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Laptop Handbook for Middle Schools - English

Middle School Chromebook Handbook

2022 - 2023

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

 

Terms of Loan

 

Hardware

 

Care of the Chromebook

 

Software and Files

 

Student Responsibilities

 

Email and Internet Use

 

Monitoring Chromebook Usage

 

Unacceptable Behavior

 

Consequences

 

Technical Support and Repairs

 

Warranties, Damages, and Theft

 

Parent Expectations

 

Parent and Student Agreement

 

Technology Responsible Use Policy

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Vision

Wilkes County School System understands strong leadership is the key to preparing students to be 21st Century learners.  Our leadership supports teachers and staff in becoming 21st Century educators through quality professional development.  Technologically adept administrators and teachers challenge students to become self-motivated, high performing, and globally aware citizens. 

 

It is the responsibility of educators to provide a future ready workforce prepared to meet the demands of a globally-connected society.  Technology enhances differentiated instruction and promotes creative learning, allowing students to become actively engaged learners.  Providing equal access to technology resources will level the playing field for all students, regardless of socio-economic backgrounds. 

 

Goals

Increase student engagement, motivation, and self-directed learning.

Improve the quality of student learning and academic achievement as students develop 21st Century skills.

Provide greater access to educational opportunities, formative assessments, and differentiated instruction.

Equip students to become life long learners.

 

 

Terms of Loan

 

Issuing of Chromebooks

Students new to the Chromebook program will be issued a Chromebook as part of the registration process once proper parent and student signatures are provided. The Chromebook will be assigned in the same manner as a textbook. The serial number of the Chromebook will be recorded. Once the Chromebook is issued to a student, it will stay with the student for the remainder of the school year, or until the student withdraws from school. Students will be reassigned their original Chromebook each year while enrolled in Wilkes County Schools.  

 

Conditions of Loan

Wilkes County Schools will loan a Chromebook to students upon compliance with the following:

 
A signed Student Technology Responsible Use Policy
A Chromebook Agreement signed by the student and parent
Signed COPPA Agreement

 

Wilkes County Schools will hold the legal title to the Chromebook and all accessories.  Right of possession and use is limited to and conditioned upon full and complete compliance with all Board policies and other guidelines outlined in this Chromebook Handbook.

 

Wilkes County Schools does not guarantee that its technology resources will be uninterrupted or error-free.  Access to the network is provided on an “as is” basis without warranties of any kind.

In the rare case that the network is down, neither Wilkes County Schools, nor any of its agents or employees will be responsible for lost or missing data.

 

Terms of Agreement

The right to use and possess the Chromebook and all peripherals terminates no later than the last day of the school year unless earlier terminated by the district or upon withdrawal from the school through dropping-out, suspension, expulsion, or transfer.  If the student enrolls in another school within the district, he or she will be reissued a Chromebook upon admittance into the new school.  The Chromebook remains the property of Wilkes County Schools and cannot be loaned, sold, bartered, traded, leased, rented or given to any other person(s). 

 

Failure to return Chromebook and peripherals will result in a certified letter sent to the parent indicating items not returned. The parent will have five (5) days to return the items or pay current market value for a new replacement Chromebook or this will be turned over to local law enforcement. Criminal charges may be sought.

 

Wilkes County Schools reserves the right at any time to revoke the use of the Chromebook by the student.  Students may be subject to loss of privilege, disciplinary action and/or legal action in the event of intentional damage or violation of Board policies and guidelines as outlined in the Chromebook Handbook.

 

District Liability

Although the Chromebook is provided for use within the district, Wilkes County Schools assumes no liability for any material accessed on the device.

 

Modification to Program

Wilkes County Schools reserves the right to revoke or modify the Chromebook Handbook, policies, or procedures at any time.

 

 

Hardware

 

Hardware Provided

Chromebook Computer

Charging Cable

Carrying Case

 

Students involved in the Exceptional Children’s Program will be issued a Chromebook upon the recommendation of the Director of Exceptional Children and school principal.  Any assistive technology devices required by a student’s Individual Education Plan will be issued based on the recommendations of the Director of Exceptional Children and school principal and installed by Wilkes County Schools’ Technology Department personnel. 

 

 

Care of the Chromebook

 

General Care

Never remove the Chromebook from the carrying case.

Never remove the battery from the Chromebook.

Disconnect the power adapter from the Chromebook before closing the Chromebook case to prevent damage.

When using the Chromebook, keep it on a flat, solid surface so that air can circulate.  Using a Chromebook directly on carpet can cause damage due to overheating.

Do not set books or stack items on top of the Chromebook.

Do not write, draw, paint, or place stickers or labels on the Chromebook or carrying case.

Keep the Chromebook away from magnets and magnetic fields, which can erase or corrupt the data. This includes large speakers, amplifiers, transformers, and old style television sets, etc.

Do not place food or drink near the Chromebook. Liquids, food and other debris can damage the Chromebook.  Avoid eating or drinking while using the Chromebook.

Do not keep food or food wrappers in the Chromebook carrying case.

Do not leave the Chromebook exposed to direct sunlight, ultraviolet light, extreme temperatures, or moisture sources for extended periods of time.  Extreme heat or cold may cause damage to the Chromebook.

If the Chromebook has been in a cold environment, allow the Chromebook to warm to room temperature before use.

Never attempt repair or reconfiguration of the Chromebook.  Do not attempt to open or tamper with the internal components of the Chromebook; nor should you remove any screws, doing so will render the warranty void.

Carefully insert cords, cables and other removable storage devices to avoid damage to the Chromebook ports.

Do not bump the Chromebook against lockers, walls, floors, etc.  It will eventually break the Chromebook.

Immediately report any Chromebook damage, loss, or problems to your teacher.

 

Cleaning the Chromebook

Wipe surfaces with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

Never clean the screen with glass cleaner.

Never use liquids to clean the Chromebook.

Be sure your hands are clean when using the Chromebook to avoid buildup on the touch pad and keyboard.  Grease and dirt buildup can cause problems with the Chromebook. 

Do not use the Chromebook in dusty, dirty, or sandy environments.

 

Screen Care

Do not pick up the Chromebook by the screen.

Avoid touching the screen with fingers, pens, pencils, or any sharp instrument.

Do not lean on the top of the Chromebook.

Avoid placing excessive pressure or weight on the Chromebook screen.

Be careful not to leave pencils, pens or papers on the keyboard when closing the screen.

 

Carrying the Chromebook

The Chromebook and all components are to be carried in the school provided Chromebook carrying cases at all times.

Always close the lid and zip the case before moving or carrying the Chromebook.

To prevent hard drive damage, Chromebooks need to be put in standby mode or shutdown between classes.

Unplug all cords, accessories, and peripherals before moving the Chromebook.

Textbooks, notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, etc. are not to be placed in the Chromebook carrying case.

Any damage due to overstuffing of the Chromebook carrying case will be treated as abuse.

Never sit or stand on the Chromebook.

 

 

Security

Do not leave Chromebooks in unsupervised areas. Unsupervised areas may include the lunchroom, computer lab, buses, locker rooms, media center, unlocked classrooms, gyms, dressing rooms, restrooms, hallways, etc. 

 

Avoid using the Chromebook in areas where damage or theft is likely.  Do not use the Chromebook during sporting activities or events.

 

Loaning Equipment to Others

Students may not loan Chromebooks or Chromebook components to others for any reason.

 

Power management

Dimming the brightness of the screen will extend the life of the battery.

Be careful not to cause a tripping hazard when plugging in the Chromebook.

For prolonged periods of inactivity, shut down the Chromebook to conserve the battery.

Protect the Chromebook by using a surge protector whenever possible.

  

 

Software and Files

 

General Information

Chromebooks come with a standardized pre-loaded image. This image may not be altered or changed in any way.

Altering files or hiding directories or files is prohibited.

Do not alter copy, remove or add any software including virus protection software. 

All software must be approved and installed by Wilkes County Schools’ Technology Department.

Software, hardware, or additional plug-ins are not to be loaded on the Chromebooks.

Students are responsible for damages caused by any attempt to add, change, or delete software. 

The school does not accept responsibility for the loss of any data deleted due to re-imaging Chromebooks.

 

Music, Games, or Programs

Unauthorized music, videos and games will not be downloaded, installed, or saved to the hard drive.  This is a violation of Wilkes County Schools’ Technology Responsible Use Policy and may be a violation of federal copyright laws. Music and games can be disruptive during class and will not be brought to school unless the student has permission from the teacher for an educational project.

 

Inappropriate sites associated with student gmail accounts may sync onto school computers; therefore, students become responsible for such content.

 

Deleting Files

Do not delete any folders or files that you did not create or that you do not recognize.  Deletion of files could interfere with the functionality of the Chromebook. 

 

Network Student Storage

Students will have network storage space accessible with a unique student login.  Students are expected to save important items in this space.

 

Screensavers/Wallpapers

The Chromebook will be equipped with a standard screensaver and wallpaper, which will not be modified.   Downloading inappropriate images or themes is prohibited.

 

Passwords

Students will login only under their assigned username and password.  Students will not share their passwords with other students.

 

Sound

Chromebook sound will be muted at all times unless permission is granted from the teacher for instructional purposes.  No headphones are allowed without express permission by the teacher for instructional purposes.

 

 

Student Responsibilities

 

The student assigned the Chromebook is responsible for all use of the Chromebook.  Unsupervised Chromebooks will be confiscated by staff.  Disciplinary action may be taken for repeat offenders.  

 

Students must bring the Chromebook to all classes, unless specifically instructed not to do so by their teacher.  Users are responsible for their actions and activities involving school owned computers, networks and Internet services and for their files, passwords, and accounts on school owned equipment.   Students must ask for assistance if they do not know how to operate any equipment.  Students are responsible for their ethical and educational use of all computer hardware and software.  Students should monitor all activity on their account(s) and report anything suspicious to their teacher or technology technician.   Students who identify or know about a security problem are required to communicate the issue to their teacher without discussing it with other students. 

 

The same rules and expectations for student conduct also apply to student use of computers.  Intentional misuse or neglect can result in loss of Chromebook use, disciplinary action, and/or fines for any needed repairs or maintenance.  The school principal will have final authority to decide appropriate disciplinary action if students are found to be responsible for any unacceptable activity.

 

 

Email and Internet Use

 

Email

Students are provided a filtered/monitored email account by the school.  Email correspondence will be used for educational purposes only. When emails are sent, the name and user identification are included in the email message. Students are responsible for all email originating from their user account. By utilizing an email account, the user authorizes designated system administrators access to the email.  Emails will be made available to district, local, state, and federal officials in association with any investigation.  Emails, stored data, transmitted data, or any other use of online services are not confidential and may be monitored at any time by designated staff to ensure appropriate use.

 

Internet Use

As required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), a filtering solution is maintained by the district for school use on the Chromebook. Filtering not only restricts access to unacceptable sites, but also restricts access to chat rooms, some online games, and web mail.  Wilkes County Schools can not guarantee that access to all inappropriate sites will be blocked.  No filter is as reliable as adult supervision. Log files are maintained on each Chromebook with a detailed history of all sites accessed.  It is the responsibility of the user to appropriately use the Chromebook, network, and the Internet.   Wilkes County Schools will not be responsible for any harm suffered while on the network or the Internet.

 

Students are required to notify a teacher or administrator if they access information or messages that are inappropriate, dangerous, threatening, or make them feel uncomfortable.

 

 

Internet Safety

Immediately report any unauthorized activity on the network or Internet.

Notify a teacher immediately if you accidentally access an inappropriate site.

Never read someone else’s email or open their files or folders.

Never arrange to meet an Internet contact in person.

Obey all copyright laws.

Protect your user account by logging off when not at the computer.  If a student does not log off, any email, network, or Internet activity under their username will be considered the student’s responsibility.

 

 

Monitoring Chromebook Usage

 

Monitoring and Supervision

Students should not be left unattended while using Chromebooks or other computers.  The Chromebooks will be subject to routine monitoring by teachers, administrators, and members of the Technology Department.  Students will provide access to the Chromebook and any accessories assigned to them upon request by the school or district.  A search of the Chromebook and student files may be conducted if there is suspicion that any policies, procedures, or guidelines have been violated.

 

Privacy

There should be no expectation of privacy regarding the contents of computer files or communication using any school owned computer or network.  Wilkes County Schools reserves the right to investigate, review, monitor, and restrict information stored on or transmitted via Wilkes County Schools’ equipment.  Parents, guardians, and students do not have the right or expectation of privacy for any use of school owned Chromebooks, computers, or other equipment.

 

School or district administrators or members of the Technology Department may conduct an individual search of the Chromebook, files, music, videos, emails or other related items. The district will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in investigations of suspected illegal activities conducted through district owned computer systems.

 

Chromebook Inspections

Students may be randomly selected to provide the Chromebook for inspection.  Students with damaged Chromebooks who fail to report the damage will be subject to fines and disciplinary action at the discretion of the school principal.

 

Unacceptable Behavior

 

Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:

 

Using the network for illegal activities, including copyright violations;

 

Accessing online sites or materials that do not support the curriculum or are inappropriate for school purposes;

 

Downloading inappropriate materials, viruses, or software;

 

Using or possessing hacking or file sharing software, including keystroke loggers, batch files, or applications used to bypass Chromebook or network security;

 

Gaining unauthorized access anywhere on the network including attempting to log onto the Internet, network, servers, routers, switches, printers, or firewall as a system administrator;

 

Using the Chromebook or network for financial gain, advertising, or political influence;

 

Vandalizing or tampering with equipment, files, software, system performance, or other network equipment;

 

Attempting to repair, remove or install computer hardware or software;

 

Opening the computer to access internal parts;

 

Causing network congestion or interfering with the work of others, including sending chain emails or broadcast messages, subscribing to mailing lists, mass emails, games, etc.

 

Intentionally wasting finite Internet or network resources, including, downloading files, streaming music, videos, or games;

 

Installing, activating, or creating programs that interfere with the performance of the network, Internet, or computer hardware;

 

Revealing, sharing, or posting personal information including full names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or passwords for yourself or others;

 

Invading the privacy of others;

 

Using another person’s username or password, or allowing another to access your account using your username or password;

 

Pretending to be someone else when sending or receiving messages;

 

Using email, other than the school issued email account, on school owned equipment;

 

Forwarding or distributing inappropriate email messages;

 

Engaging in harassment or transmitting obscene messages, pictures, websites, or other files including racist, terrorist, abusive, sexually explicit, vulgar, threatening, stalking, demeaning, slanderous, or any other inflammatory content;

 

Utilizing sites selling written papers, book reports, and other student work or any act of plagiarism;

 

Using unauthorized technology to gain advantage or assessments by providing or receiving information not allowed by the instructor or that is unavailable to other students;

 

Assisting, observing, or joining any unauthorized activity using the Chromebook, network, or Internet;

 

Posting anonymous messages or illegal information;

 

Accessing or attempting to access chat rooms, instant messaging, or social networking sites;

 

Attempting to disable or circumvent Wilkes County Schools’ Internet content filter and firewall including, using or attempting to use proxies to access sites that would otherwise be restricted;

 

Falsifying permission or identification information;

 

Copying or modifying files, data, or passwords belonging to others;

 

Knowingly placing a computer virus on a computer or network;

 

Writing, drawing, painting, defacing, or placing stickers or labels on a school owned Chromebooks or Chromebook accessories, or causing other intentional damage;

 

Attempting to alter data or the configuration of a computer or the files of another user will be considered an act of vandalism and subject to disciplinary action.

 

Accessing or attempting to access the wired or wireless network with any device that is not property of Wilkes County Schools.  Note: Students are not to bring their personal Chromebook computers to school.  Only Wilkes County Schools’ owned computers may be used on campus.

 

Presence of guns, weapons, pornographic materials, inappropriate language, alcohol, drugs, or gang related symbols will result in disciplinary action.

 

Cyber bullying in any form is unacceptable.  Students will not engage in any cyber bullying activity. In situations in which cyber bullying originated from a non-school computer, but brought to the attention of school officials, any disciplinary action will be based upon whether the conduct is determined to be severely disruptive of the education process so that it markedly interrupts or severely impedes the day-to-day operation of a school.  In addition, such conduct also violates school policy. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, threats, or making a threat on or off school grounds, to harm a member of the school staff or a student.  Discipline for cyber bullying will be handled on a case by case basis as deemed appropriate by the school principal. In addition, when any kind of threat is communicated or when a hate crime is committed, it will be reported to local law enforcement.

 

Students will comply at all times with Board policies, the Technology Responsible Use Policy, and the Chromebook Handbook.  Consequences for non compliance with the policies and procedures in this document include disciplinary actions and financial responsibilities.  Any failure to comply may immediately end the student’s right of possession. The student will also be subject to disciplinary action.  The school principal will have authority to decide appropriate consequences regarding non compliance.  Wilkes County Schools cooperates fully with local, state, and federal law enforcement for computer crimes recognized under North Carolina General Statutes §§ 14-453 to -458.

 

Consequences  

 

Disciplinary action will be taken it a student fails to comply with any policy or procedure in this document.

 

Consequences may also include financial compensation for damages, abuse, neglect, or loss.  If the Chromebook is lost or damaged beyond repair, the current market value of a new replacement device will be charged.

 

The school principal will have authority to decide appropriate consequences regarding non-compliance.

 

*The principal has the discretion to permanently confiscate the Chromebook from the student at any time.

 

 

Technical Support and Repairs

 

In the event the Chromebook needs repair, report it to the teacher as soon as possible.  The teacher may escalate the problem to the school’s technology technician.  All repairs will be performed by Wilkes County Schools’ Technology Department.  Parents, guardians, students, or teachers are not allowed to attempt repairs themselves or contract with any other individual or business to repair any school owned computer equipment.

 

Wilkes County Schools’ Technology Department will coordinate the repair work for Chromebooks.

 

Services provided include the following:

Hardware or software maintenance and repairs

User account support

Operating system or software support

Hardware support

Updates and software installations

Warranty repairs

 

If a Chromebook is damaged, it will be repaired as quickly as possible.

 

 

Warranties, Damages, and Theft

 

Hardware Warranty

Warranty coverage is purchased by Wilkes County Schools as part of the purchase price of the Chromebook. The manufacturer warrants the Chromebooks against defects in materials and workmanship. This warranty covers mechanical failure or faulty construction and will provide replacement parts needed for Chromebook repairs. The manufacturer’s warranty does not warrant against damage caused by misuse, abuse, neglect, or accidents. Immediately report all Chromebook problems to your teacher.

 

Damage

Wilkes County Schools will charge up to a $50.00 fee per incident damage fee to the parents for any accidental damage or neglect to the Chromebook.  Damage fees may be charged to the parents of a student who damages the Chromebook assigned to another student.

 

Fees will be charged for damaged chargers, batteries, and carrying cases.

 

Chromebook Damage Procedures

 

The student will report any damages or problems as soon as possible to their teacher.

 

The teacher will notify the assistant principal of the hardware damage.

 

If the assistant principal has any questions concerning the damage, he or she will contact the schools’ technology technician.

 

The assistant principal will speak to the student if necessary.

 

The assistant principal will contact the parent by phone and/or letter to notify the parent of the damage that has been incurred.

 

The assistant principal will maintain the Chromebook in their possession until it is turned over the schools’ technology technician for repair.

 

As with any school property deliberate or accidental destruction of school property may require financial compensation.  Financial compensation will be determined by the school principal.  If financial hardship exists, the parent may pay fines in scheduled payments agreed upon by the school and the parent.

 

Theft

Any theft occurring on school grounds must be immediately reported to a teacher. If the Chromebook is not in a locked location and is lost, it is defined as a mysterious loss. Mysterious loss is not considered theft and is not covered.  The full price of the Chromebook, charger, and carrying case will be charged for replacement.

 

The district will work with the police department to report all model, asset, and serial numbers of Chromebooks to local pawn shops and area law enforcement agencies in the event of loss or theft.

 

Fines

The school has the right to setup payment plans to clear fines if financial hardship can be proven. 

Students must pay all fees before participating in any end of year/awards ceremonies.

  

 

Parent Expectations

 

Share in your son’s or daughter’s excitement about this opportunity as they use this instructional tool to enhance their learning.

 

Parents should ensure that their child adheres to Chromebook and Internet policies and guidelines set forth in the Chromebook Handbook.

 

Sign and follow the Chromebook Agreement.

 

Reimburse the school district for any fines caused by damage, misuse, neglect, or loss.

 

Parents are responsible for reviewing Wilkes County Schools’ Technology Responsible Use Policy and the Chromebook Handbook with their child.

 

 

 

Parent and Student Chromebook Agreement

 

We are excited to be able to provide your child with a Chromebook computer while they are enrolled in Wilkes County Schools. These Chromebooks are to be used by the student for learning purposes only. Please note the following conditions of the program:

 

I understand the Chromebook is property of Wilkes County Schools and is assigned to the student.

I understand the Chromebook and its contents may be inspected at any time because it is school property.

The student will return the Chromebook, carrying case, power cord, and any other accessories in working condition.

The student will use the Chromebook appropriately for school purposes.

The student is responsible for securing and taking care of the Chromebook.

The student and parent(s) will be responsible for all damage or loss caused by neglect or abuse. Up to a $50.00 fee per incident will be charged to the parents for any accidental damage or neglect to the Chromebook.  For Chromebooks damaged beyond repair or lost, current market value of a new replacement device will be charged.

The full replacement cost will be charged for lost or damaged cases, batteries, and power chargers.

The student will leave the Chromebook in the carrying case provided by the school at all times.

The student will not remove the battery from the Chromebook for any reason.

The student will not store papers, pens, pencils, or other items under the Chromebook or between the screen and the keyboard in the carrying case.

The student will not attempt to disable or circumvent Wilkes County Schools’ Internet content filter or firewall to access sites that would otherwise be blocked.

The student will follow the policies, procedures, and guidelines outlined in the Chromebook Handbook and the Technology Responsible Use Policy at all times.

The student will not loan the Chromebook to another individual.

The student will not use the Chromebook near food or drinks.

The student will not disassemble any part of the Chromebook or attempt any repairs.

The student will not place stickers, drawings, markers, etc. on the Chromebook or carrying case.  The student will not deface the serial number sticker on the Chromebook.

 

If the Chromebook is not in a locked location and is lost, it is defined as a mysterious loss. Mysterious loss is not considered theft.  The current market value of a new replacement Chromebook, charger, and/or carrying case will be charged.

 

Consequences

 

Disciplinary action will be taken it a student fails to comply with any policy or procedure in this document.

 

Consequences may also include financial compensation for damages, abuse, neglect, or loss.

 

The school principal will have authority to decide appropriate consequences regarding non-compliance.

 

*The principal has the discretion to permanently confiscate the Chromebook from the student at any time.

                       

􀂆 Yes, I have received a copy of the Chromebook Handbook and understand the conditions of the program.

 

Student Name (Please Print):_________________________________ Grade:  ­­­­­___________

 

Student Signature: _________________________________________ Date: _____________

 

Parent Name (Please Print): ____________________________________________________

 

Parent Signature: __________________________________________ Date: _____________

 

 

TECHNOLOGY RESPONSIBLE USE POLICY                         

 

Technology resources provide a unique opportunity to enhance global instruction, appeal to different learning styles, and meet the educational goals of the Wilkes County Board of Education. Through these resources, users can observe events as they occur around the world, interact with others on a variety of subjects, and acquire access to current, varied, and in-depth information.

 

Wilkes County Board of Education intends that students and employees benefit from these resources while remaining within the bounds of safe, legal, and responsible use. Accordingly, the Board establishes this policy to govern student and employee use of these technology resources. This policy applies regardless of whether such use occurs on or off school system property, and it applies to all system technological resources, including but not limited to computer networks and connections, the resources, tools, and learning environments made available by or on the networks, and all the devices that connect to those networks.

 
A.  Expectations of Responsible Use

 

The use of school system technological resources, including access to the Internet, is expected to be exercised in an appropriate and responsible manner. Individual users of the school system’s technological resources are responsible for their behavior and communications when using those resources. Responsible use of school system technological resources is use that is ethical, respectful, academically honest, and supportive of student learning. Each user has the responsibility to respect others in the school community and on the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. 

 

General student and employee behavior standards, including those prescribed in applicable board policies, student behavior policies (4300 series), and other regulations and school rules, apply to the use of school technological resources, including access to the Internet. 

 

In addition, anyone who uses school system computers or electronic devices, or who accesses the school system network or the Internet using school system resources must comply with the additional rules for responsible use listed in Section B below. These rules are intended to clarify expectations for conduct but should not be construed as all-inclusive. 

 

All students must be trained about appropriate online behavior as provided in policy 3226/4205, Internet Safety. 

 

Failure to adhere to the requirements of this policy will result in disciplinary action, including revocation of user privileges. Willful misuse may result in criminal prosecution for any user under applicable state and federal law, disciplinary action for students, and/or adverse personnel action for employees.

 

 B. Rules for Use of School Technological Resources for All Users

  1. School system technological resources are provided primarily for school-related purposes. Acceptable uses of such technological resources are limited to responsible, efficient, and legal activities that support teaching and learning. Accessing programs and websites not appropriate for educational use is prohibited. Use of school system technological resources for commercial/personal gain, profit, to advertise a product, or to promote a political position is also prohibited. Students will not participate in Internet instant message activities, visit chat rooms, access personal email accounts (unless it is a curriculum-related requirement), or participate in any activity that may cause harm to themselves or others. It is the responsibility of school administrators to address such violations (see Consequences Section H). Because some incidental and occasional personal use by employees is inevitable, the board permits infrequent and brief personal use by employees so long as it occurs on personal time, does not interfere with school system business, and is not otherwise prohibited by board policy or procedure.
  1. Only employees of Wilkes County Schools’ technology department may setup, repair, configure, or install school-owned hardware or software.
  1. Unless authorized by law to do so and granted permission by the technology director or his or her designee, users may not make copies of software or install software purchased by the school system. Under no circumstance may software purchased by the school system be copied for personal use. Only technical staff assigned to the technology department are authorized to install software on Wilkes County Schools devices.
  1. Users who are issued school system-owned and maintained devices for home use (such as laptops, Chromebooks, etc.) are responsible for securing devices against theft, vandalism, or abuse. Any damaged or stolen equipment must be reported as soon as possible to a member of the technology department.
  1. Users must follow all software, application, website, or subscription service terms and conditions of use.
  1. Users must comply with all applicable laws, board policies, administrative regulations, and school standards and rules, including those relating to copyrights and trademarks, confidential information, public records, and intellectual property. Plagiarism of Internet resources will be treated in the same manner as any other incidents of plagiarism, as stated in the student behavior polices (4300 series). Technological resources may not be used to facilitate the sharing of copyrighted materials.
  1. No user of technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic communications, may engage in creating, intentionally viewing, accessing, downloading, storing, printing, or transmitting images, graphics (including still or moving pictures), sound files, text files, documents, messages, or other material that is obscene, defamatory, inflammatory, profane, pornographic, harassing, abusive, bullying, or considered to be harmful to minors.
  1. Users of technological resources may not read, alter, change, block, execute, or delete files or communications belonging to another user without the owner’s express prior permission. Users may not send electronic communications fraudulently (i.e., by misrepresenting the identity of the sender) or send/forward chain emails.
  1. Users may not intentionally or negligently damage computers, computer systems, electronic devices, software, or computer networks, or alter the data of any user. Users may not knowingly or negligently transmit computer viruses or self-replicating messages or deliberately try to degrade or disrupt system performance, such as streaming audio or video for non-instructional purposes. Users may not disable antivirus programs installed on school system-owned or issued devices.
  1. Users may not create or introduce games, network communications programs, or any foreign program or software onto any school system computer, electronic device, or network without the express permission of the technology director or designee. 
  1. Users are prohibited from engaging in unauthorized or unlawful activities, such as “hacking” or using the computer network to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized or unlawful access to other computers, computer systems, or accounts.
  1. Users must not circumvent firewalls. The use of anonymous proxies to circumvent content filtering is prohibited.

 

13. Users are prohibited from using another individual’s ID or password for any technological resource or account. Sharing of an individual’s unique ID or password is prohibited. Passwords and other personal information will not be shared or posted in a conspicuous location. Because it falls within the inherent nature of their jobs, the Board recognizes that members of the technology department with a professional/business need can request or access and work under a user’s login credentials.
  1. Employees shall not use passwords or user IDs for any data system (e.g., the state student information and instructional improvement system applications, time-keeping software, etc.) for an unauthorized or improper purpose.
  1. It is the user’s responsibility to back up data and other important files. 
  1. If a user identifies or encounters an instance of unauthorized access or another security concern, he or she must immediately notify a teacher, school system administrator, or a member of the technology department. Users must not demonstrate the problem or share it with other users. Any user identified as a security risk will be denied access.
  1. Users must respect the privacy of others.
a. Users must not reveal any personally identifiable, private, or confidential information about themselves or others when using email or other forms of electronic communication. Such information includes, for example, a person’s home address or telephone number, credit or checking account information, or social security number. For further information regarding what constitutes personal identifying information, see policy 4705/7825, Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information.

 

b. School employees must not disclose on school system websites or webpages or elsewhere on the Internet any personally identifiable, private, or confidential information concerning students (including full names, addresses, or pictures) without the written permission of a parent or guardian or an eligible student, except as otherwise permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), policy 3227/7322, Web Page Development, or policy 4700, Student Records.

 

c. Users may not forward or post communications of a personal, sensitive, or confidential nature without the author’s prior consent.
 
d. Students may not use school system technological resources to capture audio, video, or still pictures of other students and/or employees in which such individuals can be personally identified, nor share such media in any way, without consent of the students and/or employees and the principal or designee. An exception will be made for settings where students and staff cannot be identified beyond the context of a sports performance or other public event or when otherwise approved by the principal.
  1. Employees will make every reasonable effort to supervise students’ use of the Internet and technological resources during instructional time and while under their care on school grounds or for school-related activities.
  1. Views may be expressed on the Internet or other technological resources as representing the view of the school system or part of the school system only with prior approval by the superintendent or designee.
  1. Users must adhere to any other reasonable rules or guidelines issued by the superintendent or technology director for the use of technological resources.

C.   Restricted Material on the Internet 

The Internet and electronic communications offer fluid environments in which students may access or be exposed to materials and information from diverse and rapidly changing sources, including some that may be harmful to students. The Board of Education recognizes that it is impossible to predict with certainty what information on the Internet students may access or obtain. Parents, students, and employees should be aware that the school district filters the Internet and email and monitors use of its technological resources; however, no filtering software is 100% effective. Before a student may use the Internet, the legal parent/guardian should know the possibility exists that the student could obtain access to inappropriate material. The school district only supports individual students using filtered email accounts and age appropriate technology resources for instructional purposes. The school district has established technology protection measures that guard against access to visual depictions that are obscene, pornographic, or harmful to minors, including violence, nudity, or graphic language that does not serve a legitimate pedagogical purpose. The Board of Education shall enforce the operation of these technology measures as provided in policy 3226/4205, Internet Safety. Wilkes County Board of Education is not responsible for the content accessed by using a cellular network to connect a personal device to the Internet. The user is ultimately responsible for his or her activity on the Internet.

 

In the event a legal parent/guardian chooses not to allow their child to participate in web-based activities, it is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school principal in writing annually. Permission is not necessary for student participation in required online testing.

 

D.   Privacy

Students, employees, visitors, and other users have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, delete, receive, or display when using the school system’s network, devices, Internet access, email system, or other technological resources owned or issued by the school system, whether the resources are used at school or elsewhere, and even if the use is for personal purposes. Users should not assume that files or communications created, transmitted, or displayed using school system technological resources or stored on servers, the storage mediums of individual devices, or on school- managed cloud services will be private. Under certain circumstances, school officials may be required to disclose such electronic information to law enforcement or other third parties.

 

The school system may, without notice, (1) monitor, track, and/or log network access, communications, and use; (2) monitor and allocate fileserver space; and (3) access, review, copy, store, delete, or disclose the content of all user files, regardless of medium, the content of electronic mailboxes issued by the school system, and system outputs, such as printouts, at any time for any lawful purpose.  School system personnel may monitor online activities of individuals who access the Internet via a school-owned device. 

 

By using the school system’s network, Internet access, electronic devices, email system, devices, or other technological resources, individuals consent to have that use monitored by authorized school system personnel as described in this policy.

 

E.    Use of Personal Technology on School System Property

Users may not use private WiFi hotspots or other personal technology on campus to establish wireless connectivity. Users must use the school system’s wireless network to connect school-owned devices to the Internet while on campus. Students’ devices are governed also by policy 4304, Student Possession and Use of Wireless Communication Devices. Use of personal technology devices for staff is also subject to any rules established in policy 3220, Technology in the Educational Program.  Students are provided devices in grades K – 13; therefore, student personal computers, tablets, Chromebooks, and iPads are not permitted for use on school premises as outlined in policy 3220, Technology in the Educational Program. The school system assumes no responsibility for personal technology devices brought to school.

 

F.    Personal Websites

The superintendent may use any means available to request the removal of personal websites that substantially disrupt the school environment or that utilize school system or individual school names, logos, or trademarks without permission.

  1. Students 

Though school personnel generally do not monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non-school system devices during non-school hours, when the student’s online behavior has a direct and immediate effect on school safety or maintaining order and discipline in the schools. The student may be disciplined in accordance with board policy to the extent consistent with law (see student behavior policies in the 4300 series).

  1. Employees

Employees’ personal websites are subject to policy 3227/7322, Web Page Development and policy 7000, Standard of Professional Conduct. Employees are encouraged to block students from viewing personal information on employees’ personal websites or online or social networking sites to prevent the possibility that students could view materials that are not age appropriate. An employee may be terminated if the staff member engages in inappropriate online interaction with students.

  1. Volunteers

Volunteers are to maintain appropriate relationships with students at all times. Volunteers are encouraged to block students from viewing personal information on volunteer personal websites or online or social networking sites to prevent the possibility that students could view materials that are not age appropriate. An individual volunteer’s relationship with the school system may be terminated if the volunteer engages in inappropriate online interaction with students.

 

G.   Use Agreements

All students, parents, and employees will be informed annually of the information in this policy through the student handbook and electronic employee policies. Prior to using school system technological resources, students and employees must agree to comply with the requirements of this policy and consent to the school system’s use of monitoring systems to monitor and detect inappropriate use of technological resources. This is done online by electronically accepting the Rules for Use of School Technological Resources for All Users outlined in this policy before gaining access to the Internet. In addition, the parent/legal guardian must consent to their student accessing the Internet using Wilkes County Schools’ COPPA Permission Form and by accepting the Wilkes County Schools’ policy handbook.  These consents also confirm parental/guardian agreement to the monitoring of the student’s Internet activity, email, cloud storage, and network storage issued by the school system on school-provided accounts and school owned devices. 

 

Unless a change is made to the COPPA Permission Form that requires the submission of new forms, parental/guardian permission remains in effect for the duration of the student’s enrollment in Wilkes County Schools.  Parents/guardians wishing to revoke this permission should submit a request in writing to the school principal.

 

H.    Consequences

Student offenses will result in one or more of the following at the discretion of school administrators in accordance with the policies of the Board of Education:

 

  • Notification to legal parent/guardian
  • Financial compensation for damages or replacement costs by student/parent/guardian
  • Limitation or loss of user privileges
  • Suspension or other appropriate disciplinary action
  • Notification of illegal activities or vandalism to the appropriate authorities.

 

Employee offenses will result in one or more of the following at the discretion of school or district officials in accordance with the policies of the Board of Education:

 

  • Private consultation with school or district officials
  • Financial compensation for damages or replacement costs
  • Limitation or loss of user privileges
  • Letter of reprimand placed in personnel folder
  • Suspension, termination, or other disciplinary action
  • Notification of illegal activities or vandalism to the appropriate authorities.

 

 

Legal References:  U.S. Const. amends. I; Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5); Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2522; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 7131G.S. 115C-325(e) (applicable to career status teachers), -325.4 (applicable to non-career status teachers)

 

Cross References:  Curriculum and Instructional Guides (policy 3115), Technology in the Educational Program (policy 3220), Internet Safety (policy 3226/4205), Web Page Development (policy 3227/7322), Copyright Compliance (policy 3230/7330), Student Behavior Policies (all policies in the 4300 series), Public Records (policy 5070), Staff Responsibilities (policy 7300), Student Records (policy 4700), Confidentiality of Personal Identifying Information (policy 4705/7825); Public Records (policy 5070), Use of Equipment, Materials, and Supplies (policy 6520), Network Security (policy 6524), Staff Responsibilities (policy 7300),

 

Adopted:  May 17, 2004

 

Revised:  November 7, 2005, July 7, 2008, June 7, 2010, January 31, 2011, December 5, 2011, June 16, 2014, June 1, 2015, January 10, 2022.

The Middle School Laptop Handbook may also be accessed by clicking the PDF file linked at the bottom of this page.