Acceptable Use Policy
Minnehaha Academy has made a strong commitment to improving education with the use of technology. The Internet is a computer network that offers unique, diverse and powerful resources of a global nature to both students and employees. Our goal is to provide access to technology that will further the mission of Minnehaha Academy; “to provide high quality education that integrates Christian faith and learning.” Technology usage will be in accordance with this mission statement, this policy, and any applicable laws in effect.
The term “Network” hereafter will be used to define the local interconnection of computers within the boundaries of Minnehaha Academy, its various locations and offices, and its connection to the Internet.
The “Internet” is a vast network of millions of computers worldwide. It is made up of educational, scientific, government, commercial, and proprietary systems. It allows access to information and people all over the world. With this access to worldwide information, however, comes the availability of materials that may have little or no educational value within the school setting. While Minnehaha Academy has taken precautions to restrict access to illegal or inappropriate resources, it is impossible to control access to all such resources. We believe that the benefits and educational value of the Internet far outweigh the possibility that certain individual users may access or procure material, or use the Internet in a manner inconsistent with the mission of Minnehaha Academy.
“Structured Access” occurs under the supervision of a classroom teacher. All Minnehaha students will have structured access to the Network/Internet. “Open Access” occurs outside of the classroom setting and not under the supervision of a teacher. Open Access to the Network/Internet is offered in our computer labs, libraries, and classrooms to students in grades 5–12.
Purpose of this Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define “acceptable use” of the Network/Internet by students and employees. It will also help to ensure smooth operation of the Network/Internet connection by defining proper conduct for all users. Failure to comply with the terms and conditions outlined in this policy may result in restriction, suspension, or termination of the user’s access privileges. It may also result in other penalties, including suspension or expulsion from school for students or termination of employment for employees, as well as possible legal or other civil action by third parties.
Privileges & Responsibilities
Use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use may result in termination of those privileges. In situations where this policy does not provide clear direction, School Administration will determine what is or is not appropriate. School Administration is charged with the implementation and enforcement of this policy and may, at any time, restrict, suspend, or terminate access privileges if necessary. Parents should understand that Network and Internet access is for educational purposes only and that Minnehaha Academy has taken reasonable steps to ensure that access is limited to such purposes. Parents and students shall not hold Minnehaha Academy responsible for non-educational usage or inappropriate materials accessed or acquired through or supplied to the Internet.
Students and employees are expected to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy. Students and employees must also understand that failure to comply with the terms and conditions of this policy will result in disciplinary action as specified in the student and employee handbooks.
Terms and Conditions
A) Network Etiquette: Users will abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette (“netiquette”). This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Be polite. Do not be abusive in your messages to others.
- Use only appropriate language. Do not swear, use vulgarities, racial slurs or any other offensive language.
- Do not reveal your personal address, email address or phone number or that of other students or colleagues.
- Note that electronic mail (email) is not guaranteed to be private. School Administration may have certain access in order to read or to intercept electronic mail or to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
- Do not use the Internet in a manner that would disrupt operation of the Network for others.
- All communications and information accessible via the Internet should be treated as private property. Authors of incoming messages should not be quoted without their approval unless the forum dictates that this is assumed.
- Do not plagiarize. Indicate in transmissions where others have been quoted.
- Assume that information and/or programs on the Internet may already be copyrighted and should be treated as such.
- Cite all authors and give references for materials used from the Internet.
- Report any security problems directly to School Administration or Director of Technology.
B) Security: The user alone is responsible for his or her server files and online resources. A user may not grant any other user access to his or her files. Do not communicate your password to others. Ultimately, all responsibility for server files and online resources rests with the individual user. If a password is lost or stolen, it should be immediately reported to the Director of Technology or a member of the technology team. A new password will then be issued or the file closed. If students or employees feel they are being harassed in any way over the Network or Internet, it should be reported to School Administration, the Director of Technology, a teacher or a counselor. School Administration reserves the right to take whatever action necessary in order to preserve both the integrity and security of the Network, including shutting down the entire Network and restricting access to the Internet.
C) The following are expressly prohibited:
- Flaming (email of a critical or derogatory nature)
- Theft of passwords
- Sending email messages to multiple lists or users inappropriately (“spamming”)
- Proceeding beyond screens or firewalls that expressly require authorization
- Accessing information or graphics that are inappropriate within the school or educational setting
- Using another person’s server files
- Sending out email anonymously or “impersonating” another person’s address
- Uploading or spreading viruses or worms or any other code that could result in the loss of data and/or resources to another person or computer
- Any illegal, immoral or unethical activity
- Any activity that is inconsistent with the mission of Minnehaha Academy
- Using school resources for personal or financial gain (unless specifically authorized by School Administration)
- Transmission and/or reception of any material in violation of any Federal or State regulations including but not limited to:
• any or all copyrighted material (without the written permission of the author),
• threatening or obscene material, or
• material protected by trademark or trade secret laws.
- Using the Network/Internet for political purposes
- Product advertisements
- Storing or transmitting encrypted data
- Students storing non-academic data or programs on the server
- Copying any copyrighted applications or programs
- Playing non-academic games.
- Downloading files (i.e. games and movies) from sites that have been accessed from outside the school firewall.
D) Network Access: Note that guarantees are neither made nor implied for the reliability of and/or access to the Network/Internet, any resources on it, or any local servers. No guarantee is made for the timeliness or even the delivery of email. (Delays or non delivery are sometimes to be expected.) Information gathered via the Internet should not automatically be considered reliable; users should evaluate that information with respect to its source.
E) Priority: Priority will be given to users of school computers for course work and assignments. While browsing of the Internet is a legitimate activity, it will be given a lower priority than course work or other legitimate staff work.
F) Use by School Employees: While use of the computer, email and Internet is intended for job-related activities, incidental and occasional, brief personal use is permitted within reasonable limits, so long as it does not interfere with employees’ work and responsibilities. Supervisors of Minnehaha employees have the authority to limit network/Internet use beyond these guidelines.
Storage size should be kept to a minimum and within an appropriate size (no flooding the server with large files). The server should not be used to back-up individual computers on the network. Application or program files should not be copied off the server except where approved by School Administration. No student may make changes in the configuration of any computers on the Network without written permission of the Director of Technology or School Administration. Storage reliability on the server is not guaranteed.
This policy was drafted with input from the Technology Advisory Committee, the Minnehaha Academy principals, president, faculty, parent board members, and the Minnehaha Academy Board of Trustees.