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Information Technology

Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy

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1. Introduction

This document formalizes the policy for responsible use of the Braintree Public Schools’ (BPS) computer network and computing devices owned by BPS or used on the BPS campus. All users, including students, teachers, staff, administrators, and organizations are covered by this policy and are expected to be familiar with its provisions.

2. User Responsibilities

The BPS computer network and all related technology systems are designed and maintained in compliance with state and federal law, including the Children’s Internet Protection Act and Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act Amendment. All use of the network to access the Internet is filtered via a firewall, and network activities harmful to minors or non-compliant with educational uses are prohibited (see Section 3). It is the responsibility of any person using BPS computer network resources to read, understand, and follow these guidelines. In addition, users are expected to exercise reasonable judgment in interpreting these guidelines and in making decisions about the appropriate use of BPS computer network resources. Any person with questions regarding the application or meaning of these guidelines should seek clarification from the BPS technology director or central office. Use of BPS computer network resources shall constitute acceptance of the terms of these guidelines. When a user is no longer a member of the BPS community, he or she shall no longer have user rights to network and technology resources.

A. BPS Computer Network Administrator Responsibilities

The administrator is responsible for making certain that all users understand and abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in this document (Section 3). If the BPS computer network administrator has reason to believe that any user is misusing the system, the administrator has the right to access the user’s account in order to review its use. It is also the responsibility of the administrator to report any misuse of the system to district administrators.

B. BPS Computer Network Educator Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of educators who are using BPS computer network tools with students to teach students about safe and responsible use of the Internet and the network (see also BPS Internet Safety Policy). Educators are responsible for monitoring students’ use of these resources and must intervene if students are using them inappropriately. Educators should make sure that students understand and abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in this document (Section 3). It is also the responsibility of the teacher to report any misuse of the system to his/her building administrator.

C. BPS Computer Network Student Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of students who are using BPS computer network tools to learn about safe and responsible use of the Internet. They are responsible for using these resources appropriately. They must abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in this document (Section 3). If a student is misusing the system, educators must follow appropriate disciplinary protocols, including but not limited to reporting the misuse to the BPS computer network administrator, who has the right to discontinue his/her use of the system.

3. Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses

The resources available to BPS computer network users are to be used for educational purposes. Users should not use BPS computer network to store any files that are not educational. BPS will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response (see also BPS Internet Safety Policy).

It is unacceptable for users to use these resources for:

  • furthering any political or religious purpose
  • engaging in any commercial or fundraising purpose that is not relevant to or approved by the district
  • sending threatening or harassing messages
  • gaining unauthorized access to computer or telecommunications networks
  • interfering with the operations of technology resources
  • accessing or sharing sexually explicit, or obscene materials
  • intercepting communications intended for other persons
  • attempting to gain unauthorized access to the BPS computer network
  • logging in through another person’s account or attempting to access another user’s password or files, except where necessary for a teacher or administrator to do so
  • sending defamatory or libelous material concerning a person or group of people
  • furthering any illegal act, including infringing on any intellectual property rights
  • researching, storing, or sending information regarding weaponry, except in bona fide research as required by the district’s curriculum (for example, an assignment studying a war)
  • downloading, uploading, or distributing any files, software, or other material that is not specifically related to an educational project
  • downloading, uploading, or distributing any files, software, or other material in violation of federal copyright laws

As with any other form of communication, these systems may not be used to transmit or store messages or other data that are prohibited under existing BPS policies, such as those prohibiting sexual harassment, protecting civil rights, and maintaining a safe school environment. Users should take all reasonable precautions against receiving or downloading messages, images, or other data of this sort.

4. Privacy Protections beyond BPS

In compliance with state and federal privacy laws for minors accessing the Internet using school resources, BPS maintains a list of sites and services, along with the personally identifiable data on students that might be included as part of the terms of use for that site or service. Parents of children 13 and under retain the right to opt their students’ out of participation in services that require use of personally identifiable data. BPS administration expects staff and students to adhere to the list of approved sites and services when selecting educational resources for use in the classroom (see also Section 8).

5. No Expectation of Privacy within BPS

BPS computer network resources are the property of the Braintree Public Schools and are to be used in conformance with these guidelines. BPS administration retains the right to inspect any user’s virtual hard drive, school-owned computer, Internet history, or email (whether through a town server or through Google Apps for Education/G Suite) if a suspected violation of the network technology policy or any other district policy has occurred. In keeping with state and federal laws regarding public records, users should be aware that data and messages are regularly archived, even if they appear to have been deleted locally. In addition, an Internet firewall automatically checks all data moving between the local area network and the Internet and logs the sending and receiving destinations. Use of BPS Computer network technology resources constitutes consent for the BPS computer network staff to monitor and/or inspect any files that users create, any messages they post or receive, and any web sites they access should a disciplinary or safety situation warrant such access.

6. Passwords

Each user shall be required to use and maintain passwords that conform to BPS computer network guidelines. Users must take precautions to maintain the secrecy of their password so that other users will not be able to utilize that password for malicious purposes. If a user suspects that someone has discovered his or her password(s), the user should change the password(s) or contact technology services via the Help Desk for assistance in changing the password(s) immediately. BPS computer network users are responsible for all activity under their accounts.

7. Violations

Failure to observe these guidelines may subject users to termination of their BPS computer network accounts, including Google Apps for Education/G Suite accounts, email accounts, and accounts with other district-provided services. BPS administrators will be notified of any inappropriate activities by users, and users will be subject to recourse through other existing BPS policies as applicable. BPS administrators will also advise law enforcement agencies of illegal activities conducted through the BPS computer network and will cooperate fully with local, state, and/or federal officials in any investigation related to illegal activities conducted through the BPS computer network.

7. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Uses

The use of personal electronic device(s) on a school site is a privilege, not a right, that the Braintree Public Schools grants to any student who is willing to assume the responsibility of abiding by the guidelines as set forth in this Braintree Public Schools’ Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Noncompliance with applicable regulations may result in suspension or termination of privileges and other disciplinary action consistent with district policies.

Any student who receives approval from his or her classroom teacher to bring in an electronic device is also responsible for physically securing their device within the school site. Braintree Public Schools assumes no responsibility or financial liability for any damage the student or parent suffers, including but not limited to theft, physical damage, and loss of data or software malfunctions of the personal electronic device. If an electronic device appears to have been stolen, the student should immediately report the incident to the school administrator.

  • Students (who have received permission) may connect wirelessly to the BPS network for educational purposes. Personal electronic devices may not be used for entertainment, including but not limited to games, messaging, social media, streaming movies, music, or video viewing, while connected to the BPS network, unless instructed to do so.
  • Students must follow additional guidelines which a classroom teacher or BPS staff member might impose. The use of the electronic device(s) may in no way disturb the learning environment.
  • Students are strictly prohibited from using peer-to-peer file sharing software and messaging programs unless instructed by a teacher to do so.
  • Any student who is suspected of violating the Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy or any other BPS policy must yield their personal electronic device(s) to any Braintree Public Schools staff member upon request. Authorized personnel may inspect the system to determine whether any policies have been violated.

8. Disclaimers

The Braintree Public Schools make no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for BPS computer services and resources. BPS is not responsible for any damages incurred, including but not limited to the following: loss of data resulting from delays or interruption of service, loss of data stored on BPS computer network resources, or damage to personal property used to access BPS computer network resources. BPS is not responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information stored on BPS computer network resources or gathered through BPS computer network or the Internet. BPS is not responsible for unauthorized financial obligations incurred through BPS computer network-provided access. BPS accepts no liability for users who willfully ignore or violate terms of use on an Internet site or service via the BPS network. All provisions of this agreement are subordinate to local, state and federal statutes.

This policy is in compliance with state and federal telecommunications rules and regulations, including the Children's Internet Protection Act, the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act Amendment, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.

Acknowledgements: Sections of this document were adapted from Quincy Public Schools, Hanover Public Schools, and Burlington Public Schools, the Massachusetts Office of Digital Learning, FCC and FTC recommendations, and federal laws.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 6/12/2017

Internet Safety Policy

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As required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), this policy certifies Braintree Public Schools’ implementation of technology protection measures to block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

As outlined in the BPS Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy, users have no expectation of privacy within the BPS system (Sections 5 & 7); this provision allows for the monitoring of minors’ online activities in accordance with CIPA. Additional components of CIPA compliance addressed in the district’s Network & Technology Responsible Use Policy include:

  • Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet; (Sections 2 & 3)
  • The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications; (Section 4)
  • Unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online; (Section 3)
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; (Section 4)
  • Measures restricting minors' access to materials harmful to them (Section 2).

As required by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, Braintree Public Schools (BPS) provides for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including but not limited to the appropriate online behavior for interacting with other individuals via email, on social networking websites, and in chat rooms. In addition, BPS educates students in age-appropriate awareness of cyberbullying and both an individual user’s response and BPS educators’ and administrators’ responses. This policy provides for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior.

Adopted by the Braintree School Committee, 6/12/2017

Aspen FAQ

What is Aspen?Aspen is a Student Information Management System created by Follett Software. Braintree Public Schools uses Aspen to manage student information including grading, scheduling and attendance. Parents can log into Aspen to view information about their children.

What is the URL for Aspen?https://ma-braintree.myfollett.com

How do I set up my computer to access Aspen?
Aspen may be accessed with any Internet-connected computer but you must allow “pop-ups.”

What should I do if I forget my password?Please click on forgot password, enter your username, email and answer security question to have a password emailed to you.
Please send an email to bhsaspen@braintreema.gov for BHS and to aspen@braintreema.gov for middle schools to have your password reset .

What should I do if my user name and/or password aren’t working?Please send an email to bhsaspen@braintreema.gov for BHS or aspen@braintreema.gov for middle schools with your name, your child’s name, his/her school, his/her homeroom number, his/her house number for BHS and a brief description of the problem you are having.

I have not received a username and password - how can I get one?Initial usernames and passwords were set via a letter or email at the time of registration. If you did not receive this letter, you can request a username by emailing us at bhsaspen@braintreema.gov for BHS or aspen@braintreema.gov for middle schools. Please be sure to include your child's name as well as your name in your request.

How do I access my student's grading info?Grade information in Aspen can be found under the Academics tab. Click on a class, then on the Assignments side tab for more details. Information, including individual assignments and averages will fluctuate as the teacher enters information.

How do I sign up for attendance and grade notification emails in Aspen?Parents and students can receive email notifications for Attendance and Grade entries in Aspen. The system allows you to subscribe to these notifications. They are not sent until you subscribe to them. Messages are only sent if you subscribe and if an attendance or grade event as described below has been entered that day.

  • Attendance: This subscription notifies you of any attendance entry for your student.

  • Grades: This subscription notifies you when any assignment grades below a specified threshold are entered for your student. Grades are scaled as a percent from 0 to 100. If your student receives a class assignment or test grade that is below the specified threshold, a notification will be sent to your email address. The threshold should be a number from 0 to 100. For example, an entry of 75 would trigger a notification for any grade entered that scaled below 75%.

  • To Sign up for these notifications:
    • Log into your Parent or Student Aspen Account.
    • Click on Set Preferences in the upper right.
    • Click on the Security Tab.
    • Enter your email address in the Primary Email Address field. (you may also enter a second address in the Alternate Email Address field)
    • Click OK to close the Preferences window.
    • Parent Account users should then click on the Family tab at the top, then click on their child's name. Student Account users should click on the My Info Tab at the top.
    • Click on the Notification side tab.
    • Check off the Notification(s) you want to enable.
    • Enter a grade threshold if you are activating the grade notification.
  • Please note that parents with multiple children need to activate these notifications for each of their children. The grade notifications only apply to assignment grades on the Academics Tab for students in grades 6-12. Transcript grades posted at the end of each quarter do not trigger these notifications.