Technology Policy

File: IKL

POCAHONTAS COUNTY SCHOOLS TECHNOLOGY POLICY

 

PURPOSE

 

Pocahontas County Schools is providing employees and students with access to the electronic communication system, which includes Internet access.

The Pocahontas County Schools’ electronic communication system has a limited educational

purpose. The purpose of the Pocahontas County School technology program is to assist in

preparing students for success in life and work in the 21′ century by providing them with

electronic access to a wide range of information and the ability to communicate with people from

throughout the world. Additionally, the system will be used to increase Pocahontas County

School’s intra-communication, enhance productivity, and assist Pocahontas County School

employees in upgrading their skills through greater exchange of information with their peers.

Pocahontas County Schools will also assist the schools in sharing information with the local

community, including parents, social service agencies, government agencies and businesses.

Users may not use Pocahontas County School technology for commercial purposes, defined as offering or providing goods or services or purchasing goods or services for personal use.

Pocahontas County School’s acquisition policies will be followed for school purchase of goods

or services through the Pocahontas County Schools.

Users may not use technology for political lobbying. County employees and students may use

the technology to communicate with their elected representatives and to express their opinions

on political issues.

The term “educational purpose” includes use of the system for classroom activities, professional

or career development, and limited high-quality self-discovery activities. Students will limit

their use of the system for self-discovery purposes to no more than is developmentally

appropriate.

CENTRAL OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES

The superintendent will serve as the coordinator to oversee the Pocahontas County School

Technology Program and will work with other regional or state organizations as necessary.

The building principal will serve as the building-level coordinator for the Pocahontas County

Schools, will approve building-level activities, ensure teachers receive proper training in

the use of the equipment and the requirements of this policy, establish procedures to ensure

adequate supervision of students using the system, maintain executed user agreements, and be

responsible for interpreting the Pocahontas County Schools Acceptable Use Policy for students

and employees at the building level.

The technology coordinator will establish a process for setting-up individual and class accounts,

set quotas for disk usage on the system, establish a retention schedule, establish a Pocahontas

County School System virus protection process and arrange professional development activities.

 

TECHNICAL SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH POCAHONTAS COUNTY SCHOOL

SYSTEM

E-mail — E-mail will allow employees and students to communicate with people from throughout the world. Users will also be able to subscribe to mail lists to engage in group discussions related to educational subjects.

World Wide Web — The Web provides access to a wide range of information in the form of text,

graphics, photographs, video, and sound, from throughout the world. The Web is a valuable

research tool for students and employees.

Telnet — Telnet allows the user to log in to remote computers.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) — FTP allows users to download large files and computer software.

Newsgroups — Newsgroups are discussion groups that are similar to mail lists. The Pocahontas

County School System will provide access to selected newsgroups that relate to subjects that are

appropriate to the educational purpose of the system.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) — IRC provides the capability of engaging in “real-time” discussions.

The Pocahontas County School System will provide access to IRC only for specifically defined

and supervised educational activities.

Blocking Software —Pocahontas County Schools will use State acquired software designed to

block access to certain sites as it is made available.

 

ACCESS TO THE SYSTEM

The Pocahontas County Schools Acceptable Use Policy, set forth in Policy IKL, IKL-a and

IKL-b will govern all use of the Pocahontas County School Technologies. Student use will also

be governed by Policy IKL-a. Employee use will also be governed by Policy IKL-b.

 

World Wide Web — All Pocahontas County employees and students will have access to the Web through the Pocahontas County Schools computers. An acceptable use agreement will be

required. Parents may specifically request that their child(ren) not be provided such access by

notifying the Pocahontas County School System in writing.

 

Classroom Accounts — Elementary age students may be granted e-mail access only through a

classroom account. Elementary students may be provided with an individual account under

special circumstances at the request of their teacher and with the approval of their parent.

Parents may specifically request that their child(ren) not be provided access through the

classroom account by notifying the Pocahontas County Schools in writing.

Individual E-mail Accounts for Students — Secondary students may be provided with individual

e-mail accounts. An agreement will be required for an individual e-mail account. This

agreement must be signed by the student and his/her parent.

Individual E-Mail Accounts for Pocahontas County School Employees – may be provided with

an account. An acceptable use agreement will be required.

 

Guest Users — Guests may use with the approval of a Pocahontas County School administrator if there is a specific, school-related purpose requiring such access. Use of the system by a guest

must be specifically limited to the school-related purpose. An agreement will be required and

parental signature will be required if the guest is a minor (e.g., schools may allow home

schoolers to obtain access through the Pocahontas County School network).

 

PARENTAL NOTIFICATION AND RESPONSIBILITY

Pocahontas County Schools will notify the parents about the network and the policies governing

its use. Parents must sign an agreement to allow their student to have an individual account.

Parents may request alternative activities for their child(ren) that do not require Internet access.

Parents have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child(ren)’s e-mail files.

Parents have the right to request the termination of their child(ren)’s individual account at any

time. Pocahontas County Schools will direct parents to the appropriate E-Mail provider who

would assist them in gaining access to their child’s account.

 

The Pocahontas County Schools’ Acceptable Use Policy contains restrictions on accessing

inappropriate material. There is a wide range of material available on the Internet, some of

which may not be fitting with the particular values of the families of the students.

It is not practically possible for the Pocahontas County Schools to monitor and enforce a wide

range of social values in student use of the Internet. Further, Pocahontas County Schools

recognizes that parents bear primary responsibility for transmitting their particular set of family

values to their children. Pocahontas County Schools will encourage parents to specify to their

child(ren) what material is and is not acceptable for their child(ren) to access through the Internet

at home.

 

The Pocahontas County Schools will provide students and parents with guidelines for student

safety while using the Internet at home. Pocahontas County Schools are not responsible for

monitoring student’s use of the Internet when they are accessing the Internet from home. Parents

are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet when they are accessing the

Internet from home.

POCAHONTAS COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

Pocahontas County Schools makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, that the

functions or the services provided by or through the Pocahontas County School network will be

error-free or without defect. Pocahontas County Schools will not be responsible for any damage

users may suffer, including but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service.

Pocahontas County Schools are not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information

obtained through Internet use. Pocahontas County Schools will not be responsible for financial

obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system.

 

DUE PROCESS

Pocahontas County Schools will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any

investigation concerning or relating to any illegal activities conducted through the computer

network.

In the event there is an allegation that a student has violated the Pocahontas County Schools

Acceptable Use Policy, the student will be provided with a written notice of the alleged violation

and an opportunity to present an explanation before a neutral administrator.

Disciplinary actions will be tailored to meet specific concerns related to the violation and to

assist the student in gaining the self-discipline necessary to behave appropriately on an electronic

network. If the alleged violation also involves a violation of other provisions of the disciplinary

step plan, the violation will be handled in accord with the applicable provision of Policy JDD.

Employee violations of the Pocahontas County Schools’ Acceptable Use Policy will be handled

in accord with Pocahontas County Board Policy and pursuant to the West Virginia State Code.

Any school administrator may terminate the account privileges of a guest user by providing

notice to the user.

 

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Computer users have a limited privacy expectation in the contents of their personal files on the

Pocahontas County Schools computers. Routine maintenance and monitoring of equipment may

lead to discovery that the user has or is violating the Pocahontas County Schools Acceptable Use

Policy, the disciplinary code, or the law.

An individual search will be conducted if there is a reasonable suspicion that a user has violated

the law or Policies IKL, IKL-a and IKL-b. The nature of the investigation will be reasonable and

in the context of the nature of the alleged violation.

Pocahontas County School employees should be aware that their personal files are subject to

administrative review.

 

4110 COPYRIGHT AND PLAGIARISM

 

Pocahontas County School’s policies on copyright will govern the use of material accessed

through the Pocahontas County School networks. Because the extent of copyright protection of

certain works found on the Internet is unclear, employees will make a standard practice of

requesting permission from the holder of the work if their use of the material has the potential of

being considered an infringement. Teachers will instruct students to respect copyright and to

request permission when appropriate. Pocahontas County School’s policies on plagiarism will

govern use of material accessed through the Pocahontas County School Network. Teachers will

instruct students in appropriate research and citation practices.

 

ACADEMIC FREEDOM, SELECTION OF MATERIAL, STUDENT RIGHTS TO FREE SPEECH

 

Board policies on Academic Freedom and Free Speech will govern the use of the Internet.

When using the Internet for class activities, teachers will select material that is age appropriate,

and that is relevant to the course objectives. Teachers will preview the materials and sites they

recommend students access to determine the appropriateness of the material contained on or

accessed through the site.

Teachers will provide guidelines and lists of resources to assist their students in channeling their

research activities effectively and properly. Teachers will assist their students in developing the

skills to ascertain the truthfulness of information, distinguish fact from opinion, and engage in

discussions about controversial issues while demonstrating tolerance and respect for those who

hold divergent views.

 

POCAHONTAS COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM’S WEB SITE

 

Pocahontas County School Systems Web Site — Pocahontas County Schools will establish a Web

site and will develop Web pages that will present information about the school system. The

technology coordinator will be designated as the Webmaster, responsible for maintaining the

Pocahontas County Schools Web site.

School or Class Web Pages — Schools and classes may establish Web pages that present

information about the school or class activities. The building principal will designate an

individual to be responsible for managing the school Web site. Teachers will be responsible

for maintaining their class site.

Independent Student Web Pages — With the approval of the building principal, students may

establish personal Web pages. The principal will establish a process and criteria for the

establishment and posting of material, including pointers to other sites, on these pages. Material

presented in the student’s Web site must be related to the student’s educational and career

preparation activities. Student Web pages must include the following notice: “This is a student

Web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the Pocahontas County

School System.”

Independent Extracurricular Organization Web Pages —The building principal will approve and monitor all Web Pages. These Web pages must follow school guidelines for confidentiality

issues. The principal will establish a process and criteria for the establishment and posting of

material, including pointers to other sites, on these pages. Material presented on the organization

Web page must relate specifically to organization activities and will include only student produced material. Organization Web pages must include the following notice: “This is an

independent extracurricular organization Web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not

be attributed to the Pocahontas County School System.”

Illegal Activities — Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Pocahontas County

School network or to any other computer system through Pocahontas County School equipment,

or go beyond their authorized access. This includes attempting to log in through another

person’s account or accessing another person’s files. These actions are illegal, even if only for

the purposes of “browsing.”

 

Users will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system performance or destroy

data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal. Users will

not use the Pocahontas County School’s equipment to engage in any other illegal act.

System Security – Users are responsible for the use of their individual account and should take

all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account. Under no

conditions should a user provide his/her password to another person. Users will immediately

notify the superintendent of schools if they have identified a possible security problem. Users

will not go looking for security problems, because this may be construed as an illegal attempt to

gain access. Users will avoid the inadvertent spread of computer viruses by following the

Pocahontas County School System’s virus protection procedures if they download files.

 

Inappropriate Language – Restrictions against Inappropriate Language apply to public messages,

private messages, and material posted on Web pages. Users will not use obscene, profane, lewd,

vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language. Users will not post

information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a danger of disruption. Users will not

engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks. Users will not harass

another person. Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another

person.

If a user is told by a person to stop sending them messages, he/she must stop. Users will

not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization.

Respect for Privacy – Users will not repost a message that was sent to them privately without

permission of the person who sent them the message. Users will not post private information

about another person.

 

Respecting Resource Limits – Users will use the system only for educational and professional or

career development activities, and limited, high-quality, self-discovery activities. For students,

the limit on self-discovery activities will be set by individual schools and be developmentally

appropriate. Users will not download large files unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, users

will download the file at a time when the system is not being heavily used and immediately

remove the unneeded file from the system computer to their personal computer. Users will not

post chain letters or engage in “spamming.” Spamming is sending an annoying or unnecessary

message to a large number of people. Users will check their e-mail frequently, delete unwanted

messages promptly, and stay within their e-mail quota. Users will subscribe only to high quality

discussion group mail lists that are relevant to their education or professional/career

development.

 

Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement – Users will not plagiarize works that they find on the

Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they were

original to the user.

 

Users will respect the rights of copyright owners. Copyright infringement occurs when an

individual inappropriately reproduces a work that is protected by a copyright. If a work contains

language that specifies acceptable use of that work, the user should follow the expressed

requirements. If the user is unsure whether or not they can use a work, they should request

permission from the copyright owner.

 

Inappropriate Access to Material — Users will not use Pocahontas County School’s equipment to

access material that is profane or obscene, that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence

or discrimination towards other people. For students, a special exception may be made for hate

literature if the purpose of such access is to conduct research and access is approved by the

teacher. Pocahontas County School employees may access the above material only in the

context of legitimate research.

 

If a user inadvertently accesses such information, he/she should immediately disclose the

inadvertent access in a manner specified by his/her school. This will protect users against an

allegation that they have intentionally violated the Acceptable Use Policy.

 

Internet Safety Policy — Additional Provisions

  1. Pocahontas County Schools shall deploy and maintain appropriate hardware and/or

software, designed to protect against Internet access by both adults and minors to visual

depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or, with respect to the use of computers

by minors, harmful to minors. Such hardware and/or software shall be deployed in a

manner that controls access in relation to all computers maintained by the school district.

Deployment shall begin on July 1, 2001 and shall be completed on October 31, 2001.

  1. Each school shall develop a procedure to monitor the online activities of students. Such

procedures shall include the physical observation of students when engaged in online

activities and random audits of site histories. Copies of such procedures shall be

submitted to the superintendent by October 31, 2001.

  1. Pocahontas County Schools shall conduct a public hearing upon the proposed Internet

Safety Policy. Notice of the public hearing shall be published in the newspaper with

general circulation within Pocahontas County.

 

Adopted: January, 1999

Revised: September, 2001

Reference: State Board of Education Policy 2460