Social Media Guidelines
Social media networks provide opportunity for our school communities to share information quickly and broadly. The Upper Grand District School Board uses social media to share the great things that our staff, students and schools do to foster learning and positively impact local and global communities. The UGDSB also uses social media to share pertinent information with our school communities (e.g. notice of public meetings, notice of school closures, information from our community partners).
The UGDSB currently uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as our main social media sites, and many UGDSB schools and departments also choose to use various social media tools. The main UGDSB social media accounts are managed by the board’s Communications Department. School and department accounts are managed by designated school/department staff.
Policies and Procedures
The use of all social media sites managed by the board and/or our employees is guided by the following policies: 213 Code of Conduct, 312 Website and Social Media Management, 318 Acceptable Use of Digital Technology, and 418 Employee Ethics.
The board sets out expectations of student use of technology in our guidelines for Digital Citizenship in the UGDSB as well as in the board’s Safe Schools policy (Policy 503), Code of Conduct Policy (Policy 213), Equity and Inclusive Education Policy (Policy 504), and school Codes of Conduct.
The board has developed Social Media Guidelines (below) for our school communities in order to ensure appropriate and effective use of social media and promote positive online communication.
We update and monitor our accounts most often during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm). On occasion, we may update content outside of regular business hours to report on events that occur during evenings or weekends, or to report important information. Messages or questions we receive outside of our regular business hours will be reviewed the next business/school day, when possible. We will read and follow as many replies and direct messages as possible, however, we may not be able to reply individually to all messages received.
To ensure a timely response, members of the public with specific questions are encouraged to contact board staff through official channels (phone, email) rather than through social media. If a topic is urgent, users should contact the board directly through official communication channels listed on the UGDSB website.
As appropriate, we will retweet, like and share information from other users or accounts that may be of value to our school communities. Retweets, likes and shares should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the originator or of any organization.
Comments and Code of Conduct
The UGDSB welcomes comments about the content we post on social media channels. We ask, however, that users follow the general rules of respectful civil discourse.
Please keep your social media posts respectful, constructive and on topic.
- Unlawful, disrespectful, slanderous, defamatory, malicious, threatening, profane, obscene, tasteless or pornographic remarks are strictly prohibited.
- Spam, campaigning and advertising are strictly prohibited.
- While we encourage free speech and debate, harassment and attacks on others are unacceptable.
- The board also reserves the right to refuse, report or remove comments contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom and comments that violate any Upper Grand District School Board policy.
Responding to Comments
We encourage the administrators of official board/school/department social media accounts to regularly monitor their social media networks for comments and inquiries. Designated staff are encouraged to respond to appropriate comments and inquiries or direct the inquiries through the official channels. Board staff may not be able to reply individually to all messages received.
There may be times when the board/school does not respond to a comment or post on social media. Members of the public should know that when they do not see a board or school response to a comment on social media, it does not mean that it is being ignored or no action is being taken.
The board takes privacy very seriously. There are certain matters staff cannot discuss, including personal details or specific disciplinary measures of students, and matters related to staff performance or personnel. Staff are not to provide any information that would violate the privacy of others or jeopardize any investigation.
Additionally, UGDSB staff are not required to respond to any comments on social media that are aggressive, abusive, hateful, or that violate UGDSB policies, procedures and guiding principles.
We encourage all members of the UGDSB community to express their ideas and thoughts in a respectful manner. All members of the school board community should be aware of the Ontario Code of Conduct and its standards of behaviour.
We believe strongly in developing positive relationships with our students, families and community. The UGDSB has a policy in place that addresses public concerns and complaints, Policy 215 Public Concerns.
As detailed in Policy 215, it is the practice of the UGDSB that stakeholder concerns and questions be addressed at the closest level to the issue. Steps for resolving an issue are to first review the issue with your child’s teacher, then the principal. If the issue cannot be resolved, parents/guardians can request that their issue be reviewed by the school’s Superintendent of Education, followed by the Director of Education, and finally by delegating the Board of Trustees.