Staff are expected to utilize Education Technology in order to promote educational excellence in our schools by providing students with the opportunity to develop the resource sharing, innovation, and communication skills and tools that are essential to both life and work. The Board encourages the faculty to develop the appropriate skills necessary to effectively access, analyze, evaluate, and utilize these resources in enriching educational activities. The instructional use of the Internet and online educational services will be guided by the Board's policy on Instructional Materials.
The Internet is a global information and communication network that brings incredible education and information resources to our students. The Internet connects computers and users in the District with computers and users worldwide. Through the Internet, students and staff can access relevant information that will enhance their learning and the education process. Further, the Education Technology provides students and staff with the opportunity to communicate with other people from throughout the world. Access to such an incredible quantity of information and resources brings with it, however, certain unique challenges and responsibilities.
First, and foremost, the Board may not be able to technologically limit access, through its Education Technology, to only those services and resources that have been authorized for the purpose of instruction, study and research related to the curriculum. Unlike in the past when educators and community members had the opportunity to review and screen materials to assess their appropriateness for supporting and enriching the curriculum according to adopted guidelines and reasonable selection criteria (taking into account the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of the students who would be exposed to them), access to the Internet, because it serves as a gateway to any publicly available file server in the world, opens classrooms and students to electronic information resources that may not have been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.
Pursuant to Federal law, the Board has implemented technology protection measures, which protect against (e.g., filter or block) access to visual displays/depictions/materials that are obscene, constitute child pornography, and/or are harmful to minors, as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act. At the discretion of the Board or Superintendent, the technology protection measures may also be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for students to access. The Board also utilizes software and/or hardware to monitor online activity of staff members to restrict access to child pornography and other material that is obscene, objectionable, inappropriate and/or harmful to minors. The technology protection measures, may not be disabled at any time that students may be using the Education Technology, if such disabling will cease to protect against access to materials that are prohibited under the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Any staff member who attempts to disable the technology protection measures without express written consent of an appropriate administrator will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The Superintendent may temporarily or permanently unblock access to websites containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked by the technology protection measures. The determination of whether material is appropriate or inappropriate shall be based on the content of the material and the intended use of the material, not on the protection actions of the technology protection measures. The Superintendent may also disable the technology protection measures to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Staff members will participate in professional development programs in accordance with the provisions of law and this policy. Training shall include:
A. the safety and security of students while using e-mail, chat rooms, social media and other forms of direct electronic communications; B. the inherent danger of students disclosing personally identifiable information online; C. the consequences of unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking"), cyberbullying and other unlawful or inappropriate activities by students or staff online; and D. unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
Furthermore, staff members shall provide instruction for their students regarding the appropriate use of technology and online safety and security as specified above, and staff members will monitor students’ online activities while at school.
Monitoring may include, but is not necessarily limited to, visual observations of online activities during class sessions; or use of specific monitoring tools to review browser history and network, server, and computer logs.
The disclosure of personally identifiable information about students online is prohibited.
Building principals are responsible for providing training so that Internet users under their supervision are knowledgeable about this policy and its accompanying guidelines. The Board expects that staff members will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of the Education Technology. Such training shall include, but not be limited to, education concerning appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response. All Internet users are required to sign a written agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying guidelines.
Staff will be assigned a school email address that they are required to utilize for all school-related electronic communications, including those to students and their parents and other staff members.
With prior approval from the Superintendent or Building Principal, staff may direct students who have been issued school-assigned email accounts to use those accounts when signing-up/registering for access to various online educational services, including mobile applications/apps that will be utilized by the students for educational purposes under the teacher’s supervision.
Staff members are responsible for good behavior when using the Board's Education Technology just as they are in classrooms, school hallways, and other school premises and school sponsored events. Communications on the Internet are often public in nature.
Staff members shall not access social media for personal use on the District’s network, and shall access social media for educational use only after submitting a plan for that educational use and securing the principal’s approval of that plan in advance.
General school rules for behavior and communication apply. The Board does not sanction any use of the Internet that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying guidelines. Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying guidelines may have their use privileges suspended or revoked, and disciplinary action taken against them. Users of the Board’s Education Technology are personally responsible and liable, both civilly and criminally, for uses of the Ed-Tech not authorized by this policy and its accompanying guidelines.
The Board designates the Superintendent and Building Principal as the administrators responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying guidelines as they apply to staff members’ use of the District’s Education Technology.
Social Media Use
An employee’s personal or private use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, etc., may have unintended consequences. While the Board respects its employees' First Amendment rights, those rights do not include permission to post inflammatory comments that could compromise the District's mission, undermine staff relationships, or cause a substantial disruption to the school environment. This warning includes staff members’ online conduct that occurs off school property including from the employee’s private computer. Postings to social media should be done in a manner sensitive to the staff member’s professional responsibilities.
In addition, Federal and State confidentiality laws forbid schools and their employees from using or disclosing student education records without parental consent. See Policy 8330. Education records include a wide variety of information; posting personally identifiable information about students is not permitted. Staff members who violate State and Federal confidentiality laws or privacy laws related to the disclosure of confidential student or employee information may be disciplined.
Staff members retain rights of communication for collective bargaining purposes and union organizational activities.
P.L. 106-554, Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000 47 U.S.C. 254(h), (1), Communications Act of 1934, as amended (2003)20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., Part F, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,as amended (2003)18 U.S.C. 146018 U.S.C. 224618 U.S.C. 225620 U.S.C. 6777, 9134 (2003)76 F.R. 56295, 56303