Employee Technology and Internet Use Policy and Administrative Procedure

The intent of this School Committee-level administrative procedure is to provide employees with general requirements for utilizing the school unit's technology, networks and Internet services. The School Committee's administrative procedure may be supplemented by more specific administrative procedures governing day-to-day management and operation of the technology system.

This administrative procedure provides general guidelines and examples of prohibited uses for illustrative purposes but does not attempt to state all required or prohibited activities by users. Additionally, the procedure provides general guidelines for managing electronic documents in compliance with a variety of laws that affect the handling of records. Employees who have questions regarding whether a particular activity or use is acceptable should seek further guidance from the technology coordinators.

Failure to comply with School Committee policy GCSA, this administrative procedure and/or other established procedures or rules governing technology use may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Illegal uses of the school unit's technology will also result in referral to law enforcement authorities.

A. Access to School Technology, Networks and Internet Services

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

B. Acceptable Use

Employee access to the school unit's technology, 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 the use of the school unit's technology, networks and Internet services.

Employees are to utilize the school unit's technology, networks and Internet services for school-related purposes and performance of job duties. Incidental personal use of school technology 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 purposes. Employees are reminded that such personal use must comply with this policy and all other applicable policies, procedures, rules and laws.

C. Prohibited Use

The employee is responsible for his/her actions and activities involving school unit technology, networks and Internet services and for his/her technology files, passwords and accounts. General examples of unacceptable uses which are expressly prohibited include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Any use that is illegal or in violation of other School Committee 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

  3. Any inappropriate communications with students or minors

  4. Any use for private financial gain, or commercial, advertising or solicitation purposes except for the "ads and notes" forum available to school employees

  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 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

  8. Opening or forwarding any e-mail attachments (executable files) from unknown sources and/or that you know to contain viruses

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

  10. Any misuse or damage to the school unit's technology equipment

  11. Misuse of the technology passwords or accounts 

  12. Any attempt to access unauthorized sites

  13. Failing to report a known breach of technology security to the system administrator

  14. Using school technology, networks and Internet services after such access has been denied or revoked

  15. Any attempt to delete, erase or otherwise conceal any information stored on school technology that violates these rules

D. No Expectation of Privacy

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

E. Confidentiality of Information

Employees are expected to use appropriate judgment and caution, and adhere to applicable federal and state regulations and laws in communications concerning students and staff to ensure that personally identifiable information remains confidential

F. Staff Responsibilities to Students

Teachers, staff members and volunteers who utilize school technology 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 administrative procedures concerning student technology 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

The employee shall be responsible for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school unit related to violations of policy GCSA and/or this administrative procedure.

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, electronic payment services, subscriptions, long distance telephone charges, equipment and line costs, or any illegal use of its computers such as copyright violations.

I. Archiving and Deletion of Electronic Mail

Yarmouth provides an email account for employees as well as School Committee members. Those using Yarmouth email accounts should be aware that any email that is deleted is placed, temporarily, in the “trash” for 30 days, at which time it becomes permanently deleted. Individuals may manually delete the file 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 quota (25 GB). All emails that are to be retained should be either archived or placed in a folder. If an individual reaches their quota, they should speak to a member of the technology staff for information about managing their ESI.

J. Management of Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

ESI, including email, can constitute student educational records if, for example, they include substantive communications to and from parents. Email communication containing personally identifiable information on students will usually be subject to disclosure as a result of a parent request under FERPA.

If such communications are made using the electronic student information system, this ESI is archived regularly. Substantive communications to and from parents or other substantive information concerning individual students must be retained permanently either through archiving as described in Section I, or by printing and retaining the communication in the student’s permanent record.

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

Individual staff members and School Committee members are responsible for the management of ESI they generate. Individuals shall retain any ESI, including email 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 information of substance concerning students, which may reasonably be considered part of their permanent student record; and

  3. any ESI containing information of substance relating to official School Committee business.

K. Authority to Oversee Policies and Procedures

The Superintendent shall be responsible for overseeing the implementation of these policies and procedures and for advising the School Committee of the need for any future amendments or revisions to the policy/administrative procedures. The Superintendent may develop additional administrative procedures governing the day-to-day management and operations fo the school unit’s technology system as long as they are consistent with the School Committee’s policy/administrative procedure. The Superintendent may delegate specific responsibility to guiding principals and others as he/she deems appropriate.

Cross Reference:
GCSA - Employee Technology and Internet Use
IJNDB - Student Technology and Internet Use
IJNDB-R Student Technology and Internet Use Administrative Procedure

Adopted: January 13, 2000
Revised: January 10, 2008, March 22, 2012