File: IJNDB


    Sharon Public Schools (SPS) maintains a wide variety of electronic devices, and operates a full-time internal and external network (hereafter “SPS network”) to allow such devices to connect to each other and to the Internet. This network is designed for teachers, staff, students, administrators and elected officials for the purpose of advancing learning and providing a reliable means of digital communication. This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) applies to any device owned by SPS, or any use of the SPS network, whether that use is on school grounds or in another location. Monitoring of anyone using the SPS network may be conducted at any time to assure compliance with state and federal laws, and this AUP.

    All persons who use the SPS network or any technology in the district are required to have first signed an AUP Agreement, to be kept on file in the office of the Human Resources (staff) or school offices (all others). There is no charge for school-based use of the SPS network or SPS-owned electronic resources.

    The AUP Agreement is a legally binding document. Once signed, it will be valid for as long as the student attends, or staff member is employed by, the Sharon Schools. Retired staff members continuing to use the SPS network also continue to be bound by the expectations of this AUP. A student’s parent or guardian may, at any time, request to have that permission withdrawn by stating so in writing to the student's building Principal. The superintendent or his/her designee may revoke the privileges of any user at any time due to violations of this policy. No person will be permitted to use school-based technology resources without a signed AUP or guest-user agreement (for guest internet connection) on file. All email information on the SPS network falls under freedom of information regulations and may be archived by the Sharon Schools. Users of the SPS network should have no expectation of privacy.

    Parents are advised to provide personal supervision of the use of any Internet resources by their children. Any use of Internet or technology resources that results in a disruption to the school environment is subject to school disciplinary policies. By reading and signing the AUP, the subscriber (as well as any sponsor, parent, or guardian) acknowledges that s/he has read, understands, and will adhere to rules set forth in this policy.

    Connection through the SPS Network:

    On a rapidly changing, globally connected network, it is impossible to restrict access only to materials that strictly support the educational mission of the SPS. Despite efforts by the SPS to block inappropriate content, an industrious user may discover inappropriate information or be contacted by persons intending harm. While network access and communication have become an integral part of modern education, these dangers still exist; ensuring the health and safety of student users is the responsibility of the adult community, including parents/guardians, teachers, administrators and staff members.

    The SPS and its representatives do not encourage or endorse access to inappropriate materials or undesirable persons. The SPS makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the technology-related services it provides. SPS will not be responsible for any damages resulting from delays or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or the user’s errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user’s own risk. Sharon Public Schools specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its computer services.

    Any use of any network-access device, whether owned by SPS or not, and whether network access is made through the SPS network or not, that results in disruption of the classroom or schoolhouse learning environment will be subject to policies and rules established by the Sharon School Committee (see student handbooks and the Sharon School Committee Policy Manual).

    The use of the SPS network connection is a privilege, not a right. SPS administrators will determine what constitutes inappropriate use and their decision will be final. The system administrators may close an account at any time as required to enforce this policy. SPS administration, faculty, and staff may request that the system administrator deny, revoke, or suspend a specific user account if any conditions of this agreement has been violated.

    All Sharon Public Schools Internet connections are compliant with the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

    All terms and conditions as stated in this document are applicable to the use of any Sharon technology resources. These terms and conditions reflect the entire agreement of the parties and supersede all prior oral or written agreements and understandings of the parties. These terms and conditions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Massachusetts, and the United States of America.

    Acceptable Use Guide

    1)Use only those computing and information technology resources for which you have authorization. For example, it is a violation:

    a)To use resources you have not been specifically authorized to use.

    b)To use someone else's account and password or share your account and password with someone else. This includes but is not limited to any service offered by or in conjunction with the Sharon Public Schools (email, online-classroom environments, wikis, blogs, etc.)

    c)To access files, data or processes without authorization.

    d)To purposefully seek or exploit security flaws to gain access to restricted data or network content.

    e)To gain SPS network access for personal equipment not monitored by the SPS Technology Department without having signed the AUP agreement or a guest-access agreement.

    2)Use computing and information technology resources only for their intended purpose. For example, it is a violation:

    a)To send forged email.

    b)To misuse Internet Relay Chat (IRC) software to allow users to hide their identity, or to interfere with other systems or users.

    c)To use electronic resources for harassment, bullying or stalking of others.

    d)To send bomb threats or "hoax messages".

    e)To intercept or monitor any network communications not intended for you.

    f)To use computing or network resources for advertising or other commercial purposes.

    g)To attempt to circumvent security mechanisms.

    h)To use privileged access for other than official duties.

    i)To use former privileges after graduation, transfer or termination (not to apply to retirees who choose to maintain a SPS account upon retirement).

    3)Protect the access and integrity of computing and information technology resources. For example, it is a violation:

    a)To release a virus, worm or other “mal-ware” that damages or harms any system, network or device.

    b)To prevent others from accessing an authorized service.

    c)To attempt to deliberately degrade performance or deny service.

    d)To corrupt or misuse information.

    e)To alter or destroy information without authorization

    f)To make copies of licensed software except as allowed by the Sharon Technology Department and not more than the license allows.

    4)Abide by applicable laws and school policies and respect the intellectual property rights of others, including the legal use of copyrighted software or content. For example, it is a violation:

    a)To download, use or distribute pirated software, apps, or network connections.

    b)To operate or participate in pyramid schemes or other inappropriate and/or illegal financial practices.

    c)To upload, download, distribute or possess pornography (including pornographic images of oneself) in any way, including on personal devices brought into the school.

    5)Respect the privacy and personal rights of others. For example, it is a violation:

    a)To tap a phone line or run a “network sniffer” without authorization.

    b)To access or copy another user's electronic mail, data, programs, or other files without permission.

    c)To access or attempt to access another individual's password or other personal data without explicit authorization.

    d)To record, videotape or photograph anyone in or on school grounds or a bus without the express permission of the student or staff member and the principal.

    6)Abide by applicable laws and school policies regarding inter-personal communication to an individual or group through the use of any medium or device, including those communications guided by the Social Media Policy IJNDC.

    7)Be polite and use appropriate language in any on-line communications.

    8)Do not reveal personal information of teachers or other staff members online.

    9)Do not act as a representative of the Sharon Public Schools on-line unless the Superintendent gives you explicit permission to do so.

    10) It is unlawful to use the school technology resources for illegal activities

    11)Possession of any pornographic material involving a minor (any person under the age of 18) in any medium (picture, film, digital, print, etc.) including any stored on a portable storage device or cell phone is subject to prosecution under federal laws (18 U.S.C. §2256), 18 U.S.C. §2252, 18 U.S.C. §1466A. Please Note: Conviction under these laws leads to classification as a sex offender.

    Revised:                August 28, 2013