The collection, use and disclosure of personal information by a school district are governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulation. This includes use of a student’s photos/videos for educational-related purposes and access to students by news media. The School Act obliges district staff to “ensure confidentiality of the information contained in the student records and ensure privacy for students and their families”.
Schools and districts obtain consent to collect, use and share student photos/videos on district materials (brochures, reports, advertisements, etc.) and across digital tools (e.g., websites, social media, etc.) for education-related purposed, such as recognizing and encouraging student success, building the school community and informing the public about school and district programs and activities.
General consent forms are to be obtained on an annual basis for each student in the Abbotsford School District as follows:
1. General photo/video and media consent requirements
1.1 Consent must be provided for photo, video and audio recordings of individual students.
- 1.1.1 Photograph/Video and Media consent can be given via a digital consent form or written form to be kept on file throughout a student’s time at that school. If the student changes schools within the district the form should move with the student’s files.
- 1.1.2 If no form is returned or if the consent section is not completed, it must be registered as ‘no consent’ for that student.
- 1.1.3 A ‘no consent’ list should be maintained in the school office and reviewed bi-annually by school administrators.
1.2 Consent is not required for public events. School and district staff cannot control news media access in public locations (e.g. field trips or off school grounds) and have limited control at school events open to the public, such as sports events, student performances, school board meetings, etc.
1.3 Consent for elementary/middle students is renewed annually. Consent for secondary students is valid until graduation. You may resubmit a new consent form to your school at any time to change your consent.
2. In class/school consent for access to students by media/photographers
2.1 Parental/Guardian consent for recording and use of a student’s photograph, video image or audio recording in a classroom or school setting (i.e. non-public.) must be received in advance.
2.2 For in-school interaction with media, obligations under the School Act can be met by:
2.2.1 taking steps to control access by media to the schools and students and avoiding situations that would likely be considered an invasion of privacy. There may be circumstances where this is unavoidable.
2.2.2 providing advance notice to parents and students so they may “opt out” of events; advising parents when media presence is scheduled at the school; and
2.2.3 ensuring students with non-consent are identified to media/camera operators and are not included in any photographs, video or audio recording.
3. Yearbooks produced by a school are for the use of students and the school community. They are not a public document. Other than to students and their families, school yearbooks are not to be further distributed outside the school, including: to local libraries, museums/archives, businesses or sponsors, or any other organization. School yearbooks are also not to be available to general members of the public. In school libraries, yearbooks may only be available on request. Alumni may come to the school to view the appropriate book for the years they attended the school, but yearbooks must stay at the school.
4. When possible, for photographs or videos of students, staff should endeavour to use school district owned devices and not personal equipment.
(Last Revised: June 2023)