Access to technology resources is provided to members of the school community strictly in support of activities related to school and classroom learning. This Acceptable Use Policy (this "Policy") applies to both students and employees (each, a "User"), who have access to diocesan equipment, network services, and instructional resources on school property, at school-related off-campus activities, and at off-campus locations, such as at home for virtual classes and preparing homework. Technology resources that are covered by this Policy include, but are not limited to, computers, servers, printers, video and audio devices, cameras, software, infrastructure equipment, cloud services (including cloud sharing and cloud storage), storage devices, copiers, telephones, cell phones, eBook readers, iPads, tablets, web-based instructional tools, applications (Apps), wearable technology, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), drones, 3D printers, virtual reality and augmented reality equipment and services, location devices, biometric devices, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as chatbots and content generators, and other resources, whether currently in existence or acquired or deployed in the future.
Users must act in a responsible manner and in compliance with this Policy, as well as other diocesan policies. Users are responsible for their conduct, actions, and communications when using personal and/or school technology resources. They are responsible for the appropriateness and content of material they store, transmit, or publish. General school rules for conduct and communication apply in addition to the requirements of this Policy and other relevant diocesan policies.
This Policy is designed to make technology available to the school community and promote the responsible and safe use of resources. Cooperation and adherence to this Policy is a condition of access to and use of these resources. Violation of this Policy may result in disciplinary action, which may include withdrawal of access or other applicable consequences up to and including expulsion or dismissal, as appropriate. Violations may have significant legal and/or financial consequences.
ACCEPTABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE USE
The Internet offers the capability for Users to access and share information on a global scale. The scholarly use of the Internet can provide Users with a worldwide, diverse array of resources.
However, while the Internet is an exciting resource tool, Users must be aware that there are services and information available through the Internet that could be offensive and unsuitable for certain groups of Users.
Users must observe the following practices and precautions to help ensure that the use of technology is a safe, productive, and educationally rewarding experience:
1. Users may access the Internet for school-sponsored activities only. There are many valuable educational resources available through the Internet. Access to discussion groups on social media sites will only be permitted through secured sites sponsored by school personnel that involve authorized participants. All other access to such sites is strictly prohibited.
2. When the Internet is used in real-time and during school hours, content filtering and blocking software will be used to block subjects, words, or images that are deemed inappropriate.
3. Users will be instructed in the proper use of the Internet and practices that will help limit inadvertent access to inappropriate material and will help them develop skills in evaluating sources of information, whether online, on TV, or in hardcopy. Because Users can link to sites other than those permitted, and because school personnel cannot be expected to monitor Users’ use of the Internet at all times, Users are responsible for their own appropriate use of the Internet in accordance with this Policy.
5. Each User agrees to the following practices to ensure personal safety and well-being:
(a) User agrees to use only their school-provided email account for all academic and school-affiliated activities to ensure successful transmission of messages to and from faculty and administration and to better ensure the security of email from viruses and malware.
(b) While using school-provided resources, User agrees not to transmit any personally identifiable information (including name, age, gender, social security number, address, phone number, credit/debit card information, and the like) of himself, herself, or any other person. If this is necessary, User must work with administration to contact the Help Desk to receive instructions on encrypting that communication.
(c) Student Users must not agree to meet with anyone they have met online without their parents’ full approval and participation.
(d) User agrees to notify school personnel immediately if he or she is asked for any personal information, to view or provide inappropriate materials, or in any other way feels violated, harassed, uncomfortable, or accosted through the use of the school's technology resources.
6. Each User agrees to the following statements regarding illegal/unauthorized activities and system security:
(a) User will only access the Internet and network resources, software, and/or hardware provided by the school for educational purposes.
(b) User will follow the procedures and best practices recommended by school personnel or system administrator. These procedures and practices will address respect for the resource limits of the school, personal safety issues, and/or access to appropriate materials.
(c) User will not use the network in a way that would disrupt the use of the network for others. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, propagating viruses and other malware; using the network to make unauthorized entry to any other machine accessible via the network; posting information that, if acted on, could cause damage, danger, or school or system disruption; attempting to log in through another person's account; and sending unnecessary messages to a large number of people (spamming).
(d) User will not tamper with or vandalize the technology property of the school, any off-campus location, or any other User, including any equipment; cabling, or other infrastructure; any security system that protects the school’s and other locations’ computer resources; and facilities and data. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data or equipment of another User, the school, the school network, or any other network.
(e) User will respect another's email by not tampering with, interfering with, or intercepting electronic communications. Numerous laws prevent such tampering, interference, and interception, some of which could result in civil or criminal actions.
(f) User will not use the school’s resources to gain unauthorized access to another computer network (for example, hacking and unauthorized tracking).
(g) User will not use or respond to inappropriate, obscene, profane, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or discriminating language.
(h) User will not post false information or engage in personal, prejudicial, or discriminatory attacks.
(i) User will adhere to the Diocese’s Web Content Policy, which states that all school-affiliated domain names (e.g., domain names representing the school in any manner – sports, club activities, etc.) must be owned by the school.
(j) User will not unlawfully harass, intimidate, haze, or bully (including cyberbullying) another person through the use of any school resources and/or personal communication devices. See Diocese Policy Health & Safety Section 619, Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation, Hazing, or Bullying (also reference your Student Handbook). User will immediately stop any and all conduct that is construed by another as unwelcome.
(k) The diocese supports the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) by actively using content filtering and the iSafe Internet Safety program at all of our schools. Users must comply with this program.
(l) User will not access, possess, transmit, re-transmit, or respond to any information containing sexually oriented material, other than diocesan-approved curricula.
(m) User will not use technology resources to engage in any illegal or criminal activity or any conduct that is morally inappropriate and/or violates Catholic teachings. The school will cooperate fully with local, state, and federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal or criminal activities.
(n) User will not use the school and school-affiliated network and devices for commercial sales, multilevel marketing, gambling, sweepstakes, chain letters, or similar unauthorized purposes.
(o) User may access online games only for educational purposes and only with the consent of the student’s administrator or teacher.
(p) User will not access the school and school-affiliated network for political lobbying, although it may be used, with the permission of the principal, to communicate with elected representatives to express opinions on political issues.
(q) User will not plagiarize. Plagiarism is defined as taking the ideas, writings, or other content of others and presenting it as one’s own.
(r) User will respect the intellectual property rights of others, including by respecting the copyright law. If User is unsure whether copyright law is being respected, they will take their question immediately to a faculty member.
(s) The use of diocese-authorized blogs, vlogs, wikis, podcasts, cloud storage (as it relates to sharing), crowdsourcing, and other interactive web tools, extend beyond the classroom. Therefore, speech that is considered inappropriate in the educational and instructional setting, such as unlawful harassment, intimidation, hazing, and bullying (including cyberbullying), is also inappropriate for use in any media provided or supported by the diocese. This includes but is not limited to profane, racist, sexist, and discriminatory remarks. (See #6(j) above.)
(t) Students should only create a class blog, vlog, wiki, or other media for educational purposes and with the permission of school personnel. Student profiles are not permitted to be used to create personal blogs, vlogs, or wikis. Students are not permitted to link to websites from their blog, vlog, blog/vlog comment, or wiki without reading the entire article to make sure it is appropriate for a school setting.
(u) The use of social media sites by Users (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, etc.) for personal reasons is not allowed during school hours. Please refer to the diocesan Social Media Policy.
Use of Technology:
The diocese may provide Users with access to various software programs, applications, devices, equipment, and other forms of technology, including, but not limited to, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as chatbots and content generators, 3D printers, scanners, and related equipment (“Technology”) to use when there is a diocesan instructional or administrative reason for their use. This Technology may be used only for these purposes. Approval by a teacher or administrator is required for a User to access or use any such Technology. If approved, the person approving such use must then supervise the Users’ access and use.
Use of this Technology must comply with diocese policies and other legal requirements. For example, no created content or object: (i) may violate local, state, or federal law; (ii) may involve inappropriate matter (as defined by the diocese in its policies, regulations, and other governance sources); (iii) may be unsafe, harmful, dangerous, or pose an immediate threat to the well-being of others (for example, 3D printed knives, guns, or other lethal weapons); and (iv) may violate the intellectual property rights (copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark) of others.
Users must understand the risks associated with accessing or using any such Technology, including the physical damage or harm when they are transporting and using equipment, such as a 3D printer, the malfunctions of such equipment, or the defects in any content or objects created with such Technology. The diocese will not guarantee the quality, stability, or confidentiality of any content or designs, or be liable for any object created with the use of any such Technology, including any harm or injury that may be incurred as a result of the use of the equipment.
The school administration, and/or its designee, is authorized to prepare and enforce administrative regulations and/or rules to carry out the access and use of any such Technology.
The diocese recognizes that Users may be wearing personal computing devices for personal or efficiency reasons. These wearables are part of the Internet of Things (“IoT”) which include fitness and health trackers, ready-reference devices (providing access to the world of online information), and history-recording devices (records the wearers’ and possibly others’ experiences).
The IoT includes everyday objects with network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data, including wearable smart devices that can be worn by a person, either as an accessory or as part of the material used in clothing.
Any User or guest using the diocese’s Wi-Fi or Internet service has no expectation of privacy in anything they may create, store, send, receive, or display on or over the diocese’s computers, servers, networks, printers, video and audio devices, cameras, software, infrastructure equipment, copiers, and other electronic communication devices (e.g., cell phones, iPads, telephones, eBook readers, tablets, and other electronic resources). They also have no expectation of privacy in any personal files stored on or in, or any use of, the diocese’s computer systems. The diocese reserves the right to record, check, receive, monitor, track, log, access, and otherwise inspect any or all use of its computer systems and to monitor and allocate cloud and/or fileserver space. The diocese does not require Users to wear or use diocese wearable technology. Therefore, the diocese does not attempt to collect any information or data through wearables.
If a User’s wearable collects personal information from other individuals, the diocese is not liable for the student’s collection, use, storage, or other action(s) with respect to any information or data they may collect.
One-to-One Device Usage:
- Students agree to the practices outlined in the Student Equipment Receipt and Use Agreement that was signed when Users received their devices.
- Non-functioning devices are not an excuse for lack of preparation for class, participation in class, or failure to complete assigned work.
- Students must follow the Help Desk policy for guidance on how to receive technical help and support on their school-provided electronic devices. Help Desk support is limited to the schools’ owned devices; no assistance will be given on personally owned devices.
Privileges and Enforcement:
The use of digital networks and technology is a privilege, not a right. Access is given to Users who agree to the terms of this Policy and other diocese policies. Inappropriate use or a violation of this Policy results in a User's access privilege being suspended, denied, or revoked. Misuse may also subject the User to further disciplinary action as deemed necessary by the administration. Any violation of federal, state, or local laws will be reported to the appropriate agencies. The school maintains the right to confiscate and lawfully search any personal electronic devices found on school premises or used during school hours.
The law and the diocese do not recognize an absolute right to freedom of speech when using the school’s technology resources and/or personal technology devices, which are viewed by the administration as a limited educational forum. All email and other media communications through the diocese services and equipment remain the property of the diocese. The diocese reserves the right to access, use, and disclose the contents of electronic mail files for legitimate educational and business purposes (including responding to legal processes in any matter consistent with state and federal law) without the permission of the User. It is a violation of this Policy for any User, or anyone else employed by or associated with the diocese, or any school or parish within the diocese, including anyone in management or administration, to access the electronic mail files of Users to satisfy personal curiosity without a legitimate educational, business, or legal need.
There is no absolute right to privacy when using the school’s technology resources. Network administrators may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and ensure that Users are using the system responsibly if requested by the school principal or the superintendent. School personnel will have the right to review any and all material saved, transmitted, accessed, or momentarily in use by Users in accordance with the policy set by the school’s administration. Users should not expect that files will be private (see Introduction, paragraphs 2 and 3). The diocese may decrypt and inspect encrypted internet traffic and communications to ensure compliance with this policy.
The classroom teacher may conduct virtual classroom activities. Be aware that video, including audio, will be used for teaching purposes, and at times, teachers may record classroom activities for educational use/purposes. The recordings will only be shared within the school setting for students unable to attend the virtual classroom activity in real time. Students are not allowed to record class lectures or take any images to aid in their learning, such as screenshots, and share them publicly. No individual other than the classroom teacher may record audio or video of the classroom, nor may any individual share such audio or video online. Teachers who do record such classroom lessons may only share classroom audio or video through the diocesan-approved and supported learning management system.
Aquinas Academy and its employees will not be held responsible for the actions of any User who violates this Policy. This exemption from liability applies equally to but is not limited to: any loss or unavailability of data or interruptions of service, any violations of copyright and other intellectual property restrictions, the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the school's system, or any liability, damages, or financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the school's and/or personal technology resources.
Disclaimer of Warranties:
Aquinas Academy and the diocese do not make any warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, for the service being provided. In particular:
- The school and diocese will not be responsible for the accuracy, quality, or usefulness of any information obtained through network connections.
- The school and diocese will not be responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged, or unavailable due to technical or other difficulties.
- The school and the diocese will not be responsible for the contents of any web page or site bearing their name(s) unless the web page or website has been authorized by the administration of the school and/or the diocese.
- The school and diocese administration reserve the right to establish rules and regulations regarding the use of the system.
Aquinas Academy TECHNOLOGY RESOURCE AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
PARENT / GUARDIAN PERMISSION TO ACTIVATE USER PRIVILEGES
I certify that I have read the terms and conditions in the Aquinas Academy Acceptable Use Policy and discussed them with my child. I understand that access to the Internet, technology, and communications systems are designed for educational, security, and safety purposes and that my child has agreed to abide by the school’s usage rules. I understand that my child has responsibility for his or her actions regarding the use of technology resources and recognize my responsibility for governing and guiding access and use both inside and outside of the school setting. I also understand the consequences, as stated in the Policy, for inappropriate actions or conduct. I recognize that it is impossible for the school to restrict access to all controversial or offensive materials, and I will not hold the school, the diocese, or their personnel responsible for any material acquired or viewed through technology resources. I hereby give my permission to activate any school technology privileges for my child.
I acknowledge that the diocese has consented to the collection of student data, for academic reasons, on my behalf on all websites and online services approved by the Office for Catholic Schools and listed on the official school website under “Approved Resources”.
PARENT / GUARDIAN PERMISSION FOR ONLINE PUBLISHING OF STUDENT WORK AND STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHS AND FOR PUBLISHING OF STUDENT’S PHOTOGRAPHS AND SCHOOL WORK IN THE CATHOLIC ACCENT AND ON THE SCHOOL AND DIOCESAN WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS
I understand that my child's photograph and samples of my child's schoolwork may be published in The Catholic Accent, on the school and/or diocesan websites or social media outlets. I further understand that the work will appear with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission. If a request is made for such permission, those requests will be forwarded to me as a parent/guardian. I understand that the school and the faculty will be responsible for the work published and that the school’s address, telephone number, and email address will appear on the school’s website. I understand that I can request that my child's individual picture or schoolwork not be published on the school’s website or social media outlets. This is not inclusive of any group, class, or school production photographs utilized on the website or by members of the media.
I understand that, if at any time I do not wish to have my child's individual photograph and/or samples of my child's schoolwork published in The Catholic Accent, or on diocesan or school websites or social media outlets, I will submit written notification of this request, including the date and my child's name and grade, to the school principal.
STUDENT PERMISSION TO ACTIVATE USER PRIVILEGES
I certify that I have read the terms and conditions in the Aquinas Academy Acceptable Use Policy.
I understand that access to the Internet, technology, and communications systems are designed for educational, security, and safety purposes and that I have agreed to abide by the school’s usage rules.
I have received, read, and understand the Acceptable Use Policy, and will comply with it. Someone from the School has also reviewed this Policy with me, and my parents have reviewed it with me. In addition, I have been given the opportunity to obtain information from the diocese and my parent(s) about anything that I do not understand, and I have received the information that I requested. If I have any other questions, I will ask the school principal or my parents. If I need a copy of the Policy, I understand that I can access it on the diocese’s website. I also understand that, if I violate the Policy or other diocesan policies, regulations, rules, and procedures, I will be subject to the school’s and diocese’s discipline, and could be subject to charges under local, state, and federal law.
I understand that protecting passwords to technology resources and systems is critical to security and my personal privacy. I accept responsibility for protecting my passwords at all times, regardless of the location from which I access these systems.
For Students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade: I understand that I am not to share my password with anyone, except my teacher and my parent(s)/guardian(s).
For Students in Seventh Grade or Eighth Grade: I understand that I am not to share my password with anyone, including my teacher or school principal.
I will not allow anyone else to access systems through my account. I understand that failure to protect my passwords and accounts can result in loss of access to systems from both inside and outside of the school building as well as further disciplinary action.
I also understand the consequences, as stated in the Policy, of inappropriate actions or conduct.
STUDENT PERMISSION FOR ONLINE PUBLISHING OF STUDENT WORK AND STUDENT PHOTOGRAPH
I understand that my photograph and samples of my schoolwork may be chosen to be published in the Catholic Accent, on the school and/or diocesan websites, or on social media outlets.
If at any time I do not wish to have my photograph and/or samples of my schoolwork published in The Catholic Accent, or on diocesan or school websites or social media outlets, I will submit written notification of this request, including the date and my name and grade, to the school principal.
Internet and Email Form of Understanding
Online Publishing of Faculty/Staff Work Permission Form
Faculty / Staff Form of Understanding For Internet Access and Use of Electronic Mail
I have read and understand the Policy concerning the appropriate use of the computer network with Internet access and electronic mail communication at Aquinas Academy. I understand that this form will be kept on file at the school. I understand the risks and benefits of Internet access. I understand that I have a responsibility to prepare, evaluate, and preview Internet sites and activities that I recommend to students or use within my classroom. I appreciate the unpredictability of Internet use and realize that I must outline, emphasize and enforce proper procedures for Internet searches and accessing Internet sites through URL addresses. I also understand the rules governing my use, as well as students’ use, of electronic mail and my role in reviewing messages to be sent and received. I accept my responsibility for governing and guiding Internet access.
I understand that protecting network, email, cloud computing, and student information system passwords is critical to system security and student privacy. I accept responsibility for protecting my passwords at all times, regardless of the location from which I access these systems. I understand that I am not to share my password with anyone, including my supervisor or the principal. I will not allow anyone else to access the school’s systems through my account. I understand that failure to protect my passwords and accounts can result in loss of access to systems from outside the school building as well as further disciplinary action.
Faculty / Staff Permission Form For Online Publishing of Work
I understand that my work may be published on the Internet. I also understand that the work will appear with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission. If anyone requests such permission, those requests will be forwarded to me. No home address or telephone number will appear with my work. I understand that the school and other faculty will be the contacts for any work published and that the school’s address, telephone number, and email addresses will appear on the school’s website.
I grant permission for the publishing of my work on the Internet.