User Policy

The Mastery School

Student Acceptable Use Policy

The Mastery School is providing students access to the district’s electronic network. This network includes Internet access, computer services, videoconferencing, computer equipment and related equipment for educational purposes.  The purpose of this network is to assist in preparing students for success in life and work in the 21st century by providing them with electronic access to a wide range of information and the ability to communicate with people throughout the world.  This document contains the rules and procedures for students’ acceptable use of The Mastery School electronic network.

  • The Mastery School electronic network has been established for a limited educational purpose. The term "educational purpose" includes classroom activities, career development, and limited high-quality self-discovery activities.
  • The The Mastery School electronic network has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. The Mastery School has the right to place reasonable restrictions on material that is accessed or posted throughout the network.
  • Parent/guardian permission is required for all students under the age of 18.  Access is a privilege — not a right. 
  • It is presumed that students will honor this agreement they and their parent/guardian have signed.  The district is not responsible for the actions of students who violate them beyond the clarification of standards outlined in this policy.
  • The district reserves the right to monitor all activity on this electronic network.  Students will indemnify the district for any damage that is caused by students' inappropriate use of the network.
  • Students are expected to follow the same rules, good manners and common sense guidelines that are used with other daily school activities as well as the law in the use of The Mastery School electronic network.

General Unacceptable Behavior

While utilizing any portion of the The Mastery School electronic network, unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students will not post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or danger of disruption.
  • Students will not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.
  • Students will not harass another person.  Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person.  If a student is told by a person to stop sending messages, they must stop.
  • Students will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization.
  • Students will not use criminal speech or speech in the course of committing a crime such as threats to the president, instructions on breaking into computer networks, child pornography, drug dealing, purchase of alcohol, gang activities, threats to an individual, etc.
  • Students will not use speech that is inappropriate in an educational setting or violates district rules.
  • Students will not abuse network resources such as sending chain letters or "spamming”.
  • Students will not display, access or send offensive messages or pictures.
  • Students will not use the The Mastery School electronic network for commercial purposes. Students will not offer, provide, or purchase products or services through this network.
  • Students will not use the The Mastery School electronic network for political lobbying. Students may use the system to communicate with elected representatives and to express their opinions on political issues.
  • Students will not attempt to access non-instructional district systems, such as student information systems or business systems.
  • Students will not use any wired or wireless network (including third party internet service providers) with equipment brought from home.  Example:  The use of a home computer on the network or accessing the internet from any device not owned by the district.
  • Students will not use district equipment, network, or credentials to threaten employees, or cause a disruption to the educational program.
  • Students will not use the district equipment, network, or credentials to send or post electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, damaging to another’s reputation, or illegal.

E-Mail (Note: The Mastery School monitors all student email on our electronic system – or that accesses email using our system.)

  • E-mail for students in the elementary and middle school grades will only be provided through a teacher or classroom e-mail account.
  • Students will not establish or access Web-based e-mail accounts on commercial services through the district network unless such accounts have been approved for use by the The Mastery School Administration.
  • Students will not repost a message that was sent to them privately without the permission of the person who sent them the message and The Mastery School Administration.
  •  Students will not post private information about another person.

World Wide Web

  • Elementary School Level - Access to information for students on the Web will generally be limited to prescreened sites that are closely supervised by the teacher.
  • Middle School Level - Access to information for students on the Web will generally be provided through prescreened sites and in a manner prescribed by the school.

Telnet and FTP

Telnet and FTP services are not available to students.  However, all aspects of this policy are applicable to material accessed or downloaded.

Message Board/Usenet Groups

The district will provide access to selected newsgroups that relate to subjects appropriate for educational use.  Messages posted locally that are in violation of this policy will be removed. The district reserves the right to immediately terminate an account of a student who misuses the message boards or Usenet groups.

Real-time, Interactive Communication Areas

Students may use instant messaging, but only under the direct supervision of a teacher or in a moderated environment that has been established to support educational activities and has been approved by the district or individual school.

Websites

  • Elementary and Middle School Level - Group pictures without identification of individual students are permitted.  Student work may be posted with either student first name only or other school-developed identifier (such as an alias or number). 
  • Material placed on student Web pages are expected to meet academic standards of proper spelling, grammar and accuracy of information. 
  • Material (graphics, text, sound, etc.) that is the ownership of someone other than the student may not be used on Web sites unless formal written permission has been obtained.
  • All student Web pages should have a link back to the home page of the classroom, school or district, as appropriate.

Personal Safety

  • Students will not share personal contact information about themselves or other people. Personal contact information includes address, telephone, school address, or work address.
  • Elementary and middle school students will not disclose their full name or any other personal contact information for any purpose.
  • Students will not agree to meet with someone they have met online.
  • Students will promptly disclose to a teacher or other school employee any message received that is inappropriate or makes the student feel uncomfortable

System Security

  • Students are responsible for their individual accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use them. Under no conditions should students provide their password to another person.
  • Students must immediately notify a teacher or the system administrator if they have identified a possible security problem.  Students should not go looking for security problems, because this may be construed as an illegal attempt to gain access.
  • Students will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any portion of the The Mastery School electronic network. This includes attempting to log in through another person's account or access another person's folders, work, or files. These actions are illegal, even if only for the purposes of "browsing".
  • Students will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal.
  • Users will not attempt to access Websites blocked by district policy, including the use of proxy services, software, or Websites.
  • Users will not use sniffing or remote access technology to monitor the network or other user’s activity.

Software and Files

  • Software is available to students to be used as an educational resource.  No student may install, upload or download software without permission from the district technology department.
  • A student's account may be limited or terminated if a student intentionally misuses software on any district-owned equipment.
  • Files stored on the network are treated in the same manner as other school storage areas, such as lockers. Routine maintenance and monitoring of The Mastery School electronic network may lead to discovery that a student has violated this policy or the law. Students should not expect that files stored on district servers are private.

Technology Hardware

Hardware and peripherals are provided as tools for student use for educational purposes.  Students are not permitted to relocate hardware (except for portable devices), install peripherals or modify settings to equipment without the consent of the district technology department. 

Vandalism

Any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data, the network, other network components connected to the network backbone, hardware or software will result in cancellation of network privileges.  Disciplinary measures in compliance with the district's discipline code and policies will be enforced.

Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

  • Students will not plagiarize works found on the Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they were the students’.
  • District policies on copyright will govern the use of material accessed and used through the district system.
  • Copyrighted material will not be placed on any system without the author's permission.  Permission may be specified in the document, on the system or must be obtained directly from the author.

Videoconference

  • Videoconferencing is a way that students can communicate with other students, speakers, museums, etc. from other parts of the country and the world.  With videoconferencing equipment, students can see, hear, and speak with other students, speakers, museum personnel, etc. in real time. 
  • Videoconference sessions may be videotaped by district personnel or by a participating school involved in the exchange in order to share the experience within ours or their building or district.
  • Students' voices, physical presence, and participation in the videoconference are transmitted to participating sites during each session. Rules and procedures relative to acceptable use and behavior by students apply during all videoconference sessions.

Student Rights

  • Students' right to free speech applies to communication on the Internet.  The The Mastery School electronic network is considered a limited forum, similar to the school newspaper, and therefore the district may restrict a student's speech for valid educational reasons. The district will not restrict a student's speech on the basis of a disagreement with the opinions that are being expressed.
  • An individual search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a student has violated this policy or the law. The investigation will be reasonable and related to the suspected violation.

Due Process

  • The district will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal activities conducted through the district network.
  • In the event there is an allegation that a student has violated the district acceptable use regulation and policy, the student will be provided with a written notice of the alleged violation.  An opportunity will be provided to present an explanation before a neutral administrator (or student will be provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the disciplinary code).
  • Disciplinary actions will be tailored to meet specific concerns related to the violation and to assist the student in gaining the self-discipline necessary to behave appropriately on an electronic network. Violations of the acceptable use regulation and policy may result in a loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.
  • If the violation also involves a violation of other provisions of other school rules, it will be handled in a manner described in the school rules. Additional restrictions may be placed on a student's use of his/her network account.

Limitation of Liability

  • The district makes no guarantee that the functions or the services provided by or through the district network will be error-free or without defect. The district will not be responsible for any damage suffered, including but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service.
  • The district is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the network. The district will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the network. 

Violations of this Acceptable Use Policy

Violations of this policy may result in loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.  Students' violation of this policy shall be subject to the consequences as indicated within this policy as well as other appropriate discipline, which includes but is not limited to:

§  Use of district network only under direct supervision

§  Suspension of network privileges

§  Revocation of network privileges

§  Suspension of computer privileges

§  Suspension from school

§  Expulsion from school and/or

§  Legal action and prosecution by the authorities

The particular consequences for violations of this policy shall be determined by the school administrators.  The superintendent or designee and the board shall determine when school expulsion and/or legal action or actions by the authorities are the appropriate course of action.