ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

 

As we all know, there are a lot of great web sites available in the Internet, many of which are educational in nature. Unfortunately, there are also sites which are not appropriate for elementary/middle school students. At Saint Bridget School, the primary purpose of the Internet connection shall be education. It is vital that everyone who uses this connection understand that purpose.

 

Because of its enormous size, the Internet's potential for research/education is great. With such potential for academics also comes potential for abuse. Online safety will be taught and stressed. Our goal is to promote intelligent use of computer/media technology. To that end, it is necessary to implement policies/practices designed to teach the appropriate use of media and information sources on the computer.

 

A copy of our basic policy will be kept in the homerooms of grades K-8. The most recent written policy will be kept in the computer room, for your perusal. Consequences for misuse of the Internet or disregard for school policies may range from immediate removal from the Internet to suspension/revocation of all Internet privileges. Depending on the severity of the infraction, the principal may determine a suspension and/or an expulsion is necessary.

 

Saint Bridget School respects and supports the right of each family to decide whether or not their child should have access to the Internet at school. Parent/Guardian permission, through a signed acceptable use policy (A.U.P.), is required prior to access. Every student will need to return the last page of this form, even if the student is to be denied access by his/her parent. An A.U.P. which is not returned or is left unsigned shall have the same effect as an A.U.P. which denies access. Parent/Guardian signatures shall be checked with those on file; serious consequences will apply to students who choose to sign for their parents. Access will only be given to those students who have a current, signed A.U.P. and who agree to follow the rules as laid out in the A.U.P. as well as basic classroom rules. Access is a privilege, not a right, and as such entails responsibility.

 

All users of the Internet at Saint Bridget School, whether they be students, staff, or volunteers, must sign the A.U.P. and agree to abide by its rules prior to the granting of access. Communications on the Internet are often public in nature. Users are therefore expected to remember to act in a considerate and responsible manner as they are representing the school. Users should not expect privacy for files stored on school computers.

 

Individual student/adult users of any school computer, especially those with Internet access, are themselves responsible for the use/abuse of the computer and its programs or software. The use of information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk. The school is not responsible for any damages suffered while on the computer. These damages may include, but are not limited to, loss of data, non-deliveries or misdeliveries of information.

 

Parents/guardians must understand that it is expected students will only have the use of the Internet at school with the explicit permission of the teacher. Every effort will be made to provide adequate supervision, including the use of appropriate filtering software. Internet access can not be gained "by accident."

 

Students who access, or attempt to access, the Internet at Saint Bridget School without the explicit permission of the teacher risk losing Internet privileges. For older students, computer room access outside of scheduled computer class time may also be lost. Repeated or severe infractions may result in a loss of user privileges. There are some uses of the internet, used by students on their home computers, which are not acceptable in a school setting. The principal is the final determiner of the appropriateness of any computer activity while on a school computer as well as the consequence for the misuse of this resource.

 

Students are responsible for good behavior on school computers, just as they are in the classroom, the hallway, the lunch room or the playground. In addition to general behavior rules, there are other areas of concern which will be addressed in this document. These areas are roughly organized into the following categories of Online safety, computer ethics, and "netiquette”:

 

Behavior:

  • general school rules for behavior apply.

  • access is available for users who agree to act in a responsible, considerate manner, and only for the purpose(s) outlined by the teacher of the class.

  • individual users are responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions.

  • users are responsible for familiarizing themselves and following St. Bridget's policies regarding Internet use; computer teacher(s) will clarify these policies with the students prior to use.

  • users will use proper netiquette as posted.

  • users recognize there are consequences for the misuse of the computer/internet.

  • users will not engage in plagiarism.

  • users will not engage in cyberbullying behaviors such as harassing, insulting, attacking or arguing with others on the Internet.

  • users will not engage in vandalism of the network, system, components, or data.

  • users who accidentally access any objectionable material must report it immediately to the teacher/principal.

  • users will not utilize the school's/parish's name/photograph/logo without permission; refer to the current school handbook for further information.

  • users will not engage in any behavior while Online which may damage the reputation of the school; refer to the current handbook for further information.

  • Online safety:

  • users will only have access to sites deemed appropriate for elementary/middle school students

  • students needing access to web sites not available within the filtered sites, for research purposes, will need prior explicit permission from Saint Bridget faculty or the principal.

  • students will not be allowed to sign onto a school computer under the "guest" privilege, even if they have AOL/other provider access at home. They may be requested to leave that computer immediately if they do this.

 

Netiquette:

  • do use appropriate language at all times.

  • do answer E-mail promptly, if E-mail access is needed for a school project.

  • do remember E-mail may be easily forwarded, so be careful what you write.

  • don't use capital letters except to emphasize a word - this is called "shouting."

  • don't send chain letters.

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If you don't know how to do something on our computers, ask for help; don't guess at how to do things. You are responsible for what you do on the computer!

 

Do remember your actions will reflect on the school as a whole and act accordingly.

 

Other policies will be added as necessary.

 

Classroom Internet assignments 

From time to time, students may be assigned a specific assignment which is to be done on the school computer. Regardless of which teacher, classroom or computer, is assigning the work, students are expected to complete the assignment to the best of their ability without intentionally wasting the limited resources of the computer/Internet. Students who can not do this may be forfeiting their use of the Internet. Students may be required to complete a worksheet based on a specific web site or series of sites. They may need to do a search of possible web sites centered on a specific topic. They may need to use the Internet as part of their research for a term paper for a classroom teacher.

 

Keypals projects

If an individual teacher chooses to use the Internet for a keypals (i.e. pen pal) project, the following rules shall apply unless further parental permission is sought. Students are reminded that they should not expect that work stored on school network/computers will always be private.

 

  • all keypal letters will follow the posted "netiquette" rules.

  • all keypal letters will be SENT from the school computer and ONLY to the keypal address chosen by the teacher. 

  • no student will request (from) or give (to) an individual E-mail address for correspondence outside of school time. 

  • no student will respond Online to any message that uses bad language or words that are scary, threatening, or just feel weird.

 

Each student is reminded to never give out his/her whole name, address, telephone number or other identifying information while on the Internet.

 

  • students will not check E-mail/other accounts available from home at school  

  • students will not enter a "CHAT ROOM" or send/receive an "INSTANT MESSAGE" on a school computer.  

  • students will not create/access/email, etc. a profile, even their own, while on the Internet from a school computer under any circumstances. 

  • students are not to sign on under a school account from a computer off of the school grounds; this is a very serious violation of policy and will be dealt with accordingly. 

  • students will tell an adult immediately if something seems scary or threatening. students will ask an adult if something seems confusing or isn't working correctly.

  • users must safeguard their passwords, if one is given/chosen. students will never give out their whole name, address, telephone number or other identifying information while on the Internet. The safety and privacy of their peers will be respected in the same manner. 

  • students will never make arrangements to meet someone face-to-face they may have met Online. 

  • students will not send a photograph over the Internet or via regular mail without prior, specific written permission from both their teacher and their parent/guardian.

 

Computer ethics:

  •  users will never go into an Online area that is going to cost additional money.

  • users will not be allowed to install unlicensed ("pirated") software. users will not knowingly load/access a program containing a virus; if they are unsure, they should ask the teacher for help.

  • users will not install any item or use any software brought in from home without explicit, prior approval. users will not use the Internet for commercial purposes or to perform an illegal or inappropriate act.

  • users will be forbidden from removing or copying any of the school's applications.

  • users will use their time wisely so other users have access. users will respect the privacy of others.

  • users will not send/display/ask to receive information, messages, or pictures which others may find offensive. 

  • students will not enter areas requesting a password unless they check it with an adult first. users will not ask the passwords of others and will not use the password of others if they know it.

  • users will not violate copyright laws.

  • users will not read, alter, delete, or destroy any files, folders, data, etc. which do not belong to them.

  • users who identify a problem with a computer, the network, or a security issue are to report it immediately to the teacher/principal; they should not demonstrate the problem to others.

  • users will not destroy, delete, modify, or abuse hardware or software in any way.

 

FORMS