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H222P - Procedures: Student Computer and Internet Use

Procedure 222P: Student Computer and Internet Use

These rules accompany Hancock School Committee policy.  Each student is responsible for his/her actions and activities involving Hancock Grammar School computers (including I-Pads and laptops issued to students), networks, and Internet services, and for his/her computer files, passwords, and accounts.  In these procedures, “Device” is used to refer to laptops, I-Pads, or other devices the School Department issues to students.

These rules provide general guidance concerning the use of Hancock Grammar School computers and examples of prohibited uses.  The rules do not attempt to describe every possible prohibited activity by students.  Students, parents, and school staff who have questions about whether a particular activity is prohibited are encouraged to contact the Hancock Grammar School Principal.

1.     Acceptable Use

A.   Hancock Grammar School computers, networks, and Internet services are provided for educational purposes and research consistent with the School’s educational mission, curriculum, and instructional goals.

B.    All School Committee policies, school rules, and expectations concerning student conduct and communications apply when students are using computers, whether the use is on or off school property.

C.    Students are also expected to comply with all specific instructions from the Principal, school staff, or volunteers when using the School’s computers.

2.     Consequences for Violation of Computer Use Policy and Rules

A.   Compliance with Hancock School Department policies and rules concerning computer use is mandatory.  Students who violate these policies and rules may, after having been given the opportunity to respond to an alleged violation, have their computer privileges limited, suspended, or revoked.  Such violations may also result in disciplinary action, referral to law enforcement, and or legal action.

B.    The Principal shall have final authority to decide whether a student’s privileges will be limited, suspended or revoked based upon the circumstances of the particular case, the student’s prior disciplinary record, and any other relevant factors.

3.     Prohibited Uses

Examples of unacceptable uses of school unit computers that are expressly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:

A.   Accessing or Posting Inappropriate Materials – Accessing, submitting, posting, publishing, forwarding, downloading, scanning or displaying defamatory, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, sexually suggestive, threatening, discriminatory, harassing and/or illegal materials or engaging in “cyber bullying;”

B.    Illegal Activities – Using the school’s computers, networks, and Internet services for any illegal activity or in violation of any School Committee policy or school rules.  The Hancock School Department assumes no responsibility for illegal activities of students while using school computers;

C.    Violating Copyrights – Copying, downloading or sharing any type of copyrighted materials (including music or films) without the owner’s permission.  The Hancock Grammar School assumes no responsibility for copyright violations by students;

D.   Copying Software – Copying or downloading software without the express authorization of the Principal.  Unauthorized copying of software is illegal and may subject the copier to substantial civil and criminal penalties.  The Hancock School Department assumes no responsibility for illegal software copying by students;

E.    Plagiarism – Representing as one’s own work any materials obtained on the Internet (such as term papers, articles, music, etc.).  When Internet sources are used in student work, the author, publisher, and website must be identified;

F.    Non-School-Related Uses – Using Hancock Grammar School computers, networks, and Internet services for any personal reasons not connected with the educational program or assignments;

G.   Misuse of Passwords/Unauthorized Access – Sharing passwords, using other users’ passwords, and accessing or using other users’ accounts;

H.   Malicious Use/Vandalism – Any malicious use, disruption or harm to the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services, including but not limited to hacking activities and creation/uploading of computer viruses; and

I.      Unauthorized Access to Blogs/Chat Rooms/Social Networking Sites – Accessing blogs, chat rooms or social networking sites to which student access is prohibited. 

4.     No Expectation of Privacy

Hancock Grammar School computers remain under the control, custody, and supervision of the School at all times.  Students have no expectation of privacy in their use of school computers, including email, stored files, and Internet access logs.

5.     Compensation for Losses, Costs, and/or Damages

The student and his/her parents are responsible for compensating the Hancock Grammar School for any losses, costs, or damages incurred by the School for violations of School Committee policies and rules while the student is using school computers, including the cost of investigating such violations.  The Hancock School Department assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or costs incurred by a student while using School computers.

6.     Student Security

A student is not allowed to reveal his/her full name, address or telephone number, social security number, or other personal information on the Internet without prior permission from a teacher.  Students should never agree to meet people they have contacted through the Internet without parental permission.  Students should inform their teacher if they access information or messages that are dangerous, inappropriate, or make them uncomfortable in any way.

7.     System Security

The security of Hancock Grammar School computers, networks, and Internet services is a high priority.  Any student who identifies a security problem must notify his/her teacher immediately. The student shall not demonstrate the problem to others or access unauthorized material.  Any user who attempts to breach system security, causes a breach of system security, or fails to report a system security problem shall be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action in addition to having his/her computer privileges limited, suspended, or revoked.

8.     Additional Rules for Devices Issued to Students

A.   Devices are loaned to students as an educational tool and are only authorized for use in completing school assignments.

B.    Before a device is issued to a student, the student must sign the school’s “acceptable use” agreement.  Parents are required to attend an informational meeting before a device will be issued to their child.  Attendance will be documented by means of a “sign in” sheet.  The meeting will orient parents to the goals and workings of the laptop program, expectations for care of school-issued devices, Internet safety, and Hancock Grammar School rules in regard to use of this technology.

C.    Students and their parents are responsible for the proper care of devices at all times, whether on or off school property, including costs associated with repairing or replacing the device.  Hancock Grammar School offers an insurance program for parents to cover replacement costs and/or repair costs for damages not covered by the device warranty.  Parents who choose not to purchase insurance should be aware that they are responsible for any costs associated with loss, theft, or damage to a device issued to their child.

D.   Loss or theft of a device must be reported immediately to the Principal, and, if stolen, to the local law enforcement authority as well.

E.    School Committee policy and rules concerning computer and Internet use apply to use of devices at any time or place, on or off school property.  Students are responsible for obeying any additional rules concerning care of devices issued by school staff.

F.    Violation of policies or rules governing the use of computers, or any careless use of a device may result in a student’s device being confiscated and/or a student only being allowed to use the device under the direct supervision of school staff.  The student will also be subject to disciplinary action for any violations of School Committee policies or School rules.           

G.   Parents will be informed of their child’s login password.  Parents are responsible for supervising their child’s use of the device and Internet access when in use at home.

9.     The device may only be used by the student to whom it is assigned and by family members, to the extent permitted by Maine’s laptop program.

10.  Devices must be returned in acceptable working order at the end of the school year or whenever requested by school staff.


Adopted:  5/27/14