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Making Community Connections Charter School

Acceptable use Policy

Electronic Communications Policy

Definition of Terms
Account: Any ID and password combination issued by MC2 for access to electronic communication systems or computer resources.

User: Any person who uses the MC2 electronic communication system or computer resources.

Electronic resources: Computer files and software, including but not limited to those that reside on disks and other storage media, individual computers, networked servers, or other electronic communications systems.

Electronic communications systems: Computers and networks [systems] used in communicating or posting information or material by way of electronic mail, bulletin boards, web pages, or other such electronic resources. Also includes, but is not limited to, direct connections to the campus network.

System administrator: A person responsible for managing and operating an electronic communication system for the use of others.

General Statement of Principles
Making Community Connections Charter School (MC2) encourages the creative and innovative use of information technology to enhance its teaching, learning, and public service mission. The MC2 computer network has been established for appropriate educational purposes including communication, research purposes, and collaborative work. The network allows individuals within the school community to communicate with each other. In addition, the network allows access to the Internet, and provides e-mail services.

Users will not have their right to access denied or abridged due to the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran’s status. MC2 respects the intellectual labor and creativity of others and seeks to protect the free and peaceful expression of ideas. All members of MC2 share responsibility for maintaining an environment within which actions are guided by mutual respect, integrity, and reason.

MC2 expects all members of it community to use network systems with proper regard for the rights of others and MC2. Abuse of these privileges will be subject to disciplinary action, as established by the operating policies and procedures of MC2. MC2 reserves the right to limit access in response to evidence of violations of MC2 policy or federal, state, or local laws. All members of the MC2 community are bound by federal, state and local laws relating to civil rights, harassment, copyright, security, pornography, privacy, and other statutes relating to electronic media. It should be understood that this policy does not preclude enforcement under the laws and regulations of the United States of America, the State of New Hampshire or local communities.

Who is covered by this Policy
All users of MC2 electronic communications systems are subject to the provisions of this policy, including those who rely on off-campus access to these systems.

Use of these systems implies consent with this policy, as well as other applicable MC2 policies and local, state and federal laws.

Student Internet Access
Access to the World Wide Web (WWW) is available to all students throughout MC2. Both student and parents must sign this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in order for the student to access the Internet.

Access to the WWW provides for independent student use, but networked computers and Web site access will be monitored.

All students will have e-mail access. Both the student and parents must sign the AUP in order for the student to be granted an individual e-mail account.

Individual Privileges
The following individual privileges are extended to all users of electronic communications systems. However, it is understood that each of these privileges is conditional pending acceptance of the accompanying responsibilities.

1. Free Expression: The User’s right to free speech applies to communication on the Internet. This network is considered a limited forum similar to the school newspaper, and therefore the school may restrict your speech for valid educational reasons. The school will not restrict your speech on the basis of a disagreement with the opinions you are expressing.

Given the diverse cultural backgrounds of users, MC2 cannot protect individuals against exposure to materials that they may consider offensive. Nevertheless MC2 reserves the right to take restrictive actions in response to complaints that posted material creates a hostile environment for individuals or classes of individuals. MC2 also has the responsibility to take restrictive action when a user violates MC2 policy or federal, state, or local laws.

2. Privacy: Users should expect only limited privacy in the contents of personal files on the system. Routine maintenance and monitoring of the system may lead to the discovery that you have violated this AUP. A search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that you have violated this policy, the school rules, or the law. A student’s parents have the right at any time to request to see the contents of the student’s e-mail files unless the student is 18 or older.

Users may expect to keep personal electronic mail correspondence reasonably confidential. Users should be sensitive to the inherent limitations of shared network resources in protecting privacy. Some examples of this may include printing personal messages on a shared printer, leaving a message or account open on a computer in a public area, etc.

3. Due Process: MC2 will use due process in cases of discipline resulting from rules violations. MC2’s administrative procedures promote fundamental fairness. System administrators are authorized to take any actions deemed necessary to preserve the integrity of the system, including immediate temporary suspension of access by any user allegedly involved in a violation pending the outcome of an investigation.

MC2 will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal activities conducted through the MC2 network. In the event there is a claim that you have violated this policy, or the school behavioral standard, in your use of the MC2 network, you will be provided with notice and opportunity to be heard. Violation of this policy will result in termination of your account.

Individual Responsibilities
Users of MC2’s network systems accept responsibilities that include, but are not limited to, the following specific examples.

1. Respect for Intended Use of Resources: Users are responsible for all actions taken on their network account. Individual password security is the responsibility of the user and he/she should take precautions against others obtaining unauthorized access to his/her personal account. If the user allows another individual access to his/her account, the user assumes full responsibility for the actions of this individual while logged into his/her account. MC2’s electronic communications systems are not to be used for commercial purposes such as offering, providing, or purchasing products or services without approval from a teacher or administrator at MC2.

Users may not use the system for political lobbying, but they may use the system to communicate with elected representatives and to express opinions on political issues.

Do not use the system to access material that is profane or obscene (pornography), that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people (hate literature). A special exception can be made for hate literature if the purpose of your access is to conduct research and both your teacher and parents have approved.

If you mistakenly access inappropriate information, you should immediately tell your teacher or administrator. This will protect you against a claim that you have intentionally violated this policy. Your parents should instruct you if there is additional material that they think would be inappropriate for you to access. The school fully expects that you will follow your parents’ instructions in this regard.

2. Respect for Privacy of Others: Users shall not access anyone else’s electronic resources, including the files and mail, without specific permission from the owner. Permission does not include sharing account information as designated above, but allows for collectively reading e-mail and sharing files using network services. The user shall not take advantage of another’s inexperience or negligence to gain access to any computer account, data, software, or file for which he or she has not received explicit permission to access.

Do not repost personal communications without the original author’s prior consent. This is a violation of the author’s privacy. This does not apply to messages posted in a public forum such as newsgroups or list serves, providing the original posting source is referenced. Do not reveal anyone else’s home address, phone numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, etc. Anonymity or impersonation is not allowed.

3. Respect for Shared Nature of Resources: Users will not encroach on others’ use of MC2’s computers and network facilities. No user should attempt to modify MC2 systems or network facilities or to crash systems. Users should avoid activities that unreasonably tax systems resources, including but not limited to: sending an excessive number of messages, either locally or over the Internet; participating in electronic chain letters, frivolously printing multiple copies of documents, files or data; excessive game playing; modifying system facilities, operating systems, or disk partitions; or damaging or vandalizing MC2 computing facilities, equipment, software, or computer files.

4. Respect for the Rights of Others: MC2 computing resources will not be used to harm or threaten to harm the safety or environmental health of another individual or individuals. The user must comply with MC2 policies and federal, state and local laws regarding discriminatory harassment. Examples of violations include, but are not limited to: harassment; defamation; violation of privacy; intentionally placing a person or persons in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm; giving or causing to be given false reports of fire or other dangerous conditions; or harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran status.

The use of appropriate language applies to any public or private messages and any material posted on Web pages. Obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening or disrespectful language is not acceptable. No personal attacks, inflammatory or offensive speech, or harassment against a person or organization will be allowed.

5. Respect for Intellectual Property: Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to the learning community. This principle encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution. Examples of violations include, but are not limited to: copying copyrighted software without express written permission of the copyright owner; failing to obtain necessary licensing for software or to adhere to all licensing provisions (installation, use, copying, number of simultaneous users, term of license, etc.); plagiarism (the taking of ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they are your own) or inadequate attribution of the intellectual property of others; posting of texts, images, or audio works in disregard of copyright restrictions; or unauthorized publication or distribution of another’s work or writing. If you are unsure of copyright, request permission from the copyright owner or go to a teacher or system administrator for help.

6. Respect for Integrity of System or Network: Accounts shall not be used for unauthorized access and/or attempts to access computers, computer software, computer data or information, or networks without proper authorization, regardless of whether the computer, software, data, information of network in question is owned by MC2. Abuse of networks or computers at other sites using MC2 resources will be treated as an abuse of computing privileges at MC2. Users are prohibited from attempting to circumvent or subvert any system’s security measures.

The use of file sharing programs and services is expressly prohibited. Only files designated for sharing by the MC2 System Administrator may be shared. Personal music may not be stored on the MC2 file server.

Use reasonable measures to avoid the intentional or inadvertent spread of computer viruses. Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance by spreading computer viruses are considered criminal activity under state and federal law. Notify a teacher or system administrator immediately if you find any security problems. Do not attempt to purposefully seek out security problems as this could be seen as an attempt to gain illegal access (hacking).

7. Respect for Personal Safety: Do not post personal contact information about yourself or others, such as addresses, phone numbers, etc. Do not agree to meet with anyone you have met online unless it meets with your teacher’s and parents’ approval. Bring to the attention of a teacher or administrator any communications that you feel are inappropriate or unwelcome.

8. Respect for Local, State, and Federal Regulations: All network users are bound by local, state, and federal laws. Illegal activities include, but are not limited to, tampering with computer hardware or software, unauthorized entry into computers (hacking), pirating software, or knowledgeable vandalism or destruction of computer files. Do not use the system to engage in other illegal activities such as the purchasing or selling of drugs or alcohol, threatening the safety of others, etc.

Reporting Violations
If a user believes that a violation of this policy or criminal act has occurred, the user should contact a teacher or administrator. MC2officials will take appropriate action in accordance with established MC2 procedures. Infractions that may be violations of federal, state, or local laws will be reported by MC2 officials to the appropriate authorities.

If a situation occurs in which a user feels that her/his personal health or safety is in jeopardy or that of another person (i.e., death threat, physically threatening message, or suicide threat), the police should be contacted by dialing 911.

If a student has violated any policies above, s/he may be subject to disciplinary action. In some situations, it may be necessary to suspend account privileges to prevent ongoing misuse while the alleged violation is under investigation. The system administrator reserves the right to immediate temporary suspension of the account(s) of anyone suspected of a violation, pending the outcome of investigation. In the case of minor, first time offenses, the system administrator may choose to resolve the situation informally without reporting the violation to other MC2 officials. Appeals of any disciplinary decision will be handled according to existing law, MC2 policies, and disciplinary procedures.

Administration and Implementation
Systems administrators will manage network systems in a manner that is consistent with the system’s importance for campus communication and the need for privacy of personal electronic mail messages. In connection with their responsibilities, professional staff members may on occasion need to access or monitor parts of the system and thereby be given access to the contents of certain electronic mail messages. System administrators will respect the privacy of personal communications encountered on the systems. However, if during the course of routine duties, a system administrator encounters information that indicates that a breach of this policy or criminal act has been or is about to be committed, the administrator will report the existence and source of this information to the proper authorities.

With access to computers and people all over the world also comes the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the school setting. Appropriate filtering software and reporting systems are in use and are maintained by system administrators. However, on a global network it is impossible to control all materials and an industrious user may discover controversial information. MC2 believes that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may access material that is not consistent with the goals of the school community.

MC2 makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied for the service it is providing. The school will not be responsible for damages suffered through the use of the intranet or Internet. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries, or service interruptions.
MC2 assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the use of the network. MC2 will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system.

Administrators are not responsible for monitoring user activity or content on any network system. However, when they become aware of violations, either through the normal course of duty or by a complaint, it is their responsibility to refer the matter to the appropriate authority for investigation and possible discipline. To forestall an immediate threat to the security of a system or its users, system administrators may immediately suspend access of the people involved in the violation while the incident is being investigated. They may also take other actions to preserve the state of files and other information relevant to an investigation. Specific personal electronic communications and computer files will not be searched deliberately to seek evidence of malfeasance except when the appropriate authorities feel it is necessary in order : to enforce policies regarding harassment and the safety of individuals; to prevent the posting of proprietary software or texts, images, or audio works in disregard of copyright restrictions or contractual obligations; to safeguard the integrity of computers, networks, and data either at MC2 or elsewhere; and to protect MC2 against seriously damaging consequences.

MC2 does not guarantee the privacy or security of any item stored or transmitted on the computer systems, and the User should not have any expectation of privacy with respect to any information transmitted or stored on school computer systems (even if a password is required to access such information).

MC2 recognizes that all network system users are bound by federal, state, and local laws relating to civil rights, harassment, copyright, pornography, privacy, security and other statutes relating to electronic media. Nothing in this policy should be interpreted as precluding enforcement of the laws and regulations of the United States of America, State of New Hampshire, or any locality in the state of New Hampshire.

Making Community Connections School
Electronic Communications Systems
Standards of Acceptable Use

The account issued to you by MC2 shall be used only in the manner described below. Violations of these rules may be cause for referral of the matter to the appropriate MC2 administrator or to the Department of Public Safety.

1. The account shall be used only by the person to whom it is issued. You are responsible for the actions of anyone using your account.

2. All passwords issued are to be held privately and securely. Be responsible for all use of your accounts and for protecting each account’s password. In other words, do not share computer accounts. If someone else learns your password, you must change it.

3. The account shall be used for academic or administrative purposes pertaining to MC2. You may send and receive electronic mail and maintain personal information (letters, resumes, work files, etc.) as long as you observe the rules of etiquette, including refraining from obscenities and profanity.

4. The account shall not be used for unauthorized access and/or attempts to access computers, computer software, computer data or information, or networks without proper authorization, regardless of whether the computer, software, data, information, or network in question is owned by MC2. (That is, if you abuse the networks to which MC2 belongs or the computers at other sites connected to those networks, MC2 will treat this matter as an abuse of your MC2 computing privileges.)

5. The user shall not take advantage of another’s inexperience or negligence to gain access to any computer account, data, software, or file for which he or she has not received explicit permission to access.

6. The user shall not send fraudulent computer mail, break into another user’s electronic mailbox, or read someone else’s electronic mail without his or her permission.

7. The user shall not use MC2’s computing resources to harass or threaten other users.

8. Software, other than freeware/shareware, may NOT be copied without permission of the system administrator.

9. The use of file sharing programs and services (such as LimeWire, Torrents, Kazaa, Morpheus or similar programs or services) is expressly prohibited.

10. The user is responsible for maintaining the security of his or her own data and for making backups of such data.

11. The user shall not encroach on others’ use of MC2’s computers (e.g. disrupting others’ computer use by excessive game playing; by sending excessive messages, either locally or off-campus [including but not limited to electronic chain letters]; printing excessive copies of documents, files, data, or programs; modifying system facilities, operating systems, or disk partitions; attempting to crash or tie up an MC2 computer; damaging or vandalizing MC2 computing facilities, equipment, software, or computer files).

12. The user should report any abuse of the above to the appropriate teacher, system administrator, or other MC2 authority.

Permission Signatures

User Agreement: This agreement is a multiyear agreement which will be binding as long as you are a member of the MC2 community and/or a registered user of the MC2 Computer Network.

I have read and understand the above agreement and promise to abide by its requirements. If this form is not signed, I understand that I will not be allowed any Internet access. However, these terms and conditions will apply for local usage of computers in the school even if this form is not signed. I understand that failure to comply with this agreement may result in loss of computing privileges associated with this account, or other disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by MC2 administrators.

I hereby certify that I will abide by the conditions set forth in this Acceptable Use Policy.

See download version to sign the AUP.