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Teachers trained to be ‘responsible digital citizens’ on social media – Norwalk Reflector

“The vast majority of our staff members utilize accounts to share general reminders that also are sent home with their students. Thus, the accounts serve as a back-up for parents when students forget or misplace important notices which were sent home,” said George Fisk, Norwalk City Schools superintendent. 

“We encourage our staff members to be responsible digital citizens, just as they do with our students,” he added. “Our staff members receive guidance on appropriate social media use periodically through district resources as well as through their affiliations with state-wide labor and professional organizations.”

The responsibility to make sure various social media accounts follow the district’s policy “falls on all members of our staff and our administrative team,” Fisk said. “However, by nature these accounts are, for the most part, used to reinforce or duplicate information that is sent home in other forms.”

It’s a similar situation in Bellevue City Schools.

“Several administrators throughout the district have district social media accounts to communicate with the community, parents, and students. The person creating the account also monitors the social media account. As a school district we do not monitor personal accounts of our staff, only school-affiliated accounts. We train our staff on professionalism and have a trust and expectation that they will professionally maintain their own personal social media accounts. All teachers in Ohio are required to follow the Ohio Department of Education professional code of conduct and this addresses professional behavior in all aspects,” Superintendent Kim Schubert said.

In Monroeville Local Schools, the current policies on social media pertain to “its appropriate and professional use … as a communication tool to inform, instruct and communicate with all of our education stakeholders,” Superintendent Ralph Moore said.

Monitoring

Monroeville monitors district email, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“We do not monitor or have access to any employee’s personal accounts,” Moore said.

“The district has been monitoring/overseeing school-affiliated social media for some time. We also have state-of-the-art filtering programs in place for staff and student safety. Monitoring social media is certainly additional work for any district, but is a necessity in today’s connected world. We have had good success in preventing and dealing with inappropriate misuse of our social media outlets in a timely fashion when needed. Additionally, we utilize and involve local law enforcement when necessary and appropriate.”

New London Local Schools also does not monitor personal accounts.

“For district accounts, we have alerts established that allows administrative staff to provide answers to specific questions posed on district-monitored accounts. Again, New London Local Schools, nor its administration, monitors personal accounts,” Superintendent Brad Romano said. “New London is currently reviewing all policies as they pertain to social media to determine if a new policy is needed or if a current policy needs revised.”

There isn’t a separate policy specifically covering social media in Bellevue.

“We have several technology policies and social media is embedded in them rather than having a separate policy addressing only social media. We just updated our technology policies this fall with the assistance of NEOLA, our professional policy organization,” Schubert said.

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