North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Policy 413: Corporate Sponsorships, Partnerships and Advertising in Schools
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Adopted: May 24, 2006
Revised: March 8, 2016 (References to Parent Advisory Council changed to Parents' Advisory Council) 
 

Policy


The Board acknowledges that corporations, businesses and service organizations may from time to time choose to support financially and/or materially public school activities through sponsorships or partnerships.  The Board supports the development of sustainable education-business relationships between the Board, its schools, and the community, and encourages community groups, businesses, corporations, labour groups, civic organizations, industries, government agencies, colleges, universities, and others to join in developing education-business relationships with the Board and/or its schools through various types of sponsorship/partnership arrangements for the benefit of the school community.

Acceptable sponsorships/partnerships provide benefits to the educational, cultural, artistic or athletic programs of students through the donations/contributions of products, services or money to a school or the School District.  The Board wishes to secure sponsorships/partnerships that are consistent with the values, principles, and objectives of the School District.

While public recognition may not be the primary rationale for a donation, sponsorship, or partnership the Board appreciates that it may be appropriate to recognize, thank or publicly acknowledge the sponsor’s support.  Sponsors may be recognized in a dignified and appropriate manner in programs, directories, press releases, newsletters, assemblies and posters.  Use of corporate logos and slogans should be modest.  There shall be no actual or implied obligation to purchase the product or services of the sponsor.

Where financial considerations are involved as a result of education-business relationships, revenue opportunities for the Board or school shall be optimized.  The revenues acquired through sponsorships, partnerships or donations will be used to complement and not replace public funding for education.

While encouraging business and community relationships, the Board recognizes that it has a responsibility to provide as safe and secure an environment as possible for all students and recognizes the privacy of parents and teachers.  Schools, as educational institutions with a “captive” clientele, must not become vehicles for circulation of materials intended primarily for commercial gain, nor for propaganda materials that are inflammatory in nature or intent.

This Policy does not apply to contracts where a service or product is provided to the Board for a fee or to other arrangements the Board enters into in order to manage its operations.   

Definitions

"Sponsorship" refers to an organization or commercial enterprise providing financial support or goods or services for an activity, series of activities, program or service.  Generally sponsorships shall be for a specific, short term and limited purpose usually no more than one year in duration.  Long-term sponsorships may be acceptable provided there is commensurate recognition through appropriate sized contributions to the school or School District.  There will be no provision for automatic renewal or extension of the agreement and will be subject to an evaluation process.

“Donation” means money, goods or services given to a school or the School District with no expectation of reciprocal provision of goods or services to the donor.

“Partnership” is a collaborative relationship between the Board and an organization or business wherein the resources of the Board and the partner are combined to enhance the quality and relevance of the educational program provided by the Board.

“School Partner Groups” may include the Parents' Advisory Council (PAC), teachers and support staff, Student Leadership Council (SLC).
 

Administrative Procedures


The Board or, in the case of a school, the principal, in consultation with school partner groups, shall have the authority to decline any form of donation, sponsorship or partnership that is inconsistent with the values, principles or policies of the School District or the particular school. 

No employee of the School District shall accept a personal gift in cash or kind, or benefit from the corporate sponsor or donor.

Corporate involvement programs shall not limit the discretion of the schools, teachers, and the School District in the use of sponsored materials.

The following points should be considered in determining whether to allow a request for access to teachers or students or to accept a donation, sponsorship or partnership agreement:
    • Will not lead to exploitation of the students
    • Does not imply endorsement of the school or the Board
    • Offers significant educational, cultural, artistic or athletic benefits or social values for students
    • Expected acknowledgement is dignified, modest, reasonable and consistent with this policy
    • Is not primarily to solicit sales
    • Ensures protections against claims that are false or misleading
    •  Involves minimal intrusion into instructional time
    • School or School District has sufficient funds to pay the costs of installation, on-going maintenance, repairs and training
    • Donated goods and services are held to the same standard used for the selection and purchase of curriculum materials.
Sponsorships

Sponsorship agreements exceeding $5000 in amount or longer than one (1) year in duration shall be confirmed by contract through the School District.  Proposals shall be sent to the Secretary Treasurer’s office with a detailed rationale to obtain appropriate approvals and/or draw up proper legal agreements in consultation with all stakeholder groups.

Each sponsorship arrangement should have an agreed upon sponsor acknowledgement plan prior to accepting the sponsorship or donation.  The sponsor acknowledgement plan shall be approved by the school principal in consultation with the education partner groups for school level sponsorships.  The Secretary Treasurer’s office will ensure the sponsor acknowledgement plan is acceptable and consistent with this policy for District-wide sponsorship agreements.

Sponsor or partner activity must not infringe on any collective agreement or labour relations’ practices.

Advertising
 
In general, the sales, the promotion of sales or the support to sales by canvassing, advertising or by other means on the part of any commercial enterprise may be seen as a violation of the safe and secure environment for students or an invasion of the privacy of parents or teachers.  Therefore, commercial enterprises will not normally be permitted access to teachers and students either directly on school property or indirectly through the use of School District or school mailing information or systems.
 
Limited or selected advertising may be permitted in school or School District publications, provided that it meets standards of good taste and does not conflict with educational objectives.
 
Some requests by individuals or agencies for access to teachers and students are reasonable and contribute to the teaching-learning programs in schools.  Recognized charitable organizations and agencies and other organizations having educational and community services attributes may be allowed the opportunity to approach school principals or designated Board staff at the discretion of the Superintendent.  Distribution of materials supplied by genuine, community-oriented organizations may be authorized by the Superintendent, provided that they do not demand undue disruption of school time or routine, and provided that they do not contain political, religiously-oriented or inflammatory material which might create unfavourable community reaction.
 
Partnerships

The Board supports and encourages partnerships that:
    • Treat the educational and personal welfare of students as the paramount concerns and are in accordance with the highest ethical standards and considerations
    • Address an identifiable educational or operational purpose or need consistent with the School District’s strategic priorities, statements of purpose, and the provincial goals of education
    • Increase the equitable access of students to high quality educational programs, service or learning resources.
Education-business relationships shall be designed to support the curriculum, enhance the quality and relevance of learning, and be relevant to the Board’s desired educational outcomes.  Care must be taken to ensure that neither schools nor students are exploited through the partnership activities.

Any direct involvement by students in a workplace setting shall be for reasons that are educationally relevant and consistent with the principles governing cooperative education.

Where the Board is approached by organizations to participate in education-business ventures that will involve co-development of products or services related to education, it is expected that these products/services will be marketable and hence will generate revenue for the Board.

It is important that a school or the School District regularly give public acknowledgement to the direct and/or indirect contributions of business partners to school or School District educational programs.

The school or School District shall undertake a review of the goals, objectives and outcomes of each partnership annually.  This must involve input from both partners.  The review should allow for revisions to and updating of the partnership agreement.

Donations

The School District is able to issue tax receipts for cash donations and donations of furniture, equipment or similar items valued $1000 or less.  In accordance with Canada Revenue Agency’s regulations, donated items valued at more than $1000 must be independently assessed by a third party before the School District can issue a tax receipt.

A sponsorship payment from a business for which the business receives a material advantage such as promotion or advertising (for example, in a press release) as part of an acknowledgement plan may not be eligible for a tax receipt under Canada Revenue Agency’s rules.

New or used equipment must be at a standard acceptable for use in classrooms and schools and meet School District specifications.  Equipment must be installed according to the standards of the School District.  The school principal shall consult with the appropriate Board office staff to make this determination.

The school and/or School District must consider costs of installation, maintenance, repairs, and training, where necessary, to ensure funds are available to support the acquisition of the donated equipment.

If accepted, donations shall become the property of the School District.

Parents' Advisory Councils

A school’s Parents' Advisory Council (PAC) is frequently a successful fund raising group whose efforts facilitate the acquisition of equipment, goods or services in support of the school.  Decisions on the methods of raising funds for the school shall be made in consultation with the school’s principal in accordance with School District policies and procedures.

Outside Organizations

It is recognized that the North Vancouver School District’s values with respect to sponsorship, advertising and donations may differ from other organizations.  While the School District will encourage outside organizations to align with the North Vancouver School District’s values, it is recognized that such efforts will take time.  Provincial championship pennants and other awards given to schools over the years with logos that may currently be considered less desirable are a part of the school’s history and shall not be removed as a result of the adoption of this policy.