Board Policies – Section I – Instructional Program
Employees are encouraged to use district electronic mail and other district technology resources to promote student learning and communication with parents of students and education-related entities. If those resources are used, they shall be used for purposes directly related to work-related activities. Technology-based materials, activities, and communication tools shall be appropriate for and within the range of the knowledge, understanding, age, and maturity of students with whom they are used.
District employees, including, but not limited to, classroom teachers and extracurricular activity coaches and sponsors, may set up blogs and other social networking accounts using district technological resources and following district policy and guidelines to promote communications with students, parents, and the community concerning school-related activities and for the purpose of supplementing classroom instruction. Social networking sites and other online communication options offering instructional benefits may be used for the purpose of supplementing classroom instruction and to promote communications with students and parents concerning school-related activities.
In order for district employees and activity sponsors to utilize a social networking site for instructional, administrative, or other work-related communication purposes, they shall comply with the following:
1. They shall request prior permission from the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.
2. If permission is granted, staff members will set up the site following any district guidelines developed by the superintendent and approved by the board. If the expenditure of district funds is required to complete the set-up or maintenance of the site, the requesting staff member shall present an itemized summary of such costs to the superintendent. Superintendent approval shall be required prior to the expenditure of district funds for such purpose.
3. Guidelines shall specify whether access to the site must be given to school/district administrators and technology staff.
4. If written parental consent is not otherwise granted through acceptable use policy forms provided by the district, staff shall notify parents of the site and obtain written permission for students to become “friends” of the site prior to the students being granted access. This permission shall be kept on file at the school as determined by the principal.
5. Once the site has been created, the sponsoring staff member is responsible for the following:
a. Monitoring and managing the site to promote safe and acceptable use and compliance with district policies; and
b. Observing confidentiality restrictions concerning release of personally identifiable student information under state and federal law.
Staff members are discouraged from creating personal social networking accounts to which they invite current or future students to be friends. Employees taking such action do so at their own risk. All employees shall be subject to disciplinary action if their conduct relating to use of technology or online resources violates this policy or other applicable board policy, statutory, or regulatory provisions governing employee conduct or the protection of student record information; or if it impairs the staff member’s job performance or effectiveness in the work setting. District staff shall endeavor to protect the health, safety, and emotional well-being of students and confidentiality of student record information both in the school setting and in their online actions. Conduct in violation of this policy, including, but not limited to, conduct relating to the use of technology, social networking, or online resources, may form the basis for disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.
Approved: August 13, 2014