The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

7530.01 - STAFF USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES

The School Board will provide wireless communication devices ("WCDs") (i.e. cellular and wireless telephones, pagers/beepers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) BlackBerries/Smartphones, WiFi-enabled or broadcast access devices, etc.) to employees who by the nature of their job have a routine and continuing business need for the use of such devices for official Board business. WCDs are provided as a tool to conduct Board business and to enhance business efficiencies. WCDs are not a personal benefit and shall not be a primary mode of communication, unless they are the most cost-effective means to conduct Board business (i.e. because some wireless services plan are billed on a time-used basis, Board-owned WCDs should not be used if a less costly alternative method of communication is safe, convenient and readily available).

The Superintendent is authorized to designate those staff members who will be issued a Board-owned WCD and provided with a wireless service plan.

The Superintendent is responsible for verifying:

 A.the need for each Board-owned WCD and wireless service plan is clearly justified for Board business purposes;

 B.alternative solutions for work production and communication are considered;

 C.employees provided with wireless service plans are notified of the purpose and limitations of usage;

 D.wireless service plan invoices outlining the details of usage are received and reviewed for conformance with this policy;

 E.employees reimburse the Board for non-business use; and

 F.a Board-owned WCD is returned and the corresponding wireless service plan is terminated when it is no longer justified by business requirements, the employee leaves the Board's employment, and/or when the employee has demonstrated a disregard for the limitation of this policy.

In deciding which staff members should receive a Board-owned WCD, the Superintendent will consider whether their jobs:

 A.require them to spend a considerable amount of time outside of their assigned office or work area during normal working hours and have regular access to telephone and/or Internet connections while outside their office or assigned work area;

 B.require them to be accessible outside of scheduled or normal working hours or to be contracted and respond in the event of an emergency; or

 C.consistently require timely and business critical two (2) way communication for which there is not reasonable alternative technology; (This is not intended to include occasional, incidental access or purely voluntary access such as checking e-mail from home.)

 D.safety requirements indicate having a WCD is an integral part of meeting the requirements of the employee's job description;

 E.more than fifty percent (50%) of the employee's work is conducted outside the employee's assigned office or work area;

 F.the employee is required to be contacted on a regular basis outside normal work hours;

 G.the employee is required to be on-call 24/7; or

 H.the employee's job requirements include critical District-wide decision-making.

Board-owned WCDs and/or their related wireless service plan are to be used only to place calls, access the Internet, or receive/send e-mails, instant messages or text messages for District-related business. Board-owned WCDs are not to be used to place calls or send/receive e-mails, instant messages or text messages of a personal nature, or access the Internet for personal business.

Wireless service plans are expected to be set at the minimum level that fulfills the business need for the position in question. The wireless service plan that is selected for an employee should be the one that provides a combination of services including number of minutes, coverage, and local call zone most nearly matching the employee's recurring business needs as well as whether or not the service plan includes text messaging, instant message and/or e-mail capability, and ability to access the Internet. If the wireless plan is based on minutes used for calls made or includes a charge regarding e-mail or instant messages, the smallest plan available to accommodate the particular business need shall be utilized.

The Board shall approve the Superintendent's recommendation regarding the type and level of wireless service appropriate for each staff member listed above. In all cases, the Superintendent shall take the steps necessary to secure the most economical and responsible service available.

Thereafter, an annual review of the service plans available shall be made to determine if the District's wireless service plans are the most economical and responsible available. Additionally, at least once annually, the Superintendent shall review the employee's actual usage (i.e. type and level of service) with the employee and, if warranted, authorize the acquisition of a different WCD and/or selection of a different wireless service plan that more nearly matches the employee's recurring business needs. Any such change in provider and/or necessary adjustments to individual staff member's devices and/or service plans shall be presented to the Board for consideration and approval.

Possessing a Board-owned WCD is a privilege and all employees are expected to use them appropriately and responsibly. Employees are responsible for managing the cost effectiveness of WCD use by utilizing assigned landline and/or designated computers as available and appropriate. Employees should know that using a WCD to place calls outside the immediate area might result in roaming charges, in addition to long distance and regular charges, and that the Board is charged for both outgoing and incoming calls.

In order to continue to be eligible to receive a Board-owned WCD, staff members are required to answer all calls on his/her WCD and promptly respond to any messages.

Employee safety is a priority of the Board, and responsible use of WCDs includes safe use.

Using a WCD while operating a vehicle is strongly discouraged. Employees should plan accordingly so that calls are placed, text messages, instant messages or e-mails sent/read, and/or the Internet browsed either prior to traveling or while on rest breaks. In the interest of safety for both Board employees and other drivers, employees are required to comply with all applicable laws and Board policies while driving.

Confidentiality of Student Personally Identifiable Information; Public and Student Record Requirements

Employees are subject to all applicable policies and guidelines pertaining to protection of the security, integrity and availability of the data stored on their Board-owned WCDs.

Wireless communications, including calls, text messages, instant messages, and e-mails sent from WCDs may not be secure. Employees should use discretion in relaying confidential information related to students.

Additionally, wireless communications, including text messages, instant messages and e-mails sent and/or received by a public employee or school official using their Board-owned WCD may constitute public records if the content of the message concerns District business, or an education record if the content includes personally identifiable information about a student. Wireless communications that are public records are subject to retention and disclosure, upon request, according to Policy 8310. Wireless communications that are student records should be maintained pursuant to Policy 8330. Finally wireless communications and other electronically stored information (ESI) stored on the staff member's Board-owned WCD may be subject to a Litigation Hold pursuant to Policy 8315. Staff are required to comply with District requests to produce copies of wireless communications in their possession that are either public records or education records, or that constitute ESI that is subject to a Litigation Hold.

Except in emergency situations, employees are prohibited from using WCDs to capture, record or transmit the words (i.e. audio) and/or images (i.e. pictures/video) of any student, staff member or other person in the school or while attending a school-related activity, without express prior notice and explicit consent for the capture, recording or transmission of such words or images. Using a WCD to take or transmit audio and/or pictures/video of an individual without his/her consent is considered an invasion of privacy and is not permitted, unless authorized by the building principal or Superintendent.

At no time may any WCD be used by an employee in a way that might reasonably create in the mind of another person an impression of being threatened, humiliated, harassed, embarrassed or intimidated.

Employee's Responsibilities

Employees are responsible for the safekeeping, care and custody of the WCDs assigned to them. Further, employees are responsible for the cost of misuse, intentional damage or reckless loss of the WCDs provided to them.

Reasonable precautions should be taken to prevent unauthorized use/access to, or loss, damage, theft and/or vandalism to said devices. Upon resignation or termination of employment, or at any time upon request, the employee may be asked to produce the WCD for return or inspection. Employees unable to present the device in good working condition within the time period requested may be expected to bear the cost of a replacement. Employees who separate from employment with outstanding debts for equipment loss or unauthorized charges will be considered to have left employment on unsatisfactory terms and may be subject to legal action for recovery of the loss.

Prior to issuance of a Board-owned WCD, each employee shall review and sign the Board WCD Policy Statement. Each employee issued a Board-owned WCD will receive a detailed monthly statement for all charges. The employee must review the monthly statement for billing accuracy, then sign and date it verifying the employee's review and attesting that there are no charges for personal calls, text messages, instant messages or e-mails. In the event that a personal call is inadvertently made or received, or a text message, instant message or e-mail of a personal nature is sent or received on the employee's Board-owned WCD, the employee shall be billed for the actual cost of the personal calls made or received, or the text messages, instant messages or e-mails sent or received. In addition, the employee shall also be charged a portion of the monthly service fee. If the employee's service plan is all-inclusive and charges are not assessed for individual calls, text messages, instant messages or e-mails, then the employee will be charged a pro-rated share of the monthly charge. Any amount owed will be deducted from the employee's paycheck in the following pay cycle.

Any employee who abuses Board-owned WCD privileges by placing or receiving personal calls, or uses his/her Board-owned WCD to send/receive personal e-mails, text messages, or instant messages, shall be subject to disciplinary action. Use of a Board-owned WCD by an employee to access a personal e-mail account or connect to the Internet for personal business is strictly prohibited.

WCDs may not be transferred to any other employee without prior notification and approval of the Superintendent. Employees provided with a WCD understand that the WCD is owned by the Board. Any alteration or switching of WCDs must be approved in advance by the Superintendent.

Cellular telephone numbers provided by the Board, via contract with a wireless service provider/vendor, are considered business numbers of the District which shall remain and belong to the Board for its use, unless otherwise changed by the service provider/vendor or as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission. Employees are not allowed to transfer/port a previous personal cellular telephone number to a Board-owned WCD.

The Board may audit all Board-owned WCDs, which will include but not be limited to, a review of the detailed monthly statement upon submission after the requisite review by the employee. The detailed monthly service statements for all Board-owned WCDs as well as invoices and payment documents related to these accounts are public records and may be subject to disclosure and review.

Privacy Issues

The use of WCDs that contain built-in cameras (i.e. devices that take still or motion pictures, whether in a digital or other format) is prohibited in locker rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, and/or swimming pool.

Use of Board-owned WCDs for Personal Calls

Use of a Board-owned WCD for personal business is prohibited but there may be limited situations when personal use is justified. Employees shall not take advantage of this provision and repeated use of a Board-owned WCD for personal business will result in disciplinary action.

If unforeseen circumstances develop where employees must use their Board-issued WCD for personal reasons (i.e. to let family know that the employee will be home late, etc.), the Superintendent shall determine whether the employee should reimburse the Board.

The Board will routinely audit the phone log/record provided by employees to confirm that no personal calls were made and/or to ensure that the costs associated with any personal calls made by the employee are timely reimbursed to the Board.

The Board may withhold any unreimbursed amount from the employee's wages.

Employees will be expected to sign an agreement that allows the Board to deduct the cost of unpaid calls from the employee's paycheck.

Use of a Personal WCD While at Work

During work hours, personal communications made or received, regardless of whether on a WCD, regular telephone, or network computer, can interfere with employee productivity and/or distract others. Employees are expected to use discretion in using personal WCDs while at work. Employees are asked to limit personal communication to breaks and lunch period and to inform friends and family members of the Board's policy in this regard.

Potential Disciplinary Action/Cancellation of Board-Owned WCD

Violation of this policy may constitute just cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination. Use of the WCD in any manner contrary to local, State or Federal laws will constitute misuse, and will result in the Board immediately canceling the employee's privilege to use a Board-owned WCD and return of the device.