Internet Safe and Responsible Use Plan Template
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Internet Safe and Responsible Use Plan Template

(It is envisioned that an amended form of this template can be presented by the district as an information guide for parents and community members. This document sets forth the district's plan in a version that communicates information more effectively than a policy document.)

The Internet is a global information and communication network that provides a tremendous opportunity to bring previously unimaginable education and information opportunities to our students. Through the Internet, students can access up-to-date, highly relevant information that will enhance their learning. Students also have the opportunity to communicate with other people from throughout the world. Use of the Internet for enriching educational activities will assist in preparing students for success in life and work in the 21st Century.

The Internet is, however, a public space. As is true with all public spaces, there is a potential that students may come into contact with potentially harmful or inappropriate material or people. Therefore use of the Internet by young people necessarily raises concerns about safety and security. Young people may also use the Internet to engage in actions that are ethical, legal and responsible. Schools that provide Internet access to students have an obligation to help students learn to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner.

The following Internet Safe and Responsible Use Plan addresses the strategies the District will utilize to create an environment that will support the safe and responsible use of the Internet by students. The District's Internet Safe and Responsible Use Policy and Regulations contain the specific guidelines necessary to implement this Plan. The Student Internet Use Policy addresses student responsibilities related to this Plan. Through this Plan the district seeks to:

  • Establish an appropriate environment that will support the safe and responsible use of the Internet by students in school

  • Impart to students the knowledge, skills, and motivation to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner regardless of where or how they have access to the Internet.

Core Components

The following are the core components of the District Internet Safe and Responsible Use Plan:

Focus on the Educational Purpose The district Internet system has not been provided as a public access or personal Internet service. Use of the district Internet system is limited to those activities which support education, enrichment, and career development. The district has engaged and will continue to engage in activities that support the educational use of the system. These activities include professional development for teachers in the use of technology for instructional purposes, technical and instructional support for teachers, and the provision of Internet-based lesson plans. The district has (will) also established an educational web site that provides direct links to previewed, good quality educational materials. Electronic communication activities are limited to educationally related activities and will occur within secure environments.

Education About the Safe and Responsible Use Teachers, administrators and students will learn about issues related to the safe and responsible use of the Internet. Students will receive instructions about protecting their personal information when communicating on the Internet. Issues related to safe and responsible activities on the Internet will also be addressed in other areas of the curriculum, such discussing issues of sexual violence in sex education classes, and discussing hate literature in social science classes. The district will also be providing information to parents about these issues.

Supervision and Monitoring Student use of the Internet will be supervised by teachers in a manner that is appropriate for the age of the students and circumstances of use. Computers used by students will be positioned so that the screens are generally visible, to facilitate supervision. The district will also monitor student Internet use. Users will be made aware that they have a very limited expectation of privacy when they use the Internet at school. Routine monitoring may reveal evidence of inappropriate activities and an individualized search of their activities or their personal files may occur if there is a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate activity. Notice will be provided to students regarding district monitoring.

Discipline. Misuse of the Internet by students will be addressed in accord with the student disciplinary code. Misuse of the Internet may result in restrictions placed on student use of the Internet.

The core components will be implemented in different ways depending on the age of the students and circumstances of use. The primary focus for elementary students will be on maintaining a safe and secure environment. As students become older the focus will expand to address strategies that will help students learn to independently make safe and responsible choices in their behavior when using the Internet.

Access to Inappropriate Material

Age Appropriate Usage Elementary students will use the education web site or classroom web sites as their primary source of access to materials on the Internet. Teachers will closely supervise any access to the Internet that is outside of this restricted environment. Secondary students will use the education web site, but also may access material from elsewhere on the Internet. Students will receive instruction, appropriate to their age, regarding strategies avoiding the inadvertent access of inappropriate material and what to do if they accidentally access such material.

Prohibited, Restricted, and Limited Access Material The District has identified the following types of material as Prohibited, Restricted, and Limited Access Material.

Prohibited Material Prohibited Material may not be accessed by the students or staff at any time, for any purpose. This material includes material that is obscene, child pornography, material that is considered harmful to minors, as defined by the Children's Internet Protection Act. The district designated the following types of materials as Prohibited: Obscene materials, child pornography, material that appeals to a prurient or unhealthy interest in, or depicts or describes in a patently offensive way, violence, nudity, sex, death, or bodily functions, material that has been designated as for "adults" only, and material that promotes or advocates illegal activities.

Restricted Material Restricted Material may not be accessed by elementary or middle school students at any time for any purpose. Restricted Material may be accessed by high school students in the context of specific learning activities that have been approved by a teachers or by staff for legitimate research or professional development purposes. Materials that may arguably fall within the description provided for Prohibited Material that have clear educational relevance, such as material with literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, will be considered to be Restricted. In addition, Restricted Material includes materials that promote or advocate the use of alcohol and tobacco , hate and discrimination, satanic and cult group membership, school cheating, and weapons. Sites that contain personal advertisements or facilitate making online connections with other people are Restricted unless such sites have been specifically approved by the school.

Limited Access Material Limited Access Material is material that is generally considered to be non-educational or entertainment. Limited Access Material may be accessed in the context of specific learning activities that are directed by a teacher or during periods of time that a school may designate as "open access" time. Limited Access Material includes such material as electronic commerce, games, jokes, recreation, entertainment, sports, and investments.

Technology Protection Measure The District has installed and will enforce the use of a Technology Protection Measure. A Technology Protection Measure is a specific technology that is designed to protect against access to inappropriate material. More information about the Technology Protection Measure and the manner in which it is configured for use within the District is available from (who). (District has implemented procedures that will enable staff to unblock access to a site that contains appropriate material that has been mistakenly or inappropriately blocked.

Family and Personal Values There is a wide range of material available on the Internet, some of which may not be fitting with the particular values of the families of the students. It is not possible for the district to monitor and enforce a wide range of social values in student use of the Internet. Parents/guardians are encouraged to specify to their children what material is and is not acceptable in accord with their family values for their children to access through the district system.

Safety and Security of Students When Using Electronic Communication

Elementary students will use either classroom e-mail accounts (or have individual e-mail accounts where all communication is readily accessible by their teacher.) Secondary students may have an individual e-mail account to support educational activities. Students may participate in real time electronic communication activities under the direct supervision of a teacher or in moderated environments that have been established to support educational activities and have been approved by the school. Student accounts will be established with a username that will protect the personal identity of the student. Students will receive instruction in privacy and communication safety standards when using electronic communications and other Internet services.

Responsible Use Issues

Students may not engage in activities that are illegal, utilize inappropriate language, engage in plagiarism or copyright infringement or engage in actions that jeopardize the security of the system when using the district Internet system.

Unauthorized Disclosure, Use, and Dissemination of Personal Information Regarding Students

The district Internet system will be used in a manner that protects the confidentiality of information about students and is fully in accord with the student confidentiality protection requirements of federal law, state law, and district policy. The Student Internet Use Policy contains limits regarding student disclosure of personal information about themselves or others. The District Policy and Regulations also contain provisions addressing staff requirements regarding confidentiality and disclosure of student personal information. Any such disclosures will be

Limitation of Liability

Due to the nature of the Internet, there can be no absolute guarantee that the implementation of the safe and responsible use measures contained in this Plan, including the Technology Protection Measure, will fully protected against access to material or people that may be considered inappropriate or potentially harmful. The district will not be responsible for any damage students may suffer if they accidentally or intentionally are exposed to such materials or people. Use of the system by students will be limited to those students whose parents have signed a disclaimer of claims for damages against the district.

Accountability and Community Involvement

The district Internet Safe and Responsible Use Plan, Policy, and Regulations were developed based on input and feedback from staff, students, parents, and the community. The district's (name) Committee will engage in ongoing analysis of the Plan, Policy, and Regulations and will make recommendations to District Administration and the Board regarding possible amendments and implementation strategies. Any member of the school community, including staff, students, parents, and community members, may submit information regarding concerns or recommendations to this Committee (how).