Responsible Use Policy

Electronic Media, Devices and Systems Responsible Use Policy

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, personal devices, printers, document and other cameras, projectors, interactive boards, social networking sites, 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, bully, shame or disrespect anyone.
  • 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 (bulk) emails and/or surveys that have not been approved by faculty or staff.
  • Technology will not be used to sign up for retail or shopping websites that would create a significant amount of email to their mailbox.
  • 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.
  • Technology will not be used to set up or follow anonymous/private social networking sites to do any of the above.
  • Technology will not be used to utilize anonymous email accounts/services to email students, faculty or staff.

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. These Apps or functions may be removed without notice if it is deemed that the use is violating any of the above during school hours. The use of the iPad for non-school related activities at home is left to the discretion of the parents.

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.
  • Users are assigned unique email and login usernames and passwords to protect the information on the network.

6. 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 or the Tech Help @ SMA staff.
  • 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 must only utilize St. Mary’s email, Schoology, Remind, or Microsoft Teams school systems.

7. Students should not attempt to bypass network or device restrictions both on and off campus that have been placed to filter content, protect the devices and student personal information. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of 3rd party virtual private networking (VPN) apps/settings, removal of device profiles, web caching websites, or the device assigned to a staff member without their consent.

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 the iPad fails at home, do your work on a home computer, paper or in some other way. The use of a cloud account for iPad 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. Students are required to inform Tech Help @ SMA when their school issued iPad has been damaged. Tech Help will let you know a time to pick up a replacement which will include instructions on setting up the iPad from the backup. The repair fee of $50 should be included when the damaged iPad is dropped off and the replacement is picked up.

13. Students that are provided with an SMA iPad are provided with a school managed Apple ID which has 200GB of iCloud storage included. For those students that "opt out" they are required to pay for the 50GB level of iCloud storage to ensure their iPads back up successfully every night and Apps that synchronize with iCloud do so without interruption.

14. Apps that are deemed to be too much of a distraction, have no academic use or are deemed by our Administration as inappropriate may be removed off student iPads without notice.

15. When students are notified either by Tech Help or on their iPad to update they should do so. There are rare instances where Tech Help may recommend delaying an update. For personal devices that are connected to the school network it is expected that those devices have been updated to the latest versions of their operating systems including any anti-virus software.

16. The use of a personal laptop without an accommodation must be approved by the teacher in that class. Otherwise they should be powered off and stored. Personal phones should be placed in the "caddy" or other common area specified by the teacher and placed in Airplane Mode (or powered off) to save battery life and reduce Wi-Fi interference in the room for the duration of class.

17. Personal laptops connecting to Wi-Fi may be used as a primary device in the classroom  only with an approved accommodation from a parent, school counselor, administrator and the Technology Director.  If approved it is a requirement that the school mobile device management application is installed on the device to monitor proper use, updates, etc.  No exceptions. The application should remain on the device until the student is no longer enrolled at St. Mary's.

18. iPad Apps that potentially use an excessive amount of iPad/iCloud storage or network traffic may be blocked at the discretion of the Technology Director.

19. Students should bring their iPad fully charged to school each day even if they are using a personal device or laptop for their schoolwork. Teachers may have assignments, assessments or activities that are only available via the iPad.

20. The Tech Help Center is online 24x7 and may have additional information regarding some sections of this policy. Please click on the following link to learn more: SMA Tech Help Center (

Social Networking and Texting
Social networking and texting should be done at home or off campus.  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.  Note: If 'anonymous' or private social networking sites are discovered and we are not successful at finding the owner we may block all social networking sites for students both on and off campus.

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.

Personal mobile devices (including laptops) such as phones are not allowed to connect to the school network without an accommodation mentioned in paragraph 17 above. The use of personal laptops may still be allowed in the classroom (or library) at the discretion of the faculty/staff but access to the wireless network is still not allowed. The use of personal devices as a "hot spot" for the owner and others to bypass the school network is prohibited during the school day.

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.

Any and all violations of this student Responsible Use Policy will result, at minimum, in the loss of network privileges, restrictions placed on devices, 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.

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.

Fax Machine
The school’s fax machine is available to use in the Tech Office. Student papers, permission forms, homework or information needed for projects or student research should NOT be faxed to the school.