Williamsville Central School District

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Communications Department

The Williamsville Central School District offers a variety of ways to communicate and stay connected with our school community.  From school related emergencies, closings or delays, and a glimpse of programs and initiatives in our schools, we can provide it for you through:  

  • Connection Community Newsletter (Budget & Summer Editions)
  • E-Alert notifications (email and text)
  • District Calendar and Handbook
  • District and school websites
  • District Electronic Newsletters
  • School Electronic Newsletters
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube)
  • Media (TV, Radio, Print)

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Emergency Notifications
Register for e-Alerts

Williamsville Central School District uses an automated mass notification system to inform parents, staff and students of a school emergency, school closure, or other important announcement affecting our schools. This eAlert system has three components:

  • Email
  • Text messages
  • Automated phone calls

Video Tutorial: How to Sign Up for WCSD eAlerts - YouTube 

WITS Parent Portal
Login to WITS

  • The WITS Parent Portal offers secure access for parents and guardians to monitor their student's progress and communicate with their teachers
  • Progress Reports and Report Cards are available for all grade levels
  • Parents of students in grades 5-12 can view cumulative grades, assessments, and assignment scores
  • Attendance information is available for all grade levels
  • Transportation route information
  • With the creation of one account, you will access all of your children's information across the school district

Student Video/Image Opt-Out

The Williamsville Central School District maintains a dynamic website featuring instructional information, photographs, artwork, and other educational resources. In order to facilitate the publishing of student accomplishments and class projects including the use of student photographs, videos, and creative work on school and District webpages, the District has adopted an annual opt-out procedure, which will allow the use of student images on the District website, school webpages, and official District or school social media sites without prior parental consent during the school year. The annual opt-out procedure also applies when requests from outside media sources (print, broadcast or web-based) are granted permission to videotape, photograph or interview students during the school day. All outside media requests must be approved and coordinated by the Department of Communications and the school principal.

The opt-out policy is consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The District will permit:

a. A student’s photograph(s) to be used in a program; to provide information about or publicity for an activity, the student, school, or District; or for any other purposes approved by the Superintendent or designee.

b. A student’s appearance on a video or on television for purposes approved by the Superintendent or designee.

c. A student’s photograph (video or still), published/completed work products and/or performances on the District website and District/school social media platforms to promote programs and activities.

d. A student’s photograph (video or still) to be used for internal staff development purposes as approved or provided by the District. The policy does not permit use of a student’s photograph (video or still) taken during District-provided therapy sessions, individual or group. Similarly, this policy does not apply to or permit use of student photographs (video or still) in program presentations or pursuits outside of the District proper.

If parents/guardians do not wish to permit use of their student’s photograph, video or recording for these purposes, you must notify the District in writing by September 30, 2023. This notice must be sent to the building principal of your child’s school.

Please be aware that opt-out requests are valid for the current school year and must be renewed at the start of the next school year. Parents and guardians may request a change in status at any time during the school year by notifying the building principal in writing.

The permission will not extend to an individual or organization when the purpose or use is commercial, except the Superintendent or designee may grant such permission to news media and their staffs. A photograph, video or recording shall not be deemed to be “directory information” nor shall copies of any such appearance be deemed “directory information.”

Media Guidelines

The Williamsville Central School District recognizes the important role the media plays in providing information to the community concerning educational programs, issues, and events that happen in its schools.

It is the policy of the District to work cooperatively with the news media for coverage of issues and events involving District students or staff. However, the Williamsville Central School District is dedicated to providing all students with a safe learning environment without unnecessary disruptions.

Therefore, the following guidelines are in effect at all schools and District facilities:

Media Requests

All media inquiries should be directed to the Executive Director of Communications, by phone or email. Exceptions include athletic and/or extracurricular activity news coverage during games, tournaments, and/or performances conducted outside the normal school day.

Requests for interviews, photos, and/or videotaping of Williamsville Central School District staff members, students, or board members should be directed to:

Nick Filipowski                                                                              David Morales
Executive Director of Public Relations                         Assistant Director of Public Relations

Office: (716) 626-8009                                                            Office: (716) 626-8048

E-mail: nfilipowski@williamsvillek12.org                      E-mail: dmorales@williamsvillek12.org

Visiting Schools

Media should understand that it is the responsibility of the District to maintain an atmosphere that supports learning with as few disruptions as possible. Therefore, no media is allowed on any school campus during the school day without prior permission from the Executive Director of Public Relations, the Superintendent, or the building principal.  If a member of the media is onsite without prior approval, they will be asked to leave school property immediately and will be directed to contact the District’s Communications Office.

Anytime a member of the media is on District property, an authorized District or school designee will escort the media at all times to minimize disruption at the school and to assist with additional requests. Media is asked to keep in mind that testing, school-wide events, or other school activities may prohibit a media visit on a specific day.

Whenever on a school campus or at the District office, media representatives are asked to wear/display their press identification badges from their employer. This is in addition to any ID badges provided by the school/District.

Interviews with Staff Members and Faculty

The District employs many educators and administrators who are considered to be leaders in education. These individuals are prepared to discuss current and important issues with reporters. If you are interested in interviewing, videotaping, or photographing a District employee or school board member, you must contact the District’s Communications Office.

Photographing or Interviewing Students

The Williamsville Central School District operates in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law allows students and parents to opt out of the release of certain information about students, including photographs. The District Communications Office works with each school to determine who cannot be photographed and/or interviewed according to FERPA guidelines. Therefore, interviews, photographs, or videography is not allowed without the prior approval from the Executive Director of Public Relations, the Superintendent, or building principal.

As a general rule, media may photograph/videotape students without parental consent during afterschool activities that are open to the general public such as athletic events.

Interviews with Board of Education Members and Media at School Board Meetings

The media is invited to attend all public meetings of the Williamsville Board of Education. Media may videotape and/or record any portion of a public meeting. Board of Education meetings are streamed on the District’s YouTube channel and are immediately available to watch.  The public meeting video is also posted online the day after a meeting on the Williamsville Central School District BoardDocs web site, https://go.boarddocs.com/ny/williams/Board.nsf/Public. In addition, the meeting video is broadcast on public access television on LCTV 1302  - Saturday (9 a.m.), Sunday (1 p.m.), Monday (4 p.m.), Tuesday (1 p.m.), Wednesday (2 p.m.), Thursday (9 a.m.), and Friday (5 a.m., 7 p.m.). ALSO people can DVR and is available at LCTV OnDemand at this link - https://trms.lctv.net/CablecastPublicSite/gallery/43?channel=2 – on any device.

In accordance with policy and long-standing best practice, only the Board President has the authority to speak to the media on behalf of the Board of Education about issues related to the District and school board business. We respectfully ask media representatives to refrain from contacting other school board members for statements related to board or District business and actions.*

To avoid disruption of the meeting, reporters and photographers are asked to approach board members, guest speakers, or members of the audience outside of the meeting room. Further, interviews should be conducted outside the board meeting room in a pre-arranged location in the building. The Board President may request interviews be scheduled for a later time through the District’s Communications Office rather than conducting interviews before or after a board meeting.

Copies of the board meeting agenda, informational items, and other meeting materials are available on the Williamsville Central School District BoardDocs website at: https://go.boarddocs.com/ny/williams/Board.nsf/Public

School Emergencies

In the event of an emergency on school grounds, the District will work together with the Amherst Police Department, other emergency responders, and local officials to release accurate information as quickly as possible provided the information does not jeopardize the emergency response activities or conflict with federal privacy laws.

During an emergency, the District’s immediate priority is to inform parents, staff members, and students directly by using our in-house communication tools and mass notification system, which includes text, email and robo calls.  

During an emergency, all media calls are referred to the District Communications Office to allow the crisis response team and school officials onsite to give full attention to relief efforts. The District will work as quickly as possible to provide accurate information to the media through a spokesperson, written statements via email, or news briefings. During an emergency, media will not be allowed on school property (police enforced). Media will be assigned to a designated external staging area to ensure that the work of emergency response teams is not hindered.