8-300 - Acceptable Use of Technology

Policy 8-300

Instruction 
Acceptable Use of Technology

The Board of Education acknowledges that technology is vital for the  advancement of the mission and goals of the Newtown Public Schools. The 
Board expects technology to be used as a tool to learn and  apply the knowledge  and skills that are defined in district curricula, and to communicate in a variety of  ways, to enhance learning, and to improve student performance.
 
While technology can provide students with a vast array of educational and  informational resources, it can also be a window through which students can 
access information which is neither pertinent to nor appropriate for an  educational setting.  The availability of such electronic information does not imply 
endorsement by the Board of Education of its content nor of the use of such information by students and staff.  It is important to give students assistance and guidance in accessing information which is beneficial to their education and equally important to recognize that total monitoring of students’ access to 
technology is impossible.  Therefore, all users are responsible for the ethical and appropriate use of the Newtown Public School technology resources.
 
To ensure appropriate usage, the administration will establish guidelines for student exploration and use of electronic information resources. Until the age of eighteen, it is the legal responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure their child adheres to those guidelines. Such guidelines shall address issues of privacy, ethical use of information with respect to intellectual property, illegal uses of the network, and conditions of usage.  The guidelines shall strive to preserve students’ rights to examine and use information to meet the educational goals and objectives of the District.  In addition, the District shall use programs to filter and staff to supervise access to the electronic informational resources.

The Newtown Board of Education promotes a secure and positive school climate, conducive to teaching and learning that is free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behavior including cyberbullying.  The District recognizes its responsibility to educate students regarding appropriate behavior on social networking and chat room sites about cyberbullying. Therefore, students shall be provided instruction about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chatrooms and cyberbullyingawareness and response.Cyberbullying includes but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful email messages, text messages, digital pictures, or Web postings. Such conduct, disruptive to the educational process, is prohibited.  The Newtown Board of Education and authorized personnel may monitor the use of district-owned or personal technology resources used within the school day to help ensure that the uses are secure and in compliance with this policy.  The Board further reserves the right to examine, use and disclose any data found to ensure a safe and secure learning environment. Such information may be used in disciplinary actions, and may be furnished as evidence of a crime should cause arise. 

Cites:
Newtown Board of Education Technology Vision Statement
Newtown Board of Education Policy 8-605, Bullying 
Manchester Public Schools Policy 6141.321, Instruction, Acceptable Use of 
Technology
Model Acceptable Use Policy, www.cybercrime.gov

Legal References:   
CT General Statutes §53a-182b; 53a-183; 53a-250
Children’s Internet Protection Act (Pub. L. 106-554
Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§2510 through 2520
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L. 107-110), to be codified at 20 U.S.C. § 
6777
1998 Senate Bill 230(4), an Act Relating to School Technology
701 Kentucky Administrative Regulation 5:120 

Adopted:3/12/96
Revised: 5/18/10, 6/19/12