In what may be a national first for a school district, the Los Angeles school system has hired a full-time social-media director.
The move prompts an immediate question: What exactly does a K-12 school district’s social-media director do?
Answering it has been one of the first orders of business for Stephanie Abrams since she took the job at the nation’s second-largest school district after a career as a television reporter, most recently for KCBS in Los Angeles.
In an interview by email, Abrams says she picked up technology as one of her beats during the latter portion of her TV-news career and was one of her network’s early adopters of social-media platforms.
She says her salary of just over $93,000 a year, which has drawn some criticism locally, reflects duties and responsibilities that are far more demanding than simply overseeing the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
For one thing, Abrams says, she will be leading staff education about a new social-network-use policy implemented in February.
The policy advises employees of the 664,000-student Los Angeles Unified School District to keep work-related and personal social-network accounts separate, strongly discourages maintaining social-networking contacts with students through a personal account, and warns employees not to hold any expectations of privacy while using school-owned technology.
“The use of social media is a new and fluid situation at [the Los Angeles district], so I expect to lead the district on this issue moving forward,” Abrams says. She adds that enforcement of the policy will fall under the authority of the school system’s human resources department.
A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2012 edition of Digital Directions as L.A. District Hires First Social-Media Director