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Internet and Computer Use Policy

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At HFM BOCES, computers and Internet access are for educational purposes only, and students/staff are expected to respect that privilege, as well as all copyright and licensing agreements. It is prohibited to use HFM BOCES resources to access, download, create, display or disseminate anything that may be considered obscene, racist, sexist, offensive, threatening or contributing to the creation of a hostile work environment. There should be no expectation of privacy in regard to information received, transmitted, or created on HFM BOCES equipment.

Internet and Computer Use Policy

Adopted 2/24/99
Revised – First Reading – 9/23/2008
Amended First Reading – 2/25/2009
Adoption – 3/24/2009

The HFM BOCES is committed to optimizing student learning and teaching through leadership, services and programs, enabling individual school districts and the community to achieve their standards of excellence. The Cooperative Board considers student and employee access to a computer network, including the Internet, to be a powerful and valuable educational administrative and research tool. Further, the Board encourages the use of computers and computer-related technology in classrooms and offices for the purposes of advancing and promoting learning and teaching, and providing for efficient management of services and general administrative tasks. Students are given the privilege of using these resources for research and communications related to classroom assignments and approved co-curricular activities.

Employees are authorized to use these resources for instruction, professional development and training, and for research and communications related to the curriculum, approved co-curricular activities and their assigned areas of responsibility.

BOCES Information & Data

BOCES information includes all data, in any format, that is collected or created by the HFM BOCES. For example, personal data that is collected from employees, students or suppliers; including, but not limited to, names, email addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, tax identification or social security numbers, is included in the definition of BOCES information and therefore covered by this policy.

BOCES information resources includes BOCES information and technology provided by the BOCES to process and store information; including, but not limited to, computer equipment, fax machines, voice mail, Internet access, email accounts, personal digital assistants (PDA’s), cell phones, blackberrys, and software provided by the BOCES, storage media, removable media, and networks, are considered HFM BOCES information resources.

All users of the organization’s information resources accept as a condition of use that access is a privilege, not a right, and that use entails responsibility. The HFM BOCES reserves the right to monitor access, and students, parents, employees and volunteers consent to such monitoring.

The BOCES further reserves the right to access and view any material stored on BOCES equipment, or any material used in conjunction with the BOCES computer network. Failure to comply with the standards outlined in this policy may result in disciplinary action, as well as suspension and/or revocation of access to BOCES information resources.

Portable devices including, but not limited to, laptops, cell phones, PDAs and mobile storage media must be secured at all times. Devices are not to be left unattended in public, in a vehicle, or in an unsecured area on BOCES property.

Removable Media

Removable media (USB drives, external hard drives, CDs, DVDs) should not be used to store HFM BOCES information unless password protected. Personally purchased removable media are not permitted for business use unless expressly permitted by a supervisor. HFM BOCES information placed, even with permission, on personal removable media remains subject to HFM BOCES access if required in the context of audit, investigation or litigation.

Internet Access

Access to the Internet will allow students, employees and all users to gain access to information throughout the world. Parents/guardians and users should be warned that with this access also comes the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value, and may, in fact, be illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or offensive to some people. Although use will be supervised, the Cooperative Board cannot guarantee that exposure to inappropriate material will not occur. The HFM BOCES makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing, and the use of information obtained via the Internet is at the sole risk and responsibility of the user. The HFM BOCES firmly believes, however, that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is inconsistent with our educational goals.

HFM BOCES provides Internet access and email accounts for use in business processes. Limited non-business use, which is not an abuse of HFM BOCES time and/or resources, and which does not violate any applicable BOCES policy, may be permitted. It is prohibited to use HFM BOCES information resources to access, download, create, display or disseminate material that may be considered obscene, racist, sexist, ageist, threatening or otherwise offensive, unprofessional, or in violation of any HFM BOCES policy or guidelines; or may otherwise be perceived to create a hostile work environment. HFM BOCES may block potentially objectionable or dangerous websites, or rely on content filtering software to filter broad categories of websites. HFM BOCES cannot review every potentially blocked website. The availability or unavailability of a website does not necessarily reflect endorsement or censorship by the BOCES.

Use of personal email accounts to conduct HFM BOCES business should be avoided. HFM BOCES employees are provided a BOCES email account for business use.

Applicable Laws & Policies

Employees, students, and others who are allowed to use the hardware, software, and services owned or provided by HFM BOCES must comply with all applicable laws and policies.

Applicable laws and policies include, but are not limited to:

  • respecting copyrights and licensing agreements,
  • using hardware, software and services for their intended purposes and not in a mischievous or negligent manner; nor for criminal intent,
  • having no expectation of privacy in regard to information received, transmitted, or created on equipment provided by HFM BOCES, but not distributing or accessing information that may be considered private. While it is HFM BOCES practice to physically destroy the hard drive in a computer declared as salvage, there should be no expectation of guaranteed security,
  • avoiding any personally identifiable information of a confidential or sensitive nature (student and user) on email or non-password protected storage media (fixed and removable).
  • following good safety procedures (e.g. avoiding anything that may harm the user or equipment).
  • not transmitting or receiving material or information that is extraneous to the intent of instruction,
  • not opening any email from a suspicious sender.

Interpretation of acceptable use pursuant to this policy is the responsibility of the Supervisory Team. Questions related to either HFM BOCES information or information resources should be promptly referred to Computer Services.

The District Superintendent shall establish regulations governing implementation of this policy.