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District Acceptable Use Policy

Throckmorton ISD Electronic Information System/Network User Policy 

Introduction

Throckmorton ISD recognizes the need to regulate the acceptable use of technology to control the use of the Internet. The Internet is an electronic highway connecting thousands of computers all over the world and millions of individual subscribers. The District recognizes that the Internet can be used to facilitate many educational activities. The Internet is not meant to replace education, but rather, to facilitate the educational process. It should be used as an adjunct to teaching. The Internet can be a valuable learning tool in the areas of electronic mail, research, data searches, enrichment materials, electronic field trips, and library references. Throckmorton ISD resources available on the Internet will allow classroom projects such as pen pal discussions, scientific data collection, and international cultural exchanges. News retrieval services, encyclopedias, scientific and educational databases will be instantaneously accessible to Throckmorton students and teachers.

Philosophy

Throckmorton ISD believes in the value of incorporating learner-centered experiences in the total educational process. Our philosophy is to make Network/Internet access available to all students, teachers, and staff in Throckmorton ISD. Therefore, the District has made Internet-access available to all grade levels because of the many resources it has to offer and the enhanced opportunities for research it provides.

Educational Value Risk

With this access comes the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the context of the school setting. Sites accessible via the Network/ Internet may contain material that is illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or controversial. Although the District will attempt to limit access to most of this objectionable material, controlling all materials on the Network/Internet is impossible. On a global network, it is impossible to control all materials; an industrious user may discover controversial information. The Throckmorton ISD Board of Trustees believes that the valuable information and interaction available on these networks far outweigh the possibility that users may locate material that is not consistent with the educational goals of Throckmorton School District.

 

User Responsibilities

Network/Internet users are responsible for their actions in accessing available resources which are consistent with the educational goals of Throckmorton ISD.

 

Levels of Access/Teacher Supervision

All students are expected to exercise responsible use of the Network/Internet at all times. Elementary students will have a teacher/aide monitoring their work on the Network/Internet. At junior high, and high school, it is the intent of the district to have personnel present during the students' Network/Internet use; however, due to the nature of their work, it may not always be possible to directly monitor their work. Filtering mechanisms will be used district wide. Sites being accessed by users may be monitored at any time.

Access to the District's electronic communications system will be governed as follows:

1.       With the approval of the immediate supervisor, District employees will be granted access to the District's system.

2.       The District will require that all passwords be changed periodically at the discretion of the Technology Director or designee.

3.       Any system user identified as a security risk or having violated District and/or campus computer-use guidelines may be denied access to the District's system.

 

Acceptable Use

Network/Internet access shall be used to improve learning and teaching consistent with educational goals of Throckmorton ISD. The District expects legal, ethical and acceptable use of the Network/Internet. Acceptable use will be defined by district policy and local campus administration guidelines.

Unacceptable Use

Every Throckmorton ISD user has the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of every user in our community and on the Internet in accordance with the laws of Texas and the United States and with rules and guidelines as set by district policy. All users should be aware that the unacceptable use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws. Violations can lead to prosecution. Students are expected to use moral and ethical guidelines in making value decisions regarding network use. Using the network is a privilege, not a right, and the privilege may be revoked at any time for unacceptable conduct. The building principal will make the final determination as to what constitutes unacceptable conduct.

Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to, knowingly engaging in any of the following:

1.       Using the network for any illegal activity.

2.       Violating software copyright or other contracts, including sharing commercial software.

3.       Using the network for financial or commercial gain.

4.       Degrading or disrupting equipment or system performance.

5.       Vandalizing the data of another user.

6.       Wastefully using finite resources.

7.       Gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities.

8.       Invading the privacy of individuals.

9.       Using an account owned by another user without authorization.

10.    Posting personal communications without the author's consent.

11.    Posting anonymous messages.

12.    Placing of unlawful information and/or inappropriate material on a system, or receiving inappropriate material without reporting to staff.

13.    Using for product advertisement.

14.    Using for political lobbying.

15.    Using abusive or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private messages.

16.    Sending of messages that are likely to result in the loss of recipients' work or systems.

17.    Installing, without appropriate approval, software or applications onto computers which access the electronic network.

18.    Downloading and/or printing of unauthorized material.

 

 

DISTRICT TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES

The District Technology Director for the electronic communications system will:

1.       Be responsible for disseminating and enforcing applicable District policies and acceptable use guidelines for the District's system at the campus level.

2.       Ensure that all users of the District's system complete and sign an agreement to abide by District policies and administrative regulations regarding such use. All such agreements will be maintained on file in the principal's office.

3.       Ensure that employees supervising students who use the District's system provide training emphasizing the appropriate use of this resource.

4.       Be authorized to monitor or examine all system activities, including electronic mail transmissions, as deemed appropriate to ensure proper use of the system.

5.       Be authorized to establish a retention schedule for messages on any electronic bulletin board and to remove messages posted locally that are deemed to be inappropriate.

6.       Set limits for disk utilizations on the system, as needed.

 

INDIVIDUAL USER RESPONSIBILITY

 

The following information standards will apply to all users of the District’s electronic information/communications systems:

 

ON-LINE CONDUCT

 

1.       The individual in whose name a system account is issued will be responsible at all times for its proper use.

2.       The system may not be used for illegal purposes, in support of illegal activities, or for any other activity prohibited by District policy.

3.       System users may not use another person's system account without written permission from the District Administrator or District Technology Director, as appropriate.

4.       System users must purge electronic mail in accordance with established retention guidelines.

 

5.       System users may redistribute copyrighted programs or data only with the written permission of the copyright holder or designee. Such permission must be specified in the document or must be obtained directly from the copyright holder or designee in accordance with applicable copyright laws, District policy, and administrative regulations.

6.       System users may upload public domain programs to the system. System users may also download public domain programs for their own use or may non-commercially redistribute a public domain program. System users are responsible for determining whether a program is in the public domain.

7.       The signatures on this document are legally binding and indicate that those who signed have read the terms and conditions carefully and understand their significance.

 

 

VANDALISM PROHIBITED

Any malicious attempt to harm or destroy District equipment or materials, data of another user of the District's system, or any of the agencies or other networks that are connected to the Internet is prohibited. Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance may be viewed as violations of District policy and administrative regulations and, possibly, as criminal activity under applicable state and federal laws. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creating of computer viruses.

 

Vandalism as defined above will result in the cancellation of system use privileges and will require restitution for costs associated with system restoration, hardware, or software costs.

 

FOGERY PROHIBITED

Forgery or attempted forgery of electronic mail messages is prohibited. Attempts to read, delete, copy, or modify the electronic mail of other system users or deliberate interference with the ability of other system users to send/receive electronic mail is prohibited.

 

INFORMATION CONTENT/THIRD PARTY SUPPLIED INFORMATION

System users and parents of students with access to the District's system should be aware that use of the system may provide access to other electronic communications systems in the global electronic network that may contain inaccurate and/or objectionable material.

A student knowingly bringing prohibited materials into the school's electronic environment will be subject to a suspension and/or a revocation of privileges on the District's system and will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

An employee knowingly bringing prohibited materials into the school's electronic environment will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with District policies.

 

DISTRICT WEB SITE

The District will maintain a District Web site for the purpose of informing employees, students, parents, and members of the community of District programs, policies, and practices. Requests for publication of information on the District Web site must be directed to the designated Webmaster. The Technology Director and the District Webmaster will establish guidelines for the development and format of Web pages controlled by the District.

No commercial advertising will be permitted on a Web site controlled by the District.

SCHOOL OR CLASS WEB PAGES

Schools or classes may publish and link to the District's site Web pages that present information about the school or class activities, subject to approval from the Webmaster. The campus principal will designate the staff member responsible for managing the campus's Web page under the supervision of the District's Webmaster. Teachers will be responsible for compliance with District rules in maintaining their class Web pages. Any links from a school or class Web page to sites outside the District's computer system must receive approval from the District Webmaster.

 

STUDENT WEB PAGES

With the approval of the District Technology Director, students may establish individual Web pages linked to a campus or District Web site; however, all material presented on a student's Web page must be related to the student's educational activities. Student Web pages must include the following notice: "This is a student Web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District." Any links from a student's Web page to sites outside the District's computer system must receive approval from the District Webmaster.

EXTRA- CURRICULAR ORGANIZATION WEB PAGES

With the approval of the District Webmaster, extracurricular organizations may establish Web pages linked to a campus or District Web site; however, all material presented on the Web page must relate specifically to organization activities and include only student-produced material. The sponsor of the organization will be responsible for compliance with District rules for maintaining the Web page. Web pages of extracurricular organizations must include the following notice: "This is a student extracurricular organization Web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District." Any links from the Web page of an extracurricular organization to sites outside the District's computer system must receive approval from the District Webmaster.

 

PERSONAL WEB PAGES

District employees, Trustees, and members of the public will not be permitted to publish personal Web pages using District resources.

NETWORK ETIQUETTE

System users are expected to observe the following network etiquette:

1.       Be polite. Messages typed in capital letters are the computer equivalent of shouting and are considered rude.

2.       Use appropriate language. Swearing, vulgarity, ethnic or racial slurs, and any other inflammatory language are prohibited.

3.       Pretending to be someone else when sending/receiving messages is considered inappropriate.

4.       Transmitting obscene messages or pictures is prohibited.

5.       Revealing personal addresses or phone numbers of the user or others is prohibited.

6.       Using the network in such a way that would disrupt the use of the network by other users is prohibited.

 

TERMINATION/REVOCATION OF SYSTEM USER ACCOUNT

The District may suspend or revoke a system user's access to the District's system upon violation of District policy and/or administrative regulations regarding acceptable use.

 

Termination of an employee's account or of a student's access will be effective on the date the principal or District Technology Director receives notice of student withdrawal or of revocation of system privileges, or on a future date if so specified in the notice.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

The District's system is provided on an "as is, as available" basis. The District does not make any warranties, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, those of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any services provided by the system and any information or software contained therein. The District does not warrant that the functions or services performed by, or that the information or software contained on, the system will meet the system user's requirements, or that the system will be uninterrupted or error-free, or that defects will be corrected.

Opinions, advice, services, and all other information expressed by system users, information providers, service providers, or other third party individuals in the system are those of the providers and not the District.

The District will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to misuse of the District's electronic communications system.

 

Acceptable Use Policy Section II

Agreement

EMPLOYEE AGREEMENT

I have read the Districts electronic communications system policy and administrative regulations and agree to abide by their provisions. In consideration for the privilege of using the District's electronic communications system; and in consideration for having access to the public networks, I hereby release the District, its operators, and any institutions with which they are affiliated from any and all claims and damages of any nature arising from my use of, or inability to use, the system, including, without limitation, the type of damages identified in the District's policy and administrative regulations.

Signature __________________________________________________________________

Date _______________________________

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