The School Board of Polk 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 School Board of Polk County were adopted on November 12, 2013 and were in effect beginning November 12, 2013.


The School Board is committed to the effective use of technology to both enhance the quality of student learning and the efficiency of District operations.

Although students' use of District technology resources (see definition in Bylaw 0100) is required to participate in and benefit from certain aspects of the District's curriculum, unsupervised use of technology resources may be limited or denied if such use is not under the direct supervision of school staff. Students and their parents must sign and submit a Student Technology Acceptable Use and Safety form annually. (see also, Policy 7540.03)

The Superintendent shall develop, and implement a written District Technology Plan (DTP). One of the primary purposes of the DTP is to evaluate new and emerging technologies and how they will play a role in student achievement and success and/or efficient and effective District operations. The Board will financially support, as the budget permits, the DTP, including recommendations to provide new and developing technology for students and staff.

The Superintendent shall create a technology governance committee (see AP 7540B) to oversee and guide the development of the DTP. The Superintendent shall appoint individuals to the technology governance committee that include representatives of all educational, administrative, and business/operational areas in the District.

The DTP shall set forth procedures for the proper acquisition of technology. The DTP shall also provide guidance to staff and students about making safe, appropriate, and ethical use of District technology resources, as well as inform both staff and students about disciplinary actions that will be taken if its technology resources are abused in any way or used in an inappropriate, illegal, or unethical manner. (see Policy 7540.03 and AP 7540.03 - Student Technology Acceptable Use and Safety, and Policy 7540.04 and AP 7540.04 - Staff Technology Acceptable Use and Safety)

The Superintendent, in conjunction with the technology governance committee, shall review the DTP and report any changes, amendments, or revisions to the Board annually.

This policy, along with the Student and Staff Technology Acceptable Use and Safety policies, and the Code of Student Conduct further govern students' and staff members' use of their wireless communication devices (see Policy 5136 and Policy 7530.02). Users have no right or expectation of privacy when using District technology 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 District's computer network and/or Internet connection).

Further, safeguards shall be established so that the Board's investment in both hardware and software achieves the benefits of technology and inhibits negative side effects. Accordingly, students shall be educated about appropriate online behavior including, but not limited to, using social media to interact with others online; interacting with other individuals in chat rooms or on blogs; and, recognizing what constitutes cyberbullying, understanding cyberbullying is a violation of Board policy, and learning appropriate responses if they experience cyberbullying.

For purposes of this policy, social media is defined as Internet-based applications that facilitate communication (e.g., interactive/two-way conversation/dialogue) and networking between individuals or groups. Social media is "essentially a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online. Most social media services encourage discussion, feedback, voting, comments, and sharing of information from all interested parties" (Quote from Ron Jones of Search Engine Watch). Social media provides a way for people to stay "connected or linked to other sites, resources, and people". Examples include FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, webmail, text messaging, chat, blogs, and instant messaging (IM). Social media does not include sending or receiving e-mail through the use of District-issued e-mail accounts.

Staff may use social media for business-related purposes. Authorized staff may use District technology resources to access and use social media to increase awareness of District programs and activities, as well as to promote achievements of staff and students, provided the Superintendent approves such access and use. Use of social media for business-related purposes is subject to Florida's public records laws and staff members are responsible for complying with the District's record retention schedule. (see Policy 8310 - Public Records, AP 8310A - Public Records, and AP 8310D - Records Retention and Disposal)

Instructional staff and their students may use District technology resources to access and use social media for educational purposes, provided the Principal approves such access and use.

Students must comply with Policy 7540.03 and Policy 5136 when using District technology resources to access and/or use social media. Similarly, staff must comply with Policy 7540.04 and Policy 7530.02 when using District technology resources to access and/or use social media.

F.S. 1001.43

Revised 1/23/18

© Neola 2016