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Model Policy for Purchase: Acceptable Use of Technology

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December 11, 2013

The use of technology in school districts continues to increase and evolve. Districts are using technology to enhance curriculum, replace traditional text books, and communicate with students, parents, and the community.  Technology impacts discipline, storage of employee and student records, and responses to FOIA requests, among a myriad of other issues.  The use of technology in the school setting creates potential liability for school districts.

In working with school districts, we have found that existing school district policies in many cases do not comprehensively address the array of matters (both practical and legal) relating to technology use by employees and students. This can lead to concerns that school district administrators, employees, and students are not aware of the various obligations and implications of utilizing technology in the school environment. Policies also often are not broad enough to capture the new uses of technology as they arise without expensive, piecemeal policy revisions.

As a result, Franczek Radelet has developed a comprehensive Acceptable Use of Technology model policy, or “AUP” to address these concerns. The purpose of the model policy is to help school districts better navigate this evolving area of the law. The policies were developed around Illinois law and so are “ready to use” for Illinois school districts. School districts that subscribe to the Illinois Association of School Boards’ PRESS policy service will find specific directions on how to integrate the model policy into the PRESS Policy Reference Manual format.

Our model policy is a single policy with eight sections rather than several policies addressing technology throughout the Board of Education policy handbook. The sections address the following:

  • Student, employee, and other users’ use of the District’s electronic resources, including use of technology in a “one-to-one” program in which participants are issued technology by the District to use for District business;
  • Student use of personal technology through a “bring your own device” (BYOD) or “bring your own technology” (BYOT) program;
  • Employee use of personal technology for District business, including through a BYOD or BYOT program;
  • Student and employee use of technology for personal purposes on school district property, at related events and activities, and with members of the District community;
  • Employee operation of official District Internet and social media websites, employee operation of non-District Internet and social media websites when acting as an employee of the District, and student operation of Internet and social media websites when acting as a student of the District;
  • Consequences of violations of the AUP; and
  • Requirements regarding notification and acknowledgement of the AUP by students, employees, and users of the District’s electronic resources.

For some issues in the model policy, customized options are available to help tailor the model policy to a school district’s particular community and technology climate. Our user friendly format guides the administration and board through these choices. Additional information is provided in the model policy regarding important legal and practical concepts that the policymaker should understand before implementing the model policy.

The model policy and related materials (an authorization form and online privacy statement) are available for purchase at a flat fee of $500. To purchase the model policy and related materials, please click here and complete the informational form. After completion of the form, you will receive a Word version of the model policy within two business days. For additional information or if you have any questions please contact Brian Crowley at 312.786.6560 or Jackie Wernz at 312.786.6137.

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