4000 Policy – Communications and Community Relations Program

Bellingham Public Schools strives to maintain effective, two-way communication channels with the public.

The superintendent will establish and maintain a communications program within the school system and between it and the community. Such a program will provide information about the district’s mission, vision, goals, work priorities, educational services, progress and accomplishments, needs, issues, finances, school-related legislation and mandates through a variety of communication channels. The communications program will also assist staff in improving their skill and understanding in communicating with the public.

Community opinion may be solicited through parent organizations, family engagement activities, open houses and other such events or activities that bring staff and citizens together. At times, board meetings may be scheduled at neighborhood schools. Survey instruments and/or questionnaires may be developed 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 public statements and the nature and content of communications.

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, families, 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 Information

Information about the school district’s work priorities, the administration’s recommendations for improvement of student learning, and district operations will be prepared and available online. The district is required to ensure awareness of and compliance with certain statutory requirements as specified in policy 2106 (Program Compliance). When the district is not in compliance, such deviations will be incorporated into the information.

 

Approved By: Greg Baker
Signature Date: 07/06/2013
Adopted: 03/11/93
Revised: 03/12/13
Approved: Superintendent Approved
Legal References: Content
 

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

RCW 28A.655.100 Performance goals — Reporting requirements