2361 ACCEPTABLE USE OF COMPUTER NETWORK/COMPUTERS AND RESOURCES
2361 ACCESS TO NETWORKED INFORMATION RESOURCES AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
With the spread of internal computer networks and telecommunications throughout the modern work place, the Board recognizes that students, teachers, administrators and other employees will shift the ways they share ideas, transmit information, and contact others. As students and staff members are connected to computer networks, their use of new tools and systems brings new responsibilities as well as opportunities.
The Board expects that all employees will learn to use internal networks, electronic mail and telecommunications tools when available to them and apply them daily in appropriate ways to the performance of tasks associated with their positions and assignments that pertain to the educational purposes of the school district. Students will learn to use resources as incorporated into the school curriculum.
Electronic information research skills are now fundamental to preparation of citizens and future employees during an Information Age. The Board expects that the staff will blend thoughtful use of such information throughout the curriculum and that the staff will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of such resources.
Use of computer networks is a privilege and communications should not be considered private. Network supervision and maintenance may require review and inspection of directories or messages. Messages may sometimes be diverted accidentally to a destination other than the one intended. Privacy in these communications is not guaranteed. The district reserves the right to access stored records in cases where there is reasonable cause to expect wrong-doing or misuse of the system. Network storage areas may be treated like school lockers. Courts have ruled that old messages may be subpoenaed, and network supervisors may examine communications in order to ascertain compliance with network guidelines for acceptable use.
Telecommunications, electronic information sources and internal networked services significantly alter the information landscape for schools by opening classrooms to a broader array of resources. In the past, instructional and library media materials could usually be screened--prior to use--by committees of educators and community members intent on subjecting all such materials to reasonable selection criteria. This Board Policy requires that all electronic materials be consistent with district-adopted guides, supporting and enriching the curriculum while taking into account the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities and developmental levels of the students. Telecommunications, because they may lead to any publicly available file server in the world, will open classrooms to electronic information resources which have not been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.
In order to match electronic resources as closely as possible to the approved district curriculum, district personnel will review and evaluate resources in order to offer materials, which comply with Board guidelines governing the selection of instructional materials. In this manner, staff will provide developmentally appropriate guidance to students as they make use of telecommunications and electronic information resources to conduct research and other studies related to the district curriculum.
As much as possible, access to information resources will be designed in ways, which point students to those, which have been reviewed and evaluated prior to use. While students may be able to move beyond those resources to others, which have not been evaluated by staff, they shall be provided with guidelines and lists of resources particularly suited to the learning objectives. Students may pursue electronic research independent of staff supervision only if they have been granted parental permission and have submitted all required forms. Permission is not transferable and may not be shared.
Access to telecommunications will enable students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with people throughout the world. The Board believes that the benefits to students from access in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration exceed the disadvantages. But ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources.
All students will be informed by staff of their rights and responsibilities as users of the district network prior to gaining access to that network, either as an individual user or as a member of a class or group.
Internet and Electronic Mail Permission Requirements
We are pleased to offer students of the Egg Harbor Township Schools access to the district computer network to access programs and files on our internal network, for electronic mail and Internet access. To gain access to E-mail and the Internet, all students must obtain parental permission and must sign and return the form to their teacher.
Access to E-mail and the Internet will enable students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with Internet users throughout the world. Families should be warned that some material accessible via the Internet and other electronic databases might contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or potentially offensive to some people. While our intent is to make Internet access available to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access other materials as well. We believe that the benefits to students from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, exceed any disadvantages. But ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources. To that end, the Egg Harbor Township Schools support and respect each family's right to decide whether or not to apply for access.
District Network, E-Mail and Internet Rules
Students are responsible for good behavior on school computer networks just as they are in a classroom or a school hallway. Communications on the network are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communications apply.
The network is provided for students to conduct research and communicate with others for educational purposes. Access to network services is given to those who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner. Access is a privilege-not a right. Access entails responsibility. Parent permission is required for students.
Individual users of the district computer networks are responsible for their behavior and communications over those networks. It is presumed that users will comply with district standards and will honor the agreements they have signed. Beyond the clarification of such standards, the district is not responsible for restricting, monitoring or controlling the communications of individuals utilizing the network.
Network storage areas may be treated like school lockers. Network administrators may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and ensure that users are using the system responsibly. Users should not expect that files stored on district servers would always be private.
During school, teachers of younger students will guide them toward appropriate materials. Outside of school, families bear the same responsibility for such guidance as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, movies, radio and other potentially offensive media.