|St. Johns Public Schools|
|Bylaws & Policies|
7530.01 - STAFF USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES
The Board of Education will provide wireless communication devices ("WCD") (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.
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 or his/her designee 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 no 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.|
Board-owned WCDs and/or their related wireless service plan are to be used to place calls, access the Internet, or receive/send e-mails, instant messages or text messages for District-related business.
Wireless service plans are expected to be set at the level that provides the best financial benefit to the District.
The Board shall approve the Superintendent's recommendation regarding the type and level of wireless service provided. 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, the Superintendent is responsible for establishing a process for monitoring employee actual usage and collecting for a personal usage overage. The School District agrees to provide the employee with a stipend equal to the amount paid to provide the employee with a WCD monthly service support, provided that the employee is able to meet all of the district communication needs outlined in this policy.
Possessing a Board-owned WCD is a privilege and all employees are expected to use them appropriately and responsibly. 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 s/he may be 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.
Safe Use of Wireless Communication Devices
Employee safety is a priority of the Board, and responsible use of WCDs includes safe use. See Policy 7530.02 – Staff Use of Personal Electronic Devices.
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 while driving (including any laws that prohibit texting with the WCD or using the WCD in its entirety while driving).
Duty to Maintain 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. See Policy 7530.02 – Staff Use of Personal Electronic Devices.
Wireless communications, including calls, text messages, instant messages, and e-mails sent from WCDs may not be secure. Therefore, employees should use discretion in relaying confidential information, particularly as it relates 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, in accordance with Policy8310 - Public Records. Wireless communications that are student records are confidential and must be maintained pursuant to Policy 8330 – Student Records. 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 – Information Management. 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.
Using WCDs or any other device 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, must not occur in any areas where the individual may have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as locker rooms, restrooms, private conversations not conducted in public areas, unless specifically authorized by the Superintendent to capture, record or transmit in these areas.
At no time may any WCD be utilized 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.
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. The District does not provide or purchase insurance to allow for loss or damage to its WCDs.
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 (e.g. twenty-four (24) hours) might 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.
Each employee issued a Board-owned WCD will receive a detailed monthly statement for all overage 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. A copy of the signed and dated statement is to be submitted to the Superintendent by the employee. When personal calls are made or received, or a text messages, instant messages or e-mails of a personal nature are sent or received on the employee's Board-owned WCD, generating an overage cost, the cost of the personal calls made or received, or the text messages, instant messages or e-mails sent or received will be billed to the individual. Employees may be required to sign an authorization to deduct any such amount owed from the employee's paycheck in the following pay cycle, if the employee does not repay the District in a timely manner.
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 reserves the right to 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, as such, may be subject to disclosure and review.
WCDs, including but not limited to those with cameras, may not be possessed, activated or utilized at any time in any school situation where reasonable expectation of personal privacy exists. These locations and circumstance include but are not limited to locker rooms, shower facilities, restrooms, (except that instructors and administrators may possess WCDs, but only use them for authorized school use or emergencies) and any other areas where students or others may change clothes or be in any stage or degree of disrobing or changing clothes. The building principal has authority to make determinations as to other specific locations and situations where possession of a WCD is absolutely prohibited.
Use of Board-owned WCDs for Personal Calls
When employees use their Board-issued WCD for personal reasons (i.e. to let family know that the employee will be home late, etc.) it is up to the Superintendent or his/her designee to determine whether the employee should reimburse the Board.
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 the device as well as possible disciplinary action.
© Neola 2012