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South San Francisco USD |  AR  4040  Personnel

Employee Use Of Technology   

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A. Purpose

1. The purpose of District-provided technology, (i.e. computers, software, Internet and intranet access, server-based storage and e-mail) is to improve student academic learning and achievement and to facilitate the administrative processes of the South San Francisco Unified School District ("SSFUSD"). Employees must restrict their activities to endeavors which support these purposes. The intent of this administrative regulation is to make clear cases consistent with the objectives of the SSFUSD and is not intended to exhaustively enumerate all possible uses or misuses.

2. Notice: These guidelines and provisions are subordinate to local, state and federal statutes.

B. Internet

The SSFUSD is pleased to offer its employees, volunteers, and authorized visitors ("users") filtered access to the Internet.

C. Educational Objectives

In making decisions regarding access to the Internet, the SSFUSD considers its own stated educational mission, goals, and objectives. The SSFUSD expects faculty and staff to blend thoughtful use of the Internet throughout the curriculum and provide guidelines and instruction to students in its use. Access from school to Internet resources should be structured to point students to those resources that have been evaluated prior to use.

D. Privacy is Not Guaranteed

The Superintendent, administrative designee(s), and/or authorized Technology Services personnel may review all electronic files and monitor all computer and Internet activity to maintain system integrity and ensure that users are acting responsibly. Privacy is not guaranteed nor should it be expected.

E. Questions

Any questions or issues regarding the Employee Acceptable Use Policy and procedures should be directed to the Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources. Violation of any conditions of use described herein may be cause for disciplinary action or termination of employment. When or where applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.

F. Use is a Privilege

Use of the SSFUSD's computing systems, network, the Internet and/or Email is a privilege granted by the SSFUSD to its employees, it is not a right. Users violating policies pertaining to standards of conduct or acceptable use shall be subject to disciplinary and/or appropriate legal action.

G. Liability

SSFUSD makes no assurances of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding any technology services provided and will not be responsible for any damages incurred by users. Use of information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk. The SSFUSD will not be responsible for any damages users suffer, including - but not limited to - loss of data resulting from delays or interruptions in service. The SSFUSD will not be responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information on storage media; nor for the accuracy, nature or quality of information gathered through SSFUSD-provided Internet access. SSFUSD will not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from SSFUSD-provided access to the Internet.

H. Modifications

The Superintendent or his designee is authorized to amend or revise the Employee Acceptable Use Policy Administrative Regulations as deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out school board objectives.

I. Network Procedures

SSFUSD, in order to implement the Employee Acceptable Use policy, will enforce the following procedures. Although some specific examples of prohibited use are stated, these procedures do not attempt to state all required or proscribed behavior. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures shall be deemed unacceptable, and subject to disciplinary and/or appropriate legal action.

1. Acceptable Use (General)

Appropriate Internet access is the joint responsibility of students, teachers, parents and employees of SSFUSD. Since access to the Internet is a valuable and limited resource, employees are expected to place a premium on the quality of its use. Taking up valuable bandwidth and access time to pursue personal or frivolous activities, not consistent with the mission of the SSFUSD, is prohibited.

All use must be consistent with the educational and administrative goals of SSFUSD. The Superintendent or his designee may at any time make determinations that particular uses are or are not consistent with the objectives of the SSFUSD. Computers must have SSFUSD-approved and up-to-date anti-virus software protection prior to use.

2. Acceptable Uses (Specific)

Users may use the Internet to communicate with outside researchers and educators in connection with research or instruction. Communication and exchange for professional development, to maintain currency, or to debate issues in a field or sub-field of knowledge. Use for disciplinary-society, university-association, government-advisory, or standards activities related to the user's research and instructional activities. Use in applying for or administering grants or contracts for research or instruction.

Any other administrative communications or activities in direct support of research and instruction are allowable. Employees may interact with other School Districts or governmental agencies.

3. Incidental Activities (Limited)

Communication incidental to otherwise acceptable use, except for illegal or specifically unacceptable use is limited.

4. Publishing Instructional Materials

Posting or publishing instructional materials on web pages or certain sites on the Internet is allowed, so long as such postings and/or publication do not violate the policies and procedures of the SSFUSD.

5. Duplicating

Downloading, copying, otherwise duplicating, and/or distributing copyrighted materials without the specific written permission of the copyright owner is prohibited, except that duplication and/or distribution of materials for educational purposes is permitted when such duplication and/or distribution would fall within the Fair Use Doctrine of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17, USC).

J. Unacceptable Uses

1. Unlawful Purposes. Uses that violate any state of federal law or municipal ordinance are unacceptable. Unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, selling or purchasing any illegal substance; accessing, transmitting, or downloading child pornography, harmful materials, or materials that encourage others to violate the law; or copying, transmitting or downloading copyrighted materials.

2. Inappropriate Material. Users may not access, display, transmit, download, or in any way communicate text or imagery including, but not limited to, pornography, sexually explicit material, obscene depictions real or animated, or information promoting racism, "hate" or violence.

3. Malicious Intent. Users shall not rename, or make unusable anyone else's computer files, programs or storage media. Users shall not intentionally damage the system, damage information belonging to others, misuse system resources, or allow others to misuse system resources. Users shall not deliberately use the computer to annoy or harass others with language, images, or threats. Users shall not access or create any obscene or objectionable information, language or images. Adult Users shall not use system resources to fraternize with students via web page sites (such as MySpace, Facebook or any social networking websites); blog sites, chat rooms; instant messenger programs, or any other electronic means sponsored by the district.

4. Unauthorized Access. Users shall not divulge nor use or try to discover another's password. Users shall not gain unauthorized access to resources or entities. Accessing another's materials, information, or files without authorization is prohibited. Employees using the Student Information System will not use another person's account nor allow anyone to use their account. Unattended computers must not be left logged in, and students must never be allowed access to the Student Information System.

5. Internet Security. Users shall not bypass the SSFUSD's Internet filter or firewall. The use of personal modems and/or routers is prohibited.

6. Personal Profit/Advertising. Using SSFUSD computers or networks for purposes of personal profit or for buying or selling personal items is prohibited. Users shall not use the network for commercial or private advertising. SSFUSD resources shall not be used for private or commercial offerings of products or services for sale, or to solicit products or services or to raise funds for non-SSFUSD related activities or organizations. Disseminating material or information on the behalf of or with regard to private businesses or associations, political campaigns or organizations without the express consent of the Superintendent is prohibited.

7. Unauthorized Document Alteration. Copying, changing or transferring any software or documentation provided by the SSFUSD, employees, teachers, or a student without permission from the Superintendent or his designee is prohibited.

8. Posting Material. Users shall not post material owned, copyrighted or created by another without their prior written consent. Users shall not post anonymous messages nor forge electronic mail messages or web pages.

9. Destructive Software (Bugs, Viruses, Worms, etc.). Users shall not attempt to write, produce, generate, copy, or introduce any computer code that self-replicates, damages, or otherwise hinders the performance of the network or any computer.

10. Equipment. Users shall not tamper with computers, networks, printers or other associated equipment. SSFUSD equipment (hardware or software) shall not be taken home without prior written permission of the Superintendent or his designee. Home or non-SSFUSD purchased computers and/or peripherals or wireless networking devices will not be supported and shall not be connected to District LANs.

11. Unauthorized Software. Users shall not install any unauthorized or entertainment software, including shareware and freeware, for use on SSFUSD computers.

12. Downloads. Users shall not access the SSFUSD network for downloading entertainment software or other files unrelated to the mission and objectives of the SSFUSD, including transferring to a user's home computer or other personal computer. This prohibition pertains to freeware, shareware, copyrighted commercial and non-commercial software, and all other forms of software or files not directly related to the instructional or administrative purposes of the SSFUSD.

13. Online Services. Users shall not subscribe or use fee based on-line services without the prior written approval of the Superintendent or his designee.

14. Proxy. Use of a proxy service or proxy server is prohibited.

15. Profanity. Use of profanity, obscenity, racist terms, or other language that may be offensive to another user is prohibited.

16. Political Activities. Users may not conduct lobbying activities, as defined under Education Code section 7054. This provision shall not limit the use of the system by students or staff for the purposes of communicating with elected representatives, including the expression of their views on political issues.

K. Employee Responsibility

Employees are to understand and enforce acceptable use when their duties include supervising students or other Employees using the Internet. Users shall report illegal or unauthorized use of the network to an Administrator or the Director of Technology Services. When Administrators become aware of violations of the Employee Acceptable Use Policy, they should correct the user and address the matter in accordance with this document, and/or other policies governing employee and/or student conduct.

L. Electronic Mail

Electronic mail (e-mail) is available to most District staff. It is a valuable tool in improving business communication within and outside of SSFUSD. The system belongs to SSFUSD and is to be used for business purposes. There should be no expectation of privacy in anything created, stored, sent, or received on the e-mail system. To ensure compliance and proper usage, the following regulations have been established:

1. Basic Guidelines

All e-mail messages, as all paper documents, are the property of the District and are subject to office policy, procedures, and control. E-mail is for business use. Messages can be stored, forwarded and printed. As such, the District has the right to review them. The messages are considered public documents available to the public and subject to court subpoena in any legal proceedings.

Messages should be brief and concise. E-mail messages should not contain profanity, racial or sexual slurs, or other unprofessional language. E-mail messages should include professional fonts, colors, backgrounds, logos, etc. Information which falls under any applicable privacy regulation shall not be communicated through or attached to e-mail. Specific examples are: Social Security Numbers, employee's salary, address or telephone number, disciplinary action or documentation of performance problems, and/or details of a health or medical condition.

Mailbox space should be kept to a minimum. Unneeded messages should be deleted. Employees are responsible for any messages sent using their e-mail account.

Announcements to "all district or global" should be approved by their supervisor as to appropriateness. "Global" email access is only approved by Information Technology Services. By default principals, directors, executive assistants and Cabinet have default rights to send "to their specific site or groups" e-mails.

Human Resources is required to notify Information Technology Services to amend employee information when staff is promoted, demoted, changes locations, or changes names.

2. Passwords

Employees are responsible for their passwords on their e-mail account. Each user is expected to change the password from the generic password to a personalized password and keep it secure - including not sharing passwords with other parties. Continued use of the generic password can result in someone else sending messages in the owner's name, in which case the owner is held responsible. Automatic logging onto e-mail should NOT be used. Make your password easy to type quickly. This will make it harder for someone looking over your shoulder to steal it.

3. E-Mail Retention

E-mail messages, created or received in the transaction of SSFUSD business, are public records and are open to public inspection. Depending on the content and topic of a particular message, it may or may not be exempt from public inspection under the California Public Records Act. The e-mail system will retain e-mails for a reasonable time frame for both disaster recovery and the recently amended federal legislation.

M. Privacy

Users do not have a personal privacy right in any matter created, received, stored in or sent from the SSFUSD E-Mail system. SSFUSD may at times and without prior notice, monitor and review E-Mail messages and web site retrieval by users to insure proper use.

N. Use of E-Mail System

The following additional provisions apply to users of the E-Mail system:

1. Personal Information. Personal information about students and/or employees including, but not limited to photographs, names, addresses and phone numbers shall not be transmitted outside the SSFUSD network.

2. Harassment. Users of the E-Mail system shall not use E-Mail in any way that would be considered damaging to another's reputation; abusive; obscene; sexually orientated; offensive; threatening; harassing; illegal; or contrary to school policy. Inappropriate E-mail messages should be reported immediately to an Administrator or the Director of Technology Services.

3. Interference. Users shall not deliberately interfere with the ability of other Users to send/receive Email.

4. Etiquette. Users shall not use the E-Mail system in a fashion that is inconsistent with the provisions of this policy or generally accepted network etiquette. Messages from other users should not be forwarded without their expressed consent.

5. Content. E-mail messages and attachments shall be solely for the purpose of exchanging information consistent with the educational mission of the SSFUSD. Jokes, hoaxes, chain letters or other frivolous or misleading messages and/or attachments are prohibited.

O. System Use and Maintenance

Users should remove or erase their E-Mail or files from the SSFUSD file server regularly. E-Mail or other files stored on an SSFUSD file server are not considered private property or communications and may be removed by authorized Information Technology personnel without prior notice to the user.

P. Controversial Material

Education, by its nature, is a controversial activity. However, it is against District policy to use District resources for access to inappropriate or offensive material. In an effort to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) the District uses blocking and filtering services, which will make it difficult for students to gain access to inappropriate or offensive sites on the Internet. Users should realize, however, that it would be impossible to find and block all objectionable content on the Internet. Therefore, if a user encounters material inappropriate to an educational environment, s/he should report the URL (Internet address) to the Technology Department.

Q. Social Networking

1. Access to Social Networking Sites

An employee with a business-related need to access a social networking site using SSFUSD Technology and/or for SSFUSD business may request such access from the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Such requests must ultimately be submitted to the Technology Services Department to allow such access and under what circumstances.

2. Creation of SSFUSD- Related Web 2.0 Sites

Employees who wish to create an SSFUSD related web must have approval from their supervisor and the Director of Technology Services or designee will approve the content of the site and determine whether the site will be structured to accept postings from individuals outside of SSFUSD. All such sites must be in compliance with SSFUSD's Web Authoring Standards. The Superintendent or designee shall not approve the creation of a web site or similar, that constitutes a "designated public forum" (i.e., a forum that allows all individuals to speak to any topic).

The Director of Information Technology Services or designee shall be responsible for monitoring the postings to the site and upon receipt of a complaint concerning inappropriate content shall immediately notify the Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources. The following types of postings shall be removed immediately:

a. Obscenity

b. Pornography/child pornography

c. Material that is harmful to minors as defined in 47 U.S.C. 254

d. Material that constitutes or advocates illegal activity

e. Material that promotes the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs

f. Material that advocates violence, hate groups or other dangerous groups

g. Bullying

h. Material that discriminates against people based on a protected characteristic

i. Materials that violate copyright laws

j. Commercial advertising

k. Defamatory information

l. Private information concerning another person, including photographs, posted without that person's permission

Teachers and others may not post student names, photographs, or work without prior written authorization from the student's parent or guardian, or responsible agency, if applicable.

R. Consequences

The consequences for violating this policy include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

1. Suspension of district network privileges or,

2. Revocation of network privileges;

3. Suspension of Internet access or

4. Revocation of Internet access;

5. Suspension of computer access, or

6. Revocation of computer access;

7. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, or

8. Referral to legal authorities for prosecution under California Penal Code Section 502.

S. Use of Electronic Recording Devices

Use of electronic recording devices to facilitate specific instructional and administrative services is permitted based on established policies and practices. Such uses include but are not limited to the school or district identification card program and related uses, school or district publications and broadcast facilities, athletic programs and theatrical productions, scheduled distance learning classes, video conferences, digitally streamed class content (live or recorded), and video tape recording of classes or related academic events by Information Technology Services when requested to capture video, audio or still images.

Electronic devices may be used to record a lecture, presentation, interview or similar activity with prior permission of the individual being recorded. This permission does not extend to others who may be present. Absence of permission may constitute copyright infringement. Verbal permission may be sufficient for recording within a class or meeting for personal use. However, written permission must be obtained prior to recording or transmitting someone's image or speech over the airwaves, in public, on the web, as part of a class assignment or any district sponsored activity or program. It is the responsibility of the user, host, event sponsor or department to provide notification and obtain the necessary permissions in advance or at the time of the recording / transmission.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and applicable policies and laws, instructional materials and school or district information presented in electronic form must be accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes recordings of lectures, events, DVDs and other recordings shown in class or posted on the web. In general, this requires that the recording be captioned.

1. Expectation of Privacy

Taking photos or making audio or video recordings without permission in ANY context in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy is prohibited. Such physical areas on campus include but are not limited to private offices, restrooms, changing rooms, labs, classrooms, and conference rooms. In such areas, permission must be granted by all persons being photographed or recorded.

2. Surveillance Equipment and Software

Surveillance equipment and software may be placed on campus and monitored by authorized campus personnel to prevent or deter crimes and protect public safety and to facilitate official investigations into criminal activities or violations of district policy. Such uses must be coordinated with the Police Department or Technology Services as appropriate.

T. Cellular Phone Use

For the purpose of this policy, the term "cellular phone" is defined as any handheld electronic device with the ability to receive and/or transmit voice, text, or data messages without a cable connection (including, but not limited to, cellular telephones, digital wireless phones, radio-phones/walkie-talkies, telephone pagers, PDAs (personal digital assistants with wireless communication capabilities), or RIM ("research in motion") wireless devices. South San Francisco Unified School District reserves the right to modify or update these policies at any time.

1. Personal Cellular Phones

While at work, employees are expected to exercise discretion in using personal cellular phones. Personal calls during the work hours, regardless of the phone used can interfere with employee productivity, safety and may be distracting to others. Employees are encouraged to make personal calls during breaks and lunch and to ensure that friends and family members are aware of the District's policy. The District will not be liable for the loss of personal cellular phones brought into the workplace. Cellular telephones may not be used to defame, harass, intimidate, or threaten any other person. Employees are prohibited from using their cell phones in any illegal, illicit or offensive manner.

2. Personal Use of District-Provided Communication Devices

Where job or business needs demand immediate access to an employee a department may authorize issue of a business cell phone, beeper and/or two-way radio for work-related communications. In order to protect the employee from incurring a tax liability for the personal use of equipment, such equipment should be used for business reasons.

A District provided phone is intended for business calls only. Call summary reports (i.e. number of minutes used) are distributed to supervisors on a periodic basis and are to be reviewed for reasonableness.

3. Employees will reimburse the District for any charges related to personal calls.

The call detail records generated from assigned cell phones are considered records of the District and may, on occasion, be subject to internal and outside audits by the District and/or official agencies. Employees in possession of District equipment (e.g., cellular phones, pagers, radios, etc.) are expected to protect the equipment from loss damage or theft. Upon resignation, termination of employment, or at any time upon

request, the employee will be asked to produce the equipment for return or inspection. Employees unable to present the equipment in good working condition within a reasonable time period (24 hours) will bear the cost of a replacement. Employees who separate from employment with outstanding debts for equipment loss or unauthorized charges will be considered to have left employment on unsatisfactory terms and may be subject to legal action for recovery of the loss. Any outstanding debt will be deducted from the employee's final pay check.

4. Cellular Phone Use while Operating a Vehicle

Employees whose job responsibilities include driving or equipment operation must not use their phone/communication device while driving a District vehicle or while driving any other vehicle (rented, leased, borrowed, or their own vehicle) while conducting District business. Drivers shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the use of mobile technology devices including cell phones. Incoming or outgoing cellular phone calls are not allowed while driving. Sending or reading text messages, emails, dialing cellular phones, viewing television, videos, or DVD's and inputting data into laptop computers, personal digital assistants or navigation systems are prohibited while driving. The cellular phone voicemail feature should be on to store incoming calls while driving and all message retrievals and calls should be made after the vehicle is safely parked.

Driving while distracted in the State of California is a moving violation. Accidents incurred while the driver is using a cellular phone may be considered to be preventable and the driver may be subject to disciplinary action. Employees who are charged with traffic violations resulting from the use of their phone while driving will be responsible for all financial liabilities (fines associated with citations) that result from such actions.

Failure to follow this policy may result in disciplinary action, including and up to termination.


approved: February 27, 2014 South San Francisco, California