Effective communication is critical for any organization, especially one that has the responsibility of serving our students and community.
Communication helps serve as the basis for the relationships we build and maintain with our students, families, and community partners. Austin Public Schools strives to maintain open and transparent communication with students, families/caregivers, staff, and community members to maintain a high level of accountability, trust, and collaboration, all to provide our students with the best education possible.
Austin Public Schools is proud to be a part of the Austin community. Our students and staff continue to excel in and out of the classroom and we want to share this great news with the community and beyond. We use a variety of tools -- media releases, school websites, social media, newsletters, portal messages, and email -- to share the story of Austin Public Schools.
If you have a story idea, or a student or teacher doing outstanding things in our schools and community, please let us know!
- Parent Notification Procedures
- School Closing Information
- Flyer Submission
- Media Relations Guidelines
- Social Media Guidelines
- APS Style Guide
Sometimes circumstances require Austin Public Schools to share information and messages with families, staff, and the community.
Situations are assessed by school and district leadership and community partners, such as law enforcement, city staff, or the National Weather Service. Many factors go into a decision about if, when, and how the district communicate about them, and they're handled on a case-to-case basis.
Communication is dictated by the scope of a situation and/or its impact on school safety or classroom activities. While it's impossible to plan for every scenario, families, staff, and the community should know the general guidelines that are used in determining if messaging is needed and how it will be delivered.
Types of communication: email, phone call, and/or text message. These preferences are set and managed by families via Infinite Campus Parent Portal accounts.
Information regarding school closings or schedule changes due to extreme weather or other non-scheduled occasions will be posted on the front page of the APS website as soon as a decision is made.
On days that APS is closed for emergency or on a snow schedule, we will use Campus Messenger to contact all APS families. After-school and evening events and activities are typically canceled as well unless otherwise noted. If your contact information has changed since your child was enrolled, please update the information with your child's school.
APS also posts school closings on the following radio and television stations:
We will also post information regarding school closings on our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter to have our updates automatically added to your timeline.
If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agencies or organizations requesting to distribute flyers, whether physical or digital, to Austin Public Schools (APS) students and their families through schools must have approval from Human Resources. Flyers MUST include the following disclaimer to be approved:
Austin Public Schools is not sponsoring, endorsing, or recommending the activities announced in this flyer.
Requests must be completed for each flyer, each school year, even if from the same agency/organization. To request approval:
- Include the APS disclaimer on each flyer (the first page, for a multi-page publication) in at least 10-point font
- Complete the form below
Upon approval, a letter will be sent via email to the contact person listed on the form. To distribute:
- If the flyer is in physical format, you must provide copies of the flyers bundled into packs of 35 and deliver to the schools' main office.
- If the flyer is digital, you must provide a digital copy of the flyer to the main office for inclusion in the monthly newsletter. PLEASE NOTE: Digital flyers will only be provided to students/families in addition to regular school correspondence unless otherwise authorized.
- In either case, you must include a copy of the approval letter with each delivery
Requests submitted without the disclaimer on the flyer will be automatically denied. The approval letters are typically delivered within one week, however APS reserves up to ten business days from submission to review requests. If your flyer has more than three pages, please contact our office.
Guidelines For Approval
APS will consider approval of distribution request based on the following criteria:
- Materials must support the district curriculum or the academic goals of APS.
- The requesting organization must be a non-profit organization.
- The requesting organization must offer free, or affordable, activities and/or services so that students and families may not be excluded from the activity or event.
- Materials/flyers must be non-partisan and secular in nature.
- Materials/flyers must contain information stating who the sponsor is and include contact information as a resource to parents.
- Materials/flyers must clearly state program costs and indicate the availability of scholarships and/or sliding fees.
- APS does not distribute materials from outside entities to staff members.
APS will NOT approve distribution request if the materials:
- Are likely to cause disruption to the school or schools.
- Interfere with the school's or school district's educational objectives.
- Are obscene or libelous.
- Relate to a product or service not permitted to minors by law.
- Advocate violence or other illegal activity.
- Advocate violation of district policy and/or school regulations.
If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Austin Public Schools recognizes the important role the media plays in reporting news and information about its policies, programs, services, events, students, and employees. APS is committed to providing information to the media and making every effort to work within media deadlines.
- Austin Public Schools understands that members of the media will occasionally need to visit our schools to report on news stories. In order to protect the privacy of our students and staff, media representatives (journalists, photojournalists, videographers, photographers) are not permitted on school grounds to interview, photograph. or videotape without prior approval from the Communications Office, Austin Public Schools Superintendent, or designee.
- As a safety and security precaution, the media — like all visitors to our schools — will be asked to sign-in and obtain a pass from the building's main office.
- When videotaping, taking a still photograph, or conducting interviews while in the school district, the Communications Coordinator or designee will accompany the media at all times to minimize disruption at the school and to assist with any additional requests.
- Austin Public Schools operates in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law allows students and parents to opt out of the release of certain information about students, including photographs. The Communications Department will work with each school to determine who cannot be photographed and interviewed according to FERPA guidelines.
- If the topic of an interview or photography is sensitive or controversial in nature, parental consent is required.
- At all times, the Communications Coordinator, designee, and/or an adult representative of the school must be present when students are interviewed or photographed in conjunction with a school or school function. The presiding adult may intercede in the interview or photography any time he/she judges the questions or images to conflict with the best interests of the student or district.
- As a general rule, media may take overall/general shots of students without parental consent during public school events (such as athletic games) as long as the students are not identified or singled out.
- Interviews with student athletes outside of school hours (ie: after an event or practice) will be considered an exception to these guidelines.
Austin Public Schools ensures the protection of student/employee privacy and will not release any personal or personnel-related information unless required by law; not comment on any case that is before the courts; and refer all questions related to police investigations to proper authority. Please visit our Public Data Request site here.
Austin Public Schools is active on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We appreciate the feedback on our social media platforms as a means of keeping communication in Austin open and thriving. Please be respectful when joining the conversation, and note the following social media participation guidelines.
- Stay on topic. Comments not related to the subject may be deleted/hidden.
- No spam! Please do not use our social media pages as a means of selling a product or service.
- Be respectful. If you disagree with a post, we’d like to hear from you. However, please refrain from personal attacks or being disrespectful of others.
- Keep it legal. Laws that govern use of copyrights, trade secrets, etc., will be followed.
- Use appropriate language. Profane or provocative language, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive or derogatory content, threats, obscene or sexually explicit language will be immediately removed.
- Please refrain from discussing ballot measures and campaigns. Electioneering policy states that school resources may not be used to urge a vote for or against any candidate, group of candidates or ballot issue.
*Austin Public Schools reserves the right but is not obligated to block fans or remove/hide their comments on our social media pages that violate the above guidelines or otherwise violate the social media sites' Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. See Policy 428.
More than 5,000 students and 9 sites with one goal.
At Austin Public Schools, our mission is to Inspire, Empower, and Accelerate as we prepare all learners to make a difference in the world. We know that this lofty goal is only achievable through the effective collaboration between our dedicated staff and the Austin community.
The key to effective collaboration is timely and efficient communication, and we are working toward that goal. From our website and social media to phone calls and emails, our goal is to ensure that important information is shared quickly and clearly with all stakeholders.
We recognize that everything we do communicates who we are as a district, and developing our communication is a vital and ongoing part of our mission.
The support APS receives from the Austin community is humbling, and we will do everything we can to continue to develop and earn your trust.
Austin Public Schools is dedicated to moving into the 21st century not only in the education we provide, but in our communications as well.
Over the past several years, APS has been working toward developing a new, more unified look. This began in earnest in Winter 2016 with the launch of our new website and continued through the next several years with the development of a new mission statement (Inspire, Empower, Accelerate), building our social media presence (check out @ISD492 on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram), and our new APS logo.
Our new logo is meant to reflect Who We Are as a district:
- The Austin A in the center symbolizes Austin Public Schools - We felt it was important to include the A for tradition and heritage, and the slight offset is meant to convey our drive to provide a modern education for our students.
- The circles around the A are meant to symbolize inclusion and togetherness while still providing a path through education.
- And, finally, the swirling colors represent the diversity we have in both our schools and the community.
We are very proud of our new logo and are excited to continue down the path we started on back in the Winter of 2016.
In order to use the new logo, we ask that you complete the following steps:
- Read through the Style Guide. This document outlines the rules regarding colors, placement, and size of the logo.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the logo files. We'll need to know the purpose/use of the logo and that you've read the style guide. We will then work with you to determine which version of the logo would be appropriate.
- You MUST send a digital proof of the final document/item BEFORE printing. This is to ensure that the formatting has been done correctly.
Thank you in advance for your understanding. We want to ensure that any use of the logo is being done appropriately and within the recommended styling. If you have any questions, feel free to email email@example.com.