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Vista USD |  BP  1100  Community Relations

Communication With The Public   

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The Board of Education recognizes the district's responsibility to keep the public informed regarding the goals, programs, achievements, and needs of the schools and district and to be responsive to the concerns and interests expressed by members of the community.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish strategies for effective two-way communications between the district and the public and shall consult with the Board regarding the role of Board members as advocates for the district's students, programs, and policies.

The Superintendent or designee shall distribute communications protocols and procedures to the Board and staff, which include, but are not limited to, identification of spokesperson(s) authorized to speak to the media on behalf of the district, job descriptions that identify the responsibilities of the public information officer and other staff members related to communications with the public, strategies for coordinating communications activities, legal requirements pertaining to confidentiality as well as the public's right to access records, and the importance of presenting a consistent, unified message on district issues.

The Superintendent or designee shall utilize a variety of communications methods in order to provide the public with adequate access to information. Such methods may include, but not be limited to, district and school newsletters, mailings, the district and school web sites, direct email communications, recorded telephone messages for parent/guardian information, school accountability report cards, community forums and public events, notices sent home with students, and news releases and meetings with editorial boards.

In developing communications strategies, the Superintendent or designee shall take into account the needs of all members of the public, including those whose primary language is not English and those who are visually or hearing impaired or have other special needs.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that staff are responsive to requests by parents/guardians or members of the public for information or assistance and may provide staff with professional development in their "customer service" role as needed.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide multiple opportunities for members of the public to give input on district and school issues and operations. Community members are encouraged to participate on district and school committees, provide input at Board meetings, submit suggestions to district staff, use the district's complaint procedures as appropriate, and become involved in school activities.

Prohibition Against Mass Mailings at Public Expense

No newsletter or other mass mailing, as defined in Government Code 82041.5 and 2 CCR 18901, shall be sent by the district at public expense if such material aggrandizes one or more

Board members. The name, signature, or photograph of a Board member may be included in such materials only as permitted by 2 CCR 18901. (Government Code 82041.5, 89001; 2 CCR 18901)

Comprehensive Communications Plan

The Superintendent or designee shall develop a written communications plan which establishes priorities for proactive community outreach to build support for district programs and issues. The plan shall also incorporate strategies for effective communications during an emergency or other situation that may arise.

The plan shall identify specific communications goals aligned with the district's vision and goals for student learning. For each communications goal, the plan shall identify key messages, individuals or groups that can help the district achieve its goal, strategies tailored for communicating with each target audience, timelines, persons responsible for each activity, and budget implications.

As appropriate for each issue, target audiences may include parents/guardians, the media, local governmental agencies, businesses, community organizations and civic groups, postsecondary institutions, health care professionals, child care providers, senior citizens, community leaders, state or federal legislators or agencies, and/or other segments of the public.

The Superintendent or designee shall annually evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the district's communications plan and recommend to the Board whether the goals and key issues identified in the plan need to be revised to meet changing circumstances or priorities.

Legal Reference:


7054 Use of district property or funds re: ballot measures and candidates

35145.5 Board meetings, public participation

35172 Promotional activities

38130-38138 Civic Center Act

48980-48985 Parental notifications


54957.5 Meeting agendas and materials

82041.5 Mass mailing

89001 Newsletter or mass mailing


18901 Mass mailings sent at public expense

18901.1 Campaign-related mailings sent at public expense


35.101-35.190 Americans with Disabilities Act

Management Resources:



California School Public Relations Association:

Fair Political Practices Commission:


adopted: August 19, 2010 Vista, California