Many of our students in grades 5-8 (and increasingly in younger grades as well) have smartphones. They use these powerful computers to communicate with their families and friends. They download a variety of apps to document their lives, communicate with others, and to entertain themselves. Along with easy access comes tremendous responsibility. How do our students make responsible choices in deciding what images to post, what comments to make, and what websites to access? We work to help them understand the implications of their digital footprints for themselves and for others. Inappropriate use of social media that takes place during or after school and that negatively impacts other members of the community will be subject to disciplinary action at school.
PS/IS 276 Internet Access and Appropriate Use Agreement
The New York City Department of Education has taken precautions to restrict access to controversial materials. However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials and an industrious user may discover controversial information. We firmly believe that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of the Department of Education. Below are excerpts in italics from the DOE internet acceptable use policy that pertains to students. Following the excerpt, we have included explanations of how that component is addressed at school.
Users have no right to privacy while using the Department’s Internet Systems. The Department monitors users’ online activities and reserves the right to access, review, copy, store, or delete any electronic communications or files. This includes any items stored on Department-provided devices, such as files, e-mails, cookies, and Internet history.
Everything on DOE computers and internet systems is subject to FOIA requests.
We use Google Classroom, a free learning management system that has maximum privacy settings. Students have bpcschool.org email addresses that have protections built-in.
Prohibited Uses of the Department’s Internet Systems
Users may not engage in any of the activities prohibited by this policy when using or accessing the Department’s Internet Systems including wifi and LAN systems.
If a student is uncertain whether a behavior is prohibited, he or she should contact a teacher, supervisor or other appropriate Department personnel. The Department reserves the right to take immediate action regarding activities that (1) create security and/or safety issues for the Department, students, employees, schools, network or computer resources, or (2) expend Department resources on content the Department determines lacks legitimate educational or Department content or purpose, or (3) the Department determines are inappropriate.
Students Using the Department’s Internet Systems
Students must not reveal personal information about themselves or other persons on social networking sites, in chat rooms, in emails or other direct electronic communications, or any other forum over the Internet. For example, students must not reveal their home address, or telephone or cell phone number.
Students should not meet in person anyone they have met only on the Internet.
Students must promptly disclose to their teacher or other school employees any message or other activity they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
Students should not allow school computers to save their passwords and should log out after completing work at a station.
The use of student bpcschool.org accounts and school technology must be in support of education and research and consistent with the educational objectives of PS/IS 276. Transmission of any material in violation of any national or state regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material and threatening or obscene material. Additionally, gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access to the department’s Internet Systems or to any third party’s computer systems. A partial list of unauthorized activities includes:
Accessing, posting or distributing harassing, discriminatory, inflammatory, or hateful material, or making damaging or false statements about others;
Sending, posting, or otherwise distributing chain letters or engaging in spamming;
Damaging computer equipment, files, data or the Department’s Internet System in any way, including spreading computer viruses, vandalizing data, software or equipment;
Malicious tampering, phishing or hacking activities;
Intentionally seeking information about passwords belonging to other users;
Modifying passwords belonging to other users or attempting to log in through another person's account;
Accessing, copying, or modifying another user’s files without authorization;
Using the Department’s Internet Systems for personal financial gain.
Members of the Battery Park City School community are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
Be polite. Do not get abusive in your messages to others.
Use appropriate language. Do not swear, use vulgarities or any other inappropriate language.
Illegal activities are strictly forbidden.
Do not reveal your personal address or phone numbers of students or colleagues.
Note that e-mail and messages are not guaranteed to be private.
Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to the authorities.
Do not use the network in such a way that you would disrupt the use of the network by other users
Violations of this Policy
If a student violates this policy, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken consistent with the Discipline Code and applicable Chancellor’s Regulations. If a student’s access to the Department’s Internet System is revoked, the student may not be penalized academically, and the Department will ensure that the student continues to have a meaningful opportunity to participate in the educational program.
All users must promptly disclose to their teacher, supervisor, principal or manager any information they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
The use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of those privileges. The system administrators will deem what is inappropriate use and their decision is final. The system administrators may close an account at any time as required.