Acceptable Use Policy for Internet Use

Statement

Definition

The aim of the Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources in a safe and effective manner.

Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege.  Therefore, if our Acceptable Use Policy is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions as outlined will be imposed.

It is envisaged that school and Board of Management Representatives will revise this Policy as necessary.

This version of Acceptable Use Policy was created in May 2007 and it has been revised regularly. The most recent update was in September 2020 to include Distance Learning.

School Strategy:

The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet.  These strategies are as follows:

General:

  • Internet usage will always be supervised by a teacher.
  • Filtering systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet safety.
  • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
  • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
  • The connection of any personal devices to the schools internet connection or IT equipment is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, mobile phones, smart phones, tablet devices and all media storage devices.
  • Pupils will observe good “netiquette” (etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
  • Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed
  • Any personal data recorded will be processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998

World Wide Web: 

Pupils:

  • Pupils will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials. It is understood that unwanted or unsuitable material may sometimes be accessed accidentally. In these cases the pupil must immediately stop using the computer and inform the teacher.
  • Pupils will use the Internet for Internet educational purposes only. Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
  • Pupils will be familiar with copyright issues relating online learning.
  • Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information. Pupils will receive training in the area of internet safety.
  • Pupils will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, may be monitored for unusual activity, security or networking management reasons.
  • Pupils will not download materials or images that is not relevant to their studies.  Media content websites, like YouTube can only be accessed under the supervision and direction of the teacher.
  • Pupils will ask permission before entering any website unless already approved by the teacher.
  • Personal social networking contact between pupils and school staff should be strictly avoided during or outside school hours. This includes sending or accepting “Friend” requests.

School Staff:

  • School staff may not use the Internet for personal use during school hours, with the exception of break time.
  • School staff who connect to personal devices such as laptops, mobile phones etc. to the school wired or WiFi network must ensure that those devices have adequate anti-virus and security software.
  • School staff is strictly forbidden to access inappropriate material on the Internet at any time.
  • School staff is prohibited from downloading uploading, copying or storing copyrighted media files (such as MP3 audio files or video files) of any type.
  • School Staff are prohibited from running peer-to-peer or other internet content distribution software on school computers.
  • School staff will be made aware of internet safety issues.
  • School staff will not access social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc. during school hours.

Parents:

The school asks parents to please observe the following:

  • Please do not allow children to have personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter etc. until they are the appropriate age.
  • Please do not “tag” photographs or any other content which would identify any children or staff in the school.
  • Avoid any negative conversation about children, staff or parents on Social media/ WhatsApp accounts.  If you have an issue with something in the school. This is not place to raise it.

Email:

  • Pupils will use only approved class e-mail accounts under supervision and with permission from a teacher. Email is used for educational purposes only.
  • Pupils will not send or receive material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or anything that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if they receive offensive e-mail
  • The forwarding of chain email is not permitted.
  • Pupils will not reveal their own or other pupil’s personal details, such as addresses, telephone numbers or pictures.
  • Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone.
  • Pupils will note that sending and receiving e-mail attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

Internet –Based Communication

In recent years the Internet has seen the emergence of Internet-based communication systems such as Skype, Viber, Seesaw, Zoom and Facetime. These systems have huge potential value as educational tools when used under supervision, for example allowing free video communication with classes in other countries.

  • Pupils will only use approved Internet Communication accounts under supervision and with permission from a teacher. Internet communication is used for educational purposes only.
  • Pupils will set up and use internet communication in school only under the direct supervision of a staff member.
  • Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if, while using such a system, they receive a request for connection from another source.
  • Pupils will not reveal their own personal details or the personal details of other pupils in Internet Communication systems.
  • Pupils will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with anyone in Internet Communication sessions.
  • Pupils will note that sending and receiving files during Internet Communication Sessions is subject to permission from their teacher.
  • Seesaw and Zoom are used as a two way communication systems between home and school to facilitate distance learning and to communicate with parents.

Distance Learning Policy

Introduction

This section of the policy was formulated in response to school closures due to Covid-19 in order to maintain the link between school and home and to facilitate home learning.

Guidelines for good online communication in Cloonakilla N.S.:
1.      Under no circumstances can pictures or recordings be taken of video calls. 

2.     Staff, families and students are expected to behave in an appropriate, safe, respectful and     kind manner online.

3. It is the duty of parents/guardians to supervise children while they are working online and to ensure any content which they are submitting to their teacher is appropriate.

4. Staff members can communicate with pupils and their families via Aladdin or through an established app (eg. Seesaw). 

  • Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families.
  • Students and staff will communicate using tools which have been approved by the school and of which parents have been notified (Seesaw, Zoom)
  1. Parental permission will be acquired before setting up a profile for a pupil on a communication forum.
  2. For video/Zoom calls, parental permission is implied, as the link to a video call will be communicated via the parent/guardian’s email address. Essentially, by virtue of the pupil logging on to the call, permission is assumed.
  3. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families, where applicable.
  4. Cloonakilla N.S. cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are hacked.
  5. Communication using a mobile phone will not be frequent, but in the rare exception where it is necessary, staff members will ensure that their caller ID is private. 


Guidelines for staff members using online communication methods:

  1. Under no circumstances can pictures or recordings be taken of video calls. 
  2. Staff members will communicate with pupils and families during the hours of 8.30am – 3pm, where possible. 
  3. Staff members will have high expectations regarding pupil behaviour, with any communication which takes place online. 
  4. Staff members will seek to become familiar with apps before using them with pupils.
  5. Staff will check that consent has been given, before setting up a pupil profile for an online app. 
  6. Staff members will report any concerns regarding online behaviour or interactions to school management. 
  7. Staff are encouraged to generate a new meeting ID and password for each Zoom meeting being held.
  8. Staff members will notify parents/guardians of the date, time and password for a video call via email. 
  9. Staff members will only admit participants to video conferences, if they recognise the email address/username as being connected to a pupil.
  10. Staff will not meet any child alone using an online meeting.  If there is a need for a meeting between a child and a staff member another adult must be present at the meeting

Rules for pupils using online communication methods:
For submitting learning:

  1. Submit work and pictures that are appropriate – have an adult take a look at your work before you send it.
  2. Use kind and friendly words.

Guidelines for parents and guardians:
For learning:

It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that pupils are supervised while they work online. 

  1. Check over the work which pupils send to their teacher, ensuring it is appropriate.
  2. Continue to revise online safety measures with pupils.
  3. Please do not allow children to have personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter etc. until they are the appropriate age.

Zoom Etiquette for pupils:

  1. Pictures or recordings of the video call are not allowed.
  2. Remember our school rules – they are still in place, even online. 
  3. Set up your device in a quiet space, with no distractions in the background.  Pick a room that is not a bedroom and does not have traffic passing through. 
  4. Join the video with your microphone muted.
  5. Raise your hand before speaking, just as you would do in class.
  6. If you have the chance to talk, speak in your normal voice, using kind and friendly words.
  7. Show respect by listening to others while they are speaking.  Do not use Chat when others are talking.  Be respectful at all times when using Chat.
  8. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the video call. .
  9. Be on time – set a reminder if it helps. 
  10. No food allowed.  We don’t want you dropping crumbs all over your keyboard.
  11. Stay seated and stay present.  Do not leave the room or talk on your phone.

Zoom Etiquette for parents/guardians

  1. Under no circumstances can pictures or recordings be taken of video calls. 
  2. Ensure that the school has the correct email address for inviting you to join apps and meetings.
  3. The main purpose of a video call is to maintain a social connection between the school staff and pupils at this difficult time. Encourage pupils to listen and enjoy the experience.
  4. Be aware that when participating in group video calls, you can be seen and heard unless you are muted or have disabled your camera. 
  5. You will automatically enter a waiting room when the code for a Zoom call has been entered. Please note that school staff will only accept users into video call if you can be identified by the display name on your zoom account.
  6. Please ensure that your child is on time for a scheduled video, or they may be locked out. Please request to join the Zoom call approximately five minutes before the scheduled start time. This will give school staff time to verify your email address. 
  7. Make sure to familiarise your child with the software in advance. For video in particular, show them how to mute/unmute and turn the camera on/off.
  8. Participants in the call should be dressed appropriately.
  9. An appropriate background/room should be chosen for the video call.
  10. For detailed information on GDPR and Zoom, please visit https://zoom.us/privacy

It is important to note that any breach of the above guidelines will result in a discontinuation of this method of communication. A breach may also result in a person being immediately removed from a meeting or a meeting being immediately terminated. In this case, the child’s parent will receive a report on the incident.

The following procedures will apply in the event of future unexpected school closures due to Covid-19.

  1. In the event of full lockdown (national or local)

Teachers will communicate with children via Seesaw.  For those who cannot access Seesaw work will be emailed to pupils.

  • In the event of a teacher being sent home with class

Teacher will communicate with class via Seesaw as above (presuming the teacher has a negative result and is also able to do so).  If a teacher has a positive result a substitute will be employed

  • In the event of teacher and pod being sent home

A substitute teacher will be employed to teach the class in school.  A member of SEN team will continue distance learning with the pod who are at home if the teacher is unable to do so.

  • For pupils who are unable to attend school (those who are self-isolating, restricting movements or are in high risk category) work will be sent home by the class teacher on Seesaw and a member of SEN team will monitor work.  If a teacher is restricting movement he/she will monitor work if possible.

School Web Site:

  • Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the School Website.
  • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by the ICT postholder.
  • Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.
  • Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school web site. Instead photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities.
  • Personal pupil information including names, home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.
  • The principal will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.

Legislation/Policies: The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:

  • Child Trafficking and Pornography Bill 1997
  • 1993 Interception Act
  • Video Recordings Act 1989
  • The Data Protection Act 1988
  • Anti-bullying Policy (Cyberbullying)

Support Structures and Education:

The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.

Cloonakilla NS will educate children on the safe responsible use of the internet.  Resources that may be used include:

  • NCTE Internet Safety Awareness Video
  • Interactive Internet Safety Programme (Outside agency) on alternate years

Our AUP has been revised in the context of reviewing our Anti-Bullying Policy with particular reference to Cyber Bullying.  Each family in the school will be emailed copy of the policy accompanied by

  • Letter to parents
  • Responsible internet Pupil/Parent Undertaking Form (1st to 6th Class) Infant classes are not requested to sign form.

These forms will be placed in the child’s file and will be valid for the duration of the child’s time in school unless the principal is directed otherwise by a parent/guardian.

Sanctions:

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.  The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Ratification and Review

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 6th October 2020 and will be reviewed in 2023 unless legislation or circumstances determine otherwise.

Signed: ______Fr John Deignan Date______06/10/2020

Chairman   Board of Management

Cloonakilla National School

Acceptable Use Policy – Permission Form

Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, sign and return this form to the Principal.

Name of Child:   __________________________________            Class: _________________

Pupil:

I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy on the use of the Internet.  I will use the internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.

Pupil’s Signature: ___________________________________      Date: _______________________

Parent/Guardian:

As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my son/daughter or the child in my care to access the Internet.  I understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if pupils access unsuitable websites.

I accept the above paragraph   □   I do not accept the above paragraph   □

(Please tick as appropriate)

In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s school work may be chosen for inclusion on the website.  I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing children’s work on the school website.

 I accept the above paragraph   □   I do not accept the above paragraph   □

(Please tick as appropriate)

Parent’s/Guardian’s Name: 

______________________________________________________________