Acceptable Computer Usage Policy

Acceptable Computer Usage Policy

Acceptable Computer Usage Policy

I.                    Purpose of Guidelines

The Oneonta City School District (“the District” hereafter)  is pleased to offer students and employees access to district computing resources (“DCR” hereafter) consisting of computers and computing devices, network resources, wireless resources, Internet access, and electronic communication systems.  The District also provides the opportunity for remote, off-site access to the DCR and for DCR access from personally-owned devices. Any and all uses of the DCR shall be subject to this policy.

The District believes that student learning benefits from access to the Internet to explore thousands of libraries, databases and online resources while exchanging information with other Internet users around the world.  In accordance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), E-Rate and Title II-D funding, this policy addresses:

A.      Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet,

B.      Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications,

C.      Unauthorized access including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online,

D.      Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors, and

E.       Restricting minor’s access to materials harmful to minors.

While meeting the above requirements, this policy defines the acceptable use the DCR with a view of ensuring the reliability, security, and integrity of the system. The technology policies contained here have been formulated with student safety and achievement and with data security as priorities.

II.                 Employee Responsibility

a.       The District expects that employees will use the DCR as appropriate to meet the requirements of their position.

b.       Employees will protect their personal user ID’s and passwords to maintain the integrity and prevent unauthorized use of the DCR.

c.        Employees are responsible for their actions and activities involving the DCR, his/her computer files, passwords and accounts.

d.       Employees are responsible for maintaining confidentiality and security with regards to digital and online student information, in keeping with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. ( 

III.               Instructor Responsibility

a.        The District expects that teachers will blend thoughtful use of district technology and online resources throughout the curriculum and will provide guidance and instruction to students in their use. As much as possible, access from school to online resources should be structured in ways that point students to those that have been evaluated prior to use. While students may be able to move beyond those resources to others that have not been previewed by staff, they shall be provided with guidelines and lists of resources particularly suited to learning objectives. 

b.       When using the Internet for class activities, teachers will: 

                                                               i.      Select material that is age-appropriate and relevant to the course objectives. 

                                                             ii.      Preview the materials and sites students are required to access regarding appropriateness of material. 

                                                           iii.      Provide guidelines and lists of resources to assist students in channeling their research activities effectively and properly. 

                                                           iv.      Assist students in developing the skills to ascertain truthfulness of information, distinguish fact from opinion, and engage in discussions about controversial issues while demonstrating tolerance and respect for those who hold divergent views. 

IV.               Student Responsibility

a.        The District expects that students will use the DCR when appropriate to meet educational needs. 

b.       Students will use the DCR ONLY for educational purposes.

c.        Students will use only those user ID’s and passwords which are assigned to them for access to the DCR.

d.       Students will protect their personal user ID’s and passwords to maintain the integrity and prevent unauthorized use of the DCR.

e.        Students are responsible for his/her actions and activities involving the DCR, and his/her computer files, passwords and accounts.

f.        Students are responsible for protecting their identity and will not reveal personal information (name, address, telephone) online. 

V.                  Parental Responsibility 

a.        Parents can expect that their children will use the Internet at school for reasonable, educational research and learning.  Students will have an appropriate degree of supervision according to their grade level and ability. 

b.       Parents are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information resources.

c.        Parents will have the right to investigate contents of their child’s electronic files. 

VI.               Privacy

a.        DCR users have no expectation of privacy in the contents of their personal files and records of their online activity while using DCR. 

b.       Routine maintenance and monitoring of the DCR may lead to discovery that the user has or is violating the Acceptable Computer Use Policy, student disciplinary code, Board of Education policy, or law. 

c.        District system users should be aware that their personal files/email might be discoverable, according to the state public records laws. 

VII.             Due Process and Violation Consequences

a.        The District will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation regarding illegal activities conducted through the Internet or the District email system. 

b.       If an allegation is made that a student has violated the Acceptable Computer Use Policy, the student will be provided with a notice and opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the student disciplinary code. 

c.        Disciplinary actions should be related to the violation and may include loss of account. 

d.       Employee violations of the Acceptable Computer Use Policy will be handled in accordance with district policy. 

VIII.          Email/Electronic Communications

a.        Staff Email

                                                               i.      Full-time, certified employees will receive an email account. Classified and/or part time employees may receive an account if approved by the building administrator. 

                                                             ii.      Employees receiving a district email account are responsible for adhering to the Oneonta City School District Email Policy. 

b.       Student Email accounts

                                                               i.      Student email accounts will be provided for students in grades 3 -12 for educational purposes.

                                                             ii.      Student email accounts will be limited to internal use only for students in grades 3 -8..

                                                           iii.      Students email accounts will be given external access for students in grades 9-12.

                                                           iv.      Student email accounts will be monitored for inappropriate content. 

                                                             v.      Students agree not to use email to bully, harass or threaten others

                                                           vi.      Students understand that email is provided to them by the district and is district property.

                                                          vii.      The district reserves the right to access a student’s email account at any time if misuse is suspected.

                                                        viii.      Students understand that their email account is subject to language filters and that any attempt to use inappropriate language may result in loss of email access.

IX.               Netiquette 

a.        Courtesy, decorum, respect and appropriate language is expected in electronic communications. 

b.       Users should be sparing in their use of shared bandwidth. 

X.                  Responsible Use of Technologies 

a.        The level of access that users have to the DCR is based upon specific user requirements and needs. 

b.       User access to the DCR is provided for administrative, educational, communications and research purposes consistent with the school district’s educational mission, curriculum and instructional goals. General rules and expectations for professional behavior and communication apply to use of DCR.

XI.               Unacceptable/irresponsible Use of Technologies 

General examples of unacceptable/irresponsible uses which are expressly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.        Intentionally introducing viruses or any code which disrupts or damages the DCR. 

b.       Attempting to circumvent the DCR’s protective measures

c.        Installing software or hardware without explicit permission of system administrators. 

d.       Using communications technology to harass or threaten others. 

e.        Any inappropriate communications. The term inappropriate or unacceptable will be defined by district administrators in each situation. 

f.        Purposely accessing inappropriate sites. 

g.       Using a username/user ID and/or password that is not your own to access any DCR.

h.       Any use as a forum for communicating by email or any other medium with other school users or outside parties to solicit, proselytize, advocate or communicate the views of an individual or non-school sponsored organization; to solicit membership in or support of any non-school sponsored organization; or to raise funds for any non-school sponsored purpose, whether profit or non-for-profit. No user shall knowingly provide school email address to outside parties whose intent is to communicate with school employees, students and/or their families for non-school purposes. Users who are uncertain as to whether particular activities are acceptable should seek further guidance from the building principal or other appropriate administrator. 

XII.             Content Filtering 

a.        Internet content filtering is mandated by law (Children’s Internet Protection Act) and is implemented at the District at the user level. All student and public accounts (such as those used at library public access computers) are affected by the filtering mechanism. 

b.       Internet filtering should strive for the proper balance of safety and access to information. 

c.        Email content is checked for virus type code both incoming and outgoing. Certain types of file attachments that are commonly used to transmit viruses are blocked. Email is not screened for inappropriate content. 

XIII.          Liability

The district makes no warranties either expressed or implied that the DCR will be error free. The District will not be responsible for any interruption of service or errors experienced by loss of or damage to data. The District will not be responsible for accuracy or quality of information obtained either through the system or for any financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system. Users shall indemnify and hold the District harmless from any losses sustained as the result of intentional misuse of the system by the user. 

XIV.          Audits

The administration may conduct periodic audits of software installed on DCR. 

XV.             Acceptable Software 

To safeguard the system, restrictions are necessary regarding installation of non-supported software. 

XVI.          Web Sites 

a.        Accessibility

                                                               i.      All web content must be ADA accessible per current WCAG guidelines.

b.       Student / Organizational Web Sites 

                                                               i.      Must be sponsored and have continuing oversight of an adult staff member including the adult’s contact information. 

                                                             ii.      Students will be taught not to reveal personal information (name, address, telephone or credit card number) online. 

                                                           iii.      All Web pages created by students and student organizations on the DCR will be subject to treatment as district sponsored publications. Accordingly, the district reserves the right to exercise editorial control over such publications. 

c.        District / Teacher Web Sites 

                                                               i.      All websites should be kept current and updated at least quarterly. 

                                                             ii.      Web site design should follow district standards for quality and accessibility. 

                                                           iii.      External inks should be thoroughly screened for appropriateness. 

                                                           iv.      Consent for use of copyrighted materials must be obtained or permitted by software licenses. The Fair Use Exemption should not be assumed. 

d.       Copyrights (also see article XVII) 

                                                               i.      Use of copyrighted materials requires consent of the copyright owner. 

e.        Including student works 

                                                               i.      Including good examples of student works is strongly encouraged. 

                                                             ii.      Use of the student name must follow district policy appropriate for the age of the student. In all cases student or parent wishes in the matter must be honored. 

f.        Interactivity 

                                                               i.      Where appropriate, interactive content (discussions, forums, email communications) is encouraged. Online discussions and forums submissions must be screened for appropriateness before being posted. 

                                                             ii.      All interactive websites must adhere to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regulations. See: 

g.       Student Photographs / Names (Individual ) 

                                                               i.      No addresses, student email addresses or student ID numbers may be published on web pages. 

                                                             ii.      Student home addresses and/or phone numbers may not be published on public district web sites. 

                                                           iii.      Photographs of individual students should only be displayed on a school building Web site or district wide Web site using the following age-specific guidelines:

1.       Grades K – 5: Unless written parental consent is obtained, publication of photos of this age group on district web sites must be of groups of three or more individuals. No names may be associated with the photographs unless written parental consent is obtained. Photos from a distance are encouraged. 

2.       Grades 6-8: Unless written parental consent is obtained, photos of this age group on district web sites must be of groups of three or more individuals. First names may be associated with the photographs. Full names may be used only with parental consent. 

3.       Grades 9-12: Web publication of photos of individual students is permitted. First and last names published in association with the photograph are permitted only with parental/student consent. An exception to this policy is allowed for photography of extracurricular events and teams, though individual parental/student preferences must still be followed. 

                                                           iv.      Unauthorized use of a student’s likeness or other identifiable information could constitute a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

XVII.        Copyrighted Materials 

a.        Use of Copyrighted materials: The Board of Education of the Oneonta City School District hereby affirms that respect for personal property, whether tangible or intangible, is vital to maintaining a stable learning and work environment. Students and employees of the school district are expected to follow copyright law and the copyright procedures established by the Superintendent. Any willful infringement will be punished in accordance with the student disciplinary code and employee disciplinary procedure. Students and staff members who willfully infringe the copyrights of others will be reported to the appropriate authorities and may be subject to criminal or civil penalties. The Board of Education hereby directs the Superintendent of Schools to implement regulations consistent with this policy. 

b.       Ownership of Products: Unless there is a specific agreement to the contrary, products created within the scope of employment relationship shall be the property of the Board of Education. K-12 student work, unless created while the student is working for the school district, are the property of the individual student. Unless a student gives specific direction to the contrary, the school district may display notable student work created during the same school term or school year in education contexts (e.g., posting on school bulletin board or at a school show). In the opinion of the Board of Education, such limited educational posting constitutes fair use.

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