The following policy is for The Gratitude Garden Preschool employees who participate in social media. Social media includes personal blogs and other websites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube Snapchat, Google Plus, and others. This applies whether employees are posting to their own sites or commenting on other sites.
The policy aims to provide good ethical practice and applies to all members of staff at the school. It is provided in our Parent Handbook, Employee Handbook, and the Social Media Policy Agreement.
The purpose of the policy is to:
- Protect the safety and privacy of our students and staff.
- Protect the school from legal risks.
- Ensure that the reputation of the school, its staff, and clients are protected.
- Safeguard all children’s privacy.
- Ensure that any users are able to clearly distinguish where information provided by social media is legitimately representative of the school.
Staff guidelines when using social media sites include but are not limited to:
- Follow all applicable Code of Conduct as mentioned in the Employee Handbook. For example, the employee must not share confidential or proprietary information about The Gratitude Garden and must maintain student privacy.
- Be professional, use good judgment and be accurate and honest in communications. Errors, omissions or unprofessional language or behavior reflect poorly on the employee and the school and may result in liability for the employee and termination of employment.
- In order to maintain professional boundaries, staff should not accept or initiate personal invitations to be friends on social media or “followed” on social media from parents of the school unless they know them in a personal capacity (such as being family members themselves). This is a common policy that many school districts and non-profits enforce.
- The school discourages staff in management/supervisory roles from initiating “friend” requests with employees they manage. Managers/supervisors may accept friend requests if initiated by the employee, and if the manager/supervisor does not believe it will negatively impact the work relationship.
- School staff will not invite, accept or engage in social media communications with parents or vendors of the school while employed at The Gratitude Garden Preschool.
- Staff must not mention any names of children or their parents from the school on their online profiles.
- Staff must not write direct or indirect suggestive comments about work on their online profiles.
- Staff must not publish photos of the children on their online profiles.
- Staff must not write anything about other staff members on their online profiles.
- Staff must not use mobile phones to take photos in the school or to access social networking sites during their working hours.
- Staff must not post photos of or make negative comments about our families and their children and do not share details about family visits.
- Staff must not post comments about a coworker that could be perceived as harassing, threatening, retaliatory or discriminatory.
- Staff must not mention any of the companies that The Gratitude Garden Preschool works with on their online profile.
- Our school families are directed to ‘like’ the official school Facebook page or follow the Gratitude Garden Preschool Instagram Page, it is a joy to follow!
- All staff should be cautious & mindful when accepting friend requests from coworkers.
- Staff members are directed to set their online profiles to private so that only friends are able to see the information.
- Personal profiles should not contain any images or videos which may be perceived as inappropriate behavior for a professional.
- The school logo must not be used in any personal social media apart from the official Facebook page.
- Staff will not place the school name anywhere in their personal profile.
- Any breaches of the social networking policy could result in disciplinary action.
- Staff must not use social media to attack, insult, abuse, defame or make negative or discriminatory comments about anyone.
- All email communication between staff and members of the school community must be made from an official school email account.
- Staff should not use personal email accounts or personal mobile phones to make contact with members of the school community, nor should any such contact be accepted.
- Staff are also advised to consider the reputation of the school in any posts or comments related to their employment with the school on any social media accounts.
- Staff must be mindful that everything posted online is public, even with the strictest privacy settings. You must assume that everything is permanent & may be shared.
The Gratitude Garden has a Facebook page available. This is a communication tool for the school. We will use it to:
- Promote events such as social events
- Update parents on staff training & development
- Give hints and tips for activities the children have enjoyed and home learning ideas
- Deliver news
- Display photos of activities, trips or special events, and projects
**Only school administration has the authority to post on social media site on behalf of the school. No other employee may use the Gratitude Garden trademarked name or logo, photos of children at the school, or engage in any promotions or conversations representing the school or its families.