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    New Canaan Public Schools
    Information and Communication Technologies
    Acceptable Use Policy & Guidelines

    To ensure that our students become proficient in the information and communication technologies (ICT) competencies essential for success in a 21st century learning environment, the New Canaan Public Schools provide a variety of resources in support of our instructional and administrative programs. Students and staff may also, at times, use their own personal information and communication technologies for educational purposes. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all members of the school community to use technology responsibly, ethically and respectful for the work of others.

    Access to ICT resources is a privilege and not a right. To ensure that ICT resources remain available in working order, the New Canaan Public Schools has established an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Guidelines which define the procedures and parameters under which these resources may be used by all staff, students, volunteers, and service providers. To accommodate future needs and circumstances, the AUP, procedures and guidelines related to ICT resources will be regularly reviewed, updated and distributed.

    So that all users remain informed of our expectations and appropriate usage of ICT resources, the NCPS will: 1) ensure all new students and staff receive access to age-appropriate ICT resources and tools during the enrollment and hiring process, as well as on-going training in their safe, responsible, and effective use; and 2) provide orientation annually for students and staff on ICT resources and the district AUP.

    In order to initiate and maintain access to ICT resources, all students, staff, visitors, consultants, service providers, and visitors must submit annually a signed Acceptable Use Agreement (detailed below), non-adherence of which may result in loss of non-course related access and/or appropriate disciplinary and/or legal action. Violations of the AUP are deemed as violations of school behavioral expectations and codes.

    Internet Use and ICT Access

    Internet access is available in the New Canaan Public Schools for the purposes of educational communication and research and for administrative organizational purposes. Communications via ICT resources are often public in nature and general school rules for behavior and communications apply. It is expected that users will at all times comply with district standards and will act in a responsible and legal manner, in accordance with district standards, as well as with state and federal laws. Professional development opportunities to enhance the internet skills of district personnel will be provided and rules related to the Internet will be included in each school's student and faculty handbooks.

    The Administration will take measures to assure the safety and security of students when using e-mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; prohibit unauthorized access, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online; prohibit unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information regarding students; and to restrict students’ access to online materials harmful to minors. Selection of technology resources and online resources are made through a careful evaluation processes to ensure all conditions for data privacy and confidentiality are maintained, as specified in the Confidentiality and Data Guidelines within the Acceptable Use Policy. Service agreements and privacy policies for online resources are reviewed and modified to conform to the standards established in the Confidentiality and Privacy of Data Guidelines. A listing of online resources provided for student access may be found on the New Canaan Public Schools web site.

    Users are prohibited from physically attaching personal devices to NCPS ICT resources (excluding portable memory media) or installing personal software on any ICT resource without prior permission from the Director of Digital Learning, District Technology Services Manager, or any other designated member of the District Technology Services. Use of personal devices (Bring Their Own Device - BYOD) is permitted and internet access provided under the guidelines, restrictions, and permitted uses within the parameters established and communicated at New Canaan High School and Saxe Middle School. Use of personal devices for video and audio recording is to be done only with the permission of a teacher or administrator. Students at West School, South School and East School are not permitted to bring personal devices to school. Internet access for BYOD devices is provided for academic and organizational uses only. No cell phone service is provided or guaranteed to users within school facilities.

    Monitoring and Privacy Issues

    To provide ready access for all users, age-appropriate material, an Internet environment that is safe and appropriate for the maturity level and need of student users, and to proactively maintain and secure increasingly complex ICT resources and systems the district, as the owner of the ICT resources, reserves the right to monitor and review the use of these ICT resources and will do so as needed to ensure that the systems are being used for district-related educational purposes and to maximize utilization of the systems for such. It is important that all users and parents understand this and recognize that monitoring access,

    • maximizes the safety and security of people and resources by supporting a positive learning and work environment safe from harassment, intimidation or
    • discourages breaches of confidentiality, copyright infringements and inappropriate file downloads and print requests
    • promotes appropriate internet access, electronic communication messages (such as email, blogs, chats and discussion forums).

    Therefore, all users must be aware that they should not have any expectation of personal privacy in the use of these ICT resources. Password systems implemented by the district are designed solely to provide system security from unauthorized users, not to provide privacy to the individual system user. This provision applies to all users of the district’s ICT resources, including any incidental personal use permitted in accordance with these regulations. No user may put a personal or additional security measure on any NCPS owned device.

    Confidentiality and Data Guidelines

    The New Canaan Public Schools abides by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)1, The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)2, The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)3, The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)4, and Freedom of Information (FOI)5, and CT Public Act 16-189 “An Act Concerning Student Data Privacy”. Guidelines, protocols, and service contracts have been established to ensure all data systems, cloud based resources, locally installed applications, databases, and vendors protect and secure the confidentiality and privacy of student, employee and organizational data (New Canaan Public Schools Data). This set of data includes, but is not limited to, student records, assessment data, family demographic data, employee data, and

    Links to FERPA, COPPA, CIPA, PPRA, FOI, and P.A. 16-189
    1. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html and
    2. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/mndirectoryinfo.html
    3. http://www.coppa.org/
    4. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act
    5. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ppra/index.html
    6. http://www.foia.gov/
    7. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/act/pa/pdf/2016PA-00189-R00HB-05469-PA.pdf

    Confidentiality and overall use of these online resources is protected by law, including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the district’s Acceptable Use Policy.

    1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents the rights to review student records. Under FERPA, the school district or institution or person acting on the behalf of the school district may maintain educational records, which includes records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student. School officials may only provide third parties student records with the permission by the parent or eligible student. Directory information may be released if parents do not object to any disclosures.
    2. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. The district will annually inform parents and collect permission that allows the school to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within the school context. The school's use of student information is solely for education purposes. Student information that is “collected” is described as (projects, documents, email, files, username and password).

    The New Canaan Public Schools expects all employees, and external service providers acting on behalf of the New Canaan Public Schools, to take all measures to protect student, employee, and organizational data. As such, the following guidelines and procedures are to be adhered to by employees, vendors, and service providers.

    • All student, employee, and organization data (New Canaan Public Schools Data) is the property of the New Canaan Public Schools.
    • All computers, tablets, smartphones, cloud based resources, or servers that stores and/or has access to New Canaan Public Schools Data must be password protected at all times not actively in use by the user.
    • All cloud based resources, software, and mobile device apps must be approved for use by the Director of Digital Learning, District Technology Services Manager, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, or assigned designee.
    • Approval for installation or use of these resources is dependent on educational appropriateness, compatibility with resources, availability of support, organizational needs, and adherence to the Confidentiality and Data Guidelines New Canaan Public Schools Data may be accessed via cloud based resources and apps while on mobile devices or personal (Non-NCPS) devices, however such data may not be downloaded for storage on personal (Non-NCPS) technology.
    • Access to and/or storage of New Canaan Public Schools Data must be purged and permanently deleted at the termination of employment, service contract/subscription,
    • Access to New Canaan Public Schools Data will only be provided after acceptance and signature of the Acceptable Use Policy, which contains the Confidentiality and Privacy of Data, guidelines.
    • New Canaan Public Schools Data is not to be shared with a third party, including parents or community residents, unless permitted by FERPA, COPPA, CIPA PPRA, or FOI and within the parameters of the type of data that may be released.
    • Email containing personally identifiable student information may constitute an educational record and thus be subject to disclosure under FERPA and may, under certain circumstances, be subject to FOI. Staff must comply with FERPA in all email communication with anyone other than the parent(s) of the student or the eligible student.

    Publishing Guidelines

    Any distribution of educational records, including digital records, must comply with FERPA. The premise that all individuals are authors and distributors of content is an underlying basis of 21st Century Learning. District and school use of ICT Resources to distribute intellectual property, images, videos and information shall be related to school curriculum and instruction, school-authorized activities, and other information relating to school and district goals. It is our intent that such broadcasts and publications be educationally relevant to the goals of the school district while providing for the safety and security of all students and staff.

    • All distributed content shall follow the standards for ethical behavior in regard to information and communication technologies by showing respect for the principles of intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights and the responsible use of the information and communication technologies. There are times where content may be distributed outside New Canaan Public Schools on the World Wide Web where age appropriate.
    • All distributed audio and video recordings of classroom activities shall follow ethical standards by posting content that has been recorded with the intent to post online and with permission by those being recorded.
    • All content shall be age appropriate to safeguard students by shielding the identification of students’ identification and locations. Content may include names of individuals; however identifying information, such as names of family members, e-mail addresses, addresses and phone numbers will remain private.
    • All content should be free of any spelling or grammatical errors. Content shall not contain objectionable material or point to objectionable material. The determination of what constitutes objectionable material shall be made on a case by case basis, as determined by the Director of Digital Learning and a Building Administrator. The distribution of content shall follow Copyright Law and Fair Use Guidelines.
    • All content representing the school district shall follow district policies and state/federal laws pertaining to content standards, student records, copyright, and technical standards.

    Anyone who is aware of problems with, or misuse of these ICT resources, or has a question regarding the proper use of these ICT resources, should see a teacher or administrator immediately. Most importantly, the Board and the Administration urges any person who receives any harassing, threatening, intimidating or other improper message through ICT Resources to immediately report it to an Administrator.

    For more information about the use of technology in the New Canaan School District, contact the Director of Digital Learning or District Technology Services Manager.