The Harrisonburg City School Board provides a computer system, including the internet, to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation and communication. Use of the Division's computer system is intended to support education and/or research and for legitimate school business.
HPCS Policy 667, Staff Access to Networked Information Resource establishes important guidelines that teachers must follow when using division network and Internet resources. All staff members are expected to follow these guidelines and must have a signed copy of theAcceptable Use Agreement for Staff on file in the HR department.
HPCS Policy 752, Student Use of the Internet, establishes important guidelines that students must follow. The Acceptable Use Agreement for Students is included in the student handbook that students must certify that they have read. Staff members need to be familiar with these guidelines to ensure that students are following them.
All teachers are expected to include internet safety training for students. This may best be done through "teachable moments" or planned discussions when students are using technology. Be sure to review the Internet Safety curriculum for suggestions and resources for your grade level.
Changes for 2011-2012
For Staff:The following paragraph was added to 667-R to address electronic communication between staff and students in response to the Guidelines for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Abuse in Virginia Public Schools released by the Virginia Board of Education.
Any electronic or online communications by employees with students must be professional in nature, content, and tone and consistent with the Guidelines for Electronic Communication. Communicating with students on non-school matters via electronic resources is not permitted. Staff members must be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their conduct with students. Personal contacts may be interpreted as inappropriate and result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. “Friending” students on social networking sites (outside of school-related activity) is strongly discouraged.
- Acceptable uses of staff to student email or other electronic communication include discussions specifically related to class activities, such as curriculum, homework, tests, and special events. There should be no discussion related to other students, discussion about personal life of staff member or students, or sensitive information regarding the student’s performance.
- Interaction between teachers and students on a social networking site must be for educational purposes.
Staff also must be aware that unacceptable content or inappropriate interactions may adversely affect the reputations and careers of students and teachers. Any online behavior results in a digital footprint that is nearly impossible to remove.
- Pictures of students can be posted only with expressed written approval from parents on sites outside of division websites.
- Do not post comments or other information about students or other staff members even on sites with privacy settings.
Material posted on staff members’ personal websites; websites designed by teachers for student use, and other internet sites such as My Space, Wiki, or Facebook must model the behavior employees are expected to exhibit, both on and off the worksite. Inappropriate content, including messages and pictures, which diminishes an employee’s professionalism or discredits his/her capacity to maintain the respect of students and parents, or that will impair the ability of that employee to serve as a role model for students is prohibited. This type of material would include text or pictures involving hate speech, nudity, obscenity, vulgarity, sexually explicit content, and/or other material which creates or may reasonably be expected to create a disruption to the learning environment.
Be sure to read the complete Guidelines for Electronic Communication.
The following paragraph was changed to address the use of personal mobile internet devices on the division network.
Faculty/staff may access the division computer network with privately owned computers or mobile devices that obtain an IP address. All use must be in accordance with Policy 667 and accompanying regulations.. Staff members are personally responsible for privately owned devices and must ensure that these devices are virus free and do not contain any inappropriate or unauthorized files. The division will not support, repair, nor maintain staff-owned equipment. Harrisonburg City Schools reserves the right to:
- monitor and log all activity on the network
- determine where and when privately owned equipment may be connected to the internet
- deem what is appropriate for use of personal devices on the division network
- remove the user’s access to the network at any time it is determined that the user is engaged in unauthorized activity or is in violation of the Acceptable Use Agreement.
The following paragraph was added to address the use of student-owned devices.
Students at Harrisonburg High School may bring personal mobile internet devices to school to use as educational tools. The use of these devices during instructional time will be at the teacher’s discretion and only for instructional purposes. All use must adhere to the Acceptable Use Agreement and Guidelines for the Use of Student-owned Electronic Devices.
The following paragraph was added to 752-R to address "sexting" in response to VDOE Information Brief: Sexting: Implications for Schools.
Sexting, youth writing sexually explicit messages, taking sexually explicit photos of themselves or others in their peer group, and transmitting those photos and/or messages to their peers, may not be criminal in intent; however, it can be construed as such under current laws. Producing, storing, or sharing lewd or explicit pictures of minors is against the law in Virginia—sections 18.2-374.1 and 18.2-374.1:1 of the criminal Code of Virginia. This applies to students merely possessing such images on their cell phones, sharing them with other students via cell phone, or producing them using their cell phones. In any instance in which a student uses division resources to engage in sexting or when sexting occurring outside of school causes a substantial disruption of the work of the school or infringes on the rights of other students, the person committing the act shall be subject disciplinary action and reported to proper authorities if warranted.