Student Acceptable Use Policy

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Student Acceptable Use Policy

Revision 1.3 July 2018

I. Introduction

Presbyterian Christian School believes each student user of Presbyterian Christian School (PCS) should honor the Lord while advancing his/her education through the acquisition of computer knowledge and skills. All personnel who will access PCS information system(s) is expected to be familiar with and follow the expectations and requirements of this acceptable use policy. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that individuals are aware of their responsibilities regarding the Internet and related technology and equipment. This rule also helps ensure the safety and privacy of current and former employees and students.

Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:18).

In this acceptable use policy, a “Computer” is deemed any technological device owned by PCS that is used for educational purposes. This includes laptops, desktops, iPads, iPods, etc. A “Device” refers to iPad or MacBook that is specifically assigned to a student of PCS. The term “Board” refers to the PCS Board of Directors.

A. Legal Requirements

PCS is committed to complying with applicable information security requirements and relevant information security standards and protocols. These requirements include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  2. Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
  3. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  4. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
  5. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)

Users of PCS networks are required to adhere to state and federal law as well as Board policy. Any attempt to break those laws or policies through the use of PCS networks may result in discipline or litigation against the offender(s) by the proper authority. PCS will provide any information necessary in order to fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities in the civil and/or criminal process.

B. Acceptable Use

PCS is committed to the use of technology in the academic program as a tool to expand learning opportunities and conduct scholarly research. PCS provides computer, network, e-mail, and Internet access to individuals as part of the learning environment. The use of these resources is a privilege and not a right. Our goal is to promote educational excellence by facilitating research, resource sharing, communication and innovation. While these systems have the power to deliver a vast number of resources to classrooms and enhance education, their effectiveness depends on the responsible and ethical use by every individual. Violation of this administrative rule will result in the loss of this privilege and may result in discipline or litigation in accordance with Board policy and state and federal law.

II. Student Acceptable Use

This section is dedicated to provide PCS students with guidance of acceptable use of the PCS information technology resources, including but not limited to:

  1. The internet, intranet, e-mail, portal
  2. School assigned computing devices such as personal electronic devices, laptops and desktops, tablets, or any other storage media device
  3. The school networks and supporting systems and data transmitted by and stored on the PCS systems.

A. Annual Responsibilities and Information Security Awareness

Students will review the Information Security Awareness materials presented annually.

B. Prohibited Use of PCS Resources

The following uses of PCS computer resources by students are prohibited at all times:

  1. Unauthorized or excessive personal use. Any personal use should not interfere with or impair a students’ performance.
  2. Infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others or violating copyright laws.
  3. Advancing personal profit.
  4. Furthering political causes in violation of Board policy or the State Ethics Act.
  5. Uploading or transferring out of PCS directs control; any software licensed to PCS or data owned by PCS without explicit written authorization. Failure to observe copyright or license agreements can result in disciplinary action from PCS or legal action by the copyright owner.
  6. Unauthorized use of resources (including but not limited to servers, networks, computers and printed output) to reveal confidential or sensitive information, student data, or any other information covered by existing state or federal privacy or confidentiality laws, regulations, rules, policies, procedures, or contract terms.
  7. Downloading software unless it is required to complete a school assignment and/or project and approved and implemented by PCS Director of Technology.
  8. Users may not bypass, circumvent or otherwise remove any software or hardware security measures, Internet/Content filters, Anti-Virus protection, by any means including but not limited to proxy websites and services, bypass filters, portable apps, or boot-loading measures. Accessing or attempting to access resources for which an employee does not have explicit authorization by means of assigned user accounts, valid passwords, file permissions or other legitimate access and authentication methods.
  9. Granting another individual access to any PCS accounts that have been authorized to you or using another individual's PCS authorized accounts, user-id's and/or passwords. Specific exceptions are allowed for PCS IT personnel for authorized system operations and maintenance.
  10. Allowing another person to use a PCS system under his or her login.
  11. Adding, modifying, repairing, removing, reconfiguring, or tampering with any device on the network infrastructure.
  12. Allowing anyone not directly affiliated with PCS permission to use PCS assigned information systems on PCS equipment taken off-site.
  13. Sharing the password of their unique PCS user ID or using this password to access other 3rd party web sites or applications.
  14. The use of any "hacking tools" that can be used for "computer hacking", as defined in the Mississippi Computer Crime Act, may not be possessed on school property, on any premise, or run or loaded on any system.
  15. Violating any state or federal law or regulation, Board policy or administrative rule.
  16. Games may not be played on any computer(s) or other digital devices during school hours unless the game is required per specific course requirement assigned by the course instructor and approved by the Director of Technology.
  17. File Sharing, Peer to Peer (P2P), downloading, copying or otherwise distributing any music, videos, pictures or other copyrighted materials is strictly prohibited and is punishable by law.
  18. Personal software (software not purchased, licensed or owned by PCS) may not be brought into campus and used on any school computers or other school-owned digital devices.
  19. Access to chat-rooms either through a program or a web-based system is prohibited.
  20. The use of obscene, bullying, profane, lewd, threatening, disrespectful, or gang related language or symbols is strictly prohibited.

C. Limited Personal Use

PCS does not grant any ownership, privacy or an expectation of privacy in the contents of any message, including email, or other Internet activities involving PCS resources or equipment.

Personal use is prohibited if:

1. It interferes with the use of IT resources by the PCS IT;
2. Such use burdens the PCS IT with additional costs;
3. Such use interferes with the classroom, teachers, other classmates or other obligations to the PCS IT; or
4. Such use includes any activity that is prohibited under any school (including this rule), Board policy, or state or federal law.

D. Filtering and Monitoring Computer Resources

PCS takes reasonable precautions by using filtering software to keep inappropriate Internet sites and e-mail out of the classroom and the workplace. PCS strongly adheres to the guidelines set forth by COPPA and CIPA when installing filtering/monitoring software on PCS equipment. PCS does not supervise individual e-mail accounts.

  1. PCS reserves the right to review any e-mail sent or received using PCS equipment and e-mail accounts.
  2. Technology is constantly changing and evolving. Due to the nature of the Internet, online communications, and evolving technology, PCS cannot ensure or guarantee the absolute safety of students during the use of technology, including email and the Internet.
  3. Social Media, streaming media, online radio, YouTube and other sites not deemed necessary for education to be performed are blocked and allowed to those requiring access for “school related” activities and will be approved, on a case by case basis, by the Director of Technology.

E. Computers and Devices

  1. Software: Software and applications that are installed onto computers are property of PCS and under PCS copyright and licensing agreements. It is unauthorized and illegal to copy any software from a PCS Computer. Students are prohibited from installing any type of software or applications onto a computer (except for student’s devices) unless authorized by the Technology Department.
  2. Hardware: PCS provides devices to students for usage as a service. Students are allowed to access designated computers and labs as well as assigned devices. Students are not authorized to access any device unless approved by teacher or technology department.
  3. Care: In order to continue to provide the latest and best in technology, students should take pride in and take care of their issued device. No food or drink is allowed around computers and devices. No student should try to open or fix a computer. Students are liable for any physical damage to computers (removing keys off keyboard, mouse ball out of mouse, etc.). Students are not allowed to make any physical changes to computers or devices without the express written permission from the Director of Technology.
  4. User Account: All students will be assigned a username, password and email account. Students will be required to utilize these accounts for access to any computer and device within PCS. When working in a shared computer environment (i.e. computer labs), all students are required to sign off after their computer session has ended.

F. Compliance with Copyright Laws

All PCS students are to follow copyright laws at all times.

III. Security

A. Electronic Data and Passwords

Students in grades K-6 are provided and assigned automatically. This password is known only by the technology department and students themselves. The students are not allowed to change their password until they move forward to Junior/High School. Students in grades 7-12 are assigned and a temporary password which the students must change and maintain themselves. Students are reminded that this password should be treated seriously. For security, protection and liability, no student should give his/her password to anyone. Under no circumstances should a student attempt to find out another student’s password or attempt to access that student’s email or personal files.

B. Online

No student should provide access to his/her or any other student/faculty/staff members’ personal information via electronic communication. This includes but is not limited to: name, address, picture, password, etc.

C. Monitoring

PCS reserves the right to monitor any aspect of its information systems in order to protect its systems. School administration monitors the network and may find it necessary to investigate electronic incidents even if they happen after hours and outside of school. As the owners of the PCS resources administration reserves the right, if needed, and at its discretion, to access remotely, open, examine, and/or delete electronic files that violates this policy.

D. Network Access

Students should not attempt to gain access to the PCS network with any equipment that is not owned by the school and/or not approved by the Director of Technology. This includes, but is not limited to cell phones, computers, tablets, or any other network capable device. Students are not allowed to have any device that has cellular capabilities that would circumvent the protection and safeguards established by the administration.

IV. Email

A. Overview

In an effort to increase communication between students, between students and staff at PCS, and Colleges and Universities, PCS has decided to endorse a student email system. Students K-12 will be assigned their own PCS email address. Students’ email addresses will be in the form of Students’ will login with the same username and password combination to sign into all school computers and devices. All communication to students will be conducted through this established email account and is the students’ responsibility to check.

B. Checking Email

Students can check their email from any computer that has internet connectivity, smartphones, tablets, etc., by visiting and logging in with their account mentioned in the overview.

C. Email Restrictions

Students will be able to utilize this account during their academic career at PCS and at the completion the account will be removed 90-days after their academic career ends.

D. Inappropriate Email

Students are prohibited from sending inappropriate emails to anyone at PCS or any other email system. This includes mass spam emails, chain letters, and/or any material others may find offensive.

V. PCS Internet Safety and Other Terms of Use

A. General Access

In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA"), U.S.C. §254 (h), PCS uses technological devices designed to filter and block the use of any of the PCS computers with Internet access to retrieve or transmit any visual depictions that are categorized as obscene, child pornography or "harmful to minors" as defined in the CIPA.

  1. Though PCS makes reasonable efforts to filter such Internet content, PCS cannot warrant the effectiveness of its Internet filtering due to the dynamic nature of the Internet.
  2. Students of a PCS computer or device with Internet access may request that the "technology protection measures" be temporarily disabled to conduct bona fide research for another lawful purpose. These requests should be made to the PCS IT Department with the knowledge of and full supervision of a PCS Faculty or Staff member.

B. Personal Safety

The following list is considered precautions taken by PCS to ensure the safety of their students, employees, and other individuals.

  1. Students will not post or email personal contact information about themselves or other people unless it is in conjunction with a specific teacher-approved assignment or approved college/career communication.
  2. Students will not agree to meet with someone they have met online without their parent/guardian's approval.
  3. Students will promptly disclose to an administrator, teacher, or other school employee any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
  4. Employees will report any concerns related to their use of technology to their immediate supervisor.

C. Expectation of Privacy

Individuals should not have an expectation of privacy in the use of PCS email, systems, or equipment. PCS may, for a legitimate reason, perform the following:

  1. Obtain emails sent or received on PCS email.
  2. Monitor an individual's use on the PCS systems.
  3. Confiscate and/or search PCS-owned software or equipment.

VI. Social Media

Social Media solutions are powerful communication tools that have a significant impact on organizational and professional reputation. Because they blur the lines between personal voice and institution voice, PCS has established the following policy to help clarify how best to enhance and protect personal and professional reputation when participating in social media.

  1. Social media are defined as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and publishing techniques often with a representation of each user (social profile); Examples include, but are not limited to: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, My Space, Flicker, iChat, Instant Massager, Facetime, Instagram, etc.
  2. Both in professional and institutional roles, PCS students need to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media and other school constituents apply online as in the real world. Students’ are liable for anything they post to media sites.
    • The use of social networking sites either on PCS technological devices (laptops, tables, computers, networks, etc.) are not permitted.
    • Prior permission from the Director of Technology is required before the creation of any social media website for school use. Social media website use at school must support the mission and goals of PCS. Failure to obtain permission prior to the creation of a social media networking website is in violation of the PCS Acceptable Use Policy and may result in the deletion of the unapproved social media website and/or disciplinary action.
  3. The following expectations are set for students use:
    • Posts to social networking websites may include items such as news, school events, calendar entries, homework assignments, videos, audio, student accomplishments, and items relevant to instruction in our schools and district.
    • Posts must be positive or neutral.
    • Students’ must maintain professional and age-appropriate communications in all interactions within the social media website regardless of the forum, time, or method of communication.
    • Student work shall not be assessed publicly within the social media website.
    • Student photos, names, videos, and works posted must comply with the guidelines set forth in the “web content” section of the Student Acceptable Use Policy.
    • Students must NOT share their username and password to social media networking websites with others.
    • The Director or Technology has the right to delete any inappropriate posts from classroom and school social media websites and will refer disciplinary issues to the staff member’s immediate supervisor.
    • Social media websites that are not kept current or that do not positively represent our school will be deleted. Prior notification will be given to the sponsor of the social media website with an opportunity to correct the problem prior to the deletion of the social media website.
    • PCS does not accept responsibility or association with comments made by friends, fans, followers, or the equivalent on its social media networking websites. We reserve the right to terminate any associations on social media websites that are deemed inappropriate.
    • Use of your school email address for social networking sites is forbidden
    • Accessing social media sites during the school day for non-school related purposes is prohibited.
    • DO NOT initiate or accept social media “friend” requests from current faculty and staff.
    • Students are only allowed to post pictures that contain our students, staff, or faculty from public venues, where the public is invited to participate in the event: football, baseball, basketball, track, soccer, etc.
    • Students are not allowed to post, authorize or publicize any PCS student in uniform or athletic gear to be posted externally unless express written permission is provided.
    • Students are not allowed to post pictures while inside the classroom or a non-public venue.

VII. Discipline and Liability

A. Overview

Breach of this policy and/or Laptop User Agreement may result in disciplinary action. Depending on the severity of the incident may include:

  1. An information warning from a staff member or administration
  2. A formal verbal or written warning for misconduct
  3. Loss of technology privileges (any electronic assignments will not be allowed)
  4. Dismissal for gross misconduct
  5. Civil proceeding to recover damages
  6. Criminal proceedings

B. Discipline and Infraction Level

For all discipline for technology related infractions, the campus student handbook should be reviewed as that will contain the disciplinary and infraction levels.

Presbyterian Christian School will not be held liable for:

  • Any damage suffered by users due to failure of equipment or interruption of service.
  • The accuracy or truth of material obtained through the internet.
  • Damages to any person resulting from unauthorized or inappropriate use of technology


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