Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Safety Agreement

The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) is pleased to offer technology, including, but not limited to: computers, networks, and Internet services. The use of PCSSD technology is a privilege, not a right, and carries with it responsibilities for all involved. PCSSD expects staff to blend the use of technology with the curriculum and to provide guidance and instruction to staff and students in its use. Staff must supervise students’ use of technology at all times. Staff is responsible for their conduct when using PCSSD’s technology. The PCSSD Acceptable Use Policy applies to all user of PCSSD’s electronic communication systems. Users include:
  • PCSSD Employees
  • PCSSD Students
  • Contractors
  • Consultants
  • Student Teachers
  • Temporary Workers
  • Any third parties that use the system

Terms of Agreement

In order for a student to be allowed access to a school computer system, computer network, and the Internet, parents must sign and return the attached consent form by the First Day of School. Definitions As defined in this policy, the term technology includes, but is not limited to: all computers; printers, digital cameras, document cameras, interactive white boards, projectors, scanners, peripheral equipment; networks; Internet resources, including production of Web content, all forms of Web-based synchronous and asynchronous communication including electronic mail, and file transfer protocol; multimedia, video, cable television, telephone, and fax equipment; language lab equipment; all software and files, including all user files generated from the use of the resources listed herein; as well as the supplies used to maintain technology. The term “staff” includes teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, permanent substitutes and any adult responsible for supervising students. The term "user" includes staff members and anyone who makes use of PCSSD’s technology. Access Statement All users authorized to access student information are required to abide by the policies governing review and release of student education records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 mandates that information contained in a student’s education record must be kept confidential and outlines the procedures for review, release and access of such information. Access to student information systems will be granted only to those individuals who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the data. Individuals who have been granted access must understand and accept all responsibilities of working with confidential student records. If the individual loses the data, he/she should inform the appropriate District personnel immediately. All users must sign and return an Acceptable Use Policy Statement before being allowed to use any of the District’s technology. The Acceptable Use Statement will stay in effect as long as the staff member is employed in the PCSSD. Users are not allowed to use PCSSD’s technology if a signed Acceptable Use Policy Statement has not been submitted to their school. Users may not login under a generic or shared password. Acceptable Uses The District is providing access to its school computer systems, computer networks, and the Internet for educational purposes only. Regulations for participation by anyone on the Internet shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
  1. All users must abide by rules of Network etiquette – Netiquette, including the following:
  2. Be polite. Use appropriate language and graphics.
  3. All users are allowed to use email, electronic chat rooms, instant messaging, social networking sites and other forms of direct electronic communications for educational purposes only and with proper supervision. All access is controlled via the District’s Internet content filter and is subject to monitoring at any time by designated district staff.
  4. Comply with fair-use laws and copyright regulations while accessing the internet
  5. Understand, recognize, and respect the intellectual property of others
  6. Career development activities
  7. School Sponsored email
  8. Approved use of 21st Century Tools including, but not limited to, podcasting, private class chat room experiences, private class to class video-conferencing, private class blogging, and private class wikis
  9. Educational research
  10. Comply with fair-use laws and copyright regulations while accessing the Internet
  11. Understand, recognize, and respect the intellectual property of others
Unacceptable Uses
  1. Students may not bypass or attempt to bypass the PCSSD’s filtering software
  2. Do not swear, use vulgarities, suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or threatening language in any messages or web pages. If a user is the victim of a harsh, critical, or abusive statement, the user should bring the incident to the attention of their immediate supervisor or Director of Technology. Be advised that doing so in school-sponsored email will result in your email being automatically redirected from the intended recipient to the Director of Technology and General Counsel for review. Disciplinary action, as outlined in this policy, may be forthcoming.
  3. Do not use personal addresses, personal phone numbers, or other identifying information of students will be permitted to be given out on the Internet. No identifiable photographs will be allowed to be published to the Internet without appropriate written consent. Concerning a student, appropriate written consent means a signature by a parent or legal guardian of the student.
  4. Users are prohibited from accessing any site on the Internet that is not consistent with the educational objectives of the Division, to include, but not be limited to, social networking sites.
  5. Participating in “cyber bullying” such as personal attacks and/or threats on/against anyone including being impolite
  6. Using the network/Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other contracts or transmitting any material in violation of any federal, state or local law
  7. Sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading illegal material via the PCSSD computer system
  8. Unauthorized downloading or installing of software to any District electronic devices or any electronic device, such as an mp3 player, brought on to the school grounds
  9. Using the computer system for private financial or commercial gain
  10. Wastefully using resources, such as bandwidth, file space, paper, and ink/toner
  11. Gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities
  12. Using the computer system for commercial or private advertising
  13. Submitting, posting, publishing or displaying any obscene, profane, threatening, illegal, or other inappropriate material
  14. Using the computer system while access privileges are suspended or revoked
  15. Vandalizing the computer system, including, but not limited to, modifying or destroying any other peripheral equipment, or destroying data by creating or spreading viruses and/or by any other means
  16. Forging, intercepting, or interfering with electronic mail messages, except as otherwise provided in this policy
  17. Accessing or attempting to access instant messages, non-educational chat rooms, forums that are not school-related, private e-mail, message boards, blogs or wikis that are not school-related, or host personal web pages at any time on the Division LAN or WAN. Exceptions to this shall only include school-approved, teacher-supervised, filtered, archived Internet communication, which occurs during the instructional day.
  18. Failing to respect the PCSSD computer system’s resource limits
  19. Using the computer system to disrupt others
  20. Reading, modifying or deleting data owned by others, except as otherwise provided in this policy
  21. Use of the computer system concurrent with a violation of the code of conduct or violation of any rule or regulation of the school or school system.
  22. Users shall not bypass or attempt to bypass the PCSSD’s security measures through means such as, but not limited to, online proxies, bootable media, IP spoofing, etc.
  23. Users shall not intentionally damage the system, damage information belonging to others, misuse system resources, or allow others to misuse system resources.
  24. Users shall not alter or vandalize computers, networks, printers, or other associated equipment and system resources. Alteration or vandalism includes, but not limited to, removal of parts, intentional destruction of equipment, attempting to degrade or disrupt system performance, or attempting to make system resources unusable.
  25. Users shall not relocate or remove technology equipment (hardware or software from its location without permission from the PCSSD Technology Department.
  26. Users shall not use system resources to distribute or provide personal information or addresses that others may use inappropriately.
  27. Users should be aware that electronic mail (e-mail) and all other files stored on PCSSD network are the property of the District.
  28. Users should not send any messages or create any files that they would not want to be made public. Space restrictions will be implemented according to District guidelines.
  29. Users shall maintain a strong password on PCSSD computers, email system, and any other network logins at all times.
Failure to Follow Acceptable Use Policy
  1. Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property are prohibited, For example, do not engage in defamation (harming another’s reputation by lies); do not use another’s password or some other user identifier that misleads message recipients into believing that someone other than you is communicating or otherwise using his/her access to the network or the Internet; do not upload a work, virus, Trojan horse, time bomb, or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; do not participate in hacking activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.
  2. Uses that jeopardize the security of student access and of the computer network or other networks on the Internet are prohibited. For example, do not disclose or share your password with others; do not impersonate another user.
  3. Illegal activities, including copyright or contract violations, shall not be permitted.
  4. The Internet shall not be used for commercial, political, illegal, financial, or religious purposes.
  5. Threatening, profane, harassing, or abusive language shall be forbidden.
  6. Use of the network for any illegal activities is prohibited. Illegal activities include (a) tampering with computer hardware or software, (b) unauthorized use entry into computers and files (hacking), (c) knowledgeable vandalism or destruction of equipment, and (d) deletion of computer files. Such activity is considered a crime under state and federal law. Any use which violates state or federal law relating to copyright, trade secrets, the distribution of pornographic materials, or which violates any other applicable law or municipal ordinance, is strictly prohibited.
  7. No user is permitted to knowingly or inadvertently load or create a computer virus or load any software that destroys files and programs, confuses users, or disrupts the performance of the system.
  8. No third party software will be installed without approval of the PCSSD Technology and Learning Services Departments.
  9. Accessing pornographic or obscene material or using or sending profanity in messages shall be forbidden.
  10. The use of anonymous proxies or any site that allows the user to get around content filtering is strictly prohibited and is a direct violation of this agreement.
Violations A violation of this agreement could result in loss of privileges, termination or criminal charges. Minimum Consequences 1st Offense: Warning and documentation in personnel file 2nd Offense: Disciplinary action and formal improvement plan 3rd Offense: Possible suspension and/or recommendation for non-renewal or termination Internet Safety
  • Parents and Users: Despite every effort for supervision and content filtering, all users and their parents/guardians are advised that access to the electronic network may include the potential for access to materials inappropriate for school-aged students. Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of network and Internet and avoid these sites.
  • Personal Safety: In using the network and Internet, users should not reveal personal information such as home address or telephone number. Users should never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone “met” on the Internet.
  • Confidentiality of Student Information: Personally identifiable information concerning students may not be disclosed or used in any way without the permission of parent or guardian. Users should never give out private or confidential information about themselves or others on the Internet.
  • Active Restriction Measures: The District will utilize filtering software or other technologies to prevent students from accessing visual depictions that are (1) obscene, (2) pornographic, or (3) harmful to minors. The use of anonymous proxies or any site that allows the user to get around the content filter is strictly prohibited and will be considered a violation of this policy. The school will also monitor the online activities of users through direct observation and/or technological means.
  • All minors should be educated each year about appropriate online behavior, including cyber bullying, awareness and response, and interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms.
Use of New Web Tools Online communication is critical to our students’ learning of the 21st Century Skills. Tools such as blogging and podcasting offer authentic, real-world vehicles for student expression. Again, as educators, our primary responsibility to students is their safety. Hence, expectations for classroom blogs, student protected e-mails, podcasts, or other Web interactive use must follow all established Internet safety guidelines. Blogging/Podcasting Terms and Conditions:
  • The use of blogs, podcasts or other Web 2.0 tools is considered an extension of your classroom. Therefore, any speech that is considered inappropriate in the classroom is also in appropriate in all uses of blogs, podcasts, or other Web 20 tools. This includes, but is not limited to, profanity and racist, sexist or discriminatory remarks.
  • Teachers must monitor all communication on blogs, podcasts, or other Web 2.0 tools that are used in the classroom.
  • All users using blogs, podcasts or other web tools are expected to act safely by keeping ALL personal information out of their posts.
  • A user should NEVER post personal information on the web (including, but not limited to, last names, personal details including addresses or phone numbers, or photographs). Do not, under any circumstances, agree to meet someone you have met over the internet.
  • Comments made on blogs should be monitored and – if they are inappropriate – deleted.
  • Never create a link to web sites from your blog or blog comment without reading the entire article to make sure it is appropriate for a school setting.
  • Students using Web 2.0 tools agree to not share their user name or password with anyone besides their teachers and parents and to treat any blogs as classroom spaces.
  • Users who do not abide by these terms and conditions may lose their opportunity to take part in the project and/or be subject to consequences appropriate to misuse.
Policy Statements The use of the PCSSD’s computer system is a privilege, not a right, and the Acceptable Use Policy is designed to establish clear guidelines for adult stakeholders who have access to the Public School computer system. Be polite and use proper Network etiquette (the acceptable behavior the Internet community expects its citizens to follow). Use appropriate language Respect both your own privacy and the privacy of others by not giving out personal information. Respect the rights of others by not wasting network resources. Report threatening or harassing remarks or materials to administration Permission Forms All users (staff members, substitute teachers, guests, and students and their parents) must sign an Acceptable Use Agreement to be eligible to work on any equipment connected to the network. This agreement must be renewed on an annual basis.

Acceptable Use Purpose

Internet Access
  1. Staff has access to Internet World Wide Web information resources through their classroom, media center, and/or computer lab on any equipment connected to the network. All Internet usage is monitored, and users should expect that their use may be reviewed at any time by the principal or superintendent.
  2. Staff will be issued an e-mail account for business use.
  3. Teachers and support staff will create a classroom website in accordance with District guidelines. Material placed on a web page must relate to the school, classroom, or program.
Confidential Information Look at IT security for clarification Responsibility Users are responsible for their individual accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account. Under no conditions should users provide their passwords to anyone else. Copyright All users must adhere to the copyright laws of the United States (P.L. 94-553) and the Congressional Guidelines that delineate it regarding software, authorship, and copying information. Benefits of Education We are in the 21st Century; our students must learn to utilize the tools and skills necessary to compete in a global economy. Students of today must think critically about global issues, work collaboratively on projects, and understand the significance of intellectual property, fair-use laws, and copyright regulations as they research the world in which they live. The PCSSD computer system, coupled with Internet access, empowers our students to construct authentic meaning from classroom lessons.

Enforcing Acceptable Use Policies

Privacy Policies Users should not expect privacy in the contents of their personal files on the District or school’s network; they must realize that any information stored electronically on school-owned equipment is subject to Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act. The situation is similar to the rights staff and students have in regard to their lockers, desks, or other storage systems. The District reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store at any time and without prior notice, any and all usage of the computer network and/or internet usage. Parents of students have the right at any time to request a review of the contents of their children’s electronic files or a conference with the teacher regarding electronic projects and/or research. Liability Disclaimer The PCSSD makes no guarantees that the functions of the services provided by or through the network will be error-free or without defect. The District will not be responsible for any damage the user 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 network. The District will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the network. When using the network, one may sense they can more easily break a rule and not be caught. This perception is not accurate. Whenever users access the network or use technology equipment, they leave “electronic footprints.” Thus, the odds of getting caught in violations are really about the same as in the real world or in any other actions or situations. Principal Responsibilities
  • Include Acceptable Use Policy in student handbook.
  • Be sure handbooks are distributed to all students.
  • Treat student infractions of the Acceptable Use Policy according to the school discipline policy.
  • Keep permission forms on file for one school year.
  • Identify students who do not have permission to use the internet to the teaching staff.
  • Insure that teachers are educating students about appropriate online behavior.
District Responsibilities
  • Ensure that filtering software is in use to block access to materials that are inappropriate, offensive, obscene, or contain pornography.
  • Update the filtering software regularly.
  • Have Acceptable Use Policy approved by the board and published on the district website.

Signature Forms

Staff AgreementStudent Agreement