• Vassar Public Schools – Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

    Introduction

    Each user of Vassar Public Schools (VPS) information technology system is expected to be familiar with and follow the expectations and requirements of this administrative rule. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that individuals are aware of their responsibilities regarding the Internet and related technology and equipment. This rule also helps ensure the safety and privacy of all users.

     

    Users Acceptable Use

    This is dedicated to provide VPS users with guidance of acceptable use of the district's information technology resources, including but not limited to:

    •The internet, intranet, e-mail, portal;

    •District assigned computing devices such as personal electronic devices, laptops, desktops and portable storage; and

    •The District's network and supporting systems and data transmitted by and stored on these systems.

     

    Legal Requirements

    VPS is committed to complying with applicable information security requirements and relevant information security standards and protocols. These requirements include, but are not limited to the following:

    •The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

    •Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

    •Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

    •Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

    •Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)

    Users of VPS's network are required to adhere to state and federal law as well as board policy. Any attempt to break those laws or policies through the use of VPS networks may result in discipline or litigation against the offender(s) by the proper authority. VPS will provide any information necessary in order to fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities in the civil and/or criminal process.

     

    Acceptable Use

    VPS provides computer, network, e-mail, and Internet access to individuals as part of the learning environment. The use of these resources is a privilege and not a right. While these systems have the power to deliver a vast number of resources to classrooms and enhance education, their effectiveness depends on the responsible and ethical use by every individual. Violation of this administrative rule will result in the loss of this privilege and may result in discipline action in accordance with board policy and state and federal law.

     

    Sensitive Information

    Users who have or may have access to personally identifiable records shall adhere to all standards included in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and other applicable laws and regulations, as they relate to the release of information.

    •Users may not disclose sensitive or personally identifiable information regarding students to individuals and/or parties not authorized to receive it. Authorization to disclose information of a student to individuals and/or parties must strictly adhere to regulations set forth in the FERPA

    •Information contained in these records must be securely handled and stored according to VPS directives, rules and policies and if necessary destroyed in accordance with state information retention standards and archival policy.

     

    Limited Personal Use

    VPS does not grant any ownership, privacy or an expectation of privacy in the contents of any message, including email, or other Internet activities involving VPS resources or equipment.

     Personal use is prohibited if:

    •It interferes with the use of IT resources by the District;

    •Such use burdens the District with additional costs;

    •Such use includes any activity that is prohibited under any district (including this rule), board policy, or state or federal law.

     

    Consequences

    Users who violate this administrative rule may be subject to discipline, including, but not limited to, termination of use of computers, suspension and or expulsion. All users are responsible for reporting breaches and possible breaches of security. Incidents should be reported to an Administrator. Suspected criminal activity must be immediately reported to law enforcement.

     

    Compliance with Copyright Laws

    Users are to follow copyright laws at all times. Users should refer all questions regarding copyright concerns to administrators of the school.

     

    Filtering and Monitoring Computer Resources

    The District takes reasonable precautions by using filtering software to keep inappropriate Internet sites and e-mail out of the classroom. The District strongly adheres to the guidelines set forth by COPPA and CIPA when installing filtering/monitoring software devices on District equipment. The District does not supervise individual e-mail accounts.

    •The District reserves the right to review any e-mail sent or received using District equipment and e-mail accounts.

    •Technology is constantly changing and evolving. Due to the nature of the Internet, online communications, and evolving technology, the District cannot ensure or guarantee the absolute safety of students during the use of technology, including email and the Internet. Users should contact the school immediately with any concerns related to the use of technology.

     

    Prohibited Uses of VPS Resources

    The following uses of VPS computer resources by students are prohibited from:

    •The use of school computers for commercial purposes.

    •The use of obscene, bullying, profane, lewd, threatening, disrespectful, or gang related language or symbols.

    •The bypass or attempt to bypass any of the District's security or content filtering safeguards.

    •Allowing another person to use the computer under your login and password.

    •Adding, modifying, repairing, reconfiguring or otherwise tampering with any device on the network infrastructure including, but not limited to: wireless network devices, computers, printers, servers, cabling, switches/hubs, routers, etc.

    •Unauthorized access, overloading, more commonly known as Distributed Denial of Service or Denial of Service, or use, or attempted unauthorized access or use of District information systems.

    •Destroying or tampering with any computer equipment or software.

    •The use of any "hacking tools" that can be used for "computer hacking", as defined in the South Carolina Computer Crime Act, may not be possessed on school property, on any District premise, or run or loaded on any District system.

    •The use of school computers for illegal activities including but not limited to planting viruses, hacking, or attempted unauthorized access to any system.

    •Violating any state for federal law or regulation, board policy or administrative rule.

     

    Consequences

    Users who violate this administrative rule may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with board policy and state and federal law including, but not limited to, termination of use of computers, suspension and or expulsion. Any suspected criminal activity will be immediately reported to law enforcement.

     

    General Access

    In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA"), U.S.C. §254 (h), the District uses technological devices designed to filter and block the use of any of the District's computers with Internet access to retrieve or transmit any visual depictions that are categorized as obscene, child pornography, or "harmful to minors" as defined in the CIPA.

    •Though the District makes reasonable efforts to filter such Internet content, the District cannot warrant the effectiveness of its Internet filtering due to the dynamic nature of the Internet.

    •Though the District makes reasonable efforts to filter such Internet content, the District cannot warrant the effectiveness of its Internet filtering due to the dynamic nature of the Internet.

     

    Personal Safety

    The following list is considered precautions taken by VPS to ensure the safety of their students, employees, and other individuals.

    •Users will not post or email personal contact information about themselves or other people unless it is in conjunction with a college/career communication.

    •Users will promptly disclose to an administrator, teacher, or other school employee any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.

    •Users will report any concerns related to their use of technology to the District Administration.

     

    Expectation of Privacy

    Individuals should not have an expectation of privacy in the use of the District's email, systems, or equipment. The District may, for a legitimate reason, perform the following:  Obtain emails sent or received on District email. Monitor an individual's use on the District's systems. Confiscate and/or search District-owned software, equipment, emails and network storage.