South Adams looks at using school endorsed social media

Authored by Trisha Moser on Nov 27, 2013

The South Adams School Board discussed a topic of contention; whether or not to allow items, such as pictures, on the school Facebook page. Board member Landon Patterson received an email prior to the meeting questioning if there would be the possibility of putting events that happen during school out through social media. Patterson brought the question before the board and added that there are policies that prohibit that at the present time. Board member Julie Mansfield questioned whether the people within the photos would be comfortable with having their picture online, and she stated that she is “uncomfortable” with the idea of using Facebook.
Patterson suggested looking at the ways that other schools have been addressing social media, and Arlene Amstutz was agreeable to this idea. Superintendent Scott Litwiller stated that while some schools are adding more restrictions to their social media policies, others are lightening up. Board member Ray Gill pointed out that, before social media could be used in this way, there would need to be some policies set up to outline how the social media outlets could be used. It was also mentioned that there would be the possibility of bringing in a professional to teach the staff how to properly use social media.
Within the working session financial reviews of extra curricular accounts was made available for discussion so that the school board would be informed about the accounts. Litwiller made mention that money can not ever be moved from the general account into the staff fund, which is not a change in policy. Amstutz noticed that cheerleaders are the only athletic department that fundraises for their own uniforms. She questioned whether the uniforms would then belong to the school or to the cheerleaders; the question went unanswered. Litwiller also informed the board that, with the exception of referees, the principals see and sign every check that goes out.
The discussion on extra curricular accounts was followed up with Mansfield suggesting that the principals come into the board meetings periodically to give an update on how things are going in their respective areas. It was suggested that they come in every August to give an annual year-end report.
Among the many policies that were mentioned, few additions went into place for policy 8390 (Animals on School Corporation Property) to include what defines whether or not an animal can be considered a service animal, according to state law. This applies to service animals of students and staff, as well as visitors. This also means an addition is in place for policy 9160, (Public Attendance at School Events) which gives allowance for service animals at all school events.
Within the regular board meeting, Litwiller put forth a request for Jessie O’Dell, head coach of the girls’ softball team, to use the middle school gym on Sunday nights during the months of December through March. This would be O’Dell’s fourth year using the gym for pitching lessons for the elementary and middle school girls. The request was unanimously approved.

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