Student Use of Computerized Information Resources

ACCEPTABLE USE GUIDELINES

The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District (MWCSD) recognizes that effective use of technology is important to our students and will be essential to them as adults. Consequently, the School System will provide access to various computerized information resources through the District’s computer system (DCS hereafter) consisting of software, hardware, computer networks and electronic communications systems. This may include access to electronic mail, “on-line services,” “WiFi” and the “Internet.” The District shall provide personnel support for such usage.

The DCS is for educational and/or research use only and must be consistent with the goals and purposes of the MWCSD. The standards of acceptable use as well as prohibited conduct by students accessing the DCS, as outlined in District policy and regulation, are not intended to be all-inclusive. Students are held to the same standards of good behavior whether they are using school computer networks or any other electronic media or communications, including a student’s own personal technology or electronic device while on school grounds or at school events. In addition to the specific standards of student conduct delineated in this regulation, the general requirements of acceptable student behavior expected under the District’s school conduct and discipline policy and the Code of Conduct also apply to student access to the DCS. Communications on the network are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communications apply.

Legal and ethical implications of software use will be taught to students of all levels where there is such software use. In addition, the Building Principal or his/her designee and/or classroom teacher will be responsible for informing District students of rules and regulations governing student access to the DCS.

In order to match electronic resources as closely as possible to the approved District curriculum, District personnel will review and evaluate resources in order to offer “home pages” and menus of materials which comply with Board guidelines governing the selection of instructional materials. In this manner, staff will provide developmentally appropriate guides to students as they make use of telecommunications and electronic information resources to conduct research and other studies related to the District curriculum. As much as possible, access to the District’s computerized information resources will be designed in ways which point students to those which have been reviewed and evaluated prior to use. While students may be able to move beyond those resources to others which have not been evaluated by staff, students shall be provided with guidelines and lists of resources particularly suited to the learning objectives.

Inappropriate use of the DCS may result in disciplinary action, including suspension or cancellation of access. Prior to suspension or revocation of access to the DCS, students will be afforded applicable due process rights. Each student who is granted access will be responsible for that usage. The DCS is provided for students in support of their educational program and to conduct research and communicate with others. Student access to external computer networks not controlled by the District is provided to students who act in a considerate and responsible manner. Likewise, students are expected to observe the same standards of behavior when using their own personal technology or electronic devices on school grounds or at school events. Individual users of the District’s computerized information resources are responsible for their behavior and communications over the District computer network. It is presumed that users will comply with District standards and will honor the agreements they have signed.

Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers. This means that such areas shall be considered to be M-WCSD property and subject to control and inspection. The Director of Technology / designee may access all such files and communications without prior notice to ensure system integrity and that users are complying with the requirements of District policy and regulations regarding student access to the DCS. Students should NOT expect that information stored on the DCS will be private.

During school, teachers will guide students toward appropriate materials. Outside of school, parents/guardians bear responsibility for such guidance as they do with information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other potentially offensive/controversial media.

Use of the DCS which violates any aspect of M-WCSD policy; the Code of Conduct; and federal, state or local laws or regulations is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action in compliance with applicable District guidelines and/or federal, state and local law including, but not limited to, suspension and/or revocation of access to the DCS. In addition to the District’s general requirements governing student behavior, specific activities shall be prohibited by student users of the DCS including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Using the DCS to obtain, view, download, send, print, display or otherwise gain access to or to transmit materials that are unlawful, obscene, pornographic or abusive.
  2. Use of obscene or vulgar language.
  3. Harassing, insulting, bullying, threatening or attacking others.
  4. Damaging, disabling or otherwise interfering with the operation of computers, computer systems, software or related equipment through physical action or by electronic means.
  5. Using unauthorized software on the DCS.
  6. Changing, copying, renaming, deleting, reading or otherwise accessing files or software not created by the student without express permission from the computer coordinator.
  7. Violating copyright law, including the illegal file sharing of music, videos and software.
  8. Employing the DCS for non-educational, commercial purposes, product advertisement or political lobbying.
  9. Disclosing an individual password to others or using others’ passwords.
  10. Transmitting material, information or software in violation of any District policy or regulation, the District Code of Conduct, and/or federal, state and local law or regulation.
  11. Revealing personal information about oneself or of other students including, but not limited to, disclosure of home address and/or telephone number.
  12. Accessing personal or interactive sites unless under the direct supervision of a staff member. This includes the use of a student’s personal cell phone or digital device to access such social networking sites.
  13. Creating or using a website or blog which may cause a substantial disruption in the school environment or interfere with the rights of others.
  14. Using digital device (such as cell or camera phones), electronic technology and/or media to facilitate cheating, plagiarism, etc.

Network accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account. Any user of the DCS that accesses another network or computer resources shall be subject to that networks acceptable use policy.

If a student or a student’s parent/guardian has a District network account, a non-district network account, or any other account or program which will enable direct or indirect access to a District computer, any access to the DCS in violation of District policy and/or regulation may result in student discipline. Indirect access to a District computer shall mean using a non-district computer in a manner which results in the user gaining access to a District computer, including access to any and all information, records or other material contained or stored in a District computer.

Sanctions
  1. Violations may result in suspension and/or revocation of student access to the DCS as determined in accordance with appropriate due process procedures.
  2. Additional disciplinary action may be determined at the building level in accordance with existing practices and procedures regarding inappropriate language or behavior, as well as federal, state and local law.
  3. When applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.
Security

Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users. Users of the DCS identifying a security problem on the District’s system must notify the teacher in charge. A student is not to demonstrate the problem to other users. Attempts to log on to the DCS as a Technology Department staff member may result in restriction or suspension of user privileges. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the DCS. Further, any violations regarding the use and application of the DCS shall be reported by the student to the teacher in charge.

Notification

The District’s Acceptable Use Policy and Regulations will be disseminated to parents and students in order to provide notice of the school’s requirements, expectations, and students’ obligations when accessing the DCS.