Digital Citizenry Policy

Digital Citizenry Acceptable/Responsible Use Policy IFBG

Computer/Internet/Intranet and any other digital devices that will connect to the Network in any shape, form, or fashion

The Lamar County School System is pleased to offer access to the Internet through web pages, email, wireless access, file transfer, and other web-based interfaces to employees over its district computer network. Students and visitors may be provided access to the web pages, computer-assisted instruction and other digital devices. The use of computers and network resources are for educational purposes.

The district is committed to the Vision and Mission for Technology Use:

Vision
To provide resources that create a community of learners who master current and future technologies preparing for real world situations and adapting to an ever changing world.

Mission
To promote educational excellence consistent with the vision of the Lamar County School System by:

  • Supporting vast, diverse, and unique tools for educational use,
  • Ensuring equal, easy, and appropriate access, and
  • Encouraging information gathering, sharing, communication, and professional learning.

Digital Citizenry
Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate and responsible behavior with regard to telecommunication/digital use. Each digital citizen has a basic set of rights that come with responsibilities. The AUP policy (IFBG) defines the acceptable/responsible use expected for compliance by students, employees and visitors of the Lamar County School System. The Social Media Guidelines are intended to provide direction for social media use (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Edmodo, Instagram) for either personal or professional reasons.

Digital Rights & Responsibilities
The Lamar County School System promotes safe, legal, and ethical use of digital tools. Employees shall comply and model the appropriate and responsible use of all classroom resources. Students and visitors shall comply with the appropriate and responsible use of digital resources whether district owned or personally owned while accessing the district’s network whether wireless or wired.

The Lamar County School System’s Acceptable Use Policy [AUP] is to

  • comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [CIPA]
  • establish procedures for:

o  the use of public computers, network, and Internet and Intranet connections, email, including any other electronic devices that will connect to the network in any shape form or fashion;

o  the protection of public equipment and connections;

o  the protection of students and staff members;

  • prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful activities by online users; and
  • prevent unauthorized disclosure of or access to sensitive information.

As used in this policy, “user” is defined as anyone using the computers, Internet, Intranet, email, and any other forms of direct electronic communications or equipment provided by the district. It also covers any outside equipment that the used to access the Internet. The use of personally-owned equipment is also defined.

As used in this policy, “public networks” is defined as any property or network funded by public funds which connect to the servers or the network.

The Lamar County School System reserves the right to monitor users’ online activities and to access, review, copy and store any electronic communication or emails, contents of any user's files, activities, or communications, and disclose them to others as it deems necessary. Users should have no expectations of privacy regarding their use of the district’s property, public networks and Internet access or files including email.

Disclaimer
The Lamar County School System makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. Lamar County Schools will not be responsible for any damages suffered by its students, employees, or visitors as a result of use of the Internet through our school network. This includes loss of data resulting from delays or service interruptions or responsibility for the accuracy or quality of any information obtained through the Internet

Policy Dissemination
This policy will be published on the Lamar County School System’s Web Pages continually.  An abbreviated version of this policy will be published each year in each school’s student handbooks. Each time someone signs onto the district’s network from a handheld device, he/she must agree to our R-AUP including guests.

Internet Safety - CIPA Law Compliance and FERPA Law Compliance

It must also be understood that the Internet is a global, fluid community, which remains largely unregulated. While it is an extremely valuable tool for educational research, there are sections that are not commensurate with community, school, or family standards. It is the belief of the Board that the Internet's advantages far outweigh its disadvantages.

It should not be assumed, however, that users are completely prevented from accessing inappropriate communications or from sending or receiving objectionable communications. Additionally, access to the Internet and computer resources is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, users violating the Lamar County Board of Education's Responsible -Acceptable Use Policy shall be subject to revocation of these privileges and disciplinary action.

Note: All students, parents, teachers and staff members will be required to sign the Digital Citizen Use Agreement Form IFBG E-1 or the school-level handbook agreement. Visitors signing into the internet will automatically be required to accept the Responsible-Acceptable Use policy from his/her digital tool (e.g. phone, laptop, handheld).

In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and 1996, it shall be the policy of Lamar County Schools to require:

1.  Internet Filtering/Technology Protection Measures – In compliance with Section 1703(b)(1) and (2) of CIPA, devices and procedures will be used that will attempt to record and filter inappropriate sites, sites deemed harmful to minors, pornography, sexually explicit material, and inappropriate email. These measures will attempt to prevent disclosure of personal information, prevent unauthorized access, prevent violation of copyright laws, and monitor the on-line activities of students, staff, and visitors.

2.  Monitoring of Students – All students using the Internet via the district network will be visually monitored by the teacher/staff member responsible for them. The teacher is responsible for the supervision of the content used by digital devices. Teachers/Staff will maintain a log of all student users of each computer including the name, date, time, and computer unit of use.

3.  Student, Staff, Visitor Training – All staff and students will be trained in this policy and its procedures by school level staff prior to consent of agreement each school year. A mini-training course “Acceptable Use” given by the Technology Staff is required for all staff new to Lamar County Schools. Visitors will be given an abbreviated overview of this policy prior to contract consent. Training for younger students will be given in an age-appropriate manner age-appropriate instruction regarding safe and appropriate behavior on social networking sites, chat rooms, and other Internet services, behaviors that may constitute cyber bullying, and hot to respond when subjected to cyber bullying. The Social Media Guidelines will also be used for training purposes. 

New employees, long- term substitutes, or student teachers will have personalized Responsible-Acceptable Use training provided by one of the technology staff members.  Principals /Supervisors will have to sign an “Administrative Rights Approval” form for each new employee, long-term substitute, and student teacher. On the “Administrative Rights Approval” form, the principals will check the appropriate rights to be approved and access to be given to each individual. The form should be sent to technology for training and will be used to document training.  The form will have an effective date and end date of access. Access will be concluded based on the end of access date given by principal/supervisor. If a person needs new access, a new “Administrative Rights Approval” form will need to be completed. As soon as technology receives the form with the principal’s signature, access will be given. Please note: Student teachers will not have email access.

4.  R-AUP Digital Citizen Use Agreement - (See IFBG-E-1) (See IFBG E-1) Any student and staff of Lamar County Schools, regardless of age, who will use the Internet via the district network will consent and sign an R-AUP agreement at the beginning of each school year.  Students will sign either IFBG E-1 or the school-level handbook agreement. Parent consent/signature is required for all students under 18 years of age.  These agreements will be maintained on file in each school’s office.  Failure to consent means no access.
 

5. Visitor R-AUP Digital Citizen Use Agreement - (See IFBG-E-2) Any visitor to Lamar County School System who will use the Internet via the district network will automatically be required to accept the Responsible-Acceptable Use policy from his/her digital tool (e.g. phone, laptop, handheld) before being approved for access.  

6.  World Wide Web Publishing Agreement - (See IFBG-E-3) Subject to the FERPA Law, staff and students under certain conditions are permitted to publish web pages related to school activities and educational pursuits. Written consent shall be given by parents and limited to the publishing of students’ names, work, web pages, and pictures. All publishing must be done only on district servers and subject to school or district level supervision. This includes posting on social media pages.

7.  Social Media Guidelines - or employees or students to use to help guide use on Social Media accounts. There are guidelines for personal use and professional use.

8.  Employee/Student Digital Equipment checkout form - (see IFBG E-3) For employees or students to use to checkout digital items for home use. Insurance information is requested.

9.  Student email account Opt-out form - (see IFBG E-4)For parents to make a decision regarding their child's access to a student email account for instructional purposes.

10. Electronic Communications Agreement Form - (IFBG E-5) For teachers to complete for administrative approval of the use of electronic communication to be used in the classroom and /or for student activity. The teacher will identify how student achievement will be impacted and how parents will be informed to let them know their child(ren) are using this format for instruction.


Digital Netiquette

Students and employees are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette (netiquette).

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Be polite. Do not get abusive in your messages to others.
  •   Be thoughtful and respectful about what you post about students or Lamar County School System employees.
  •   Use appropriate language. Use of vulgarities or any other inappropriate language is not acceptable.
  •   Without pre-approval from an administrator, students & staff are not authorized to record video or audio.
  •   Employees: Use discretion when sending personal information (e.g. phone numbers, address) electronically. Students: do not send personal information to anyone electronically.
  •   Revealing personal information of others is not appropriate.
  •   Using the network in such a way as to disrupt the use of the network by other users is not appropriate.
  •   Statements offered by you are your opinion and do not necessarily reflect those views held by the Lamar County School System.

Digital Access
The Lamar County School System is continuously pursuing 24/7 usage for our students and employees through wireless and wired access, Internet and Intranet access, email access, and personally owned /district owned equipment. It should be understood that 24/7 digital access (while on the property of the Lamar County School System or when participating in after hour school events) is for educational purposes. 

Internet/Intranet Use
The purpose of the use of the Internet in The Lamar County School System is to support educational and research goals consistent with the educational objectives of the district. The Lamar County Board of Education does not endorse use of Internet resources which are not consistent with approved curricula, nor does the Board endorse random use without supervision, and it does not endorse personal use.

Since the Internet can lead to any publicly available file server in the world, it will allow access to information resources which have not been subjected to established Lamar County School System selection criteria for instructional materials. Due to the nature of the Internet, no technology protection measure or filtering device can stop all inappropriate material. Parents should be made aware that every effort will be made to supervise students and to filter inappropriate content, but that accidents are possible. 

Any student or staff member upon encountering inappropriate content accidentally should immediately back out of the content and if necessary, shut the computer down. The incident should be immediately reported to the supervising staff member. Provided that staff members are adhering to the requirements of this policy, no staff member will be held accountable for a student’s choices on the Internet.

The Intranet will be used to increase communication between employees. The password will be changed annually at the beginning of each school year.

Email Use
The purpose of the use of electronic communication tools including the district’s email system is to provide immediate information necessary to continue the work of the district including but not limited to curriculum and instruction, finance, professional learning, and transportation. The Acceptable Use Policy governs use of the district’s email system and applies to email use at district, school sites as well as remote location, including but not limited to staff homes or other locations. Only current employees are authorized to use the district’s email system. Students cannot access the district’s email system. The only email available at school for some students is Gaggle.net. Currently, it is only used at the HS. Users should have no expectation to privacy regarding their use.

Long term substitutes or student teachers will have to go to the technology department for personalized training provided by one of the staff members. The long term substitute or student teacher will be required to sign the visitor’s AUP contract. Principals will have to sign an “Administrative Rights Approval” form for each long term substitute and student teacher. On the “Administrative Rights Approval” form, the principals will check the appropriate rights to be approved and access to be given to each individual. The form will have an effective date and end date of access. Access will be concluded at that time. If a person needs new access, a new “Administrative Rights Approval” form will need to be completed. As soon as technology receives the form with the principal’s signature, access will be given. Please note: Student teachers will not have email access.

District employees may use email to communicate with spouses, children, domestic partners, and other family members. Personal use of email is limited to lunch breaks and work breaks only.

Note: People who operate the system do have access to all mail. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to the authorities. Be careful about what you say about others. E-mail is easily forwarded.

The Lamar County School System is implementing student email accounts for collaborative sharing using G Suite. These accounts will be used at school for school-related projects and students will NOT be able to send emails outside of the district at this time. The mastery of effective and proper email communications by students is included in LCSS' Digital Responsible /Acceptable Use Policy found in the Code of Conduct. Student will have access to the wealth of collaborative tools available to students and teachers once these accounts are assigned.

As with any educational endeavor, a strong partnership with families is essential to a successful experience. Therefore, an opt-out option is available for parents to choose if they do not want their child to have a school email account.

Any employee or student upon encountering inappropriate emails accidentally should immediately delete the email before opening. If opened, immediately back out of the email and if necessary, shut the computer down.  The incident should be immediately reported to the supervising staff member.

Instant Messaging Use
The Lamar County Board of Education does not support access to Instant Messaging or Peer to Peer use. 

Checking out District Owned Equipment
The Lamar County Board of Education supports the use of laptops to enhance instruction. Laptops may be used at home by staff members only. A check out form (IFBG –E.4) must be completed by the school-level employee and maintained in the school’s media center [maintained in the Teaching and Learning Office if a central office employee]

If someone doesn’t to wish to supply the school system with their home insurance policy number, they must sign a statement holding them accountable for the cost of the laptop if not returned.

Personally Owned Equipment
The Lamar County Board of Education does not support or allow for the use of personal desktops or laptops at any time.

Personally owned equipment may be used only with authorized approval from the Technology Department. The process of approval will include making a HelpDesk ticket for approval. The decision for use will be based on the product’s age, quality, and its impact on the public network. Technology support for any of the equipment will be limited. For mobile devices, only the connection will be supported.

The following is a list of equipment that may be approved.

  • Digital devices [Tablets, smartphones]
  • Printers
  • Scanners

The Lamar County Board of Education will not be held responsible for any damage to personally-owned equipment.

Digital Security
Network security is a high priority. If the student or employee identifies or perceives a security problem on the Internet or network the user must immediately notify the principal/supervisor who in turn notifies the Network Manager. The Network Manager will report to the Technology Director and Superintendent.

Passwords should remain confidential and should not be given out to anyone even if requested. Staff members who reveal passwords to students will be responsible for compensating the school system for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the district relating to or arising from any student violation of this policy or applicable procedures.

Staff members will be responsible for compensating the district for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the district relating to or arising from their violation of this policy or applicable procedures.

Digital Law
Vandalism
Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy the Lamar County School System’s network, hardware, software or data. This includes, but not limited to, intentionally:

  • Uploading/downloading/creating computer viruses, etc.
  • Monitoring the network, performing remote tasks, or any other activity that can damage the district’s network or Student Information System.

Violations of Policy/Unacceptable Use

Access is a privilege and not a right. Violations of this policy by student, employees or visitors may result in loss of the right to Internet access and /or be subject to school disciplinary action, legal action, or fines. The Lamar County School System will attempt to tailor the disciplinary action to the specific issues related to each violation.

Students and staff members must agree not to submit, publish, or display any defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or illegal material. Transmission of material, information, or software in violation of any local, state, or federal law is prohibited.

Data, information, or graphics downloaded from the Internet to a school system computer or anything uploaded from a school to another computer system on the intranet or Internet must follow current established materials selection policies, as listed in Policy IFBD and IFBD E-3 Media Programs.

Specific Examples of Unacceptable Use

  •  Any use of the Internet that does not support educational and research goals consistent with the educational objectives of the Lamar County School System.
  •   Accessing, sending, creating, selling, copying, or posting materials or communications that are:

o  Damaging to another person’s reputation

o  Abusive, vulgar

o  Obscene

o  Sexually oriented

o  Threatening or demeaning to another person’s gender or race

o  Contrary to the school’s policy on harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, cyberbaiting

o  Illegal

o  Degrading or disrupting to the equipment or system performance, for example; copying large files or sending large multiple e-mail messages, and “spam” or “chain-letter” email

  •  Using the network for financial gain or advertising.
  •   Using proxy sites/programs/tools to bypass the Lamar County School System’s content filter.
  •   Posting or plagiarizing work created by another person without their consent.
  •   Posting anonymous or forging electronic mail messages.
  •   Attempting to read, alter, delete, or copy the electronic mail messages of other system users.
  •   Giving out personal information such as phone numbers, driver’s license or social security numbers, bankcard or checking account information.
  •   Giving out picture except for educational purposes, subject to parent and teacher approval
  •   Gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities which includes “hacking” activities
  •   Invading the privacy of individuals
  •   Vandalizing the data of another user
  •   Downloading large music or video files unrelated to specific educational goal
  •   Using chat rooms or special servers or software which groups individuals (e.g. social networking) on-line unless approved by the Superintendent or designee
  •   Using direct electronic communications which includes all forms of instant messaging
  •   Using any email other than the specific Lamar County School’s email authorized for staff/students
  •  Writing or sending abusive messages, using vulgarities, swearing, or using inappropriate language
  •   Responding to unsolicited on-line contact

In addition students are not authorized to:

  • Join or subscribe to list-serve or news groups
  • Purchase goods and services via the Internet
  • Download and install software of any kind (restricted to staff only)
  • Play games online, download/install games on school computers
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