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Minister's Directive MD No. 2012-02 Acceptable Use of Communication and Information Technology

MINISTER'S DIRECTIVE NO. MD 2012-02

Acceptable Use of Communication and Information Technology


Supercedes
MD No. 2010-02

Pursuant to section 8 of the School Act R.S.P.E.I. 1998, Cap. S 2.1, I hereby issue the following Minister's Directive concerning the acceptable use of communication and information technology. The directive has four sections:

1. Directive for the Acceptable Use of Communication and Information Technology,
2. Sample cover letter for communication with parents/guardians (Schedule A),
3. Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students (Schedule B), and
4. Communication and Information Technology Acceptable Use Agreement for Students (Schedule C).

Definitions

Communication and Information Technology (CIT)
CIT refers to any device that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive digital information. It includes hardware, local and Internet network infrastructure, operating system, networking, and application software.

Purpose

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is committed to the effective use of CIT to both enhance and improve the education it provides to Prince Edward Island children. Access to CIT is provided to students, educators and other users in schools in order to support and meet the authorized curriculum. Safeguards have been established to ensure that both hardware and software are used for their intended purposes. The Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students, and the accompanying Communication and Information Technology Acceptable Use Agreement for Students, have been implemented to guide and communicate acceptable use to all parents/guardians, teachers and students.

Administration

Prior to giving a student access to CIT at a school, the school principal shall forward the Expectations for Students and the Acceptable Use Agreement for Students to the parent/guardian. Subsequently, the principal shall ensure that a signed copy of the Acceptable Use Agreement has been received from the parent/guardian.

Staff at each school are encouraged to establish school rules which are consistent with this directive and which establish uniform procedures concerning the use of CIT within the school. At the beginning of each school year, prior to giving students access to the technology, school staff designated by the principal shall:

a) complete item 1 and 2 for students continuing in the PEI public school system
b) complete items 1, 2, 3, and 4 for all students entering grades K, 4, 7 and 10 as well as students new to the PEI school system.

1. Instruct students concerning the purposes and benefits of access to the technology;
2. Review the information and responsibilities included in the Expectations for Students with students;
3. Add the signed Acceptable Use Agreement to the permanent student record file, and
4. Update the student information management system (Trevlac) to indicate the necessary signature(s) have been obtained.

This directive comes into force for all schools on May 10, 2012.

DATED at Summerside this 10th day of May 2012.

______________________
J. Alan McIsaac
Minister

Schedule “A”

Sample Letter

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:

This letter is to tell you about access to Communication and Information Technology (CIT) at school. CIT refers to any device that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive digital information. It includes hardware, local and Internet network infrastructure, operating system, networking, and application software. Please discuss the Expectations for Students (Schedule ABC) carefully with your child, then sign and return the Acceptable Use Agreement (Schedule “C”) to your school.

Using Communication and Information Technology in the School

We want your child to learn about CIT, use it at school, and develop the attitudes necessary to become a responsible digital citizen. Access to CIT will also give your child new skills and opportunities to research and access additional learning materials.

While this provides many benefits to your child, there is some unacceptable material on the Internet. We have installed software to restrict access to this kind of material, but it could still be possible for students to find it either on purpose or by accident.

We provide all students with an email account which can be used from ANY device with Internet access both in and outside of school. Parents/guardians should be aware that anyone who receives an email from your child can obtain his or her last name, initials and province from the email address plus any personal information included in the email.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss the expectations outlined in schedule B and consider applying these at home.

Please contact your child's teacher should you have questions or concerns.

Yours truly,


Principal

Schedule “B”

Definitions

Communication and Information Technology (CIT)

CIT refers to any device that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive digital information. It includes hardware, local and Internet network infrastructure, operating system, networking, and application software.

Expectations for Students

We ask parents/guardians to review these expectations carefully with your child. Students should ask their parents/guardians or teacher about any parts that are not understood.

1. We will give you (the student) access to CIT if you and your parents/guardians sign the Acceptable Use Agreement (Schedule C) and return it to your school.

2. You may use electronic information for research purposes if you acknowledge the source in writing and if you respect the copyright and terms of use.

3. You must protect your password and username. Do not give them to anyone else. You must not use other people's passwords. Always log out of any program or Internet site after use.

4. You must not give out any personal information to any person or system on the Internet unless it is part of an educational activity under the supervision of a teacher who has your parent's/guardian’s permission.

5. You should use your email account with caution because people can get personal information about you from your email address.

6. You may access online or offline digital resources and storage drives only according to school rules. For example, databases, Internet based resources, USB storage devices or network drives.

7. You must not use any electronic communication device to access sites that contain or promote pornography, racism, hatred or any other inappropriate material.

8. You must not use any electronic communication device for illegal activities, to harass (cyberbully), or for any activity that could embarrass you or the school.

9. To help provide a safe environment, you or your parent/guardian must tell a counselor, teacher, or administrator about any information or messages that are threatening or hurtful. Keep or print copies of email or text messages, pictures, or any other offending materials.

10. You must not do anything to manipulate, alter, damage, disable, or destroy the computer system, software, network, or data. You must not do anything to circumvent the security measures provided at the school or alter the level of access permissions you have been granted.

11. You must not use CIT in any way that interferes with other users. For example, streaming unnecessary multimedia or sending spam.

Result of Misuse

If the school has reasonable grounds to believe you have used CIT in an unacceptable way or breached school rules, we may cancel your access, conduct searches and/or seizures of school or personal devices, take other disciplinary measures and/or call the police. Your supervising teacher, your school, the school boards or the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development can decide what is unacceptable use. Students, parents/guardians should be aware that disciplinary measures may result when a student’s off-campus CIT use has a direct negative impact on the school environment.

Liability

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, school boards, schools and supervising teachers are not responsible for any damages a student or other user may suffer arising from loss of data due to delays, non deliveries or service interruptions.

Reasonable and appropriate precautions are taken to supervise and monitor student use of CIT. These precautions may not result in full control of student access to content and information. As a result, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, school boards, schools, and supervising teachers do not warranty the accuracy, quality, and suitability of the content and information that might be accessed.

Parent/Guardian Copy of Schedule “C” for future reference

Communication and Information Technology Acceptable Use Agreement for Students

Before students can use the school's computer system, parents/guardians of students in grades K to 12 and students who are in grades 4 to 12 must have signed this agreement. This agreement is to be signed when students enter grades K, 4, 7, and 10 and by students new to the PEI school system. It will stay in effect until the child leaves the school system or until the parent/guardian withdraws permission.

PARENT/GUARDIAN AGREEMENT

I have read the attached Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students (Schedule “B”). I understand and agree that access to CIT is intended for educational purposes. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the school board and school have taken reasonable precautions to filter unacceptable material. I recognize that it is impossible to restrict access to all unacceptable materials, and I will not hold any school staff person, the school board or the Department of Education responsible for materials my child acquires through the use of CIT either by accident or on purpose. I acknowledge and agree that should my child commit any violation of the Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students and school rules, my child's access privileges may be limited, suspended or revoked. School disciplinary action may be taken and/or appropriate legal action may be initiated including release of information to the police or other investigators.

[Parent/Guardian signed and dated form in this area]

STUDENT AGREEMENT (Students in grades 4 through 12)

I understand, agree with and will follow the attached Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students (Schedule “B”). If I break any of the “Expectations for Students,” the school may limit, suspend or revoke my access privileges, take disciplinary action, and/or start legal action including release of information to the police or other investigators.

[Student signed and dated form in this area]

Please complete Schedule “C” on the next page and return to your school.



Schedule “C”

Communication and Information Technology Acceptable Use Agreement for Students

Before students can use the school's computer system, parents/guardians of students in grades K to 12 and students who are in grades 4 to 12 must have signed this agreement. This agreement is to be signed when students enter grades K, 4, 7, and 10 and by students new to the PEI school system. It will stay in effect until the child leaves the school system or until the parent/guardian withdraws permission.

PARENT/GUARDIAN AGREEMENT

I have read the attached Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students (Schedule ABC). I understand and agree that access to CIT is intended for educational purposes. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the school board and school have taken reasonable precautions to filter unacceptable material. I recognize that it is impossible to restrict access to all unacceptable materials, and I will not hold any school staff person, the school board or the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development responsible for materials my child acquires through the use of CIT either by accident or on purpose. I acknowledge and agree that should my child commit any violation of the Communication and Information Technology Expectations for Students and school rules, my child's access privileges may be limited, suspended or revoked. School disciplinary action may be taken and/or appropriate legal action may be initiated including release of information to the police or other investigators.

I hereby give permission to school personnel to grant access to CIT to my child.

Student's Full Name (print): ______________________________________________________

Parent's/Guardian's Name (print): _________________________________________________

Parent's/Guardian's Signature: ____________________________________________________

Date: _________________________

STUDENT AGREEMENT (Students in grades 4 through 12)

I understand, agree with and will follow the attached Communication and Information Technology Rules for Students (Schedule ABC). If I break any of the “Expectations for Students,” the school may limit, suspend or revoke my access privileges, take disciplinary action, and/or start legal action including release of information to the police or other investigators.

Student's Signature: ____________________________________________________________

Date: _________________________

Please complete this form and return it to the school as soon as possible.
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