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Responsible Use Agreement (RUA)

Updated: 07/02/2015 by Miguel Guhlin


Responsible Use Agreement


"We aim to cultivate literate problem-solvers who are prepared to thrive," states ECISD's Core Business statement, "in an inter-connected world with a dynamic economy." As you might imagine, technology is essential to facilitate this goal.Connected students and staff are invited to interact in ways that are safe, legal, and responsible.

This Responsible Use Agreement (RUA) supports our vision of technology use and upholds in our users a strong sense of digital citizenship. The school district will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites, in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response. This policy applies to all East Central Independent School District (ECISD) computer networks (including the resources made available by them), and all devices connected to those networks. 

In brief, do no harm to others through your access and use of district technology; "district technology" includes access to the network, the internet, all devices connected to it, including district-owned as well as BYOT/BYOD technologies.

Responsible Use and Digital Citizenship
  1. Respect Yourself: I will select online names that are appropriate, I will be polite, and, I will use appropriate language/content in all online posts.
  2. Protect Yourself: I will not publish personally identifiable information or data, contact details or a schedule of activities for myself or anyone else.  I understand that unless otherwise authorized, I am the custodian of my accounts, and I am responsible for all activity initiated by and/or performed under these accounts.  I understand that it is my responsibility to appropriately secure my account credentials.  I understand that I am responsible for maintaining and backing up all of my own data.  If I am uncertain whether a specific computer activity is permitted or appropriate, I will ask a teacher/administrator before engaging in that activity.
  3. Respect Others: I will not use technologies to bully or tease other people.  I will not make audio or video recordings of students/employees without their prior permission.  I understand that posing as someone else is forbidden and I will not pose as a user other than myself when online.  I will not access, download, or modify accounts, files, or data belonging to others. I will be careful and aware when printing to avoid wasting resources and printing unnecessary items.
  4. Protect Others: I will help maintain a safe computing environment by notifying appropriate campus officials of inappropriate behavior, vulnerabilities, risks, and breaches involving campus technology.
  5. Respect and protect Intellectual Property:  I will suitably cite any and all use of websites, books, media, etc.  I will respect all copyrights, requesting permission for the use of software, media and the intellectual property of others.


Access the ECISD Digital Citizenship and CyberSafety curriculum resources here.

General Policies
  1. The purpose of an ECISD user account is to engage in connected learning and sharing opportunities via facilitated access to the ECISD network.
  2. ECISD user accounts are owned by the ECISD, subject to digital archival when feasible, as well as subject to the Open Records Act.  All digital files associated with user accounts may be retrieved by ECISD staff at anytime without prior notice and without the permission of any user.  The ECISD reserves the right to monitor all accounts and any content stored in, created, received, or sent throught the ECISD computer network in order to maintain system integrity as well as to ensure responsible use.
  3. Confidential, sensitive data must be encrypted when not in use and/or in transit. Follow these steps to safeguard sensitive data - http://tinyurl.com/ecisdsafeguard
  4. Student's pictures, names, work, etc.--in alignment with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)--may be published online unless parents/guardians notify the campus principal in writing that they do not wish for student information to be shared. When identifying a student in a picture or video, first name and last initial only will be used at all campuses except the middle school and high school. Groups of student names, as for awards, teams, etc., may be published without any identifying picture of the individuals.
  5. The ECISD employs GoogleApps for Education and GoogleClassroom to provide district-wide email for students and staff and provide a virtual classroom environment. These services are deemed necessary for District functions. A parent signature on the acknowledgement form in the Student Handbook serves as record that you grant consent for your child to use these services under school district supervision. Other services (e.g. Edmodo.com)--pending EC Technology Operations Departments verification of adherence to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)--may be used provided sufficient notice is provided to parents and the campus administrator.
  6. A Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant, content filtering solution is in place in order to prevent access to certain sites that may contain inappropriate material, including pornography, weapons, illegal drugs, gambling, and any other topics deemed to be of non-educational value by the ECISD. The ECISD is not responsible for the content accessed by users who connect via their own mobile WiFi type service (cellphones, air-cards, etc.).
  7. Technology is to be utilized in conformity with laws of the United States and the State of Texas. Violations include, but are not limited to, the following: a) criminal acts such as cyberstalking, child pornography, email harassment, vandalism/hacking networks, cyberbullying; b) libel laws which involve defaming people through published materials; c) copyright violations; d) student privacy protection (COPPA); and e) safeguarding internet safety (CIPA).
Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)

During the 2015-2016--approximately, late Fall, 2015--school year, all district locations will have the option of Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT). Please check with your campus technology coordinator (CTC) (https://goo.gl/lPojVG) as to whether BYOT is available.
Guidelines for staff and student usage are provided below:
  • Staff 
    • Personal Devices: Staff may use a personal device in place of (or along with) their district assigned devices if they choose with appropriate anti-virus/anti-malware software. When staff leaves district, removal of any licensed ECISD software from their device(s) is also an expectation.
    • Accessories: ECISD may provide district-owned accessories that I can install and use with my personal device.  These district-owned accessories will be maintained according to the currently established procedures in the ECISD, and must be surrendered/returned prior to staff's last day.
    • Access: Staff will have access to either ec.hornet (network and CIPA-filtered, internet access) or ec.guest (CIPA-filtered, internet access only) network
    • Broken Personal Devices: Staff devices that are damaged or stolen while on ECISD property are the responsibility of the owner, and the ECISD cannot be held liable for the replacement or repair of a non-district-owned device.
    • Data Charges: Staff understand that any data and/or SMS/MMS (texting) charges will not be reimbursed by the ECISD.
    • Account Management: Staff are to avoid adding or using personal user accounts (e.g. Apple ID, GooglePlay store ID) on district-owned mobile devices (e.g. iPad, Android). Exceptions are allowed only for specific administrative functions. 
  • Students 
    • Personal Devices: Students may use a personal device in class for instructional use with teacher permission.  
    • Access: Students will only have access to the guest Internet (ec.guest) that the ECISD has provided.
    • Broken Personal Devices: Student devices that are damaged or stolen while on ECISD property are the responsibility of the owner, and the ECISD cannot be held liable for the replacement or repair of a non-district-owned device.
    • Data Charges: Students (and parents) should understand that any data and/or SMS/MMS (texting) charges will not be reimbursed by the ECISD.
    • Account Management: Students are to avoid adding or using personal user accounts (e.g. Apple ID, GooglePlay store ID) on district-owned mobile devices (e.g. iPad, Android). Exceptions are allowed only for specific administrative functions. 
Access the ECISD BYOT teaching and learning resources at http://tinyurl.com/ecisdbyot

District Account Management
In accordance with the District mission, goals and our vision for technology, staff and students will require accounts in third party systems (e.g. GoogleApps for Education, Google Classroom) managed by the ECISD.  These ECISD accounts will be used at school for school related projects but may also be accessed outside of school and are essential to achieving teaching, learning and leading goals and objectives.
The use of these accounts will help our students to master effective and proper online communications as required in the PreK-12 Technology Applications Standards.

Staff Note: Please be aware that District accounts are managed centrally by the ECISD Technology Operations Department; relevant account procedures can be found online at
http://tinyurl.com/ecsystems

Electronic Media Guidelines for Communication with Students
Electronic media includes all forms of social media, such as text messaging, instant messaging, electronic mail, blogs, electronic forums, chatrooms, video-sharing sites, editorial comments posted on the Internet, and social networking sites. Electronic media also includes all forms of telecommunication, such as landlines, cell phones, and Web-based applications.

 

In accordance with the administrative regulations, a certified or licensed employee may use electronic media to communicate with currently enrolled students about matters within the scope of the employee’s professional responsibilities. Social media usage must be responsible, and individuals must be careful to practice key principles of digital citizenship that "do no harm" to others.


Campus and/or classroom web pages are the preferred means of student communication. If electronic media/communication tools (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) are available, it is recommended they be used responsibly and safely. Below are guidelines for the use of electronic media tools that are not within the scope of school district services:


 Electronic Media
 Examples  Guidelines
 Social Networking
 Non-District Google+, MySpace, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat
ECISD students and employees should not "friend" each other or communicate on these sites except in professional, academic manner that is public and viewable by all.
 One-way Communication
 Twitter Postings should be brief and professional.
Students should follow the educator's posts.
Educators should not follow students posts.

 Texting Changes in times, dates, bus schedules, programs, activities, etc.
Messages should be brief and professional.
Pertinent information only.
Parents should be informed.
This should not be a requirement as some students may not have access to texting or may be charged per text message.    

As role models for the district’s students, employees are responsible for their public conduct even when they are not acting as district employees. Employees will be held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic media as they are for any other public conduct.


Web Publishing Policy
Students publishing on a district or school website will do so under the direct supervision of a classroom teacher or school administrator. Supervising teachers and administrators will be held responsible for assuring students are aware of all web publishing policies that are located in the district employee handbook. Supervising teachers and administrators are responsible for all material students post to a district or school sponsored website.

Disclaimer of Liability
East Central ISD shall not be liable for the user’s inappropriate use of the District’s technology resources or violations of copyright restrictions, users’ mistakes or negligence, or cost incurred by users. ECISD shall not be responsible for ensuring accuracy or usability of any information found on the Internet.

Data contained in the ECISD technology resource systems remain the property of East Central Independent School District. Electronic mail transmissions and other use of ECISD technology resource systems including Internet access and data storage shall not be considered confidential and may be monitored by authorized individuals at any time to ensure appropriate use for educational purposes.

Inappropriate Behavior*
The following actions are not permitted and could result in the consequences outlined per the Handbook and District policy: 

  1. Users may not attempt to disable or bypass the ECISD content filter, including the use of wireless internet cards or personal hotspots.
  2. Users may not illegally access or manipulate the information of a private database/system such as gradebooks and other student information systems.
  3. Users may not install unauthorized network access points, or other connections that may not effectively integrate with existing infrastructure.
  4. Users may not launch denial of services attacks using personal or work technology (e.g. DOS, DDOS), hack or engage in behavior that attacks the network or internet access.
  5. Users may not send, save, view, forward, or create harassing or offensive content/messages.  Offensive material includes, but is not limited to, pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material, sexual comments, jokes or images that would violate school policies.  The school policies against harassment and discrimination apply to the use of technology.
  6. Users may not use their accounts for non-school related activities including but not limited to:
    1. Using the Internet for financial gain, personal advertising, promotion, non-government related fundraising, or public relations
    2. Political activity: lobbying for personal political purposes, or activities such as solicitation for religious purposes
    3. Use their District email or district-provided/managed services for personal gain, to engage in actions deemed inappropriate* to others subject to District policy.

*In addition to behavior described above, the Director of Technology Operations, Personnel and Department/Campus administrator will deem what is considered to be inappropriate use of the ECISD computer network.  They may suspend an account or network access at any time. Student discipline will be referred to campus administration, while staff behavior will be referred to the ECISD Personnel Department.
Responsible Use Agreement Statement
I understand and will abide by this Responsible Use Agreement.  If I break this agreement, the consequences could include suspension of your accounts and network access.  In addition you could face disciplinary/legal action including but not limited to: criminal prosecution and/or penalty under appropriate state and federal laws.  
Note: This document takes effect on the first day of school. All users will be expected to adhere to the provisions outlined within it.
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