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Acceptable Use

815. ACCEPTABLE USE OF INTERNET

The Board supports use of the Internet and other computer networks in the district's instructional and operational programs in order to facilitate learning, teaching and daily operations through interpersonal communications and access to information, research and collaboration.

For instructional purposes, the use of network facilities shall be consistent with the curriculum adopted by the school district as well as the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of students.

This policy applies to all school district information technology resources and systems, including but not limited to, district-wide, school administered, department administered, or school district based entities. Use of any school district information technology resources and systems in any way or manner including utilization or access from equipment or source not managed or maintained by the school district is within the scope of and governed by this policy. Use of any school district IT resources or systems, even utilized with or accessed by a privately owned computer that is not managed or maintained by the district, is governed by this policy.

School District IT Resources And Systems

IT resources and systems include, but are not limited to, the computers, terminals, printers, networks, communication equipment, online and offline storage media and related equipment, software, and data files that are owned, managed, or maintained by the school district. IT resources and systems also include, but are not limited to, the district Intranet, the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and other network resources.

The electronic information available to students and staff does not imply endorsement by the district of the content, nor does the district guarantee the accuracy of information received. The district shall not be responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged or unavailable when using the network or for any information that is retrieved via the Internet.

The district shall not be responsible for any unauthorized charges or fees resulting from access to the Internet.

The district reserves the right to log network use and to monitor fileserver space utilization by district users, while respecting the privacy rights of both district users and outside users.

The Board establishes that network use is a privilege, not a right; inappropriate, unauthorized and illegal use will result in cancellation of those privileges and appropriate disciplinary action.

The Board shall establish a list of materials, in addition to those stated in law, that are inappropriate for access by minors.

The Superintendent or his/her designees may develop additional rules and procedures to govern the day-to-day management and operations of the information technology resources and systems consistent with this policy and shall advise the Board of School Directors of the need for future amendment or revision of this policy.

The Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for recommending technology and developing procedures used to determine whether the district’s computers are being used for purposes prohibited by law or for accessing sexually explicit materials. The procedures shall include but not be limited to:

  1. Utilizing a technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access for minors and adults to certain visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors with respect to use by minors, or determined inappropriate for use by minors by the Board.
  2. Maintaining and securing a usage log.
  3. Monitoring online activities of minors.

The district shall make every effort to ensure that this resource is used responsibly by students and staff.

Administrators, teachers and staff have a professional responsibility to work together to help students develop the intellectual skills necessary to discriminate among information sources, to identify information appropriate to their age and developmental levels, and to evaluate and use the information to meet their educational goals.

All employees who utilize information technology resources and systems for instructional or other purposes with students have a duty of care to properly supervise such use. All employees are required to be familiar with all Upper Darby School District’s policies and rules concerning use of information technology resources and systems by students and to enforce all such policies and rules. When, in the course of their duties, any employee becomes aware of any violation(s) of any policy or rule pertaining to information technology resources and systems, they are expected to stop the activity and inform the building principal in writing.

Students and staff have the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of every other user in the district and on the Internet.

The building administrator shall have the authority to determine what is inappropriate use.

Network accounts shall be used only by the authorized owner of the account for its approved purpose. All communications and information accessible via the network should be assumed to be private property and shall not be disclosed. Network users shall respect the privacy of other users on the system.

Expectation Of Privacy

The Upper Darby School District retains total control, custody, and supervision of all information technology resources and systems owned, leased, or licensed by the school district. The school district has the right and reserves the right to monitor all activities involving information technology resources and systems by employees, students, and all other system users. Employees have no expectation of privacy in their use of any information technology resources and systems.

The Board establishes that network use is a privilege, not a right; inappropriate, unauthorized and illegal use will result in cancellation of those privileges and appropriate disciplinary action.

Employees

Employees shall take the necessary steps to safeguard school district data, information and equipment from being lost or stolen.

School district employees shall not:

  1. Modify or remove data or equipment. Users shall not remove or modify any school district owned or administered equipment or data from school district systems.
  2. Use unauthorized devices. Users shall not physically or electrically attach any additional device (such as a printer, network device or video system) to any school district system.

Students

The school district has the right to permit, regulate and/or discontinue student use of any district IT resources and systems. The district has the right to block or restrict student access to IT resources, including Internet sites. The district has the right to log and monitor any or all use of any system resource. The Upper Darby School District has the right to limit or to deny student access to IT resources and systems to endeavor to prevent any unauthorized, inappropriate, or illegal activity.

Prohibitions

Students and staff are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in accordance with district policy, accepted rules of network etiquette, and federal and state law. Specifically, the following uses are prohibited:

  1. Facilitating illegal activity.
  2. Commercial or for-profit purposes.
  3. Purchase or order any item, product, or service without specific administrative approval. The Upper Darby School District assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges made by any employee (including but not limited to credit card charges, subscriptions, long distance telephone charges, equipment or line charge) or any illegal use of its information technology resources and systems (including but not limited to copyright violations).
  4. Nonwork or nonschool related work.
  5. To gamble in any fashion, manner or format.
  6. For any political activity.
  7. To advertise or to promote any item, product or service.
  8. Bullying/Cyberbullying.
  9. Unauthorized or illegal installation, distribution, reproduction, or use of copyrighted materials.
  10. Access to obscene or pornographic material or child pornography.
  11. Access by students and minors to material that is harmful to minors or is determined inappropriate for minors in accordance with Board policy.
  12. Inappropriate language or profanity.
  13. Transmission of material likely to be offensive or objectionable to recipients.
  14. School district IT resources and systems shall not be used for the posting, presentation or distribution of any material or information that:
  15. May be harmful or prejudicial including that which may be slanderous, libelous or obscene as defined by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States.
  16. Fosters disruption or interference with the learning environment.
  17. Threatens harm to the health, safety and/or welfare of the school community or of any individual.
  18. Discriminates against any segment of the student body or interferes with the individual rights of any person or class of persons.
  19. Intentional obtaining or modifying of files, passwords, and data belonging to other users.
  20. Impersonation of another user, anonymity, and pseudonyms.
  21. Loading or using of unauthorized games, programs, files, or other electronic media.
  22. Disruption of the work of other users.
  23. To trespass in another’s folders, work or files.
  24. Destruction, modification, abuse or unauthorized access to network hardware, software and files.
  25. To engage in any practice that may threaten the network (e.g. loading files that may introduce a virus).
  26. Quoting of personal communications in a public forum without the original author’s prior consent.
  27. Intentionally waste or inefficiently utilize resources.
  28. To engage in any action or activity not related to the district’s established curriculum and instruction.
  29. Fraudulent copying, communications or modification of materials in violation of copyright laws.

Security

System security is protected through the use of passwords. Failure to adequately protect or update passwords could result in unauthorized access to personal or district files. To protect the integrity of the system, the following guidelines shall be followed:

  1. Employees and students shall not reveal their passwords to another individual.
  2. Users are not to use a computer that has been logged in under another student’s or employee’s name.
  3. Any use identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the network.

Consequences For Inappropriate Use

The network user shall be responsible for damages to the equipment, systems, and software resulting from deliberate or willful acts.

Illegal use of the network; intentional deletion or damage to files of data belonging to others; copyright violations; and theft of services will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution.

General rules for behavior and communications apply when using the Internet, in addition to the stipulations of this policy. Loss of access and other disciplinary actions shall be consequences for inappropriate use.

Vandalism will result in cancellation of access privileges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, Internet or other networks; this includes but is not limited to uploading or creating computer visuses.

Copyright

The illegal use of copyrighted software by students and staff is prohibited. Any data uploaded to or downloaded from the network shall be subject to fair use guidelines.

Safety

To the greatest extent possible, users of the network will be protected from harassment and unwanted or unsolicited communication. Any network user who receives threatening or unwelcome communications shall report such immediately to a teacher or administrator. Network users shall not reveal personal information to other users of the network, including chat rooms, e-mail, Internet, etc.

Any district computer/server utilized by students and staff shall be equipped with Internet blocking/filtering software.

Internet safety measures shall effectively address the following:

  1. Control of access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.
  2. Safety and security or minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
  3. Prevention of unauthorized online access by minors, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities.
  4. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
  5. Restriction of minors’ access to materials harmful to them.

Violations And Penalties

Employees are permitted access to and use of school district information technology resources and systems only for the purposes and uses specifically permitted by this policy. The prohibited uses enumerated in this policy are for illustrative purposes only and do not attempt to state all prohibited actions or activities. Any employee who violates this policy or other rules governing the use of school district information technology resources and systems will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Any illegal activity or use of information technology resources and systems will be reported to all appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Students are responsible for their behavior when using any Upper Darby School District IT resources and systems. Violations of this policy may result in the loss or limitation of access to IT resources and systems. Any violation of this policy will subject the offending student to discipline in accordance with the applicable Code of Conduct, criminal prosecution, and/or civil prosecution for damages to equipment, systems and/or software caused by intentional, willful, or negligent acts or omissions.

Responsibility For Losses, Costs, And/Or Damages

Any employee who violates any provision of this policy or other rules governing the use of school district information technology resources and systems shall be responsible for any losses, costs, or damages sustained or incurred by the Upper Darby School District.

Procedures

Students and parents/guardians will receive a summary version of this policy. The policy will be reviewed annually by teachers at the classroom level at the beginning of the academic year or at the beginning of any course where access to school district network resources is a part of the established curriculum.

The school district supports and respects each family’s right to decide whether or not their student is permitted to independently access network resources, including the Internet, while at school. Each parent/guardian may determine whether their child shall have Internet access. If a parent/guardian wishes to have their child excluded from use of district network resources and the Internet, s/he shall notify his/her child’s principal in writing of their wishes. Alternate educational activities shall be developed when appropriate.

The Superintendent and/or his/her designees is authorized and directed to develop procedures to further identify the rights and responsibilities of student users of existing and emerging information technology resources and systems.

References:

  • School Code – 24 P.S. Sec. 1303.1-A
  • Child Internet Protection Act – 24 P.S. Sec. 4601 et seq.
  • Enhancing Education Through Technology Act of 2001 – 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6777
  • Internet Safety – 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254
  • Board Policy – 218, 249, 814
Last modified on Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:10

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