When making a comparison of Huerfano School District Re-1’s acceptable use policy to the recommendations provided by Education World, I would have to say that our district is lacking in a couple of key areas. Section one, the preamble explaining why the usage policy was put into place is missing as well as section two providing a definitions for the terms related in the AUP is also missing. The rest of the document addressed all of the issues addressed in the article.
I spoke with the head of the technology department and he guided me to the district website for policies relating to Huerfano’s policies. He also told me these policies are set by the board, with very little input from his department. While the policy is well-written and covers the ever-increasing uses of technology in the classroom, I think adding these two sections would go a long way in providing the information needed for parents and guardians to make an informed decision. One other thing we discussed in our discussion of these polices is that the language in these policies should take into consideration the age group of the students. Although the article did not focus on this issue, I think it would be advisable so students at the younger ages know what they can and cannot do.
a preamble - Missing
a definition section – Missing
a policy statement - The Internet and electronic communications (e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of electronic communication) have vast potential to support curriculum and student learning. The Board of Education believes they should be used in schools as a learning resource to educate and to inform. Use of the Internet and electronic communications require students to think critically, analyze information, write clearly, use problem-solving skills, and hone computer and research skills that employers demand. Use of these tools also encourages an attitude of lifelong learning and offers an opportunity for students to participate in distance learning activities, ask questions of and consult with experts, communicate with other students and individuals, and locate material to meet educational and personal information needs. The Internet and electronic communications are fluid environments in which students may access materials and information from many sources, including some that may be harmful to students. While it is impossible to predict with certainty what information students might locate or come into contact with, the district shall take reasonable steps to protect students from accessing material and information that is obscene, child pornography or otherwise harmful to minors, as defined by the Board. Students shall take responsibility for their own use of district computers and computer systems to avoid contact with material or information that may be harmful to minors.
Blocking or filtering obscene, pornographic and harmful information
Software that blocks or filters material and information that is obscene, child pornography or otherwise harmful to minors, as defined by the Board, shall be installed on all district computers having Internet or electronic communications access. Students shall report access to material and information that is obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors or otherwise in violation of this policy to the supervising staff member. If a student becomes aware of other students accessing such material or information, he or she shall report it to the supervising staff member.
No expectation of privacy
District computers and computer systems are owned by the district and are intended for educational purposes at all times. Students shall have no expectation of privacy when using the Internet or electronic communications. The district reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store (at any time and without prior notice) all usage of district computers and computer systems, including all Internet and electronic communications access and transmission/receipt of materials and information. All material and information accessed/received through district computers and computer systems shall remain the property of the school district.
an acceptable uses section - Assigning student projects and monitoring student use. The district will make reasonable efforts to see that the Internet and electronic communications are used responsibly by students. Administrators, teachers and staff have a professional responsibility to work together to monitor students' use of the Internet and electronic communications, help students develop the intellectual skills needed to discriminate among information sources, to identify information appropriate to their age and developmental levels, and to evaluate and use information to meet their educational goals. Students shall have specifically defined objectives and search strategies prior to accessing material and information on the Internet and through electronic communications.
Opportunities shall be made available on a regular basis for parents to observe student use of the Internet and electronic communications in schools. All students shall be supervised by staff while using the Internet or electronic communications at a ratio of at least one staff member to each 25 students. Staff members assigned to supervise student use shall have received training in Internet and electronic communications safety and monitoring student use.
student's own risk - School district makes no warranties The school district makes no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, related to the use of district computers and computer systems, including access to the Internet and electronic communications services. Providing access to these services does not imply endorsement by the district of the content, nor does the district make any Huerfano School District Re-1, Walsenburg, Colorado guarantee as to the accuracy or quality of information received. The district shall not be responsible for any damages, losses or costs a student suffers in using the Internet and electronic communications. This includes loss of data and service interruptions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet and electronic communications is at the student's own risk.
an unacceptable uses section - Students shall use district computers and computer systems in a responsible, efficient, ethical and legal manner.
Because technology and ways of using technology are constantly evolving, every
unacceptable use of district computers and computer systems cannot be specifically described in policy. Therefore, examples of unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following.
No student shall access, create, transmit, re-transmit or forward material or information:
that promotes violence or advocates destruction of property including, but not limited to, access to information concerning the manufacturing or purchasing of destructive devices or weapons
that is not related to district education objectives that contains pornographic, obscene or other sexually oriented materials, either as pictures or writings that are intended to stimulate erotic feelings or appeal to prurient interests in nudity, sex or excretion
that harasses, threatens, demeans, or promotes violence or hatred against another person or group of persons in violation of the district’s nondiscrimination policies for personal profit, financial gain, advertising, commercial transaction or political purposes
that plagiarizes the work of another without express consent
that uses inappropriate or profane language likely to be offensive to others in the school community
that is knowingly false or could be construed as intending to purposely damage another person's reputation in violation of any federal or state law or district policy, including but not limited to copyrighted material and material protected by trade secret
that contains personal information about themselves or others, including information protected by confidentiality laws using another individual’s Internet or electronic communications account without written permission from that individual
that impersonates another or transmits through an anonymous re-mailer
that accesses fee services without specific permission from the system administrator.
a violations/sanctions section - Student use is a privilege
Use of the Internet and electronic communications demands personal responsibility and an understanding of the acceptable and unacceptable uses of such tools. Student use of the Internet and electronic communications is a privilege, not a right. Failure to follow the use procedures contained in this policy shall result in the loss of the privilege to use these tools and restitution for costs associated with damages, and may result in school disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion, and/or legal action. The school district may deny, revoke or suspend access to district technology or close accounts at any time.
Students and parents/guardians shall be required to sign the district's Acceptable Use Agreement annually before Internet or electronic communications accounts shall be issued or access shall be allowed.