Web Services → Standards, Regulations, and Best Practices → Web Regulation

Regulation of MCPS Web

On September 11, 2006, the superintendent approved new Regulation KBA-RB, Educational Purposes and Administration of the MCPS Web, providing a framework for the structure and content of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Web.

Read the Regulation

Regulation KBA-RB, Educational Purposes and Administration of the MCPS Web (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ provides a basic background to the new web regulation. If your question is not addressed here, please contact Web Services at webmaster@mcpsmd.org.

Frequently Asked Questions: Topics


About Content

Is there a release form for using student pictures and student work on the school web site?

Yes. As part of the new Regulation, the Request to Withhold Directory Information acts as the official consent and release for publishing appropriate student information on the MCPS public web site. This form is sent home to parents in the summer packet. If parents do NOT wish their student’s photo to be published on the web site, they must complete the form. If they do not return the form, they have opted in and given permission for use. Such permission means that your webmaster may publish a photo of a student, but should NOT publish the student’s name, contact information, or any personal details on the web site.

See the Student Privacy Policy for more information related to the use of this form and access to the form in other languages.

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What content is appropriate for my school or office web site?

All web content should have a clear educational purpose. It should directly promote the educational, instructional, administrative, business, and support services mission of MCPS.

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What content is not appropriate for my school or office web site?

Content is inappropriate if it:

  • Violates law or MCPS policies or regulations.
  • Poses a potential threat to student health or safety.
  • Might be reasonably perceived to advocate student drug, alcohol and tobacco use, violence, sex, illegal discrimination, or other illegal activities.
  • Contains language or images that are obscene, libelous, slanderous, profane, or derogatory to individuals.
  • Causes or might reasonably be predicted to cause substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities.

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What else is considered inappropriate?

Content that is:

  • Inaccurate or out of date.
  • Misspelled or grammatically incorrect.
  • Unfinished or incomplete.
  • Not intended for public view, especially material marked private and confidential.

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Can I publish my personal web site or personal web pages on the MCPS server?

No. You should obtain your own personal, non-MCPS web hosting account for personal web pages. Content for MCPS instruction and operations should not be published on your personal web site.

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How do I know whether I may publish a photo of a student on my school web site?

Consult your school’s Directory Information Withhold List, which is kept in the school’s main office, to see if the student’s name is on the list. The list is the primary resource for consent to use personally identifying student information on the web site. The list names students for whom schools must restrict disclosure of personally identifying information. Parents who do not wish their children’s information released notify the school system at the beginning of the school year via a Request to Withhold Directory Information, and the student’s name is added to the Withhold List.

For families that have given permission to publish information about the student, do not publish the student's name with the photo. Exceptions may be made -- especially at the secondary level -- with principal permission for students who have won major awards or achieved some type of recognition.

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Can I link to non-MCPS web sites?

Of course. That’s why it’s called “the web.” But you must fulfill these requirements before adding the link:

  • Review the site to ensure it is educationally appropriate.
  • Add this disclaimer language to any of your web pages with links off the MCPS web:

“This web page may contain links to one or more pages outside the MCPS Web. MCPS does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.”

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Is student work permitted on my web site?

Yes. But sites or content created and maintained by students should be labeled as student work.

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May I use a bulletin board, forum, or chat room on my site?

No. The MCPS web should not create a public forum. Therefore, chat rooms, forums, bulletin boards, discussion groups and other forms of interactive discussion are not permitted on any public MCPS web site. You should not use other sites for this purpose if the content relates to MCPS instruction or operations.

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What about blogs?

Blogs are not permitted at this time. However, a workgroup is developing a rationale, acceptable use guidelines, and technical requirements in preparation for a proposed blogging pilot.

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May I copy an image or text from another source and publish it on my web site?

No, unless the material is:

  • Clearly stated to be in the public domain or the owner gives permission or license for re-use.
  • Obtained after you have received written permission from the webmaster, creator, owner or publisher.

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May I publish a company logo on my web site?

You may publish a trademark, servicemark or logo only after obtaining the owner’s written permission and only if the business is an educational partner. You may not link to the business web site unless the site has content with an educational purpose, e.g. discovery.com.

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What if we are using free content, such as Weather Bug, on our site?

Your principal or administrator must approve such third-party content for educational appropriateness before it is published to your site. If the content has a technical component (such as scripting or coding), Web Services should be consulted before the content is added to the site. If the content is approved, publish it with the following disclaimer: “This material is provided free of charge and does not indicate MCPS endorsement or sponsorship.”

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Is paid advertising or sponsorship permitted?

No. The MCPS web does not accept paid advertising or sponsorship from commercial entities and does not promote commercial entities.

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What do I do if someone asks to link to my site or to use content from my site?

Anyone may link to your site and need not ask for permission. Requests to re-use content from an MCPS site should be forwarded to the principal or administrator who is the site manager.

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What do I do if I find problem content on my web site?

Contact your site manager (principal or administrator) immediately for guidance. She/he may advise you to remove the material as soon as possible.

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What happens if someone complains to Web Services about a link or other content on my web site?

Web Services will take several steps if it receives a complaint about content on your site.

  • We will review the material for compliance with relevant regulations.
  • If the material is not in compliance, we will attempt to contact the site manager and webmaster to advise them of the problem and ask them to remove the content as soon as possible.
  • If neither is available, we will remove the content and advise the site manager and webmaster of the actions taken.

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What other MCPS regulations guide appropriate content and use of the MCPS web?

Two other regulations are relevant: Regulation IGT-RA: User Responsibilities for Computer Systems and Network Security (PDF) and Regulation JFA-RA: Students Rights and Responsibilities (PDF) .

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Who owns the content on the MCPS web?

MCPS, except for student work and material by others published with permission.

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May our school’s PTA publish its content on our school web site?

If your school principal approves, yes. Some schools publish just a page about the PTA. Others provide more information on their sites. Still others provide basic PTA information and a link to the PTA’s site on a non-MCPS server. Your principal has the ultimate authority.

And as always, any site managed by MCPS must stay within MCPS templates. PTSA pages in MCPS school sites must stay within the school’s template.

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