622R - Commercial Advertising

In order to ensure that individual schools and departments do not conflict with division-wide plans to raise supplemental revenues through approved fundraising activities, including commercial advertising, and to further ensure that commercial advertising practices throughout Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) are uniform, equitable, and limited to approved school purposes, the following requirements are established:

I. Definition of Commercial Advertising

This regulation applies to all commercial advertising in any way connected with FCPS, or with any FCPS schools, departments, facilities, programs, teams, extracurricular or school-sponsored activities, whereby FCPS venues are leased for such advertising purposes in exchange for the provision of funds, goods, or services to FCPS. The distribution of all other written or electronic communications in school venues is subject to the procedures set forth in Policy 618P, Community Relations- Distribution of Information/Materials.

II. Prior Approval

All advertising in any way connected with FCPS or any FCPS schools, departments, facilities, programs, teams, extracurricular or school-sponsored activities requires prior approval by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee as specified in Section X of this regulation to determine compliance with the requirements set forth in this regulation, and, in the case of any advertising on school or department Web sites or the FCPS network, compliance with the requirements set forth in Policy 323P, Instruction- Computer and Network Use, and Regulation 323R, Instruction- Computer Network and Internet Use.

III. Commercial Advertising Leasing Agreement

All commercial advertisers must lease a designated venue for the display of a pre-approved advertisement where advertising or paid revenues due to the school from that advertiser will exceed $5,000 for any school year or any multi-year agreement. A lease agreement is required for all advertising appearing on the FCPS and/or individual school websites, regardless of the revenues generated by the advertising and/or the duration of the agreement. Leases are not required where the person or other entity placing the advertisement is not so obligated for amounts above $5,000. However, such advertising is subject to all other provisions of this regulation, and must be as specified in Section X of this regulation. The FCPS Commercial Leasing Agreement is the only lease/contract that will be recognized for commercial advertising agreements. All FCPS Commercial Leasing Agreements shall be approved by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.

A copy with original signatures of all signed FCPS Commercial Advertising Leasing Agreements shall be provided to and maintained by the Executive Director of Finance, or designee.

IV. Revenues Used Only for Approved School Purposes

All revenues produced by commercial advertising connected with FCPS or any FCPS school, department, program, team, or extracurricular activity shall be used only for approved school purposes and only as supplemental funds, rather than as a means for supplanting funds appropriated for the standard educational program. Revenues other than those produced by commercial advertising appearing on the FCPS and/or individual school websites shall be the property of FCPS and shall be treated as Student Activity Funds under Policy 710P, Finance-School Activity Funds; Regulation 710R-A, Finance-School Activity Funds; and Regulation 710R-B, Finance- Fund Raising and Disclosure Statements unless generated by an approved booster club or other approved parent organization to which FCPS has granted limited rights to commercial advertising. No advertising shall be approved where revenues generated are not used for legitimate school purposes.

All revenues produced by commercial advertising appearing on the FCPS and/or individual school websites shall be distributed as follows:
  • 50 percent to the Information Technology Department to support the implementation of the Division Educational Technology Plan. 
  • 50 percent to the school activity fund of the school on whose website the commercial advertisement appears. 
V. Exclusive Advertising and/or Marketing Rights

Exclusive advertising agreements (any agreement whereby an individual, business or other entity is granted the exclusive right to lease a school venue to advertise a product or service) may not be granted to any entity. Marketing rights (any agreement by which an advertiser is granted the right to market his or her product in FCPS, on school property, to FCPS students or staff, or during FCPS sponsored activities) also may not be granted. Exclusive advertising agreements and agreements granting marketing rights are reserved for the consideration and sole approval of the School Board.

VI. Naming Rights

Naming rights for any FCPS school, department, program, facility, property or improvement/ addition thereto, may not be granted to any advertiser, donor, partner, sponsor or other entity, except as provided in Policy 614P, Community Relations- Naming of School Facilities; and Regulation 614R, Community Relations- Naming of School Facilities.

VII. Prior Approval for Improvements or Additions to School Property and Athletic Facilities

Funds raised through advertising, either directly by FCPS schools, departments or programs, or indirectly, through booster clubs and/or other parent organizations, or school foundations, sponsors, partners or donors, may not be used for any improvement or addition to school buildings, facilities, fields, or other school property without the prior approval of the Director of Buildings and Grounds. Improvements or additions to athletic facilities, fields, or other FCPS property used for athletic or other extracurricular activities, whose total value exceeds $15,000 must also have the approval of the Assistant Superintendent for Administration to assure compliance with Title IX and/or other local, state or federal requirements.

VIII. Permissible Subjects of Advertising Messages

By permitting limited commercial advertising in, on, or through the lease of selected FCPS venues, it is not the intent of the Frederick County Public Schools to create or open any FCPS school, school property or facility, school-sponsored publication, school-related activity or program, the FCPS Internet or any FCPS Web site, or any other school venue, as a public forum for expressive activity. Nor is it the intent of FCPS to create a venue or forum for the expression of political, religious, or controversial subjects which are inconsistent with the educational mission, policies or curriculum of the school division, or which could be perceived as bearing the imprimatur of FCPS.

It is the intent of FCPS to permit commercial advertising for the sole purpose of generating supplemental revenues through the promotion of the advertiser’s commercial goods and services to the school community and/or through the advertiser’s publicized support of FCPS students, schools, and programs. Thus, all commercial advertising, regardless of speaker or venue, is restricted to such limited subject matter.

All commercial advertising, regardless of venue, shall include only the name, phone number and address (including website addresses) of the advertiser (or other identifying information, such as the advertiser’s logo), and a message which is limited to the promotion of the advertiser’s commercial goods or services and/or the advertiser’s support of FCPS students, schools, and programs.

The Lessee/advertiser does not have the right to use the names, signatures, photographs, or likenesses of any FCPS student in connection with any commercial product or service. Similarly, lessee/advertiser shall not use the name of Frederick County Public Schools or any individual school or department thereof, in connection with a commercial product or service unless specifically approved by FCPS.

Any advertising message which exceeds the permissible subject matter designated above, or is plainly offensive, lewd, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise inconsistent with the curricula or educational mission of FCPS, is prohibited. All messages shall be approved under the guidelines set forth in this regulation before publication.

IX. Permissible Advertisers

Advertisers are limited to the following groups, whose sole message is the promotion/ sale of commercial goods and services to the school community, and/or to publicize their support of FCPS schools, students and programs:

A. FCPS partners, sponsors, and donors approved by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee through formal agreements.

B. Partners, sponsors and donors of the Frederick County Educational Foundation, as approved by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee through formal agreements.

C. Businesses whose goods or services are:

(i) not illegal if possessed by or sold to a minor (i.e., alcohol, tobacco, etc.),

(ii) not prohibited by the FCPS Code of Conduct nor inconsistent with the curriculum or educational mission of the school division, or

(iii) are not otherwise inappropriate for a school community audience.

However, businesses which sell alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or other products or services which are unacceptable for student use, incidental to the sale or delivery of other non-objectionable products or services, may advertise if the advertising does not feature or make any reference to the objectionable product or service (i.e. restaurants which sell alcohol incidental to the sale of food products).

D. Community and civic organizations, including the Frederick County Educational Foundation.

E. Faith-based organizations and churches, provided, however, that such advertising is confined to the promotion of FCPS schools, students, and programs, and does not contain messages of a religious nature.

F. Individuals, parents, guardians, family members, and friends of FCPS students whose sole message is the promotion of FCPS students, teams, activities or schools.

G. Individuals who are duly elected or appointed public officials, or candidates for political office, provided however, that such advertising is confined to the promotion of FCPS, students, and programs and contains no political message. Such advertising may not include any reference to an individual’s political campaign or fundraising activities. Consistent with Va. Code § 22.1-79.3, such advertising may not contain a reference to an individual’s candidacy, political campaign, the election or defeat of any candidate for public office, the passage or defeat of any referendum question, or a matter pending before the School Board, the Frederick County Board of County Supervisors, the General Assembly of Virginia, or the Congress of the United States.

H. Student clubs and groups whose sole message is the promotion of FCPS students, teams, activities or schools.

I. School-sponsored organizations whose purpose is to support FCPS or a certain area of the schools. Organizations such as Parent Teacher Associations/Organizations (PTA/PTO), Band Boosters, Choral Boosters, Athletic Boosters, FFA Alumni, etc., are examples of school-sponsored organizations.

X. Permissible Advertising Venues

A. Athletic and Other Extracurricular Venues

Commercial advertising which otherwise complies with the requirements of this regulation shall be permitted in publications traditionally associated with athletic and other extracurricular activities (i.e., athletic programs, bulletins, schedules, playbills, etc.), and in school buildings, on school properties, or at off-site locations while being used for school-sponsored athletic and extracurricular activities (i.e., banners, signage, scoreboards, etc.), subject to prior approval by the school principal.

B. School-Sponsored Publications

Commercial advertising which otherwise complies with the requirements of this regulation shall be permitted in school-sponsored publications (such as yearbooks, student newspapers and magazines, programs, bulletins, etc.), subject to prior approval by the school principal.

C. School Buildings and School Property

Advertising on or in school buildings or other school facilities, or on other school property which is not associated with athletic or extracurricular activities, and which advertising otherwise complies with this regulation, is permitted, subject to prior approval by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.

D. FCPS Internet and Websites

Commercial advertising utilizing the FCPS network and/or any FCPS website, including any school, departmental, or program website or page, shall be permitted only as set forth in this regulation and Policy 323P, Instruction- Computer and Network Use; Regulation 323R, Instruction- Computer and Network Use; Policy 567P, Personnel- Computer and Network Use; and Regulation 567R, Personnel- Computer Network and Internet Use, subject to approval by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.

All such commercial advertising and linkages must bear the following disclaimer:

“Warning! You are leaving the FCPS website. This web page contains links to one or more websites outside the FCPS network, which are not FCPS venues and may not reflect the views or opinions of FCPS. FCPS does not control the content of such websites and does not sponsor or endorse any messages, products, or services contained on such websites.”

E. Prohibited Venues

Commercial advertising is strictly prohibited on school buses and other vehicles transporting or intended to be used for transporting students at any time and on public announcement systems during instructional time.

F. Distribution of Commercial Messages

Distribution of commercial messages to students and staff is also subject to Policy 618P, Community Relations- Distribution of Information/Materials.

G. Advertising During Instructional Time

Advertising which is disruptive or is likely to result in disruption to the education of students or the operation of the school division, or which in any way conflicts with the division’s curricula or educational mission, is also prohibited and may be immediately discontinued at the direction of the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.

XI. Advertising by Booster Clubs and Other Approved Parent Organizations

Booster clubs and other approved parent organizations have been granted the right to limited use of certain FCPS facilities and venues for commercial advertising, the sole purpose of which is raising funds to support FCPS schools, school-sponsored programs, teams, and/or other extracurricular activities. Advertising by such groups is subject to the guidelines and restrictions set forth in this regulation and subject to the approval of the school principal.

XII. Right to Suspend or Cancel Commercial Advertising Leasing Agreement and Remove Commercial Advertisements

FCPS shall have the right, at any time and without prior notice, to suspend or cancel any Commercial Advertising Leasing Agreement and immediately remove any advertisement from FCPS venues at the cost of the Lessee, should, in the sole judgment of FCPS:

(a) Lessor/Advertiser violates applicable School Board policies and regulations;

(b) The content or design of the advertisement varies from the content or design previously approved by FCPS; or

(c) Sufficient cause exists, as determined by FCPS, that the advertisement causes or may cause disruption to the operation of FCPS or any of its programs, or may generate controversy which is inappropriate to a school audience or inconsistent with the curricula and educational mission of FCPS.

(d) Sufficient cause exists, as determined by FCPS, to suspend or cancel this Agreement when the individual, corporation, foundation, association or entity entering into this Lease Agreement, or any principal, agent or employee or associate thereof, is charged with a felony or a crime of moral turpitude, or has participated in any other disreputable behavior which would or may have a negative reflection or would or could bring discredit upon FCPS, its students or staff.


Any decision to suspend or cancel a Commercial Leasing Agreement and/or to remove advertising may be appealed to superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.




Cross Reference:
Policy 323P, Instruction- Computer and Network Use
Regulation 323R, Instruction- Computer and Network Use
Policy 567P, Personnel- Computer and Network Use
Regulation 567R, Personnel- Computer Network and Internet Use
Policy 614P, Community Relations- Naming of School Facilities
Regulation 614R, Community Relations- Naming of School Facilities
Policy 616P- Community Relations- Commercial, Promotional, and Corporate Sponsorships and Partnerships
Policy 618P, Community Relations-Distribution of Information/Materials
Regulation 622R, Community Relations- Commercial Advertising-Attachment A
Regulation 622R, Community Relations- Commercial Advertising- Appendix A
Policy 710P, Finance-School Activity Funds
Regulation 710R-A, Finance-School Activity Funds
Regulation 710R-B, Finance- Fund Raising and Disclosure Statements





Adopted: June 15, 2011
Amended: June 30, 2011