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Sausalito Marin City SD |  BP  1112  Community Relations

Media Relations   

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The Board of Trustees respects the public's right to information and recognizes that the media significantly influence the community's understanding of school programs. In order to develop and maintain positive media relations, the Board and the Superintendent desire to reasonably accommodate media requests for information and to provide accurate, reliable and timely information.

Media representatives are welcome at all Board meetings and shall receive meeting agendas upon request.

Media representatives, like all other visitors, shall register immediately upon entering any school building or grounds when school is in session.

Staff may provide the media with student directory information, including, but not limited to, the name of a student, school of attendance, grade level, honors, and activities, unless the student's parent/guardian has submitted a written request that such information not be disclosed. The school shall not release information that is private or confidential as required by law, Board policy or administrative regulation. No other access to student records or personally identifiable student information may be provided without written parent/guardian permission.

Interviewing and Photographing Students

The school shall not impose restraints on students' right to speak freely with media representatives at those times which do not disrupt students' educational program. However, interviews of students may not create substantial disorder or impinge on the rights of others. Therefore, in order to minimize possible disruption, media representatives who wish to interview students at school are strongly encouraged to make prior arrangements with the principal. At their discretion, parents/guardians may instruct their children not to communicate with media representatives.

In order to protect the privacy and safety of students, a media representative who wishes to photograph students on school grounds should first make arrangements with the principal or designee.

When interviewing or photographing a special education student, he/she shall not be identified as a special education student without prior, written parent/guardian permission.

Media Communications Plan

In order to help develop strong relations with the media, the Superintendent or designee shall develop a proactive media communications plan. This plan may include, but not be limited to, information related to school programs and needs, student awards, school accomplishments and events of special interest.

The plan shall specify the school's and/or site's primary media contact to whom all media inquiries shall be routed. Spokespersons designated to speak to the media on behalf of the school include the Board president, Superintendent and public information officer. Other Board members and staff may be asked by the Superintendent or designee to speak to the media on a case-by-case basis, depending on their expertise on an issue.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide training on effective media relations to all designated spokespersons.

Crisis Communications Plan

During a disturbance or crisis situation, the first priority of school staff is to assure the safety of students and staff. However, the Board recognizes the need to provide timely and accurate information to parents/guardians and the community during a crisis. The Board also recognizes that the media have an important role to play in relaying this information to the public. In order to help ensure that the media and school work together effectively, the Superintendent or designee shall develop a crisis communications plan to identify communication strategies to be taken in the event of a crisis.

The crisis communications plan may include but not be limited to identification of a media center location, development of both internal and external notification systems, and strategies for press conference logistics.

The Superintendent or designee shall include local law enforcement and media representatives in the crisis planning process.

Policy SAUSALITO MARIN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: August 12, 2014 Sausalito, California