The Jefferson County School District recognizes the important role the media plays in reporting news and information about its educational programs, services, students, and employees. The Office of Community Relations assists the media by providing information about the District in accurate and timely manner.
Media who want to film, photograph or interview Jefferson County School District staff members, students, or board members are asked to make a request through the Office of Community Relations at 850-342-0826.
Visiting Our Schools
Anytime a member of the media is on District property, a Community Relations staff member or designee will serve as an escort to minimize disruption at the school and to assist with additional requests. If you would like to visit a school, please contact Dr. Kimberli Perry in the Office of Community Relations. We will work with your schedule, as well as that of the students and staff in order to ensure that your visit is a successful one. Keep in mind that our schools participate in early dismissal days, standardized testing and school-wide events that may prohibit your visit on a specific day.
Interviews with the Jefferson County School District
The Jefferson County School District employs educators and administrators who, often times, are leaders in education. Our staff is prepared to discuss current and important issues with reporters. If you are interested in interviewing, filming or photographing a District employee or board member your first point of contact is with the Office of Community Relations. We are glad to help you find the correct resource for your story and arrange an interview time.
Photographing or Interviewing Students
The Jefferson County School District operates in compliance with 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 Office of Community Relations will work with each school to determine who cannot be photographed and interviewed according to FERPA guidelines. Before taking photos, video and quotes from students and staff, please verify the legality with the Office of Community Relations.
Board of Education Meetings
The media is invited to attend all open meetings of the Jefferson County School District Board of Education. Media may film and/or record these meetings. To avoid disruption of the meeting, reporters and photographers are asked not to approach board members, guest speakers, or members of the audience inside the board room during the meeting. Interviews must be conducted outside the board room in the hall or pre-arranged conference room. Copies of the board agenda, informational items, and other meeting materials are available online, which can be accessed on the School Board Information page of the District’s website.
It is the District’s practice to work as cooperatively as possible to supply timely information to the media in an emergency and its impact on students, teachers, or staff members, provided the release of information does not jeopardize the emergency response activities, or conflict with federal privacy laws, the well-being of students or employees, or the concerns of families. During an emergency, media will not be allowed inside affected school building(s). Media will be assigned to a designated external area at the site of the emergency to allow full access to the site by emergency response teams.
During an emergency, all media calls are referred to the Office of Community Relations to allow the crisis response team at the site to give full attention to relief efforts. The District will work as quickly as possible to provide accurate information to the media through a spokesperson, written releases or news briefing.