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AP 545: Advertising in Schools


Advertising material may be used in schools for both curricular and extracurricular activities provided there is sufficient evidence that the materials provide a benefit to the school community as a whole.


  1. Advertising is not permitted in school newsletters or on school social media accounts. Advertising that aligns with the guidelines specified in this administrative procedure, may be distributed in the following ways:
    1. Posted within schools in pre-designated areas (bulletin boards, digital screens);
    2. Provided to students to take home to parents in the form of a flyer. The community group or business requesting the advertising shall provide copies for distribution. School resources are not to be used to photocopy or print advertising materials for outside organizations.
    3. Shared on the school’s website as part of a post about the activity it is related to (ie. graduation, Orange Shirt Day, school supplies).
  2. Advertising of community activities or events is permitted if approved by the Principal, with the exception of:
    1. Activities sponsored by alcohol or tobacco companies;
    2. Activities with a clear profit motive and no educational value to students.
  3. The advertising of products or services by a commercial business, organization or agency is permitted at the discretion of the Principal in consultation with the Superintendent or designate, provided that:
    1. The products or services contribute to the social or educational benefit of students or their families and/or align with school and division priorities;
    2. Where possible, the Principal endeavours to provide more than one option for a particular product or service;
    3. The Principal approves all promotional (print or digital) materials before they are distributed to students and/or parents or posted in the school.
  4. Advertising in yearbooks shall be at the discretion of the Principal.
  5. Teachers may choose to offer participation in book clubs or incentive programs with the approval of the Principal, provided that:
    1. Participation in such programs has educational benefits and/or aligns with school and/or division goals; and
    2. Students and/or their parents are not required to attend a particular place of business in order to receive an award for participation in a school project or an activity which is sponsored by a business.
  6. The advertising of educational products, services or professional development opportunities aimed at staff by a commercial business is permitted if the products or services may be of interest to staff and the Principal approves the specific promotional material. Printed advertisements shall be restricted to the staff room or staff mailboxes and are to be provided by the advertiser. School resources are not to be used to photocopy or print material for distribution. Email may also be used to distribute this information to staff.
  7. Sometimes businesses or organizations produce materials, products, websites, etc. which are of considerable value for school use (curricular or extracurricular), the production of which is designed to create general goodwill for the producer, rather than to encourage directly the sale of a specific product or service. Such materials may be accepted for use in schools if all of the following conditions are met:
    1. The materials are judged by the Superintendent and Principal to have sufficient educational value and/or alignment with school or division goals to justify their being used in schools;
    2. The advertising is inconspicuous; and
    3. The conditions of their use within the school(s) are determined solely by the Principal and are not imposed by any outside agency
  8. Schools may wish to use school publications, such as newsletters, and digital communication channels, such as social media, school websites and digital signs (exterior and interior), to recognize businesses, organizations or agencies as sponsors of a particular event or initiative, or as ongoing partner of the school(s). Some sponsors or partners may also request recognition as part of a sponsorship or partnership agreement. Such recognition is permitted at the discretion of the Principal, provided that:
    1. The focus is on thanking the sponsor or partner for their contribution;
    2. The recognition does not include the endorsement or advertising of a particular product or service associated with the sponsor or partner;
    3. All materials that are produced (print or electronic) that include sponsor or partner recognition are approved by the Principal; and
    4. Partner or sponsor recognition that is outside of normal school communication channels and/or is more permanent in nature is approved by the Superintendent or designate.
  9. To ensure consistency, schools are encouraged to develop their own sponsorship and partnership recognition guidelines, in consultation with the Superintendent or designate.
  10. Authorization for the distribution of all other materials and/or products is left to the discretion of the Superintendent.
  11. The distribution of material addressed in this procedure through the Division without the prior approval of the Superintendent is prohibited.