The School Board of Putnam 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 Putnam County were adopted on October 2, 2012, and were in effect beginning October 3, 2012.
 

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 and information resources (as defined by Bylaw 0100) to support the educational and professional needs of its staff and students. The School 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 District's computer network and Internet system do not serve as a public access service or a public forum and the School Board imposes reasonable restrictions on its use consistent with its limited educational purpose.

The School Board regulates the use of District technology and information resources by principles consistent with applicable local, State, and Federal laws and the Districtís educational mission. This policy and its related administrative procedures and any applicable employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements govern the staff's use of the Districtís technology and information resources and staffís wireless communication devices when they are connected to the Districtís computer network, Internet connection, and/or online educational services/apps, or when used while the staff member is on School Board-owned property or at a School Board-sponsored activity (see Policy 7530.02).

Users are required to refrain from 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). Because its technology resources are not unlimited, the School Board has also 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 District technology 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 District's computer network and/or Internet connection).

Staff members are expected to utilize District technology 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 School 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 School Board Policy 2520 - Selection of and Adoption of Instructional Materials.

The Internet is a global information and communication network that brings incredible education and information resources to our students. The Internet connects computers and users in the District with computers and users worldwide. Through the Internet, students and staff can access relevant information that will enhance their learning and the education process. Further, District 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.

First, the School Board may not be able to technologically limit access, 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 that may not have been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.

Pursuant to Federal law, the School Board 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 Childrenís Internet Protection Act (CIPA). At the discretion of the School Board or Superintendent, the technology protection measures may also be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for students to access. The School Board also utilizes software and/or hardware to monitor online activity of staff members 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 the District technology resources, if such disabling will cease to protect against access to materials that are prohibited under the CIPA. 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 the Director of Information Services may temporarily or permanently unblock access to websites or online educational services/apps containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked 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:

 A.the safety and security of students while using e-mail, chat rooms, social media, and other forms of direct electronic communications;

 B.the inherent danger of students disclosing personally identifiable information online;

 C.the consequences of unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking", "harvesting", "digital piracy", "data mining", etc.), cyberbullying, and other unlawful or inappropriate activities by students or staff online; and

 D.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 as 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 Internet users under their supervision are knowledgeable about this policy and its accompanying procedures. The School Board expects that staff members will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of the District technology resources. Such training shall include, but not be limited to, education concerning appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social media, including in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response. All users of District technology resources are required to sign a written agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying procedures.

Staff will be assigned a school email address that they are required to utilize for all school-related electronic communications, including those to students, parents, and other staff members.

Staff members are responsible for appropriate behavior when using District technology and information resources - i.e., behavior comparable to that expected when they are in classrooms, school hallways, and other school premises and school sponsored events. Communications on the Internet are often public in nature. The School Board does not approve any use of its technology and information resources that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying procedures.

General school rules for behavior and communication apply.

Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying procedures 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 District technology and information resources that are not authorized by this policy and its accompanying guidelines.

The School Board designates the Superintendent and site administrator as the administrators responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying procedures as they apply to staff membersí use of District technology and information resources.

Social Media Use

An employee's personal or private use of social media may have unintended consequences. While the School Board respects its employees' First Amendment rights, those rights do not include permission to engage in conduct that violates School Board policies, the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida, the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida, or any other state of Federal laws, and may result in disciplinary action. 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 parental consent (see Policy 8330). Education records include a wide variety of information; 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.

Staff members retain rights of communication for collective bargaining purposes and union organizational activities.

F.S. 847.012, 1001.41, 1012.32
P.L. 106-554, Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000
47 U.S.C. 254(h),(1), Communications Act of 1934, as amended (2003)
20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., Part F, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (2003)
20 U.S.C. 6777, 9134 (2003)
18 U.S.C. 2256
18 U.S.C. 1460
18 U.S.C. 2246
47 C.F.R. 54.500 - 54.523

Revised 7/16/13
Revised 3/4/14
Revised 12/6/16

© Neola 2016