567R-A - Computer Network and Internet Use

The goal of Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) in providing computer network access is to support instructional programs and administrative operations. 

In support of this goal, connections to local, regional, and worldwide resources are provided. 

The FCPS wide area network is established solely to support the mission of the school division. 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. Employees who have questions regarding whether a particular activity or use is acceptable should seek further guidance from the Director of Information Technology. 

Failure to comply with Policy 567P, Personnel- Computer Network and Internet 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, up to and including termination. 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. The level of access that employees have to school computers, networks and Internet services is based upon specific employee job requirements and needs.  
    3. Employee access to the school division’s computers, networks and Internet services is provided for administrative, educational, communication, and research purposes consistent with the school division’s educational mission, curriculum and instructional goals. General rules and expectations for professional behavior and communication apply to the use of the school division’s computers, networks and Internet services. 

    4. Students have access to network and online instructional resources and services 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 network and online instructional resources and services are consistent with this regulation. Frederick County Public Schools is the final authority for the issuance and cancellation of user accounts for network and online instructional resources and services.
    5. Prior to receiving network and Internet access, staff members must attend a training session where the computer and network use policy and regulations will be explained. At the conclusion of the training, staff will be required to read and sign the Acknowledgement and Waiver Agreement Regarding Frederick County Public Schools’ Computer Network and Internet Use Policy and Regulations. The signed form will be maintained in the staff member’s personnel record in the human resources department. 
    6. As appropriate, FCPS will make decisions on whether specific uses of its network are consistent with this regulation. FCPS shall remain the final authority on use of the network and the issuance and cancellation of user accounts. 
  2. Acceptable Use 

    1. Any user’s traffic that traverses another network may be subject to that network’s acceptable use policy. 
    2. Photographs, artwork, writing, or other original works of staff work responsibility may be included in official FCPS Internet documents. 
    3. Employees are to utilize the school division’s computers, networks, and Internet services for school-related purposes and performance of job duties. Incidental personal use of school computers is permitted as long as such use does not interfere with the employee’s job duties and performance, with system operations or other system users. “Incidental personal use” is defined as use by an individual employee for occasional personal communications. Employees are reminded that such personal use must comply with this policy and all other applicable policies, procedures and rules of Frederick County Public Schools. All such communication is subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
    4. Given the fluid nature of many network resources, staff must evaluate the validity and appropriateness of a particular resource for an application.
  3. Prohibited Use 

    All users are prohibited from knowingly using Frederick County Public School computing resources in such a way that does not promote 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. To safeguard accounts, passwords may not be shared, logged in workstations are not to be left unattended, and access may not be provided to another person by the account owner. 
    2. Any use of the FCPS network 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 use involving materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive are prohibited.  
    5. Any inappropriate communications with students or minors is prohibited. 
    6. Use of the FCPS network to impersonate other individuals in electronic communication, such as forging electronic mail, is prohibited. 
    7. Any attempt to circumvent security safeguards, guess passwords, or in any way gain unauthorized access to any system or files is prohibited. 
    8. FCPS wiring, computer hardware, and software may not be tampered with or modified. 
    9. Knowingly opening or forwarding any e-mail attachments from unknown sources and/or that may contain viruses is prohibited. 
    10. Downloading or loading software or applications without permission from the system administrator is prohibited. 
    11. Employees have the responsibility to report unacceptable use of FCPS computer resources to their immediate supervisor or a representative of the information technology department. 
    12. Any malicious use or disruption of the school division’s computers, networks and Internet services or breach of security features is strictly prohibited. 
    13. Any misuse or damage to the school division’s computer equipment is prohibited. 
    14. Any communications that are in violation of generally accepted rules of network etiquette and /or professional conduct are prohibited. 
    15. Any intentional attempt to access unauthorized sites is prohibited. 
    16. Using school computers, networks and Internet services after such access has been denied or revoked is prohibited. 
    17. Any attempt to delete, erase or otherwise conceal any information stored on a school computer violates these rules is prohibited. 
  4. No Expectation of Privacy 

    The school division retains control, custody and supervision of all computers, networks and Internet services owned or leased by the school division. The school division reserves the right to monitor all computer and Internet activity by employees and other system users. Network Users have no expectation of privacy in their use of school computers, including e-mail messages and stored files. In addition, individuals using their FCPS network account to access electronic mail, social media, and other networks shall have no expectation of privacy for those accounts.  
  5. Internet Access-Proxy Service 

    Internet access is provided via the FCPS network. 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 of (CIPA). Due to the nature of such filtering technology, the filter may at times filter pages that are appropriate for staff. 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. 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 

    Employees are expected to use appropriate judgment and caution in communications, concerning students and staff to ensure that personally identifiable information remains confidential.
  7. Staff Responsibilities to Students 

    Teachers, staff members, substitutes, and volunteers who utilize school computers 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 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 

    The employee shall be responsible for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school division related to violations of Policy 567R, Personnel- Computer Network and Internet Use and/or these rules. The school unit assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges made by employees, including but not limited to credit card charges, subscriptions, long distance telephone charges, equipment and line costs, or for any illegal use of its computers such as copyright violations. 
  9. Limitations 

    Frederick County Public Schools endeavors to provide safe and appropriate network computing resources. However, it cannot provide a guarantee that users may not be impacted by intentional or unintentional misuse of these resources. 
  10. Consequences for Violations 

    Misuse of FCPS computing resources or a violation of these regulations may result in the account or the user’s access privilege being denied, revoked, or suspended. Misuse may also subject the user to oral or written reprimand or other disciplinary action recommended by the superintendent or his/her designee up to and including employment termination. In addition, misuse may be referred to law enforcement for further consideration. 
  11. Employee Acknowledgment and Waiver Required

    Each employee authorized to access the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services is required to sign an acknowledgment form stating that they have read the Frederick County Public Schools’ Computer and Network Use policies and regulations and agree to adhere to the specified requirements, as periodically amended. The acknowledgment form will be maintained by IT staff. 
Legal Reference(s): 
Code of Virginia, Section(s) 22.1-70.2
Cross Reference(s):  
Policy 567P, Personnel- Computer Network and Internet Use  

Regulation 567R-A - Appendix: Acknowledgement Waiver Agreement Regarding Frederick County Public Schools

Regulation 567R-B, Personnel- Electronic Mail, Social Media and Networking 

Regulation 567R-C, Personnel- Instructional Use of Social Networking Sites by Employees
Adopted: May 7, 1996
Amended: May 23, 2000 
Amended: July 28, 2003 
Amended: February 21, 2006 
Amended: August 13, 2008
Amended: August 3, 2010 
Amended: August 14, 2012
Amended: December 17, 2014
Amended: June 28, 2016
Amended: October 3, 2016
Amended: July 2, 2018
Amended: September 12, 2018