Policies Related to BYOD Program
Policy 237 Educational Use of Personal Electronic Devices:
The Norwin Board of Education recognizes that many students possess personally owned electronic devices, and that learning opportunities can be enhanced through “Bring Your Own Device” educational programs in which teachers permit the purposeful use of personal electronic devices in support of curriculum learning objectives.
The purpose of this Policy is to set forth expectations for appropriate use of existing and emerging technologies which students may possess, including but not limited to cellular phones, laptop or mini computers, e-readers, digital picture/video cameras and/or camera phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3s, tablet PCs, pagers and other personally owned electronic devices capable of transmitting data or images.
The Norwin School District holds high expectations for student behavior, academic integrity and responsible use of existing and emerging technologies, such as cellular phones, digital picture/video cameras and/or phones and other personal electronic devices capable of capturing and/or transmitting data or images. Students who possess and/or use such devices at school or school-sponsored events must demonstrate the greatest respect for the educational environment and the rights and privacy of all individuals within the school community.
The District reserves the right to restrict student use of District-owned technologies and personal electronic devices on school property or at school-sponsored events. Personal electronic devices can only be used within the building or on school grounds if pre-approved and under the supervision of a classroom teacher or administrator for a specific educational purpose. Electronic devices must remain in the “off” mode, and must not be visible or accessed during the school day, unless expressly permitted by a teacher or principal.
The District shall not be liable for the loss, damage, misuse or theft of any personal electronic device brought to school.
The District reserves the right to take appropriate action, which may, depending on the circumstances, include monitoring, inspecting, copying, reviewing, or confiscating a personal electronic device or file when administration has a reasonable suspicion that a violation of District Policy or applicable law has occurred.
Delegation of Responsibility
The Superintendent or designee shall annually notify students, parents/guardians and staff about this Policy by publishing a notice in student handbooks and by other efficient methods, including posting the Policy on the District’s Web site. Exceptions to the prohibitions set forth in this Policy may be made for health, safety or emergency reasons with prior approval of the building principal or designee.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures for the efficient and orderly implementation of this Policy.
Access is a privilege, not a right. Violations of this Policy by a student may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to confiscation of the electronic device, banning of the student from bringing personal electronic devices to school, or criminal prosecution if applicable.
All District students shall review this Policy and its related Procedure 237 before students use any school and/or personal electronic devices and shall sign a form indicating their receipt and understanding of the student responsibilities set forth in this Policy.
Personal electronic devices used during the instructional day must access the internet via the District’s content-filtered wireless network, and not through 3G, 4G, or other content service providers.
Students shall not use any electronic device in a manner that disrupts or detracts from the educational environment. Students may not utilize any technology device or application to harass, threaten, demean, humiliate, intimidate, embarrass, or annoy their classmates or others. On this point, students are reminded that Board Policy No. 249 prohibits bullying and cyber bullying in all forms.
Students are not permitted to use any electronic device to record audio or video media or take pictures of any student or staff member without their permission. The distribution of any unauthorized media may result in discipline including but not limited to suspension, criminal charges, and expulsion.
Students shall not use cellular phones or other electronic devices in any way that may cause a teacher or staff member to question whether the student may be cheating on tests or academic work or violating copyright policy.
A personal electronic device shall include all existing and emerging technology devices that can take photographs; record audio or video; input or store text; upload and download media; and transmit or receive messages or images. Examples of a personal electronic devices shall include but are not limited to: MP3 players and iPods; iPads, Nooks, Kindle, e-readers and tablet PCs; laptop and netbook computers; personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and smart phones such as BlackBerry, iPhone, or Droid, as well as any device with similar capabilities.
Educational purposes include classroom activities, career development, communication with experts, or homework. Students are expected to act responsibly and thoughtfully when using technology resources. Students bear the burden of responsibility to inquire with school administrators and/or teachers when they are unsure of the permissibility of a particular use of technology prior to engaging in the use.
Inappropriate communication includes, but is not limited to, the following types of communications when conducted during the instructional day or during school-sponsored activities or in a capacity which impacts the orderly operation of the District’s schools, in violation of Policy No. 249: obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language or images typed, posted, or spoken by students; information that could cause damage to an individual or the school community or create the danger of disruption of the academic environment; personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks; harassment (defined as persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person) or stalking of others; knowingly or recklessly posting false or defamatory information about a person or organization; and communication that promotes the destruction of property, including the acquisition or creation of weapons or other destructive devices. If a student is told to stop sending inappropriate communications, that student must cease the activity immediately. Students who engage in inappropriate communications will be subject to discipline and, if appropriate, may be reported to local authorities.
Unacceptable devices shall include but not be limited to gaming devices or consoles, laser pointers, modems or routers, printers, and televisions, or any other device delineated as unacceptable in the District’s Administrative Procedure for this policy.
The Norwin Board of School Directors is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect and are free from harassment or bullying. The District recognizes that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. Therefore, bullying is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
For the purpose of this policy, bullying shall mean unwelcome harassment, attacks or comments directed by a student or group of students toward another student or group of students by means of intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical acts or series of acts. Prohibited bullying may occur in the school setting or outside the school setting, if it impacts the school environment and is severe, persistent or pervasive. Bullying can take many forms and can include a variety of behaviors, such as:
1. Physical violence and attacks
2. Verbal taunts, name calling and put-downs
3. Emotional bullying, i.e. spreading rumors, ridiculing and manipulating social relationships
4. Threats and intimidation
5. Extortion or stealing
6. Racial, ethnic or gender-based verbal or physical abuse
7. Spreading false information about a person
8. Cyber bullying
Bullying has the effect of doing any of the following:
1. Interfering with a student’s education
2. Creating a threatening environment
3. Disrupting the orderly operation of the school
Cyber-bullying includes, but is not limited to, misuses of technology which have the effect of harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student, teacher or employee carried out by means of sending or posting inappropriate email messages, instant messages, text messages, pictures, images or other text by means of computers or electronic devices. Inappropriate or derogatory use of personal profiles on websites or other website postings, etc. is also considered cyber-bullying.
The terms bullying and cyber bullying shall not be interpreted to infringe upon a student’s right to engage in legally protected speech or conduct.
School setting means in a school building, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any school-sponsored, supervised or sanctioned activity.
The Board prohibits all forms of bullying by District students.
The Board directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. Confidentiality of all parties shall be maintained, consistent with the District’s legal and investigative obligations. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying.
Delegation of Responsibility
Each staff member shall be responsible to maintain an educational environment free of bullying and cyber bullying. Teachers and other District personnel (including, but not limited to secretaries, custodians, coaches, hall monitors, bus drivers, etc.) who observe acts of bullying shall take reasonable steps to intervene and to stop such conduct, unless intervention would threaten the staff member’s safety.
All incidents of bullying shall be immediately reported to the building principal or designee so it can be investigated promptly. The building principal or designee will appropriately take corrective action, ensure confidentiality and conduct proper follow up communications with the parents/guardians.
Each student shall be responsible to respect the rights of others and maintain an environment free of bullying and cyber bulling. Students shall be encouraged to promptly report incidents of bullying and cyber bulling to a teacher, building principal or designee.
The Superintendent or designee may develop administrative regulations to implement this policy.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that this policy and administrative regulations are reviewed annually with students.
District administration shall provide the following information with the annual Safe School Report:
1. Board’s Bullying Policy
2. Report of bullying incidents
3. Information on the development and implementation of bullying prevention, intervention or education programs
The Student Rights, Responsibilities and Discipline Booklet/Code of Conduct will contain this policy, and shall be disseminated and explained annually to students.
The policy shall be accessible in every classroom and will be posted in a prominent location in each school building as well as the District web site.
The District may develop and implement bullying prevention and intervention programs. Such programs will provide District staff and students with appropriate training for effectively responding to, intervening in and reporting incidents of bullying.
Consequences For Violations
A student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, consistent with the student discipline code, which may include:
Counseling within the school
Loss of school privileges
Transfer to another school building, classroom or school bus
Exclusion from school-sponsored activities
Counseling/Therapy outside of school
Referral to law enforcement officials
In addition, Pennsylvania Act No. 26 of July 10, 2015 (P.L. 140), Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, states that cyber harassment of a child shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.
The Superintendent or designee, in cooperation with other appropriate administrators, shall review this policy every three (3) years and recommend necessary revisions to the Board.