Internet and Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

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Internet and Computer AUP RegulationComputer and Technology Equipment AUP Regulation | Web Regulations | Updates

The Board of Education is committed to the optimization of student learning and teaching. The board considers computers to be a valuable tool for education, and encourages the use of computers and computer-related technology in district classrooms. The board encourages computer use as an integral part of the curriculum, and the board believes that the use of software applications, online databases, online course materials, appropriate interactive curriculum based web applications, web and video-conferencing, and internet research tools significantly enhance a student’s educational experience.

The board directs the Superintendent of Schools to appoint a chief-Technology Specialist to coordinate the use of district computer resources. The Superintendent, working with the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Chief Technology Specialist, in conjunction with the Technology Liaison Committee, building administrators, and technical staff will prepare and submit for the Board’s approval a comprehensive multi-year technology plan which shall be revised and updated annually. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure the purchase and implementation of a technology protection measure that will block or filter Internet access by:

  • Adults to depictions that are obscene, and
  • Minors to depictions that are obscene or harmful to minors as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

In line with the district’s mission and goals, the Board extends to the District’s staff and students the privilege of using computers to access the Internet to help perform academic work, to explore educational topics, to conduct research projects and to contact others in the educational world. The privilege of using computers in school may be revoked at any time if a staff member or student(s) fail to comply with district policy and regulations. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the event of violations of this policy.

The district takes no responsibility for losses sustained by staff or students as a result of system failure. Also, information stored on the District Computer System (DCS) is not private and may be reviewed or traced by authorized personnel. The board directs the Superintendent to develop appropriate rules and regulations for use of computers and related technologies in district schools. The board also directs the Superintendent to annually publicize this policy and regulations to staff, students and parents.

Cross-reference: 

4319, Science and Math Instruction

5310, Student Discipline

Adopted October 20, 1998
(Revised by Technology Liaison Committee – November 2005) Revised and Adopted January 10, 2006 Adopted April 8, 2008
(Revised by Technology Liaison Committee -February 2011) Revised and Adopted June 6, 2011

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Internet and Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Regulation

Staff and students are expected to follow these guidelines when using computers at school:

  1. School computers may only be used to help perform academic work, to explore educational topics, to conduct research projects, or to contact others for educational purposes.
  2.  When using school computers students and staff will be expected to take reasonable care of school equipment and materials.
  3. Students and staff are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner while using school computers and the Internet. They should be polite to other Internet users, and they should act within the laws of New York State and the United States.
  4. Users are responsible for the use of their network account and should safeguard their account from being accessed by others.
  5. No purchases may be made through a computer owned by the school, or through one of the school’s Internet accounts.
  6. Students will be supervised when they access the Internet. The schools will take every reasonable precaution to ensure that a student will not access objectionable materials. Students will be instructed to notify a teacher if they accidentally access something objectionable from a school computer and should do so immediately.
  7. Students will be instructed that they should not provide personal information or agree to meet with strangers that they meet on the Internet. Students should notify a teacher if someone on the Internet requests personal information or asks to meet with them.
  8. In accordance with the district’s “opt-out” policy for the use of student directory information, website documents on the Internet may include a student’s full name, grade level, photograph, artwork, academic interest, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, terms of school attendance and graduation, awards received, etc. unless the district has been notified in writing not to publish this information in any given school year.
  9. Information stored on school computer equipment is not private and may be viewed or traced by authorized personnel.

Staff and students must understand that if they violate these rules, their computer privileges may be suspended. Violations of these guidelines will result in a referral to school administration for further disciplinary action.

(Reviewed November 2005 by the Technology Liaison Committee)
Reviewed December 13, 2005
(Revised by Technology Liaison Committee -February 2011)
Reviewed June 6, 2011

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Computer Network and Technology Equipment Acceptable Use (AUP) Regulation

Staff and students are expected to follow these guidelines when using computers at school:

District Computer System (DCS) includes computers, wired and wireless networks, cabling, servers, printers, and all other technology related devices owned by the District.

  1. District Computer System (DCS) is for curricular and school use. Commercial use is prohibited. Personal use should be limited.
  2. Use of the DCS which violates any aspect of School District Policies, the Student Discipline Code of Conduct, and any Federal, State or Local laws or regulations is strictly prohibited.
  3. No personal software may be downloaded or installed anywhere on the DCS without first having been reviewed by a technician or authorized via the software purchase process. This includes but is not limited to software packages, program, plug-ins, updates, toolbars, applets, drivers, etc.
  4. No personal computers and/or equipment or peripherals may be attached to or configured on the DCS. However, students and/or staff may connect USB flash drives or other removable storage devices to district computers to transfer assignments or school related data to district computers when necessary. These data files must be scanned by the district’s antivirus software. Personal devices with wireless capability may access the Internet through the district’s wireless network for professional purposes only. This will be accomplished through the district’s wireless guest access that will allow Internet access but will prevent network access. Technicians will be responsible for configuring devices with browser proxy settings and for setting up passwords. Personal devices for professional staff will include laptops, tablets or other approved interactive technologies. Personal smart phones are not included.
  5. The District does not provide school email accounts for students. An alternative approach for special class projects may be provided. Student email accounts can be created only when a walled garden is established.
  6. Do not alter or change the settings or system configurations of the DCS hardware or software in any way. Exceptions to this may include User Accessibility Settings and default printer designation. Do not remove/move, unplug, alter or add equipment or software to the DCS. No damaging, disabling or otherwise interfering with the operation of any part of the DCS through physical action or by electronic means. These regulations apply to pre-configured system setups and stationary system setups. However, district laptops that are used for instructional use may be connected to presentation systems or other types of hardware owned by the district. Faculty and staff should be trained by the district’s technical staff before using these special setups.
  7. Do not intentionally bypass the security of the DCS for viewing inappropriate Internet sites. Do not attempt to gain access to restricted areas of the DCS, or go beyond authorized access by entering another person’s password or accessing another person’s files or E-Mail. No changing, copying, renaming, deleting, reading or otherwise accessing files or software not created by the owner of the file.
  8. Do not violate copyright laws. Materials accessed through the Internet must be properly cited when referenced in a student research assignment.
  9. Do not disclose an individual password to others or using others’ passwords. Do not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any level of the DCS by attempting to log in through another person’s account, or use computer accounts, access codes or network identification other than those assigned to the user.
  10. Do not waste school resources by printing excessively or consuming limited hard drive space or network drive space or bandwidth capacity anywhere on the DCS.
  11. Do not download software or programs from the Internet to the DCS.
  12. Do not create or willfully disseminate computer viruses. Staff and students should be sensitive to the ease of spreading viruses and should take steps to ensure that disks and files are virus free.
  13. Do not violate licensing agreements, including the downloading or exchanging of pirated software or copying software to or from any part of the DCS.
  14. Information stored on the DCS is not private and may be viewed or traced by authorized personnel.
  15. Students will not use district equipment or networks to engage in Cyberbullying or Cyberstalking. Students will not use digital cameras to take or post inappropriate pictures.
  16. In the course of repairs, DCS computers may be re-imaged at any time. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the user to maintain a regular backup of his/her data in a location not on the DCS local computer. Data should be stored on his/her network server where it is backed up on a nightly basis.

Staff and students must understand that if they violate these rules, their computer privileges may be suspended. Violations of these guidelines will result in a referral to school administration for further disciplinary action.

(Reviewed November 2005 by the Technology Liaison Committee)
Reviewed December 13, 2005
(Revised by the Technology Liaison Committee – February 2011)
Revised June 6, 2011

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Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Web Regulations

Internet access in the Guilderland Central School District provides an opportunity for students, staff, parents, and community to share information in a very unique way. The District’s Web site provides information to the community about school curriculum, instruction, school related activities, and other general information relating to our schools and to our District’s mission. Internet access for the creation of Web pages is provided by the District Web Team through Capital Region BOCES. Publishers and creators of Web pages need to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the following regulations and responsibilities. Failure to follow these regulations may result in the loss of authoring privileges or other more serious disciplinary measures.

  1. District Web Team – The Superintendent and/or his/her designee shall approve Internet access for the creation of Web pages by the Guilderland Central School District Web Team. The team will work with the District’s Chief Technology Specialist, the District’s Communications Office and Capital Region BOCES and will be comprised of at least one representative from the Elementary Schools, Middle School, High School, District Office.
  2. District and School Web Pages – The District’s Communications Office, or an identified designee, will develop and post content for all district-level and school Web pages. Content will be directly related to the school district, its students, or its educational programming.
    • District staff and school community members are encouraged to submit Web content (story ideas, photos, etc.) to the District’s Communications Office. Submitted content may be edited for appropriateness and/or space limitations.
    • Content not directly related to the school district, its students, or its educational programming will not be published.
  3. Teacher Web Pages – Any teachers that currently have web pages linked to building sites may continue to publish information on their pages, as long as the information is kept current.
    • Teachers that wish to have Web pages hosted on independent sites linked to building sites must submit an application form for site approval to the District’s Communications Office, as obtained from the Web team member in their respective building or in the “Staff Resources” section of the district Web site.
    • Teachers that wish to publish new educational Web pages within the district web site are encouraged to do so, but must first sign up for and attend at least one guided work session for teacher Web pages to become familiar with the Web editing program Microsoft Expression Web, and submit to a peer review of their page(s) Teachers must also submit a NERIC user authorization request form, which may be obtained through the web team member at each individual school building or in the “Staff Resources” section of the district Web site. Upon user request approval, a unique username and password for web publishing will be assigned to each teacher applicant through Capital Region BOCES. The Communications Office will not retain individual login credentials. If at any time the user loses his or her password, they must request it directly from NERIC at helpdesk@gw.neric.org or 518-862-5400.
    • Teachers are responsible for the content on their individual Web pages. At the bottom of each published teacher page, it is required that there be a link to the e-mail address of the person maintaining the page with this terminology: “This page is maintained according to Guilderland Central School District Web publishing guidelines by teacher e-mail address on behalf of the Guilderland Central School District.”
  4. Student Web Pages – Students may create a Web site as part of a class activity through an outside service provider. Unfortunately, the District will not be able to provide students with access to the District Web site. Material presented on a student class activity web site must meet the educational objectives of the class activity. It will not be considered a violation of a student’s free speech to require removal of material that does not meet the educational objectives or that is in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.
    • Student web pages must include the following disclaimer: “This is a student Web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District.”
    • Students will not be allowed to submit a user authorization request form and will not be given a username or password by Capital Region BOCES to publish their student class activity web site.
    • Should a classroom teacher wish to publish a class activity web site for his/her students, the teacher must submit a user authorization request form to the District’s Communications Office. (See item B – Teacher Web Pages) The teacher will then be responsible for all content on the student site.
    • Under no circumstances should teachers give students access to their usernames or passwords.
    • Student Web pages will be removed at the end of the school year unless other arrangements have been made.
  5. Extracurricular Organization Web Pages – With the approval of the building principal, extracurricular school organizations may establish Web pages.
    • School organizations that wish to have new web pages linked to building sites must follow the same process as outlined above for teacher Web pages.
    • Material presented on the organization Web page must relate specifically to organization activities.
    • They must display the following disclaimer: “This is a student/school extracurricular organization Web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District.”
  6. PTA Web Pages – With the approval of the building principal, school PTA organizations may establish Web pages.
    • PTA groups are encouraged to create a Web page through an external service provider. The District will house a basic page for the site, including officers, meeting dates, and a calendar of upcoming events, as well as a link to the PTA’s more in-depth Web page, if established.
    • PTA groups that wish to have new Web pages linked to building sites must submit an application form for site approval to the District’s Communications Office, as obtained from the Web team member in their respective building.
  7. Web Page Design – The standards defined in this document along with the Acceptable Use Policy provisions will govern material placed on the Web site.
    1. Content Standards – Building and District Administrators or their designees are responsible for Web page approval. Any individual or group who wants to author a new Web page within the district Web site must sign up for and attend a guided work session. The District reserves the right to edit content or remove hyperlinks to information that does not adhere to school district policies or the web page publishing standards contained in this document.
    2. Subject Matter – All subject matter should relate to curriculum, instruction,
      school-authorized activities, or general information that is appropriate and of interest to others. Neither staff nor students may publish personal home pages as part of the District Web site. Home pages may not be published for individuals or organizations not directly affiliated with the District. Staff or student work may be published only as it relates to a class project, course, or other school-related activity. The author of each individual page is responsible for the subject matter contained within that page.
    3. Quality – All Web page work must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Documents may not contain objectionable material or link directly to objectionable sites. Objectionable material is defined as material that does not meet the standards for instructional resources specified by District policies. Regarding the question of quality, style, or content, the judgment of the District Web Team and Building or District Administrators will prevail. All authorized Web publishers will have access to Web page templates, as created by Capital Region BOCES, and are expected to use these general templates to facilitate a consistent and easy-to-follow website design for all users.
    4. Ownership and Retention – All Web pages on the District’s website are
      property of the School District. Web pages will be deleted when teachers or courses are no longer associated with the District unless prior arrangements have been made with the District Web Team.
    5. Student Safeguards – In accordance with the District’s “opt-out” policy for the use of student directory information, Web page documents may include a student’s full name, grade level, photograph, artwork, academic interest, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, terms of school attendance and graduation, awards received, etc. unless the district has been notified in writing not to publish this information by September 15 in any given school year. If received, “opt-out” letters are kept on file by both the school building principal and the District’s Communications Office. Documents may not include student phone numbers, addresses, or names of family members and friends. Published email addresses are restricted to staff members or to a general address where arriving e-mail is checked by a staff member.
    6. Technical Standards and Consistency- Each Web page that is added to the District website must contain certain design standards to maintain general consistency throughout the site:
      • At the bottom of each primary home page, there must be a link to the email address of the person responsible for maintaining the page with this terminology: “This page is maintained according to Guilderland Central School District web publishing guidelines by page author’s e-mail address on behalf of the Guilderland Central School District.” It will be that person’s responsibility to keep the web page(s) current.
      • On each page, there must be a link that returns the user to the district home page. A template will be provided for all users that publish internally to the district web site.
      • Users should only work on the pages within the sub-web and folders in which they have received authorization.
      • Anyone who has earned the right to publish to the web site must maintain a backup copy of his or her web pages.
      • All web pages must undergo a peer review and be submitted to the District’s Communications Office for review and approval prior to their initial placement on the Web server. Once a page is approved and published, the page author is responsible for all subsequent changes in accordance with the district’s Web regulations.
      • Publishers must be careful when creating Web pages with extensive
        graphics. Such files require extensive download time, are frustrating for
        visitors, and slow down the Web server.
      • Any teacher who publishes a Web page, for classroom instruction or as part of a curriculum project, will edit and test the page(s) for accuracy of links. They should also verify that the page(s) conform to the standards outlined in this document.
      • Web pages may not contain links to incomplete pages. If additional pages are anticipated, but not in final form, the text that will provide such a link should be included. However, the actual link should not be made until the final page is actually in place on the Web server.
      • All Web pages must be given names that clearly identify them. Any graphics, sounds, or video used on Web pages will conform to a standardized format established by the Web team. All images must adhere to federal accessibility guidelines.
      • Links to external sites outside of the www.guilderlandschools.org domain must be formatted to open in a new window and adhere to federal accessibility guidelines.
      • Web pages may not contain any student e-mail address links.
      • Web pages will not contain copyrighted or trademarked material belonging to others unless written permission has been obtained from the owner.
      • Web page links may not include entities whose primary purpose is commercial (sales sites) or political advertising.

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Updates to the Web Regulations

Given the rapid change in technological advances, some of the standards outlined in this document may require changes in the near future. Members of the District Web Team invite and encourage feedback on these regulations so that they can continue to be improved. The Guilderland Central School District Web Regulations will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis or more frequently if required.

Revised March 14, 2011
Revised June 6, 2011

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