4000 Public Information Program

The district will strive to maintain effective two-way communication channels with the public. Such channels will enable the board and staff to interpret the schools performance and needs to the community and provide a means for citizens to express their needs and expectations to the board and staff.

The superintendent will establish and maintain a communication process within the school system and between it and the community. Such a public information program will provide for a district annual report, news releases at appropriate times, news media coverage of district programs and events, and regular direct communication between individual schools and the community members they serve. The public information program will also assist staff in improving their skill and understanding in communicating with the public.

Community opinion may be solicited through parent organizations, parent-teacher conferences, open houses and other such events or activities which may bring staff and citizens together. At times, board meetings may be scheduled at neighborhood schools. Survey instruments and/or questionnaires may be developed in order to gain a broad perspective of community opinion.

The board is a nonpartisan public body and as such will not endorse political candidates. Neither staff nor students will be asked to disseminate campaign materials from the schools nor will any of the district’s facilities or communications services be used to disseminate such material.

The superintendent will identify staff who have significant public information responsibilities and establish guidelines for their work. The guidelines will address such matters as authority for making releases and the nature and content of bulletins to parents.

Staff Communications with the Public

Staff share the responsibility for communicating and interpreting the district mission, its policies, programs, goals and objectives to members of the community. Staff will perform their services and functions to the best of their ability and communicate with members of the community, parents, students and other staff in a sincere, courteous and considerate manner. Staff will strive to develop and maintain cooperative school-community relations and to achieve the understanding and mutual respect that are essential to the success of the district.

Confidential information about students or other staff will be released only as permitted by statute and district policies and procedures.

Collection Of Disciplinary Data

The district will collect data on student disciplinary actions taken in each school, and the information will be available to the public on request. This information may not be personally identifiable, and will not include a student’s name, address or social security number.

District Annual Report

An annual report addressing the activities of the school district and the administration’s recommendations for improvement of student learning and district operations will be prepared by the superintendent and presented to the board as soon as possible after the close of each school year. Upon board approval, the report will be made available to the public and used as one means for informing parents and community members, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and other districts in the area, of the programs and conditions of the district’s schools. The district is required to ensure awareness of and compliance with certain statutory requirements as specified in model policy 2106, Program Compliance. When the district is not in compliance, such deviations will be incorporated into the annual report.

Cross Reference:     
Board Policy 2106 Program Compliance
Board Policy 4020 Confidential Communications

Legal References:
RCW 28A.150.230 Basic education act — District school directors’ responsibilities

Management Resources:
Policy News, October 2011    Policy Manual Revisions

Adoption Date:  10.11
Methow Valley School District
Revised: 10.11
Classification: Priority