FCS recognizes that staff, students and parents interact daily with friends, family and larger social network using various electronic communication methods. The school district also uses email, websites, text messaging, social media and other tools to communicate with various stakeholders. The Expectations for Communicating Electronically compliment the district's Responsible Use Guidelines and the Code of Ethics for Educators.
The following is a set of expectations that all members of the FCS professional community adhere to when communicating with students and parents electronically.
Does the communication pass the TAP Test?
- The communication is transparent. ALL electronic communication between staff, students, and parents should be transparent. As a public school district, we are expected to maintain openness, visibility, and accountability with regard to all communications.
- The communication is accessible. ALL electronic communication between staff, students and parents are a matter of public record and/or may be accessible by others.
- The communication is professional. ALL electronic communication from staff to student or parent should be written as a professional representing FCS. This includes word choices, tone, grammar and subject matter that model the standards and integrity of a FCS professional. Always choose words that are courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike in manner.
- If communication meets all three of the criteria above, then it is very likely that the methods of communicating with students and parents that you are choosing are very appropriate; moreover, encouraged.
Acceptable Communications Methods*
District Email and Phone: When communicating as a FCS employee, use district email and phones, not personal phones or personal email accounts. When emailing large groups, such as parents, staff should use the bcc line for emails. Text messaging or instant messaging students and parents from personal phones or accounts are also not accepted. When using district email and voice mail, please note that these records of communication are subject to Open Records. As such, do not use them for personal social media or personal distribution lists, such as those for shopping sites or banking.
School and District Websites: All schools, including academic programs, and district departments must use Blackboard WCM for website hosting and content management.
Social Media for Instructional Purposes: Each school has been provided a Facebook and Twitter account (For list of the accounts), as well as a YouTube channel. Any content staff members publish, pictures they post, or dialogue they maintain, whether in a professional or personal social media account, a blog, a discussion thread or other websites should never compromise the professionalism, integrity and ethics in their role as a FCS professional. A good question that staff members should ask themselves before posting is, “Would I mind if that information appeared on the front page of the local newspaper?” If the answer is “yes,” then do not post it.*NOTE: FCS staff should not post student photos or videos on their personal social media accounts/websites. Parents/guardians may decline the inclusion of student photographs under the FERPA Directory Notice Information and student publicity consent is only for school/district use.
As with all communication, it is important to create an atmosphere of trust and individual accountability, keeping in mind that information produced by FCS employees is a reflection on the entire district. By accessing, creating or contributing to any website, blog, wiki, or social media for classroom or district use, you agree to abide by these expectations.
Contact: Jennifer Caracciolo