Wakefield Public Schools considers classroom technology to be an essential, imperative part of a dynamic learning experience for all of our students. We are committed to having students use technology to acquire information, build and assimilate knowledge, and communicate their understanding to prepare them for the future. Our teachers will successfully integrate technology into all aspects of curriculum. This will afford teachers more time to create individualized learning structures and differentiate instruction for their students.
Implementation of this Policy
The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee(s), shall develop and implement administrative regulations, procedures, terms and conditions for use and user agreements consistent with the purposes and mission of the Wakefield Public Schools as well as with applicable laws and this policy.
Student Email Permission
The Wakefield Public Schools’ email system controls to whom email messages can be sent and to whom they can be received. WPS Students cannot send email to parent accounts or anyone outside of the Wakefield Public Schools domain. No WPS student can receive email from outside of the WPS domain. Therefore, students should not use their WPS email for setting up accounts that need to be verified via email or receive notices via email.
General Email and On-line Chat Guidelines
Below is a general summary of guidelines related to email and any form of on-line chat or instant message:
• Email and on-line chat is to be used for school-related communication.
• Do not send harassing email, instant messages or content.
• Do not send offensive email, instant messages or content.
• Do not send spam email, instant messages or content.
• Do not send email, instant messages containing a virus or other malicious content.
• Do not send or read email, instant messages at inappropriate times, such as during class instruction. • Do not send email or instant messages to share test answers or promote cheating in any way.
• Do not use the account of another person.
Content Filtering (see Web Content Filtering Policy 903RE)
• The Wakefield Public Schools uses software designed to block access to certain sites and filter content as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. §254 (CIPA). Wakefield Public Schools is aware that not all inappropriate information can be filtered and the District will make an effort to correct any known gaps in the filtering of information without unduly inhibiting the educational use of age appropriate content by staff and students. Users will inform teachers or administrators of any inadvertent access to inappropriate material, in order that there is appropriate modification of the filtering profile. Wakefield Public Schools educates students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking Web sites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying awareness and response.
Monitoring and Privacy
• The Wakefield Public Schools monitors the use of the school District’s network to protect the integrity and optimal operation of all computer and system networks. There is no expectation of privacy related to information stored and transmitted over the Wakefield Public Schools network. The information on the network in general files and email is not private and is subject to review by the technology department at the request of the Wakefield Public Schools administration to substantiate inappropriate activity and to comply with requests of law enforcement agencies as part of their investigations.
• The Wakefield Public Schools will cooperate with copyright protection agencies investigating copyright infringement by users of the computer systems and network of the Wakefield Public Schools. • Technicians and computer system administrators maintain full access rights to all storage devices, and may need to access/manage such storage devices as part of their duties.
• Routine maintenance and monitoring of the system may lead to discovery that a user has or is violating the Wakefield Public Schools Technology Acceptable Use Policy, other school committee policies, state laws, or federal laws. Search of particular files of a user shall be conducted if there is a reasonable suspicion that a user has violated the law or Wakefield School Committee Policies. The investigation will be reasonable and in the context of the nature of the alleged policy violation.
User Access and Explanation of Guideline
• Access to information technology through the Wakefield Public Schools is a privilege, not a right. Students, parents, and staff shall be required to read the WPS Technology Acceptable Use Policy and sign and return the Statement of Responsibilities.
• The Wakefield Public School Acceptable Use Policy shall govern all use of technology devices, digital resources, and network infrastructure. Student use of technology resources, digital resources, web enabled devices, and network infrastructure will be governed by the Wakefield Public Schools disciplinary policies as outlined in student and employee handbooks.
• Because information technology is constantly changing, not all circumstances can be anticipated or addressed in this policy. All users are expected to understand and comply with both the “letter” and the “spirit” of this policy and show good judgment in their use of these resources.
• The Wakefield Public Schools provides students access to its technology devices, digital resources, and network infrastructure, along with information technology for educational use. If a student has doubts regarding whether a resource has educational merit, he/she should ask a staff member.
Scope of Technology Policies
• Policies, guidelines and rules refer to all computing devices including but not limited to computers, mobile web enabled devices, Chromebooks, iPads, MP3 players, portable memory storage devices, calculators with interfacing capability, cell phones or ECDs (electronic communication devices), digital cameras, etc., as well as technology infrastructure, associated peripheral devices and/or software.
• Policies, guidelines, and rules refer to any computing or telecommunication devices owned by, leased by, in the possession of, or being used by students and/or staff that are operated on the grounds of any District facility or connected to any equipment at any District facility by means of web connection, direct connection, telephone line or other common carrier or any type of connection including both hardwired, fiber, infrared and/or wireless.
• This Technology Acceptable Use Policy also applies to any online service provided directly or indirectly by the District for student use, including but not limited to: Google Apps for Education accounts, Email, Calendar, and iPass (Access to Student Information System).
Consequences for Violation of Technology Policies
• Use of the computer network and Internet is an integral part of research and class work, but abuse of this technology can result in loss of privileges. Students who use technology devices, digital resources, and network infrastructure, along with information technology inappropriately may lose their access privileges and may face additional disciplinary or legal action.
• The length of time for loss of privileges will be determined by building administrators and/or other staff members. If the user is guilty of multiple violations, privileges can be removed for one year or more.
Unacceptable Uses of Technology Resources
Inappropriate technology use includes but is not limited to the following:
• Interfering with the normal functioning of devices, computer systems, or computer networks.
• Damaging or theft of devices, computer systems, or computer networks.
• Accessing, modifying, or deleting files/data that do not belong to you.
• Sending or publishing offensive or harassing messages and content.
• Accessing dangerous information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or danger to others.
• Giving your username or password to any other student, or using the username or password of someone else to access any part of the system.
• Sharing and/or distribution of passwords or using another student or faculty member’s password.
• Intentional viewing, downloading or distribution of inappropriate and/or offensive materials.
• Gaining unauthorized access to computer and or telecommunications networks and resources.
• Viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic, obscene, vulgar and/or indecent materials.
• Using obscene language, harassing, insulting or bullying others, posting of private or personal information about another person, spamming of the school email system, violating any federal or state law, local regulation or school committee policy.
• Cyber-bullying (bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication) which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a: wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant message, text message or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or knowingly impersonates another person as author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation is a violation under law. Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting is a violation under law. Cyber-bullying may occur in and out of school, during and after school hours, at home and in locations outside of the home. When cyber-bullying is alleged, the full cooperation and assistance of parents and families are expected.
• Violating copyright laws and/or the District policy on plagiarism.
• Copying software or applications from Wakefield Public School devices through any electronic means unless the particular licensing agreement in place for the software allows user distribution.
• Intentionally wasting limited network or bandwidth resources.
• Destructions/vandalism of system software, applications, files or other network resources.
• Employing the network for commercial or political purposes. Using the network/Internet to buy or sell products.
• “Hacking” and other illegal activities in attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files, other devices or computer systems.
• Uploading any harmful form of programming, bypassing filters; installing any type of server, aliasing / spoofing, peer-to-peer networking or remote-control software.
• Possession of and/or distribution of any of software tools designed to facilitate any of the above actions will also be considered an offense.
• Saving inappropriate files to any part of the system, including but not limited to:
o Music files
o Video games of all types, including ROMs and emulators
o Offensive images or files
o Programs which can be used for malicious purposes
o Any files for which you do not have a legal license o Any file which is not needed for school purposes or a class assignment.
o Uses that contribute to the violation of any other student conduct code including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, hazing or harassment, theft, falsification of records, possession of banned substances/items, etc.
NOTE: If a student needs a file for a class project that you think may be considered inappropriate, then he/she needs to have teacher and school administration permission prior to the class project.
• The Wakefield Public Schools will apply progressive discipline for violations of the District policy and signed Acceptable Use Agreement Form which may include revocation of the privilege of a user’s access to technology devices, digital resources, and network infrastructure, along with information technology. Other appropriate disciplinary or legal action may be undertaken by the Wakefield Public Schools administration. The nature of the investigation will be reasonable, and for staff, will reflect the contract language for each bargaining unit.
Wakefield Public Schools Limitations of Liability
• The Wakefield Public Schools makes no warranties of any kind, implied or expressed, that the services and functions provided through the Wakefield Public Schools technology devices, digital resources and network infrastructure, along with information technology will be error free or without defect.
• The Wakefield Public Schools will not be responsible for damages users may suffer, including but not limited to loss of data or interruption of service.
• The Wakefield Public Schools, along with any persons or organizations associated with the school department Internet connectivity, will not be liable for the actions of anyone connecting to the Internet through the school network infrastructure. All users shall assume full liability, legal, financial or otherwise for their actions while connected to the Internet.
• The Wakefield Public Schools assumes no responsibility for any information or materials transferred or accessed from the Internet.
• Parents/Guardians should read this WPS Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Parents/guardians should discuss the technology use responsibilities with their children. Questions and concerns can be forwarded to the Wakefield Public Schools and appropriate offices.
• Parents and guardians agree to accept financial responsibility for any expenses or damages incurred as a result their student’s inappropriate or illegal activities on the Wakefield Public Schools network. Parents and guardians agree to reimburse Wakefield Public Schools for any expenses or damages incurred in the use of District owned devices such as Chromebooks or other devices provided in 1:1 school deployments.
The Wakefield School Committee reserves the right to modify or change this policy and related implementation procedures at any time.
Adopted by the Wakefield School Committee: August 2014