Acceptable Use Policy
This information can also be found in the Parent Handbook.
Technology integration is part of the district curriculum and is an integral part of the educational process. The Sudbury Public Schools (“SPS”) utilizes technology in all curriculum areas for research, content support, skill development, collaboration and other educational uses. To that end, SPS provides access to the Internet in learning environments for all students.
It is important that students and parents familiarize themselves with practical examples of the Acceptable Use Policy found in the behavior rubrics that have been developed at both the elementary and middle school levels. These rubrics can be found at the below.
In order to clearly communicate expectations concerning the use of both district resources and the Internet, the Sudbury Public Schools has adopted an Acceptable Use Policy, which states:
The guidelines in this Acceptable Use of Technology Policy are provided so that students are aware of their responsibilities as digital citizens. It is expected that students will make use of digital resources in the Sudbury Public Schools across grade levels and curriculum areas, which makes responsible use of those resources critical to their success in the classroom. Technology is an integral part of classroom instruction, and discipline for inappropriate use should be handled using standard disciplinary procedures.
Sudbury Public Schools reserves the right to examine all data stored on servers, devices, or in Sudbury-managed accounts and all files and communications. In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, Sudbury Public Schools ﬁlters internet content to prevent children and adults from accessing obscene and pornographic images, as well as other harmful materials.
Guidelines for Acceptable Use include:
- Students are expected to be courteous and use appropriate language.
- Students will utilize technology resources for educational purposes in ways that conform with ethical and legal guidelines.
- Students will maintain the privacy of passwords associated with the use of the network.
- Students will maintain the privacy of their own personal address, phone numbers, and other personal information, and that of other students.
- If a student notices any suspicious or unusual activity while using any Sudbury technology, it should be reported immediately to a teacher or administrator.
- Students will use technology to create original works. When using or incorporating the work of others, students will appropriately credit and cite owners or originators of that work. Students will respect the rights of copyright owners.
- Students will not use the input components of computers (e.g., cameras, microphones, etc.) in an irresponsible, inappropriate, or illegal manner.
- Students will not deliberately cause the loss of other users’ work or damage to any Sudbury Public Schools systems.
- Students will not override ﬁrewalls, desktop management, or security measures established on the network.
- Students will not illegally copy or distribute software.
- Students shall reimburse the Sudbury Public Schools for repair or replacement of school property lost, stolen, damaged, or vandalized while under their care, including but not limited to hardware, software and system restoration.
All aspects of Policy 4.5.6, Anti-Bullying Policy for Students, including those associated with cyber-bullying, apply to this Acceptable Use of Technology Policy. Cyber-bullying includes, among other things, knowingly impersonating another person when communicating online. Any violations of the Anti-Bullying Policy will result in disciplinary consequences as outlined in that Policy.
In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA, see also below), the Sudbury Public Schools ﬁlters internet content to prevent children and adults from accessing obscene and pornographic images, as well as other harmful materials. Where district provided devices are used by students at home and off-campus, the district utilizes software that employs the filtering provided on our on-campus network. The district has taken considerable precautions to eliminate any access to controversial or objectionable resources and materials. However, due to the nature of technology, the district is unable to totally ensure that no students could possibly access such material in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the district is not responsible for materials acquired on the Internet.
The Sudbury Public Schools makes every good faith effort to comply with state and federal laws regarding student online activity and privacy, including COPPA, FERPA, and CIPA.
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. COPPA does not preclude schools from acting as intermediaries between operators and parents in the notice and consent process, or from serving as the parent’s agent in the process of collecting personal information online from students in the school context, when parents have provided permission for student Internet use under the guidelines in this handbook by signing below. The school's use and sharing of student information is solely for education purposes. (http://business.ftc.gov/documents/Complying-with-COPPA-Frequently-Asked-Questions. Also 64 Fed. Reg. 59888, 59903)
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents the rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (“student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance”; see also 603 CMR 23.00 and M.G.L. c. 71, § 34H) but parents may request the school not disclose this information. Schools may also disclose personally identifiable information to third-party providers where that provider performs a function of legitimate educational interest on behalf of the school or district. http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html, https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/for-eligible-students.pdf)
Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications services and products more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. In compliance with CIPA, the Sudbury Public Schools ﬁlters internet content to prevent children and adults from accessing obscene and pornographic images, as well as other harmful materials, monitors network activity, and provides appropriate educational opportunities about online safety and behavior. (http://www.fcc.gov/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act)
As part of standard instructional practice, the Sudbury Public Schools uses a wide range of online (“Web 2.0”) resources hosted by third parties, including Google Apps for Education, a web-based suite of programs provided by Google that is our core online application and work environment. These applications, detailed below, are different from the consumer versions of Google’s products in that the district retains control over any student data.
Google Apps for Education
Sudbury Public Schools provides staff and students with a Google Apps for Education account. Google Apps is a free web based suite of programs provided by Google for schools to use. All staff and students in Sudbury Public Schools have access to Google Apps for Education. Google Apps includes such programs as Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Gmail.
All of the Google Apps services can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection (school, home, smart phone, etc.) This reduces and replaces the need for flash drives and/or external data drives. Since Google Apps is all online, it is the same everywhere you use it. There is no issue with having one version of a program at home and a different version at school. Google Apps allows you to easily share documents and files with teachers and other students, so you can turn in assignments electronically and collaborate on projects with classmates.
SPS Student Google Account Setup
- Since the 2014-15 school year, online accounts for SPS students have been created using a local code that does not include identifying information such as an entire student name. The domain for student accounts is also different than the one used by faculty and staff, and only SPS students and staff can access the sudburystudents.org domain and receive messages from it.
- As a part of using Google Apps for Education, SPS does not provide email access to students.
- Google Calendar allows you to maintain multiple calendars for all your needs. You can keep calendars private, or you can share them with others as you determine. You can also invite people to specific events on your calendar.
- Google Drive gives all users up to online storage space for most file formats. Google Drive can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. Google Drive allows users to access and share files from any device that has Internet connectivity.
The district also uses many other online tools, resources, and learning management systems, many of which are listed in the Online Resources section of the Student Portal, sudburystudents.org.
In some instances, it is necessary to set up an online account for individual students. Accounts will be created for educational purposes only, and student data is entered into third party systems only to the minimal degree necessary for it to be functional as a tool for educational purposes. In some cases a grade level or a homeroom/team name may also be used as a means of organizing student accounts in systems.