|Decatur County Community Schools|
|Bylaws & Policies|
7540.04 - STAFF TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE AND SAFETY
Technology has fundamentally altered the ways in which information is accessed, communicated, and transferred in society. As a result, educators are continually adapting their means and methods of instruction, and the way they approach student learning, to incorporate the vast, diverse, and unique resources available through the Internet. The School Board provides Technology Resources and Information Resources (as defined by Bylaw 0100) to support the educational and professional needs of its staff and students. The Board provides staff with access to the Internet for limited educational purposes only and utilizes online educational services/apps to enhance the instruction delivered to its students and to facilitate the staff’s work. The Corporation’s computer network and Internet system do not serve as a public access service or a public forum, and the Board imposes reasonable restrictions on its use consistent with its limited educational purpose.
The Board regulates the use of Corporation Technology Resources and Information Resources by principles consistent with applicable local, State, and Federal laws, and the Corporation’s educational mission. This policy, its related administrative guidelines and any applicable employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements govern the staffs’ use of the Corporation’s Technology Resources and Information Resources and staff’s personal communication devices when they are connected to the Corporation’s computer network, Internet connection and/or online educational services/apps, or when used while the staff member is on Corporation-owned property or at a Corporation-sponsored activity (see Policy 7530.02).
Users are prohibited from engaging in actions that are illegal (such as libel, slander, vandalism, harassment, theft, plagiarism, inappropriate access, and the like) or unkind (such as personal attacks, invasion of privacy, injurious comment, and the like) when using Corporation Technology Resources and Information Resources. Because its Technology Resources are not unlimited, the Board also has instituted restrictions aimed at preserving these resources, such as placing limits on use of bandwidth, storage space, and printers.
Users have no right or expectation to privacy when using Corporation Technology Resources and Information Resources (including, but not limited to, privacy in the content of their personal files, e-mails, and records of their online activity when using the Corporation's computer network and/or Internet connection).
Staff members are expected to utilize Corporation Technology Resources and Information Resources 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 Board Policy 2520 – Selection of Instructional Materials and Equipment.
The Internet is a global information and communication network that provides students and staff with access to up-to-date, highly relevant information that will enhance their learning and the education process. Further, Corporation Technology Resources provide 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.
The Corporation may not be able to limit access technologically through its Technology Resources 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 which may not have been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.
Pursuant to Federal law, the Corporation has implemented technology protection measures that 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 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 students 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 Corporation Technology Resources 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 or Building Administrator may temporarily or permanently unblock access to websites or online educational services/apps containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been blocked inappropriately 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.
Staff members will participate in professional development programs in accordance with the provisions of law and this policy. Training shall include:
the safety and security of students while using e-mail, chat rooms, social media, and other forms of direct electronic communications;
the inherent danger of students disclosing personally identifiable information online;
the consequences of unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking", "harvesting", "digital piracy", "data mining", etc.), cyberbullying and other unlawful or inappropriate activities by students online; and
unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information regarding minors.
Furthermore, staff members shall provide instruction for their students regarding the appropriate use of technology and online safety and security and 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 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 Corporation Technology Resources. All users of Corporation Technology Resources are required to sign a written agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying guidelines.
Staff members are responsible for good behavior on Corporation Technology and Information Resources, i.e., behavior comparable to that expected when they are in classrooms, in school hallways, on other school premises and at school-sponsored events. Communications on Education Technology are often public in nature. The Board does not approve any use of its Technology Resources and Information Resources that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying guidelines.
Staff members may use Corporation Technology Resources to access or use social media only if it is done for Corporation educational or business-related purposes.
General school rules for behavior and communication apply.
Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying guidelines may have their use privileges suspended or revoked, and disciplinary action taken against them. Users are personally responsible and liable, both civilly and criminally, for uses of Technology Resources not authorized by this Board Policy and its accompanying guidelines.
The Board designates the Superintendent and the Building Administrator as the administrators responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying guidelines as they apply to staff members' use of Corporation Technology and Information Resources.
Social Media Use
An employee’s personal or private use of social media may have unintended consequences. While the Board respects its employees’ First Amendment rights, those rights do not include permission to post inflammatory comments related to matters of private concern that could compromise the Corporation’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 parent consent (see Board Policy 8330). Education records include a wide variety of information, and 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.
Nothing in this policy is intended to interfere with any school employee’s rights under applicable law with respect to union organizing or collective bargaining.
P.L. 106-554 (2000), Children's Internet Protection Act
47 U.S.C. 254(h), (1), Communications Act of 1934, as amended (2003)
18 U.S.C. 1460
18 U.S.C. 2246
18 U.S.C. 2256
20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., Part F, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,
as amended (2003)
20 U.S.C. 6777, 9134 (2003)
47 C.F.R. 54.500 - 54.523
© Neola 2017