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Computer Security, Email and Internet Communication

Category: Priority/Required by Law

The District has established this policy with regard to access to and disclosure of electronic data composed, stored, sent, or received by employees using the District computer system. This policy is designed to protect the safety and security of the District's computer systems including email and Internet use.

The District intends to enforce the rules set forth below and reserves the right to change these rules at any time. The term “technology resources” includes, but is not limited to, computers, hardware systems, software owned/leased by the District, electronic messaging systems, and networks.

1. Technology resources provided by the District, and all messages or data composed, using any form of messaging system, that are stored, sent, or received using these systems, are and remain the private property of the District. Technology resources assigned to employees are not personal devices and therefore, are not property of the employee.

2. Technology resources are to be used for school business/school purposes only. Personal communication is authorized for use during free periods, lunch periods, and planning periods, but should not be considered private as it is on a school device. Personal communication is not authorized during an employee's work hours or during class periods.

3. Technology resources provided by the District may not be used for personal commercial ventures, religious or political causes, outside organizations, or other non-job related solicitations. Technology resources are for district purposes only.

4. The District prohibits discriminatory, harassing, or offensive materials in any form of media. Among those which are considered offensive are any messages which contain sexual implications, racial slurs, gender-specific comments, or any other comments that offensively address someone's age, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, national origin, or disability.

5. Technology resources shall not be used to send (upload) or receive (download) copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, or similar materials without prior authorization.

6. The District reserves, and intends to exercise without prior notice, the right to read, review, audit, intercept, access or disclose any and all information on an employee's computer system, logs, or messages created, received or sent using technology resources for any purpose, even if coded or passworded.

7. The confidentiality of any message or data should not be assumed. Even when a message is erased, it is still possible to retrieve and read that message. The use of passwords for security does not guarantee confidentiality, or that the District will not retrieve it. All passwords must be disclosed to the computer administrator on request.

8. Any communications created, sent, or retrieved using email may be read by individuals other than the intended recipient.

9. Notwithstanding the District's right to retrieve and monitor any email messages, such messages should be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Employees are not authorized to retrieve or read any email that is not sent to them. Any exception to this policy must receive prior approval by the Superintendent.

10. Any employee who violates this policy or uses technology resources for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline up to and including discharge.

11. The District has the authority to terminate or limit access to any system or program at any time.

12. The District will take all necessary measures to maintain student privacy relative to the District's website, online information, and storage of student personally identifiable information, as required by state and federal law.

Legal References:
RSA 189:68-a, Student Online Personal Information
RSA 194:3-d, School District Computer Networks

First Reading: SAU 70 Board, December 4, 2017
Second Reading: SAU 70 Board, August 30, 2018
Approved: Dresden Board, August 30, 2018
Approved: Norwich Board, September 5, 2018
Approved: Hanover Board, September 20, 2018