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107.1 Policy: Administrative Guidelines Electronic Use and Communications

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Richfield Public Schools’ technology and communication resources are intended for authorized users only. The purpose of these administrative guidelines is to assist in the implementation of Board Policy pertaining to the appropriate usage of these resources. 

Inappropriate use exposes Richfield Public Schools to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues.  It is the responsibility of every technology resources user to know these guidelines and to conduct their activities accordingly.

A. NOTIFICATION

1. The school Principal shall develop and distribute site-specific information, which is aligned with these guidelines. 

2. Relevant parts of these guidelines shall be distributed to all staff, students, and parents.  They shall also be posted in media centers and computer labs.

B.   DEFINITIONS

1. AUTHORIZED USER – Employees or students of the Richfield Public Schools, or visitors specifically authorized by the District.

2. AUTHORIZED USES – All staff are authorized to use technology resources for administration, curriculum development, student instruction, personal productivity and professional development.  Students are authorized to use technology resources for school-based programs and activities. Authorized visitors are able to utilize technology resources for school-based programs, school-based activities, or District approved activities.

3. TRAINING – Development opportunities include online, district provided, externally provided, on site and off site instruction.

C. TRAINING

1. TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS – Technology standards shall be periodically updated to include relevant technology expectations for staff.  Staff shall have access to training related to professional expectations.

2. NEW STAFF – The Director of Technology shall coordinate building plans to insure that training is provided for all new staff on network access, network accounts, email accounts, passwords and required information systems.  This training shall generally be provided by building media specialist and technology integration specialist staff members.

3. STUDENT INSTRUCTION – As part of the instructional program, all students will receive instruction on the following as appropriate:

  • responsibilities, privacy, and acceptable usage of systems
  • web information tools and appropriate search techniques so students will be able to use the Internet in an efficient manner 
  • login and password use for network accounts and electronic mail 
  • accessing online grade and attendance information from online systems utilized by the district 

D.  SETUP AND USE OF COMPUTERS AND THE NETWORK

1. PLATFORM –Use of software platforms and hardware will be limited to those creating specific learning benefits. 

2. ACCESS CONTROL – All computers or devices connecting to District technology resources shall have access control that restricts the use to authorized persons.  

3. CRITICAL AREAS – Critical Technology equipment including, but not limited to, telephone cabinets, , switches, servers and wiring racks shall be kept in locked areas.  This equipment shall include uninterrupted power supplies, surge protection, and environmental controls for temperature and humidity where applicable.

4. STANDARD CONFIGURATION – Hardware and software will be configured by vendors and/or technology support personnel in a known and documented manner that can be easily restored if necessary.

5. NETWORK RESOURCES – Use of the school network shall be in a manner as to conserve the resources of the network. This includes traffic generated on the network, as well as files saved on servers.  Individuals are expected to remove old and unnecessary files from network storage.  Student files will be deleted after the end of each school year.  

6. PRINTING LOCATIONS – Printers shall be strategically located for ease of use and to reduce maintenance and hardware costs.  Document printing centers shall be the primary location to print documents in excess of 10 pages. These locations will be determined by building administrators.

7. SCANNING FOR VIRUSES – Virus scanning software shall be installed on all school issued computers with virus definition files kept up-to-date.  Non-school issued computers will be restricted to use on a network that is separate from the internal network unless specifically authorized by the Director of Technology or authorized representative of the Technology Department.

8. INTERNET AND EMAIL FILTERING – A system shall be installed to block inappropriate internet sites and email messages.  This system shall allow the addition or removal of individual internet sites and email addresses from a list of those to be blocked. Staff may submit requests for changes to the blocking list to the Director of Technology for consideration by a committee made up of instructional representatives, the Director of Technology, and a member of the Technology Department. 

9. RESPONSIBILITY FOR INTERNET USE – Each individual has the responsibility to avoid inappropriate sites, and to report any occurrence of inappropriate internet use to building staff or administration.  Although systems to block access to inappropriate Internet sites are in place, it is not possible to block all sites that may contain inappropriate or undesirable material.  If a user inadvertently accesses unacceptable materials or an unacceptable Internet site, the user shall immediately disclose the inadvertent access to an appropriate school district official.  In the case of an employee, the immediate disclosure shall be to the employee’s immediate supervisor and/or the building administrator.  This disclosure may serve as a defense against an allegation that the user has intentionally violated this policy.

10. REFORMAT COMPUTERS- District computers will be reconfigured when an employee leaves the District or a computer is reassigned.  Files or individual applications may be removed.  It is the responsibility of the individual to back up their files before returning their computer for reuse.

E. STAFF, STUDENT AND TENNANT NETWORK ACCESS AND ACCOUNTS

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT PROVIDER – The District Technology Support Team shall support network accounts, network resources, passwords and software/hardware maintenance.   Building staff shall report all technology support requests to the technology support provider via the District help desk system.  District technology support staff shall initiate or coordinate basic repairs on equipment and/or coordinate requests for repair or network services in a timely manner.

1. RICHFIELD SCHOOLS ACCOUNTS – User accounts shall be setup as follows:

  • Each user shall be authorized to use the adequate features necessary rather than all available features possible.
  • Accounts shall be accessible via individual logins while at school and via an intranet portal for access away from school.
  • Students no longer enrolled in Richfield Public Schools will have limited account access upon leaving the District, and their accounts permanently removed 30 days after being unenrolled or on June 30th of the school year they are last enrolled, whichever occurs first.
  • Staff no longer employed in Richfield Public Schools will have limited account access upon ending employment with the District either voluntarily or involuntarily, and their accounts permanently removed 30 days after ending employment or on June 30th of the school year they are last employed, whichever occurs first.

2. TENANTS’ ACCOUNTS – Tenants and other non-authorized users of District facilities desiring access to the network must follow District operating procedures in obtaining and maintaining network access and accounts.

3. LOG OFF – Employees should log out of accounts when finished with their use.  Computers should be turned off at the end of the day, unless specifically requested to leave them on 

4. PASSWORDS – Staff and students are expected to use passwords and keep them secure.  Automated systems shall periodically expire passwords, yet notify users that passwords are about to expire.  Individuals are expected to respect the privacy and security of others.  Persons should not watch when others are entering their password.   Users should not write passwords where others may access them and should change a password as soon as possible if they suspect someone else knows it.

5. PERSONAL BACKUPS – Storage will be available on District computers or servers to support the instructional activities of staff and students.  All individuals are encouraged to make backups of their important work, since files on District computers cannot be guaranteed. Local files to be routinely backed up should be copied to a server either on a home folder or authorized share.

6. UNAUTHORIZED USE OR ACCESS REVOKING ACCOUNTS – Depending on the nature and degree of the violation and the number of previous violations, unacceptable use of the School District system or the Internet may result in one or more of the following consequences:  suspension or cancellation of use or access privileges; payments for damages and repairs; discipline under other applicable school district policies, including suspension, expulsion, exclusion or termination of employment; or civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

Unauthorized access could include but is not limited to network and email accounts, network administrative functions, computer lab management software, unauthorized Internet sites, infrastructure resources, printers, servers, switches, and networking closets.

If unauthorized uses are observed or documented, the following actions may be taken: 

  • Staff: temporary suspension of an account by an administrator or designee in accordance with provisions of employee contracts. 
  • Students: network and email privileges may be temporarily suspended by a supervising staff member, or suspended for a period of time not to exceed one (1) school year by building administration according to the school’s discipline policies.

 

7. INTERNET USE AGREEMENT AND DISCLAIMER

The proper use of the Internet and the educational value to be gained from proper Internet use is the joint responsibility of students, parents and employees of the School District.

  • An Internet Use Agreement form for students must be read and signed by the user, the parent or guardian, and a classroom teacher or building media/technology specialist. The Internet Use Agreement form for employees must be signed by the employee and filed at the school office. All users shall be notified of the District policies relating to Internet use. Notification shall include:
    • Disclaimers limiting the School District’s liability
    • A description of privacy rights and limitations
    • Notification that means used to limit student access do not provide a fool proof means for enforcing provisions of this policy
    • Notification that violation of the acceptable use policy may result in revocation of privileges, school disciplinary action or other appropriate legal action 

PARENT OPT OUT OF STUDENT INTERNET USE – Parents may request alternative activities for their children that do not require Internet access or computer use.  If parents exercise this right, the students will have no Internet or computer access throughout the District

F. SOFTWARE

1. LEGAL LICENSING –Richfield Public Schools will install and use only legally purchased and licensed software on District computers and servers.  Richfield Public Schools will purchase software licenses for each computer, site licenses or concurrent use licenses. 

2. CURRENT SUPPORTED SOFTWARE – Curriculum software shall be aligned with academic standards and curricular needs based on teacher recommendation and shall be approved by the District teaching and learning staff and the District network staff prior to purchase.  

3. INSTALLATION OF DISTRICT-WIDE SOFTWARE – Technology support staff shall load operating system software, District-wide application software, local application software, or peripherals onto District computers or onto district servers.

5.  SYSTEM SOFTWARE – System software shall be maintained as the vendor has intended, unless modification is recommended by the District technical staff and approved by District administration.

6. COPYING APPLICATIONS – A software application shall not be copied to another computer without a legal license or procedure to pay for that additional license.

7. HOME SOFTWARE – Use of software applications (purchased for home use by staff or students) on school computers is prohibited.  Use of school applications on home computers is prohibited, unless specifically allowed in the software license.

G. ADDING EQUIPMENT BY PURCHASE OR DONATION

1. NETWORK ACCESSIBILITY – Technology equipment purchased or obtained for use by students, teachers, administrators, and/or staff  with the capability of fully utilizing network and Internet resources, will be considered for both the intended use at the time of purchase and future, undetermined uses.

2. CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT – Criteria for identifying computer and network hardware for purchase, or for accepting donated hardware, will include:

  • The alignment of the computer hardware to educational outcomes for students and teachers.
  • The educational and developmental appropriateness of the hardware.
  • The ability of technical support staff to administer and maintain the equipment.
  • The ability to operate and communicate with the existing network configuration in place or being developed at the time of acquisition.
  • The ability of the District to maintain low total cost of ownership (TCO), to include initial purchase cost, ongoing maintenance costs, costs for necessary and/or desired software, and purchase of replacement parts.

3. APPROVAL PROCEDURES – All purchases of instructional software, computer, and video and media hardware must be approved by the Director of Technology before being placed in the District’s order entry system. The Director of Technology will also approve re-installation of previously removed software after verification that such software aligns with current curriculum and student objectives.

All purchases of network infrastructure hardware and software must be approved by the District Technology Support Department before being placed in the District’s order entry system.

All potential donations of computer technology or equipment must be approved by the Director of Technology and Executive Director of Finance before being accepted and added to the District equipment inventory system.  Technology support personnel shall assist in the evaluation of donated equipment prior to its acceptance by the District.

4. TECHNOLOGY SPECIFICATIONS – Technology specifications shall be developed and updated at appropriate intervals to reflect current software and workstation requirements for new and donated equipment.

H.   HOME USE OF COMPUTERS

1. AUTHORIZED USERS – Current employees and students of the Richfield Public Schools may, upon completion of proper forms or procedures as developed, use school computer, technology and/or electronics equipment at their home for school use.

2. APPROVAL PROCEDURES – Procedures for the sign-out of school equipment shall be maintained by the building administration or designee.  Signatures will be obtained from the appropriate building administrator, building media specialist or technology support provider, and the employee or student making the request.  Procedures and criteria for approving the request will include completion of a request form that addresses all personal care and responsibility guidelines listed under H.3 of these administrative guidelines.

3. PERSONAL CARE AND RESPONSIBILITY

  • Building administrators or designee will record the dates when equipment may be taken off the school property and deadline date by which equipment should be returned.
  • Equipment should be in the same working order when returned as when signed out.
  • No unauthorized changes or additions will be made to the equipment.
  • The School District is not liable for any damages to personal property that may result from the use of school equipment by the user outside the schools.
  • The user is liable for repair or replacement costs, which may arise due to damage or loss of the equipment.

I.  USE OF PERSONAL DIGITAL DEVICES AT SCHOOL WORKSITES

1. AUTHORIZED USERS – Current employees, students, and authorized visitors of the Richfield Public Schools may, with prior approval, use their personal digital devices for school related tasks on the District guest network.

2. INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE AND REMOVAL

  • The date when equipment is added to the District network will be recorded.
  • Personal computers or digital devices shall not be repaired, maintained, nor have other hardware changes or additions provided by District staff.
  • The school district is not liable for any damages or loss (including theft) to personal property that may result from the use of personal equipment at the school work site.

J.   STAFF USE OF ELECTRONIC MAIL, VOICEMAIL, PHONE AND FAX

1. ETIQUETTE – Individuals sending messages using District technology such as voicemail and email should keep in mind that they are perceived as a representative of the Richfield Public Schools.

2. VOICE MESSAGES– Voicemail messages are not backed up or archived by network personnel.  Messages are automatically deleted after 90 days.

3. STAFF ELECTRONIC MAIL- Staff electronic messages are archived for a period of 3 years from the date the message was sent or received. 

4. STUDENT ELECTRONIC MAIL- Student electronic messages, sent or received, are archived for a period of 1 year from the date the message was sent or received, or upon removal of the account, whichever comes first.

5. MESSAGES ARE NOT PRIVATE – Messages stored on District systems or District authorized systems shall not be considered private property and may be accessed by District administrative employees.  This would generally be done to resolve technical problems or at the request of administration.  

6. CONSERVE RESOURCES – Individuals should use the voicemail, electronic mail and fax systems in a manner to conserve resources

7. AVOID AUTOMATIC FORWARDING – Emails sent to District email addresses should not be setup to automatically forward to external email locations in order to avoid the distribution of sensitive student or employee information.

8. 900 NUMBERS – Calls to 900 numbers shall not be permitted.

K.  WEB SITE MANAGEMENT

1. WEB SITES – Buildings and District programs shall have the opportunity to establish web sites to enhance communication with students, parents, and the community.  These web sites shall be established within systems agreed upon by the District Webmaster and the District Technology Committee. 

  • Internet:  Each building shall identify web directors to manage the organization, creation, training, and maintenance of the building web site and coordinating that building’s web site efforts with the District Webmaster and other building web directors.
  • Intranet:  An internal “intranet” web site system will be maintained for uses specific to internal Richfield Public Schools authorized users.  Technical management of the intranet will be done Technology Support department.  Content for the site will be determined by District administration.  Teachers, building staff, and building administration may provide recommendations for additional site content.

2. WEB SITE PUBLISHING RIGHTS – The District Webmaster and Director of Technology have the responsibility for granting publishing rights to District/building web sites.  These rights may be extended to employees, students, parents and community members.  Training shall be provided to all users prior to granting of publishing rights to ensure effective use of the system, and to emphasize proper etiquette and accepted format to professionally and appropriately represent Richfield Public Schools.

3. WEB SITE PUBLISHING EXPECTATIONS – Teaching staff, program leaders, and administrators are expected to maintain current web sites containing information of interest to Richfield staff, students and community. Expectations shall be developed by the District Webmaster and district administration, monitored at the building level by building Web Directors and building administration.

4. STUDENT WEB SITES – Training shall be provided to students prior to granting publishing rights to ensure effective use of the system, and to emphasize proper etiquette and industry accepted formats, which appropriately represents Richfield Public Schools.  Sites that contain inappropriate content, inaccurate information, or are not a positive representation of Richfield Public Schools will be edited or removed, generally at the recommendation of the District Webmaster and the appropriate building or District administrator.

Dated: February 5, 2001

Reviewed:

  • November 4, 2007
  • April 6, 2015

Revised: November 20, 2006

Richfield Public Schools

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