East Mountain High School actively encourages the appropriate use of technological resources as a primary means of maximizing student learning and achieving the mission and goals of the school. Further, recognizing that the proper use of these resources is a privilege, not a right, East Mountain High School accepts the responsibility to exercise all reasonable control to protect the safety and legitimate needs of its employees and students in their use of the school’s technology.
Emails, blogs, websites, text messaging and social media can be effective methods of communication with students when employees communicate about activities that are school-related. However, inappropriate use of computer resources and inappropriate communications can be very serious abuses of the power of adults have over students, and can constitute discrimination, harassment or bullying whether the communication comes from employees or from students. Therefore, communication through electronic and/or technological means, whether before, during or after school, is governed by this policy. These procedures are written to support and promote positive and effective digital citizenship among students and staff. Digital citizenship represents more than technology literacy: successful, technologically fluent digital citizens live safely and civilly in an increasingly digital world. They recognize that information posted on the Internet is public and permanent and can have a long-term impact on an individual’s life and career.
The East Mountain High School network includes wired and wireless computers and peripheral equipment, files and storage, e-mail and Internet content (blogs, web sites, web mail, groups, wikis, etc.). The school reserves the right to prioritize the use of, and access to, the network and expects that the primary use of the network will support education and research and be consistent with the mission of the East Mountain High School.
Acceptable network use by school students and staff includes:
- Creation of files, projects, videos, web pages and podcasts using network resources in support of educational research;
- Participation in blogs, wikis, bulletin boards, social networking sites and groups and the creation of content for podcasts, e-mail and web pages that support educational research;
- With parental permission, the online publication of original educational material, curriculum related materials and student work. Sources outside the classroom or school must be cited appropriately;
- Staff use of the network for incidental personal use in accordance with all school policies and guidelines; and
- Connection of staff personal laptops to the school network after checking with the Technology Coordinator to confirm that the laptop is equipped with up-to-date virus software, compatible network card and is configured properly. Connection of any personal electronic device is subject to all guidelines in this document.
Unacceptable network use by school students and staff includes but is not limited to:
- Personal gain, commercial solicitation and compensation of any kind not approved by EMHS;
- Downloading, installation and use of games, audio files, video files or other applications (including shareware or freeware) without permission or approval from the Technology Coordinator;
- Support or opposition for ballot measures, candidates and any other political activity;
- Hacking, cracking, vandalizing, the introduction of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, time bombs and changes to hardware, software, and monitoring tools;
- Unauthorized access to other school computers, networks and information systems;
- Cyberbullying, hate mail, defamation, harassment of any kind, discriminatory jokes and remarks;
- Information posted, sent or stored online that could endanger others (e.g., bomb construction, drug manufacture);
- Accessing, uploading, downloading, storage and distribution of obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material;
- Attaching unauthorized equipment to the school network. Any such equipment may be confiscated and destroyed;
- Having food or beverages of any kind in the vicinity of computers; and
- Shutting down the computer by other than the appropriate Start|Shutdown procedure.
Staff and students may bring personal computers to school and abide by the following rules that govern their general use:
- Computers should never have any stickers, writing, or other paraphernalia attached to the computer casing or bag that would interfere with the educational process;
- Computers must be appropriately named so that the owner can be clearly identified both physically and through network monitoring;
- All software must be legal and no inappropriate material such as pornography is allowed. This includes illegal music, movies, or other material that is considered illegal within the context of current laws;
- Personal computers must meet minimum operating standards to be connected to the EMHS network;
- Personal computers must have virus protection if connecting to the network; EMHS is NOT responsible for any damage to or corruption of personal computers;
- Any personal computers will be subject to inspection on a random basis or if any staff member has a reasonable belief that inappropriate use has occurred; and
- Resolution of hardware or software issues is not the responsibility of the Technology Coordinator.
The individual is responsible for any loss, theft, or damage to computers, network, accessories, equipment, and corruption of software and/or configuration if responsible for the problem. If damage occurs, a report must be made to the teacher or Technology Coordinator immediately. Individuals are not allowed to attempt to “fix” problems found on a computer assigned to the individual or those assigned to others. Never attach any stickers, writing, or other paraphernalia to general use computers or to the computer casing.
East Mountain High School will not be responsible for any damages suffered by any user, including but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or any other errors or omissions. The school will not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from the use of, or access to, the school’s computer network or the Internet.
Internet Safety: Personal Information and Inappropriate Content
Students and staff should not reveal personal information, including a home address and phone number, on web sites, blogs, podcasts, videos, wikis, e-mail or as content on any other electronic medium. Students and staff may not reveal personal information about another individual on any electronic medium. No student pictures or names can be published on any class, school or school web site unless the appropriate permission has been verified according to school policy. If students encounter dangerous or inappropriate information or messages, they should notify the appropriate school authority.
Filtering and Monitoring
Filtering software is used to block or filter access to visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Other objectionable material could be filtered. The determination of what constitutes “other objectionable” material is an administrative decision.
- Filtering software is not 100% effective. While filters make it more difficult for objectionable material to be received or accessed; filters are not a solution in themselves. Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the network and Internet and avoid objectionable sites.
- Any attempts to defeat or bypass the school’s Internet filter or conceal Internet activity are prohibited, such as proxies, https, special ports, modifications to school browser settings and any other techniques designed to evade filtering or enable the publication of inappropriate content.
- E-mail inconsistent with the educational and research mission of the school will be considered SPAM and may be blocked from entering school e-mail boxes.
- The school will provide appropriate adult supervision of Internet use. The first line of defense in controlling access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet is deliberate and consistent monitoring of student access to school computers.
- Staff members who supervise students, control electronic equipment or have occasion to observe student use of said equipment online, must make a reasonable effort to monitor the use of this equipment to assure that student use conforms to the mission and goals of the school.
- Staff must make a reasonable effort to become familiar with the Internet and to monitor, instruct and assist effectively.
Downloading, copying, duplicating and distributing software, music, sound files, movies, images or other copyrighted materials without the specific written permission of the copyright owner is generally prohibited. However, the duplication and distribution of materials for educational purposes are permitted when such duplication and distribution fall within the Fair Use Doctrine of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17, USC) and content is cited appropriately. Permission to publish any student work requires permission from the parent or guardian.
Network Security and Privacy
Passwords are the first level of security for a user account. System logins and accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account, for approved school purposes. Students and staff are responsible for all activity on their account and must not share their account password. These procedures are designed to safeguard network user accounts:
- Change passwords according to school policy;
- Do not use another user’s account;
- Do not insert passwords into e-mail or other communications;
- If you write down your account password, keep it out of sight;
- Do not store passwords in a file without encryption;
- Do not use the “remember password” feature of Internet browsers; and
- Lock the screen, or log off, if leaving the computer.
Confidential Student Data
School staff must maintain the confidentiality of student data in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
No Expectation of Privacy
The school provides the network system, e-mail and Internet access as a tool for education and research in support of the school’s mission. The school reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store, without prior notice, information about the content and usage of:
- The network;
- User files and disk space utilization;
- User applications and bandwidth utilization;
- User document files, folders and electronic communications;
- E-mail; Internet access; and
- Any and all information transmitted or received in connection with network and e-mail use.
No student or staff user should have any expectation of privacy when using the school’s network. The school reserves the right to disclose any electronic message to law enforcement officials or third parties as appropriate.
Remember that everything an individual does online has the potential to live forever. THINK BEFORE YOU POST, remembering that anything shared within social media, even with a closed network, is not private. Others can and will share such information, and it could be stored and spread globally. If an individual is social networking with East Mountain High School students or employees (either directly or indirectly), and there is a negative effect felt in school, school rules are applicable; speech that is considered inappropriate in the classroom is inappropriate here as well, and may subject the student and/or the staff member to disciplinary action. Any conduct impairing the credibility of the employee as a role model, whether occurring on or off the job, either before or during employment with EMHS, may be grounds for immediate discharge or termination.
Electronic Communication Devices
An electronic communications device is a device that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor. EMHS recognizes the validity of the wide variety of electronic devices available and used by students and staff.
Inappropriate use of an electronic device for downloading or sharing of pornography, cyber-bullying, taking of photos in the bathroom or locker room, or other actions judged by the administration as inappropriate, may result in the confiscation of the device and banning further use of that electronic device and disciplinary action.
Archive and Backup
Backup is made of all school e-mail correspondence for purposes of public disclosure and disaster recovery. Barring power outage or intermittent technical issues, staff and student files are backed up on school servers periodically. Refer to the school retention policy for specific records retention requirements.
All users of the school’s electronic resources are required to comply with the school’s policy and procedures and agree to abide by the provisions set forth in the East Mountain High School user agreement. Violation of any of the conditions of use explained in the Electronic Resources Policy or in these procedures could be cause for disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion from school and suspension or revocation of network and computer access privileges.