCIES AND SCHOOLS
4310 District Relationships with Law Enforcement and Other Government Agencies
4311 School Resource Officer
4315 Release of Information Concerning Sexual and Kidnapping Offenders
4320 Cooperative Programs with Other Districts, Public Agencies, Private Schools and Daycare Agencies
4400 Election Activities