Social Media General Guidelines

What is Social Media:
Definition: Social media are online applications, services, and practices that allow users to connect to each other and to create, share, and collaborate on content.

These tools enable the district to share what is happening in our schools with the world, but more importantly let us hear directly and immediately from students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends about what is important to them. This “conversation” is what makes social media so different from traditional forms of institutional communication.
What is included: Social media can include, but is not limited to: blogs; wikis; social networking websites (SNS) (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, RSS, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Google+, etc.), podcasts, video sharing, instant messaging, email, and all online collaboration, information, and publishing systems including school-sponsored student/teacher information exchange tools. Some quiz and skill practice websites include social media applications as well.
Abide by policies and terms of service:
Read District Policies: Social media usage in the district is governed by the same policies that govern all other electronic communications. Read the policies before engaging in any social media campaign as part of your official duties and also if you use social media for personal purposes.
Adhere to State College Area School District compliance requirements, policies and guidelines. For employees, this includes but is not limited to acceptable behaviors outlined in the Policies and Procedures Manual, Professional Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook. In addition, all employees must comply with the policies established by the The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Terms of Service (TOS) outlined on each social media's site. Example: Facebook users must be 13 or older. For students, this includes but is not limited to the Online Acceptable Use Policy 815.
Advertising on behalf of external vendors is prohibited on district web sites and social media presences.

District Logos:

All official district social media presences will use the same treatment of the SCASD logo to communicate to fans, followers and viewers that content found in these locations is official district information. A link to the district website should be featured prominently on the site along with possible links to department or school websites. Questions regarding the use of district logos should be directed to the Public Information office.

• Content should be refreshed at least weekly.

• Keep topics relevant to the mission of the district.

• Moderate comments. Content owners are responsible for monitoring postings and comments to social media sites and for deleting postings that do not adhere to our policies. Acceptable content may be positive or negative in context to the conversation, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the district. Comments that are obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, hateful or embarrassing to another person or any other person or entity are not allowed and should be removed. Owner/Moderator agrees to take all reasonably possible steps to prevent and eliminate inappropriate comments and understand that it may be necessary to discontinue the use of the social media if such comments cannot be eliminated or prevented.

• Don’t be argumentative. These platforms allow for opinions and civil discussions, not rude and hateful comments to spur arguments. What you say can and will be used against you. Everything you say or do online is likely to be stored forever, even if you delete it. It's not a one-way conversation. Social media is not a place for you to talk without listening, commenting and responding to the conversations around you.

• Do not include confidential information about the district, its staff, or, especially, its students.

• Don't violate the law. Refrain from using information and conducting activities that may violate local, state, or federal laws, and regulations.

• Don't represent your personal opinions as being endorsed by the district or any of its organizations. You may not use the district’s name to promote any opinion, product, cause, or political candidate.   

• Use your best judgment. If you are unsure about your post, discuss content with your supervisor or teacher before posting or commenting.

If you have any questions about social media best practices, or need guidance when problems or issues of concern arise, contact the Public Information Office. We are available to assist you with any social media concern.