General Administration 193

Social Media Guidelines

Background:

The Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) recognizes that students and employees use technology and specifically, social media, to engage, communicate and connect with each other and the greater community. The Division also recognizes the importance of freedom of opinion, discussions and sharing of information, and supports interactions that reflect the vision, values and mission of the Division. There are, however, limits to privacy with social media; we expect our staff and volunteers to be respectful, responsible and accountable while using social media, as this will model the responsible and professional use of social media for students.

For the purposes of these guidelines, social media refers to online technology tools that enable people and organizations to communicate and share information and resources over the Internet. Users provide information, but can also interact with each other using social media. Examples include, but are not limited to, blogs, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

As a means of continuous improvement and improving student and community engagement, the Division believes in supporting ongoing communication with stakeholders through these online technologies. The following guidelines are intended to inform the use social media safely, responsibly and successfully. 

Procedures:

  1. General Usage:
    1. As defined by the Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, users shall not disclose personal, sensitive or confidential information without prior written consent. Professionalism, privacy, transparency or respect must not be compromised.
    2. Unless authorized, employees shall not use social media to represent any LPSD school, program, club, association or department of the Lloydminster Public School Division. Any such work-related, division or school level account requires approval by an administrator and must be reflective of the vision, values and mission of the Division. Accounts created must be registered with the Communications Department; a directory of all accounts will also be maintained by the Communications Department.
    3. Approved accounts must clearly and concisely identify the school, program, club or association name. Do not generalize with the use of LPSD, as this may imply communication on behalf of the entire Division.
    4. Classroom social media accounts are seen as extensions of the school and must reflect the vision, values and mission of the Lloydminster Public School Division.
    5. Any social media account established under Lloydminster Public Division is subject to review, monitoring and deactivation if such accounts are deemed to violate acceptable use.
    6. A work-related email address must be used when creating social media accounts and personal email addresses shall not be assigned to any social media accounts.
    7. Each school must designate managers who will take responsibility for content management of the page. Accounts must be monitored to ensure materials posted do not violate the Lloydminster Public School Division’s policies and procedures, and updated regularly.
    8. Social media must be used in a responsible, ethical and legal manner, appropriate to an educational setting. Users must be aware of, and comply with, copyright laws and privacy settings.
    9. Any defamatory personal, school level or Division level content that negatively impacts the Lloydminster Public School Division is deemed unacceptable and violates the acceptable use as indicated in Administrative Procedure 140.
    10. Social media accounts are subject to this Administrative Procedure and may be reviewed as the need arises.
  2. Personal Usage:
    1. During instructional or work time, employees are expected to be working, not handling personal matters. We encourage employees to keep their outside interests and activities, including, but not limited to, the maintenance, access or use of a personal blog or social networking sites, outside the workplace. These should not adversely affect instructional time and preparation time.
    2. As an employee or volunteer, you can at any time be perceived as an unofficial spokesperson of the Division. Do not use your personal account as a public forum to interact on behalf of the Division. Your online behaviour should be appropriate for a Lloydminster Public School Division stakeholder and should not undermine your credibility or that of the School Division.
    3. Every time you communicate, whether it’s in person or on social media, you shape public opinion about yourself, your profession, your school, your board and public education. Statements like, “Tweets are my own and don’t reflect my employers’ views,” don’t hold true for educators.
    4. Retweets, likes and favourites are perceived as endorsements. These interactions should be limited and done with care.
    5. Although staff lead private lives, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that teachers’ off-duty conduct, even when not directly related to students, is relevant to their suitability to teach. As such, staff should use sound judgment and due care when using social media while on and off duty.
    6. Your personal account might not be appropriate to distribute Division related news; contact the Communications Department if there is important news to be shared.
    7. Assume that any information posted is insecure and permanent, even with privacy settings. Be aware of terms and conditions and changes in privacy settings.
    8. Maintaining professional boundaries on social media is critical to sustaining public trust and ensuring relationships with students and parents remain professional. Be cognizant of the type of interactions you have on your personal account and conversations that vent frustrations about your personal or professional life.
    9. Online interactions with parents or students must be restricted to educational or school-related activities and events. Staff are encouraged to maintain a clear distinction between their personal and professional social media use.
    10. Cyber bullying and harassment are unacceptable online behaviours. 
  3. School Usage:
    1. Any work-related, social media account must be approved by the school administrator or supervisor, as well as by the Communications Department, by using the Social Media Request for Approval Form 193-1. If you are planning on using a social media site as a communication tool in the classroom, the Social Media Request for Approval Form must be completed and submitted for approval.
    2. Once permission has been granted, and to be recognized as an official social media account, accounts created must be registered with the Communications Department using the Social Media Account Registration Form.
    3. Permission must be received through FOIPP before posting student work, photographs and activities on social media accounts. Permission must be granted for disclosure of any student work or information.
    4. Each created social media site must have an account content manager designated. Accounts must be monitored to ensure material posted does not violate the Lloydminster Public School Division’s acceptable use procedures. Account information should be reset periodically or as the need arises.
    5. Remember that you are representing the School Division through school-related approved accounts. Social media must be used in a responsible, ethical and legal manner that is appropriate to an educational setting.
    6. Do not post anything on a social media site that you would not want posted in view of the public. 

 

Revised:

Sept 2015