Students 129.1: RESPONSIBLE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN SCHOOLS
Technology resources in the Manchester School District support the educational and administrative activities of the District. The use of these resources is a privilege that is extended to staff and students of the Manchester School District community. As a user of district technology, staff and students have access to valuable resources, to internal and external networks, and in some instances to secure data. It is expected that all users of technology resources behave in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner.
The Manchester School District realizes that part of 21st century learning is adapting to the changing methods of communication. The importance of teachers, students, and parents engaging, collaborating, learning, and sharing in these digital environments is a part of 21st century learning. MSD staff has the responsibility to present a monitored, supervised environment providing graduated freedoms from younger to older students based on student maturity. Students will develop the digital citizenship skills needed to participate in online interaction, make wise choices, and be cautious in an online community.
Responsible Use of Technology means respecting the rights of others, respecting the integrity of technology resources, and respecting any and all license and contractual agreements. This policy establishes responsibilities and guidelines for the use of all technology resources in the District as well as the use of personal devices within the District.
It is the responsibility of the user to familiarize him/herself with and abide by the rules of this Responsible Use Policy and make appropriate use of the available resources. While it is not the intention of District personnel to be intrusive, users are advised that authorized District personnel monitor system activity.
Students who are in violation of district policies will be held accountable in accordance with the Manchester School District Student Code of Conduct. Staff who are in violation of district policies will be held accountable in accordance with that staff member’s terms of employment. Disciplinary action may include the restriction or loss of network privileges. A serious violation may result in more serious consequences, which may include one or more of the following: suspension, expulsion, or termination from the Manchester School District as well as financial restitution for damages. Individuals are also subject to federal, state and local laws governing interactions that occur on the Internet. This policy may be subject to change as state and federal laws develop and change.
- BYOD/BYOT - Bring Your Own Device/Technology: a personal internet-enabled device brought to school by a staff member or student.
- Copyright/Fair Use: Copyright law grants exclusive rights to creators of original works to reproduce, publish, sell, distribute such works. Fair Use is an exception, under certain circumstances, to rights granted by copyright.
- Devices: includes all existing and emerging technology devices that can connect to the Internet, take photographs, record audio or video, input text, upload and download media, and transmit or receive messages or images. Examples of personally owned devices include, but are not limited to: tablets, laptop computers, smart phones as well as any device with similar capabilities.
- Educational Use: includes but is not limited to classroom activities, career development, research, communication with experts, and homework. Staff and students are expected to act responsibly and thoughtfully when using technology resources. Students bear the burden of responsibility to inquire with school administrators and/or teachers when they are unsure of the permissibility of a particular use of technology prior to engaging in its use.
- Internet: Publicly facing systems such as District Website as well as all other third party Websites not directly tied to district.
- Intranet: Computer infrastructure used to support internal operations, such as Google Apps for Education, FirstClass email, Aspen SIS and Financial Systems.
- Legal: This Policy is adopted in accordance with NH RSA 194:3-d and is intended to outline the appropriate and acceptable use of the School District's computer systems and networks, including, but not limited to the Intranet/Internet. In accordance with NH RSA 194:3-d any user of the School District's computer systems or networks who intentionally violates this Policy or intentionally damages the computer system or network shall assume legal and financial liability for such damage. See: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xv/194/194-3-d.htm
- Network - Cellular: a cellular or mobile data network managed by a telecommunications provider. The Manchester School District shall not be held responsible for charges incurred on personal cellular networks.
- Network - Wireless: the Manchester School District’s content-filtered wireless network. Students shall connect to the internet via the district-provided wireless network.
- Opt-out: All students in the District will be permitted to access the Manchester School District Intranet/Internet computer network unless a parent/guardian of a student under the age of 18 requests in writing that their student not be permitted to access the Intranet/Internet. Parents of students under the age of 18 who wish to exclude their student from gaining access to the Intranet/Internet shall fill out an Internet Use Opt-out form at the beginning of each school year. Opt-out forms shall be available in a school’s office.
- Personal Use: non-educational personal use of technology.
- Privacy: The Manchester School District does not endorse or conduct routine inspection of electronic files or network activity of individual users. The District, however, reserves the right to inspect information technology resources when it has been determined necessary to protect the integrity, security, or functionality of technology resources or when there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this policy or applicable civil or criminal law has occurred. This applies to both district owned technology as well as personal technology used by staff and students in Manchester schools.
All staff and students are reminded that personal information posted on the Internet is not truly private as it creates a permanent record that may be retrieved and retained, and thus any expectation of full privacy may be unwarranted. Users are advised to consider their digital footprint as it may impact future employment or educational opportunities. Digital information may leave a long-lasting or even permanent record with the possibility of becoming public without your knowledge or consent.
III. Universal Guidelines Regarding Intranet/Internet Access:
Intranet/Internet access is available to staff and students in the Manchester School District. The Manchester School District is committed to using the Intranet/Internet as a global source of information within its educational programs. Our goal is to provide Intranet/Internet service to promote educational excellence through communication, resource sharing, innovation, and research. It is our intention to provide an environment that is safe and appropriate for the maturity level and needs of student users.
Intranet/Internet access on school equipment by students during school hours will be supervised by District personnel. Students in grades K-5 will use the Intranet/Internet under close teacher or designee supervision, while students in grades 6-12 will be supervised and monitored at an appropriate level.
All students in the District will be permitted to access the Manchester School District Intranet/Internet computer network. The District requires that all students, and parents/guardians read this policy carefully and discuss it before the beginning of each school year. Parents of students under the age of 18 who wish to exclude their student from gaining access to the Intranet/Internet on the District’s network shall fill out an Internet Use Opt-out form at the beginning of each school year. Opt-out forms shall be available in a school’s office.
In addition, by reading this policy and by permitting students to access the District’s network, parents/guardians agree to supervise and monitor their student and to report prohibited use to the District when such use is facilitated by District infrastructure, programs, applications, equipment, or materials. Parents/guardians further agree not to use or access their student’s account other than for supervising and monitoring purposes and to ensure that such use is in accordance with state and federal law and District policy.
The Intranet/Internet is a fluid environment where content is continually changing, and where the authenticity and validity of information sometimes can be questionable. Some material on the Intranet/Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or potentially offensive to some people. The Manchester School District has taken precautions to restrict access to controversial materials by using an Intranet/Internet filtering program. The District also creates logs of activity on the network. While our intent is to make Intranet/Internet access available to further educational goals and objectives, it is impossible to filter all Internet access, and students may find ways to access controversial materials. It is the responsibility of the individual to use the Intranet/Internet in a legal, ethical, responsible, and considerate manner.
For these reasons, it is necessary to establish guidelines that are reflective of the District's educational objectives for all Intranet/Internet users. Therefore, all responsible use of the Intranet/Internet shall be in support of communication, research and education consistent with the purposes of the Manchester School District and shall not violate state and federal law, as well as school policies and standards of behavior.
- Users shall not interfere with the normal and proper operation of the Intranet/Internet. The use of the Intranet/Internet is a privilege, not a right, and unacceptable use may result in restriction/revocation of those access privileges as well as disciplinary consequences, including suspension, expulsion, or termination depending on the violation.
- Students are not to reveal their last name, personal home address, home phone number or phone numbers and addresses of any other individuals to users outside of the Manchester School District when accessing the internet during school hours or when access to the internet is facilitated by District infrastructure, programs, applications, or materials.
- Students shall notify a parent/guardian and teacher or system administrator immediately if any individual is trying to make contact for illicit or suspicious purposes or activities.
- Staff have a legal responsibility to provide a safe learning environment and will report any inappropriate online behavior to administration.
- All users agree to report any misuse or abuse of the District's computer network or Intranet/Internet services to the District's network administrator. Failure to report misuse or abuse constitutes a violation of this policy.
- The posting or communication of any private or confidential School District material, data or information by any electronic means, other than platforms approved for that purpose, is strictly prohibited.
The Manchester School District makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. The Manchester School District will not be responsible for any damages a user suffers. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mid-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or the user's errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk. The Manchester School District specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy and quality of information obtained through its services.
IV. Guidelines Specific to the Use of Web-based Platforms:
MSD guidelines encourage students and staff to work, learn, and share information collaboratively using Web-based platforms. To maintain a safe environment for students, online activities should take place within district-managed platforms whenever possible. When other platforms are used, staff will understand the privacy settings, options, and implementation strategies before using web-based tools with students and shall review guidelines with students prior to assigning projects. Staff wishing to pilot new technologies shall follow guidelines posted on the Technology Resource Center website at trc.mansd.org.
The growing use of social media (online posting and collaboration) should be considered an extension of the classroom. School policy and consequences extend to the online learning environment. It is important to create an atmosphere of trust and individual accountability, keeping in mind that information produced by MSD staff and students is a reflection on the entire District. The Manchester School District is committed to providing a safe learning environment. Therefore:
- It is strongly recommended students avoid one-to-one private posting or live interaction. All online interaction should involve monitored group participation and real-time collaboration must include groups of students with adult supervision.
- Staff and students should at all times protect their own privacy and respect the privacy of others. Do not divulge or post online personal information about any members of the school community without permission. Students last names shall be excluded when posting online.
- All School District employees are reminded that they are professionals who serve as role models for students. Staff are advised to be mindful of and maintain appropriate boundaries between students and themselves even when they are off duty. Staff must take great care in any online interactions with students to maintain professional standards of conduct and will not communicate with students via any electronic means in an unprofessional, inappropriate or offensive manner.
- All users are reminded that they are participating in an educational online environment and shall understand the distinction between personal posting and academic activities.
- Staff shall monitor class web-based platforms to insure compliance with the policy for Responsible Use of Technology in Schools. Inappropriate online postings that may appear shall be captured, saved, and reported.
- All staff and students shall realize all material (audio, visual, print) that can be accessed through the Internet is subject to copyright laws. Users must adhere to copyright policy and fair use guidelines when using any resources to create projects or instructional materials.
- Paraprofessionals or other support staff who receive an email from a parent/guardian relating to a student’s status shall respond that all communication regarding the student’s must go through the student’s teacher. All responses of this nature shall also be copied to the supervising teacher.
- Student-produced material may be posted publicly on a classroom or school district website, blog, or other publishing tool after appropriate review and with parental permission.
- Classroom-level platform: after teacher review and with parental permission
- School-level platform: after principal or designee review and with parental permission
- District-level platform: after superintendent or designee review and with parental permission
- Students maintain intellectual rights to their creative work.
V. Guidelines Specific to the Use of Personal Devices in Schools (BYOD/BYOT):
The Manchester School District will allow staff and students to bring personal electronic internet enabled devices for educational use provided that a school’s Administrator and the Technology Resource Center agree that the school’s network will support such use. Staff and students who bring personal devices to school shall also adhere to the following:
- Staff will allow student use of devices solely at their discretion within their instructional or supervision areas. When asked by staff to stop using a personal device, a student must comply and power down the device.
- Devices should be muted at all times while on the MSD campus unless the use of audio is directly related to an approved educational activity. Staff shall model good etiquette.
- Personal use of devices, in particular cell phones for the purpose of making calls, shall be in designated areas only during non-instructional time. Schools shall establish designated areas.
- Users shall refrain from accessing unfiltered cellular networks and will access the internet via the content-filtered wireless district network. Parents are responsible for monitoring students’ data-enabled devices.
- Personal devices may not be connected to the network by a network cable plugged into a data outlet.
- Personal devices may not be used to establish a wireless ad-hoc or peer-to-peer network, wifi hotspot, virtual personal network or other unauthorized connection to the internet.
- Personal devices will not be used to record audio or video media or take pictures of any student or staff member without their permission.
- Personal devices will not be used in locker rooms, restrooms, and nurses offices or other areas where an individual's right to privacy may be compromised.
- Users should take every precaution to prevent their personal data from being lost in the event the device is lost or stolen. It is highly recommended that all devices be secured with a lock screen.
Connectivity and operation issues of personal devices are not supported by the MSD Technology Resource Center. Individuals should contact the device manufacturer or their carrier for operating system, network, or hardware-related issues.
VI. Irresponsible and Unacceptable Uses of Technology
Examples of unacceptable use may include, but are not limited to:
- Using the school's Intranet/Internet connection for any illegal, restricted, or prohibited activity
- Damaging or altering computers, computer systems, or computer networks, hardware, or software
- Developing or using invasive software, such as viruses, worms and other detrimental activities or gaining unauthorized access to restricted resources or organizations, i.e., hacking
- Sending, receiving, displaying or viewing offensive, sexually explicit, pornographic, or obscene content, messages, pictures, or video
- Creating, possessing, managing, or having a website that contains offensive, sexually explicit, pornographic, or obscene content, messages, pictures, or video or links to such information
- Attempting to access blocked, filtered, or restricted websites, e.g., using a proxy site, encryption, or other means to circumvent a firewall
- Encrypting communications or files to avoid system security review
- Use of any electronic means to harass, bully or cyberbully, intimidate, discriminate against, insult or attack others
- Plagiarizing or violating copyright law or Manchester School District's copyright policy
- Impersonating another, misrepresenting oneself, or violating another person’s privacy
- Using another user's password or account
- Gaining access or attempting to modify others' folders, work or files
- Using the network for personal, financial or commercial purposes
- Using technology resources to reveal personal information
- Use of technology for non-educational purposes during instructional time or outside of non-designated areas during non-instructional time
- Use of district email or login credentials for non-educational purposes
- Posting publicly any items produced by the students to the Internet without proper administrative review and parental permission
- Any other conduct that is potentially harmful to students, staff, administrators, school property and equipment, or the District
First Reading IT: 5/12/15
Second Reading and Adoption BOSC: 5/26/15