POLICY ON FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
The Leicester School Committee recognizes that technological resources enhance employee performance by offering effective tools to assist in providing a quality instructional program and facilitating communications with parents/guardians, students and the community. Employees shall be responsible for the appropriate use of technology both when the technology tools are provided by the district and when any use of technology interacts with students, parents and other staff members. District employees are encouraged to use networking sites to enable ongoing communication purposefully designed for educational use. School district employees are prohibited from engaging in any conduct on networking sites that violates the law, School Committee policies, or other standards of ethical conduct. Additionally, the School Committee developed the following expectations and recommendations for the use of technology tools in the classroom to ensure positive professional relationships between students, parents and district staff, to model good online behavior for students, and to protect students from inappropriate content:

Staff members using networking sites shall:
  1. Not accept or initiate friend requests with current Leicester students on personal networking sites. Once students have graduated they are no longer “current” students.
  2. Not post confidential information about students, staff or district business.

Recommendations for the use of personal networking sites by staff members:
  1. Update your profile’s security and privacy settings so that your content is not open to unknown people. Since people classified as “friends” have the ability to download and share your information with others, post only what you want the world to see.
  2. While you have a right to free expression, do consider more effective means of dialogue before using networking sites to discuss student related issues or publicly criticize school policies or personnel.
  3. Do not say or do any thing that you would not say or do as a teacher in the classroom or as a staff member performing his or her duties.

Staff members using networking sites for educational purposes shall:
  1. Let your administrator, fellow teachers, and parents know about your network.
  2. Have a clear statement of purpose and outcomes for the use of networking tools.
  3. Establish a code of conduct for all student participants.
  4. Refer to the Photo Release Consent forms prior to posting images that include students .
  5. Pay close attention to the site’s security settings and allow only approved participants access.

Staff members contacting students via text or phone shall:
  1. Maintain professionalism.
  2. Contact students collectively, rather than individually. All contact and messages by coaches/advisors/chaperones, etc. with team members/students shall be sent to all members of the group, except for messages concerning medical or academic privacy matters, in which case the messages will be copied to the school principal.

ADOPTED: December 13, 2010
REVISED: March 8, 2016