Distributing Community Information through the School System
As a service to the community, our students and parents, the HCPSS allows non-profit organizations and groups to disseminate notices and information through students and the school system.
All requests from community organizations, groups or agencies to disseminate information in the form of electronic announcements or print flyers are processed through the HCPSS Public Information Office. Announcements may not be disseminated via students or schools without prior approval from the Public Information Office.
The HCPSS retains the right to deny the dissemination of materials and announcements if the content could reasonably be predicted to cause substantial disruption. Students will not be pressured or coerced to take or respond to any type of notice.
The Board of Education of Howard County has approved the following organizations and groups to disseminate announcements or materials in Howard County public schools:
- Tax-supported agencies of the federal, state and local government.
- Non-profit organizations as documented by a letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. (Note: If an organization’s IRS letter is not on file with the Public Information Office, it may be submitted along with the announcement information.)
- Groups distributing materials as part of approved fund raising activities in the HCPSS.
- Local, state and national Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO), and recognized booster clubs affiliated with any school in the HCPSS.
Procedures for Submitting Information
PTAs, PTOs and Booster Clubs
Local, state and national PTAs or PTOs, and recognized booster clubs affiliated with any school in the HCPSS must submit announcements, flyers or other materials to the local school administration for approval.
Other Approved Organizations
Other Approved organizations must submit a copy of announcements, flyers or other materials to the HCPSS Public Information Office for approval. These groups are strongly encouraged to support the school system’s efforts to be “green” by submitting electronic announcements for the HCPSS Community News and Programs site, instead of distributing paper copies. The electronic method saves time and human resources for individual schools; saves gasoline, paper and copying costs for sponsoring organizations; and offers broader visibility to school system parents and stakeholders.
- All electronic announcements will be posted on Community News and Programs. Organizations may submit announcements by choosing “Add your program” (top of screen). A link to this site is included in HCPSS News, which is issued weekly to all parents/guardians, and is included in school newsletters. Announcements are limited to:
- Name and brief description of the event or activity
- Date, time and location
- Intended ages, if applicable
- Name of the sponsoring organization
- Contact phone number or email address
- Website and/or link to information online, if applicable
- Copies of each printed announcement, flyer or other material to be distributed through schools should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of the intended dissemination date. Print materials must include a statement that the information or program is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.
- Printed flyers and other materials must be properly packaged and labeled per instructions from the Public Information Office. Multiple copies of flyers must be delivered to the school(s) by the organization. Schools will disseminate the information to parents via Friday folders, student backpacks or other methods as determined by the school.
- Schools will attempt to distribute print materials promptly; however, distribution is handled on a time- and space-available basis, at the discretion of the school administrator.
- Organizations may choose either option, to 1) provide electronic announcements for the Community News and Programs webpage, or 2) distribute full-page flyers/announcements in print. Schools are not able to email announcements on behalf of, or for community organizations.
Parents or guardians are given the option to not receive flyers or other printed materials from community organizations, groups and agencies. Parents who do NOT want to receive community notices through backpack mail or Friday folders should send a note with their request to their child’s school. Children at separate schools need to bring in separate notes.
Parents or guardians who exercise this option will still receive communications from the school system, local school, school PTA/PTSA and Booster Clubs, and important information from local, state and federal government agencies. They will NOT receive information from any other community organization, group or agency.
Contact us with any additional questionsPublic Information Office
10910 Clarksville Pike (Route 108)
Ellicott City, MD 21042