Technology Acceptable Use Policy
The board provides its students and staff access to a
variety of technological resources. Technological resources, including
computers, other electronic devices, programs, networks and the Internet,
provide opportunities to enhance instructional methods, appeal to different
learning styles, and achieve the educational goals established by the
Board. Through district technology
resources, users can observe events as they occur around the world, interact
with others on a variety of subjects, and acquire access to current and
The board intends that students and
employees benefit from these resources while remaining within the bounds of
safe, legal and responsible use. Accordingly, the board establishes this policy
to govern student and employee use of school system technological
resources. This policy applies
regardless of whether such use occurs on or off school system property, and it
applies to all school system technological resources, including but not limited
to computer networks and connections, the resources, tools and learning
environments made available by or on the networks, and
all devices that connect to those networks.
Use of technological resources should be integrated into the
educational program. Technological resources should be used in teaching the
Common Core State Standards, the North Carolina Essential Standards, and in
meeting the educational goals of the Board.
Professional personnel will make thoughtful use of technological
resources by considering the quality of the content, the skills required to
access information, and the ability of students to evaluate the
information. Teachers will help students
develop skills to enable them to effectively utilize devices and networks, and
to search the Internet responsibly.
Professional personnel should consult Board Policy 3200, Selection of
Textbooks and Supplementary Materials, for guidance on criteria for selecting
digital instructional materials. The
curriculum committee should provide suggestions for using technology resources
in the curriculum guides as provided in Board Policy 3115, Curriculum and
Instruction Guides. Teachers are
encouraged to further incorporate the use of technological resources into their
The superintendent or designee shall ensure that school
district devices with Internet access comply with federal requirements
regarding filtering software and Internet safety policies. The superintendent or designee shall develop
any regulations necessary to meet such requirements and will submit any
certifications necessary to meet such requirements.
for Use of School Technological Resources
Any users of district technological
resources, including staff and students, must comply with the requirements for
use established in the administrative regulation which further defines or
explains acceptable use, responsibilities of the user, limits of use,
restricted material, consequences of unacceptable
behavior, confidentiality of information, and the inability of the board to
guarantee services on the Internet.
The use of school system
technological resources, including access to the Internet, is a privilege, not
a right. Individual users of the school
system’s technological resources are responsible for their behavior and
communications when using those resources.
Responsible use of school system technological resources is use that is
lawful, ethical, respectful, academically honest and supportive of student
learning. Each user has the
responsibility to respect others in the school community and on the
Internet. Users are expected to abide by
the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. General student and employee behavior
standards, including those prescribed in applicable board policies, the Code of
Student Conduct and other regulations and school rules, apply to use of the
Internet and other school technological resources.
In addition, anyone who uses school
system computers or electronic devices or who accesses the school network or
the Internet using school system resources must comply with the additional
rules for responsible use listed in Section B, below. These rules are intended to clarify
expectations for conduct but should not be construed as all-inclusive.
Before using the Internet, all students must be trained
about appropriate online behavior. Such training must cover topics such as cyberbullying awareness and response, and interacting with
others on social networking websites and in chat rooms.
All students and employees must be
informed annually of the requirements of this policy and the methods by which
they may obtain a copy of this policy. Failure to adhere to these requirements
will result in disciplinary action, including revocation of user privileges.
Willful misuse may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution
under applicable state and federal law.
B. Rules for
Use of School Technological Resources
School system technological
resources are provided for school-related purposes only. Acceptable uses of
such technological resources are limited to responsible, efficient and legal
activities that support learning and teaching.
Use of school system technological resources for commercial gain or
profit is prohibited. Personal use of
school system technological resources for amusement or entertainment is
prohibited unless approved for special situations by the teacher, instructional
leader, or area supervisor. Because some
incidental and occasional personal use by employees is inevitable, the board
permits infrequent and brief personal use by employees so long as it occurs on
personal time, does not interfere with school system business and is not
otherwise prohibited by board policy or procedure.
Under no circumstance may software
purchased by the school system be copied for personal use.
Students and employees must comply
with all applicable board policies, administrative regulations, and school
standards and rules in using technological resources. All applicable laws, including those relating
to copyrights and trademarks, confidential information, and public records,
apply to technological resource use. Any
use that violates state or federal law is strictly prohibited. Plagiarism of
Internet resources will be treated in the same manner as any other incidents of
plagiarism, as stated in the Code of Student Conduct.
No user of the district’s
technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic
communications, may engage in creating, intentionally accessing, downloading,
storing, printing, or transmitting images, graphics (including still or moving
pictures), sound files, text files, documents, messages, or other material that
is obscene, defamatory, profane, pornographic, harassing, or considered to be
harmful to minors.
The use of anonymous proxies to
circumvent content filtering is prohibited.
Users may not install or use any
Internet-based file sharing program designed to facilitate sharing of
Users of technological resources may
not send electronic communications fraudulently (i.e., by misrepresenting the
identity of the sender).
Users must respect the privacy of
others. When using e-mail, chat rooms,
blogs, or other forms of electronic communication, students must not reveal
personally identifiable, private or confidential information, such as the home
address, or telephone number, of themselves, or fellow students. In addition, school employees must not disclose
on the Internet, or on school system websites, or web pages any personally
identifiable information concerning students (including names, addresses, or
pictures) without the written permission of a parent, or a guardian, or an
eligible student, except as otherwise permitted by the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or policy 4700, Student Records. Users also may not forward or post personal
communications without the author’s prior consent.
Users may not intentionally or
negligently damage computers, computer systems, electronic devices, software,
computer networks or data of any user connected to school system technological
resources. Users may not knowingly or
negligently transmit computer viruses or self-replicating messages or deliberately
try to degrade or disrupt system performance.
may not create or introduce games, network communications programs or any
foreign program or software onto any school system computer, electronic device
or network without the express permission of the technology director or designee.
are prohibited from engaging in unauthorized or unlawful activities, such as
“hacking” or using the computer network to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized
or unlawful access to other computers, electronic devices, computer systems, or
are prohibited from using another individual’s ID or password for any
technological resource without permission from the individual. Sharing of an
individual’s ID or password is strongly discouraged based on standard security
and privacy practices. If an ID or password must be shared for a unique
classroom situation, students must
also have permission from the teacher
or other school official.
may not read, alter, change, block, execute or delete files or communications
belonging to another user without the owner’s express prior permission.
shall not use passwords or user IDs for any data system for an unauthorized or
a user identifies an instance of unauthorized access on a technological
resource, he or she must immediately notify a system administrator. Users must not demonstrate the problem to
other users. Any user identified as a
security risk will be denied access.
shall make reasonable efforts to supervise students’ use of the Internet during
may be expressed on the Internet or other technological resources as
representing the view of the school system or part of the school system only
with prior approval by the superintendent or designee.
Material on the Internet
All users are responsible for their actions when using
technological resources. Access to
networks is available to individuals willing to act responsibly and
courteously. Use of networked resources
in a manner harmful to others will not be tolerated. Use of district
technological resources will comply with administrative regulations developed
by the superintendent.
The Internet and electronic
communications offer fluid environments in which students may access or be
exposed to materials and information from diverse and rapidly changing sources,
including some that may be harmful to students.
The board recognizes that it is impossible to predict with certainty
what information on the Internet students may access or obtain. Nevertheless school system personnel shall
take reasonable precautions to prevent students from accessing material and
information that is obscene, pornographic or otherwise harmful to minors,
including violence, nudity, or graphic language that does not serve a
legitimate pedagogical purpose. The
superintendent shall ensure that technology protection measures are used (such
as Internet filtering) and are disabled or minimized only when permitted by law
and board policy. The board is not
responsible for the content accessed by users who connect to the Internet via
their personal mobile telephone technology (e.g., 3G, 4G service).
There is the possibility that students could obtain access
to inappropriate, inaccurate, defamatory, illegal, or offensive materials on
the Internet. The board is aware that there is information on the Internet that
is not related to the educational program.
The board also is aware that the Internet may provide information and
opportunities to communicate on subjects that are not suitable for school-age
children and that many parents would find objectionable. However, the Board
believes that the educational opportunities provided through use of the
Internet far outweigh the possibility that users may encounter inappropriate
material. In addition to taking reasonable
precautions, the district will install a filtering program to prevent students
from viewing inappropriate material when on school networks. This measure
complies with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Since no content
filtering solution provides 100% protection from inappropriate materials, such
as violence, nudity, obscenity, or graphic language which does not serve a
legitimate pedagogical purpose, the user is ultimately responsible for his or
her activity on the Internet. School officials may disable such filters for an
adult who uses a school-owned computing device for bona fide research or other
lawful educational purpose. School system personnel may not restrict Internet
access to ideas, perspectives, or viewpoints if the restriction is motivated
solely by disapproval of the ideas involved.
D. Parental Consent
Supervised access to computers, electronic devices,
networks, and the Internet will be granted to all students. Supervised access is defined as access to
these resources when a school district staff member is present with the
student. Supervised access includes all
classroom settings with a staff member present, computer labs
with a staff member present, and media centers when a staff member, or trained
volunteer is circulating, or otherwise monitoring student use of technology
resources. If parents do not want their
student to have access to technological resources while at school, they should
request and sign a Declination of Technological Resources form.
The board recognizes that parents of
minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards their children
should follow when using media and information sources. Accordingly, before a student may
independently access the Internet, the student’s parent must be made aware of
the possibility that the student could obtain access to inappropriate material
while engaged in independent use of the Internet.
In addition, in accordance with the board’s goals and
visions for technology, students may require accounts in third party systems to
be used independently for school related projects designed to assist students
in mastering effective and proper online communications or to meet other
educational goals. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
allows schools to act as agents for parents in providing consent for the
creation of student accounts within the school context if the information
collected is used for internal operations only and is not shared with outside
organizations. If parents do not want their student
to have access to online technological resources and accounts created and
managed by the school district, they should request and sign a Declination of
Technological Resources form.
No right of privacy exists in any communication on district
technological resources. School network spaces are analogous to desks or
lockers and may be inspected when network maintenance becomes necessary, or if
users are suspected of abusing access rights, and to ensure compliance with
board policy and applicable laws and regulations. School system administrators
or individuals designated by the superintendent may review files, monitor all
communication, and intercept e-mail messages to maintain system integrity, and
to ensure compliance with board policy and applicable laws and
regulations. School system personnel
shall monitor online activities of individuals who access the Internet via the
district network, a school-owned device, or school-managed cloud services via
personal computers, or devices.
F. PERSONAL WEBSITES
The superintendent may use any means available to request
the removal of personal websites, social networking websites, and other forms
of online materials and communications that substantially disrupt the school
environment or that utilize school system, or individual school names, logos,
or trademarks without permission.
School personnel generally do not
monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non-school system devices
during non-school hours
,. School personnel do
have the capability to monitor activity in cloud-based systems managed by the
district. When the student’s online behavior, using the Internet or district
managed services, has a direct and immediate effect on school safety, or maintaining
order and discipline in the schools, the student may be disciplined in
accordance with board policy (see the student behavior policies in the 4300
In accordance with Policy Code 7300
- Staff Responsibilities and Ethics, the board expects all staff members to
conduct themselves on and off the job in a manner that not only reflects
positively on the school system, but that sets forth a model worthy of
emulation by students. This expectation
includes the use of personal websites, social networking websites, and other
forms of online materials and communications.
All employees must use district
provided tools when communicating with students about any school-related
matters. Thus, employees may not use
personal email, personal websites, or personal social networking profiles to
post information in an attempt to communicate with students about
Employees are to maintain an
appropriate relationship with students at all times. Employees are encouraged to block students
from viewing personal information on employee personal websites or social
networking profiles in order to prevent the possibility that students could
view materials that are not age-appropriate.
If an employee creates and/or posts inappropriate content on a website
or profile and it has a negative impact on the employee’s ability to perform
his or her job as it relates to working with students, the employee will be
subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. This section applies to all employees,
volunteers, and student teachers working in the school system.
Volunteers are to maintain an
appropriate relationship with students at all times. Volunteers are encouraged to block students
from viewing personal information on volunteer personal websites or online
networking profiles in order to prevent the possibility that students could
view materials that are not age-appropriate.
An individual volunteer’s relationship with the school system may be
terminated if the volunteer engages in inappropriate online interaction with
Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. I; Children's Internet Protection
Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5);
Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2522;
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g;
17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 6777;
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, 59888 Federal Register/Vol. 64, No.
212 / 3972 Federal Register/ Vol. 78, No.12.
Cross References: Curriculum and Instructional Guides (policy
3115), Technology in the Educational Program (policy 3220), Copyright
Compliance (policy 3230/7330), Web Page Development (policy 3227/7322), Student
Behavior Policies (all policies in the 4300 series), Student Records (policy
4700), Use of Equipment, Materials and Supplies (policy 6520), Staff
Responsibilities (policy 7300), Employee Use of Social Media (policy 7335).