District Internet Safety Plan

The District provides Internet access to its employees, Board members, and students for educational purposes. The District's Internet system has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. The District has the right to place restrictions on use to ensure that use of the system is in accord with its limited educational purpose.

Student use of the District's Internet system will be governed by this document, the District’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), related District and school regulations, and the student disciplinary code. Staff use will be governed by this document, related District policies and regulations, District employment policy, and the collective bargaining agreement. The due process rights of all users will be respected in the event there is a suspicion of inappropriate use of the District Internet system. Because the law considers information and material on the school network as public documents and requires the monitoring of Internet activity, users should have limited privacy expectations regarding the contents of their personal files and records of their online activity while on the District system.

The District Internet system is a limited public forum. The District may restrict access to materials or may place restrictions on student speech for valid educational reasons.

This document was developed in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

The District promotes the effective, educational use of the Internet in school through professional development. Student and staff users of the District Internet system are being educated regularly regarding the safe, ethical, legal, and responsible use of the Internet and of the District's Internet system and their rights and responsibilities under this plan. Student use and activities will be structured in a manner that is appropriate to the age and skills of students.

The District protects against access to materials that are considered inappropriate for users to access through the District Internet system in the following manner:

  1. The District recognizes that Internet resources can be categorized as prohibited, restricted, limited access, or approved material. Prohibited material may not be accessed by the students or staff at any time, for any purpose. Restricted material may be accessed by students in the context of specific learning activities that have been approved by a teacher or by staff for professional development purposes. Limited access material is material that is generally considered to be non-educational or entertainment. Limited access material may be accessed in the context of specific learning activities that are directed by a teacher or during periods of time that a school may designate as "open access" time. Approved material, on the other hand, can be accessed at all times.
  2. The District has implemented the use of a technology protection measure (filtering software), which is a specific technology that will protect against access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, and materials that are harmful to minors, as defined by CIPA. At the discretion of the District or school, the filtering software may also be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for student access. The District recognizes, however, that filters are not perfect. They block sites that should not be blocked and let through sites that should be blocked. Therefore, Southern Regional does not rely on filters as a sole protection measure. Education on how to handle accidental access, supervision, parental support of policies and responsible use play important roles.
  3. Authorized staff may temporarily or permanently unblock access to sites containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked by the filtering software.
  4. The determination of whether material is appropriate or inappropriate shall be based on the content of the material and the intended use of the material, not on the protection actions of the filtering software.
  5. Student use of the District Internet system will be supervised by staff in a manner that is appropriate to the age of the students and circumstances of use.
  6. The District has developed procedures to monitor student use of the Internet through an analysis of Internet usage records.
  7. The AUP includes provisions that address the following safe and responsible use issues:
    • Access to inappropriate material.
    • Privacy and communication safety standards for self and others
    • Illegal activities, including computer security violations, actions taken to disrupt the performance of a computer system, and the use of the Internet to engage in other criminal acts.
    • Inappropriate language.
    • Plagiarism and copyright infringement.
    • Actions or use that may disrupt or jeopardize the security or effective performance of the District's network or the Internet.
    • Safety and security when using direct electronic communication.

The District follows guidelines for protecting student personal information when accounts are established on third party websites in accordance with CIPA.

The District will protect against the unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal or confidential information of students in accordance with state, federal and local regulations (for instance A-592).

The District will develop regulations addressing the disclosure of student information, posting student-created material, and posting pictures of students on the District website.

Each school year, parents/guardians must sign an agreement to allow their child to access the Internet.

The District educates students to respect intellectual property and observe copyright protection related to material that is accessed through or placed on the Internet.

The District has developed District guidelines to promote the effective educational use of the Internet, protect the privacy rights and other rights of students and staff, limit potential liability of the District for the inappropriate placement of material, and present an image that will reflect well on the District, schools, staff, and students, and adheres to New Jersey state law.

The administrative responsibilities of the District administrative staff related to the District Internet system are as follows:

  1. The superintendent, or his/her designee, will serve as the coordinator to oversee the District Internet system. The superintendent is authorized to develop regulations and agreements for the use of the District Internet system that are in accord with this plan, and other District policies.
  2. The building principal, or his/her designee, will serve as the building-level coordinators for the District Internet system, and be responsible for interpreting this plan and related regulations at the building level.
  3. The District conducts ongoing evaluation of the issues related to this plan, related regulations, and the strategies implemented by schools under this plan.