SOMERVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
NETWORK ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY FOR STAFF
This Network Acceptable Use Policy for Staff (hereinafter referred to as the “Policy”) shall serve as a statement on the appropriate use of the various technology resources available to all authorized staff of the Somerville Public Schools (hereinafter referred to as “SPS”) including but not limited to computers, the Network, electronic mail system (e-mail), websites, Internet access, telephones, facsimile machines, printers and other peripherals, software, cellular and hand held devices.
For purposes of the Policy, “staff” refers to SPS employees, volunteers, substitutes, student teachers, interns, contractors, and any other person who is provided with email, Network or internet access by the SPS. This Policy may be updated from time to time and amended by the School Committee, upon the recommendation of the Network Administrator and the Superintendent.
The SPS recognizes the important role of technology as an invaluable resource to assist staff to successfully perform the duties associated with their role in the SPS. Staff are reminded that the use of technology resources is subject to the same management oversight as other employee activities. The Network is the property of the SPS and may be used only for educational and administrative purposes that are approved by the SPS.
Staff members are required to read, understand and follow this Policy before accessing the SPS Network and must acknowledge, by electronic or written form, that the employee has read and will comply with the Policy. Staff will be held responsible for ensuring that their activities adhere to the Policy and to generally-accepted educational and professional standards as outlined in other applicable SPS policies. Staff with questions regarding the application or meaning of this Policy are encouraged to communicate with the Network Administrator or the Director of Operations to obtain clarification.
Responsible use of the SPS technology resources by staff includes, but is not limited to, the following:
The following actions violate the Policy:
Use of the District’s technology resources for any altruistic or charitable purpose must be approved in advance by the District.
If staff are not clear as to whether a specific use of the SPS Network or other technology resources is appropriate or acceptable they should seek clarification from the Network Administrator or the Director of Operations.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Bill S2404, Section 5, defines Cyber-bulling as:
“…bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses ( i ) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.”
In accordance with the SPS zero-tolerance Bullying Prevention Plan, Cyber-bullying is prohibited on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at school-sponsored or school-related activities, functions or programs (whether on or off school grounds), at bus stops, on school busses or other vehicles owned or operated by the SPS or their contractors, or through the use of technology or electronic devices owned, leased or used by the District, regardless of whether the Cyber-bullying occurs on or off the Network.
All communications that are created, transmitted or retrieved via the SPS Network are the property of the Somerville Public Schools and should not be considered to be confidential. The SPS maintains data backup resources that store all electronic communications - including those that are deleted by the user. The SPS reserves the right to access and monitor all messages and information on the system, as it deems necessary and appropriate to identify abuse by users of the Network to ensure the proper use of resources, to conduct routine maintenance and to enforce the terms of this Policy.
As necessary, any and all electronic communications may be disclosed to law enforcement officials in response to proper requests or to other third parties in the context of proper requests in the course of litigation, without the prior consent of the sender or receiver. All users of the SPS Network are considered to have consented to such monitoring and disclosure.
Users are reminded that e-mail messages are public records, subject to disclosure under G.L. c. 66, §10. Additionally, electronic documents are subject to disclosure in litigation. Users of the SPS Network are to avoid sending documents or information containing confidential or sensitive material, such as student record and personnel information, via the Network, due to concerns relating to the security of such documents or information. Employees should not discuss litigation in e-mail messages, because such messages are not privileged and are subject to discovery in litigation against the SPS.
The Somerville Public Schools assumes no responsibility or liability for:
Revised: November 27, 2007
Date Approved by School Committee: December 17, 2007
Reviewed: May 2009
Amended: June 2011