323R - Acceptable Computer System Use

All use of Frederick County Public Schools’ computer system shall be consistent with the School Board’s goal of promoting educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation and communication. The term computer system includes, but is not limited to, hardware, software, data, communication lines and devices, terminals, display devices, printers, CD, DVD and other media devices, tape or flash drives, storage devices, servers, mainframe and personal computers, tablets, laptops, telephones, cameras, projectors, multimedia devices, workstations, the internet and other electronic services and any other internal or external network. This includes any device that may be connected to or used to connect to the school division’s network or electronically stored division material.

This regulation provides general guidelines and an example of prohibited uses for illustrative purposes, but does not attempt to state all required or prohibited activities by users. Students who have questions regarding whether a particular activity or use is acceptable should seek further guidance from their principal or principal’s designee.

Failure to comply with Policy 323P, Instruction- Acceptable Computer System Use, school board regulations and/or other established procedures or rules governing computer use, electronic mail, social media, and networking may result in disciplinary action. Illegal use of the school division’s computers may also result in referral to law enforcement authorities.
  1. Access to School Computers, Networks and Internet Services

    1. Access to the FCPS network is permitted to the extent that available resources allow.

    2. Students have access to the FCPS computer system through an individual or classroom account managed by school personnel. As appropriate, Frederick County Public Schools will make decisions on whether specific uses of its computer system are consistent with this regulation. Frederick County Public Schools is the final authority for the issuance and cancellation of user accounts for the FCPS computer system.

  2. Acceptable Use

    1. Any user's traffic that traverses another network may be subject to that network's acceptable use policy.

    2. All student use of the FCPS computer system must be (1) in support of education and/or research, or (2) for legitimate school business. Incidental personal use of the FCPS computer system is permitted as long as such use is in compliance with Regulation 219R, Administration- Portable Communication Devices and all other applicable policies, procedures and rules of Frederick County Public Schools. “Incidental personal use” is defined as use by an individual student for occasional personal communications.

    3. FCPS computer system resources will not be used as the sole instructional research source, but rather will be considered with all research tools available.

    4. Given the fluid nature of many FCPS computer system resources, students and staff must evaluate the validity and appropriateness of a particular resource for a given assignment or application.

  3. Prohibited Use

    All users are prohibited from knowingly using the FCPS computer system in such a way that does not support the instructional program or administrative operations of FCPS. General examples of unacceptable uses which are expressly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Users are responsible for all activities in or from their account. If any user identifies a security problem, the user shall notify the building principal or system administrator immediately. All users shall keep their passwords confidential and shall follow computer virus protection procedures.

    2. Any use of the FCPS computer system for personal gain such as operating a business, soliciting money, or product advertising is prohibited. Political lobbying also is prohibited.

    3. Any use that is illegal or in violation of school board policies and regulations, including harassing, discriminatory or threatening communications and behavior; violations of copyright laws, etc. is prohibited.

    4. Any student access or attempt to access the following is prohibited during the instructional day unless it is school approved or teacher-supervised filtered Internet communication: instant messages, chat rooms, forums, e mail, message boards, or hosted web pages.

    5. Any use involving materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive are prohibited.

    6. Any inappropriate communications with students, school staff, or adults is prohibited.

    7. Use of the FCPS computer system to impersonate other individuals in electronic communication, such as forging electronic mail, is prohibited.

    8. Any attempt to circumvent security safeguards, guess passwords, or in any way gain unauthorized access to the FCPS computer system is prohibited.

    9. Wastefully using resources, such as file space is prohibited.

    10. Vandalizing the FCPS computer system, including destroying data by creating or spreading viruses or by other means is prohibited.

    11. Downloading or loading software or applications without permission from the system administrator is prohibited.

    12. Students are to report unacceptable use of the FCPS computer system to a teacher or administrator at their school. Employees are to report unacceptable use of the FCPS computer system to their immediate supervisor or a representative of the information technology department.

    13. Any malicious use or disruption of the FCPS computer system or breach of security features is prohibited.

    14. Any misuse or damage to the FCPS computer system is prohibited.

    15. Any communications that is in violation of generally accepted rules of computer system etiquette and/or professional conduct is prohibited.

    16. Any intentional attempt to access unauthorized sites is prohibited.

    17. Using the FCPS computer system after such access has been denied or revoked is prohibited.

    18. Any attempt to delete, erase or otherwise conceal any information stored on the FCPS computer system is prohibited.

  4. No Expectation of Privacy

    The school division retains control, custody and supervision of the FCPS computer system. The school division reserves the right to monitor all computer and Internet activity by employees and other system users. Users have no expectation of privacy in their use of the FCPS computer system. In addition, individuals using the FCPS computer system to access electronic mail, social media, and other networks shall have no expectation of privacy for those accounts.

  5. Internet Access-Proxy Server

    Internet access is provided via the FCPS computer system. Standard use of the World Wide Web utilizes a proxy server based filter that screens for non-curriculum related pages as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Due to the nature of such filtering technology, the filter may at times filter pages that are appropriate for staff and student research. If appropriate, modifications may be made to provide access to these pages.

    Modified accounts may be requested in writing through the school principal or administrative department head. Students and staff should be aware that all web access is logged by the server and that these logs may be reviewed by the system administrators periodically.

  6. Confidentiality of Information

    Students are expected to use appropriate judgment and caution in communications to ensure that personally identifiable information remains confidential.

  7. Staff Responsibilities to Students

    Teachers, staff members, substitutes, and volunteers who utilize the FCPS computer system for instructional purposes with students have a duty of care to supervise such use. Teachers, staff members, substitutes, and volunteers are expected to be familiar with the school division’s policies, regulations and rules concerning student computer and Internet use and to enforce them. When, in the course of their duties, employees/volunteers become aware of student violations, they are expected to stop the activity and inform the building principal.

    Internet safety instruction is the responsibility of all instructional personnel. Internet safety will be integrated into the instructional curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12. Appropriate resources that comply with School Board policy and are aligned to the FCPS Internet Safety Program will be used as it applies to the content area.

  8. Compensation for Unauthorized Losses, Costs and/or Damages

    Students shall be responsible for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school division related to violations of Regulation 323R, Instruction- Acceptable Computer System Use. The school division assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges made by students, including but not limited to credit card charges, subscriptions, long distance telephone charges, equipment and line costs, or for any illegal use of its computer system such as copyright violations.

  9. Liability

    Frederick County Public Schools makes no warranties for the computer system it provides. The school division shall not be responsible for any damages to the user from use of the computer system, including loss of data, non-delivery or missed delivery of information, or service interruptions. The school division is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the computer system. The user agrees to indemnify Frederick County Public Schools for any losses, costs, or damages incurred by the school division relating to or arising out of any violation of these procedures.

  10. Electronic Mail

    Frederick County Public Schools electronic mail system is owned and controlled by the school division. The school division may provide electronic mail to aid students and staff in fulfilling their duties and as an education tool. Electronic mail is not private. Students’ electronic mail will be monitored. The electronic mail of staff may be monitored and accessed by the school division. All electronic mail may be archived. Unauthorized access to an electronic mail account by any student or employee is prohibited. Users may be held responsible and personally liable for the content of any electronic message they create or that is created under their account or password. Downloading any file attached to an electronic message is prohibited unless the user is certain of that message’s authenticity and the nature of the file.

  11. Consequences for Violations

    Misuse of the FCPS computer system or a violation this regulations may result in the account or the user’s access privilege being denied, revoked, or suspended. Misuse may also subject the user to disciplinary action in accordance with Regulation 402R, Students- Code of Student Conduct, as well as potential civil or criminal liability and prosecution.

Legal Reference(s):
18 U.S.C. Section(s) 1460, 2256.

47 U.S.C. Section(s) 254.

Code of Virginia, Section(s) 18.2-372, 18.2-374.1:1, 18.2-390, 22.1-70.2, and 22.1-78.

Guidelines and Resources for Internet Safety in Schools, Virginia Department of Education (Second Edition October 2007)


Cross Reference(s):
Regulation 219R, Administration- Portable Communication Devices

Regulation 402R-A, Students- Code of Student Conduct

Policy 602P, Community Relations- News Media

Regulation 602R, Community Relations- Community Communications


Adopted: May 7, 1996
Amended: December 4, 1997
Amended: May 23, 2000
Amended: May 16, 2002
Amended: July 28, 2003
Amended: February 21, 2006
Amended: August 13, 2008
Amended: December 17, 2014
Amended: September 12, 2018
Amended: June 19, 2019