Social Media Etiquette

As part of our school's code of conduct, Valour School follows the Renfrew County District School Board - Administrative Procedure 141 - Computers: Network, Internet and Electronic Devices (PDF). This procedure includes guidelines for using electronic social media by students, staff and volunteers.

The RCDSB recognizes the use of electronic social media by staff as a viable means to involve colleagues, parents, and students in academic dialogue, and is committed to supporting staff use of electronic social media to interact knowledgeably and responsibly via the Internet.

The social media policy applies to:

  • Blogs;
  • Personal websites;
  • RSS feeds;
  • Postings on wikis and other interactive sites, such as, but not limited to: Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Twitter, Instant Messaging; and
  • Postings on video or picture-sharing sites and elsewhere on the Internet.

The RCDSB recognizes that all RCDSB employees are role models. Parents entrust educators with the duty to educate their children. The RCDSB recognizes that the use of the Internet and social media has the potential to affect this trust. In accordance with the above-stated policy, the RCDSB has implemented the following procedures:

Interactions Representing the RCDSB

  1. Staff, student council members, etc. are not authorized to use electronic social media sites to speak on behalf of the school, department, or the RCDSB unless given written permission from a principal or manager; and
  2. Personal sites and comments not related to the RCDSB will clearly state that staff are not representing the views of the school, department, or the RCDSB.

Respect, Privacy, and Confidential Information

  1. The RCDSB staff will not disclose confidential student information or confidential school, department, or personnel records without first obtaining written consent from the principal, manager, or guardian for students under the age of 18 or from students aged 16 or 17 who have removed themselves from parental control;
  2. The RCDSB staff will not use electronic social media sites to be defamatory towards students, RCDSB employees, or the RCDSB policies and procedures;
  3. The RCDSB staff will not engage electronically in behaviour or comments that would reflect negatively on the school or the RCDSB's reputation;
  4. Staff may be disciplined if their social media comments and posting, whether personal or school/RCDSB related, result in a disruption to the school or the RCDSB environment; or negatively impact the staff's ability to perform his or her duties;
  5. The RCDSB and school logos will not be used without first obtaining permission from the school principal or manager;
  6. The RCDSB staff will use only their own name, when participating in an online social media group for school/RCDSB-related purposes;
  7. The RCDSB staff will ensure that their online comments are respective of the RCDSB's values and adhere to the procedures as outlined in the RCDSB's Character Development plan;
  8. The RCDSB staff can be disciplined for electronic commentary, content, or images that are defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, or that create a negative work environment;
  9. The RCDSB staff may use the RCDSB network to access social media sites that are work-related; staff will not access non-work related social media sites during school/work hours;
  10. The RCDSB staff participating in social media activities will respect copyright laws, not only with respect to the content produced on the social media sites, but also to the software that enables it;
  11. The RCDSB staff participating in social media activities acknowledge that all information posted to sites is subject to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and
  12. Principals and managers may monitor employee use of social media and social networking websites

Staff-Student Online Correspondence

  1. Principals will inform all staff that online correspondence between staff and students must be related to course work, or school-sanctioned clubs/activities;
  2. Principals will only approve school-based social media groups that include a staff member advisor and have at least two staff members with administrative privileges;
  3. Principals will ensure that all school-sanctioned social media groups adhere to regular school code of conduct practices;
  4. Principals will inform staff members participating in school-created social media groups with students that the ethical standards for the teaching profession apply at all times, whether in a traditional school environment or an online environment; and
  5. The RCDSB staff will not be initiating or accepting "friend" invites from students unless the networking is part of an existing school course or school club structure and at least one other staff member has administrative access to the social media group. This excludes family and close family friends.

Posting of Photographic Images

Electronic transmission or posting of photographic images of a person or persons taken on school property, at school events, and during school activities and/or hours, is prohibited without the permission of the person or persons being photographed, and where the student is below the age of eighteen (18), the consent of the parent or guardian or consent of the student if he/she is 16 or 17 and has withdrawn from parental control.

Appropriate Use Contract for Students

All students (Grades 4 to 12) must also have a parent/guardian sign an agreement acknowledging an understanding of Form 141-1 Appropriate Use Contract for Students. Adult student users (18) or users who are 16 or 17 and have withdrawn from parental control must also sign the form. The signature demonstrates a commitment to abide by Administrative Procedure 141 - Computers: Network, Internet and Electronic Devices (PDF), as well as knowledge of the range of consequences for failing to do so. For additional information about this contract, contact the principal.

Additional Information