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AP 150: News Media Relations


The Superintendent has been given the responsibility to ensure positive external and internal communications are developed and maintained. The news media are an important vehicle through which the Division keeps the electorate accurately informed and increases public awareness of education. 

The Superintendent subscribes to the proposition that press and media representatives should have access to information about school programs as well as access to school system employees to discuss matters in which the employee is directly involved or directly affected. 

Authorized or delegated employees may speak on behalf of the Superintendent. 

The Superintendent expects employees not delegated to speak on behalf of the Superintendent to be responsible for their statements or opinions by identifying them as personal. 


  1. The Superintendent, or their designates, are authorized to speak to the media about matters affecting the operation of the system or, in the case of designates, about specific areas of responsibility. The Communications and Public Relations Manager or Assistant Superintendents are designated as contacts for the media for emergency comment.
  2. The media may approach any employee for comment on any matter relating to the school system; however, the employee may reserve the right to make no comment. When the media inquiry is related to a Board or system-wide concern rather than a school-specific topic, media shall be referred to the Communications and Public Relations Manager so an appropriate spokesperson can be identified.
  3. Employees’ opinions or statements should be clearly identified as their own unless they have been designated as spokesman by the Superintendent. If they are speaking as a representative of a school or division site, employees who choose to make a comment should ensure that comment is in keeping with Northern Lights Public Schools philosophical guidelines.
  4. Employees are encouraged to maintain positive relationships with the news media. Employees are also encouraged to seek assistance or clarification, if necessary, from the Superintendent or their designate on a matter prior to making a statement.
  5. Schools who are forwarding information to news media should be cognizant of all FOIP rules involved with making material available to the media that identifies any person by face or name, and should not send out any information until the appropriate FOIP paperwork is in place.
  6. The Superintendent, or their designate, will, at the Superintendent’s discretion, create opportunities for school representatives to learn more about how to work effectively with the news media.
  7. School regulations require all visitors, including media, to report to the School Office. Access to other areas of the school may be granted at the discretion of the Principal or designate. Media must be accompanied by a staff member at all times while on site, with the exception of public events being hosted by the school.
  8. Staff members who are accompanying media at a school site will ensure that all FOIP requirements are met and any other applicable procedures are being followed. Photos of staff and/or students may not be taken without permission from the staff member. Interviews with students may not be done without permission, and a staff member must be in attendance while the interview is being conducted.
  9. School administration will inform the Communications and Public Relations Manager when media have been invited or given permission to attend a school for an event or to gather information for a news story, and/or when they have provided comments to news media.
  10. Staff will inform their supervisor when they have been contacted by the media. Invitations to news media to provide coverage of an event or initiative should only be issued after approval is given by school administration.
  11. Division staff members shall ensure that they are in compliance with Administrative Procedures regarding social media.