The Unity School Internet, Computer and Mobile Device Acceptable Use Policy
An important goal of our academic philosophy is the responsible and ethical use of technology in our students’ everyday lives. With this in mind, Unity School integrates technology into the academic programs of our students. Use of the Internet as well as other technology will benefit our students throughout their academic careers and beyond. However, access to computers and people all over the world allows the availability of materials that are not of educational value in the context of a PK-8th grade school setting. The Unity School campus network provides many safeguards to protect the students’ online activities including a firewall, web blockers and content filters. Off campus there is no such protection. On a global network, it is impossible to control all materials. However, we believe that the benefit of having access to valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the very real possibility that students may acquire material that is not consistent with the educational goals of Unity School.
While at school, students have access to and may use the Internet, as well as any technology, only with specific direction from a teacher. Teachers will monitor this work as they would any other classroom activity. Unity School, however, cannot prevent the possibility that some students may access material that is not consistent with the educational mission, goals, and policies of our school. At Unity, access to the internet and use of any computer or mobile device are privileges. Inappropriate use on or off campus can result in the loss of these privileges. A student who is found to violate any of the agreed upon policies, will be subject to disciplinary action including restricted or complete loss of access to any computer or mobile device. Parents, please discuss the following usage rules with your children. We ask that both the children and adults of our community abide by the rules listed below.
As a student at Unity School, I understand and agree with the following:
- The use of technology on or off campus must be in support the mission, values, and principles of Unity School. I realize that when I use the Internet I am entering a global community and my actions are a reflection of the school community. I will behave in an ethical and legal manner.
- The use of any personal or school computer or other mobile device is only allowed with specific direction from the teacher anytime I am at Unity School.
- All use of technology will be under the direction of a teacher. I will only visit sites as directed by my teacher. I will not chat, blog, email, etc. at school unless I have a teacher’s expressed permission to do so as a legitimate class activity.
- The School does not view a smartphone or cellphone as an adequate tool for the level of intensity and sophistication that is required of our students in our academic setting. Given the rigor of the educational program, the smartphone or cellphone would not effectively accommodate the scope of the academic work required at Unity School. Therefore, smartphone or cellphone use is prohibited during school hours.
- I will not give out my personal information/other person’s personal information including name, address, telephone number, email, password, etc. without permission. Passwords are never to be shared, even with permission.
- Accessing any program, app, site or other internet content without teacher direction or making changes to the computer’s or device’s settings or cabling is not allowed.
- I will not load/install/download/open any item (software, application, executable, image, email, music file, CD, etc.) on a school device or, while at school, a personal device without specific permission to do so. When given permission, I will investigate and follow the copyright rules for the distribution and use of any software and information I acquire.
- I will not play games, music, or videos on any computers or mobile devices while at school without teacher permission.
- I may not use technology to record audio, video or stills without the permission of the persons being recorded.
- Spamming, hate mail, harassment, cyber bullying, discriminatory remarks or other antisocial behaviors are prohibited.
- All printing while at school will be under the specific direction of a teacher or the general direction of the school teacher facilitated activity.
- If I observe information I feel inappropriate while on the Internet or otherwise, I will inform the teacher immediately. Printed and electronic media (screensavers, backgrounds, icons, files, etc.), containing sexually explicit information, vulgarity, profanity, weapons or violence is not permitted.
- The names and images of students and staff members shall not be included in any personal web pages, social networking sites, blogs, or other means of placement on the Internet or other public media without prior approval of those individuals being referenced.
- Any images of the school buildings, grounds or security, shall not be included in any personal web pages, social networking sites, blogs, or other means of placement on the Internet or other public media without prior approval of school administration.
- Indications of inappropriate behavior contrary to the expectations set forth by school policy; false or derogatory statements regarding students, staff, or the school; or disclosure of personal details about other students, staff members, or the school without the express, written consent of the student and their parents, the staff member, and/or Unity School are not allowed and could lead to immediate sanction, including expulsion.
Laws and policies that help to protect our students online
Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
Unity School is required by CIPA to have technology measures and policies in place that protect students from harmful materials including those that are obscene and pornographic. This means that student internet access is filtered while using the school’s network. Content from inappropriate sites will be blocked.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. The school uses many COPPA compliant educational resources hosted by outside third parties, including Google Apps for Education. This permission form allows the School to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within school context. The School’s use of student information is solely for education purposes.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (name, phone, address, grade level, etc.) but parents may request that the School not disclose this information.
- The School will not publish confidential educational records (grades, student ID number, etc.) for public viewing on the Internet.
- The School may publish student work and photos for public viewing, but will not publish students’ last names or other personally identifiable information without prior approval.
- Parents may request that photos, names, and general directory information about their children not be published.
- Parents have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child’s e-mail and files.