The following policies govern computer technology use in the Pottsgrove School District
815.1 Acceptable Use Of The Computers,
Network, Internet, Electronic Communications, And Information Policy
What is an Acceptable Use Policy?
The AUP or Acceptable Use Policy is a Board policy that is also mandated by federal law and state regulation to maintain our eligibility for federal and state technology grants and discounts on telecommunication services. It states the primary purpose of the school district network, details the allowable activities on the network and extends to any device, either district-owned or personal, that accesses the network. It is designed to be a statement of ethical use but it is also designed to protect the network from use for illicit purposes or in any manner that poses risks to the network. Further, it defines potential sanctions for misuse of the network. It is important to review this policy with your child/ren and to discuss appropriate and ethical use of technology. We also discuss these issues in age appropriate ways throughout our K-12 technology and library curricula.
Why do we filter web content?
The primary purpose of our computer network and Internet connectivity is to serve the educational mission of the school district. In order to maintain eligibility for federal and state technology and telecommunications grants, we are obligated under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to filter Internet content for material inappropriate for minors and to have a system in place for monitoring online activity. Consistent with our educational mission and CIPA regulations, we do filter and block some web content. The Internet is constantly growing and changing and web blocking technology is much more of a blunt instrument than a surgical tool. It relies on continuously updated databases divided into broad categories. We block categories such as gambling, pornography and hate sites, as examples. We keep most broad categories open, however. Within any category we can enter exceptions and often do based on legitimate academic purposes. For example, gaming is a category we block, however, there are many games with educational value and support instruction. We open those sites on request of a teacher once the educational value is confirmed. Social networking is also a category where we selectively open sites. Faculty access a less restrictive tier should there be something we block that is needed for classroom demonstration or preview. In short, we do our best through technology and human intervention to balance the legitimate academic needs of our students and faculty while honoring the spirit and intent of CIPA.
Pottsgrove's policy on the use of social media?
Pottsgrove School District recognizes the potential instructional value of social media, as well as the power of social media to engage the community in dialogue. The District respects student and staff rights to free expression. We encourage innovative use of social media technologies in ways that preserve student and staff safety, privacy rights, and advance the educational mission of the School District. In this context, the District’s social media policy establishes the parameters for use of social media tools in the District’s instructional program. Consistent with the current legal framework, the social media policy also seeks to balance the freedom of expression rights of those in the District’s employ with the District’s need to preserve a healthy, safe, and productive work and learning environment. Like all District policies, this policy will be reviewed periodically for efficacy and in the context of changes in technology and in the relevant legal framework.