2022P - Responsible Use Guidelines Procedure
Issaquah School District Staff Responsible Use of Technology Regulations & Guidelines Handbook
- DEFINITIONS AND SCOPE
- NON COMPLIANCE
- DISTRICT PURPOSES AND OTHER USE
- DISTRICT PROPERTY
- ACCESS AND MONITORING
- COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
- ILLEGAL USE AND MATERIAL
- OFFENSIVE OR INAPPROPRIATE MATERIAL
- CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY
- PASSWORDS & HARDWARE SECURITY
- MASS DISTRIBUTION AND “SPAM”
- RECORDS MANAGEMENT
- EXCESSIVE PERSONAL USE DURING WORKING HOURS
- DIGITAL LITERACY AND CYBER-AWARENESS INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
- STAFF TRAINING
- PROTECTING PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY
- USE OF DIGITAL AND VIDEO IMAGES
- OFFICIAL STAFF USE OF TWITTER
- SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS
- CHILDREN’S ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT (COPPA)
- EDUCATIONAL APPLICATIONS & PROGRAMS
1.1 The purpose of DISTRICT Regulations and this Guidelines Handbook (HANDBOOK) is to ensure that all use of the Issaquah School District’s Educational Technology Resources is legal, ethical and consistent with the aims, values and objectives of the DISTRICT and its responsibilities to the students in its care. The DISTRICT is an institution charged with the safety and education of children. It also has occupational health and safety obligations to employees and students and must comply with State and Federal anti-discrimination and sexual harassment laws. It is thus of paramount importance that its Educational Technology Resources are used appropriately and professionally at all times.
1.2 DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must be properly and efficiently used. DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources are to be used responsibly and not to be used for inappropriate activities - for example, pornography, fraud, defamation, breach of copyright, unlawful discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment, stalking, privacy violations and illegal activity, including illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.
2. DEFINITIONS AND SCOPE
2.1 In this HANDBOOK–
- “Authorized Person” means the Superintendent of the Issaquah School District, or persons authorized by the Superintendent. At this time, “Authorized Person” includes Director-level positions and building principals.
- “DISTRICT” means the Issaquah School District;
- “DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources” includes but is not limited to all DISTRICT networks, systems, software and hardware including DISTRICT Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs), Cloud Storage, Wi-Fi, Intranet, Extranet, Ultranet, DISTRICT email systems, computer systems, software, servers, desktop computers, printers, scanners, portable computers, notebook computers, tablets, mobile phones, portable storage devices including digital cameras and USB memory sticks, hand held devices and other Educational Technology storage devices;
- “Electronic communications” means email, instant messaging and any other material sent electronically;
- “DISTRICT email systems” means any school-based email system established for the purposes of school-related communications. DISTRICT email systems are part of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources;
- “Malware” is an abbreviation of “malicious software” and means software programs designed to cause damage and other unwanted actions on a computer system. Common examples include computer viruses, worms, spyware and Trojans;
- “Peer-to-peer file sharing” (P2P) means the sharing of files between systems on a P2P network. The “peers” of a P2P network are computer systems connected to each other by the Internet. Files can be shared directly between computer systems on the network without the requirement of a central server. An example of illegal P2P file sharing is the sharing of copyrighted files without the authorization of the copyright owner, for example, copyrighted film and music files. At this time, the DISTRICT does not allow P2P use as a part of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources;
- “Personal use” means all non-work related use, and includes internet usage and private emails;
- “Users” of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources includes all employees, i.e. persons employed by the DISTRICT. It also includes all contractors and volunteers engaged by the DISTRICT, School Board, schools, regional offices or DISTRICT offices who use DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources.
2.2 This HANDBOOK applies to all users of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources regardless of work location and applies to all aspects of use of all DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources, which can include:
- Publishing and browsing on the internet;
- Downloading or accessing files from the internet or other electronic sources;
- Electronic bulletins/notice boards;
- Electronic discussion/news groups;
- Weblogs (“blogs”);
- Social networking;
- File transfer;
- File storage;
- File sharing;
- Video conferencing;
- Streaming media;
- Instant messaging;
- Online discussion groups and “chat” facilities;
- Subscriptions to list servers, mailing lists or other like services;
- Copying, saving or distributing files;
- Viewing material electronically; and
- Printing material.
3.1 The use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources carries with it responsibilities. Users must at all times remember that when using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources, they are using Educational Technology Resources provided to them for business and educational purposes only.
3.2 The provision of Educational Technology Resources by the DISTRICT is intended to improve and enhance learning and teaching, and to conduct the business and functions of the DISTRICT. Using information technology, accessing information, and communicating electronically can be cost-effective, timely and efficient. It is essential that use of this valuable resource be managed to ensure that it is used in an appropriate and productive manner.
3.3 The process by which the DISTRICT seeks to manage staff use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources is through the development and implementation of this HANDBOOK. The HANDBOOK must be followed whenever using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources.
4.1 The DISTRICT is responsible for ensuring that the persons to whom this HANDBOOK applies are aware of it. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Providing access to a copy of the HANDBOOK, for example, on the DISTRICT website;
- Reminders of the need for compliance with DISTRICT Regulations and the HANDBOOK; and
- Providing notice of updates or developments of the Regulations and HANDBOOK.
4.2 It is the responsibility of all users to abide by DISTRICT Regulations and this HANDBOOK.
5.1 Inappropriate use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources is assessed on a more-likely-than-not standard. Substantiated non-compliance with District Regulations or this HANDBOOK may constitute the following:
- Breach of employment obligations;
- Serious misconduct;
- Sexual harassment;
- Unlawful discrimination;
- A crime;
- A threat to the security of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources ;
- An infringement of the privacy of students, staff, and other persons; and/or
- Exposure to legal liability.
5.2 Substantiated non-compliance with DISTRICT Regulations will be regarded as a serious matter and appropriate action, including termination of employment, may be taken.
5.3 Where there is a reasonable belief that illegal activity may have occurred, the DISTRICT may report the suspected illegal activity to law enforcement. This clause supplements individual staff members’ mandatory reporting obligations.
6. DISTRICT PURPOSES AND OTHER USE
6.1 Use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must –
- Be for DISTRICT purposes only, or where authorized or required by law, or with the express permission of an Authorized Person; and
- Comply with Board Policy, DISTRICT Regulations, and this HANDBOOK, as well as applicable Federal and State requirements.
6.2 Notwithstanding clause 6.1(a), users of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources may use DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources for personal use provided the use is not excessive and does not breach DISTRICT Regulations or this HANDBOOK. Users must not engage in excessive personal use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources during working hours as indicated in Section 20. Users must not engage in excessive personal use of DISTRICT email systems or the internet using DISTRICT networks outside working hours. A breach of either of these constitutes a failure to abide by the responsible use guidelines in the HANDBOOK. In using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources for personal use, users should be aware that the provisions that apply to access and monitoring of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources apply to personal use as well.
6.3 Subject to limited personal use in accordance with 6.2:
- Subscribing to mailing lists and other like services using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must be for DISTRICT purposes or professional development reasons only (e.g. Atomic Learning); and
- Social networking, online conferences, discussion groups or other similar services or tools using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must be relevant and used only for DISTRICT purposes or professional development activities. When using such tools, all DISTRICT Educational Technology users must conduct themselves professionally and appropriately.
6.4 Provided that use is not unlawful, offensive or otherwise improper, users are allowed reasonable access to electronic communications using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources to facilitate communication between employees and their representatives, which may include a union, on matters pertaining to the employer/employee relationship.
6.5 Large data downloads or transmissions should be minimized to ensure the performance of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources for other users is not adversely affected. At a minimum, any such downloads or transmissions should occur when school is not in session. Where a user needs to download or transmit large data, they should contact the office of the Director of IT Infrastructure for assistance in completing this task. Where a user has caused DISTRICT to incur costs for excessive downloading of non-work related material in breach of this Regulation, DISTRICT may seek reimbursement or compensation from the user for all or part of these costs.
6.6 In accordance with DISTRICT Regulations and procedures, students and staff may use personal electronic devices (e.g. laptops, mobile devices, and e-readers) to further the educational and research mission of the DISTRICT. School staff shall retain the final authority in deciding when and how students may use personal electronic devices on school grounds and during the school day. Absent a specific and articulated need (e.g. assistive technology), students do not have an absolute right to possess or use personal electronic devices at school.
7. DISTRICT PROPERTY
7.1 Electronic communications created, sent or received using DISTRICT email systems are the property of the DISTRICT, and may be accessed by an Authorized Person in the case of an investigation, including in relation to investigations following a complaint or investigations into misconduct. Electronic communications may also be subject to discovery in litigation and criminal investigations. All information produced on computer, including emails, may be accessible under the Public Records Act. Please note that emails may be retrieved from back-up systems and that employees and the authors of electronic communications have been held liable for messages sent in the past.
8. ACCESS AND MONITORING
8.1 DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources may be accessed or monitored by Authorized Persons at any time without notice to the user. This includes, but is not limited to, use of DISTRICT email systems and other electronic documents and records. However, Authorized Persons must have a valid reason for accessing or monitoring use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources in accordance with clause 8.3.
8.2 Before accessing or monitoring DISTRICT email systems, an Authorized Person is required to contact the Director of IT Infrastructure to inform him/her of the proposed access.
8.3 Authorized Persons may access or monitor the records of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources for operational, maintenance, compliance, auditing, legal, security or investigative purposes. For example, electronic communications sent, received or forwarded using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources may be accessed, and logs of websites visited using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources may be generated, examined, and monitored.
8.4 Authorized Persons may require the assistance of a systems administrator to gain access to records held within DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources such as electronic documents, communications or website logs of users. In such cases, the systems administrator will not be in breach of this Regulation simply by reason of following the instructions of an Authorized Person.
8.5 If, at any time, a systems administrator discovers any inappropriate use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources, they must report their concerns to the Director of IT Infrastructure or, in his/her absence, the Director of Educational Technology and/or the Superintendent.
8.6 Use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources constitutes the user’s consent to access by a supervisor or designee of the Superintendent and monitoring in accordance with DISTRICT Regulations and this HANDBOOK.
8.7 If at any time there is a reasonable belief that DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources are being used in breach of DISTRICT Regulations and this HANDBOOK, the principal or supervisor of the person who is suspected of using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources inappropriately may suspend that person’s use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources and may require that the equipment being used by the person be secured while the suspected breach is being investigated. In advance of any such suspension, the principal or supervisor should attempt to inform the Director of IT Infrastructure and Director of Educational Technology.
8.8 Nothing in DISTRICT Regulations or this HANDBOOK prevents DISTRICT Information Technology personnel or other authorized DISTRICT agents from monitoring DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources in order to support the functioning and performance of the DISTRICT’s information systems.
8.9 The DISTRICT reserves the right to monitor, without prior notice, information about the content and usage of the DISTRICT network, including when accessed on students’ personal electronic devices and on devices provided by the DISTRICT, such as laptops, netbooks, and tablets.
9.1 DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must not be used to send material that defames an individual, organization, association, company, or business. The consequences of disseminating defamatory information may be severe and give rise to personal and/or DISTRICT liability. The DISTRICT cautions that any electronic communications that may include defamatory information may be easily copied, forwarded, saved, intercepted or archived. The audience of an electronic message containing defamatory information may be unexpected and widespread.
10. COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
10.1 Copyrighted material of third parties (e.g. software, database files, documentation, cartoons, articles, graphic files, music files, video files, text, and downloaded information) must not be used (e.g. downloaded, posted to Staff Hub or District intranet, copied, duplicated, or distributed) without authorization to do so. The ability to forward and distribute electronic messages and attachments and to share files greatly increases the risk of copyright infringement. Copying material to a hard disk or removable disk, printing, distributing, or sharing copyrighted material by electronic means, may give rise to personal and/or DISTRICT liability, despite the belief that the use of such material was permitted.
10.2 The DISTRICT supports the rights of copyright owners and does not and will not tolerate reckless or deliberate copyright infringement.
11. ILLEGAL USE AND MATERIAL
11.1 DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must not be used in any manner that contravenes or is likely to contravene the law. Any suspected offender will be referred as appropriate to any external relevant agency, including law enforcement, and their employment may also be terminated.
11.2 Certain inappropriate, unauthorized, and non-work-related use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources may constitute a criminal offense (e.g. computer “hacking” and the distribution of computer viruses).
11.3 Illegal or unlawful use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources includes, but is not limited to the following: use of certain types of pornography (e.g. child pornography); disseminating defamatory material; disseminating material that could constitute racial or religious vilification; disseminating unlawfully discriminatory material; stalking; blackmail and threats; use which breaches copyright laws; fraudulent activity; computer crimes; and other computer offenses.
11.4 The DISTRICT is an institution charged with the safety and education of children. Child pornography represents the antithesis of the DISTRICT’s responsibilities to children. Any suspected offender will be referred to the Office of Professional Practice at OSPI and the police, and termination of their employment will likely be considered if the allegations are substantiated.
12. OFFENSIVE OR INAPPROPRIATE MATERIAL
12.1 Use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must be appropriate to a workplace and educational environment. This includes, but is not limited to, the content of all electronic communications, whether sent internally or externally.
12.2 DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources must not be used for material that is pornographic, harassing, hateful, racist, sexist, abusive, obscene, discriminatory, offensive, or threatening. This includes sexually-oriented messages or images and messages that could constitute sexual harassment.
12.3 All users of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources should be familiar with DISTRICT anti-discrimination, equal opportunity, harassment intimidation and bullying (HIB), and harassment Regulations.
12.4 Users of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources who receive unsolicited offensive or inappropriate material electronically should delete it immediately. Offensive or inappropriate material received from people known to the receiver should be deleted immediately and the sender of the material should be asked to refrain from sending such material again. In particularly offensive or inappropriate instances, the receiver should report the conduct to their supervisor. Such material must not be forwarded internally or externally or saved onto DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources except where the material is required for the purposes of investigating a breach of DISTRICT Regulations or this HANDBOOK.
12.5 Any publicly visible Wi-Fi network emanating from DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources shall be appropriately named. Similarly, any staff who maintain a publicly visible Wi-Fi network from a personal device shall disable such a Wi-Fi network hotspot while on DISTRICT property or when working with students. At this time, personal device Wi-Fi networks are not authorized as a part of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources. In addition, it is recommended as a part of personal responsible use that any such personal Wi-Fi hotspot, even when disabled, be appropriately named and remain appropriately secure at all times when interaction with students, other staff, parents, or community partners may occur.
13. CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY
13.1 Electronic communication is not a secure means of communication. While every attempt is made to ensure the security of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources, users must be aware that this security is not guaranteed, particularly when communicated to an external party. The sender should consider the confidentiality of the material they intend to send when choosing the appropriate means of communication.
13.2 DISTRICT will handle any personal staff or student information collected through the use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources in accordance with State and Federal laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99).
13.3 Staff may have access to a wide range of personal information and data, held in digital format or on hardcopy records. This will include:
- Personal information about students, members of staff/volunteers, and parents and guardians, including names, addresses, contact details, legal guardianship/contact details, health records, and disciplinary records.
- Professional records (e.g. employment history), taxation and national insurance records, appraisal records, and references.
- Any other information that might be disclosed by parents/guardians or by other agencies working with families.
13.4 It is the responsibility of all staff to take care when handling, using, or transferring personal data that it cannot be accessed by anyone who does not have permission to access that data or does not need to have access to that data. Anyone who has access to personal data must know, understand, and adhere to this Regulation. This includes any personal staff or student information that may be stored on mobile devices for professional use.
13.5 Every effort will be made to ensure that information is accurate and up-to-date, and if staff is aware of inaccuracies, the DISTRICT’s intent is that they are corrected without unnecessary delay.
13.6 The DISTRICT will not disclose the content of electronic communications created, sent, or received using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources to third parties outside of the DISTRICT unless that disclosure is required for the purposes of a DISTRICT investigation, a police investigation, other legal, investigative, audit or compliance reasons, or in other circumstances where that disclosure is mandated under Washington State’s Public Records Act. Staff should remain aware that DISTRICT or student records maintained on personal devices, including email, may be subject to disclosure under Washington State’s Public Records Act.
14.1 Electronic and web communications are potential delivery systems for computer malware. All data, programs, and files which are downloaded electronically or attached to messages should be scanned by an anti-virus program before being launched, opened, or accessed.
14.2 Malware has the potential to seriously damage DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources. Do not open any attachments or click on any links embedded in an email unless you have confidence in the identity of the sender.
15.1 There is always a risk of false attribution of breaches. It is possible that communications may be modified to reflect a false message, sender, or recipient. In these instances an individual may be unaware that he or she is communicating with an impostor or receiving fraudulent information. If a user has a concern about the contents of a message received or the identity of the publisher of the electronic information, action should be taken to verify their identity by other means. If a user believes an electronic communication has been intercepted or modified, the Director of IT Infrastructure should be informed.
16. PASSWORDS & HARDWARE SECURITY
16.1 Users are accountable for all use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources that have been made available to them or leased to them for work purposes and for all use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources performed with their user identification.
16.2 Users must maintain full supervision and physical control of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources, including notebook computers, at all times. When not in use, DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources should be physically secure as well as secured by password.
16.3 User identification and passwords must be kept secure and confidential.
16.4 Passwords must be in approved format of at least eight (8) characters and include a combination of any 3 of: upper case letters, numbers, special characters. Passwords must be changed every three (3) months at minimum to preserve DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources’ integrity and security.
16.5 Users must not allow or facilitate unauthorized access to DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources through the disclosure or sharing of passwords or other information designed for security purposes, unless it is generic to a person in the position of a substitute. However, this exception shall not be extended to DISTRICT students for any reason.
16.6 Active sessions are to be terminated when access is no longer required, and computers are to be secured by password when not in use.
16.7 Personal/non-district devices may only be connected to the district's wireless network - i.e. are not permitted hard-wired connection to ISD's ethernet network for security purposes.
17. MASS DISTRIBUTION AND “SPAM”
17.1 The use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources for sending “junk mail,” for-profit messages, or chain letters is strictly prohibited. Mass electronic communications should only be sent in accordance with normal procedures. The use of electronic communications for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages (“Spam”) is strictly prohibited.
18. RECORDS MANAGEMENT
18.1 Electronic communications are public records and subject to the provisions of the Washington State Public Records Act.
18.2 Record management practices for management of email messages must comply with Regulations and guidelines on recordkeeping and management of electronic communications.
19.1 If you wish to make a complaint or report about inappropriate use of DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources, raise it with your principal or supervising administrator, or, if your principal or supervising administrator is the cause of your complaint, raise it with the Director of IT Infrastructure.
20. EXCESSIVE PERSONAL USE DURING WORKING HOURS
20.1 Personal use is inappropriate where it occurs during normal working hours (but excluding the employee’s lunch or other official breaks), adversely affects, or could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the performance of the employee’s duties, and the use is determined to be more than insignificant.
21. DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
21.1 All students of the DISTRICT are to be educated about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness and response, and password security.
21.2 To foster appropriate digital literacy opportunities for students with DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources and to encourage responsible personal use, a DISTRICT Internet Safety Instructional Materials Committee will consider digital literacy needs and make recommendations to address student and staff needs. The Committee will be co-chaired by the Director of Educational Technology and the Director of IT Infrastructure.
21.3 Staff are responsible for ensuring that:
- They have an up-to-date awareness of the DISTRICT’s current technology protocols, DISTRICT Regulations and this
- They have acknowledged receipt of these guidelines and HANDBOOK and that they are to abide by its terms and DISTRICT Regulations.
- They report any suspected misuse or problem to the relevant administrator, particularly where it is believed that a child’s welfare is at risk.
- Digital communications with children and young people should be on a professional level and, where possible, only carried out using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources or approved technology platforms.
- Young people in their care are sufficiently aware of online safety and appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.
- They are aware of online safety issues, particularly those related to the use of mobile phones, cameras, and hand-held devices, and that they monitor their use and follow DISTRICT Regulations with regard to these devices.
22. STAFF TRAINING
22.1 It is essential that all staff and volunteers receive online safety awareness training and understand their responsibilities. Training will be offered as follows:
- A planned program of training about online safety will be made available to staff. This will include establishing awareness of educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness, and response.
- All new staff will receive awareness training as part of their orientation program to ensure that they fully understand DISTRICT online safety expectations, DISTRICT Regulations, and responsible use guidelines.
- An audit of the online safety training needs of all staff will be carried out as deemed by the Director of Educational Technology.
- The DISTRICT IT Department will receive regular updates through attendance at relevant external training events and/or by reviewing guidance documents.
23. PROTECTING PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY
23.1 All staff should consider how their online behavior may affect their own safety and reputation and that of the DISTRICT.
23.2 Communication between adults and between students and adults, by any method, should take place within clear boundaries (See DISTRICT Regulations 2026 – Social Media and 5253 – Maintaining Professional Boundaries). This includes the wider use of technology, such as mobile phones, text messaging, social networks, emails, digital cameras, videos, web-cams, websites, and blogs.
23.3 When using digital communications, staff and volunteers should:
- Only make contact with students for professional reasons and in accordance with DISTRICT Regulation 5253 and professional guidance.
- Not share any personal information with a student (e.g. should not give their personal contact details to students, including email, home or mobile telephone numbers, unless for reasonable supervision needs while on a DISTRICT sponsored Field Trip).
- Not request—or respond to a request for—any personal information from the student, other than that which is appropriate as part of their professional role, or is necessary to protect the safety of a student who is at immediate risk of harm.
- Be aware of and use the appropriate reporting routes available to them if they suspect any of their personal details have been compromised. At this time, the building administrator or Program Director, or Supervisor is the appropriate person to whom such concerns should be reported.
- Ensure that all communications are transparent and open to scrutiny, and be careful in their communications with students so as to avoid any possible misinterpretation or unintended consequences.
- Ensure that if they have personal social networking profiles, details are not shared with their students (making every effort to keep personal and professional online lives separate).
- Not post information online that could bring them or the DISTRICT into disrepute.
- Be aware of the sanctions that may be applied related to conduct determined to constitute professional misconduct.
- Ensure that email, text, or other web-based communications between staff/volunteers and students should (wherever possible) take place using DISTRICT Educational Technology, and if not using DISTRICT technology, then shall include more than one student as a recipient of the information.
- Be aware that utilizing personal technology while connected to DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources or related to staff professional activities can create disclosable public records.
- Remain cognizant of the appearance of impropriety to others where personal communications occur with recent graduates or former students.
23.4 Any communications outside the agreed guidelines may lead to disciplinary and/or criminal investigations. Social networking sites are spaces that young people inhabit and yet many professionals overlook the potential they have. If well managed and used in accordance with the guidance in the previous three paragraphs, social networking sites can bring together young people and professionals, particularly young people that are hard to reach by traditional means. Staff and volunteers should, wherever possible, seek to separate their professional online presence from their online social life and take the following into account when using digital communications:
- Careful consideration should be given as to who should be included as “friends” on social networking sites and which information and photos are available to those friends.
- Privacy settings should be frequently reviewed.
- The amount of personal information visible to those on “friends” lists should be carefully managed and users should be aware that “friends” may still reveal or share this information.
- “Digital footprint” information, including images, posted on the internet may remain there forever. Many people subsequently regret posting information that has become embarrassing or harmful to them.
- A large proportion of employers engage in searches of the internet when selecting candidates and are influenced by the content they find. Research shows that many employers use such searches, but few employees/applicants for jobs realize that they do.
24. USE OF DIGITAL AND VIDEO IMAGES
24.1 The development of digital imaging technologies has created significant benefits, allowing users instant use of images that they have recorded or downloaded from the internet. However, staff/volunteers and students need to be aware of the risks associated with sharing images and with posting digital images on the internet. Those images may remain available on the internet forever and may cause harm or embarrassment to individuals in the short or longer term.
24.2 When using digital images, staff should raise awareness among students about the risks associated with the taking, use, sharing, publication, and distribution of images. In particular, students should recognize the risks attached to publishing their own images on the internet (e.g. on social networking sites).
24.3 Written permission from parents or guardians and or “Opt Out” under FERPA will be obtained to allow images to be taken of their children and also allowing their use for legitimate activities or for publicity that reasonably celebrates success and promotes the work of the group. Parents or guardians are permitted to take digital/video images of their children at group special events within DISTRICT guidelines. (Such guidelines allow parents to take photos or videos of group events in accordance with parameters from the DISTRICT).
24.4 In general, staff is permitted to take photographs and videos of students for legitimate activities or for publicity that celebrates student success and/or promotes the work of student groups, teams, or clubs. However, staff must follow DISTRICT Regulations concerning the sharing, distribution, and publication of those images. Staff should also be cautious as certain images created at school or during school activities may constitute educational records and therefore be subject to greater protections under federal and state law. Specifically, staff must obtain written permission from parents or guardians before taking and sharing photographs or videos of students or confirm that such permission has been obtained. At the very least, under FERPA, as long as parents/guardians (and students over the age of 18) are provided (1) general notice that photographs or videos may be published, and (2) an opportunity to “opt out,” images of the student may be posted without the express consent of a parent/guardian. However, each time a staff member seeks to post an image that identifies a student, that staff member should consult their school’s “directory information” list to ensure that a student identified in an image to be posted has not opted out. On this point, staff should be aware that a student’s legal name may not always be consistent with the name that the student prefers or to which the student is colloquially referred.
24.5 Care should be taken when taking digital/video images that students are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the group into disrepute or cause embarrassment. If photos are taken, their storage and use must not cause risk or embarrassment. Any photos should not be maintained in storage on personal drives or devices after reasonable opportunity for transfer to DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources.
24.6 Photographs published on DISTRICT websites or elsewhere that include students will be selected carefully and will comply with good educational practice and DISTRICT guidance on the use of such images. The full names of students will not be used anywhere on a website, blog, or particularly in association with photographs, unless professionally appropriate. Consideration should be given to media coverage and journalists should be made aware of this requirement.
24.7 No device or technology shall be covertly used to record audio or video of a staff member, volunteer, student, or parent. This restriction does not restrict the DISTRICT from using video recording equipment, including audio recording, for safety or security purposes.
25. OFFICIAL STAFF USE OF TWITTER/SOCIAL MEDIA
25.1 Social media such as Twitter can be an effective communication tool with students and interested parties. Caution is warranted, however, when utilizing Twitter on behalf the DISTRICT, and certain safe practices are appropriate.
25.2 In general, staff users of Twitter should exercise good judgment and caution with respect to whom they “follow” and what they “retweet” as these actions may reflect the user’s interests in a negative light. Generally an account can be managed in a fashion that does not require retweets or following. Twitter users are under no obligation to follow every person who follows the account. In fact, following people blindly is not recommended. Whomever a Twitter user chooses to follow on Twitter can make a powerful statement about interests and influence. There is some etiquette in Twitter that, if one of your followers is a real-life friend or colleague, it is considered a snub if one does not follow them back. If one really is not interested in what he/she has to say but politeness dictates the user must follow them, the recommended course is to create a private Twitter list and leave them out of it.
25.3 Where staff create or maintain Twitter or social media accounts related to the DISTRICT, staff should “follow” only accounts of members of DISTRICT teams, clubs, or other official activities. (e.g. WIAA, KINGCO, etc.). “Following” Twitters users who are unaffiliated with official DISTRICT activities may incidentally impute inappropriate, offensive, or otherwise unofficial content to the DISTRICT. Under Twitter’s configuration, there is no control over what someone will see if they go to followers as they control how their Twitter account can present itself, including photographs and statements in the headline. Similar, with other forms of social media, access to third-party generated content deliberately or unintentionally linked via following or accepting contact can create circumstances of concern, or at a minimum, unprofessional impressions of staff. This accessible content can include profanity, inappropriate imagery, as well as other content of concern for the DISTRICT and its educational mission. This should not impede the ability to communicate with followers.
26. SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS
26.1 When using DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources with students, staff shall maintain adequate supervision of students within their zone of responsibility. This zone includes classrooms, libraries, labs, and other facilities depending on the context of student use or educational purpose.
26.2 Staff should establish guidelines for their supervision of student technology resource use. As appropriate, staff should share these guidelines with parents/guardians where students are permitted to access non-DISTRICT Educational Technology Resources for the purpose of communicating with non-DISTRICT staff or students. Such communication includes but is not limited to open communication on social media, Twitter, or blogging or posting dynamic content, such as videos to sharing sites, such as YouTube.
27. CHILDREN’S ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT (COPPA)
27.1 COPPA is a federal law that prohibits a website operator from collecting personal information from children under the age of thirteen (13) unless the operator strictly complies with a number of requirements. 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501—6506. These requirements include that the website operator must obtain parental consent prior to the collection or use of personal information from children; provide a reasonable means for a parent to review personal information collected from children; and establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information collected from children. COPPA imposes significant penalties on website operators that fail to comply with these requirements and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.
27.2 In order for the DISTRICT to provide students under the age of thirteen with the most effective web-based tools and applications for learning, the DISTRICT utilizes several computer software applications, web-based services, and websites operated by third parties. Specific processes are in place related to the use of these applications, services, and websites within the infrastructure of the DISTRICT’s Educational Technology Resources.
27.3 While the DISTRICT as a public education entity may not be subject to COPPA, each third-party commercial website operator is subject to COPPA, and where the DISTRICT is in any way functioning as an intermediary with students to such a website, caution is warranted. In order for students to use these programs and services, certain personal identifying information -- generally the student’s name and email address -- must be provided to the website operator. Where staff desire to use a particular web-based service or website operated by a third party that is outside the infrastructure of the approved DISTRICT’S Technology Resources, they should contact the Director of IT Infrastructure or their Supervisor prior to the initiation of use. Notice should be provided to parents of students under thirteen (13) prior to any use of third-party commercial websites requiring any student registration in advance of such registration. Further, use should be consistent with DISTRICT digital citizenship and cyber-safety instructional materials.
27.4 In order to ensure compliance with COPPA and other relevant federal law regarding confidentiality of student personal information, DISTRICT staff may not assist or encourage students under the age of thirteen (13), or their parents, to circumvent a website’s restrictions by having parents create an account in the student’s name or falsifying the student’s age in order to create an account. In certain instances, the DISTRICT may consent to the collection of personal information on behalf of all of its students, thereby eliminating the need for individual parental consent given directly to a website operator, but this is subject to the configuration of the DISTRICT’s Educational Technology Resources.
27.5 If staff have any questions about COPPA and related student use approval, please contact Josh Almy, Deputy Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
28.1 Federal law prohibits people, on the basis of disability (such as seeing and hearing impairments), from being excluded from participation in, being denied the benefits of, or otherwise being subjected to discrimination by the DISTRICT. To ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to DISTRICT programs, activities, or services, the content and functionality of websites associated with the DISTRICT must be accessible. Such websites include, but are not limited to, the DISTRICT’s homepage, teacher webpages, Facebook and Twitter pages, class lectures on YouTube, etc.
28.2 Staff with authority to create or modify website content or functionality associated with the DISTRICT shall take reasonable measures to ensure that such content or functionality is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Any such staff member with questions on how to comply with this rule should consult with the DISTRICT Communications Department.
29. EDUCATIONAL APPLICATIONS & PROGRAMS
29.1 Staff may request students to download or sign up for applications (“apps”) or programs on the students’ personal electronic devices. Such apps and programs (e.g. Nearpod, SeeSaw, Formative, etc.) may help to facilitate lectures, student assessment, communication, and feedback among other things.
29.2 Prior to requesting students to download or sign up for educational apps or programs, staff shall do the following:
- Provide notice in writing of potential use of any educational apps/programs to Director of Educational Technology, including the anticipated purpose and any additional concerns.
- Provide notice to students’ parents/guardians that the staff person has requested that students download or sign up for an app/program. Such notice shall include a brief statement on the purpose of the app/program and shall further advise parents/guardians of any known risk to student privacy or safety that may arise from the download or use of the app/program.
- Provide notice to each student regarding the purpose of the app/program and advise each student of any known risk to student privacy or safety that may arise from the download or use of the app/program.