Trustees of the Waxahachie Independent School District Board unanimously approved the use of a program designed to control district communication through social media networks on Monday night.
The social media action was one of several agenda items considered during the special called meeting.
“The district recognizes that the community uses social media outlets to receive news of local events, and the community desires accurate and timely information concerning the objectives, achievements, needs and conditions of district schools and their educational programs,” said Dr. Nicole Mansell, Director of Public Relations.
“All social media accounts created by the district, district schools, district organizations and teachers for classroom purposes shall belong to the district,” Mansell said.
Provisions of the program begin with the district superintendent or their designee and shall have complete access to each social media accounts. Accounts can only be created by the superintendent or their designee.
The program allows classroom teachers to set up their own classroom district account through Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media programs. These accounts must have district approval and be only for district-approved use.
Before being able to use a district social media account, the teacher or administrator must receive district training.
Teachers who use a social media website must make sure it can only be accessed by current students.
“At the end of the semester or school year, past contacts must be removed,” Mansell said. “This is not to say that the teachers or staff cannot have their own social media accounts. We want control of what is transmitted by the district. We will in no way monitor personal accounts,” Interim Superintendent David Truitt said.
The media sites are only allowed to transmit information that relates to the classroom or school organization.
“Any district-wide or multiple-campus news can only be released by the superintendent or their designee,” Mansell said.
“Through this program, we are trying to maintain control of district accounts,” Trutt said.
In other action, the trustees unanimously approved the application for registered trademarks, logos and trade name use.
Previously the district approved the registration of the district’s logo as well as trade names.
“We are doing this to ensure the integrity of the district’s name that it will not be misused by others, “ Mansell said.
Mansell had previously recommended a fee schedule that ranged from $50 to $250 for businesses wanting to sell items with Waxahachie ISD logos and names.
Monday’s request changed the application fee to $50 for all applicants.
“I’ve heard some comments about the proposed high fee from several businesses,” Dr. Joe Langly said. “We changed it to $50 to make it fair for all wishing to sell our merchandise,” Mansell said.
The district will start sending out letters to all merchants selling merchandise with WISD logos.
“The letter will advise them they need to contact the district and complete an application,” Mansell said. “The district will not begin enforcing the action until after Sept. 1. We are delaying this to allow for businesses currently having merchandise on hand to sell their inventories,” Mansell said.
Along with the logo “W” with the arrow through it, the district has also registered the name “Waxahachie Indians” and the word “Hachie.”
The trustees approved the final reading of the 2013-2014 budget and tax rate.
“This tax rate of $1.04 maintenance and operations and $.3889 for interest and sinking debt bringing the total tax rate of $1.42 per $100 of property valuation is the same as last year,” Assistant Superintendent of Finance Teresa Thompson said.
The board adopted a total budget of $73,385,149 with $55,732, 877 being for maintenance and operations.
Included in the budget is a contingency fund for such items as energy management, small construction projects and other items approved by the trustees. The amount approved for the contingency fund is $339,820.
Other items approved by the trustees:
• Hosting a legislative update meeting for trustees and school administrators in Region 10. This meeting will be held on Sept. 12 at Howard Junior High. The meeting is sponsored by Region 10.
• Approval of the 2013-2014 High School, No-PASS Course exemption list.
• Approval of purchase orders for new textbooks and materials.