Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District

District Network Rules and Guidelines

Purpose:

1.) Springville-Griffith Institute is providing employees and students with access to the District network electronic communication system, which includes Internet access.

2.) The educational purpose of the District network is to assist in preparing students for success in life and work in the 21st 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 the District intracommunication, enhance productivity, and assist District employees in upgrading their skills through greater exchange of information with their peers.  The District network will also assist in sharing information with the local community, including parents, social service agencies, government agencies, and businesses.

3.) Users may not use the District network for commercial purposes (refer to the Board Policy Manual), defined as offering or providing goods or services or purchasing goods or services for personal use.  Current District acquisition policies will be followed for District purchase of goods or services.

4.) Users may not use the system for political lobbying (refer to the Board Policy Manual).  However, district employees and students may use the system to communicate with their elected representatives and to express their opinion on political issues.

5.) 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 be limited in their use of the system for self-discovery purposes.

District Responsibilities:

1.) The Director of Technology will serve as coordinator to oversee the district network and will work with BOCES as necessary.

2.) The building principal will serve as the building level coordinator for the District network, will approve building-level activities, ensure teachers receive proper training in the use of the system and the requirements of this policy, establish a system to ensure adequate supervision of students using the system, retain executed user agreement, and be responsible for interpreting the District Network Rules and Guidelines at the building level.

3.) The Network Administrator will establish a process for setting-up individual and classroom accounts, set quotas for disk usage on the system, establish a retention schedule, establish a District virus protection process, and anything else necessary to maintain a network.

Technical Services provided through the District Network:

1.) 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 purposes.

2.) World Wide Web. The World Wide Web provides access to a wide rage 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.

3.) Telnet.  Telnet allows users to log in to remote computers.

4.) File Transfer Protocoln (FTP). FTP allows users to download files.  The District will allow downloads only for educational purposes

5.) Newsgroups.  Newsgroups are discussion groups that are similar to maillists.  The District will provide access to selected newsgroups that relate to subjects that are appropriate to the educational purpose of the system.

6.) Internet Relay Chat (IRC).  IRC provides the capability of engaging in “real-time” discussions.  The District will provide access to IRC only for specifically authorized educational activities.

7.)  Blocking software.  The District may acquire software designed to block access to certain sites.

Access to the System:

1.) The District Network Rules and Guidelines will govern all use of the District network.  Student use of the system will also be governed by the building student conduct code.  All users must sign an account agreement and attend a class in the appropriate use of the District network before access will be granted.

2.) World Wide Web.  All District employees and students may have access to the Web through the District’s networked computers.

3.) E-mail Accounts.  Students will be granted e-mail access through a classroom account.  Students may be provided with an individual e-mail account at the request of their teacher and with the written permission of their parent/guardian.

4.) Individual E-mail accounts for District Employees.  All district employees will be provided with an individual e-mail account.

5.) Guest User Accounts.  Guests may receive an individual account with the approval of an Administrator, if there is a specific District-related purpose requiring such access.  Use of the system by a guest must be specifically limited to the District related purpose.  An agreement will be required and parent/guardian signature will be required if the guest is a minor.

Parent/Guardian Notification and Responsibility:

1.) The District will notify the parent/guardian about the District network and the policies governing its use.  Parents/guardians must sign an agreement to allow their child(ren) to have access to the Internet and/or e-mail.  Parents/guardians may request alternative activities for their child(ren) that do not require Internet access.

2.) Parents/guardians have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child(ren)’s e-mail files (if they have an account).  Parents/guardians have the right to request the termination of their child(ren)’s individual account at any time.

3.) The District Network Rules and Guidelines 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 practical nor possible for the District to monitor and enforce a wide range of social values in student use of the Internet.  Further, the District recognizes that parents/guardians bear the primary responsibility for transmitting their particular set of family values to their children.  The District will encourage parents/guardians to specify to their child(ren) what material is and is not acceptable for their child(ren) to access through the Internet.

4.) The District will provide students and parents/guardians with guidelines for student safety while using the Internet.

District Limitation of Liability:

1.) The District makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, that the functions or services provided by or through the District network 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.  The District will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system.

Due Process:

1.) The District will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to any illegal activities conducted through the District network.

2.) In the event there is an allegation that a student has violated the District Network Rules and Guidelines, the student will be provided with written notice of the alleged violation.  The alleged violation will be handled using the building’s current disciplinary procedures in place.

3.) 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 Student Conduct code, the violation will be handled in accord with the applicable provisions.

4.) Employee violations of the District Network Rules and Guidelines will be handled by District administration.

5.) Any District Administrator may terminate the account privileges of a guest user by providing notice to the user.  Guest accounts not active for more than 30 days may be removed, along the with the user’s files without prior notice to the user.

Search and Seizure:

1.) All system users, both students and District employees, have a limited privacy expectation in the contents of their personal files on the District network.

2.) Routine maintenance and monitoring of the system may lead to discovery that the user has or is violating the District Network Rules and Guidelines, the building’s student conduct code, or the law.

3.) An individual search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a user has violated the law or the student conduct code.  The nature of the investigation will be reasonable and in the context of the type of the alleged violations.

Copyright and Plagiarism:

1.) District policies on copyright (refer to Board Policy Manual) will govern the use of material accessed through the District network.  Because the extent of copyright protection of certain works found on the Internet is unclear, employees and students 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.

2.) District policies on plagiarism will govern use of material accessed through the District network.  Teachers will instruct students in appropriate research and citation practices.

Academic Freedom, Selection of Material, Student Rights to Free Speech:

1.) District policies on Academic Freedom and Free Speech will govern the use of the Internet (refer to the Board Policy Manual).

2.) When using the Internet for class activities, teachers will select material that is appropriate in light of the age of the students and that is relevant to the course objectives.  Teachers will preview the materials and sites they require or recommend students’ access to determine the appropriateness of the material.  Teachers will provide guidelines and lists of resources to assist students in channeling their research activities effectively and properly.  Teachers will assist students in developing skills to ascertain the truthfulness of information, distinguish fact from opinion, and to respect the ideas of those who hold divergent views.

District Web Sites:

1.) District Web Site.  The District may establish a Web site and may develop Web pages that will present information about the District.  The Director of Technology (or his/her appointee) will be designated the Webmaster and be responsible for maintaining the District Web site.

2.) 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.  Before an individual student’s or district employee’s work or photograph is published on the Web, prior written permission will be obtained from the parent/guardian or the district employee.

3.) The Director of Technology may authorize the development of other web pages as deemed appropriate.

District Network Rules and Guidelines:

1.) Personal Safety (Restrictions are for students only)

a.) Users will not post personal contact information about themselves or other people.  Personal contact information includes address, telephone, school address, work address, etc.

b.) Users will not meet with someone they have met on-line without their parent/guardian’s approval and participation.

c.) Users will promptly disclose to their teacher or other school employee any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable. The District employee will take appropriate action, if necessary.

2.) Illegal Activities

a.) Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the District network or to any other computer system through the District network, or go beyond their authorized access.  This includes attempting to log in through another person’s account or access another person’s files.  These actions are illegal, even if only for the purposes of “browsing”.

b.) Users will not make any attempt to disrupt the computer system performance or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means.

c.) Users will not use the District network to engage in any other illegal act, such as arranging for the sale or purchase of drugs or alcohol, engaging in criminal activity, threatening the safety of another person, etc.

3.) System Security

a.) 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 their password to another person.

b.) Users will immediately notify the building principal 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.

c.) Users will avoid the inadvertent spread of computer viruses by following appropriate virus protection procedures.

4.) Inappropriate Language

a.) Restrictions against inappropriate language apply to public messages, private messages, and material posted on Web pages.

b.) Users will not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language.

c.) Users will not post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a  disruption of the system.

d.) Users will not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial and discriminatory attacks.

e.) Users will not  harass another person.  Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person.  If a user is asked by a person to stop sending them messages, they must stop.

f.) Users will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization.

5.) Respect for Privacy

a.) Users will not repost a private or confidential message without permission of the person who sent the message.

b.) Users will not post private information about another person.

6.) Respecting Resource Limits

a.) Users will use the system only for educational and professional or career development activities and limited high-quality, self-discovery activities.

b.) Users will not download large files unless absolutely necessary.  If necessary, users will download the file at time when the system is not being heavily used.  They will immediately remove the file from the system computer to their personal computer.

c.) Anyone with an e-mail account will check their e-mail frequently, delete unwanted messages promptly, and stay within their e-mail quota.

d.) Users will subscribe only to high quality discussion group maillists that are relevant to their professional/career development.

7.) Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

a.) 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.

b.) Users will respect the rights of copyright owners.  Copyright infringement occurs when an individual inappropriately reproduces a work that is protected by 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 author of the material.

8.)  Inappropriate Access to Material

a.) Users will not use the District network to access or download material that is profane or obscene that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people (hate literature).  For students, a special exception may be made for hate literature if the purpose of such access to conduct research, and access is approved by both the teacher and parent/guardian.  District employees may access the above material only in the context of legitimate research.

b.) If a user inadvertently accesses such information, they should immediately disclose the inadvertent access to a teacher or another school employee.  This will protect users against an allegation that they have intentionally violated the District Network Rules and Guidelines.

c.) It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to instruct the student if there is additional material that they think would be inappropriate for the student to access.  The District fully expects that the student will follow the parent’s/guardian’s instructions in this matter.