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Social Media Policy

CWCS Board Approved August 20, 2018

We understand that social media can be a fun and rewarding way to share your life and opinions with family, friends and co-workers around the world. However, use of social media also presents certain risks and carries with it certain responsibilities. To assist you in making responsible decisions about your use of social media, we have established these guidelines for appropriate use of social media.



In the rapidly expanding world of electronic communication, social media can mean many things.  Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including to your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal website, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with Connecting Waters Charter Schools as well as any other form of electronic communication.  The same principles and guidelines found in Connecting Waters Charter Schools policies and three basic beliefs apply to your activities online.  Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online.  Before creating online content, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved.  Keep in mind that any of your conduct that adversely affects your job performance, the performance of fellow associates or otherwise adversely affects members, customers, suppliers, people who work on behalf of Connecting Waters Charter Schools or Connecting Waters Charter Schools’ legitimate business interests may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured individuals on a social media site without their permission.  As a guideline, do not post anything that you would not present in any public forum.  Additional information on the appropriate handling of student and employee information can be found at the following websites covering FERPA and HIPPA.


Be Aware of Liability

You are responsible for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libelous, or obscene (as defined by the courts). You are also responsible for complying with the existing rules of social media web sites. Increasingly, employers are conducting Web searches on job candidates before extending offers.  Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.



Know and follow the rules

Carefully read these guidelines along with Connecting Waters Charter Schools Standards of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policies in the Employee Handbook, and ensure your postings are consistent with these policies.  Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Be respectful

Always be fair and courteous to fellow associates, customers, members, suppliers or people who work on behalf of Connecting Waters Charter Schools.  Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to resolve work-related complaints by speaking directly with your co-workers other than by posting complaints to a social media outlet.  Nevertheless, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, and threatening or intimidating, that disparage students or their families, associates or suppliers, or that might constitute harassment or bullying.  Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or any other status protected by law or Connecting Waters Charter Schools policy.


Be honest and accurate

Make sure you are always honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly. Be open about any previous posts you have altered.  Remember that the Internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings can be searched.  Never post any information or rumors that you know to be false about Connecting Waters Charter Schools, fellow associates, students or their families, suppliers, people working on behalf of Connecting Waters Charter Schools.


Post only appropriate and respectful content

  • Maintain the confidentiality of Connecting Waters Charter Schools trade secrets and private or confidential information.  Trades secrets may include information regarding the development of systems, processes, products, know-how and technology.  Do not post internal reports, policies, procedures or other internal business-related confidential communications.
  • Do not create a link from your blog, website or other social networking site to a Connecting Waters Charter Schools website without identifying yourself as a Connecting Waters Charter Schools associate.
  • Express only your personal opinions.  Never represent yourself as a spokesperson for Connecting Waters Charter Schools.  If Connecting Waters Charter Schools is a subject of the content you are creating, be clear and open about the fact that you are an associate and make it clear that your views do not represent those of Connecting Waters Charter Schools, fellow associates, members, customers, suppliers or people working on behalf of Connecting Waters Charter Schools.  If you do publish a blog or post online related to the work you do or subjects associated with Connecting Waters Charter Schools, make it clear that you are not speaking on behalf of Connecting Waters Charter Schools. It is best to include a disclaimer such as “The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Connecting Waters Charter Schools.”


Using social media at work

Refrain from using social media while on work time or on equipment we provide, unless it is work-related as authorized by the Executive Director.  Do not use Connecting Waters Charter Schools email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools utilized for personal use.


Retaliation is prohibited

Connecting Waters Charter Schools prohibit taking negative action against any associate for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation.  Any associate who retaliates against another associate for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


Media contacts

Associates should not speak to the media on Connecting Waters Charter Schools’ behalf without contacting the Executive Director. All media inquiries should be directed to the Executive Director.


For more information

If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact the Executive Director.


Sherri Nelson, Executive Director

Connecting Waters Charter Schools

12420 Bentley Street

Waterford, CA 95386