St. Thomas Acceptable Use Policy for Technology

222 North Seventeenth Street • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-1299
Telephone: 215-587-3710 • Fax: 215-587-5644
Director of Technology K-12

Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia


Technology is a valuable and real world educational tool. All Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response to ensure responsible use of technology. The policy outlined below applies to all technology use including but not limited to Internet use. The Acceptable Use Policy for Technology applies to all students, faculty, administrators, staff, volunteers or community members allowed access to school technology resources. In some cases outside or personal uses of technology may be applicable under this policy.


We recognize that the digital world allows anytime, anywhere access. Uses mentioned in this policy apply to inside school use and may in certain instances apply to personal technology use and/or uses outside of school. Where personal outside use of technology threatens a likelihood of substantial disruption in school, including harming or interfering with the rights of other students or teachers to participate fully in school or extracurricular activities, these activities may be viewed as a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and may be subject to the disciplinary measure found herein.

N.B. The types of electronic and digital communications referenced in this AUP include, but are not limited
to, social networking sites, cell phones, digital cameras, text messaging, email, voice over ip, chat rooms and instant messaging.


The school’s goal is to prepare its members for life in a digital global community. To this end, the school will:

• Integrate technology with curriculum to enhance teaching and learning
• Encourage critical thinking, communication, collaboration and problem solving skills
• Facilitate evaluation and synthesis of information
• Encourage ethical practices and provide education for internet safety and digital citizenship
• Provide a variety of technology based tools and related technology skills


Our schools will make every effort to provide a safe environment for learning with technology including Internet filtering and safeguards. The students, faculty, administrators, staff, and school community are granted the privilege of using the computer hardware and software peripherals, and electronic communication tools including the Internet. With this privilege comes the responsibility for appropriate use. In The Archdiocese of Philadelphia we use information and technology in safe, legal, and responsible ways. We embrace the following conditions or facets of being a digital citizen.

● Respect One's self. Users will select online names that are appropriate and will consider the information and images that are posted online.
● Respect Others. Users will refrain from using technologies to bully, tease or harass other people
● Protect One's self and others. Users will protect themselves and others by reporting abuse and not forwarding inappropriate materials or communications.
● Respect Intellectual Property. Users will suitably cite any and all use of websites, books, media, etc.
● Protect Intellectual Property. Users will request to use the software and media others produce and protect license agreements for all software and resources.


Educational Purpose/ Appropriate Use: School technology is to be used to enhance student learning.
Students must not access social networking sites or gaming sites, except for educational purposes under teacher supervision.

Copyright/Intellectual Property and Identity: All sources obtained for teacher and student work should be properly cited. Users are to respect the rights of and the intellectual property of others in accordance with Federal Copyright Law. Transferring copyrighted material to or from a school without expressed permission of the owner is a violation of Federal Law.

Communications: Electronic and/or Digital communications with students should be conducted for educationally appropriate purposes and employ only school sanctioned means of communication. The school sanctioned communications methods include:

● Teacher school web page, email, and/or phone number
● Teacher created, educationally focused networking sites

Teachers or administrators in their normal responsibilities and duties may be required to contact parents outside of the school day. A teacher or administrator is free to contact parents using a home phone or a personal cell phone. However, they should not purposely distribute a home phone number or a personal cell phone number to students. If a student contacts a teacher or administrator using a teacher or administrator’s personal numbers, email or networking sites, the teacher or administrator should immediately report this to the administrator or appropriate authorities.

Electronic and Mobile Devices, Cellphones: Users must adhere to local school policy that may further define uses of mobile devices. The administrator of the local school will determine permissible use. If a particular mobile device is to be used for educational purpose, the school administration and/or teacher will provide parameters for this use.

Examples of Unacceptable Uses - Users are not to:

● Use technology to harass, threaten, deceive, intimidate, offend, embarrass, or annoy any individual.
● Post, publish, or display any defamatory, inaccurate, violent, abusive, profane or sexually oriented material. Users must not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude or threatening language. Users must not knowingly or recklessly post false information about any persons, students, staff or any other organization.
● Use a photograph, image, video or likeness of any student, or employee without express permission of that individual and of the principal.
● Create any site, post any photo, image or video of another except with express permission of that individual and the principal.
● Attempt to circumvent system security.
● Deliberately visit a site known for unacceptable material or any material that is not in support of educational objectives. Students must not access social networking sites or gaming sites, except for educational purposes under teacher supervision.
● Violate license agreements, copy disks, CD-ROMs, or other protected media.
● Use technology for any illegal activity. Use of the Internet for commercial gains or profits is not allowed from an educational site.
● Breach confidentiality obligations of school or system employees
● Harm the goodwill and reputation of the school or system in the community
● Transmit any material in violation of any local, federal and state laws. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material, licensed material and threatening or obscene material.

Reporting: Users must immediately report any damage or change to the school’s hardware/software that is noticed by the user.

Administrative Rights: The school has the right to monitor both student and employee use of school computers and computer accessed content. Due to the evolving nature of Technology, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office of Catholic Education reserves the right to amend or add to this policy at any time without notice.

Personal Use of Social Media

This section of the policy refers to the personal use of social media sites such as, but not limited to
Facebook, Twitter, You tube and Myspace.

Teachers and students may not mention members of the school community without their consent unless the subject is of public concern and the speech falls under applicable constitutional protections.

‘Friending’ of current students by teachers is forbidden on a teacher’s personal social networking site.

Personal posts must use appropriately respectful speech, and refrain from harassing, defamatory, abusive, discriminatory, threatening or other inappropriate communications.

Policy Violations

Violation of the above rules will be dealt with by the administration of the school. Violation of these rules may result in any or all of the following:

● Loss of use of the school network, computers and software, including Internet access. The student will be expected to complete work on a non-networked, stand-alone computer system.
● Issuance of demerits/detentions, if applicable.
● Disciplinary action including, but not limited to, dismissal and/or legal action by the school, civil authorities, or other involved parties.

Revised August 7, 2015

Student Internet Access Contract
Responsible Use of Technology Student Internet Access Contract I understand that when I am using the Internet or any other computer/telecommunications device, I must adhere to all rules of courtesy, etiquette and laws regarding the copying of information as prescribed by either Federal, State, or local laws, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and St. Thomas the Apostle School. My signature below and that of my parents(s) or guardian(s) mean that I agree to follow the guidelines of this Responsible Use Policy for Internet access at all Catholic schools.
Student First Name *
Your answer
Student Last Name *
Your answer
Student Grade *
Parent Acknowledgement
I hereby release St. Thomas the Apostle School and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, its personnel and any other institutions with which it is affiliated, from any and all claims and damages of any nature arising from my child’s use of, or inability to use, the Internet Access, including but not limited to claims that may arise from the unauthorized use of the system to purchase products or services.

I will instruct my child regarding any restrictions against accessing materials that are in addition to the restrictions set forth by this Responsible Use Policy. I will emphasize to my child the importance of following rules for personal safety. As the parent or guardian of this student, I have read the Responsible Use Policy for St. Thomas the Apostle School. I hereby give my permission for my child to use the Internet and will not hold St. Thomas the Apostle School or the Archdiocese of Philadelphia liable as a result of my daughter’s/son’s use of the Internet on school premises. I understand that my child has agreed not to access inappropriate material on the Internet.

Parent First Name *
Your answer
Parent Last Name *
Your answer
Parent Email *
Your answer
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