3145 R -- Community Relations
Regulations for BOE
COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC INFORMATION
The Board of
Education recognizes the importance of timely and useful communication with
parents and the public. Along with traditional, media and print
communications tools, the use of all technology options continues to be
enhanced, including those available through the Student Information System,
e-mail and text messages as well as through the internet (i.e. Web sites,
and social networks). The ability of the District or an individual school to
take full advantage of these tools plays a vital role in relating important
information to our community and parents. As such, it is important to avoid
compromising the privacy of certain student information while yet maximizing
the effectiveness of these communication tools. The District shall provide
parents and eligible students with annual notification of their rights under
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) including the opportunity
for parents (students 18 years or older) to “opt-out” of the release of
photographs or other identifying information.
Acceptable Use of
The following is the acceptable use guidelines for
A. District E-mail, SIS Messenger, Parent/Student
1. District e-mail and SIS Messenger, which includes email and
voicemail notifications to parents for official District business use
directly related to instruction and school programs only as applicable for
building, grade-level and classroom teacher:
2. Portal postings and the District calendar:
District-sanctioned groups (i.e.,
PTA/PTSA, booster clubs, Friends of
Music, extracurricular clubs,
Not-for-profit District partnerships (i.e.
CAPTAIN, Shen Coalition, Chamber of Commerce)
B. Flyers distributed
The Board of Education recognizes that while the schools are
often looked to for information about related events, distribution of
information and announcements to each student takes time from the
instructional day. At the same time, because of a long tradition of
cooperating with community agencies and organizations and in recognition of
their valuable work for our children, the District strives to assist in
making students and parents aware of additional opportunities for growth and
1. District or school related materials (including
required state/federal announcements and forms, information from
District-sanctioned groups such as Boosters, PTA, clubs, student government:
Notifications shall be permitted to be distributed directly to students
through such means as take-home folders, or backpacks, or displayed on
tables, racks, bulletin boards or other areas designated for such use.
Not-for-profit, District partnerships (Shen Coalition, Chamber of Commerce,
CAPTAIN, etc.): Generally, informational materials from outside
groups/organizations will not be distributed to each student. However, from
time to time the District will partner with a community group on an
educational initiative. Distribution directly to students shall be permitted
with authorization from the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Not-for-profit, non-District partnerships: In order to help inform parents
of opportunities for their children and meet the needs of non-profit
community groups, material approved by the Superintendent or his/her
designee will be provided by:
Establishing a prominent place in school
buildings to display materials on a bulletin board; the space will be
labeled with a clear stipulation that: “The displayed notices are for your
information only. The District does not recommend or endorse the
activities/events or announcements described.”
distribute materials at District and/or building sponsored community events
may be provided as long as it does not distract from and it coincides with
the purpose of the event. Students have the right to free speech and free
expression, however, schools can impose reasonable limits on when, where,
and how students may distribute materials. Therefore, any desire to
distribute materials within school buildings or on school grounds must be
discussed and authorized by the respective building principal. No materials
of a commercial nature or materials that are discriminatory, lewd, obscene,
sexually explicit, libelous or promote illegal activities shall be
The State Constitution prohibits the gift or loan of
school District property to or in aid of any individual, private corporation
or association, or private undertaking. The District may not, therefore,
promote or advertise for any private entity, either for-profit or
not-for-profit. District resources should not be used to promote
non-school-related activities and organizations. This includes advertising
in relation to fund raisers, sending District emails, or posting internet
site links on District/school web-pages that promote or for which for-profit
entities can solicit business.
In addition, the District may
not provide any information to vendors that allow the vendor to "target"
District staff or students for the purpose of advertising or promoting their
The Board of Education, recognizing the
importance of the news media in communicating with parents and other
District residents, will strive to maintain a good working relationship with
the representatives of the various news media. The Board President and
Superintendent shall respond to media questions when appropriate to ensure
the comprehensive reporting of District activities and make every effort to
share public information in a timely and accurate manner.
superintendent or designee is the only official spokesperson for the school
District. Subsequently, the following protocols apply:
A. Agendas of
Board Meetings shall be available to the public and provided to the news
media by the Superintendent’s office prior to all Board Meetings.
District-wide press releases shall be approved and released through the
C. All building press releases shall be approved
and released through the principal’s office. Any District-level or building
releases dealing with any unusual or sensitive issues must be forwarded to
the Superintendent’s office for prior approval and subsequent to release.
D. Press releases will be sent to the media for:
District/building/grade level announcements/information
District-sanctioned groups (i.e., PTA/PTSA, booster clubs, Friends of Music,
extracurricular clubs, student government) announcements/information
Not-for-profit District partnerships (i.e. CAPTAIN, Shen Coalition, Chamber
of Commerce) announcements/information
E. News Conferences and
Interviews -News conferences to announce matters of importance or to
share information about a significant event may be called by the Board of
Education or the Superintendent. In an emergency, public information will be
provided in accordance with building level and District-wide safety plans.
Unless authorized to do so by the Superintendent, staff members are not
authorized to express views on behalf of the District. A staff member may
grant an interview to the news media, but should limit remarks to his/her
program or area of responsibility and should inform the principal or
supervisor prior to the interview. Any inquiry by or contact with the
representatives of the news media should also be reported to the public
information officer or Superintendent.
Media Presence on School
These regulations apply to all representatives
of news media agencies and govern media access to students during
instructional hours and/or school activities whether occurring on or off
school grounds. These regulations do not apply to general media coverage of
events of public interest (such as an athletic event, lecture, school play,
Board meetings, and the like).
representatives must request permission to interview, photograph, or
videotape District students through the office of the superintendent. Final
authorization and arrangements will be authorized by the school principal.
b. No special permission shall be required from media representatives prior
to the publishing of news articles, taking of photographs and/or videotapes
of general school events which are of public interest as noted above.
Prior to granting media access to individual students, the principal or
his/her designee shall be apprised of all information including, but not
limited to, the date, location, purpose, and length of access time requested
by the media representative. Where permission is granted, media
representatives will be permitted access to the school building and/or
students provided the presence of such representatives will not unduly
disrupt the educational operations or instructional activities of the
d. If the student from whom information is sought by the media
does not want to be interviewed, photographed and/or videotaped, or if the
parent/guardian of the student opts out for media access to his/her child,
such access will be denied by the building principal/designee.
and Location of Access
a. Media access to public events shall be limited
to the specific locations and immediately surrounding areas where such
public event is taking place.
b. The building principal/designee may
place reasonable limitations on the length of or location of any media
access to students. Media access of public events shall be restricted to the
time period for such events, along with a reasonable time period prior to
and after the activity.
Internet (Web site/social
The Board of Education strongly supports and
encourages the use of innovative technology to enhance communications. This
includes internet-based communications tools (i.e. Web sites, social
networking sites, etc.)
level announcements/information via the District Web page, school Web pages,
and/or social networking sites.
b. District-sanctioned groups (i.e.,
PTA/PTSA, booster clubs, Friends of Music, extracurricular clubs, student
government) announcements/information: the District Web page, school Web
pages, and/or social networking sites.
c. Not-for-profit District
partnerships (i.e. CAPTAIN, Shen Coalition, Chamber of Commerce)
announcements/information: the District Web page, school Web pages and/or
social networking sites.
d. Not-for-profit, non-District partnerships
(i.e. educational services, community services) website link and contact
information on the Community Resource Web page.
2. General Criteria
for Internet-based communications
a. The District/school/classroom
internet-based communications must relate to curriculum or instructional
matters, school authorized activities, or general information of interest to
the public pertaining to the District or its schools.
b. Staff are
prohibited from linking (non-curriculum based) personal internet-based
communications into their District/school/classroom internet-based
c. All web pages must conform to the standards for
appropriate use found in the District's Acceptable Use Policy(ies) and
accompanying Regulations, the Code of Conduct for the Maintenance of Order
on School Property (Policy 3410A) regarding standards of acceptable use;
examples of inappropriate behavior; and compliance with applicable laws,
privacy, and safety concerns.
d. No individual or outside organization
will be permitted to publish personal internet-based communications as part
of the District/school/classroom internet-based communications.
e. Failure to follow District standards or procedures may result in
disciplinary sanctions in accordance with law and/or the applicable
collective bargaining agreement. The District shall provide information on
relevant legal considerations and compliance with applicable laws and
regulations including copyright, intellectual property, and privacy of
student records as well as relevant District procedures to those staff
members and students who are allowed to develop or place material on the
District/school/classroom internet-based communications.
All subject matter, District-wide, shall relate to curriculum,
instruction, school-authorized activities, school or District news or
general information that relates to the District’s mission, goals and
a. Staff or student work should be published only as it
relates to school/classroom authorized projects or other school-related
b. A student internet-based communications (if considered a
school-sponsored student publication) shall be subject to prior teacher
review, as would any other school-sponsored student publication. The teacher
may edit as needed, should check for the accuracy of links and conformance
with District standards and practices.
c. An authorized teacher who is
publishing the final internet-based communications will edit and test the
page(s) for accuracy of links and check for conformance with District
standards and practices.
d. Commercial advertising or marketing on the
official District/school/classroom Web Page(s) (www.shenet.org) or the use
of school-affiliated web pages for the pursuit of personal or financial gain
shall be prohibited unless otherwise authorized in accordance with law,
regulation or Board of Education policy (see #3272). School-affiliated Web
Pages may mention outside organizations only in the context of school
programs that have a direct relationship to those organizations (e.g.,
sponsorship of an activity, student community service project).
Internet-based communications may include faculty or staff names; however,
other personal information about employees including, but not limited to,
home telephone numbers, addresses, personal e-mail addresses, or other
identifying information such as names of family members may be published
only with the employee's permission.
f. All internet-based communications
should be carefully proofread to minimize spelling and grammatical errors.
g. Staff internet-based communications should not contain surveys
dealing with District-level issues or other topics outside of the author’s
area of responsibility.
Use of Copyrighted Materials and "Fair Use"
Exceptions/Intellectual Property and Works Made for Hire
All employees and students are prohibited from
copying materials not specifically allowed by the copyright law, "Fair Use"
guidelines, licenses or contractual agreements, or the permission of the
copyright proprietor. Web page publications must include a statement of
copyright when appropriate and indicate that permission has been secured
when including copyrighted materials or notice that such publication is in
accordance with the "Fair Use" provisions of the Copyright Law. Additional
Unless otherwise noted, always assume that work on the web is
copyrighted. It is NOT necessary that the copyright symbol -- © -- be
displayed for the work to be protected by copyright laws.
attribution must always be given.
Obtaining permission(s) from the
copyright holder(s) (whether text, graphics or music) should occur during
the developmental process or project, rather than waiting to seek permission
upon completion of the project.
Unauthorized electronic transmission
of copyrighted materials is illegal.
B. Fair Use of Copyrighted
Pursuant to Section 107 of the Copyright Law ("Fair Use"
provisions), the use of copyrighted material for criticism, comment, news
reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be permitted under certain
circumstances: “However, any appropriation of someone else's work on the
Internet is a potential copyright infringement." If there is a possibility
that school-affiliated web page(s), which incorporate copyrighted works
under the "Fair Use" provisions, could later result in broader
dissemination, it will be necessary to seek the permission of the copyright
holder. Given the complex interplay between copyright law and the "Fair Use"
provisions in educational multimedia, projects should be considered in
development of Web Page publishing standards and reviewed by school counsel
prior to District implementation for compliance with applicable law and
C. Intellectual Property/ Works Made for Hire
works completed by employees as part of their employment shall be considered
"works made for hire" as described in the United States Code Annotated,
Title 17. Work covered under this policy is the property of the School
District, not the creator of such work. The District shall own any and all
rights to such works, or derivatives thereof, unless there is a written
agreement to the contrary.
This determination includes, but is not
limited to, the following activities:
Work prepared by an employee
within the scope of his/her employment, whether tangible or intangible;
Work specifically ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a
collective work, as enumerated in law.
Any work created within the scope
of such a relationship will be considered a work made for hire when a
regular employment relationship exists.
D. Student Work
are the copyright holders of their own original work. Teachers shall make
themselves aware of students whose parents have “opted out” for publication
of their children’s work.
The District may exercise editorial control
over the style and content of student expression in school-sponsored
publications, theatrical productions, and other expressive activities that
students, parents and members of the public might reasonably perceive to
bear the imprimatur of the school.
However, the school's actions in such
a case must be reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns and may
not amount to viewpoint discrimination.
E. Consequences for
Faculty or staff communicating non-approved or
inappropriate material are subject to the imposition of discipline,
including possible suspension or revocation of access to the District's
computer network in accordance with applicable rules, regulations and laws.
In the case that a violation may constitute a criminal offense, it will be
reported to the appropriate authorities.
Students communicating non-approved or inappropriate material are
subject to the imposition of discipline, including possible suspension or
revocation of access to the District's computer network, in accordance with
applicable due process procedures and the District Code of Conduct. In the
case that a violation may constitute a criminal offense, it will be reported
to the appropriate authorities.
The Superintendent of
Schools or his/her designee shall have the authority to approve or deny use
of the District’s communications tools based upon compliance with the terms
and conditions set forth in this policy as well as applicable District
practices and procedures.
Refer to Policy 3145 Communications
and Public Information
Refer to Policy
Reviewed: December 7, 2010;
April 3, 2012