Adopted: November 15, 2007
Purpose: The following communication policies and guidelines will assist members of the Hume-Fogg Association (PTO) Board and other parents or school stakeholders communicate effectively with all Hume-Fogg constituencies. They provide a framework for disseminating information of value and interest to Hume-Fogg families. They also identify inappropriate communications and activities using Hume-Fogg communication publications (Print, E-mail and Web based) . All Hume-Fogg communication must adhere to the MNPS Internet and E-mail policy #4054 whether they originate from MNPS employees, students, parents or others with access to PTO resources.
- Communicate effectively and in a timely manner information that will enrich the educational experience and keep families informed of important Hume-Fogg activities, opportunities and ways to be involved.
- Facilitate Internet and E-mail use for the benefit of Hume-Fogg.
- Promote parent participation in the “Invest in Excellence” fund-raising drive.
- Disseminate information for the school administration and staff as well as the Metro Nashville Public Schools Central Office.
- Celebrate student and staff achievements, awards and honors throughout the year to encourage pride and camaraderie and develop a sense of community among the Hume-Fogg extended “family.”
Media: The following are primary communications media used by the Hume-Fogg PTO. Designated PTO Board members and committee chairs coordinate the distribution of school communications through these and other media.
- Email Communications
- Hume-Fogg web site
- Fogg Horn newsletter
- The Student Directory
- Postcards, letters, Posters and flyers
- Hume-Fogg exterior sign
- Parent/school events
Communication Policies and Guidelines:
- The Hume-Fogg Association Board will practice professional communications principles – using well written, high-quality communications that clearly articulate the message, are timely, and respect the time and privacy of recipients.
- The Hume-Fogg Association Executive Committee will interpret and apply these policies and guidelines if there are questions regarding the suitability of a specific communication.
- Parents and students provide family contact information on a voluntary basis for non-commercial use related to school activities. The school and PTO will use Hume-Fogg parent/student contact information solely for school-related communications.
- Parents and other Hume-Fogg family members will not release contact information found in any school communications media to others, especially those not connected with the school in any way without the express permission of the individual(s) involved. Contact information cannot be used for business communications.
- Communications, written to present one point of view, are not permitted. When issues affecting public education in Nashville arise, the PTO may notify parents of the issue without expressing any opinion and direct them to sources of information. The only exception to this rule is in cases where the PTO has voted to take a formal position on an issue and needs to inform the Hume-Fogg community of that decision.
- The PTO will make every effort to target information to intended segments when communicating school information that is not of general interest to the overall Hume-Fogg population.
- Parents, students or family members may direct questions about communications from the Hume-Fogg Association to the current Association President or to any member of the Board’s Executive Committee. The PTO Board member names are provided to parents in the First Day Packets sent home from school. They can also be found on the Hume-Fogg web site.
Inappropriate Communications and activities
- No school fund-raising solicitations (excluding Invest in Excellence) will be issued using PTO communications media unless expressly approved by the PTO Executive Committee or the Hume-Fogg Association Board.
- No private or personal for-profit activities. This includes use of Internet and e-mail services for private purposes, such as marketing or business transactions, private advertising of products or services, and any activity meant to foster personal gain.
- No release of private contact information. Contact information will not be released from any school communications media to others, especially those not directly connected with the school.
- Names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of Hume-Fogg students and parents cannot be used for business communications and solicitations.
- The Hume-Fogg Association will not express or promote any political or personal views through its communications channels to Hume-Fogg families. When issues affecting public education in Nashville arise, the PTO may notify parents of the issue and direct them to sources of information without expressing any opinion.
- Unauthorized not-for-profit business activities. This includes the conduct of any non-school-related fund raising or public relations activities such as solicitation for religious and political causes.
- Prohibited activities as defined by Federal, State, and local laws or regulations. Illegal activities relating to Internet and e-mail access include, but are not limited to: • Transmission of threatening, offensive or harassing information (messages or images) which contains defamatory, abusive, obscene, pornographic, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or otherwise biased, discriminatory, or illegal material. Violating Federal and State laws dealing with copyrighted materials (including articles and software) or materials protected by a trade secret. Users may access copyrighted material, but its use must be strictly within the agreement as posted by the author or current copyright law. The Federal Copyright Act at 17 U.S.C. 101 et. seq. (1988) protects and prohibits misuse of all original works of authorship in any tangible medium of expression. This includes a prohibition on plagiarism. • Transmission of incendiary statements that might incite violence or describe or promote the use of weapons or devices associated with terrorist activities. • Intentionally seeking information about, obtaining copies of, or modifying contents of files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users, unless explicitly authorized to do so by those users. • Violating the privacy of individual users by reading their e-mail communications unless specifically authorized to do so. • (?)Network, or to bypass restrictions set by the network administrators. Assisting others in violating these rules by sharing information or passwords is also unacceptable behavior.• Deliberately interfering or disrupting another user's work or system. The users must not perform any activity that will cause the loss or corruption of data, the abnormal use of computing resources (degradation of network performance), or the introduction of computer worms or viruses by any means. • Distributing "junk" mail or "spam", such as chain letters, advertisements, or unauthorized solicitations. • Distributing data and information without authorization.
E-mail Specific Guidelines
Users of e-mail should be aware of certain characteristics that distinguish e-mail from other means of communication such as letters written or typed on stationery.
- The systems involved in the transmission and storage of e-mail messages may be routinely "backed up" by systems administration. This process results in copying data, such as the content of an e-mail message, onto storage media that may be retained for periods of time and in locations unknown to the sender or recipient of a message.
- A user's e-mail account password or encrypting code does not confer a special status on e-mail records with respect to applicability of laws, policies, and practices.
- All information transmitted via or stored by the PTO e-mail system can be reviewed by the PTO and the School principal.
- Inadvertent disclosure may occur when e-mail messages are forwarded to unauthorized users, directed to the wrong recipient, or printed in a common area where others can read them.
E-Mail specific user responsibilities:
- Each user other than MNPS who have signed the MNPS agreement will certify that he or she has read and fully understands the contents of these Administrative Regulations by signing the attached “Hume-Fogg Association Internet and Electronic Mail Use Agreement”.
- The content of anything exchanged (sent or received) via Internet or e-mail (regardless of its state of encryption) must be appropriate and consistent with this Policy
- Users should use appropriate precautions when confidential information is contained in e-mail communications. These precautions should protect confidential and sensitive information where intentional, inappropriate, or accidental disclosure of the information might expose the Hume-Fogg PTO or an individual to loss or harm.
- Users must take all reasonable precautions, including safeguarding and changing passwords, to prevent the use of their e-mail account by unauthorized individuals.
- Each user must be courteous and follow accepted standards of etiquette.
- Each user must respect system security mechanisms.
Examples of Acceptable Communications:
- Upcoming student events
- PTO events and activities
- Volunteer requests
- Opportunities for parent networking and education
- Opportunities and information for students
- Critical deadlines affecting students
- Availability of Spirit Shop items for sale
- MNPS requests/information
The Hume-Fogg Association
Internet and Electronic Mail Use Agreement
I hereby agree that I have read the attached documents entitled "Hume-Fogg Association Communication Policy" (pages 1-?) and certify that I am familiar with the contents of the documents and agree to comply with the terms contained therein. I also acknowledge my understanding that any violations of the Policy may result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, removal of e-mail services, recommendation for prosecution.
User Name (Print): _____________________________________
User Signature: _____________________________________