Procedure H405: Employee Computer and Internet Use
This Procedure implements Hancock School Committee policy. Each employee is responsible for his/her actions and activities involving Hancock School Department computers, networks, and Internet services, and for his/her computer files, passwords, and accounts. This Procedure provide general guidance concerning the use of Hancock School Department computers and examples of prohibited uses. The Procedure does not attempt to describe every possible prohibited activity by employees. Employees who have questions about whether a particular activity or use is prohibited are encouraged to contact the Hancock Grammar School Principal.
1. Consequences for Violation of Computer Use Policy and Rules
Failure to comply with School Committee policy, this Procedure, or other procedures or rules governing computer use may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Illegal use of Hancock School Department computers will also result in referral to law enforcement.
2. Access to School Computers, Networks, and Internet Services
The level of employee access to Hancock School Department computers, networks, and Internet services is based upon specific job requirements and needs. Unauthorized access to secure areas of Hancock School Department computers and networks is strictly prohibited.
3. Acceptable Use
Hancock School Department computers, networks, and Internet services are provided to employees for administrative, educational, communication, and research purposes consistent with the Hancock School Department educational mission, curriculum, and instructional goals. All School Committee policies, school rules, and expectations for professional conduct and communication apply when employees are using the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services.
4. Personal Use
Hancock School Department computers, network, and Internet services are provided for purposes related to school programs and operations, and performance of their job responsibilities. “Incidental personal use” of School Department computers is defined as use by an individual employee for occasional personal communications. Incidental personal use of school computers is permitted as long as such use:
1) does not interfere with the employee’s job responsibilities and performance;
2) does not interfere with system operations or other system users; and
3) does not violate this policy and the accompanying rules, or any other School Committee policy, procedure, or school rules.
5. Prohibited Uses
Examples of unacceptable uses that are expressly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Any use that is illegal or which violates other School Committee policies, procedures, or school rules, including but not limited to harassing, discriminatory or threatening communications and behavior, or violations of copyright laws. The Hancock School Department assumes no responsibility for illegal activities of employees while using school computers.
B. Any use involving materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive;
C. Any inappropriate communications with students or minors;
D. Any use for private financial gain, or commercial, advertising, or solicitation purposes;
E. Any use as a forum for communicating by email 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 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 Hancock Grammar School Principal.
F. Any communication that represents personal views as those of the Hancock School Department or that could be misinterpreted as such;
G. Downloading or loading software or applications without permission from the system administrator. 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 employees.
H. Sending mass emails to school users or outside parties for school or non-school purposes without the permission of the Principal.
I. Any malicious use or disruption of the Hancock School Department computers, networks, and Internet services; any breach of security features; or misuse of computer passwords or accounts (the employee’s or those of other users);
J. Any misuse or damage to the Hancock School Department computer equipment, including opening or forwarding email attachments (executable files) from unknown sources and/or that may contain viruses;
K. Any attempt to access unauthorized sites or any attempt to disable or circumvent the Hancock School Department filtering/blocking technology;
L. Failing to report a breach of computer security to the system administrator;
M. Using school computers, networks, and Internet services after such access has been denied or revoked; and
N. Any attempt to delete, erase, or otherwise conceal any information stored on a school computer that violates these rules or other School Committee policies or school rules, or refusing to return computer equipment issued to the employee upon request.
6. No Expectation of Privacy
Hancock School Department computers remain under the control, custody, and supervision of the Hancock School Department at all times. The Hancock School Department 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 email messages and stored files, and Internet access logs.
7. Disclosure of Confidential Information
Employees are expected to use appropriate judgment and caution in communications concerning students and staff to ensure that personally identifiable information remains confidential.
8. Employee/Volunteer Responsibility to Supervise Student Computer Use
Employees and volunteers who use school computers with students for instructional purposes 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 or volunteers become aware of a student violation, they are expected to stop the activity and inform the Principal.
9. Compensation for Losses, Costs and/or Damages
The employee is responsible for compensating the Hancock School Department for any losses, costs, or damages incurred by the Hancock School Department for violations of School Committee policies and school rules while the employee is using Hancock School Department computers, including the cost of investigating such violations. The Hancock School Department assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or costs incurred by an employee while using Hancock School Department computers.
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