Title: Classroom Use of Videos, DVDs, and Movies

Number: 109.1

Status: Active

Legal: 24 P.S. 510

Adopted: February 15, 2011

Last Revised: April 22, 2014


It is the policy of the Waynesboro Area School District to assure that time spent by students in pursuit of an education is wisely and prudently used. The Board recognizes that movies, videos, DVDs, and other audiovisual materials are important tools in the educational process. However, the use of such materials should be limited so that they are legally, appropriately, and effectively used in achieving legitimate educational objectives that supplement approved course curriculum. The Board, therefore, promotes the appropriate educational use of videos, movies, DVDs, and encourages parental participation, and fosters community values.


Educational Relevance

  1. The showing of videos, DVDs, movies, and other audiovisual materials must be limited to a specific educational purpose.

  2. General selection criteria should include the following:

    1. Quality of the overall work;

    2. Fair and accurate representation of the facts;

    3. The reputation and significance of the writer, director, and/or performer; and

    4. Critical acclaim of the work itself.

  3. Video, DVD, or movie clip used in the classroom shall not include inappropriate language, depictions of violence, or inappropriate behavior.

  4. Commercial movies (i.e., movies made for entertainment and shown in theaters) shown in their entirety are strongly discouraged and shall be approved in only a very few circumstances. These types of movies should only be shown:

    1. If there is no other audiovisual material that addresses the concept being taught and is accurate in its content.

    2. The value of the movie is so great that it warrants being shown in its entirety.

    3. It is written into a Board-approved curriculum.

  5. Generally speaking, commercial movies are not to be used for rewards during regular instructional time. Building principals may allow for the use of movies for rewards in very limited circumstances.

  6. When AV materials are used in a classroom during instructional time, there should be a pre-activity and a written post-activity, which will be graded in some way in order to hold students accountable for the material.


If commercial movies are shown in a classroom, the following rating guide will be followed: (Rating is determined by the industry-accepted rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America)

  1. Only “G” rated films should be shown in grades K-6.

  2. “G” and “PG” films may be shown in grades 7-8.

  3. “G,” “PG,” and “PG-13” films may be shown in grades 9-12.

  4. No films or parts of films with the rating of “R,” “NC-17,” or “X” are to be shown.


Teachers should be prudent with the use of audiovisual materials and should weigh the value of the AV material against the instructional time it consumes. A general guideline would be to limit the use of AV materials to a total time equivalent of one (1) class period per unit.

Teacher Preview and Administrative Approval

  1. All videos, DVDs, movies, or other audiovisual material must be previewed by the teacher before use in the classroom.

  2. Prior to showing any video, DVD, movie (including commercial movies produced for entertainment purposes), other audiovisual material, or material downloaded from Internet sources to students, the planned video use must be submitted to the building principal. This will be submitted to the building principal and then the Superintendent as a list at the beginning of the school year. This list may be changed and updated by the teacher on a quarterly basis. The Superintendent will then report to the Board these lists of approved movies.

    1. Intended instructional objectives with the planned course must be written and filed with building administrator.

    2. Exceptions to this requirement will be allowed only when the commercial movie is included as part of the adopted curriculum approved by the Board.

    3. Short segments of AV materials, approximately ten (10) minutes, used as an anticipatory set, to introduce a lesson, provide closure, etc., will not be subject to administrative approval, provided the clip meets the criteria of this policy.

    4. Teacher created PowerPoint presentations are not subject to administrative approval provided there is no video imbedded in the presentation. If a video is imbedded in a PowerPoint presentation, then it will be subject to the guidelines listed above.


  1. Any use of videos, DVDs, movies, or other audiovisual materials must adhere to all federal copyright laws, as well as publisher licensing agreements (see Policy #2150 Copyright and Copyright Compliance #2150P).

  2. The legal requirements of the Copyright Act apply:

    1. Regardless of whether an admission fee is charged;

    2. Whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit; or

    3. Whether a federal, state, or local agency is involved.


Parents and students must be provided all “opt-out” opportunity (Parental Notification, Opt-Out, and Consent Form Appendix #1).

  1. Teachers must notify parents of films that will be shown in the classroom. This can be accomplished by either of the following: (a) including the films in the class syllabus and distributed to the parent; or (b) separate handout of movies sent home. This listing of movies will be posted on the teacher’s website. Parents shall have the opportunity to opt their child out of any movie.

  2. Teachers should provide a lesson alternative for children who have opted out.

  3. Opt-out children should be treated discreetly and with respect.