Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Archdiocesan Responsible Use Policy

Director of Technology, PreK-12


Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Revised May 2017

The heart of our curriculum is timeless ~ love, truth, beauty, mercy.  We teach about creation as well as the Creator.  We educate on being in solidarity with those who suffer and how to cultivate a prayer life.

In his message for the 48th World Communications Day, Pope Francis said that technology is a “gift from God.” The Pope challenged the Church to use this tool to promote the faith, asking how communication can “be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter?” Because of these things we are committed to participating in society. And to be committed to such participation requires using technology in appropriate ways. 

We are interested in technology because of our faith.

We expect our students use technology to think more critically, to communicate effectively, to express their creativity, and to conduct research. Our teachers have access to updated technology in their classrooms to engage our students and challenge them to learn in ways not previously imaginable.  We empower students with the technical skills necessary to participate in a culture that is increasingly dependent upon technology while challenging them to be digital ambassadors spreading the Good News.

But, it is our faith that guides how we use technology.

We teach our students about the ethics of technology and train them to be savvy about things like Internet privacy and safety.  We teach the unfortunate reality of technology addiction.  We remind students and parents that technology is aggressively marketed and to be careful about getting caught up in the hype.

We also acknowledge that we sometimes need to “unplug” from technology as it can cause us to become isolated from one another.  We encourage family meals without screen time and the importance of communicating face to face.

We greatly value technology in our schools.  And what makes technology most powerful is when it serves to make our students better people!

Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Technology is a valuable and real world educational tool. All Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including: interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyber bullying awareness and response to ensure responsible use of technology. The policy outlined below applies to all technology use including but not limited to Internet use.The Responsible Use Policy for Technology applies to all students, faculty, administrators, staff, volunteers or community members allowed access to school technology resources. In some cases outside or personal uses of technology may be applicable under this policy.

We recognize that the digital world allows any time,any where access.Uses mentioned in this policy apply to inside school use and may in certain instances apply to persona ltechnology use and/or uses outside of school. Where personal outside use of technology threatens a likelihood of substantial disruption in school, including harming orinterfering with th erights of other students or teachers to participate fully in school or extracurricular activities,these activities may be viewed as a violation of the Responsible Use Policy and may be subject to the disciplinary measure found herein.

N.B.The types of electronic and digital communications referenced in this AUP include, but are not limited to,social networking sites,cellphones,mobile computers and devices, digital cameras,text messaging,email,voice over ip,chatrooms,and instant messaging.

The school’s goal is to prepare its members for a responsible life in a digital global community. To this end, the school will:

  • Integrate technology with curriculum to enhance teaching and learning
  • Encourage critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and problem solving skills
  • Facilitate evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Encourage ethical practices and provide education for Internet safety, digital citizenship and the creation of a positive digital identity
  • Provide a variety of technology based tools and related technology skills. 

Our schools will make every effort to provide a safe environment for learning with technology including Internet filtering and safeguards. The students, faculty, administrators, staff, and school community are granted the privilege of using the computer hardware and software peripherals, and electronic communication tools including the Internet. With this privilege comes the responsibility for appropriate use.

In The Archdiocese of Philadelphia we use information and technology in safe, legal,and responsible ways. We embrace the following conditions or facets of being a digital citizen.

  • Respect One’s Self: Responsible users will select online names that are appropriate and will consider the information and images that are posted online.
  • Respect Others:Responsible users will refrain from using technologies to bully, tease or harass other people.
  • Protect One’s Self and Others: Responsible users will protect themselves  and others by reporting abuse and not forwarding inappropriate materials or communications.
  • Respect Intellectual Property:Responsible users will suitably cite any and all use of websites, books, media, etc…
  • Protect Intellectual Property: Responsible users will request to use the software and media others produce and license agreements for all software and resourecs.

EducationalPurpose/Responsible Use: School technology is tobe used to enhance student learning. Students are able to access social networking and gaming sites only under the guidance and supervision of the teacher for the educational outcomes identified within the lesson and given appropriate age.

Copyright/Intellectual Property and Identity:All sources obtained for teacher and student work should be properly cited. Users are to respect the rights of and the intellectual property of others in accordance with Federal Copyright Law. Transferring copyrighted material to or from a school without expressed permission of the owner is a violation of Federal Law.

Communications:  Electronicand/orDigitalcommunications with students should be conducted for educationally appropriate purposes and employ only school-sanctioned means of communication. The school-sanctioned communications methods include:

  • Teacher school web page, email and/or phone number
  • Teacher created, educationally focused networking sites
  • Remind Communication app

Teachers, administrators or staff member in their normal responsibilities and duties may be required to contact parents outside of the school day. A teacher, administrator or staff member is free to contact parents using a home phone or a personal cellphone. However, they should not distribute a home phone number or a personal cell phone number to students. If a student contacts a teacher or administrator using a teacher or administrator’s personal numbers, email or networking sites, the teacher or administrator should immediately report this to the administrator or appropriate authorities.

Electronic and Mobile Devices, Cellphones/Wearable:
Users must adhere to local school policy that may further define uses of mobile devices. The administrator of the local school will determine permissible use. If a particular mobile device is to be used for educational purpose, the school administration and/or teacher will provide parameters for this use.

Examples of Unacceptable Uses -Users are not to:

  • Use technology to  harass,  threaten,  deceive,  intimidate,  offend,  embarrass,  or  annoy  any individual.
  • ·Post,publish,ordisplayanydefamatory,inaccurate,violent,abusive,profaneorsexuallyoriented material. Users must not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude or threatening language. Users must not knowingly or recklessly post false information about any persons, students, staff or any other organization.
  • Use a  photograph,  image,  video, including-live streaming, or  likeness  of  any  student,  or  employee  without  express permission of that individual and of the principal.
  • Create any site, post any photo,image or video of another except with express permission of that individual and the principal.
  • Attempt to circumvent system security or to bypass software protections.
  • Deliberately visit a site known for unacceptable material or any material that is notinsupportof educationalobjectives.Studentsmustnotaccesssocialnetworkingsitesorgamingsites,except for educational purposes under teacher supervision.
  • Violate license agreements, copy disks, CD-ROMs,or other protected media.
  • Use technology for any illegal activity. Use of the Internet for commercial gains or profits is not allowed from an educational site.
  • Breach confidentiality obligations of school or system employees
  • Harm the good will and reputation of the school or system in the community
  • Transmit any material in violation of any local,federal and state laws.This includes,but is not limited to: copyrighted material, licensed material and threatening or obscene material.
  • Attempt to modify software and/or hardware configurations on a school issued device without proper permission and direction.
  • Loading personal software onto a school device or school issued device without proper permission or direction.
  • Attempt to remove covers or protective shells to make repairs to hardware.

Reporting: Users must immediately report any damage or change to the school’s hardware/software that is noticed by the user.

Administrative Rights:
The school has the right to monitor both student and employee use of school computers and computer accessed content. Due to the evolving nature of technology, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office of Catholic Education reserves the right to amend or add this policy at any time without notice. 

Personal Use of Social Media
This section of the policy refers to the personal use of social media sites such as, but not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Tumbler,, Snapchat, Vine, Kik, and Yik Yak.

Teachers and students may not mention members of the school community without their consent unless the subject is of public concern and the speech falls under applicable constitutional protections.

“Friending” or “Following” of current students by teachers is forbidden on a teacher’s personal social networking site. Personal and professional posts’ must use appropriately respectful speech, and refrain from harassing, defamatory, abusive, discriminatory, threatening or other inappropriate communications. Teachers are encouraged to have professional accounts and parents are encouraged to follow for announcements and resources. Teachers are to inform local administrators as to any class utilizing social media

Policy Violations
Inappropriate use in contradiction to the above rules will be addressed by the administration of the school. Violation of these rules may result in any or all of the following:

  • Loss of use of the school network, computers and software, including Internet access. The student will be expected to complete workon a non-networked,stand-alonecomputer system.
  • Issuance of demerits/detentions, if applicable.
  • Disciplinary action including, but not limited to, dismissal and/or legal action by the school, civil authorities, or other involved parties.