The Leicester Public School District supports the strategic use of media to enhance the instructional program while concurrently valuing the wise and prudent use of time spent by students in pursuit of an education. The use of videos and movies should be limited so that they are legally, appropriately, and effectively used in achieving legitimate educational objectives that supplement approved course curriculum. The following guidelines shall be followed when using media in the classroom:

Educational Relevance
  1. The showing of videos, DVDs, movies, and other audiovisual materials must be limited to a specific educational purpose.
  2. General selection criteria should include the following:
    1. Quality of the overall work;
    2. Fair and accurate representation of the facts;
    3. The reputation of the writer, director, and/or performer; and
    4. Critical acclaim of the work itself.
  3. The video or movie clip used in the classroom shall not include inappropriate language, depictions of violence, or inappropriate behavior.
  4. Commercial movies (i.e., movies made for entertainment and shown in theaters) shown in their entirety are strongly discouraged and shall be approved in only a very few circumstances. These types of movies should only be shown:
    1. If there is no other audiovisual material that addresses the concept being taught and is accurate in its content.
    2. The value of the movie is so great that it warrants being shown in its entirety.
    3. It is written into a district-approved curriculum.
  5. Generally speaking, commercial movies are not to be used for rewards during regular instructional time.
  6. When AV materials are used in a classroom during instructional time, there should be a pre-activity and a written post-activity, which will be graded in some way in order to hold students accountable for the material.

Age Appropriateness
  1. If commercial movies are shown in a classroom, the following rating guide will be followed: (Rating is determined by the industry accepted rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America)
  2. Only “G” rated films should be shown in grades K-5
  3. “G” and “PG” films may be shown in grades 6-8
  4. “PG-13” films may be shown in grades 7-8
  5. “G”, “PG”, and “PG-13” films may be shown in grades 9-12
  6. No films or parts of films with the rating of “R” are to be shown in grades K-8.
  7. No films or parts of films with the rating of “R” are to be shown in grades 9-12 unless specific clips are approved by the Director of Curriculum and documented on curriculum maps or the principal approves the materials in advance. Parents are to be provided an opt-out for the showing of such films.
  8. No films or parts of films with the rating of “NC-17”, or “X” are to be shown in any grade.

Time Limitations
Teachers should be prudent with the use of audiovisual materials and should weigh the value of the AV material against the instructional time it consumes. A general guideline would be to limit the use of AV materials to a total time equivalent of one class period per unit.

Teacher Preview and Administrative Approval
  1. All videos, DVDs, movies, or other audiovisual material must be previewed by the teacher before use in the classroom.
  2. Prior to showing any video, DVD, movie (including commercial movies produced for entertainment purposes), other audiovisual material, or material downloaded from Internet sources to students, the planned video use must be submitted to the building principal or designee for films that are viewed in their entirety.
  3. Exceptions to this requirement will be allowed when the commercial movie is included as part of the adopted curriculum approved by the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.
  4. Short segments of AV materials, approximately ten (10) minutes (one teacher comments, “could this read, ‘the length of which dictated by the needs of the lesson and applicable material’”), used as an anticipatory set, to introduce a lesson, provide closure, etc., will not be subject to administrative approval, provided the clip meets the criteria of this policy.
  5. Teacher created PowerPoint presentations are not subject to administrative approval provided there is no video embedded in the presentation. If a video is embedded in a PowerPoint presentation, then it will be subject to the guidelines listed above.

  1. Any use of videos, DVDs, movies, or other audiovisual materials must adhere to all federal copyright laws, as well as publisher licensing agreements.
  2. The legal requirements of the Copyright Act apply:
  3. Regardless of whether an admission fee is charged;
  4. Whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit; or
  5. Whether a federal, state, or local agency is involved.

By law, when a teacher shows any film that does not include “public performance rights” he or she must comply with the “Fair Use” provision and Chapter 1, Section 110 of the U.S. Copyright Act. The following is a summary of the guidelines from those documents. Films shown in school must:
  1. Be used by teachers in the course of “face to face” instruction with students
  2. Be directly related to the curriculum and the current instruction
  3. Be correlated to instructional objectives
  4. Be shown in the normal instructional setting
  5. Be “lawfully” made: the teacher has not duplicated a copy in violation of Fair Use, without the permission of the copyright holder.
  6. Not be used for extra-curricular, reward, recreation, or before or after school use.
  7. Not be used for fund-raising. No admission should be charged for a film showing.
  8. Be shown once within ten consecutive school days if the videos are recorded from a regular, commercial, or “free” network.
  9. Be researched regarding granted rights for programs recorded from exclusively cable channels (A&E, Disney, History channel, etc.).

Opt-Out Opportunity for the Showing of Commercial Films/Shows
  1. Parents and students must be provided an “opt-out” opportunity for the showing of commercial films/shows shown in their entirety.
  2. Teachers must notify parents of films that will be shown in the classroom. This can be accomplished by either of the following: (a) including the films in the class syllabus and distributed to the parent; or (b) separate handout of movies sent home. This listing of movies will be posted on the teacher’s website. Parents shall have the opportunity to opt their child out of any movie.
  3. Teachers should provide a lesson alternative for children who have opted out.
  4. Opt-out children should be treated discreetly and with respect.

ADOPTED: January 12, 2016