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ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY - STAFF/STUDENTS/VISITORS TO THE DISTRICT FOR DISTRICT NETWORK, COMPUTERS, E-MAIL, AND THE INTERNET
New technologies are changing the ways that information may be accessed, communicated, and transferred. These technological shifts also offer the opportunity to enhance instruction and student learning. The Board of Education will provide access to various computerized information resources through the District's computer system ("DCS" hereafter) consisting of software, hardware, computer networks and electronic communications systems. This may include access to electronic mail, so called "on-line services" and the "Internet.” It may include the opportunity to have independent access to the DCS from their home or other remote locations. All use of the DCS, including independent use off school premises, shall be subject to this policy and accompanying regulations. Further, all such use must be in support of education and/or research and consistent with the goals and purposes of the School District. District staff, students, and visitors are authorized to use the District’s on-line services in accordance with the user obligations and responsibilities specified below.
The purpose of this policy is to define guidelines for student, staff, and visitors for the use of District networked computer equipment, including those that provide access to the Internet.
Student Internet Access
The use of computer technology may be revoked or be the subject of student discipline, or employee reprimand/termination, if abused. Userswill follow a sequential, structured approach to gaining skills, which will allow them to become independent, responsible users of the Internet. This approach addresses Internet use from an age and topic appropriate standpoint.
a) In elementary schools (K through 2), teachers will actively supervise student's use of the computer, peripherals and/or Internet access. Students will access Internet resources, which the teacher has previously explored and selected. Teachers will make every effort to ensure that students are directed to sites with only age-and topic-appropriate material and resources.
b) In upper elementary school (3 through 5), teachers will supervise and model appropriate use of computers, peripherals, and the Internet. Students will continue to have Internet access under direct teacher supervision; however, students will also experience guided practice leading towards gaining skills to become an independent, responsible user of the Internet. Teachers will model skills needed to search for information within an area of study, to filter information for credibility and worth, and to recognize areas of inappropriate information sources or access. Teachers will explore an Internet site before directing students to that site. Teachers will make every effort to ensure that students are directed only to sites with age-and topic-appropriate material and resources.
c) In middle school and high school (6 through 12), teachers will provide guided practice and model appropriate use of computers, peripherals, other electronic technology, and the Internet. Teachers will supervise student initiated information search activities and provide support for students as they begin to assume responsibility for becoming independent users of the Internet. Teachers will make every effort to ensure that students explore only sites with age-and topic-appropriate material and resources.
Students and visitors to the District will not be issued individual electronic mail accounts. Select staff will be issued electronic e-mail accounts. Students and visitors who have electronic mail accounts from sources outside the school division may be granted permission to use school resources to access those accounts. At the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee, some e-mail providers may be blocked. (Example: AOL, Yahoo)
Right to Privacy
The Superintendent or his/her designee has the right to access information stored in any user directory, on the computer hard drive, school-issued disks/flash memory, or in electronic mail. Users are advised not to place confidential documents in their user directory or attempt to access folders that are not their own. Network management and monitoring software packages will be used for random access to individual accounts to review educational progress and for security purposes. Each computer keeps a history of Internet sites visited if that information is required.
The following actions, which are not exhaustive, constitute acceptable use of the Internet, whether that use is initiated from a school or any other site:
a) All Internet or computer equipment use shall be consistent with the purposes, goals, and policies of the School District.
b) Use of computers, software, peripherals, and other information resources to support learning and to complete school assignments.
c) Sending and receiving electronic files using e-mail for academic purposes.
The following actions (which are not exhaustive) constitute unacceptable use of the DCS, whether that use is initiated from a school or any other site:
a) Using impolite, abusive, or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private messages.
b) Placing unlawful information on the DCS.
c) Using the DCS illegally in ways that violate federal, state, or local laws or statutes.
d) Using the DCS at school for non-school related activities.
e) Sending messages that are likely to result in the loss of the recipient's work or systems.
f) Using the DCS for commercial purposes.
g) System users may not use the network for entering contests, advertising, political lobbying, or personal commercial activities including online purchasing.
h) Posting, sending or downloading copyrighted material without written permission from the owner.
i ) Accessing files or changing computer files that do not belong to the user.
j) Using another person's password orknowingly giving one's password to others.
k) Using DCS access for sending or retrieving inappropriate, obscene, pornographic material.
l) Posting inappropriate text files, storing personal images/photographs, or files dangerous to the integrity of any network.
m) Circumventing security measures on school or remote computers or networks (hacking).
n) Attempting to gain access to another's resources, programs, or data without written permission of the owner.
o) Vandalizing, which is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user on the DCS, and includes the uploading or creation of computer viruses.
p) Falsifying one's identity to others while using the DCS.
q) Using chat rooms and instant messenger is strictly forbidden when used for non-academic purposes.
r) Using the District system for commercial purposes, defined as offering or providing goods or services or purchasing goods or services for personal use.
s) Accessing personal e-mail, bank accounts, or other personal accounts through the DCS.
t) Unauthorized exploration of the Network Operating System or changes to any District-installed software is strictly prohibited.
u) Disclosing personal information, such as address, phone number, age, on the DCS.
v) System users will not be able to download, upload, or run any software, games, or shareware that are not installed and licensed by the District (refer to the Technology Plan online for a list of District-installed, licensed software).
w) Tampering with or copying school-licensed installed software or loading personal software onto school-owned computers.
x) Visiting and posting to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and Twitter is strictly prohibited.
y) Printing non-school related materials on District printers.
z) Disclosing, using, or disseminating personal identification information regarding minors without authorization.
aa ) Communicating any credit card number, bank account number, or any other financial information via the DCS.
a) System logins or accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account for the authorized purpose. Users may not share their account number or password with another person or leave an open file or session unattended or unsupervised. Account owners are ultimately responsible for all activity under their account
b) Users should change passwords regularly and avoid easily guessed passwords.
c) Users shall not seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users; misrepresent other users on the system; or attempt to gain unauthorized access to any entity on the K through 12 Network.
d) Only a authorized District computer administrative personnel may install software.
e) When considering a new program for use in the District, users will submit a software request form (found in the RP Common folder) to the technology coordinator.
f) Users will adhere to the District virus protection procedures.
g) Permission of authorized District computer administrative personnel is required for relocation, removal, or adjustment of any hardware and/or peripheral device.
h) Food and/or drink will not be consumed in areas where computers are located.
Internet Control Filtering and Monitoring
(Refer to Policies #8270 -- Instructional Technology and #8271 -- Children's Internet Protection Act: Internet Content Filtering/Safety Policy)
In accordance with federal, state, and local regulations, filtering software is used to control access to the Internet. This blocks or filters visual depictions that are obscene and other content that is harmful to minors. Parents are advised, however, that filtering technology is imperfect, and that the possibility exists of obtaining access to prohibited materials. Educational staff will, to the best of their ability, monitor students’ use of the Internet and will take reasonable measures to prevent access to inappropriate materials.
From time to time the District will make a determination on whether specific uses of the network are consistent with the regulations stated above. For security and administrative purposes, the District reserves the right for authorized personnel to review network use and content. The District reserves the right to remove an individual’s network access privileges to prevent further unauthorized activity.
Plagiarism and Copyrighted Infringement
a) Any software that is protected under the copyright laws will not be loaded onto or transmitted via the network or other on-line servers without the written consent of the copyright holder.
b) Users will honor all copyright rules and not plagiarize or use copyrighted information without permission. Plagiarism is the using of writings or ideas of others and presenting them as if they were original
c) The School District will receive written permission from parents and/or guardians prior to publishing any student's work, pictures or name on the Internet or District web pages.
Access to Inappropriate Material
a) Users will not utilize the DCS to access material that is profane or obscene, that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people (hate literature).
1. For students, a special exception may be made for hate literature if the purpose of such access is to conduct research and both the teacher and parent approve the access.
2. District employees and visitors to the District may access the above material only in the context of legitimate research.
b) Users should immediately disclose any inadvertent access in a manner specified by their school. This will protect them against an allegation that they have intentionally violated the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
Use of the District’s electronic resources by staff, students, and/or visitors to the District in an illegal or unethical manner may result in disciplinary action, including loss of privileges to use the system, school or District sanctions, and referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Users may be required to make full financial restitution.
To gain access to the Rocky Point Union Free School District network and the Internet, all staff, students and visitors to the District must sign an AUP Affidavit attesting to the fact that they have read, understand and agree to the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy. All students must also obtain parental permission. Copies of student affidavits will be kept at the building in which the student attends; copies of staff affidavits will be kept at the Personnel Office; copies of visitor affidavits will be sent to and kept on file by either the District Technology Coordinator or the District Communications Coordinator.
District Limitation of Liability
The District makes no warranties of any kind, express or implied, that the functions or the services provided by or through the DCS will be error-free or without defect. The District will not be responsible for any damage users may suffer including, but not limited to, loss of data or interruption of service. The District is not responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system.
The District web site is intended to be used for educational purposes only. It contains links to and frames of other sites that may be of educational interest to staff and students. The District is not the author of or otherwise associated with these linked or framed sites and is not responsible for the material contained in or obtained from these linked or searched sites. Information on school events is posted on the District web page for the convenience of users and is subject to change at the District's sole discretion.
The District respects student/staff and values their privacy. In order, however, to maintain system integrity and ensure responsible use of the system, the District has the right to examine the contents of the file server, individual computers, and any e-mail. Files will only be examined when there is reason to suspect an activity or material that violates any of the school's codes of conduct or the law. Use of the District’s electronic resources by staff, students, and/or visitors to the District in an illegal or unethical manner may result in disciplinary action, including loss of privileges to use the system, school or District sanctions, and referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Users may be required to make full financial restitution. The signature(s) at the end of this document are legally binding and indicate that the parties who signed have read the terms and conditions carefully and understands their significance.
The user agrees to indemnify the District for any losses, costs, or damages, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred by the District relating to any breach of this Acceptable Use Policy.
Adoption Date: 3/23/09