Technology Acceptable Use Policy 2021-22
The Carroll School Computer Network (the “CarrollNet”) is established for the educational and professional use of Carroll School students, faculty, and staff (“Users”). This Technology and Acceptable Use Policy (the “Policy”) is intended to govern Users with respect to CarrollNet and the Internet. In addition to this Policy, Carroll School regulates access to and use of the CarrollNet by principles consistent with the educational mission of the Carroll School, and the rules and expectations published elsewhere (i.e., Student, Parent, or Faculty Handbook). Users are expected to conduct themselves on the CarrollNet in the same fashion as they do elsewhere in the community. Users who violate this Policy will have their CarrollNet privileges revoked and may be subject to further disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal. Carroll School may also report offenders to applicable law enforcement agencies.
The CarrollNet provides access to the global Internet. Carroll School has taken available precautions to restrict access to controversial materials on the Internet. However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials. Carroll School believes that the valuable information and interaction available on the Internet far outweighs the possibility that Users may find material that is not consistent with our educational goals.
The smooth operation of the CarrollNet relies upon the proper conduct of all Users. The signature on the Handbook Acknowledgement form and Laptop Contracts are legally binding and indicate the parties who have signed have read the terms and conditions of this Policy carefully and understand their significance.
- CarrollNet - Terms and Conditions (Acceptable Use and Illegal Actions)
- No Expectation of Privacy
- Inappropriate Access
- Google Workspace for Education Acceptable Use
- Parental Consent and COPPA Compliance
- Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School Student Chromebooks
- Summary of Inacceptable Uses
- Improper Use and Content
- Social Networking Sites
- Theft and Vandalism
- Phishing Emails and Other "Spreading" Schemes
- Waiver of Warranties; Limitation of Liability
- Entirety of Agreement
- Preservation of Resources
- Special Note Regarding Borrowed Equipment
Scope and Authority – The CarrollNet includes all hardware, software, and network services used by the Carroll community, including third party services that act as extensions of our internal network. Parents give the school permission to use applications that are educationally beneficial to our students.
The use of the CarrollNet is a privilege, not a right. The use of an account must be consistent with the educational objectives of Carroll School. The Technology Office will deem what is inappropriate use and will refer any such conduct to Carroll School Administration. Carroll School, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to determine what conduct constitutes a violation of this Policy, and the discipline for any such violation. In addition, use of any other Internet connected resource must comply with the rules appropriate for that resource. Transmission of any material in violation of any U.S. or state regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, material protected by copyright, threatening or obscene material, or material protected by trade practice. Use of the CarrollNet for commercial activities, product advertisement, or political lobbying is prohibited. Use of the CarrollNet and the Internet must be consistent with this Policy and all policies and practices of Carroll School, and violations of this Policy and such other policies and practices may result in the suspension or loss of an account, loss of Internet access, or in other forms of disciplinary action.
Carroll School routinely monitors usage of CarrollNet and may review any communications on its systems. Carroll School is able to override all passwords. Users do not have a privacy right in the contents of their computer system, including messages sent, received, or stored on the email systems or in their use of the Internet. Passwords to these systems exist for the benefit of Carroll School. Users should have no expectation that the ability to choose a password for a system in any way limits the ability or right of Carroll School to monitor all activity.
During the academic year, Carroll School routinely monitors students’ online activities including internet searches and communications using Google applications on School-provided devices.Students and parents should not expect any rights to privacy in online activities and communications using these devices and applications. Carroll’s computer network acceptable use policy governs. The School uses reasonable efforts to monitor and recognizes that no monitoring tools are comprehensive. If the Head of School or Division Heads of the Carroll School receives notification of what they consider to be inappropriate or potentially harmful type online activities, the School will make reasonable effort to contact parents/guardians of the child. Parents are also advised to monitor and to establish restrictions on student use of electronic devices, particularly concerning internet and social media activities.
Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many Users. No User may have access to another’s files on the CarrollNet intranet. The following guidelines will help maintain CarrollNet security:
- If you feel you have identified a security problem on the Internet, you must notify the Chief Technology Officer.
- Do not allow anyone else to use your account and do not use another individual's account.
- Inappropriate attempts to access a server as an administrator will result in immediate cancellation of User privileges and/ or discipline.
- Any User identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the CarrollNet.
Not all of the information freely available on the Internet is reliable or helpful. Students and employees must evaluate the source of the information, as well as the information itself, to determine its appropriateness and usefulness.
In addition to providing information, the Internet is capable of providing the means to communicate directly with others via “instant or private messaging” programs, video conferencing programs, and other means. Also, there are many places and software technologies that will allow for the free exchange of files between computers over the Internet, such as email. Not all of these methodologies are appropriate for an educational environment as outlined in this document.
Downloading or loading software on Carroll School’s computers is prohibited. There is an enormous quantity and variety of free software available on the Internet. However, widespread downloading of such software on the School’s computers has a cumulative negative effect, and can result in the substantial degradation of performance, additional maintenance time, and increased threat of virus infestation. Students may not use school computers to access any Internet site or sites that contain information that is inappropriate for educational purposes or sites that teachers, staff or administration deem inappropriate for the instructional program. Examples of inappropriate information and/or content include, but are not limited to, the following:
Students may not access, upload, download, transmit, display or distribute
- offensive material – content that is in poor taste or could be considered obscene; abusive or sexually explicit language, racist, illegal, harassing or inflammatory.
- dangerous material – content that provides direction in the construction of explosives or similar devices or instruction or practices that could injure the students themselves or others.
- inappropriate contacts – materials that can lead to contact with strangers who could potentially threaten the student’s health or safety.
If a student is uncertain as to whether or not a site’s material might be considered inappropriate, the student should consult their teacher or a member of the administrative staff for clarification.
Google Workspace for Education is primarily for educational use. Students may use Google Workspace for Education for personal use subject to the restrictions below and additional school rules and policies that may apply.
School staff and administrators have access to student email for monitoring purposes. Students should have no expectation of privacy on the Google Workspace for Education system.
Limited personal use - Students may use Google Workspace for Education tools for personal projects outside of school hours but may not use them for:
- Unlawful activities.
- Inappropriate sexual or other offensive content.
- Threatening another person.
- Misrepresentation of Carroll School, staff, or students.
- Students will tell their teacher or other school employee about any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Students are responsible for the use of their individual accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account.
- Under no conditions should a user provide his or her password to another person.
Access Restriction - Due Process
Access to Google Workspace for Education is considered a privilege accorded at the discretion of Carroll School. Carroll School maintains the right to immediately withdraw access and use of Google Workspace for Education when there is reason to believe that violations of law or school policies have occurred. In such cases, the alleged violation will be referred to the Head of School for further investigation and account restoration, suspension, or termination. As a party of the Agreement with Google, Carroll School also reserves the right to immediately suspend any user's account suspected of inappropriate use. Pending review, a user account may be terminated as part of such action.
Due to the rapidly changing technology environment, Carroll School reserves the right to determine if an action not listed in this document is inappropriate and the student may be subject to discipline.
Google Workspace for Education Student Accounts
Students receive Google Workspace for Education accounts through Carroll. These school accounts are used for classroom assignment distribution, teacher communication, and allowing students access to other educational software online. Carroll Google Workspace for Education accounts are limited for use within the Carroll domain, and they cannot be accessed or contacted from people or parties outside of the Carroll domain. All Carroll policies apply to these accounts. Student accounts are deleted 30 days after students leave Carroll School.
In order for the Carroll School to be able to provide students with the most effective web-based tools and applications for learning, they need to abide by federal regulations that require a parental signature as outlined below.
The Carroll School uses computer software applications and web-based services, operated not by this school, but by third parties. A list of software applications can be found on the Aspen Class Pages.
In order for students to use these programs and services, certain personal identifying information, generally the student’s name and Carroll email address, must be provided to the web site operator. It is important to note a student’s Carroll email address can not be contacted by people outside of the Carroll domain, nor are students allowed to email any addresses outside the Carroll domain. If a student emails a faculty or staff along with an address from outside the Carroll domain, that email will be quarantined and removed by a 3rd party vendor. Under federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), websites must provide parental notification and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children under the age of 13. For more information on COPPA, please visit http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.shtm.
With the submission of this release through the parent and student handbook, the law permits school systems such as ours to consent to the collection of personal information on behalf of all of its students, thereby eliminating the need for individual parental consent given directly to the web site operator.
The signed parent and student handbook will constitute consent for our schools to provide personal identifying information for your child consisting of first name, last name, their Carroll email address, and username to the operators of web-based educational programs and services. The list of programs and services may change throughout the academic year.
Carroll School computers are managed in order to allow for students to use the systems only for educational purposes. Under no circumstances is a student attempting to modify the existing hardware configuration of the Carroll School computer, either by opening the case or changing BIOS and or other hardware settings. Students are responsible for reporting any damage discovered on school computers to their teacher immediately.
It is specifically set forth in this policy that under NO circumstances are either students, staff, or visitors allowed to connect their own personal computers, laptop or notebook computers, personal digital assistants (PDA’s) or any other electronic device to any of Carroll School computers or to the Carroll School internal network, without the expressed knowledge and written consent of the Chief Technology Officer or their designee.
All students entering the Lower School program receive a Chromebook to be used during the academic school year. These Chromebooks are owned by Carroll School, and will be returned each year.
All students entering the Middle or Upper School program receive a Chromebook for their exclusive use throughout their time at Carroll. These Chromebooks are not returned yearly.
The Middle and Upper School student Chromebooks are purchased by the student's family, and the student is responsible for the safekeeping and appropriate use of the Chromebook. This includes any damage to the Chromebook.
Over the summer, the Middle or Upper School student is responsible for the appropriate use and storage of their device.
While the students remain at Carroll, their Chromebooks fall under the existing policies.
Each student is responsible for all activity that occurs under their user account. Students may not place information on the Internet that would fall under the category of “unacceptable sites” listed above.
Students may not give out any personal information (e.g., address, phone number, user name, passwords, etc.) about themselves or about other people. Students may not use school computers for commercial purposes or political lobbying.
This is a list of the more common things students are specifically NOT permitted to do.
- Download any files, especially music and videos, from the Internet, unless the material is free for commercial use and royalty free.
- Use any form of “instant or private messaging” software.
- Install any applications or software onto Carroll School computers.
- Disable or modify any running tasks or services.
- Transfer and/or store music files from any personal devices to Carroll School systems.
- Play games, unless directed to by a faculty or staff member for educational purposes, at any time on Carroll School computers, including Internet-based games.
- Use proxies or other means to bypass the content filtering systems in place and or defeat any settings that prevent the access of material deemed and flagged as inappropriate by the blocking devices.
- Use remote access of software or hardware to take control of any network attached device or workstation.
- Remove License decals or inventory control tags attached to the systems.
- Disrupt its use by other individuals by connecting to other Carroll School networks to perform any illegal or inappropriate act, such as an attempt to gain unauthorized access to other systems on the network.
- Everyone must honor copyrights and licenses, as well as the legal rights of the software producers and network providers.
- Use of another person’s user account and any access of credentials is prohibited.
- Anyone who inadvertently accesses an inappropriate site must immediately leave the site and report it to their faculty advisor.
- Attempt to log onto the network as a system administrator.
- Any user identified as a security risk may be denied access to the network.
- Damage caused by the intentional misuse or vandalism of equipment will be charged to the person who committed the act.
- Any damage to the student owned Chromebooks is the responsibility of the user.
Use of school computers and the internet is a privilege. Failure to abide by the terms of this policy will result in the following disciplinary actions:
Willful damage of computer hardware, computer software (including the deletion of programs and/or files) and computer networks will result in the student being responsible for the current repair and replacement cost of the damaged software and/or equipment. Any student violating the terms of this document will receive appropriate disciplinary action, as defined by the terms of this handbook and/or the Consequences for Misuses document shared with students upon receiving their computers. Students could lose computer/network privileges, and/or receive detention, suspension or expulsion.
The Chief Technology Officer or their designee may close an account at any time as required. The administration, faculty and staff of Carroll School may make a request to the Chief Technology Officer or their designee to deny, revoke or suspend specific user accounts based upon violations of this policy.
Users may not use the CarrollNet for purposes of harassment, intimidation or bullying of others, either within the Carroll School community or in the broader Internet. Foul, abusive, discriminatory, or demeaning language, attempts to “fill” electronic mailboxes, the posting of obscene images or texts, egregious “flames” and other such acts shall be a violation of this Policy.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of written, verbal or electronic expression, physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that:
- causes physical or emotional harm to the student including sexual harassment;
- damages the student’s property;
- places the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to property;
- creates a hostile environment at school for the student;
- infringes on the rights of the student at school;
- stems from a power imbalance (as opposed to a peer conflict with no imbalance of power); or
- materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of the school.
A hostile environment is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.
Bullying includes cyberbullying, which is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including but not limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.
Cyberbullying also includes:
- the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
- the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions laid out in clauses above, inclusive of the definition of bullying; or
- the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the clauses above, inclusive of the definition of bullying.
Carroll School shall, in its sole discretion, determine whether such conduct violates this Policy and any other policies of Carroll School. Users must remember that material distributed through the Internet is public. On the Internet, there is no central authority, so each site is responsible for its own Users. Complaints received from other sites regarding any of our Users will be fully investigated, and disciplinary action may be taken as a result.
While Carroll School respects the right of employees, students and families to use social media and networking sites, as well as personal websites and blogs, it is important that any such personal use of these sites does not damage Carroll School's reputation, its employees, or its students or their families. Student use of social networking sites is prohibited on Carroll distributed laptops; for students, these guidelines are intended to be applied for personal computer use outside of school. All users should exercise care in setting appropriate boundaries between their personal and public online behavior, understanding that what is private in the digital world often has the possibility of becoming public, even without their knowledge or consent.
Carroll School strongly encourages all employees, students, and families to carefully review the privacy settings on any social media and networking sites they use (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or any other social media platform), and exercise care and good judgment when posting content and information on such sites. When using a social media site, an employee may not include current students as "friends," "followers" or any other similar terminology used by various sites. If an employee has a community that extends to persons who are parents, alums, or other members of the Carroll School community, they must exercise good judgment about any content that is shared on the site.
Additionally, employees, students, and families should adhere to the following guidelines, which are consistent with Carroll School's community standards on harassment, student relationships, conduct, professional communication, and confidentiality:
- Users should not make statements that would violate any of Carroll School's policies, including its policies concerning discrimination or harassment;
- Users must uphold Carroll School's value of respect for the individual and avoid making defamatory or disparaging statements about the School, its employees, its students, or their families;
- Users may not disclose any confidential information of Carroll School or confidential information obtained during the course of their employment, about any individuals or organizations, including students and/or their families.
Carroll School has a strong interest in promoting a safe and supportive learning environment, as well as maintaining a positive reputation in the community. If the School believes that a student’s or an employee's activity on a social networking site, blog, or personal website may violate the School's policies or otherwise may have a detrimental impact on the learning environment, the School may request that the employee or student cease such activity. Depending on the severity of the incident, the employee or student may be subject to disciplinary action. Carroll School reserves the right to impose discipline, up to dismissal or termination, for any behavior on or off campus that Carroll determines may impair or negatively impact the reputation of the School.
Users must acknowledge the use of the intellectual property of others. Users must treat information found electronically in the same way as information found in printed sources. Rules against plagiarism will be enforced. It is the responsibility of each User to comply with the terms and conditions for the acquisition and use of software found on the Internet. Carroll School will not allow the copying or storing of illegally acquired software. In this case, vandalism refers to deliberate attempts to damage the hardware, software, or information residing on CarrollNet or any other computer system attached through the Internet. Attempts to violate the integrity of private accounts, files or programs; the deliberate infecting of a computer with a “virus”, attempts at “hacking” computers using any method, or other such actions shall be a violation of this Policy.
Users must abide by accepted rules of network etiquette, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Do not reveal personal information – your address or telephone number, or those of students or colleagues.
- Be polite. Do not be abusive in your messages to others. Use appropriate language and do not use vulgarities, or any other inappropriate language.
- Do not use the CarrollNet in such a way that would disrupt its use by others.
Carroll School makes no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, concerning this service. Carroll School shall not be held responsible for any damages suffered, including the loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, missed deliveries, service interruptions, or errors and omissions. Carroll School denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through this service. All terms and conditions as stated in this Policy are applicable to the use of computer resources at Carroll School, in addition to internet use.
The terms and conditions stated in this Policy, and all other policies of Carroll School incorporated herein, reflect the entire agreement of the parties with respect to the subject matter stated herein. This Policy supersedes all prior oral or written agreements and understandings of the parties. This Policy shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America.
All resources are limited; computer resources are not an exception. Because space on disk drives and bandwidth across the lines, which connect CarrollNet both internally and externally, are limited, neither programs nor information may be stored on the system without the permission of the Chief Technology Officer or designee. Users are not to load software on any school computer. Each User is permitted reasonable space to store email, Web, and personal files, as mandated by system file quotas. Carroll School reserves the right to require the purging of files in order to regain disk space without warning. Users whose need for the resource is more pressing will have priority of space.
Because Carroll is a day school, and for the convenience of the user community as a whole, Carroll School provides loaner computers, digital still cameras, digital video cameras, and other equipment for student use. Users are responsible for any equipment they may borrow, including accessories, and are expected to employ the equipment in accordance with this Policy. If the equipment should be damaged, or lost while the User has assumed responsibility for it, the User will be accountable for the fair replacement value of the equipment.