Acceptable Use Policy
RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN REGIONAL POLICY 6142.10 AR
Electronic Communications System
The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Board of Education is committed to the development and establishment of a quality, equitable and cost-effective electronic communications system. The system’s sole purpose shall be for the advancement and promotion of learning and teaching. The district’s system will be used to provide statewide, national and global communications opportunities for staff and students.
With access to computers and people all over the world also comes the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the context of the school setting. The district realizes that on a global network it is impossible to control all access to controversial materials. The district firmly believes that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of the district.
Access to the network will enable students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, museums, and other repositories of information around the world. Families should be aware that some material accessible via the Internet might contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive. While the goal of the school is to use Internet resources for constructive educational goals, students may find ways to access other materials. We believe that the benefits to students from access to the Internet in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration exceed the disadvantages.
Students are responsible for appropriate behavior on the school’s computer network just as they are in a classroom. Communications on the network are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communications apply. It is expected that users will comply with district standards and the specific rules set forth below. The use of the network is a privilege, not a right, and may be revoked if abused. The user is personally responsible for his/her actions in accessing and utilizing the school’s computer resources. The students are advised never to access, keep, or send anything that they would not want their parents or teachers to see.
Terms and Conditions
To use the school network all students must obtain parental permission as verified by the signatures on the Granting of Permissions form mailed out each year prior to the beginning of school.
1. Acceptable Use – The use of an individual’s account must be in support of education and research and consistent with the educational objectives of the district. Transmission of any material in violation of any US, State, or district regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted materials, threatening or obscene materials, or material protected by trade secret. Use for commercial activities is generally not acceptable. Use for product advertisement or political lobbying is also prohibited.
2. Privileges – The use of technology is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of those privileges. (This includes items such as computers, network accounts, TVs, VCRs, cameras, and telephones.)
3. Network Etiquette – The user is expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
a. Illegal activities are strictly forbidden.
b. Be polite. Do not become abusive in messages to others.
c. Use appropriate language. Do not swear, use vulgarities or any other inappropriate language.
d. Do not reveal a personal address or phone number of students or colleagues.
e. Note that electronic mail (e-mail) is not guaranteed to be private. People who operate the system do have access to all mail. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the authorities. Knowledge of any inappropriate e-mail should be immediately reported to the vice principal.
f. Do not use the network in such a way that the use of the network by other users would be disrupted.
g. Only instructional software provided by the district should be accessed.
h. No unauthorized student or faculty member is allowed to alter or install software on the network.
4. Disclaimer – The Internet constitutes an unregulated collection of resources that changes constantly, so it is not possible to totally predict or control the resources that users may locate. The board cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or the appropriateness of materials that a user may encounter. Furthermore, the board shall not be responsible for any damage users may suffer, including but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service. Nor shall the board be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system.
5. Security – Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users. A user who feels he/she can identify a security problem on the network must notify the vice principal. The user should not demonstrate the problem to other users. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the Internet.
Users are responsible for their accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access to them. In no case should a user provide his/her password to another individual. Attempts to log-on to the network as any other user will result in cancellation of user privileges.
Users shall immediately notify the supervising staff person or data processing department if they detect a possible security problem. Users shall not access the system solely for the purpose of searching for security problems.
Users shall not install or download software or other applications without permission of the supervising staff person.
Users shall follow all district virus protection procedures when installing or downloading approved software.
6. Vandalism – Vandalism will result in cancellation of privileges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, network, Internet, or any equipment or software. This includes, but is not limited to: the uploading or creation of computer viruses.
Principles contained in this section apply to employees as well as to students.
Privacy – Network storage areas may be treated like school lockers. Network administrators may review communications to maintain system integrity and will insure that students are using the system responsibly.
Network Use – Students are expected to use the network facilities to engage in activities that support student learning and instruction.
Storage capacity – Users are expected to remain within allocated memory storage space. Each student is provided with a folder on the network that is used to store school related material up to 10mb.
Inappropriate materials or language – Students may not write, use, send, download, access, or display materials that pertain to crime, violence, intolerance, obscenity, profanity, rude and disrespectful language; or that pertain to pornographic, inflammatory, threatening, and abusive text, graphics, and photo/video imagery unless expressly authorized by a teacher for a specific school assignment. Should students encounter such material by accident, they should report it to their teacher immediately.
Personal Safety – Students are advised to not post personal contact information about oneself or others, such as addresses, phone numbers, etc. Students should not agree to meet with anyone met on online unless it meets with parent’s approval. Students should bring to the attention of a teacher or administrator any communications that are felt to be inappropriate or unwelcome.
*These infractions are meant as guideline for acceptable use of the school network. Although specific violations are listed, in no way does this list include all possible infractions.
Level I (minor) – General infractions that result in no loss of data or damage to technology resources and do not compromise the integrity of the network. Sample violations include but are not limited to:
1. Playing or downloading games.
2. Using another student’s password or giving out your password to another student.
3. Downloading or installing any software, shareware, or freeware onto network drives or disks, unless there is written permission from the Network Administrator.
4. Wasting or overloading computer resources, such as printing large quantities of a document from a workstation.
5. Initiating or propagating electronic chain letters.
6. Transferring files to or from any media device (includes using disks or CDs from home).
Consequences – If a student commits what is considered to be a Level I offense the following range of disciplinary actions will apply:
1. Parent contact.
2. Detention (after school and/or Saturday).
3. Up to 30 days loss of network privileges.
*Repeated offenders can expect that more severe consequences will be applied.
Level II (major) – Infractions that result in loss of data or damage to technology resources and/or compromise the integrity of the network. Sample violations include be are not limited to:
1. Writing, using, sending, downloading, accessing, or displaying materials that pertain to crime, violence, intolerance, obscenity, profanity, rude and disrespectful language, pornographic, inflammatory, threatening, and abusive text, graphics, and photo/video imagery.
2. Attempting to access or successfully accessing unauthorized files, folders, or drives.
3. Attempting to bypass, circumvent, or change system settings or network security.
4. Performing an act that interferes with the normal operation of the school network and all related peripherals.
5. Connecting unauthorized equipment to any part of the school network.
6. Using the school network for financial gain or commercial purposes.
7. Violating term of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws (burning copies of CDs).
8. Forging the identity of a user or machine by representing someone else in an e-mail or trying to mask one’s identity while on the network.
Consequences – If a student commits what is considered to be a Level II offense, a letter to the parent and requirement of restitution of damages will follow.
In addition, one or more of the following may apply:
1. 1 – 5 days SAP (Suspension Alternative Program).
2. 1 to 10 days OSS (Out of School Suspension).
3. 10 days to 1 year loss of network privileges.
4. Police involvement.
*Repeated offenders can expect that more severe consequences will be applied.
Acceptable Use of District Technology Resources for Employees
The board of education recognizes that information technology has altered the educational landscape and that this process of transformation will continue as newer technologies emerge. The future growth and development of information technology will continually shift the manner in which information is accessed, communicated, and transferred.
The board of education has made a significant investment in technology resources that promote and support the exchange of information and ideas within the school district as well as between the district and the rest of the world. These resources, as with any other public resource, demand the accountability of those entrusted with its use. Utilization of the district’s technology resources must be (1) in support of education and/or research or for school business, (2) in support of the mission of the school district and (3) in accordance with all board policies and Federal and State laws.
This policy applies to all users of technology resources owned or managed by the school district, including, but not limited to faculty, staff, students, guests of the administration, and approved external individuals or organizations. The board of education will not be held liable for the actions of users of district technology resources when those actions are inconsistent with board policies.
Privacy and Security
School employees regularly use district technology resources in their course of daily work. Users have no right of privacy and should have no expectation of privacy in materials sent, received or stored on district-owned technology or on network resources. The administration reserves the right to review system use at any time to determine if such use meets the criteria set forth in this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) or other board policies and regulations and or Federal or State laws and regulations. Routine maintenance and monitoring of the system, however, may lead to the discovery that a user has or is violating the AUP and or other board policies and regulations or Federal or State law. Once a violation is discovered, the administration will be notified and an individual search will be conducted only when there is a reasonable suspicion that the user has violated the AUP, the law, or board policies or regulations. The nature of the search/investigation will be reasonable and in keeping with the nature of the alleged misconduct. Employees should be aware that their personal files may be subject to public inspection and copying under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA).
2. Account Security, Passwords, and Integrity
Each district employee is allocated an account on the district network and that employee is the only one to use that account. Password sharing is prohibited. It is the user’s responsibility that they do not compromise network security. For example, employees should choose appropriate passwords (e.g. ones that contain at least 8 alphanumeric characters, and do not contain common words or terms found in any dictionary or related to the user in any way). Passwords are not to be recorded anywhere in the school building and should be changed periodically. Staff members are not to leave a computer they have logged in to unattended.
The board of education provides up-to-date security against intrusion and damage to district technology resources and files stored on the network. The district backs up all network files and provides some facilities for recovering files after accidental loss of data. The district does not provide the same level of protection or offer restoration of files stored on the local drives of computer workstations. It is important that users save their files to their allocated network account and use all available means to protect their data. The board of education and its technology staff is not accountable for unauthorized access by other users, nor can they guarantee protection against power or media failure, fire, flood, or other disaster.
Employee Expectations, Personal Use, and Accountability
1. Expectations for District Employees
District employees will use the district’s technology resources in support of the school’s educational mission and all activities will be in accordance with board policies and Federal and State laws.
The following is a list of expectations for district employees. This is not a comprehensive list, but serves only to highlight examples of appropriate or inappropriate use of district technology resources.
A. will supervise any on-line use by students. When students are using on-line resources for class activities, teachers will select material that is appropriate and relevant to the course objectives. Teachers will preview the materials and sites they require or recommend that students access to determine the appropriateness of the material contained on or accessed through the site. Teachers will provide guidelines and a list 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 which demonstrate tolerance and respect for those who hold divergent views.
B. must not intentionally seek information about, browse, obtain copies of, or modify files, passwords, or any media storage devices belonging to other people, whether in the school or elsewhere, unless specifically authorized to do so by those individuals. An employee will not attempt to decrypt or translate encrypted material to which he or she is not entitled. Additionally, the employee will not seek to obtain system privileges to which he or she is not entitled. Attempts to do any of the above mentioned activities will be considered serious transgressions of this AUP.
C. who encounter or observe a gap in system or network security, must report the gap to a system or network administrator. Additionally they will refrain from exploiting any such gaps in security.
D. will refrain from any unauthorized action that deliberately interferes with the operating system or accounting functions of either individual workstations or of network servers. This would include, but is not limited to, the creation and distribution of destructive and interfering programs such as worms and viruses.
E. will not transmit to others in any location inappropriate images, sounds or messages which might violate board policies on harassment. Inappropriate material would be that which pertains to crime, violence, intolerance, obscenity, profanity, rude and disrespectful language; or that which pertains to pornographic, inflammatory, threatening, and abusive text, graphics, and photo/video imagery. Should employees encounter such material by accident, they should report it to their supervisor immediately.
F. will avoid the following activities: using district technology resources for non-school related activities; sending excessive or unnecessary email messages; or printing excessive copies of documents, files, images or data. They must refrain from using unwarranted or excessive amounts of storage, printing documents or files numerous times because they have not checked thoroughly for all errors and corrections.
G. will not use district technology resources for personal financial gain or for political purposes.
H. will not violate copyright laws for commercial software. No installation or downloading of computer programs, commercial or otherwise, will be configured on district computers without the knowledge of systems administrators. They will not attach any peripheral device to any district technology resource.
I. will not provide anyone with confidential information.
J. will follow the proper procedure to request technical support for either a hardware or software related issue.
K. will have updated virus protection software installed on any pc that they use to remotely access the districts FTP site, IntegradePro, or any other district application or server.
2. Appropriate Personal Use
Employees authorized to use district technology resources may make incidental and occasional personal use of these facilities when it does not generate any additional costs and does not reduce the employee’s productivity or job performance. Incidental and occasional personal use is permissible if the use meets ALL of the following conditions:
A. It does not consume or commit resources that could otherwise be used for school business purposes. (Such use parallels the generally accepted practice of allowing users to make local telephone calls of a personal nature, as long as the other conditions outlined below are met.)
B. It does not interfere with employee productivity, or preempt any school business or activity and does not violate district policies.
C. It is not for the purpose of solicitation of a personal business or for personal gain.
D. It does not involve sending, forwarding, redistributing or replying to communications promoting lotteries, or “pools” based on chance, or chain letters.
E. It is not for the purpose of accessing, downloading, storing, or otherwise processing information of a non-professional manner, that which is sexually explicit, violent, vulgar, criminal in nature, or otherwise offensive material already outlined in this and other district policies.
3. Violations of the Acceptable Use Policy
Employee violations of the Acceptable Use Policy are unethical and may constitute a criminal offense. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and or appropriate legal action depending upon the nature and severity of the offense.
District Email and Website
Electronic mail and other electronic records are subject to the Open Public Records law which means that any email or files sent, received, or stored on district technology resources could become public information (i.e. appear in a newspaper) or subpoenaed for court
purposes. In addition, the school district reserves the right to inspect electronic mail if there is reasonable cause to expect wrong-doing or misuse of the system. Users should also be aware that in the general course of business, system administrators and email operators may require observation of messages in order to verify system operation. Deleted email can often be retrieved if necessary. For these reasons, employees should have no expectation of privacy of electronic files.
A. Each district employee will be provided with an email address.
B. Use of district email should be limited to conducting school related business.
C. Each user will regularly (daily) access their email accounts and delete any unwanted mail to verify their account does not exceed their allotted storage capacity.
D. Users will not give the impression that they are representing, giving opinions or otherwise making statements on behalf of the district unless they are appropriately authorized, explicitly or implicitly, to do so.
E. Employees will not employ a false identity in sending email or alter forwarded mail out of the context of its original meaning.
F. The confidentiality of electronic mail is not assured. Users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive material.
G. Users must take precautions to guard against the infection of computers and files by electronic viruses or worms through email or their attachments. A user will never open an email or an attachment unless the user knows the sender of the information.
H. No employee shall knowingly provide school email addresses to outside parties whose intent is to communicate with school employees, students and or their families for non-school purposes.
2. District Web Pages
The availability of a district website provides an opportunity for students and staff to contribute to the district’s presence on the World Wide Web. The district’s websites provide information to the world about curriculum, instruction, school-authorized activities, and other general information relating to our district’s mission. Creators of web pages need to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the following policies and responsibilities.
A. Subject Matter
All subject matter posted on district web pages should relate to curriculum, instruction, or school-authorized activities. Therefore, neither staff nor students may publish personal home pages or home pages for other individuals or organizations not directly affiliated with the district on the district’s website. Staff or student work may be published only as it relates to a class project, course, or other school-related activity.
B. Technical Standards & Consistency
a. Each web page added to the district website must contain certain elements which will provide general consistency for district web pages.
b. All web pages will provide links back to the preceding web page and to the district homepage.
c. Persons developing or maintaining web documents are responsible for keeping the information current.
d. Users must exhibit care when creating web pages with extensive tiled backgrounds or large graphics. Such files require extensive download time and can slow down file servers. Graphics files shall be an appropriate size that allows them to be properly viewed but not cause a large delay in the downloading of the page.
e. The authorized staff member who is publishing the final web page(s) will edit and test the page(s) for accuracy of links and check for conformance with standards outlined in this policy.
f. Final decisions regarding access to active web pages for editing content or organization will rest with the administration with input from the technology coordinator.
C. Web Page Content Standards
a. All content on the district’s website must conform to board policies and regulations as well as established school guidelines.
b. All web pages must relate to curriculum, official departmental functions, instruction, school-authorized activities, and general information appropriate for the public.
c. Web pages will not contain objectionable material or link to any inappropriate material. Inappropriate material is defined as material that does not meet the standards for instructional resources specified in established district policies.
d. Posting pictures of students or including any student information on district web pages is prohibited.
e. All web pages must be free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
f. Web page links will not include entities whose primary purpose is commercial or political advertising.
g. Published email addresses are restricted to staff members only.
h. Posting any materials owned by others, i.e. copyrighted works on web pages without the expressed permission of the copyright owner is not allowed. (Examples: graphic images from other web pages, articles, video, audio, photographs, software, or images scanned from published works.) Web pages may include short quotations of text, provided they are identified in an obvious way (e.g., in a footnote) including the author and the work from which the quotations were taken.
i. All communications via the district web pages will comply with the established district policies regarding all forms of communication.
j. Web pages hosted by the district will not be utilized as a forum for personal belief, commercial endorsements, or opinions, nor shall the content reflect policies contrary to those of the school district or board of education.
k. Concern about the content of any district webpage should be directed to the principal or the technology coordinator.
Copyright, Plagiarism and Citation
Board of education policies and regulations on copyright will govern the use of material accessed through the district technology resources. 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.
Board of education policies and regulations on plagiarism will govern the use of material accessed through the district technology resources.
Teachers will instruct student in appropriate research and citation practices.
1. Limits of Liability
The board of education makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, that the functions or the services provided by or through the district’s technology resources will be error-free or without defect. The district will not be responsible for any damage users may suffer, including but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service. The district is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the system or for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system.
2. Changes in the Computing Environment
When significant changes in hardware, software, or procedures are planned, the school community will be notified through electronic and/or other media to ensure that all users have adequate time to prepare for the changes and to voice any concerns related to the changes.
Approved: July 1, 1998
Amended: June 3, 1999
Amended: August 8, 2001
Amended: June 19, 2003
Amended: March 10, 2004
Amended: March 23, 2005