School district seeks social media outlet
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Mar 29, 2013 | 2847 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Plans are under way at Tracy Unified School District to expand communication with the public through the social media avenues of Facebook and Twitter.

The TUSD board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday, March 26, to adopt the digital strategy.

In light of recent emergency events at Kimball and Tracy high schools, during which parents received updates regarding bomb threats by phone, TUSD spokeswoman Jessica Cardoza said social media would provide additional venues to notify parents of immediate and upcoming events.

Separate bomb threats were made against Tracy High on March 13 and 14, and two more were made against Kimball High on March 14 and March 18. The schools were evacuated each time.

“There are many, many reasons for us to be on these types of sites,” Cardoza said. “It’s a way for us to participate in two-sided conversations. If people have questions, we would love to have them post questions, and we would be able to respond to make sure accurate information is getting out.”

She said the first step in creating Facebook and Twitter accounts was to have the trustees approve a board policy, which was done Tuesday. The policy outlines the standards, guidelines and protocols for the use of the sites by the general public.

Each school in the district will be responsible for monitoring the daily activities of its own Facebook page, but Cardoza said she will oversee all of the sites and the Twitter account.

“It’s a great opportunity to share positive things happening around the district,” she said. “Day-to-day activities that sometimes get overlooked or overshadowed by important decisions or emergencies.”

Another way to use the social media service is to tweet the actions of the school board during meetings. Trustee President Greg Silva said he agreed with the district using social media.

“Presence in social media is a necessity in this day and age,” he said. “I think social media is not going to go away. If we’re going to be able to interact with people of the community, we have to go where they are — we can’t expect them to come to us.”

The start date for the Twitter and Facebook sites has yet to be determined, Cardoza said. She hopes to develop samples and an implementation plan to present to the board on April 23.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.



At a glance

• WHAT: Tracy Unified School District board meeting

• WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26

• WHERE: District Education Center Board Room, 1875 W. Lowell Ave.

• DETAILS: President Greg Silva and board members Jill Costa, Gregg Crandall, Walter Gouveia, Kelly Lewis, Ted Guzman and James Vaughn were present.
Comments
(2)
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Macpup
|
March 30, 2013
So now each school has to hire someone to monitor their Facebook and twitter account... really. This is TUSD's way of handling bomb threats - creating a Facebook page to tell the parents about the great things happening on campus. Parents that want to know whats truly happening at their child's school should get on the School Site Council, join the parent group, or attend the School Board meetings - not tweet!
GMGB
|
April 10, 2013
I'm all for it! It's very obvious that many parents and even older siblings of these children in school are on Facebook and Twitter, so why not? Social media has helped a lot in situations where children are in danger. Better safe than sorry.


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