Technology Use Guidelines - Student

Download in PDF format - Approved July 09, 2020

Purpose of the Technology Use Guidelines 

To establish clear guidelines for all students who may have or are granted access to the Bedford County Public Schools’ (“BCPS”) computer System.


For purposes of these guidelines  – 

“Computer system” includes, but is not limited to hardware, software, data, communication lines and devices; printers; laptop and desktop computers; tablets; smartphones; optical disks; tape drivers; servers; mainframe; personal electronic devices brought as part of the Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) program; all peripherals, digital cameras, document cameras, interactive whiteboards/panels, and projectors; internal and external network connections; email systems; social media accounts; cloud or other online services offered through or operated by BCPS; and any other internal or external networks and/or services that BCPS utilizes.

“Division personnel,” “employee,” or “staff” means any person employed by the Bedford County School Board.

“Guest” means any member of the Bedford County community or other individual who is granted access to BCPS’ computer system.

“Parent” means biological parent, relative, guardian, or other adult who has physical and/or legal control and responsibility for a minor (child) under the age of eighteen years.

“Student” means any person currently enrolled in Bedford County Public Schools. This includes students who are otherwise adults enrolled in any program sponsored by Bedford County Public Schools

“User” means any person who has access to or has permission to use BCPS’ computer system.  User includes all guests, division personnel, employees, staff, parents, and students.

Statement of Expectations

Students may gain access to the computer system only with prior approval from the building principal or designee for educational purposes or another legitimate purpose as determined by the classroom teacher.  When using the computer system, whether on or off school grounds, students shall follow all applicable School Board policies and procedures, including this Technology Use Guidelines (“TUG”), and the Student Code of Conduct.  The relevant policies, procedures, and rules are applicable whether students are online or in the physical school building.  Students shall not engage in any bullying or cyberbullying as defined in the Code of Student Conduct.

All use of the BCPS’ computer system shall be consistent with the School Board’s mission of empowering learners for future success.  BCPS’ computer system promotes instruction in 21st Century skills, research, and communication, and supports opportunities for collaborative work.  BCPS’ computer system is maintained for the mutual benefit of all users, and adherence to this TUG is necessary for continued access to the computer system.

The use of the BCPS’ computer system is a privilege, not a right, and this policy is designed to establish clear guidelines for all students who have been granted access to the computer system.  Students’ use of the computer system shall be in furtherance of BCPS’ educational objectives and in accordance with this TUG, the Code of Student Conduct, and any other policy and/or procedure referenced below.

Internet Safety Instruction and Community Outreach

The need for Internet safety instruction and community outreach programs is assessed by building administrators, teachers, and the TUG Committee, all working together toward educating all stakeholders within our community.

As set forth in Va. Code § 22.1-70.2, BCPS shall provide to all students (K-12) Internet safety training. All students are expected to actively practice proper network etiquette.  Internet safety instruction and community outreach shall be conducted periodically to educate and instruct students and parents about the dangers and pitfalls associated with improper Internet use.  This includes, but is not limited to, intellectual property rights, online predators, illegal downloading from the Internet, and “sexting.”  Internet safety instruction and community outreach programs may call on School Resource Officers to assist in the explanation of the following: legal definitions, charges that may be filed against an individual in specific situations, and lasting legal consequences.  

Safety Measures and Limitations

To protect students, software is installed on the BCPS network to filter or block any content deemed inappropriate or harmful by BCPS, which includes but is not limited to child pornography as set out in Va. Code 18.2-374.1:1; obscenity as defined in Va. Code section 18.2-372; and non-educational social media or social networking spaces. Software filters are limited to blocking content accessed through the BCPS network, and will not prevent access to content when non-BCPS networks are utilized. Cell phones are one example of technology that does not utilize the BCPS network and will not benefit from the software filter.  Students shall not rely on software filters to prevent inappropriate website access.  

As new technologies emerge, the educational value and ease of classroom integration will be evaluated concurrently by the BCPS Technology Staff, the BCPS Instructional Department, the BCPS Special Services Department, building technology committees, and the TUG Committee.   Recommendations for amendment to this policy will be made by the TUG Committee to the governing School Board.

Data Backup and Network Security

BCPS makes every effort to provide reliable storage for all programs and files on BCPS’ servers. However, because no server can ever be 100% reliable, each user is responsible for backing up his/her individual files.  BCPS recommends the regular backup of individual files to a portable medium, such as a Flash drive or an external hard drive, at least once a week.

Users shall not expect any data stored on the BCPS’ computer system to be private.  Digital communication and files stored on BCPS’ computer system are regarded as property of BCPS. Authorized administrators may, without reason or prior notice, review files and documents including, but not limited to, email, documents, and logs, to ensure users are acting in accordance with this TUG, and to maintain system integrity.

Current security measures include firewalls, Internet filters, virus protection, and virus monitoring devices.  The BCPS Technology staff and Systems Engineer evaluate the security of the BCPS’ computer system to identify security threats daily.  Data security and network security are constantly reviewed and, when necessary, adjustments and modifications are made to the system as issues arise.

Any user who identifies a security issue or problem shall immediately notify the building administration, the Technology Staff, Systems Engineer, or the Director of Technology.  The intentional destruction or vandalism of BCPS’ computer system by any means or the intentional breach of BCPS’ LAN or WAN is prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to, the use of cellular hotspots, personal access points, VPN, and/or proxy applications to circumvent the BCPS Internet filtering system. Any violation of this TUG may result in loss of computer system privileges and may also result in appropriate disciplinary action, as determined by the School Board, or legal action.

Reliability of the Computer System

Technology, while extremely valuable, is sometimes unreliable.  The School Board makes no warranties for the computer system it provides.  The School Board shall not be liable for any damages to the user from use of BCPS’ computer system, including loss of data, non-delivery or missed delivery of information, or service interruptions.  The School Board denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through BCPS’ computer system.  Users are cautioned to prepare for and guard against instances of technology unreliability.  Users agree to indemnify the School Board for any losses, costs, or damages incurred by the School Board relating to or arising out of any violation of this TUG.

Google Domain

The BCPS Google Domain, a private BCPS learning management tool, is a set of intelligent apps including, but not limited to,  Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and Classroom designed to promote critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication between students and teachers in an instructional setting. 

BCPS may provide a Google Domain account to students as a tool to meet education expectations while  fulfilling their academic and school-sponsored extracurricular activities.  A Google Domain account is not private and may be monitored and accessed by BCPS. Unauthorized access to a Google Domain account by any student is prohibited. Students are prohibited from sharing their Google account access information (logins and passwords) with other students.  Students are prohibited from soliciting or using the account access information of others.  Students shall be held personally responsible for all content in their Google Domain accounts stored in Gmail, Docs, Drive, etc.  When communicating with BCPS staff through Gmail, students shall use the BCPS staff member’s official email address.  Downloading any file attached to an electronic message is prohibited unless the student is certain of that message authenticity and the nature of the file.

YouTube is offered to students through the Google Domain. A limited number of videos appropriate for school use are available in a Restricted Mode. Videos that are not available but have an educational purpose may be approved through BCPS teachers and staff.

BCPS provides email to some students as an educational tool. This email is not private and may be monitored and accessed by BCPS staff.  Personal email accounts may not be used by students to communicate with BCPS staff.  Unauthorized access to an email account by any user is prohibited.  Users shall be held personally liable for the content of any email they create.  Downloading any file attached to an email is prohibited unless the user is certain of its authenticity and the nature of the file.  Prohibited uses of BCPS student provided email accounts included but are not limited to:

  • Sending personal and confidential information;
  • Swearing, using vulgarities, or using any other inappropriate language in any email transmission (Disciplinary action, as outlined in this policy, may be imposed);
  • Sending or forwarding chain letters;
  • Spamming (sending unwanted, unsolicited emails to large groups of people, or everyone in your address book);
  • Sending or sharing documents with large groups of people for anything other than an educational purpose to include selling products or offering outside merchandise;
  • Subscribing to mail or notification lists (e.g. signing up or creating accounts for anything not school related);
  • Sending emails with false or defamatory information; and
  • Sending emails that are intended to harass, insult, or are personal or discriminatory attacks on another user.

Electronic & Digital Published Media

BCPS may provide digital tools to aid students and staff in fulfilling their educational and workplace responsibilities.  When authoring these digital works, users shall keep in mind that the end product shall support the educational objectives of BCPS.  Every member of the BCPS community has the responsibility to maintain and enhance BCPS’ public image and to use all digital tools in a productive manner.  Unacceptable use includes but is not limited to:

  • Posting personal and/or confidential information;
  • Swearing, using vulgarities, or using any language inappropriate for a school setting;
  • Transmitting false or defamatory information;
  • Creating any end product intended to harass, insult, or launch a personal or discriminatory attack on an individual or group; and
  • Posting electronic media for any other purpose that is illegal, against School Board Policies, or contrary to the best interest of BCPS.

Social Media

Social media includes Internet-based applications and mobile technologies that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.  Examples of commonly used social media tools include, but are not limited to: blogs, message boards, chat groups, instant messaging, personal news updates, and music/video sharing (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Remind, YouTube, and Twitter).  Utilization of social media on BCPS’s computer system is permitted only by division personnel for professional development purposes; as a tool to foster closer community/school relations (e.g. the creation of a school Facebook Page); and as an educational tool with students over the age of 13 years, provided it is on the pre-approved list maintained by the Director of Technology or designee.  Students may use social media on BCPS’ computer system only for educational purposes with prior approval from the classroom teacher.

Any use of social media must be in conformance with this TUG.  Staff and students are cautioned that even non-school division computer system use of social media that violates this TUG, any School Board policies or procedures, the Code of Student Conduct, or creates a foreseeable risk of causing a substantial disruption to the work and discipline of the school, may result in disciplinary action. Students should only interact with staff through social media sites created for educational purposes. Students should not engage staff through personal social media sites.

Social media in the classroom shall be used with students under the age of 13 years only where allowed by law (e.g., falls within the parameters of COPPA, CIPA, and PPRA) or when BCPS has approved usage division-wide (e.g., the BCPS Google Domain, a private BCPS learning management tool) and with parental permission.

Examples of Acceptable Technology Use 

1. In accordance with teacher directives in the instructional setting, including:

  • Research
  • Organization of materials
  • Brainstorming
  • Composition
  • Note-taking
  • Instructional software and Internet activities
  • Projects
  • Correspondence
  • Career Development
  • Discussion Forums
  • Electronic Collaboration

2. Comply with fair-use laws and copyright regulations while accessing the Internet

  • Understand, recognize, and respect the intellectual property of others;
  • Present accurate information when collaboratively gathering or sharing information (e.g. avoid Wiki vandalism);
  • Ethical gathering and/or presentation of information (e.g. avoid plagiarism, provide correct attribution, follow Creative Commons Law); and
  • Cite all sources.

3. School-sponsored email 

  • Use for legitimate BCPS academic and curricular activities communications;
  • Keep passwords and logins confidential and share them only with trusted adults;
  • Only access your own account;
  • Send messages that contain content in accordance with this policy and the Code of Student Conduct;
  • Immediately report messages that violate this policy or the Code of Student Conduct to administration; and
  • Download attachments only when the user is certain the attachment is safe for the Computer System.

4. The Principles of the Computer System Community:

  • Exercise polite and proper network etiquette (the acceptable behavior the Internet community expects its citizens to follow);
  • Use the BCPS network for educational activities;
  • Respect both your own privacy and the privacy of others by not giving out personal information;
  • Respect the rights of others by not wasting network resources; and
  • Report to a trusted adult any material that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable.

Examples of Unacceptable Use

Students MAY NOT engage in any conduct that violates this TUG or the Code of Student Conduct.  For example, a student MAY NOT:

  1. Bypass or attempt to bypass BCPS’ filtering software;
  2. Swear, use vulgarities, or any other inappropriate language in any electronic communication;
  3. Access web pages or Internet content that is inconsistent with the educational objectives of BCPS;
  4. Participate in cyberbullying which is defined as the use of electronic media to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group with the intention of physically or psychologically intimidate others;
  5. Use the network/Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright law, violation of contracts, or transmitting any material in violation of any federal, state or local law;
  6. Send, receive, view, or download illegal or otherwise prohibited material via BCPS’ computer system;
  7. Install or download media, without authorization, to any BCPS or non-BCPS electronic devices while connected to the BCPS network;
  8. Use BCPS’ computer system for private financial or commercial gain or advertising;
  9. Use resources wastefully (e.g. bandwidth, file space, paper, and ink/toner) or fail to respect the BCPS resource limits;
  10. Gain unauthorized access to resources or entities;
  11. Post material authored or created by another without his or her consent;
  12. Submit, post, publish or display any obscene, profane, threatening, illegal, or other inappropriate material;
  13. Use BCPS’ computer system while access privileges are suspended or revoked;
  14. Vandalize BCPS’ computer system, including, but not limited to, modifying or rearranging keyboards, individual keycaps, any other peripheral equipment, or destroying data by creating or spreading viruses and/or by any other means;
  15. Forge, intercept, or interfere with electronic mail messages;
  16. Post personal contact information about oneself or others including, without limitation, name, address, telephone, school/work address, without the prior written approval of the school principal or other designee of BCPS;
  17. Use BCPS’ computer system to disrupt others;
  18. Read, modify or delete data owned by others;
  19. Attempt to modify settings or personalize devices owned by BCPS; and
  20. Violate any School Board policy or procedure or the Code of Student Conduct while using BCPS’ computer system.


Recommended Dispositions in the Event of Student Misconduct

Students shall be held accountable to the appropriate Level of Consequence chart found in the Code of Student Conduct.

TUG Review and Revision

At a minimum, this TUG will be reviewed on an annual basis by the TUG Committee.  Additional review may be conducted if warranted under the circumstances.  The TUG Committee shall be responsible for making any recommended changes to this Technology Use Guidelines to the School Board.


Signature Required on This Sheet 


Bedford County Public Schools




Parents of minors are required to sign this Agreement before any student will be granted permission to use the Bedford County Public Schools’ Computer System. Students are required to sign the agreement as an indication they understand the rules and regulations of the Technology Use Guidelines BY STUDENTS Policy. Read this Agreement carefully before signing. 


If you have any questions about this policy or regulation, contact your school principal. 


I understand and agree to abide by the Bedford County Public Schools’ Technology Use Guidelines Policy and Regulation. I understand that BCPS may access and monitor my use of the Computer System, including my use of the Internet, email and downloaded material, without prior notice to me. I further understand that should I violate the Technology Use Guidelines or Regulation, my Computer System privileges may be revoked and disciplinary action and/or legal action may be taken against me.


Student name: ____________________ Student signature _______________________ Date________ 


I have read this Agreement and Policy/Regulation. I understand that access to the Computer System is intended for educational purposes, and the Bedford County Public Schools has taken precautions to eliminate inappropriate material. I also recognize, however, that it is impossible for BCPS to restrict access to all inappropriate material, and I will not hold BCPS responsible for information acquired on the Computer System. I have discussed the terms of this agreement, policy and regulation with my child. I grant permission for my child to use the Computer System and for BCPS to issue an account for my child. 


Parent name: ______________________ Parent signature: ______________________ Date: _________

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