Internet Use Regulations


These regulations pertain to the use of District and personal technology resources while on school property, in school vehicles and at school-sponsored activities, as well as the use of District technology resources via off-campus access.

A. Appropriate Use of Technology Resources for Students

(1) Introduction

The Duluth Public Schools is pleased to offer students access to District computers, communications systems1, the Internet and an array of technology resources to promote educational excellence. Each student is responsible for his/her use of technology, whether personal or District-provided. While using District and personal technology resources on school property, in school vehicles and at school-sponsored activities, as well as using District technology resources via off-campus access, each student must act in an appropriate manner consistent with school, District, and legal guidelines in this limited forum. It is the joint responsibility of school personnel and the parent or guardian of each student to educate the student about his/her responsibilities and to establish expectations when using technology.

(2) Using the Internet and Communications Systems

District technology resources are provided to students to conduct research, complete assignments, and communicate with others in furtherance of their education.

  1. Access is a privilege not a right; as such, general rules of school behavior apply.
  2. Access to these services is given to students who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner. Just as students are responsible for good behavior in a classroom or a school hallway, they must also be responsible when using school computer networks or personal technologies.
  3. Students must comply with District standards and honor this agreement to be permitted the use of technology.
  4. All digital storage that is provided by the District isDistrict property, and as such, authorized district employees may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and ensure that students are using technology responsibly.
  5. Students should not expect District provided file storage will be private.
  6. The educational value of technology integration in curriculum is substantial. Access to the Internet will enable students to use extensive online informational resources.
  7. Families should be warned that some material accessible via the Internet might contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, profane, sexually oriented or potentially offensive to some people. While the intent is to make Internet access available to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access these other materials as well. The Duluth Public Schools does not condone or permit the use of this material and uses content filtering software to protect students to the extent reasonable.
  8. Parents and guardians must be aware that content filtering software is not completely fail-safe and while at school, direct supervision by school personnel of each student using a computer is desired but not always possible.
  9. Students are expected to use technology resources in a manner consistent with the rules below and will be held responsible for their intentional misuse.
  10. The Duluth Public Schools believes that the benefits of student access to the Internet in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration exceed any disadvantages.
  11. Ultimately, parents and/or guardians are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using technology. If a student accidentally accesses inappropriate material they should back out of that information at once and notify the supervising district employee.
  12. When on district property or at a district sponsored event personal technologies must use district provided internet.

(3) Proper and Acceptable Use of All Technology Resources

All District technology resources, including but not limited to District computers, communications systems and the Internet, must be used in support of education and academic research and must be used in a manner consistent with the educational mission and objectives of the Duluth Public Schools.

Activities that are permitted and encouraged include:

  1. school work;
  2. original creation and presentation of academic work;
  3. research on topics being studied in school;
  4. research for opportunities outside of school related to community service, employment or further education consistent with District requirements

Activities that are not permitted when using District or personal technologies include but are not limited to:

  1. plagiarism or representing the work of others as one's own;
  2. any activity that violates a school rule or a local, state, federal, or copyright law;
  3. using obscene language; harassing, insulting, ostracizing, cyber bullying or intimidating others;
  4. representing Copyright ©, Registered ®, and/or Trademark ™ materials as one’s own work;
  5. searching, viewing, communicating, publishing, downloading, storing, or retrieving materials that are not related to school work, community service, employment, or further education (thus, searching inappropriate materials is not permitted);
  6. damaging or modifying computers, networks or District-installed software;
  7. intentional or neglectful transmission of viruses or other destructive computer files; hacking into District or external technology systems; intentionally bypassing District filters;
  8. use of USB, bootable CDs, or other devices to alter the function of a computer or a network;
  9. subscription to any online services or ordering of any goods or services;
  10. online sharing of any student's or staff member’s name, home address, phone number or other personal information;
  11. non-educational uses such as games, role-playing multi-user environments, gambling, junk mail, chain mail, jokes or raffles;
  12. non-district supported participationin online Web 2.0 toolsincluding but not limited to texting and social media unless specifically assigned by a district employee;
  13. use of District resources for commercial purposes, personal financial gain, or fraud, including but not limited to any activity that requires an exchange of money and/or credit card numbers, any activity that requires entry into an area of service for which the school will be charged a fee, any purchase or sale of any kind; and any use for product advertisement or political lobbying;
  14. pornographic, obscene, or vulgar images, sounds, music, video, language or materials, including screen savers, backdrops, and/or pictures, are prohibited
  15. downloading, uploading, or importing games, screen animations as well as programs or files that can be run or launched.
  16. Illegal use or transfer of copyrighted materials to a school-owned technology device is prohibited
  17. File sharing unless District approved.
  18. Adding, modifying or deleting files, except in the student's 'directory' or 'home directory,' are prohibited.
  19. Putting non-school related material (files) on school district technology devices is prohibited.
  20. Altering/modifying the original District pre-set software image is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. loading/installing any software applications
    2. changing the desktop picture
    3. changing the computer name
    4. changing or removing operating system extensions
    5. altering security software
    6. altering the pre-loaded operating system or applications
    7. taking apart the computer for access to internal parts

Students are expected to report harassment, threats, hate-speech and inappropriate content to a teacher or administrator. If a student has any questions about whether a specific activity is permitted, he or she should ask a districted employee.

(4) Online Assessments

Student assessments may be conducted using technologies such as the Internet or audience response systems. Normally, students will use these technologies as a part of their instructional day. Privacy and security, as defined above, along with confidentiality of assessment responses, are expected.

(5) Vandalism

Any intentional act by a student that damages District technology hardware, software, operating systems, data, or services will be considered vandalism and will be subject to school rules and disciplinary procedures. Any intentional act that requires a person's time to repair, replace, or perform corrective work on District technologies or data is also considered vandalism.

(6) Consequences of Misuse

  1. Misuse of personal² or District technology resources while on school property, in school vehicles and at school-sponsored activities, as well as the use of District technology resources via off-campus access may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
  2. This regulation shall be used in conjunction with Duluth Public Schools’ student policies.  In addition, the student’s use of District technologies may be suspended or restricted.
  3. A school may temporarily hold (pending parental and/or same-day pick up) personal technology resources that are used inappropriately.
  4. Individual schools may choose to have additional rules and regulations pertaining to the use of personal, resources in their respective buildings.
  5. Intentional unauthorized access and/or damage to hardware, software, operating systems, data; or services may be punishable under local, state, or federal law.

(7) Student Access

Parents or guardians who do not wish their children to access the Internet must return the “Student Internet Permission Form” to their children’s schools by the date indicated on the form. These forms will be distributed to all households with the Back-to-School information in August prior to the start of the school year.

(8) Student Photographs and Works Displayed on the Internet

Parents or guardians who do not wish their children’s pictures or their children’s student work to be displayed on the Internet must return the “Request To Deny Public Access To Directory Information and Annual Notification Of Rights Under the Family Education Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA)”  form to their children’s schools by the date indicated on the form. These forms will be distributed to all households with the Back-to-School information in August prior to the start of the school year.

B. Appropriate Use of Technology Resources for Staff

Employees of Duluth Public Schools are granted the privilege of using technology only in an authorized and acceptable manner. Generally, a use is unacceptable if it conflicts with Duluth Public Schools or the individual department’s purpose, goal, or mission, or interferes with an employee’s authorized job duties or responsibilities as determined by his/her immediate supervisor. For purposes of this policy, the term “staff” includes permanent and temporary personnel, substitutes, contract personnel, hourly non-contract personnel, student teachers, volunteers, and outside agency personnel allowed use of District technology access.

Administration reserves the right to archive, monitor, review, and audit an employee’s use of technology at any time. By using technology, the user consents to this monitoring.

(1) Proper and Acceptable Use of All Technology Resources

Examples of acceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following types of communication:

  1. for educational purposes;
  2. with students, staff, parents, and other customers of the District;
  3. with federal, state, and local government personnel or agencies, and private businesses with which the School District conducts business;
  4. for professional development;
  5. for administrative purposes;
  6. limited and judicious use of technology for personal use so long as the use is not unacceptable use or violation of School Board policy or the law, and work productivity is not impacted. Employees are to use technology for personal use during designated break time or before/after scheduled work hours;
  7. limited and judicious use of technology for union business. Prior authorization is required from the Department of Human Resourcesor Superintendent.

Activities that are not permitted when using District or personal technologies include but are not limited to:

  1. excessive personal use of technology. Personal use will be deemed excessive if, in the opinion of an employee’s immediate supervisor, the use detracts from the individual employee’s or the department’s productivity;
  2. communicating to promote personal business ventures (e.g., advertise, promote, or attempt to sell any product, investment, insurance, or other financial proposition) or solicit funds for personal business, political, religious, or other personal causes;
  3. communicating for illegal purposes including, but not limited to: political lobbying, violating copyright laws, downloading, copying, or using unauthorized software (including screensavers), creating or knowingly spreading viruses, impersonating another user, or accessing restricted systems;
  4. interfering with or disrupting network users, services, or equipment including, but not limited to: creating or forwarding chain letters, subscribing to any form of personal mailing list; damaging equipment, accessing a system (including using another user id and/or password) without authorization, altering software settings such operating system configurations (except for wallpaper, default colors, and other standard desktop customization settings), or destroying communications systems or electronic files;
  5. accessing or distributing any communication which may constitute or contain intimidating, hostile, pornographic, offensive or discriminatory material on the basis or sex, race, color, religion, nation origin, sexual orientation or disability;

(2) Social Media Networks

The District recognizes the importance of online social media networks as a communication and e-learning tool. Toward that end, the District provides access to password-protected social media tools and District-approved technologies for e-learning and encourages use of District tools for collaboration by employees. However, public social media networks, outside of those sponsored by the District, may not be used for classroom instruction or school-sponsored activities without the prior authorization of the Superintendent, or designee, and parental consent for student participation on social networks. The District may use these tools and other communication technologies in fulfilling its responsibility for effectively communicating with the general public.

The District recommends Google Apps as its password protected social medial tool for educational use. The District has greater authority and responsibility to protect minors from inappropriate content and can limit public access within this limited public forum.

All social networking must be conducted using district-approved and/or provided and password-protected social media tools and technologies for e-learning. The District prohibits social networking relationships on non-district approved networks between employees in their roles as employees and students as well as between employees and alumni under the age of 18. The District does not discourage staff from having social networking relationships with students who are family members. “Family members” include the immediate family of a staff member, spouse, or registered domestic partner and shall include father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, and grandchild. Teachers are reminded of their responsibility to abide by the professional code of ethics at all times, including during the use of social networking sites. Employees have responsibility for maintaining appropriate employee-student relationships at all times and have responsibility for addressing inappropriate behavior or activity.

(3) Consequences of Misuse

  1. Misuse of personal or District technology resources while on school property, in school vehicles and at school-sponsored activities, as well as the use of District technology resources via off-campus remote access may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  2. Intentional unauthorized access and/or damage to networks, servers, user accounts, passwords, or other District resources may be punishable under local, state, or federal law.

C. Privacy and Security

Students and staff must use District technologies responsibly and in a secure manner. They must not share their logins, passwords, or access with others. By using technology, staff is agreeing to, and understands, it is their responsibility to protect employee and/or student information accessed through the Financial/Human Resources information system and/or student information system, and will not release the data to any unauthorized employees or outside agencies.

D. Reliability and Limitation of Liability

  1. The Duluth Public Schools makes no warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, for the technology resources it provides to students and staff.
  2. The Duluth Public Schools will not be responsible for any damages suffered by the student, including those arising from non-deliveries, mis-deliveries, service interruptions, unauthorized use, loss of data, and exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material or people.  This applies to personal use of technology by students and staff.
  3. Use of any information obtained via the Internet or communications technologies is at the student’s or staff’s own risk.
  4. The Duluth Public Schools specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the Internet.
  5. The student and his/her parent/guardian will indemnify and hold the Duluth Public Schools harmless from any losses sustained as the result of misuse of the District’s technology resources by the student.
    1. (Communication systems include e-mail, web social media, phones, pagers, text messaging, instant messaging, blogging, podcasting, listservs, and/or other emerging technologies).
    2. (Personal technologies include but are not limited to cell phones, digital and image devices, handheld electronic devices, two-way radios, and/or other emerging technologies).

References: MSBA/MASA Model Policy 524

Duluth School District Policy 5085 (School Discipline Policy)

Duluth School District Policy 3090 (Copyright Policy)

Duluth School District Policy 4025 (Standards of Conduct for Personnel)

Duluth School District Policy 3187 (Use Policy for Technology and Internet Access)

Boulder (Colorado) School District Acceptable Internet Use Policy

Henrico (Virginia) County Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy

E-rate Central

Children’s Internet Protection Act

Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act

Approved: 12-16-97 ISD 709

Revised: 07-21-98












Received by School Board: