Sample School Board Policy on Electronic Resources
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Acceptable Use Policy - Sample School Board Policy on Electronic Resources

This sample policy was developed in the spring of 2008 by representatives of Washington school districts, Educational School Districts (ESDs), and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in partnership with the Washington State School Director's Association (WSSDA). It is intended to serve as a starting place for local school boards in Washington State to develop their own policies on electronic resources. It is not required that local boards adopt any of the language contained in this document, but it is hoped that this may be useful to them as they examine the issues involved.

Policy No. 2022 - Instruction

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES


The (insert name of school district) board of directors recognizes that an effective public education system develops students who are globally aware, civically engaged, and capable of managing their lives and careers. The board also believes that students need to be proficient users of information, media, and technology to succeed in a digital world.

Therefore, the (insert name of school district) district will use electronic resources as a powerful and compelling means for students to learn core subjects and applied skills in relevant and rigorous ways. It is the district’s goal to provide students with rich and ample opportunities to use technology for important purposes in schools just as individuals in workplaces and other real-life settings. The district’s technology will enable educators and students to communicate, learn, share, collaborate and create, to think and solve problems, to manage their work, and to take ownership of their lives.

The Board directs the Superintendent or designee to create strong electronic educational systems that support innovative teaching and learning, to provide appropriate staff development opportunities and to develop procedures to support this policy.

Cross References:
      Board Policy 2020         Curriculum Development and Adoption of Instructional Materials
      Board Policy 2025         Copyright Compliance
      Board Policy 3241         Classroom Management, Corrective Actions or Punishment
      Board Policy 4400         Election Activities
      Board Policy 5281         Disciplinary Action and Discharge
      Board Policy 3207      Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
      Board Policy 4040      Public Access to District Records
      Board Policy 3231      Student Records

Legal Reference:
      18 USC §§ 2510-2522      Electronic Communication Privacy Act


Procedure 2022P

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES


These procedures are written to support the Electronic Resources Policy of the board of directors and to promote positive and effective digital citizenship among students and staff. Digital citizenship represents more than technology literacy: successful, technologically fluent digital citizens live safely and civilly in an increasingly digital world. They recognize that information posted on the Internet is public and permanent and can have a long-term impact on an individual’s life and career. Expectations for student and staff behavior online are no different than face-to-face interactions.

Network

The district network includes wired and wireless computers and peripheral equipment, files and storage, e-mail and Internet content (blogs, web sites, web mail, groups, wikis, etc.). The district reserves the right to prioritize the use of, and access to, the network.

All use of the network must support education and research and be consistent with the mission of the district.

Acceptable network use by district students and staff includes:
  • Creation of files, projects, videos, web pages and podcasts using network resources in support of educational research;
  • Participation in blogs, wikis, bulletin boards, social networking sites and groups and the creation of content for podcasts, e-mail and web pages that support educational research;
  • With parental permission, the online publication of original educational material, curriculum related materials and student work. Sources outside the classroom or school must be cited appropriately;
  • Staff use of the network for incidental personal use in accordance with all district policies and guidelines;
  • Connection of staff personal laptops to the district network after checking with (insert title of person, i.e., technology director, IT director, assistant superintendent) to confirm that the laptop is equipped with up-to-date virus software, compatible network card and is configured properly (optional). Connection of any personal electronic device is subject to all guidelines in this document.
Unacceptable network use by district students and staff includes but is not limited to:
  • Personal gain, commercial solicitation and compensation of any kind;
  • Liability or cost incurred by the district;
  • Downloading, installation and use of games, audio files video files or other applications (including shareware or freeware) without permission or approval from a (insert title of person);
  • Support or opposition for ballot measures, candidates and any other political activity;
  • Hacking, cracking, vandalizing, the introduction of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, time bombs and changes to hardware, software, and monitoring tools;
  • Unauthorized access to other district computers, networks and information systems;
  • Cyberbullying, hate mail, defamation, harassment of any kind, discriminatory jokes and remarks;
  • Information posted, sent or stored online that could endanger others (e.g., bomb construction, drug manufacture);
  • Accessing, uploading, downloading, storage and distribution of obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material; and
  • Attaching unauthorized equipment to the district network. Any such equipment will be confiscated and destroyed.
The district will not be responsible for any damages suffered by any user, including but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or any other errors or omissions. The district will not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from the use of, or access to, the district’s computer network or the Internet.

Internet Safety

Personal Information and Inappropriate Content
  • Students and staff should not reveal personal information, including a home address and phone number, on web sites, blogs, podcasts, videos, wikis, e-mail or as content on any other electronic medium.
  • Students and staff should not reveal personal information about another individual on any electronic medium.
  • No student pictures or names can be published on any class, school or district web site unless the appropriate permission has been verified according to district policy.
  • If students encounter dangerous or inappropriate information or messages, they should notify the appropriate school authority.
Filtering and Monitoring

Filtering software is used to block or filter access to visual depictions that are obscene and all child pornography in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Other objectionable material could be filtered. The determination of what constitutes “other objectionable” material is a local decision.
  • Filtering software is not 100% effective. While filters make it more difficult for objectionable material to be received or accessed; filters are not a solution in themselves. Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the network and Internet and avoid objectionable sites;
  • Any attempts to defeat or bypass the district’s Internet filter or conceal Internet activity are prohibited: proxies, https, special ports, modifications to district browser settings and any other techniques designed to evade filtering or enable the publication of inappropriate content;
  • E-mail inconsistent with the educational and research mission of the district will be considered SPAM and blocked from entering district e-mail boxes;
  • The district will provide appropriate adult supervision of Internet use. The first line of defense in controlling access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet is deliberate and consistent monitoring of student access to district computers;
  • Staff members who supervise students, control electronic equipment or have occasion to observe student use of said equipment online, must make a reasonable effort to monitor the use of this equipment to assure that student use conforms to the mission and goals of the district; and
  • Staff must make a reasonable effort to become familiar with the Internet and to monitor, instruct and assist effectively.
Copyright

Downloading, copying, duplicating and distributing software, music, sound files, movies, images or other copyrighted materials without the specific written permission of the copyright owner is generally prohibited. However, the duplication and distribution of materials for educational purposes are permitted when such duplication and distribution fall within the Fair Use Doctrine of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17, USC) and content is cited appropriately.

All student work is copyrighted. Permission to publish any student work requires permission from the parent or guardian. 

Network Security and Privacy

Network Security

Passwords are the first level of security for a user account. System logins and accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account, for authorized district purposes. Students and staff are responsible for all activity on their account and must not share their account password.

These procedures are designed to safeguard network user accounts:
  • Change passwords according to district policy;
  • Do not use another user’s account;
  • Do not insert passwords into e-mail or other communications;
  • If you write down your account password, keep it out of sight;
  • Do not store passwords in a file without encryption;
  • Do not use the “remember password” feature of Internet browsers; and
  • Lock the screen, or log off, if leaving the computer.
Student Data is Confidential

District staff must maintain the confidentiality of student data in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

No Expectation of Privacy


The district provides the network system, e-mail and Internet access as a tool for education and research in support of the district’s mission. The district reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store, without prior notice, information about the content and usage of:
  • The network;
  • User files and disk space utilization;
  • User applications and bandwidth utilization;
  • User document files, folders and electronic communications;
  • E-mail;
  • Internet access; and
  • Any and all information transmitted or received in connection with network and e-mail use.
No student or staff user should have any expectation of privacy when using the district's network. The district reserves the right to disclose any electronic message to law enforcement officials or third parties as appropriate. All documents are subject to the public records disclosure laws of the State of Washington.

Archive and Backup

Backup is made of all district e-mail correspondence for purposes of public disclosure and disaster recovery. Barring power outage or intermittent technical issues, staff and student files are backed up on district servers nightly – Monday through Friday. Refer to the district retention policy for specific records retention requirements.

Disciplinary Action

All users of the district’s electronic resources are required to comply with the district’s policy and procedures [and agree to abide by the provisions set forth in the district's user agreement]. Violation of any of the conditions of use explained in the [district’s user agreement,] Electronic Resources Policy or in these procedures could be cause for disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion from school and suspension or revocation of network and computer access privileges.

     Revised: 06.01; 06.08

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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