Greeneville City Schools Responsible Use Policy

The Board provides its students and staff access to a variety of technological resources including laptop computers and tablets.  These resources provide opportunities to enhance learning and improve communication within the local community and with the larger global community.  Through the school district’s technological resources, users can observe events as they occur around the world, interact with others on a variety of subjects, and acquire access to current and in-depth information.  The Board intends that students and employees benefit from these resources while remaining within the bounds of safe, legal and responsible use.   Accordingly, the Board establishes this policy to govern student and employee use of school district technological resources.  This policy applies regardless of whether such use occurs on or off school district property, and it applies to all school district technological resources, including, but not limited to, computer networks and connections, the resources, tools and learning environments made available by or on the networks, and all devices that connect to those networks.
School district technological resources may only be used by students, staff and others expressly authorized by the GCS Technology Department.  The use of school district technological resources, including access to the Internet, is a privilege, not a right.  Individual users of the school district’s technological resources are responsible for their behavior and communications when using those resources.  Responsible use of school district technological resources is defined as use that is ethical, respectful, academically honest, and supportive of student learning.  Each user has the responsibility to respect others in the school community and on the Internet.  Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.  General student and employee behavior standards, including those prescribed in applicable board policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and other regulations and school rules, apply to use of the Internet and other school technological resources.
In addition, anyone who uses school district computers or electronic devices or who accesses the school network or the Internet using school district resources must comply with the additional rules for responsible use listed below.  These rules are intended to clarify expectations for conduct but should not be construed as all-inclusive. Furthermore, all students must adhere to the GCS Technology Use Guidelines as set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.  All students must be trained about appropriate online behavior as provided in policy 4.406 Use of the Internet. 
All students and employees must be informed annually of the requirements of this policy and the methods by which they may obtain a copy of this policy.  Before using school district technological resources, students and employees must sign a statement indicating that they understand and will strictly comply with these requirements.  Failure to adhere to these requirements will result in disciplinary action, including revocation of user privileges.  Willful misuse may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution under applicable state and federal law.
School district technological resources are provided for school-related purposes only. Acceptable uses of such technological resources are limited to responsible, efficient and legal activities that support learning and teaching. Use of school district technological resources for political purposes, sectarian religious purposes, or for commercial gain or profit is prohibited.  Student personal use of school district technological resources for amusement or entertainment is also prohibited.  Because some incidental and occasional personal use by employees is inevitable, the Board permits infrequent and brief personal use by employees so long as it occurs on personal time, does not interfere with school district business and is not otherwise prohibited by board policy or procedure.
School district technological resources are installed and maintained by members of the  GCS Technology Department. Students and employees shall not attempt to perform any installation or maintenance without the permission of the Technology Department. Under no circumstance may software purchased by the school district be copied for personal use.
Students and employees must comply with all applicable laws, including those relating to copyrights and trademarks, confidential information and public records. Any use that violates state or federal law is strictly prohibited.  Plagiarism of Internet resources will be treated in the same manner as any other incidents of plagiarism, as stated in the Student Code of Conduct.
No user of technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic communications, may engage in creating, intentionally viewing, accessing, downloading, storing, printing or transmitting images, graphics (including still or moving pictures), sound files, text files, documents, messages or other material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, pornographic, harassing, abusive or considered to be harmful to minors. All users must comply with policy 5.500 Discrimination/Harassment of Employees (sexual, racial, ethnic, religious) and 6.304 Student  Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying/Intimidation when using school district technology. The use of anonymous proxies, VPN’s, or any other method intended to circumvent content filtering is prohibited.
Users may not install or use any Internet-based file-sharing program designed to facilitate the sharing of copyrighted material.
Users of technological resources may not send electronic communications fraudulently (i.e., by misrepresenting the identity of the sender).
Users must respect the privacy of others. When using e-mail, chat rooms, blogs or other forms of electronic communication, students must not reveal personal identifying information or information that is private or confidential, such as the home address, telephone number, credit or checking account information or social security number of themselves or fellow students. For further information regarding what constitutes personal identifying information, see policy 4.406 Use of the Internet.  In addition, school employees must not disclose on school district websites or web pages or elsewhere on the Internet any personally identifiable, private or confidential information concerning students (including names, addresses or pictures) without the written permission of a parent or guardian or an eligible student, except as otherwise permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or policy 6.600 Student Records.  Users also may not forward or post personal communications without the author’s prior consent.
Users may not intentionally or negligently damage computers, computer systems, electronic devices, software, computer networks or data of any user connected to school district technological resources. Users may not knowingly or negligently transmit computer viruses or self-replicating messages or deliberately try to degrade or disrupt system performance.
Users must scan all downloaded files for viruses.
Users may not create or introduce games, network communications programs or any foreign program or software onto any school district computer, electronic device or network without the express permission of the technology director or designee. Users enrolled in classes that teach game design or theory may follow the curriculum of their respective courses to create games.  Users enrolled in computer classes teaching network design or maintenance may, with the assistance of their instructor, create programs as required by the course curriculum.
Users are prohibited from engaging in unauthorized or unlawful activities, such as “hacking” or using the computer network to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized or unlawful access to other computers, computer systems or accounts.
Users, other than members of the Instructional Technology team, are prohibited from using another individual’s ID or password. Students must also have permission from a teacher or another school official.
Students should log off or reboot at least once per day.
All users should lock their computers when they are not in direct control of the device.
Staff members' passwords must be at least 13 characters long and must be changed yearly. Employees shall not use passwords or user IDs for any data system for an unauthorized or improper purpose.
Users may not read, alter, change, block, execute or delete files or communications belonging to another user without the owner’s express prior permission.
If a user identifies a security problem on a technological resource, he or she must immediately notify a system administrator. Users must not demonstrate the problem to other users.  Any user identified as a security risk will be denied access.
Teachers shall make reasonable efforts to supervise students’ use of the Internet during instructional time, to ensure that such use is appropriate for the student’s age, circumstances and purpose of the use.
Views may be expressed on the Internet or other technological resources as representing the view of the school district or part of the school district only with prior approval by the Director of Schools or designee.
Without permission by the Board, users may not connect any personal technologies such as laptops and workstations, wireless access points and routers, etc. to a district-owned and maintained local, wide or metro area network. The connection of personal devices such as iPods, iPads, smartphones, PDAs, and printers is permitted, but not supported, by GCS Technology staff.  Student teachers and other district invited guests are allowed to use the GCS Personally Owned Device (POD) network in support of their work inside GCS schools.  The Board is not responsible for the content accessed by users who connect to the Internet via their personal mobile telephone technology (e.g., 3G, 4G service).   While the GCS Technology staff will make every reasonable effort to support personal devices, the district cannot guarantee a student or staff member will be able to access the network with a personally owned device.
Users must back up locally stored (I.E. not stored on the district network and/or OneDrive) data and other important files regularly. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that locally synced files are syncing properly.  District IT staff will assist any user with synchronization issues. 
Those who use district-owned and maintained technologies to access the Internet at home are responsible for both the cost and configuration of such use.
Employees and students who are issued district owned and maintained equipment must also follow these guidelines. All district employees and students are expected to follow these guidelines on all equipment owned by the district:
  • Keep the equipment secure and damage-free.
  • Use the provided protective case at all times.
  • Do not loan out the equipment, charger or cords.
  • Do not leave the equipment in your vehicle.
  • Do not leave the equipment unattended.
  • Do not eat or drink while using the equipment or have food or drinks in close proximity to the equipment.
  • Do not allow pets near the equipment.
  • Do not place the equipment on the floor or on a sitting area such as a chair or couch.
  • Do not leave the equipment near table or desk edges.
  • Do not stack objects on top of the equipment.
  • Do not leave the equipment outside.
  • Do not use the equipment near water such as a pool.
  • Back up data and other important files regularly. GCS will at times perform maintenance on the equipment by imaging.  All files not backed
  • up to server storage space or other storage devices will be deleted during this process.  
  • Do not check the equipment as luggage at the airport. It is usually advisable to carry any district-owned equipment on board with you rather than checking it as luggage.
The Internet and electronic communications offer fluid environments in which students may access or be exposed to materials and information from diverse and rapidly changing sources, including some that may be harmful to students.  The Board recognizes that it is impossible to predict with certainty what information on the Internet students may access or obtain.  Nevertheless, school district personnel shall take reasonable precautions to prevent students from accessing material and information that is obscene, pornographic or otherwise harmful to minors, including violence, nudity, or graphic language that does not serve a legitimate pedagogical purpose.  The Director of Schools shall ensure that technology protection measures are used as provided in policy 4.406 Internet Safety, and are disabled or minimized only when permitted by law and board policy.  The Board is not responsible for content accessed by users who connect to the Internet via their personal mobile telephone technology (e.g., 3G, 4G service).
The Board recognizes that parents of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards their children should follow when using media and information sources.  Accordingly, before a student may independently access the Internet, the student’s parent/guardian must be made aware of the possibility that the student could obtain access to inappropriate material while engaged in the independent use of the Internet.  The parent and student must consent to the student’s independent access to the Internet and to the monitoring of the student’s Internet activity and e-mail communication by school personnel. 
In addition, in accordance with the Board’s goals and visions for technology, students may require accounts in third party systems for school-related projects designed to assist students in mastering effective and proper online communications or to meet other educational goals.  Parental permission will be obtained when necessary (i.e. when parental consent is needed by a site for CIPA laws) to create and manage such third party accounts.
No right to privacy exists in the use of technological resources.  Users should not assume that files or communications accessed, downloaded, created or transmitted using school district technological resources or stored on services or hard drives of individual computers will be private.  School district administrators or individuals designated by the Director of Schools or designee may review files, monitor all communication and intercept e-mail messages to maintain system integrity and to ensure compliance with board policy and applicable laws and regulations.  School district personnel shall monitor the online activities of individuals who access the Internet via a school-owned computer.  The monitoring of devices issued to students by the district is active 24 hours per day regardless of the location of the device.  District personnel are able to monitor all Internet activity on student devices even when the device is outside the district network.
Under certain circumstances, the Board may be required to disclose such electronic information to law enforcement or other third parties, for example, as a response to a document production request in a lawsuit against the Board, as a response to a public records request or as evidence of illegal activity in a criminal investigation.
Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users.  Employees are responsible for reporting information security violations to appropriate personnel.  Employees should not demonstrate the suspected security violation to other users.  Unauthorized attempts to log onto any school system computer on the Board’s network as a system administrator may result in cancellation of user privileges and/or additional disciplinary action.  Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other systems may be denied access.
Users of school district technology resources are expected to respect school district property and be responsible in their use of all equipment.  Users are to follow all instructions regarding maintenance or care of the equipment.  Users may be held responsible for any loss or damage caused by intentional or negligent acts in caring for computers while under their control.  The school district is responsible for any routine maintenance or standard repairs to school system computers.
The Director of Schools may use any means available to request the removal of personal websites that substantially disrupt the school environment or that utilize school district or individual school names, logos or trademarks without permission.
Though school personnel generally do not monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non-school district devices during non-school hours, when the student’s online behavior has a direct and immediate effect on school safety or maintaining order and discipline in the schools, the student may be disciplined in accordance with Board policy (see the student behavior policies in the 4300 series). Any device connected to the district network may be monitored by district personnel.
 Employees' personal websites are subject to BOE Policy 4.406 Use of the Internet. Please note: Be aware that teachers' district Social Media accounts are considered district resources for the purposes of this RUP.                 
Volunteers are to maintain an appropriate relationship with students at all times.  Volunteers are encouraged to block students from viewing personal information on volunteer personal websites or online networking profiles in order to prevent the possibility that students could view materials that are not age-appropriate.  An individual volunteer’s relationship with the school district may be terminated if the volunteer engages in inappropriate online interaction with students. 
Cyberbullying in any form will not be tolerated. Harassing, disrespectful comments, or comments which could be reasonably construed to incite an argument or are intended to belittle another person, denigrating, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding, and cyberstalking are all examples of cyberbullying. Don’t be mean. Do not send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else. Engaging in these behaviors, or any online activities intended to harm (physically, mentally or emotionally) another person, will result in severe disciplinary action and loss of privileges. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained.
Greeneville City Schools encourages students to become active participants in their education. As a result, we may publish photos and/or videos of students on web resources controlled by the district, as well as print media such as district publications and programs. Note: Consent to use student photos and/or videos is assumed by the district unless the parent/guardian opts out in accordance with provisions below. The only way to opt-out of the district using the student’s image is to provide written notification to the principal at your child’s school stating that you do not give consent for images of your child to be used in district resources and print media. 
In the event a child is in state custody, form CS-0559-Item 8 must be checked off to allow image usage. In addition, the form must be signed by the parents of the student, not their foster parents.
The Greeneville City Schools has partnered with Microsoft to provide email accounts and online file storage for all students. This service is in full compliance with the provisions of The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA applies to individually identifiable information about a child that is collected online, such as full name, home address, email address, telephone number or any other information that would allow someone to identify or contact the child. No personally identifiable information is revealed to users outside the Greeneville City Schools network.  Student usage and disclosure of personally identifiable information is covered in other sections of this document.
Email provided to students by the Greeneville City Schools is filtered, monitored and archived. District personnel are able to see all messages sent to or from any student account, but will not examine messages unless directed to by a competent authority (Principal, Director of Schools, or Law Enforcement  Official with proper documentation).
The Greeneville City Schools has partnered with the Greeneville-Greene County Public Library to provide library cards and access to e-Books. While students are using the library application (Overdrive), they are using the library's website. The library does not filter content. Because the library website is not filtered, you will need to oversee your children as they access the library catalog.  As you are aware, there are books in public libraries with more adult appropriate content, so it is important for you to monitor the books your children access and download.
GCS employees should treat professional social media and communication like a professional workplace. The same standards expected in GCS professional settings are expected on professional social media sites. Please be aware that teachers' district social media accounts are considered “district resources” for the purpose of this RUP. 
All professional social media accounts will be associated with district-provided and/or managed login credentials and privacy settings.
Users that establish a username and password for any GCS approved social media/online subscription for use by a school or classroom shall provide their username and password to building administration and administer the resource as any other professional social media.
All social media tools must be vetted by the district prior to use by a GCS employee and/or student.
Employees using professional social media have no expectation of privacy with regard to their use of social media.
Employees are responsible for protecting confidential information. No personally identifiable student information may be posted on professional social media sites, including student photographs, without consent of the students’ parents/guardians. Use of student images and/or information is addressed in Section H.  Employees should carefully abide by the provisions of that section of this policy.
Employees have an individual responsibility to understand the rules of social media being used and act to ensure the safety of students. Employees are responsible for reporting the use of social media not adhering to this agreement to building administration.
Employees are expected to use the TAP principle (Transparent, Accessible, Professional) in all social media usage.
The district recognizes that during non-work hours employees and students may participate in online social media. Employees should keep in mind that information produced, shared and retrieved by them may be subject to district policies and is a reflection of the school community.
The personal social media presence should utilize the employee’s personal email address and should be completely separate from any professional social media presence.
Employees should not use their GCS email address for personal social media accounts.
GCS employees should not communicate with students who are currently enrolled in GCS schools on personal social media sites with the exception of a relative. If employees receive a request from a current GCS student to connect or communicate through a personal social media site they should refuse the request.
Employees should not tag other district employees, district volunteers, vendors or contractors without prior permission of the individuals being tagged.
Employees should not use the district nor school logo in any posting and should not conduct school business on personal sites without written permission from Greeneville City Schools.
Personal social media use has the potential to result in a disruption in the workplace and can be in violation of district policy and law. In this event, administration may have an obligation to respond and take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, investigation and possible disciplinary action.
Employees should not access their personal social media accounts during the workday.
The Board makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing.  The Board will not be responsible for any damages suffered by any user.  Such damages include, but are not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries or service interruptions, whether caused by the school district’s or the user’s negligence, errors or omissions.  Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user’s own risk.  The school district specifically disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its Internet services.

Legal References:  U.S. Const. amend. I; Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5);

Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2522; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 6777; G.S. 115C-325(e)

Cross References:  Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (policy

1710/4021/7230), Curriculum and Instructional Guides (policy 3115), Technology in the

Educational Program (policy 3220), Internet Safety (policy 3226/4205), Copyright Compliance (policy 3230/7330), Web Page Development (3227/7322), Student Behavior Policies (all policies in the 4300 series), Student Records (policy 4700), Confidentiality of Personal Identifying Information (policy 4705/7825), Public Records – Retention, Release and Disposition (policy 5070/7350), Use of

Equipment, Materials and Supplies (policy 6520), Network Security (policy 6524), Staff

Responsibilities (policy 7300), Employee Use of Social Media (policy 7335)

Adopted: August, 2012




                                                                      Responsible Use Policy Agreement


  • I have read and understand this Responsible Use Policy and agree to abide by it. 
  • I have read and discussed this Responsible Use Policy with my child.
  • The school district, a school, district administration, and/or school staff /teachers may feature my child in local broadcast and print media, on the school or school district web site, in school-related social media posts, and in district publications and programs. If you do not want your child’s image to be used in broadcast or print media, please provide written notification to your child’s principal; otherwise please give your consent by signing below. 
Note: Your signature below provides your consent for your child’s image to be used in broadcast and print media AND acknowledges your understanding of this document and your consent for your child to utilize Greeneville City Schools technology resources. Students and parents are expected to read Pledge and sign below. Failure to sign Pledge could result in your child NOT being allowed to use or participate in the indicated activity.   
(Student/Employee Printed Name)                                  (Student/Employee Signature)

(Homeroom Teacher/Assigner)                                        (Date)

Parent/Guardian Signature: ____________________________________________________________