One School District's New Policy on Social Media Interaction

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

One School District's New Policy on Social Media Interaction


Byline: Melissa Silverberg msilverberg@dailyherald.com

As many suburban school districts are looking at their use of technology and social media, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 has issued new procedures for staff outlining what are -- and are not -- acceptable methods of communication between teachers and students.

"It has become increasingly clear that more and more people, including our students, are using electronic forms of communication to interact with others," said Venetia Miles, spokeswoman for the district.

Under the policy, details of which were promulgated Tuesday by district administration after a general review and approval earlier by the school board, employees are reminded to adhere to "appropriate school relationships" across social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.

The test for appropriate communication is if it passes what the district is calling the TAP test; transparent, accessible and professional.

As a public school district, the policy explains that all communication must be transparent and accessible as a matter of record. And employees should remember that all communication should be written as a professional representing the district.

When it comes to Facebook, teachers can set up a "fan" page to communicate with their students but must still follow district guidelines for publishing content or photos to the web.

Teachers must be the only ones able to post to the fan page wall, making it a way to distribute information online, not a way to have a conversation with students.

Parents should be notified if the teacher plans to use Facebook as a method of communication. …

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