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4000 (P) - Public Information Program



Communications Program Objectives

A. To ensure that the community (parents/guardians, students, faculty, staff, and other community members) has common knowledge of district policy, board action, mission, goals, and objectives.

B. To ensure that the community is aware of Washington State Education Reform and state mandated achievement standards and all accountability steps the district has taken through curriculum and program development to meet these standards. The program also ensures that state and federal requirements for releasing test scores and related district, school, staff, and student data are met.

C. To ensure that the community is aware of funding requirements to meet district's mission.

D. To ensure that the community is aware of district measures to provide safe, secure, and drug free educational environments.

E. To ensure that the community is aware of available opportunities to enhance learning opportunities.

F. To ensure that the community is aware of employment opportunities to ensure a highly qualified staff.

Communications Program Functions

A.  Media Relations

The following guidelines relate to the public information program:

1.   Media representatives shall be supplied factual information with the request that they not publish or broadcast any facts which are injurious to staff or students or which would serve no constructive purpose.

2.   Media representatives should be kept fully informed on all aspects of the program so that any reporting shall be done on the basis of a complete and accurate overview.

3.   Staff and students should be informed that they have the right to deny an interview or photograph. Staff and students who do not wish to be interviewed or have directory information released shall submit a written statement to the school principal or authorized supervisor.

4.   During regular school hours, all media representatives must report to the building office for identification and authorization before going to any part of the building or contacting any individual.

5.   Staff members shall inform their supervisor before contacting the media on behalf of the school. This shall not preclude a staff member from contacting the media as a private individual.

B.  Public Relations Counsel - Provides public relations counsel, taking proactive stance. Anticipates problems and provides solutions.

C.  Communication with Internal and External Publics - Handles all aspects of the school district's publications such as its external newspaper and internal newsletter, among others.

D.  Bond/Levy Issues - Develops information materials and publications to inform community of ballot issue.

E.  Crisis Communications Planning - Supports Safe School Committee in writing plan, gathering facts, providing training, and releasing information.

F.  Public Relations Research, Surveys, Polls, Informal Research - Conducts formal and informal research to determine public opinion and attitude as a basis for planning and action.

G.  School District Imaging and Marketing - Promotes the district's strengths/achievements and its solutions to problems.

H.  Student/Staff Recognition - Publicizes student and staff achievement; develops staff and retirement recognition programs.

I.  Information Station for District - Answers public and new resident requests for information; maintains extensive background files; keeps abreast of district historical and budget passage records; and plans for school district anniversary celebrations.

J.  Public Relations Trainer - Provides public relations training to staff and PTAs in areas such as talking to the media, communicating in a crisis, and recognizing that non-teaching staff are part of the school PR team.

K.  Community Relations - Provides liaison with community groups such as civic associations and service clubs; help plan/publicize district's parent/guardian, senior citizen, and community service programs. Develops ways to bring community into the schools.

Issued: September 2003

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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