725R - Use of Portable Communication Devices

1. Purpose and Scope

FCPS wishes to provide the most reliable, efficient and cost effective portable communication services possible to designated employees. These regulations apply to all employees of FCPS.

The objectives of these regulations are to:
  • provide guidelines to employees who are issued a portable communication device to conduct school-related business; 
  • apply standards to the portable communication device equipment and service agreements used by FCPS employees; 
  • simplify and manage the school division’s relationship with portable communication device vendors; 
  • provide a system for monitoring portable communication device usage patterns so that plans can be routinely modified to better meet the needs of the division; 
  • ensure cost-effective acquisition of cellular telephone services; 
  • provide an internal system for purchasing portable communication device services, gaining access to repair services, acquiring necessary training and support, and communicating available programs to the community; and 
  • establish a system for monitoring future developments in portable communication services and for selecting those services that best meet the needs of FCPS. 
2. Portable Communication Service Providers

FCPS may, at its discretion, enter into contracts with portable communication service providers. During the period when one or more of these contracts is in force, FCPS will purchase portable communication device service agreements for employee use on the basis of these contracts, unless a specific exception is granted by the Superintendent or designee.

3. Eligibility and Approval

Portable communication devices and services may be provided to certain FCPS employees to conduct activities directly related to their FCPS employment that either cannot be conducted on a land-line telephone or for which it would be inefficient to use a land-line telephone. Request for portable communication devices must be approved by the employee’s supervisor, the principal, coordinator, or department head (who will determine need), and the FCPS Information Technology Department (which will advise on the most appropriate equipment and plans).

When an employee transfers from one position to another within the school division, he/she shall keep the same device and number, as long as his new position necessitates the use of a portable communication device. When a person with a FCPS portable communication device ends employment with FCPS, the employee shall return the device to his/her immediate supervisor, who shall then forward the device and any related equipment to the Information Technology Department for either redeployment or cancellation. In the case of long term leave, the immediate supervisor will determine if a portable communication device will be returned to the school division during the leave time.

4. Appropriate Use

FCPS provides portable communication devices to employees for the purpose of conducting school business. The use of FCPS-owned communication equipment to make or receive personal calls is highly discouraged, although it is understood that usage for personal reasons may be necessary in emergency situations. Any overage, long distance, roaming or other charges realized by the employee for personal calls shall be the responsibility of the employee. An employee may not operate a personal business from a FCPS-issued portable communication device.

FCPS-issued and/or personal portable communication devices, excluding hands-free devices, shall not be used when operating any motor vehicle (school-owned or personal) while conducting FCPS business except for emergency situations. If such a situation should occur, it is highly encouraged that drivers find a safe place to park while using any communication device.

The use of two-way radios is permitted by school bus drivers to communicate school-related information when operating a FCPS school bus/school-owned vehicle.

5. Plans, Handsets, Features and Accessories

FCPS will contract for a set of usage plans, handsets, features and communication accessories that will best serve the needs of the district.

6. Damage, Loss or Theft

Handsets or other equipment that is damaged in the course of business should be brought to the Information Technology Department, that will contact the vendor for replacement or repair. Lost or stolen equipment shall be immediately reported to the FCPS Information Technology Department so that the service can be cancelled. All costs incurred for replacement or repair will be the responsibility of the department to which the employee is assigned. Loss of equipment due to employee negligence may result in suspension of portable communication device privileges. The employee shall be liable for replacement cost due to his/her negligence.

7. Usage Monitoring

Department heads, principals and/or immediate supervisors are responsible for educating subordinates about appropriate portable communication device procedures and for monitoring their use. In emergency situations, managers may grant exceptions to these usage policies.

8. Program Management

The contractual relationship with portable communication providers shall be managed through the Information Technology Department. Information Technology Department staff will place all orders for portable communication devices and services with the contracted vendor and take delivery of equipment. Information Technology Department staff will provide any necessary orientation and training. The Information Technology Department in cooperation with the Finance Department will monitor plans and overall usage and suggest changes in service agreements to provide the most convenient and economical plan to the division. Additionally, the Information Technology Department will monitor changes in portable communication device technologies and make recommendations for improvements to division contracts with providers.



Approved: March 30, 2007
Amended: December 17, 2009
Amended: October 25, 2011