603.13 - Digital Communication

The internet provides a valuable learning tool for students and staff and offers another communication vehicle for informing the public about school programs and activities.

The board authorizes the establishment of a district website, Facebook page, X account, and other appropriate digital communication platforms. Only those web pages approved by the superintendent [or designee] and maintained in accordance with board policy and administrative procedures will be recognized as official representations of the school district.

The superintendent [or designee] is responsible for assigning an individual responsible for maintaining the digital communication platforms. The superintendent [or designee] in conjunction with the responsible individual will develop administrative regulations regarding the digital communication platforms.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 10/13; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 2/15; 2/24
Related Policy: 603.12; 603.12-R1-R2; 603.12-E1-E2; 604.6
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8

603.13-R - Regulations Regarding Digital Communication/Web Page Development

Internet access provides opportunities for students and staff to contribute to the district’s presence on the World Wide Web. The district website (http://www.linnmar.k12.ia.us/) provides information about district planning, curriculum, instruction, school-authorized activities, programs, and general information relating to the district and its schools. Web page development capability is provided by the Technology Department and the Communications/Media Relations Coordinator.

Creators of web pages need to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the following guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the loss of authoring privileges or other stringent disciplinary measures.

Web pages may not contain advertisements. However, business logos directly associated with Linn-Mar Community School District programs or departments which meet guidelines and have been approved may be displayed. Web pages may not promote individuals or organizations for the purpose of financial, political, or professional gain. Web pages must be approved by the Chief Technology Officer [or designee] before they can be linked to the Linn-Mar website. Employee-designated, district, Office 365 and Google sites and applications must also comply with the same guidelines of appropriate use and will be monitored by district administration. If prior approval is not possible, a disclaimer page will be inserted before the user links to the site.

All subject matter on web pages must relate to curriculum, instruction, school-authorized activities, programs, or general information that is appropriate and of interest to others and it should relate to the district or the schools within the district. Therefore, neither staff nor students may publish personal home pages as part of the district website or home pages for other individuals or organizations not directly affiliated with the district. Staff or student work may be published only as it relates to a class project, course, or other school-related activity.

All web pages must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Documents may not contain objectionable material or point to or link directly to objectionable materials. Objectionable material is defined as material that does not meet the standards for instructional resources specified in district policies. Regarding the question of quality or propriety of web page material, appearance, or content the judgment of the Communications and Media Relations Coordinator [or designee] will prevail.

All web pages, Office 365, and Google applications on the district websites are property of the school district.

Web pages may not contain photographs or personal identification information about students, their families, their friends, and/or employees of the Linn-Mar School District without written consent. Email addresses of Linn-Mar employees may be posted. Web pages may not include any information which indicates the physical location of a student at a given time. Web pages may not hinder the loading and general functions of the home page, home page server, and/or computer stations.

All documents on the Linn-Mar website, Office 365, and Google applications must conform to board policies, state laws, federal laws, and copyright laws; as well as established school guidelines. Copies of board policies are available on the district website (http://www.linnmar.k12.ia.us/). Persons developing or maintaining web documents are responsible for complying with these and other policies.

Some relevant issues and board policies include the following:

  1. Electronic transmission of materials is a form of copying. As specified in board policy, no unlawful copies of copyrighted materials may be knowingly produced or transmitted via the district’s equipment including its website, Office 365, or Google applications.
  2. Web pages are subject to Policy 602.29-E and Policy 603.12 including related administrative rules, regulations, and exhibits.
  3. Any information communicated via district web pages, Office 365, or Google applications will comply with Policy 505.6 including related administrative rules, regulations, and exhibits.
  4. Any links to district web pages that are not specifically related will meet the criteria established in board policies. Any other non-curricular materials must be limited to information about youth activities, agencies, or organizations which are known to be non-discriminatory, non-sectarian, non-profit, and exclusively devoted to community interests or child welfare. District web pages, Office 365, or Google application links may not include entities whose primary purpose is commercial or political advertising.
  5. Any deliberate tampering with or misuse of district network services or equipment will be considered vandalism and will be handled according to board Policy 603.12.

Every web page added to the district’s website must contain certain elements which to provide general consistency:

  1. All web pages must be submitted to the Chief Technology Officer [or designee] for review prior to placement on the district server.
  2. Users must exhibit care when creating web pages with extensive tiled backgrounds, large graphics, large PDF documents, or any other large files. Such files require extensive download time which take bandwidth away from other users.
  3. The authorized staff member who is publishing approved web pages for themselves, or for students, will edit and test them for accuracy of links and for conformance with standards outlined in this policy.
  4. Web pages may not contain links to other web pages not yet completed. If additional pages are anticipated but not yet developed, the text that will provide the link should be included. However, the actual link to said pages may not be made available until the final page is in place on the district server.
  5. All web pages must be given names which clearly identify them. The names of all documents will coincide with current district naming practices and structures.
  6. Any graphics, sounds, or videos must conform to the format currently used or approved by the district.
  7. Web pages shall not contain student email address links or any other type of direct-response links.
  8. Final decisions regarding access to active web pages for editing content or organization will rest with the Chief Technology Officer [or designee].

Material on web pages reflect an individual’s thoughts, interests, and activities. Such web pages do not in any way represent individual schools or the district, nor are they endorsed or sanctioned by the individual school or district. Concern about the content of any web pages created by students or staff should be directed to the Chief Technology Officer [or designee].

Given the rapid change in technology, some of the technical standards outlined in this policy may require changes throughout the year. Such changes will be made by the Chief Technology Officer with approval of the superintendent. This policy will be updated on an annual basis or more frequently if required.

Adopted: 7/03
Reviewed: 7/11; 4/18; 6/21
Revised: 11/07; 1/10; 9/12; 10/13; 2/15; 10/23; 2/24
Related Policy: 505.6; 505.6-R; 505.6-E2-E7; 602.29; 602.29-R; 602.29-E; 603.12; 603.12-R1-R2; 603.12-E1-E2; 603.13