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Administrative Regulation
Descriptor Code: IFBG-R
Internet Acceptable Use  
Print Policy
 

Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) provides a full range of electronic information systems, including Internet resources, for all students and staff.  The use of the Internet and other electronic resources is integral to innovative  teaching and learning.  SCCPSS strongly believes in the educational opportunities that technology resources bring and recognizes their value in enabling educators and students to communicate, learn, share, collaborate, create, and solve problems.  Use of all electronic resources shall support the vision, mission, and goals established by the SCCPSS. Access to these resources is automatically provided to students and staff members and may be requested by vendors and other outside agents.

 

Definitions

  • A user is anyone who is authorized to gain access to the SCCPSS Network, Internet, or Intranet by use of School District equipment or resources.
  • The Network consists of computers and other devices linked together to communicate and share data.
  • Technology resources are local and networked electronic resources provided by the District such as, but not limited to: computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, digital devices, electronic reference databases, Internet, communication/assessment tools, audio and video equipment, distance learning, virtual field trips, and other educational or administrative programs to include all portable devices.
  • The Internet is a worldwide collection of computer networks that serves as a conduit for communication and the global exchange of information.
  • The Intranet is an internal network that serves as a conduit for employee communication and the exchange of information only within the School District.
  • Cyber-bullying is the intentional and/or repeated harm of others through the use of computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, or embarrass others.

  • Vandalism is any malicious attempt to harm or destroy the data of another user or any other network.
  • Hacking is any attempt to gain unauthorized/unapproved access to local technology resources or other computer systems.
  • Illegal activities include any activity that violates state or federal law or municipal ordinance such as accessing or transmitting visual depictions of obscenity, pornography, materials that are harmful to minors, materials that encourage others to violate the law, confidential information, copyrighted materials, selling or purchasing illegal items or substances, obtaining and/or using anonymous email sites, spamming, or spreading viruses.
  • Social networking is participation in online communities for the sharing of interests and information.  The tools used consist of various Internet services, including blogging, videos, MP3s, chat rooms, and the creation of personal profiles.
  • Technology Protection Measure is specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:
    1. Obscene, as defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code,
    2. Child Pornography, as defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code, or
    3. Harmful to minors.

User Responsibilities

Users have an obligation to be responsible participants while exploring the vast resources that are available on the Network, Internet, and Intranet, and must adhere to the generally accepted rules of online behavior. Illegal activities of any kind are strictly forbidden. The standards include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Educational/Administrative Purposes. Users will use all technology resources for educational or administrative purposes.  Users shall not access inappropriate sites on the Internet or use school resources for commercial purposes.
  • Safety.  Users will not release student information or pictures with last names on the Internet unless approved by the student's parent/guardian.  Publishing the full names and/or contact information of students without parental permission is prohibited. The Student Code of Conduct rules for bullying are also applicable to cyber-bullying and violators are subject to the same disciplinary procedures.  If students encounter inappropriate information or messages, they shall notify a school administrator.
  • Privacy.  All activities conducted using school technology are not to be considered private. SCCPSS reserves the right to record, monitor, review, and report all activities. If deemed appropriate, information shall be disclosed to the courts, law enforcement, or other third parties without users' consent.  All work produced using school resources is considered to be the property of the school system unless otherwise indicated.
  • Passwords.  Passwords are the first level of security to the network.  User accounts are to be used only by the owner of the account for authorized District purposes.  All users shall safeguard and protect their passwords. User passwords shall be changed at a minimum of once per year. Faculty and staff passwords shall be changed at a minimum of once every six (6) months.  Student passwords shall be changed at a minimum of once per year.
  • Security.  Users are expected to access authorized websites and files only.  If it is suspected that a security problem exists on the Network, Internet, or Intranet, employees are required to notify an administrator or call the Ethics Hotline at 1-800-638-5093.  Users shall not demonstrate the problem to other users.  Any user identified as a security risk may be denied access to the Network, Internet, or Intranet.  The District provides a firewall to regulate outside access to District resources and information.  The District provides Internet filtering to prevent access to inappropriate and unauthorized sites.  Due to the constant changes and additions to Internet websites, filtering software is not 100% effective.  Specifically, as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of materials deemed obscene or child pornography, or any materials deemed harmful to minors. If a website is denied that is not within the prohibition of this policy, a request can be made through the helpdesk system by a teacher or administrator for review and resolution.
  • Supervision. To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users when using technology resources.  It shall be the responsibility of all employees to supervise and monitor usage of online activities in accordance with this policy and the Children's Internet Protection Act.

    Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.  Disabling or circumventing technology protection measures without administrative approval is strictly forbidden.

 

  • Vandalism.  Users should not knowingly upload or create computer viruses, spyware, malware, or modify another person’s files without proper authorization.  Hacking, identity theft, falsifying documents, and releasing confidential information are strictly prohibited.
  • Transmitting and receiving materials.  Transmitting or receiving any materials in violation of any state or federal law is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material; threatening, obscene, or sexually explicit material; or material protected by patent.
  • Copyright.  Users are prohibited from illegally downloading or illegally copying from any electronic resource.  Users are expected to follow copyright laws and fair use guidelines as specified by board policy and federal / state laws.
  • Webpages. Student work can be posted on any of the District’s internal websites or on external educational sites. Posting of student work on non-educational websites shall require the approval of an administrator. All website postings shall be endorsed by a teacher or administrator. Postings shall be monitored, maintained, and removed when no longer required.
  • Social networking. Students who post or contribute any comment or content on social networking sites that causes a substantial disruption to the instructional environment are subject to disciplinary procedures.  Employees who post or contribute any comment or content on social networking sites that causes a substantial disruption to the instructional environment are subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including termination.
  • Internet use. Internet access is provided for the purpose of enhancing and supporting the instructional and administrative process.  It is not to be used for commercial activities, profit making, posting or accessing information that is unrelated to supporting the vision, mission, goals, or objectives of SCCPSS.  Such use is a violation of policy with regard to employee time commitments and use of SCCPSS equipment.
  • Network connectivity. Personal laptops/PDAs are permitted to connect to the District network provided by SCCPSS. All connected Laptops/PDAs are subject to the Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy. All laptops are required to have updated virus protection and the latest patches to the operating system installed prior to connecting to the network.  Maintenance and support of said laptops/PDAs are the sole responsibility of the owner.

Consequences

The use of the SCCPSS technology resources is a privilege, not a right.  Inappropriate use may result in disciplinary action or cancellation of that privilege.  Use of SCCPSS technology resources is contingent upon compliance with state and federal laws, District regulations, and the user responsibilities outlined in this document, and the Code of Ethics for Government Service.

  • Violations may result in a loss of some or all privileges to access computer resources.
  • Specific disciplinary actions involving student misuse will be determined at the school level in accordance with Board of Education policies and the SCCPSS Student Code of Conduct.
  • Employees of the District who are in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • Outside agencies including but not limited to guests, volunteers, and vendors requiring SCCPSS network access who violate this use policy may have use privileges or any contracts with the SCCPSS terminated.
  • Anyone who intentionally damages Board property shall make restitution for damages.
  • The Department of Network and Engineering Services shall be responsible for conducting investigations and making written reports to the administration for review and decision making.

Disclaimer

SCCPSS makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service provided.  SCCPSS will not be responsible for any damage suffered including, but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, service interruption, and/or exposure to offensive or threatening material.  Use of any information obtained via the Network, Internet, or Intranet is at the user’s own risk.  SCCPSS specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of any information obtained through its services, Network, Internet, or Intranet.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed to permit any access to materials that can be harmful to minors or that violate any local, state, or federal laws.

 

Savannah-Chatham Co. Schools
Date Issued:  11/28/2001
Last Revised:  1/9/2013