Acceptable Use Policy - Adult Stakeholder

Approved June 08, 2017


Policy IIBEA/GAB ACCEPTABLE COMPUTER SYSTEM USE

Purpose of the Acceptable Use of the Computer System Policy

To establish clear guidelines for all employees, staff members, and guests who may have or are granted access to the Bedford County Public Schools’ (“BCPS”) computer system.

Definitions

For purposes of this Policy –

“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 program; all peripherals, digital camera, document cameras, interactive whiteboards, and projectors; internal and external network connection; e-mail system; 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.

“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

All uses of BCPS’ computer system shall be consistent with the School Board’s goal to prepare our students to be productive and responsible citizens in our community and the world.  BCPS’ computer system promotes instruction in 21st Century skills, research, and communication, and it also supports opportunities for collaborative work.  BCPS’ computer system is maintained for the mutual benefit of all users, and adherence to this Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”) is necessary for continued access to the computer system.

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

Rights and Responsibilities

Division Personnel:  All division personnel shall abide by this AUP and shall not share his/her passwords or specific account information with any student. 

Additional guidelines for acceptable electronics use are located in the School Faculty Handbooks, which shall be followed by all division personnel.  It is the responsibility of every user who identifies a security issue or problem to notify immediately the building administration, the Technology Staff, the Systems Engineer, or the Director of Technology. 

Instructional personnel are further responsible for the following:

  • To monitor and manage the student use of the computer system in order to protect their safety and security;
  • To monitor and supervise learning activities that include the integration of technology;
  • To educate and support students in Internet safety, the Fair Use Act, and copyright law;
  • To ensure that all guests receive a copy of this Policy before they may access the computer system;
  • To participate in professional development opportunities designed to further the understanding of technological integration in the classroom and/or to further the understanding of 21st Century Skills in the classroom;
  • To participate in community outreach programs designed to educate and instruct students, parents, and community members about the dangers and pitfalls associated with improper Internet use;
  • To ensure that all security measures are adhered to for the protection of all students and the BCPS computer system;
  • To ensure bandwidth resources are not used in an exorbitant manner for long periods of time (e.g., visiting data intensive websites such as Netflix and Hulu), especially during test administration windows;
  • To log off the BCPS network when equipment will be left unattended for extended periods of time; and
  • To back up his or her individual files and documents each week.

 

Parents:  All parents are responsible for reading this AUP in its entirety prior to signing it.  Parents shall be responsible for explaining the contents of this policy to their child(ren).  Any parent granted user status to BCPS’ computer system is responsible for:

  • Following this AUP;
  • Using BCPS’ computer system for purposes consistent with the educational objectives of BCPS; and
  • Notifying the building administration, the Technology Staff, the Systems Engineer, or the Director of Technology immediately upon identifying a security issue or problem with the computer system.

Guests:  All guests who are granted user status to BCPS’ computer system shall:

  • Read and sign this AUP prior to the initial use of the computer system;
  • Follow this AUP;
  • Use the BCPS computer system for purposes consistent with the educational objectives of BCPS; and
  • Notify the building administration, the Technology Staff, the Systems Engineer, or the Director of Technology immediately upon identifying a security issue or problem with the computer system.

 

Internet Safety Instruction and Community Outreach

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 annually 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. 

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

Safety Measures and Limitations

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 § 18.2-372; and 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 examples of technology that do not utilize the BCPS network and will not benefit from the software filter.  Users 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 AUP and Internet Safety Committee.  Recommendations for amendment to policy will be made by the AUP and Internet Safety Committee to the 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 AUP, 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 AUP shall 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 AUP.

Google Domain

The BCPS Google Domain, a private BCPS learning management tool, is a set of intelligent apps including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and Classroom designed to promote collaboration between students and teachers in an instructional setting.

BCPS may provide a Google Domain account to staff as an educational tool, and in 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 is prohibited. Users are prohibited from sharing their Google account access information (logins and passwords) with other users.  Users are prohibited from soliciting or using the account access information of others.  Users 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 user is certain of that message’s 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 education propose may be approved through BCPS teachers and staff.

Electronic Mail (Email)

BCPS provides email to aid staff in fulfilling their duties and as an educational tool. Email is not private and may be monitored and accessed by BCPS staffPersonal email accounts shall not be utilized by any BCPS staff when communicating with students. 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 provided email accounts included but are not limited to:

  • Sending personal and confidential student information (staff shall not include confidential student information);
  • Swearing, using vulgarities, or using any other inappropriate language in any email transmission Disciplinary action, as outlined in this policy, may be imposed);
  • Failing to check email inbox on a regular basis;
  • Sending or forwarding chain letters;
  • Spamming (sending unwanted, unsolicited emails to large groups of people, or everyone in your address book);
  • 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 aide 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 and video sharing (e.g., Facebook, Google+, REMIND 101, YouTube, and Twitter).  Utilization of social media on BCPS’ 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.  

Any use of social media must be in conformance with this AUP.  Staff and students are cautioned that even non-school division computer system use of social media that violates this AUP, 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. Staff should only interact with students through social media sites created for educational purposes. Staff should not engage students 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 system).

Examples of Acceptable Computer System Use

1. Professional Development Activities

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 emails

  • Used for legitimate BCPS academic and curricular activities communications;
  • Keep passwords and logins confidential;
  • Only access your own account;
  • Send messages that contain content in accordance with this policy;
  • Immediately report messages that violate this policy or the Code of Student Conduct to administration; and
  • Download attachments only when 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 – information posted to BCPS sponsored sites must be limited to curriculum related material;
  • Respect both your own privacy and the privacy of others; and
  • Respect the rights of others by not wasting network resources.

Examples of Unacceptable Use

Users MAY NOT engage in any conduct that violates this policy. For example:

  1. Circumventing or attempting to circumvent the BCPS’ filtering software.
  2. Swearing, using vulgarities, or any other use of inappropriate language in any electronic communication.
  3. Accessing web pages or Internet content that is inconsistent with the educational objectives of BCPS.
  4. Participating 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. Using 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. Sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading illegal or otherwise prohibited material via BCPS’ computer system.
  7. Installing or downloading media, without authorization, to any BCPS or non-BCPS electronic devices while connected to the BCPS network
  8. Using BPCS’ computer system for private financial or commercial gain or advertising.
  9. Using resources wastefully (e.g. bandwidth, file space, paper, and ink/toner) or failing to respect the BCPS resource limits.
  10. Gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities.
  11. Using BCPS’ computer system after access privileges have been suspended or revoked.
  12. Vandalizing BCPS’ computer system, including, but not limited to, modifying or rearranging keyboards, individual key caps, any other peripheral equipment, or destroying data by creating or spreading viruses and/or by any other means.
  13. Forging, intercepting, or interfering with emails messages.
  14. Using BCPS’ computer system to disrupt others.
  15. Violate any School Board policy or regulation while using BCPS’ computer system.

Possible Consequences for Violating this AUP

Any division personnel who violate this policy shall be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including termination. Examples of possible dispositions (in no particular order):

  • Restriction or cancellation of technology privileges
  • Confiscation
  • Law enforcement agency involvement
  • Restitution
  • Letter of reprimand
  • Supervisory conference
  • Plan of improvement
  • Administrative leave pending a hearing
  • Termination of employment

AUP Review and Revision

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

ACCEPTABLE COMPUTER SYSTEM USE AGREEMENT

Users are required to sign this Agreement before they will be granted permission to use the Bedford County Public Schools’ computer system.  If you have any questions about the AUP, please contact your supervisor or the building principal.  By singing this agreement, you certify that you have read Policy IIBEA/GAB, Acceptable Computer System Use and agree to abide by its terms.

I have read this Agreement and School Board Policy and Regulation GAB.  I understand that access to BCPS’ computer system is intended for educational purposes only.  I understand that BCPS may access and monitor my use of the computer system, including my use of the Internet, emails, and downloaded material, without prior notice to me. I understand 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 further understand that should I violate this AUP, my computer system privileges may be revoked and disciplinary action and/or legal action may be taken against me.

Name: _________________________________________

Signature: ______________________________________

Date: __________________________________________