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Technology Use Policy

Introduction: The following policy outlines the acceptable uses if technological resources in the South River Public Schools. This policy applies, but is not limited, to the following categories of technology: school-based computer networks, district-wide computer networks, stand alone computers, peripheral devices (laser disk players, videocassette recorders, televisions, telephones, scanners, and printers), on-line services, and the use of the Internet. Local area networks (a particular school) and wide area networks (the entire district) connect computers in a way that facilitates the use of software programs and the storage of information. The Internet is a worldwide system of computers linked together electronically. Each of these systems provides users with the ability to send and receive mail (e-mail) and access enormous and diverse databases of information. The Internet and other on-online services also allow individuals to participate in discussion groups on a variety of topics. Because of these capabilities, these services can be a valuable educational resource for the students in the district. Our goal in providing these services to students and staff is to promote educational excellence in schools by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, collaboration, and communication.

Use of the Internet: Because anyone in the world has access to the Internet, the system also contains material which is inappropriate for elementary and secondary students or does not possess educational value in the context of our school curriculum. One of the goals of this policy is to outline acceptable use of the Internet by students and staff. This policy seeks to balance issues of intellectual inquiry, freedom of speech and privacy with the responsibility of the district to ensure that students and staff do not access or produce inappropriate or illegal material.

Acceptable Use of Technological Resources: Acceptable use in the framework of the South River Public Schools can be defined as employing technology as an educational tool, using guidelines that the computing community at large and/or legal opinion have generally agreed are permissible. Examples of actions that violate this accepted standard are listed below under the topic of Inappropriate Uses. Any material accessed by students and staff must be related to the curriculum approved by the South River Board of Education or to the approved extracurricular activities of the schools.

Privilege to Use the Technology: While in school, student access to technological resources will be under the direct supervision of teaching staff and will be monitored by the staff member in the same manner as any other classroom activity. Using technology in the context of a school setting is not a right, but a privilege. Inappropriate use will minimally result in the suspension of that privilege. Any staff member or student who uses the technological resources of the district expressly consents to having all activities regarding the use monitored by a systems operator.

Inappropriate Uses: The following have been deemed inappropriate uses of technology by either the broad community of computer users or by legal judgment. The list is not all inclusive, but includes the major categories of misuses of technology.

  1. Using the network for illegal activity (e.g., copyright infringement).
  2. Disrupting or damaging equipment or the operation of the system.
  3. Vandalizing the account or data of another user.
  4. Gaining unauthorized access to another account or to the system operation.
  5. Using another student's or staff's account without permission.
  6. Using abusive, obscene language.
  7. Obtaining pornographic text, graphics, or photographs.
  8. Sending or receiving material that is racist, sexist, or offensive to the religious beliefs of people.
  9. Creating or installing a computer virus.
  10. Using technology for personal, financial, or business gain.
  11. Installing personal software on any computer in the district.
  12. Changing the configuration of an individual computer or network.
  13. Downloading copyrighted software for use outside of school.

Network Etiquette and Child Safety: Students and staff are expected to adhere to generally accepted rules of network behavior. These include:

  1. Be polite. Do not use abusive language.
  2. Electronic mail is not private. System operators have access to all mail and illegal activities may be reported to law enforcement authorities.
  3. Logging on to the Internet is taking an electronic field trip into cyberspace.

Students are going out into the world and need to protect themselves. Students must not give out their names, home addresses or telephone numbers to people they meet on the Internet.

District Guarantees: The district does not issue a warranty for the Internet service it provides. The district is not responsible for the accuracy of the information obtained through the service. The use of information is at the user's own risk. This district is not liable for loss of data, wrong deliveries, or service disruptions caused by its own negligence or the user's errors.