Guidelines to Working with the Media

The following guidelines are meant as a reference when working with the media. Please call the Communications Department immediately if you have any questions.

  • Per Procedure 9375 media do not have the right to enter school property unless given permission by the school principal. Media and the general public do not require permission, however, to be on the public sidewalks at schools.

  • All visitors, including media, are required to check in at the front office.

  • Media inquiries about students involved in police-related matters or activities that have taken place off school grounds and not during the regular school day should be referred to the San Diego Unified School District Police Services at (619) 725-7000 or the San Diego Police Department.

  • Occasionally, schools will receive requests for commercial filming or photography on school property. This is for a movie, TV commercial or other project; TV news not considered commercial film. See district Procedure 9207 for regulations.

Student Information

  • Release of student information is outlined in Procedure 9015.

  • Yearbooks are public documents available to the media and public.

  • The district has no legal obligation to disclose whether an individual student attends a specific school. Such information is considered a student record and is not public information. General information regarding enrollment is public information.

  • All students photographed must have a media release on file with the school. The form is included in Facts for Parents; please use the Universal Form. 

  • All students photographed at school, if the photograph is used on the school website, a school newsletter or any other purpose, must also have releases. This includes video or photos that may be shot by student for video-podcasts class projects. Rule of thumb: If it's being posted on the school website, shown at an assembly or posted on a bulletin board, have a media release. Traditional school-class pictures are generally exempted from this rule.

Publicizing Your School

If your school has a story that you think deserves media attention, the Communications Department is available to help, or you may issue your own media advisory or press release.

When sending out publicity materials, remember to:

  • Have parents complete and sign media/parent permission slips found on the Universal Form in the Facts for Parents booklet.

  • Have a few students designated and available for interviews with media.

  • Include the Communications Department in your distribution.

  • If you have a calendar feature on your school website, use it. Complete descriptions are also effective in letting the public know what's going on at your school.

  • Please let the Communications Department know at least one month before your event so the media can be notified through the district's weekly Media Calendar.