COMMUNICATION WITH THE PUBLIC
A school system acquires strengths or weaknesses from the community it serves. The quality of the system hinges on essential understandings between the schools and the public upon whose good will the system depends. This calls for a two-way flow of ideas between the schools and the community. Lines of communication must be developed through a systematic and continuing series of activities for educating citizens to the purposes of the schools.
The St. Louis Public School System, through the office of public information, is committed to the use of all appropriate means to accurately inform the community about its schools. Information provided to the public will be presented in a format accessible to all members of the public including individuals with disabilities. Conversely, it also makes the system aware of community attitudes, expectations, and aspirations for its schools.
The board invites staff, students, parents, and the community to participate in the decision-making process by commenting on matters of concern to appropriate school officials, submitting written suggestions and proposals, and making presentations to the board. Community response to surveys, involvement in school associated groups, and service on advisory committees as volunteers or resource persons is also encouraged. The board urges principals to involve parents and other members of the school community in the decision-making process and in service to the schools. The board endorses the organization of school support groups, especially parent associations.
Recommendations submitted to the board by organizations or advisory committees shall be based upon facts and study. Such recommendations will be given due consideration in light of how their implementation may affect the education program and the welfare of the students. The final decision may depart from advice when recommendations are inconsistent with board policies and goals, current education practices, or financial feasibility.
The board urges the superintendent and principals to encourage parents and other community members to visit or use school facilities. Such visits or use shall be consistent with district and school rules for public conduct on school property and community use of school facilities and shall not disrupt the education program or conflict with school-sponsored activities.
The board shall provide access to public records to the community as provided by law, but also recognizes its obligation to safeguard staff, students, and parents from invasion of personal privacy or violation of civil rights. Thus, certain information shall be kept confidential, as prescribed by law.
Individuals with disabilities will be communicated with by the board in a manner as effective as communications to individuals without disabilities. The board will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services.
Legal: Section 610.021, 610.022 RSMo.
Policy adopted: June 26, 1990