Acceptable Use of Internet Policy


  • The Board supports use of the Internet and other computer networks in the district's instructional and operational programs in order to facilitate learning, teaching and daily operations through interpersonal communications and access to information, research, collaboration, creativity and innovation.

    The district provides students, staff and other authorized individuals with access to the district’s computers, electronic communications systems and network, which includes Internet access, whether wired or wireless or by any other means. The district also provides Internet access to the public when using the building for school functions.  

    For instructional purposes, the use of network facilities shall be consistent with the curriculum adopted by the school district as well as the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of students.

    The electronic information available to students and staff does not imply endorsement by the district of the content, nor does the district guarantee the accuracy of information received. The district shall not be responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged or unavailable when using the network or for any information that is retrieved via the Internet.

    The district shall not be responsible for any unauthorized charges or fees resulting from access to the Internet.

    The district reserves the right to log network use and to monitor fileserver space utilization by district users, while respecting the privacy rights of both district users and outside users.

    The Board establishes that network use is a privilege, not a right; inappropriate, unauthorized and illegal use will result in cancellation of those privileges and appropriate disciplinary action.

    The Board shall establish a list of materials, in addition to those stated in law, that are inappropriate for access by minors.

    The Board recognizes the importance of teaching acceptable use, online safety and digital citizenship to students.  The District curriculum shall include instruction for educating minors annually about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites, chat rooms, and messaging applications and cyber bulling awareness and response.

    The district shall make every effort to ensure that this resource is used responsibly by students and staff.

    Administrators, teachers and staff have a professional responsibility to work together to help students develop the intellectual skills necessary to discriminate among information sources, to identify information appropriate to their age and developmental levels, and to evaluate and use the information to meet their educational goals.

    Students and staff have the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of every other user in the district and on the Internet.

    The building administrator shall have the authority to determine what inappropriate use is.

    The Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for recommending technology and developing procedures used to determine whether the district's computers are being used for purposes prohibited by law or for accessing sexually explicit materials. The procedures shall include but not be limited to:

    1. Utilizing a technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access for minors and adults to certain visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors with respect to use by minors, or determined inappropriate for use by minors by the Board.

    2. Maintaining and securing a usage log.
    3. Monitoring online activities of users.
    Network accounts shall be used only by the authorized owner of the account for its approved purpose. All communications and information accessible via the network should be assumed to be private property and shall not be disclosed. Network users shall respect the privacy of other users on the system.

    Prohibitions

    Students and staff are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in accordance with district policy, accepted rules of network etiquette, and federal and state law. Specifically, the following uses are prohibited:

    1.Facilitating illegal activity.

    2.Commercial or for-profit purposes.

    3.Non-school related work.

    4.Product advertisement or political lobbying.

    5.Bullying/Cyberbullying.

    6.Hate mail, discriminatory remarks, and offensive or inflammatory communication.

    7.Unauthorized or illegal installation, distribution, reproduction, modification 
           or use of copyrighted materials.

    8.Access to obscene or pornographic material or child pornography.

    9.Access by students and minors to material that is harmful to minors or is determined inappropriate for minors in accordance with Board policy.

    10.Inappropriate language or profanity.

    11.Transmission of material likely to be offensive or objectionable to recipients.

    12.Intentional obtaining or modifying of files, passwords, and data belonging to other users.

    13.Impersonation of another user, anonymity, and pseudonyms.

    14.Loading or using of unauthorized games, programs, files, or other electronic media.

    15.Disruption of the work of other users.

    16.Destruction, modification, abuse or unauthorized access to network hardware, software and files.

    17.   Use of proxy sites or other technologies to circumvent the web filtering system.

    18.Quoting of personal communications in a public forum without the original author's prior consent.

    Security

    System security is protected through the use of passwords. Failure to adequately protect or update passwords could result in unauthorized access to personal or district files. To protect the integrity of the system, the following guidelines shall be followed:

    1.Employees and students shall not reveal their passwords to another individual.

    2.Users are not to use a computer that has been logged in under another student's or employee's name.

    3.    Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the network.

    4.All users with access to internal network resources are required to change passwords every 30 days.  These passwords must be at least 6 characters in length, not contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters and contain characters from three of the following four categories: uppercase characters, lowercase characters, numbers, and non-alphabetic characters Complexity requirements are enforced when passwords are changed or created.

    Consequences For Inappropriate Use

    The network user shall be responsible for damages to the equipment, systems, and software resulting from deliberate or willful acts.

    Illegal use of the network; intentional deletion or damage to files of data belonging to others; copyright violations; and theft of services will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution.

    General rules for behavior and communications apply when using the Internet, in addition to the stipulations of this policy. Loss of access and other disciplinary actions shall be consequences for inappropriate use.

    Vandalism will result in cancellation of access privileges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, Internet or other networks; this includes but is not limited to uploading or creating computer viruses.


    Copyright

    The illegal use of copyrighted software by students and staff is prohibited. Any data uploaded to or downloaded from the network shall be subject to fair use guidelines.


    Safety

    To the greatest extent possible, users of the network will be protected from harassment and unwanted or unsolicited communication. Any network user who receives threatening or unwelcome communications shall report such immediately to a teacher or administrator. Network users shall not reveal personal information to other users on the network, including chat rooms, e-mail, Internet, etc.

    All devices connected to the District’s network will be filtered utilizing a technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access

    Internet safety measures shall effectively address the following:
    1.Control of access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.

    2.Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, messaging applications and other forms of direct electronic communications.

    3.Prevention of unauthorized online access by minors, including "hacking" and other unlawful activities.

    4.Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.

    5.Restriction of minors’ access to materials harmful to them.

    References:

    School Code – 24 P.S. Sec. 1303.1-A

    Child Internet Protection Act – 24 P.S. Sec. 4601 et seq.

    Enhancing Education Through Technology Act of 2001 – 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6777

    Internet Safety – 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254

    Board Policy – 249, 814