Williamsville Central School District

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School Community Relations

Adoption Date: 7/7/2009, Revised: 1/11/2011; 09/09/2014
3000 - Community Relations


General Criteria

The availability of Internet access in the District provides an opportunity for staff and students to access information and contribute to the District's presence on the World Wide Web. The District/school/classroom Websites must relate to curriculum or instructional matters, school authorized activities, or general information of interest to the public pertaining to the District or its schools. Staff and students are prohibited from publishing personal home pages or links to personal home pages as part of the District/school/classroom Web Page(s). Similarly, no individual or outside organization will be permitted to publish personal Web Pages as part of the District/school/classroom Web Page(s).

Internet access for the creation of Web Pages is provided by the District and all information must be reviewed by the Director of Communications or the Website Administrator  prior to publishing it on the Web. Personnel designing information for the Web Pages must familiarize themselves with and adhere to District standards and procedures. Failure to follow District standards or responsibilities may result in disciplinary sanctions in accordance with law and/or the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

The District will ensure that any and all notifications and documents required by law, regulation, or District policy to be posted on its website will be so published. The District shall provide general training on relevant legal considerations and compliance with applicable laws and regulations including copyright, intellectual property, and privacy of student records as well as relevant District procedures to those staff members and students who are allowed to develop or place material on the District/school/classroom Web Page(s).

Content Standards
a) The Director of Communications has overall responsibility for the District website; the Building Principals are responsible for content on school websites; and Assistant Superintendents are responsible for their department sites/content. These individuals or their designee(s) serve as Website Administrators and are responsible for the content, design, currency and maintenance of the web pages on the District and school site(s).
b)  Approval for posting a Web Page must be obtained from the Website Administrator. If at any time, the Website Administrator/designee(s) believes the proposed material does not meet the standards approved by the District, it will not be published on the Web. Decisions regarding access to active Web Pages for editing content or organization will be the responsibility of the Website Administrator.
c)  Staff or student work should be published only as it relates to a school/classroom authorized project or other school-related activity.
d)   The review of a Student Web Page (if considered a school-sponsored student publication) shall be subject to prior District review as would any other school-sponsored student publication.
e)   An authorized teacher who is publishing the final Web Page(s) for himself/herself or for a student will edit and test the Page(s) for accuracy of links and check for conformance with District standards and practices.
f)   Commercial advertising or marketing on the District/school/classroom Web Page(s) (or the use of school-affiliated Web Pages for the pursuit of personal or financial gain) shall be prohibited unless otherwise authorized in accordance with law and/or regulation. Decisions regarding Website advertising must be consistent with existing District policies and practices on this matter. School-affiliated Web Pages may mention outside organizations only in the context of school programs that have a direct relationship to those organizations (e.g., sponsorship of an activity, student community service project).
g)   Web Pages may include faculty or staff names; however, other personal information about employees including, but not limited to, home telephone numbers, addresses, personal e-mail addresses, or other identifying information such as names of family members may not be published.
h)   All Web Pages must conform to the standards for appropriate use found in the District's Acceptable Use Policy(ies) and accompanying Regulations regarding standards of acceptable use; examples of inappropriate behavior; and compliance with applicable laws, privacy, and safety concerns.
j)  All staff and/or students authorized to publish material on the District/school/classroom Web Page(s) shall acknowledge receipt of the District's Web Page Standards and agree to comply with same prior to posting any material on the Web.
k)  School websites may not include interior maps of school facilities.

Release of Student Education Records/Directory Information
Release of Student Education Records

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), unless otherwise exempted in accordance with law and regulation, the District may release personally identifiable information contained in student education records only if it has received a "signed and dated written consent" from a parent or eligible student.

For  anything not specifically designated as "directory information" by the District, the District must receive a "signed and dated written consent" from the parent/eligible student prior to releasing such information (unless otherwise authorized per FERPA).  The District will not permit students’ personally identifiable information to be posted on any District Web Pages unless such action is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and District policy.

Online posting of school bus schedules and/or other specific activity schedules detailing dates/times/locations (e.g., field trips) other than interscholastic athletic schedules is prohibited on school-affiliated Websites as such information can pose risks of child abduction or other security concerns. Password protected Websites may be authorized by the Superintendent/designee.

Use of Copyrighted Materials and "Fair Use" Exceptions/Intellectual Property and Works Made for Hire
Copyrighted Materials

All employees and students are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by the copyright law, "Fair Use" guidelines, licenses or contractual agreements, or the permission of the copyright proprietor. Web Page publications must include a statement of copyright when appropriate and indicate that permission has been secured when including copyrighted materials or notice that such publication is in accordance with the "Fair Use" provisions of the Copyright Law.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials

Pursuant to Section 107 of the Copyright Law ("Fair Use" provisions), the use of copyrighted material for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be permitted under certain circumstances.

However, any appropriation of someone else's work on the Internet is a potential copyright infringement. "Fair Use" provisions may not apply when a project created by a teacher or student is accessed by others over the Internet. If there is a possibility that school-affiliated Web Page(s), which incorporate copyrighted works under the "Fair Use" provisions, could later result in broader dissemination, it will be necessary to seek the permission of the copyright holder. The complex interplay between copyright law and the "Fair Use" provisions in educational multimedia projects should be considered in development of Web Page publishing standards and reviewed by school counsel prior to District implementation for compliance with applicable law and regulations.
a)   Unless otherwise noted, always assume that work on the web is copyrighted. It is NOT necessary that the copyright symbol -- © -- be displayed for the work to be protected by copyright laws.
b)   Proper attribution must always be given.
c)   Obtaining permission(s) from the copyright holder(s) (whether text, graphics or music) should occur during the developmental process or project, rather than waiting to seek permission upon completion of the project.
d)   Unauthorized electronic transmission of copyrighted materials is illegal.

Intellectual Property/Works Made for Hire

All works completed by employees as part of their employment shall be considered "works made for hire" as described in the United States Code Annotated, Title 17, Copyrights to the extent permitted by law. This determination includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
a)    Work prepared by an employee within the scope of his/her employment, whether tangible or intangible;
b)    Work specifically ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as enumerated in law.

Any work created within the scope of such a relationship will be considered a work made for hire when a regular employment relationship exists.

Work covered under this policy is the property of the District, not the creator of such work. The District shall own any and all rights to such works, or derivatives thereof, unless there is a written agreement to the contrary.

Student Work

Students are the copyright holders of their own original work. The District must receive written permission from both the parent and the student prior to publishing students' original work on the District/school/classroom Websites.

Student Free Speech Issues (School-sponsored Publications)

In general, school districts can exercise editorial control over the style and content of student expression in school-sponsored publications, theatrical productions, and other expressive activities that students, parents and members of the public might reasonably perceive to bear the imprimatur of the school.

However, the school's actions in such a case must be reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns and may not amount to viewpoint discrimination.

Consequences for Non-Compliance

Web Pages that do not comply with the above criteria are subject to revocation of approval and removal from the District/school/classroom Websites.


Faculty or staff posting non-approved or inappropriate material on a school-affiliated Website are subject to discipline, including possible suspension or revocation of access to the District's computer network, in accordance with law and applicable collective bargaining agreements. In the case that a violation may constitute a criminal offense, it will be reported to the appropriate authorities.


Students posting non-approved or inappropriate material on a school-affiliated Website are subject to discipline, including possible suspension or revocation of access to the District's computer network, in accordance with applicable due process procedures and the District Code of Conduct. In the case that a violation may constitute a criminal offense, it will be reported to the appropriate authorities.


The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee shall have the authority to approve or deny the posting of any proposed Web Pages on school-affiliated Websites based upon compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in this policy as well as applicable District practices and procedures.


Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 USC Sections 101 et seq., 512 and 1201 et seq.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC Section 1232(g) 34CFR Parts 99 and 201

Policy References:
Refer also to Policies:

  • Policy 7241- Student Directory Information
  • Policy 7411- Censorship of School Sponsored Student Publications and Activities
  • Policy 8350- Use of Copyrighted Materials