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Technology and Acceptable Use Policy

St. Mary’s Academy
Electronic Media, Devices and Systems Responsible Use Policy
(2014-2015)

Technology is an important enhancement to the rigorous academic curriculum taught at the school.  Our objective is to provide the most appropriate tools available to support higher-level learning and instruction in and out of the classrooms. All SMA community members are expected to contribute to a stable and productive computing environment using good and ethical judgment at all times.  The rules and guidelines that govern the use of St. Mary’s Academy’s technology and network resources are outlined below.

For purposes of this policy, the term “technology” or "network" includes, but is not limited to: hardware (computers, printers, document and other cameras, projectors, interactive boards, network, iPads, and all related materials), software, and internet-based programs (St. Mary’s website, email system, and any other school-owned or school-based internet programs.)

Network Etiquette and Responsible Use

1. The school’s code of conduct extends to the electronic world.

  • Technology will not be used to harass or bully others.
  • Technology will not be used to steal or borrow intellectual work.
  • Technology is not to be used to access or store inappropriate materials.
  • Technology will not be used to send out "chain" email, mass email (3 or more recipients) and/or surveys that have not been approved by faculty or staff.
  • Technology is not to be used in a disrespectful way towards teachers by “multitasking” during class (emailing, chatting, doing homework, etc.).
  • Technology will not be used to take a photo, record through video or audio any student, faculty, or without their knowledge and consent.
  • Technology will not be used to express profanity and vulgarities in any online source, including St. Mary’s website, St. Mary’s email program, or other internet sites.
  • Technology will not be used to share any personal information about you or any student or school personnel to anyone via the Internet.
  • Technology will not be used in a way that endangers your safety or the safety of students or staff members.
  • Technology will not be used in a way that would disrupt the use of the network by others.

2. The network will be used for educational purposes first and foremost and should be handled with care and consideration. Playing games, online chatting, using "AirDrop" and watching entertainment videos are not allowed during the school day unless associated with a class and permission from a teacher is explicitly given.

3. The network is to be used to store school-related files only. The network may not be used to store or download music, videos, game files or personal photos.

4. The network may not be used to break copyright law by using unlicensed software or pirating audio or visual materials.  Accessing “pirated” materials is not only a violation of this policy; it may also be a criminal act punishable by law.

5. Do not use electronic resources to plagiarize. While covered in the first point, this bears repeating. Using the work of others without giving them the credit, even if they say it is okay, is plagiarizing.

  • Do not ask others for their homework.
  • Do not cut and paste from the web without a full citation.

6. Users are assigned unique email and login usernames and passwords to protect the information on the network. All users are to respect the need for this security and confidentiality. Do not access or use other people’s accounts, computers or folders, nor borrow computers or computer accessories without express permission from the owner.

  • Passwords must not be shared with any other person.  Tech Help @ SMA staff and parents are the only exceptions.
  • If a student suspects that his/her password has been discovered, that student must immediately report this concern to a faculty member.
  • Students are responsible for all actions taken under a student’s username and password.
  • With the exception of their Apple ID, students should always use their SMA email address or username when utilizing online resources for digital storage or collaboration.
  • Electronic communication between faculty, staff and students through email must utilize St. Mary’s email system.

7. Students should not attempt to bypass the technological blocks that have been placed on computers to filter content that the school has classified as objectionable. Teachers may request to unblock a website if the website is appropriate and relevant to school activities.

8. Never provide personal information online.

9. The SMA community should only use printers for school related materials and not in excess.

10. Students should back up their work often. Do not use technology as an excuse. If your computer fails at home, do your work on paper or in some other way.  The use of a cloud account for back up is required.

11.  In the same vein, students should take responsibility for regularly checking their St. Mary’s email account and their teachers’ course pages or websites to stay updated on information that has been shared by the school or their teachers.

12.  All student files are deleted at the end of each school year. Login and email accounts are deleted for graduated seniors.

Social Networking and Texting

Although social networking and texting is done at home or off campus, it can have an impact on the school community. While SMA does not actively pursue or routinely view personal networking sites or student cell phones, when objectionable or disrespectful material is brought to administration’s attention, the school reserves the right to address the content and conduct if it creates a hostile or disrespectful environment. The school does encourage parents to routinely view and monitor their child’s technology usage to ensure that information and content shared does not place any student at risk.

Network Resources refers to all aspects of SMA’s owned or leased equipment, including computers, tablets, printers, scanners and other peripherals, email, internet services, servers, network files and folders and all other technology-related equipment and services. These rules apply to any use of SMA’s network resources, whether this access occurs while on or off campus. Regardless of the specific wording of the RUP, network users are expected to use network resources in the spirit of cooperation and in accordance with school policies.

Access to the SMA wireless network WILL be restricted to SMA mobile devices from 7:30am to 3:00pm on school day. It may also be restricted entirely or at certain additional times due to technology or bandwidth limitations.  The use of personal devices may still be allowed in the classroom (or library) at the discretion of the faculty/staff but access to the wireless network will still be limited as noted above.  The use of personal devices as a "hot spot" for owner and others to bypass the school network is prohibited while on the premises.

Legal Issues and SMA’s Right of Access

St. Mary’s Academy owns and operates the equipment and software that comprise our network resources. Any illegal use of network resources is prohibited. All content created, sent, accessed or downloaded using any part of SMA’s network resources is subject to the rules stated in this policy as well as within the student-parent handbook. St. Mary’s Academy may monitor the network while you are using it, and you should never assume that anything you do on SMA’s network resources is private. Additionally, the school reserves the right to search students’ personal electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) when they are brought on to the campus should the school determine there is a reasonable need to do so.

Violations

Any and all violations of this student Responsible Use Policy will result, at minimum, in the loss of network privileges as well as appropriate disciplinary action. Persons who believe that they have been harassed or threatened by any of these methods of communications should immediately report the concern to the Assistant Principal for Student Life. Any student who accesses inappropriate material on the internet or who receives harassing, threatening or inappropriate materials via email or on the internet must immediately report the concern to the faculty member who is supervising the activity or to school administration so that the situation can be investigated and appropriately addressed.

Disclaimer

Currently St. Mary’s Academy utilizes an internet filtering system. Providing a filter generally can significantly reduce access to offensive and pornographic materials. Unfortunately, no filtering system is foolproof. While SMA’s intent is to make internet access available for educational goals and objectives, account holders may have the ability to access other materials. Therefore, we expect users to act responsibly in their searches and to immediately disengage from any materials that are inappropriate and to report the situation to the faculty member or administrator in charge of the activity. We expect students to obey the Responsible Use Policy when using the internet and all network resources.

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