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Technology Responsible Use Policy

Last Updated: 6/21/2021 2:24 PM

Introduction

Washington Community Schools recognizes that access to technology in school gives students greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills that will prepare them for work, life, and citizenship. We are committed to helping students develop 21st century technology and communication skills. To that end, we provide access to technologies for student and staff use.

This Responsible Use Policy outlines the guidelines and behaviors that users are expected to follow when using school technologies or when using personally-owned devices on the school campus.

● The use of Washington Community Schools telecommunications services is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use will result in the cancellation of those privileges.

● The Washington Community Schools network is intended for educational purposes.

● All activity over the network or using district technologies may be monitored and retained.

● Access to online content via the network may be restricted in accordance with our policies and federal regulations, such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

● Students are expected to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful conduct online as offline.

● Misuse of school resources can result in disciplinary action.

● Washington Community Schools makes a reasonable effort to ensure students’ safety and security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from the use of school technologies.

● Users of the district network or other technologies are expected to alert IT staff immediately of any concerns for safety or security.

● Washington Community Schools reserves the right to amend this policy as needed.

Technologies Covered

Washington Community Schools may provide internet access, desktop computers, mobile computers or devices, videoconferencing capabilities, online collaboration capabilities, message boards, email, and more. As new technologies emerge,

Washington Community Schools will attempt to provide access to them. The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover all available technologies, not just those specifically listed.

Usage Policies

All technologies provided by the district are intended for education purposes. All users are expected to use good judgment and to follow the specifics of this document as well as the spirit Washington of it: be safe, appropriate, careful and kind; don’t try to get around technological protection measures; use good common sense; and ask if you don’t know.

Web Access

Washington Community Schools provides its users with access to the internet, including web sites, resources, content, and online tools. That access will be restricted in compliance with CIPA regulations and school policies. Web browsing may be monitored and web activity records may be retained indefinitely. Users are expected to respect that the web filter is a safety precaution, and should not try to circumvent it when browsing the Web. If a site is blocked and a user believes it shouldn’t be, the user should follow district protocol to alert an IT staff member or submit a site for review.

Email

Washington Community Schools may provide users with email accounts for the purpose of school-related communication. Availability and use may be restricted based on school policies.

If users are provided with email accounts, they should be used with care. Users should not send personal information; should not attempt to open files or follow links from unknown or untrusted origin; should use appropriate language; and should only communicate with other people as allowed by the district policy or the teacher.

Users are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous conduct online as offline. School-issued email is monitored and archived.

Social/Web 2.0/Collaborative Content

Recognizing the benefits collaboration brings to education, Washington Community Schools may provide users with access to web sites or tools that allow communication, collaboration, sharing, and messaging among users.

Users are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous conduct online as offline. Posts, chats, sharing, and messaging may be monitored. Users should be careful not to share personally-identifying information online.

Security

Users are expected to take reasonable safeguards against the transmission of security threats over the school network. This includes not opening or distributing infected files or programs and not opening files or programs of unknown or untrusted origin.

If you believe a computer or mobile device you are using might be infected with a virus, please alert IT. Do not attempt to remove the virus yourself or download any programs to help remove the virus. 

Downloads

Users should not download or attempt to download or run .exe programs over the school network or onto school resources without express permission from IT staff.

You may be able to download other file types, such as images of videos. For the security of our network, download such files only from reputable sites, and only for education purposes.

Network Etiquette

Users should always use the internet, network resources, and online sites in a courteous and respectful manner.

Users should also recognize that among the valuable content online is unverified, incorrect, or inappropriate content.

Users should use trusted sources when conducting research via the internet.

Users should also remember not to post anything online that they wouldn’t want parents, teachers, or future colleges or employers to see.

Plagiarism

Users should not plagiarize (or use as their own, without citing the original creator) content, including words or images, from the internet. Users should not take credit for things they didn’t create themselves, or misrepresent themselves as an author or creator of something found online. Research conducted via the internet should be appropriately cited, giving credit to the original author.

Personal Safety

Users should never share personal information, including phone number, address, social security number, birthday, or financial information, over the internet without adult permission. Users should recognize that communicating over the internet brings anonymity and associated risks, and should carefully safeguard the personal information of themselves and others. Users should never agree to meet someone they meet online in real life without parental permission.

If you see a message, comment, image, or anything else online that makes you concerned for your personal safety, bring it to the attention of an adult (teacher or staff if you’re at school; parent if you’re using the device at home) immediately.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying will not be tolerated. Harassing, dissing, flaming, denigrating, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding, and cyberstalking are all examples of cyberbullying. Don’t send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else.

Engaging in these behaviors, or any online activities intended to harm (physically or emotionally) another person, will result in severe disciplinary action and loss of privileges. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained.

Mobile Devices Policy

Washington Community Schools may provide users with mobile computers or other devices to promote learning outside of the classroom. Users should abide by the same Responsible use policies when using school devices off the school network as on the school network.

Users are expected to treat these devices with extreme care and caution. Users should report any loss, damage, or malfunction to IT staff immediately. Users may be financially accountable for any damage resulting from negligence or misuse. Use of school issued mobile devices off the school network may be monitored.

Personally-Owned Devices Policy

Students should keep personally-owned devices (including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cell phones) turned off and put away during school hours—unless in the event of an emergency or as instructed by a teacher or staff for educational purposes. Additionally, if a student does not have access to a corporation-owned device, they may use a personally-owned device for educational purposes (where applicable), provided they have been given express permission by their teacher(s).

School Board members, employees, and vendors are free to use personally-owned devices on campus.

The manner in which personally-owned devices may access the corporation’s network will depend on the classification of the owner of the device. Full-time employees of WCS (certified teaching staff, office personnel, administrators, etc) and students (where applicable) will join the WCS-IT-PEAP network with credentials supplied by WCS OIT. All other external entities (vendors, presenters, etc) may join the WCS-IT-SPONSORED (guest) network by securing a Guest Network Pass from the front office of any school.

When personally-owned devices are used on campus and access the corporation’s network, they may be subject to established filtering policies.

Examples of Responsible Use

I will:

✓ Use school technologies for school-related activities.

✓ Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that I am expected to follow offline.

✓ Treat school resources carefully, and alert staff if there is any problem with their operation.

✓ Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or collaborative technologies.

✓ Alert a teacher or other staff member if I see threatening, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.

✓ Use school technologies at appropriate times, in approved places, for educational pursuits.

✓ Cite sources when using online sites and resources for research.

✓ Recognize that use of school technologies is a privilege and treat it as such.

✓ Be cautious to protect the safety of myself and others.

✓ Help to protect the security of school resources.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using school technologies.

Examples of Irresponsible/Unacceptable Use

I will not:

✓ Use school technologies in a way that could be personally or physically harmful.

✓ Attempt to find inappropriate images or content.

✓ Engage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others.

✓ Try to find ways to circumvent the school’s safety measures and filtering tools. ✓ Use school technologies to send spam or chain mail.

✓ Plagiarize content I find online.

✓ Use text and messaging services outside of Google Classroom/Google Hangouts without permission of the classroom teacher.

✓ Gain access to other student’s accounts, files, and or data.

✓ Listen or view media or books labeled “Explicit”

✓ Illegal installation or transmission of copyrighted materials

✓ Use of chat rooms, sites selling term papers, book reports and other forms of student work.

✓ Post personally-identifying information, about myself or others.

✓ Agree to meet someone I meet online in real life.

✓ Use language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.

✓ Use school technologies for illegal activities or to pursue information on such activities.

✓ Attempt to hack or access sites, servers, or content that isn’t intended for my use.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using school technologies.

Limitation of Liability

Washington Community Schools will not be responsible for damage or harm to persons, files, data, or hardware. 

While Washington Community Schools employs filtering and other safety and security mechanisms, and attempts to ensure their proper function, it makes no guarantees as to their effectiveness.

Washington Community Schools will not be responsible, financially or otherwise, for unauthorized transactions conducted over the school network. Violations of this Responsible Use Policy

Violations of this policy may have disciplinary repercussions determined by building administrators, including:

● Notification to parents

● Suspension of network, technology, or Chromebook/computer privileges

● Detention, suspension and/or expulsion from school and school-related activities ● Legal action and/or prosecution

● Financial Consequences

District-Issued Chromebook

While enrolled at Washington Community Schools, students may be issued a Chromebook for educational use both on-campus and off-campus. All district-issued Chromebooks are property of Washington Community Schools. Any fees attached to these devices (and the payment of those fees) does not render ownership of the devices to students, or their parents/guardians.

Users are expected to treat these devices with extreme care and caution. Users should report any loss, damage, or malfunction to IT staff immediately. Users may be financially accountable for any damage resulting from negligence or misuse.

Use of school issued mobile devices off the school network may be monitored.

Handling and Care of the Chromebook

  •  The user must keep the Chromebook in the district-provided protective case at all times.
  •  Chromebooks must remain free of any writing, drawing, or labels that are not applied by WCS. ‒ Appropriate stickers may be applied to district-provided protective cases for personalization purposes.
  •  Do not remove or deface the asset tag applied to the device by WCS.
  •  Use the Chromebook on a flat, stable surface.
  •  Do not set books on the Chromebook.
  •  Do not have food or drinks around the Chromebook.
  •  Wipe surfaces with a clean, dry soft cloth.
  •  Avoid touching the screen with pens or pencils.
  •  Do not leave the Chromebook exposed to direct sunlight or near any heat or moisture sources for extended periods of time.
  •  Do NOT use any abrasive or harsh chemicals such as clorox, lysol, or other disinfectant wipes on any part of the device unless instructed by IT. The concentration of the chemicals and moisture can cause additional damage which will be billable.
  • Screen protectors are available in the high school office for purchase, please note that only school approved screen protectors are allowed and that there is no guarantee of breakage prevention.

Power Management

  • It is the user’s responsibility to recharge the Chromebook’s battery so it is fully charged by the start of the next school day.
  • All missed class work must be made up on the student's’ own time.
  • The Chromebook must remain ON (awake or sleep mode) at school at all times.
 Transport
  • The Chromebook should be transported in its protective case at all times.
  • Do not leave Chromebook in a vehicle for extended periods of time or overnight.
  • Do not leave Chromebook in visible sight when left in a vehicle.
 Monitoring and Supervision
  •  Do not leave the Chromebook unattended in an unlocked classroom, a bathroom, or during an extracurricular activity.
  •  Do not lend your Chromebook to a classmate, friend, or family member.
  • You are responsible for the safety/security of the Chromebook and any activity on the device at all times.
 Lost Device Procedure

 If you suspect your device may be lost or stolen, follow these steps:

1. Contact IT IMMEDIATELY to have the device disabled so it cannot be used.

2. Contact the Police Department

 Once you notify IT, the device will be disabled for two weeks, if the device is found during that time, Notify IT to have it re-enabled. If the device is not found, you will receive a bill for a lost/stolen device. See the policy outlined below.

Chromebook Service Plan

Chromebooks provided by Washington Community Schools are eligible for a warranty program offered by the corporation. Any damage or repair not covered by the manufacturer's warranty will be the responsibility of the student and his/her parent/guardian.

Any repairs or attempted repairs not authorized by WCS OIT will void the device warranty and may result in increased repair costs.

In the event of damage to the device not covered by the warranty, the student who owns the device and his/her parent/guardian will be responsible for paying all repair costs.

Each student is expected to return the originally issued device and its accessories at the end of each school year, failure to do so may result in a bill.

In the event of a loss or theft of the device, the student and his/her parent/guardian will be responsible for the replacement cost (Approx. $200).

Chromebook chargers are not covered under service plan. The cost of a replacement charger is $20.

Protective cases are not covered under service plan. The cost of a replacement case is $25.