Social Media Guidelines for Omaha Public Schools

Omaha Public Schools Social Media Guidelines

Being a Social Media Administrator

Being a Social Media Administrator (SocAdmin) for your school or department means that you are responsible for creating and assisting with pages for teachers, clubs and activities, as well as your school or department. As a SocAdmin, you will be set up as the manager of your schools or department’s Facebook page and be provided with the Twitter account username and password. You will create content and manage your school’s Facebook page and Twitter account. When requests from teachers and clubs come to you, you will create each teacher’s or organization’s Facebook page and help staff to create Twitter accounts for them to use. If a teacher leaves your school or organization, you will be responsible for transferring that Facebook page and Twitter account to the designated replacement or to another school. Sometimes, this will mean simply deactivating the account.

The social media guidelines were created in consultation with other Nebraska schools and are reflective of best practices all over the U.S. The main principle that will be strictly maintained is that all staff using social media must have separate professional and personal accounts. No staff can use their personal Facebook or Twitter account as their OPS professional account. This approach not only provides maximum protection for the employee, but also provides a necessary separation of work and personal information.

If staff members have already created a personal Facebook page for their classroom or organization, the best way to comply with this policy is to create a new professional page. (This is a limitation of Facebook, not an OPS policy.) Facebook doesn’t provide a good way to change a personal page to a professional page. There is a workaround included on page 26 of this document to change a personal page to a professional page. Feel free to try this to transfer a personal page to a professional one. Using Facebook’s official instructions will result in losing everything posted to a personal page. The only information that will transfer to the new professional page, using Facebook’s official instructions, are the likes, followers, and check-ins.

If staff have already created a personal Twitter account, it is possible to simply change the email account associated with that account. However, following the principle of separate professional and personal accounts, it is recommended that staff create a new professional Twitter account instead of changing the email of a personal one.

Google Plus, Wikispaces, Instagram and other forms of social media have not been approved for use at this time.

Staff/Faculty Social Media Guidelines

What is Social Media

Social Media is a term used to define any user-created online content accessible by individuals on the Internet. Social Media sites include, but are not limited to:

Social Networking Sites: An online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting on social relationships between people. These include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Facebook and Twitter are now available as an enhanced tool for school administrators, teachers, and extra-curricular sponsors for the purpose of sharing news about activities and classroom projects. No other social media tools are approved for use at this time. (This includes Wikispaces, Instagram, Vine and others.)

Social media tools are powerful when used to open up communication between students, parents and teachers. The Omaha Public School District encourages staff and faculty to create and use social media where appropriate for school related news, school activities and in-class projects.

Staff shall communicate with their school principal and the students’ parents/guardians prior to their child’s involvement in any project using online social media.

Staff will be able to immediately use their social media page with their district-provided email account.

Staff/Faculty should encourage parents to read and/or participate in social media projects.

ESU No. 19, district and school logos may be used with permission from the District Communications office.

Group photos may be used with district permission. In group photos, individuals cannot be named and must have approval on their S.I.P. Card..

OPS offers ‘internal’ social media via FirstClass. For information regarding FirstClass social media functions, please contact the IMS Help Desk at 402-557-4466.

All social media activities sponsored by the District are subject to the OPS – IMS Technology Guidelines, Practices & Procedures manual. The following guidelines apply to the use of district social media:

  • Using your personal email account to create or manage a school / TAC department social media account is prohibited.
  • Photos of individual students are never allowed without written permission from each child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) or as selected on the Student Information Packet, Public Information Consent For Media Release. This is also true for media requests dealing with departments at TAC or other district locations that are not school buildings.
  • Disparaging comments are prohibited.
  • Employees may not post provocative photographs, sexually explicit messages, photos, or texts depicting/describing the aforementioned items—and they may not post any photographs of alcohol or drugs or unethical or immoral acts. If students, parents, or other employees obtain access to this information, the result could be personally damaging and will initiate an official investigation by the district.
  • Playing games on Facebook is prohibited.

In an effort to manage and maintain consistency within a building using social media, the following guidelines will be in effect:

  • The principal of each building will appoint a “School Social Media Administrator” (SocAdmin). This person will have additional responsibilities critical to any business, school, or organization using social media as a communication tool:

  • The SocAdmin will be responsible for approving internal school activity, classroom, or any other social media request for their school.

  • The SocAdmin will be responsible for setting up all requested social media accounts.

  • The SocAdmin will be required to be an administrator on all social media accounts associated with their respective school building.

  • The SocAdmin will have the ability to add/remove postings for all pages within their school.

  • Facebook pages are the chosen method of communication. Facebook friending should be avoided.

  • The principal/director may use their own discretion within the OPS Facebook/Twitter Guidelines to establish their own school or program Facebook and Twitter practices.

  • Students will not be allowed access to Facebook/Twitter at school.

Process to request School Social Media Administrator/school Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Step 1:  Page 6 of this document should be filled out electronically for the School Social Media Administrator. The completed form for the School Social Media Administrator should be sent to the SocialAdmin FirstClass conference for your school or department. This conference will appear on the FirstClass desktop after the building principal/program director has requested Facebook/Twitter access.

Step 2: The district will monitor the SocAdmin Conferences and forward the necessary credentials and information for the school to begin to build their Facebook page or Twitter account.

Step 3: Once comfortable with the school’s use of Facebook and Twitter, the school’s SocAdmin can begin to accept requests internally to set up classroom/activity Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Step 4: Teachers should send their request (page 5) electronically to their school’s SocAdmin Conference for the School Social Media Administrator to monitor and manage. The process and documentation to build the school’s SocAdmin and club, activity and classroom social media accounts are attached.

Step 5:  The School Social Media Administrator will then forward the documentation to the classroom/activity Facebook / Twitter user.

Social Media Site Request Form:

Please fill out the following form about the Social Media tool you are submitting for review. Please then send the completed form via FirstClass to your school or department’s Social Administration conference.

The School District reserves the right to monitor any content posted by an employee on the web as described, but not limited to, the bulleted items listed above. Users who violate the guidelines may be subject to discipline. If you have any questions about the guidelines or a specific posting on the web, please contact District Communications.

By checking this box, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to follow the Omaha Public School District’s Social Media Guidelines.

Top of Form

Name of the Administrator of the Social Media page: * This needs to be a staff member of the Omaha Public Schools. This person will also be the point of contact if questions arise about the use of the Social Media tool for the Activity, Grade Level, or School, District Department.


What social media tool you will be utilizing? * Fill in the name (i.e., Twitter, Facebook) that will be used. 


Name of Social Media page: * This would be the Activity, Grade Level, or School / District Department for which you will be utilizing social media pages/accounts.


Primary use and purpose of the tool

* Please specify the reason that the social media tool is needed for your activity.

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