The West Chester Area School District Social Media Rules of Engagement

  • The West Chester Area School District Facebook Fan Page, Twitter Page, and Instagram Page is provided for
    the community by the West Chester Area School District's Communications Office. We will update these pages multiple times per week in an effort to share as much information as we can specific to the School District and the accomplishments of the students and staff, as well as other relevant or associated district information.

    Postings made to the District's Facebook Fan Page will specifically and only be made on the topic of school related events, activities, announcements, and accomplishments. The posting of promotions and/or announcements for non-WCASD events, activities, announcements, and accomplishments to the District's Twitter Page and Instagram Page will be made at the discretion of the page administrator.

    Photos posted to the District's social media pages will meet all FERPA rules and regulations, as submitted to each individual school. Students will be either not be identified by name, or, will be identified by the first name only, unless their full name has been specifically requested and approved for use prior to posting.

    The District’s social media pages are monitored on a daily basis. When you send a private or direct message to one of the District's social media pages, the page administrator will do their best to reply within one business day.

    All comments posted to any of the District's social media pages will be reviewed and can be removed at the discretion of the page administrators. The intent of this policy is not to keep any negative or critical information from being posted, but to protect the privacy and rights of the West Chester Area School District employees and students. Naming specific employees or students in a negative way will not be allowed. The page administrators will review all postings to make sure they do not run afoul of the rules nor of the district's policies regarding Internet access and practices. We welcome your thoughts and comments and look forward to what you have to say. However, we will remove any postings that:

    1. Break the law or encourage others to do so. This includes respecting copyright and fair use laws. If you are talking about somebody else's work, reference this or the person, and where possible include a link.
    2. Contain abusive or inappropriate language or statements. This includes remarks that are racist, obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful or embarrassing to any other person or entity, sexist as well as those that contain obscenities or are sexually explicit.
    3. Do not show proper consideration for others' privacy or are considered likely to offend or provoke others- i.e. don't pick fights or goad others into inflammatory debates. Nobody likes a bully.
    4. Are spam- i.e. repeatedly posting the same comment or comments that are simply advertising/promoting a service or product(s). If you wouldn't want to receive it yourself, don't post it.

    If you have any questions concerning the operation of the District's social media sites, or if you would like to report an inappropriate comment, please send an email to: jneill@wcasd.net.

    Please note that the posts made and expressed on this site do not reflect the opinions and/or position of the West Chester Area School District or its employees, School Board members, students, or volunteers. Thank you for becoming an online fan of the West Chester Area School District!

    The West Chester Area School District Social Media Guidelines

    Social media has increasingly become a valuable tool to disseminate information and sustain a thriving online community. The West Chester Area School District's Communications Office developed guidelines for staff and administrators within the District who have an interest in creating and/or administering social media sites, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, among others, on behalf of a school or program within the District. 

    Social media sites reflect highly upon the District as a whole, and should, therefore, be structured and maintained in an appropriate, ethical, professional, and lawful manner. If activity on a social networking site is offensive or violates District policy, it may result in disciplinary or legal action. 

    By creating and administering an officially approved District social media site, you must read and abide by the following guidelines.

    Establishing and Monitoring WCASD Social Media Pages Before setting up a social media page, you must contact Jennifer Neill, manager of district communications, at jneill@wcasd.net. Before reaching out, you must read, consider, and have a response for the following objectives as they relate to your goal of creating a social media page:

    • What social media page will I be using?
    • Who will establish the page?
    • Who will be page administrators?
    • Who will maintain the page?
    • How will I ensure it is regularly updated with meaningful content?
    • What do I plan to achieve with this social media page?
    • What kind of information do I want to share or receive on this page?
    • Why is this social media page the best place to share or receive this information?
    • How will I measure the page's success?
    • What page statistics will be meaningful to me?
    • Who am I attempting to engage?
    • How will I identify the people I am trying to engage, and how will I attract them to my page?
    • Who else can I expect to be reading and commenting on my social media site?

    The staff or administrator responsible for posting to the social media site must regularly monitor the page. This means checking the page multiple times per day, seven days per week. You should expect to receive comments and private message from parents, community members, staff, and students on a regular basis regardless of the time or day of the week. It is highly recommended that you download the associated social media page's app to your phone or mobile device so you can monitor your page remotely. Please note that your site(s) will also be monitored by the Communications Office to ensure it is kept active and maintained appropriately. 

    The social media page must only be used for school-related purposes. Personal information cannot be posted to social media sites, which includes but is not limited to: the full names of students or staff, student ID numbers, employee ID numbers, Social Security numbers, personal addresses or phone numbers, and driver's license numbers. Social media sites are not to be made private, and the expectation of privacy is not conveyed to you as a user or administrator of the site.

    Logo and Titles

    The District logo cannot be used on school or program Facebook pages. The name of the school or program should begin the title of any social media page. For example:

    • Glen Acres Elementary School
    • Peirce Middle School Science Department
    • Rustin High School Chorus

     

    Best Practices

    • Freedom of speech- Freedom of speech must be exercised responsibly on the site.
    • Be respectful- Respect your audience, students, staff, and colleagues. Take great care not to engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in your office, school, or the District.
    • Get your facts straight- Ensure that you are providing accurate information so that you are not misrepresenting the school, program, or the District.
    • Be mindful of your school or program's public image- Strongly consider the image you are portraying to the public. Be extremely mindful that what you post may be viewed by parents, students, administrators, and community members, and, it may remain public for a very long time- even if you believed you deleted it.
    • Use your best judgment- Remember there may be consequences to what you post, so consider your content very carefully. If you are about to post something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, do not make the post.
    • Develop a content plan- Come up with a plan a week in advance. Outline what you will highlight, write the associated content in advance, and schedule reminders on your calendar to make the post.
    • Post two to three times per week- Maintain an active page that will encourage your fans to visit your site frequently.
    • Respond in a timely manner- Industry-standard describes responding to users within 24 hours of receipt of the message, seven days a week. The community is used to receiving this level of service from other organizations, businesses, companies, and people- and it should not be any different within the West Chester Area School District. You must remember that the internet is always on - it is never closed for vacations, holidays, or sick days. 

    Photo Guidelines

    Photos posted to the social media page should favorably portray the school or program, the District, and the person(s) depicted in the photo. The following guidelines should be used when posting photos:

    •  Photos of students should only be posted if you have confirmed they do not have a FERPA letter on file.
    •  Use great caution when posting photos of students at public events. Photos of public events can be posted on social networking sites, but they must be appropriate. As a guideline, consider these photos as photos that could also be posted to the District's homepage.

    Standards for Appropriate Conversation

    Although conversations on social media sites are often known as casual, school and program posts and associated conversation must remain professional and respectful. Posts and comments made to school and program pages must be monitored to ensure compliance with the West Chester Area School District Social Media Rules of Engagement. Please see this document for more information.

    Press Inquiries

    Your social media postings have the potential to generate media coverage. If a member of the media contacts you about a social media posting, or requests information about the school, a program, or the District, immediately contact Jennifer Neill: (484) 266-1170 or jneill@wcasd.net, communications manager in the West Chester Area School District’s Communications Office. It is critical that you confirm prior to posting that any information you will post to social media has been publicly disclosed.

    Questions?

    Questions about social media should be directed to Jennifer Neill: (484) 266-1170 or jneill@wcasd.net, communications manager in the West Chester Area School District's Communications Office.