Communications
Communications Policies and Guidelines
MEDIA GUIDELINES

Guidelines for Charlotte-area media

Introduction: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Communications Department's goal is to provide clear, timely and accurate information about the district. CMS staff believes it is important to be open and accessible to the media in order to ensure the public effectively understands district functions and goals.

Communications staff is available to coordinate news coverage with local media, arrange staff interviews and provide responses to requests for information. There are three media relations specialists and a dedicated media line to assist local and national media with its requests. The media line, 980-343-6243, is staffed during normal CMS office hours. Calling the media line is the best and fastest way for media to receive a response to requests.

Contacting CMS employees:

CMS is always open and accessible to the local media. Reporters, editors or producers are allowed to call any CMS staff member at any time to ask questions about a story – positive or negative. This includes principals, assistant principals, coaches, teachers and other staff members. CMS employees do not have to speak to the media and may choose not to. Again, the best way to set up an interview or receive information is to call the media line at 980-343- 6243.

Access to CMS schools:

Media relations specialists work with all schools and departments to provide a variety of positive and hardnews stories. Story ideas are shared through news releases and advisories, which are emailed on an as-needed basis, and the CMS website, which is updated frequently. Events that are listed in a news release, advisories or on the website are available for coverage. Media does not need advance permission to go to CMS schools or other buildings to cover these stories at the listed time and date. Those locations have been cleared with the principal ahead of time.

For other stories or inquiries, the media is not allowed to go to CMS schools without permission from the principal and/or communications department. Members of the media who appear at a school without prior permission will be asked to leave immediately.

Crisis communication:

A principal's priority in a crisis is to work with students, staff and parents. The CMS communications department and media relations specialists will coordinate media coverage in any crisis. Media will be updated through phone calls and emails. Please do not call a school directly during a crisis; phone lines at schools need to be open for staff to communicate with parents. Call the CMS media line at 980-343- 6243 for the latest updated information. If the situation warrants it, media relations specialists will be on location at schools to coordinate the release of information. Please adhere to police and/or staff instructions for parking and any other access during a crisis. 



POLICY GUIDELINES

Policy BEDI: News Media at Board Meetings

The Board of Education supports the public's right to know about programs and services of the schools. If the public is to remain well informed about education, the schools must maintain a good relationship with the news media. It is the responsibility of the Public Information Office to help news media representatives in obtaining available facts accurately, quickly and conveniently.

Policy BEDJ: Broadcasts of Board Meetings
Regular Board of Education meetings will be televised whenever possible. The meetings will be broadcast live on CMS-TV, the television broadcast channel of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and rebroadcast at a later date. The decision to televise a meeting will be made by the Superintendent in consultation with the Chairperson of the Board.

Policy IJOC: School Volunteers
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education supports community involvement by encouraging schools and departments to develop and maintain strong volunteer programs. These programs provide varied opportunities for parents and community members to be actively engaged in the academic, cultural and social development of students and families. The Board also promotes the use of innovative strategies that support families and their involvement in school-related activities.

Policy FF: Naming Facilities
The Board of Education is responsible for naming schools and all other facilities or parts of facilities. The Superintendent will write regulations that establish the process for developing a list of recommended names for the Board to consider.

Naming Entire Facilities
  1. In selecting the name of a school, consideration should be given to names that will have a special meaning to students and citizens of the community.

  2. The Board may name a new school or other existing facility for the geographic area or community in which the school is located, an historical figure or location, or for an individual who is deceased whose name has special significance and/or who made an outstanding contribution to the school or school system.

  3. The Superintendent will develop a process for recommending names for newly constructed schools, or existing or new facilities. The process should be sensitive to the historical and cultural context of the building and require the inclusion of input from community, historical and cultural groups.
Naming Parts of School Buildings or other Facilities
The Superintendent may recommend to the Board that a portion of a building, a single building on a multiple building campus, or a specific area on a campus be named for an individual whose name has special significance and/or who made an outstanding contribution to the school or school system. In special circumstances, the Superintendent may recommend to the Board that a portion of a building, a single building on a multiple building campus or a specific area on a campus be named for a commercial or corporate entity that has made significant contributions to the school or CMS.

Changing Facility Names
When the use of a school or other facility changes, the Board of Education, upon the recommendation of the school administration, may change the name of the building. The process to select a new name should be consistent with the procedures followed in naming a new school or facility.

Policy FF-R: Naming Facilities
Naming Schools
  1. The principal of a newly constructed or existing school shall have the responsibility for initiating and supervising the process of developing a list of recommended names for the Board of Education to consider.

  2. The principal shall appoint the School Name Advisory Committee (“the Committee”) which shall be representative of the school’s community and composed of students and adults. The Committee’s charge shall be to recommend to the Board of Education three names for newly constructed or existing schools, listed in order of preference.

  3. Working through the CMS Public Information Department, the principal shall publicize the naming process throughout the school community. The publicity shall contain information about how community members may give input to the Committee.

  4. In developing the list of names, the Committee shall use the following directives and guidelines:
    • The Committee shall solicit input from community, historical and cultural groups.
    • All decisions of the Committee should be made by consensus.
    • All recommended names should be easily identifiable with the school and should have special meaning to students and citizens of the community.
    • The recommended names should not be in conflict with the names of other schools, buildings, or facilities in the system.
    • The recommended names may represent the geographic area or community in which the school is located, a historical figure or location, or an individual who is deceased whose name has special significance and /or who made an outstanding contribution to the school or school system, community, state or nation.
    • The Committee should research the history of each recommended name and provide a summary of the research with the submitted list.
  5. The principal shall forward the Committee’s recommended names to the Regional Assistant Superintendents and the Deputy Superintendent for review and comment. The Regional Assistant Superintendents and the Deputy Superintendent may request additional information from the Committee.

  6. The Deputy Superintendent shall forward the list of names to the Superintendent and the Executive Staff for review and decision regarding presentation of the recommended names to the Board of Education.

  7. The Board of Education has the ultimate responsibility for naming schools.
Naming New or Existing Facilities
The Public Information Department or other staff designated by the Superintendent shall have the responsibility for initiating and supervising the process of developing a list of recommended names for a newly constructed or existing facility for the Board of Education to consider.
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website (www.cms.k12.nc.us) is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.