GREAT FALLS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT GUIDELINES
FOR SCHOOLS, DEPARTMENTS, AND STUDENT GROUPS
GFPS social media are important communication and public relations tools. They represent the District to a worldwide audience. Due to this exposure, there needs to be a certain level of quality control and support of educational purposes. Additionally, we need to consider the protection of
- the privacy interests of our students;
- the District from spammers and scammers;
- ownership of the content; and
- the District’s brand via well-designed and cohesive representation.
To that end, the District has prepared the following guidelines for all GFPS-related social media. Social media accounts include but are not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you have questions, please call the Director of Informational Technology.
- Students should never be responsible for any official media release on any medium (e.g. publish).
- Teacher/Certified Staff Member is in completely responsible for the account and content.
- All content should be G-rated and appropriate for all audiences.
- Content should be grammatically correct as appropriate to students’ abilities.
- Students are not asked to or required to have social media accounts.
- Student accounts are never admin roles of GFPS properties.
- Teacher should not represent issues larger than his or her scope of concern.
- Student names and pictures must be used with proper parental permission.
- Teachers must adhere to FERPA regulations and educator ethics.
- Content will abide by copyright laws.
- Teachers will be in compliance with COPPA.
- Social media accounts must “like” or “follow” the official GFPS accounts.
- Provide a link to GFPS Facebook page in About - Content and Basic Info.
- Copy the Disclaimer and Statements of Expectations on page 4 of this document into About - Details on “name of facebook page”.
- GFPS will “like” or “follow” official and approved accounts.
- Teacher fills out the attached application for review and approval.
- Teacher gets approval from building-level administrator and district supervisor (if applicable).
- Teacher receives an overview of expected protocols by tech coach.
- Administrator delegates co-admin (must be certified staff member) for the account.
- Teacher turns in application to IT director.
- IT director will communicate approval after review.
- After receiving approval from IT director, teacher signs up and establishes the account.
- Teacher adds another certified staff member as co-admin “manager role” to the account as approved by the building-level administrator.
Content management process
- Only teachers can edit content (e.g. approval of followers, name of account, final review before publishing, etc.).
- Teacher solicits input from students but is responsible for publishing.
Page moderation process
Given that social media allows anyone to comment/reply, the account must be reviewed regularly.
- Teacher will review comments/replies regularly (multiple times per day/week).
- Teacher will delete any comments/replies that are inappropriate.
For PTA-Controlled Social Media Accounts:
PTAs are welcome to create their own social media accounts separate from official GFPS school accounts with the following suggestions and requests:
- PTA accounts should be clearly identified as PTA accounts. PTAs should not control the “official” account for any school. (Example: “Morningside Elementary PTA”)
- Please include the following disclaimer on the “About” page:
“This social media account is managed and organized by (school’s) PTA, a separate entity from (school). All content presented here is an extension of PTA’s mission “…to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”
Social Media Training
- Review the guidelines above.
- COPPA - must report account violations to social media management (e.g. underage users, fake accounts, etc.).
- Media Release - Be careful of posting pictures of students: students should not be readily identifiable (group shots okay); for identifiable pictures, abide by opt-out preferences marked on handbook receipt, verified with the office before usage.
- Copyright - For all work other than the administrators’ own work, images, music, written, performance or any other artistic work, the administrators of the social media accounts must have written permission and give source credit.
- Public Relations - Any public relations materials produced to promote the social media account should include a disclaimer stating that to use the social media, the user must be 13 years of age and seek parental permission before signing up for a social media account.
The two statements on the application regarding goals and target audience as well as the editorial below, will be a required addition to the account once approved.
Disclaimer and Statements of Expectations:
Response Timelines: GFPS staff will make every effort to respond to questions on our social media account within two (2) business days. However, due to limited resources and questions that may require research, more time may be needed. Your patience is appreciated.
Private or Time-Sensitive Concerns: Social media is not the proper medium for addressing concerns. Parents and citizens are encouraged to follow the usual chains of command for these kinds of questions or concerns. That chain of command would be:
3. Assistant Superintendent or Other Appropriate Supervisor
5. Board of Trustees
Please call 406-268-6001 if you need contact information. Refer to Board Policy 3215 for more information regarding the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure.
Fan Comments: (Teacher/Class) welcomes comments on items posted on social media. All comments are highly encouraged to be stated respectfully, factually, and constructively. Community-contributed content is the opinion of the specific author and does not represent GFPS.
(Teacher/Class) abides by (social media’s) Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and the (Teacher/Class) asks its fans to do the same. The (Teacher/Class), in its sole discretion, will remove any postings that
• contain abusive, insulting or inappropriate language or statements.
• easily identify students and/or staff in defamatory, abusive or generally negative terms.
• do not show proper consideration for others’ privacy or are considered likely to offend or provoke others.
• break the law or encourage others to do so.
• Are irrelevant to the goals of the social media account.
• Are comments made simply for the purpose of advertising/promoting a service or product outside the scope of GFPS.
Rights Reserved: The District/Teacher/Class reserves the right not to post or to remove any comments at its sole discretion.
Social Media Account Approval Process*
- Download and fill out the application form.
- Receive overview of protocols by tech coach.
- Send application electronically to building administrator or any applicable district-level supervisor.
- Submit to IT Director
*If you are submitting approval for a site already being used, please include the URL to that site so it can be reviewed. This is only for sites that were created before these guidelines went into effect.