GCSA-R Employee Computer and Internet Use Rules
NEPN/NSBA Code: GCSA-R 

EMPLOYEE COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE RULES 

The intent of these Board-level rules is to provide employees with general requirements for utilizing the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services. The Board rules may be supplemented by more specific administrative procedures and rules governing day-to-day management and operation of the computer system.

Each employee is responsible for his/her actions and activities involving school unit computers, network, and internet services, and for his/her computer files, passwords, and accounts.

These rules provide general guidelines and examples of prohibited uses for illustrative purposes but do not attempt to state all required or prohibited activities by the user, including general guidelines for managing electronic documents in compliance with a variety of laws. Employees who have questions regarding whether a particular activity or use is acceptable should seek further guidance from the district technology coordinator or an administrator.

Failure to comply with Board policy GCSA, these rules and/or other established procedures or rules governing computer use may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Illegal uses of the school unit’s computers will also result in referral to law enforcement authorities.

A. Access to School Computers, Networks and Internet Services

The level of access that employees have to school unit computers, networks and Internet services is based upon specific employee job requirements and needs.

Unauthorized access to secure areas of the school unit’s computers and networks is strictly prohibited.

B. Acceptable Use

Employee access to the school unit’s computers, networks and Internet services is provided for administrative, educational, communication and research purposes consistent with the school unit’s educational mission, curriculum, and instructional goals. General rules and expectations for professional behavior and communication apply to use of the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services.

Employees are to utilize the school unit’s computers, networks and Internet services for school-related purposes and performance of job duties. Incidental personal use of school computers is permitted as long as such use does not interfere with the employee’s job duties and performance, with system operations or other system users. “Incidental personal use” is defined as use by an individual employee for occasional personal communications. Employees are reminded that such personal use must comply with this policy and all other applicable policies, procedures, and rules.

C. Prohibited Use

General examples of unacceptable uses that are expressly prohibited include but are not limited to the following:

1. Any use that is illegal or in violation of other Board policies, including harassing, discriminatory or threatening communications and behavior, violations of copyright laws, etc.;

2. Any use involving materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive, harmful to minors, or intended to appeal to prurient interest;

3. Any inappropriate communications with students or minors;

4. Any use for private financial gain, or commercial, advertising or solicitation purposes;

5. Any use as a forum for communicating by e-mail or any other medium with other school users or outside parties to solicit, proselytize, advocate or communicate the views of an individual or non-school-sponsored organization; to solicit membership in or support of any non-school-sponsored organization; or to raise funds for any non-school-sponsored purpose, whether for-profit or not-for-profit. No employee shall knowingly provide school e-mail addresses to outside parties whose intent is to communicate with school employees, students and/or their families for non-school purposes. Employees who are uncertain as to whether particular activities are acceptable should seek further guidance from the building principal or other appropriate administrator.

6. Any communication that represents personal views as those of the school unit or that could be misinterpreted as such;

7. Downloading or loading software or applications without permission from the system administrator; the employee is responsible for maintaining proper software licenses for any software added to school machines.

8. Sending mass e-mails to school users or outside parties for school or non-school purposes without the permission of the district technology coordinator;

9. Any malicious use or disruption of the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services or breach of security features;

10. Any misuse or damage to the school unit’s computer equipment;

11. Misuse of the computer passwords or accounts (employee or other users); 

12. Any communications that are in violation of generally accepted rules of network etiquette and/or professional conduct;

13. Any attempt to access unauthorized sites; 

14. Failing to report a known breach of computer security to the system administrator;

15. Using school computers, networks, and Internet services after such access has been denied or revoked; and

16. Any attempt to delete, erase, or otherwise conceal any information stored on a school computer that violates these rules.

D. No Expectation of Privacy

The school unit retains control, custody, and supervision of all computers, electronic devices, networks and Internet services owned or leased by the school unit. The school unit reserves the right to monitor all computer and Internet activity by employees and other system users. Employees have no expectation of privacy in their use of school computers, including e-mail messages and stored files.

E. Confidentiality of Information

Employees are expected to use appropriate judgment and caution in communications concerning students and staff to ensure that personally identifiable information remains confidential. Communications containing personally identifiable information on students will usually be subject to disclosure as a result of a parent request under FERPA regulations.

F. Staff Responsibilities to Students

Teachers, staff members, and volunteers who utilize school computers for instructional purposes with students have a duty of care to supervise such use. Teachers, staff members, and volunteers are expected to be familiar with the school unit’s policies and rules concerning student computer and Internet use and to enforce them. When, in the course of their duties, employees/volunteers become aware of student violations, they are expected to stop the activity and inform the building principal.

G. Compensation for Losses, Costs and/or Damages

An employee is responsible for compensating the school unit for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school unit for violations of Board policies and school rules while the employee is using school unit computers, including the cost of investigating such violations. The school unit assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or costs incurred by an employee while using school unit computers.

H. School Unit Assumes No Responsibility for Unauthorized Charges, Costs or Illegal Use

The school unit assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges made by employees including but not limited to credit card charges, subscriptions, long distance telephone charges, equipment and line costs, or for any illegal use of its computers such as copyright violations.

I. Employee Acknowledgment Required

Each employee authorized to access the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services is required to sign an acknowledgment form (GCSA-E) stating that they have read policy GCSA and these rules. The acknowledgment form will be retained in the employee’s personnel file.

J. Routine Deletion of E-mail

SAD #4 provides an e-mail account for employees as well as School Board members. Those using SAD #4 e-mail accounts should be aware that any e-mail that is deleted is placed, temporarily, in the "trash" for 30 days, at which time it becomes permanently deleted. Individuals may manually delete the files permanently prior to the end of the 30-day period. Files that are archived or placed in a folder are kept indefinitely unless the individual reaches the 25 GB quota. If an individual reaches the quota they should seek assistance from the technology coordinator or system administrator. For the purposes of managing e-mail archiving and discovery compliance this 30-day period is considered the e-mail archiving period. 

K. Management of Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

ESI, including e-mail, can constitute student educational records if, for example, they include communications to and from parents that contain information that would be subject to disclosure under FERPA regulations.

E-mail communications containing personally identifiable information on students will usually be subject to disclosure as a result of a parent request under FERPA. E-mails of this nature may be printed and retained in the student's permanent record.

Communications made using the electronic student information system shall be archived regularly. Communications generated in this student information system to or from parents concerning individual students will be retained permanently.

All ESI concerning School Board business may be subject to disclosure as a result of a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) request.

Individual staff members and School Board members are responsible for the management of ESI they generate. Individuals shall retain any ESI, including e-mail correspondences (both incoming and outgoing), for each of the following:

(1) all situations currently under litigation or potentially that may go to litigation

(2) any ESI containing personally identifiable information on students, which may reasonably be considered part of a permanent student record

(3) any ESI containing information relating to official School Board business, other than routine notifications and generic information

Additional Rules for Use of Privately-Owned Computers by Employee

1. The employee is responsible for proper care of his/her privately-owned computer (including electronic devices), including any costs of repair, replacement, or any modifications needed to use the device at school.

2. The school unit is not responsible for damage, loss, or theft of any privately-owned computer or electronic device.

3. Employees are required to comply with all Board policies/procedures and school rules while using privately-owned computers or electronic devices at school.

4. Employees have no expectation of privacy in their use of privately-owned equipment while it is being used at school The contents of the computer may be searched in accordance with applicable laws and policies.

Cross Reference:
       GCSA - Employee Computer and Internet Use
IJNDB - Student Computer and Internet Use 
IJNDB-R - Student Computer and Internet Use Rules 

Adopted: October 14, 2003
Revised: January 12, 2010, June 13, 2012

M.S.A.D. #4