HIGHLANDS MIDDLE SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY RESPONSIBLE USE DOCUMENT
The Board of Education provides students and staff access to a variety of technological resources, including laptop computers. The laptop computer issued to each student by the Board of Education is a mandatory class material at HMS. These resources provide opportunities to enhance learning and improve communication within the school community and with the larger global community. Through the school district’s technological 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 in-depth information.
The Board of Education intends that students and employees benefit from these resources while remaining within the bounds of safe, legal and responsible use.
A. EXPECTATIONS FOR USE OF SCHOOL TECHNOLOGICAL RESOURCES
School district technological resources may only be used by students, staff and others expressly authorized by the Board of Education. The use of school district technological resources, including access to the Internet, is a privilege, not a right. Individual users of the school district’s technological resources are responsible for their behavior and communications when using those resources. Responsible use of school district technological resources is use that is 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 behavior standards, including those prescribed in applicable Board of Education policies, the Student Code of Conduct and other regulations and school rules, apply to use of the Internet and other school technological resources.
In addition, anyone who uses school district computers or electronic devices or who accesses the school network or the Internet using school district resources must comply with the additional rules for responsible use listed in Section B. These rules are intended to clarify expectations for conduct but should not be construed as all-inclusive. Furthermore, all students must adhere to the Fort Thomas Independent Schools Acceptable Use Policy and Student Code of Conduct.
Before using school district technological resources, students and parents/guardian must sign a statement indicating that they understand and will strictly comply with these requirements. 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 district 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 district technological resources for political purposes or for commercial gain or profit is prohibited.
- School district technological resources are installed and maintained by members of the Technology Department. Students shall not attempt to perform any installation or maintenance without the permission of the Technology Department.
- Under no circumstance may software purchased by the school district be copied for personal use.
- Students must comply with all applicable laws, including those relating to copyrights and trademarks, confidential information, and public records. 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 Student Code of Conduct.
- No user of technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic communications, may engage in creating, intentionally viewing, 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, abusive 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 copyrighted material.
- 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, blogs or other forms of electronic communication, students must not reveal personal identifying information, or information that is private or confidential, such as the home address or telephone number, credit or checking account information or social security number of themselves or fellow students. 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 district technological resources. Users may not knowingly or negligently transmit computer viruses or self-replicating messages or deliberately try to degrade or disrupt system performance.
- Users 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, computer systems or accounts.
- Users are prohibited from using another individual’s ID or password for any technological resource.
- Users may not read, alter, change, block, execute or delete files or communications belonging to another user without the owner’s express prior permission.
- If a user identifies a security problem on a technological resource, he or she must immediately notify a system administrator.
- Views may not be expressed on the Internet or other technological resources as representing the view of the school district or part of the school district without prior approval by the superintendent or designee.
- Users may not connect to the district wireless access points, routers, etc. or to a district owned and maintained local or wide area network without permission by the Technology Department.
- Connection of personal devices are permitted but not supported by FTIS technical staff. The Board of Education is not responsible for the content accessed by users who connect to the Internet via their personal mobile technology (e.g., 3G, 4G service).
- Users must back up data and other important files regularly.
- Those who use district owned and maintained technologies to access the Internet at home are responsible for both the cost and configuration of such use.
- Students who are issued district owned and maintained laptops must also follow these guidelines:
- During any transport, the laptop must be secured in a backpack or sleeve.
- Never carry the laptop with the screen open.
- Keep the laptop secure and damage free.
- Do not loan out the laptop, charger or cords.
- Do not leave the laptop in a vehicle.
- Do not leave the laptop unattended.
- Do not eat or drink while using the laptop or have food or drinks in close proximity to the laptop.
- Do not allow pets near the laptop.
- Do not place the laptop on the floor or on a sitting area such as a chair or couch.
- Do not leave the laptop near table or desk edges.
- Do not stack objects on top of the laptop.
- Do not leave the laptop outside.
- Do not use the laptop near water such as a pool.
- Do not check the laptop as luggage at the airport.
- Back up data and other important files regularly. FTIS will at times perform maintenance on the laptops by imaging. All files not backed up to server storage space or other storage devices will be deleted during this process.
C. RESTRICTED MATERIAL ON THE INTERNET
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 of Education recognizes that it is impossible to predict with certainty what information on the Internet students may access or obtain. Nevertheless, school district 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 Board of Education is not responsible for the content accessed by users who connect to the Internet via their personal mobile technology (e.g., 3G, 4G service).
D. PARENT/GUARDIAN CONSENT
The Board of Education recognizes that parents/guardians 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 parents/guardian must be made aware of the possibility that the student could obtain access to inappropriate material while engaged in independent use of the Internet. The parents/guardian and student must consent to the student’s independent access to the Internet and to monitoring of the student’s e-mail communication by school personnel.
In addition, in accordance with the Board of Education’s vision for technology, students may require accounts in third party systems for school related projects designed to assist students in mastering effective and proper online communications or to meet other educational goals.
No right of privacy exists in the use of technological resources. Users should not assume that files or communications accessed, downloaded, created or transmitted using school district technological resources or stored on services or hard drives of individual computers will be private. School district 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 of Education policy and applicable laws and regulations. School district personnel reserve the right to monitor on-line activities of individuals who access the Internet via a school-owned computer.
Under certain circumstances, the Board of Education may be required to disclose such electronic information to law enforcement or other third parties, for example, as a response to a document production request in a lawsuit against the Board of Education, as a response to a public records request or as evidence of illegal activity in a criminal investigation.
F. SECURITY/CARE OF PROPERTY
Security on any computer system is a high priority. Unauthorized attempts to log onto any school system computer on the Board of Education’s network as a system administrator may result in cancellation of user privileges and/or additional disciplinary action. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other systems may be denied access.
Users of school district technology resources are expected to respect school district property and be responsible in using the equipment. Users are to follow all instructions regarding maintenance or care of the equipment. Users may be held responsible for any loss or damage caused by intentional or negligent acts in caring for computers while under their control. The school district is responsible for all routine maintenance to school system computers.
G. STOLEN MACHINE
If the machine is stolen, the parent/guardian must report the theft to the police and a copy of the police report filed with the FTIS Technology Department. An additional $75 Technology Fee will be assessed and a new machine will be issued.
H. PERSONAL WEB CONTENT
The superintendent may use any means available to request the removal of personal web content that substantially disrupts the school environment or that utilize school district or individual school names, logos or trademarks without permission.
Though school personnel do not monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non-school district devices during non-school hours, when the student’s on-line behavior 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 of Education policy.