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Community Relations & Media Policy (Revised 2018)

COMMUNITY RELATIONS: 10.1 Public Information Program

RIGHT TO BE INFORMED:

The Board recognizes the rights of the public to be fully and accurately informed about its schools. The Board shall, through the Superintendent and the Superintendent’s designees:

  1. Communicate regularly with the public through available media such as district and school websites, newsletters, social media, and media releases;

  2. Provide speakers for PTA/PTO, church, civic, and other community groups who have an interest in the schools;

  3. Conduct Board business in an atmosphere that lets the public know their attendance is welcomed and appreciated. Board of Education agendas may be emailed to individuals who have submitted a written request.

  4. Work cooperatively with the news media in efforts to inform the public in an accurate and timely manner.

    1. Requests to visit schools, film, photograph, or interview employees, students, or Board members should be made to the Director of Communications. The Director of Communications or a designee will assist with coordinating access to the correct and appropriate resource for media stories, with minimum disruption to the school day. Visits during the school day are at the discretion of the Director of Communications, Principal, and/or teacher. Media will not be permitted to visit classrooms during standardized testing.

    2. Following approval to visit during the school hours, media representatives will be asked to check in at the office upon arrival. They will be required to wear appropriate identification throughout the visit and will be escorted while inside the school.

    3. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents/guardians may opt-out of releasing certain information about students, including identifiable photographs. Therefore, no interviews, photographs, or video are allowed without prior approval from the district office or school principal. Media may photograph or video students without parental consent during school events that are open to the general public, including athletic events.

    4. During an emergency, the District will work as cooperatively as possible to provide timely information to the media. District officials work alongside local emergency officials to provide information as it becomes available and ensuring that information does not jeopardize the response activities or conflict with federal and state privacy laws. Media may be assigned to a designated area to ensure the work of emergency response teams are not hindered. All media calls during an emergency are referred to the Director of Communications. Information may only be provided by the Superintendent, District spokesperson, written release, or news briefings with appropriate personnel.

RELEASE OF INFORMATION:

Public statements concerning controversial or potentially disruptive matters shall be issued only by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.