• Network Acceptable Use Policy and Device Contract 2024-2025

     

     Midland ISD provides students, staff, volunteers, guests, and board members access to the district's electronic network, as appropriate. This network includes Internet access, computer services, videoconferencing, computer equipment, and related equipment for educational purposes. This document contains the rules and procedures for acceptable use of the Midland ISD electronic network. Where the term “user” appears, the policy applies to any network user. Where the term “student” appears, that aspect applies only to students.

     The Midland ISD electronic network has been established for a limited educational purpose. The term "educational purpose" includes classroom activities, career development, and limited high-quality self-discovery activities. The Midland ISD electronic network has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. Midland ISD has the right to place reasonable restrictions on material accessed or posted throughout the network. Parent/guardian permission is required for all students under the age of 18. Access is a privilege — not a right. Students, parents, and teachers sign a form every school year (part of the registration packet) indicating familiarity with the acceptable use policy. It is presumed that users will honor this agreement they and/or their parents/guardians have signed. The district is not responsible for the actions of users who violate them beyond the clarification of standards outlined in this policy. The district reserves the right to monitor all activity on this electronic network. Users will indemnify the district for any damage caused by users' inappropriate use of the network. Users are expected to follow the same rules, good manners, and common sense as with other daily school activities, as well as the law, in the use of the Midland ISD electronic network.

     GENERAL UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR

    While utilizing any portion of the Midland ISD electronic network, unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

        Network users will not post information that could cause damage or danger of disruption.

        Engaging in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.

        Harassing another person. Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person. If a user is told by a person to stop sending messages, they must stop.

        Knowingly or recklessly posting false or defamatory information about a person or organization.

        Unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal information regarding minors.

        Using criminal speech or speech in the course of committing a crime, such as threats to the president, instructions on breaking into computer networks, child pornography, drug dealing, purchase of alcohol, gang activities, threats to an individual, etc.

        Using speech that is inappropriate in an educational setting or violates district rules.

        Abusing network resources such as sending chain letters or "spamming.”

        Displaying, accessing, or sending offensive messages or pictures.

        Using the Midland ISD electronic network for commercial purposes or offering, providing, or purchasing products or services through this network.

        The Midland ISD electronic network will not be used for political lobbying.

        Network Users will not attempt to access non-instructional district systems, such as student information systems or business systems, without authorization.

        Users will not connect any networkable device (either wired or wireless) to the MISD network without authorization.

        Users will not attempt to circumvent web filtering through proxies, VPNs, or other means.

        Users will not use district equipment, network, or credentials to threaten other users or cause a disruption to the educational program.

        Users will not use the district equipment, network, or credentials to send or post electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually-oriented, threatening, harassing, damaging to another's reputation, or illegal.

    Students should not use devices (either personal or district provided) to take photos or videos of other students or staff except as provided in TEC Sec. 26.009.

    EMAIL AND ELECTRONIC POSTING

    Email accounts are provided to all students in Grades 2-12. Students will only have access to sending and receiving e-mails to other users at midlandisd.net and specific domains that are academically appropriate, such as google.com, fafsa.gov, and email addresses that end with .edu. Students will not be able to send or receive emails from users with outside accounts like @gmail.com. All students under 13 must have signed parent permission to utilize their school email. By signing this document, you agree to allow your child in Grades 2-12 to have a midlandisd.net email address.

    There are internal messaging options (blogs, etc.) through Google Classroom, which allow students to communicate. Students may not utilize any E-mail system or Chat Room from a district computer without approval.

    Web-based e-mail accounts may be restricted or blocked at the discretion of the technology department to protect the network from viruses, spam, or bandwidth abuse.

    Students will not establish or access Web-based e-mail accounts on commercial services through the district network unless such accounts have been approved for use by the district.

    Users will not repost a message sent to them privately without the permission of the person who sent them the message.

    Users will not post private information about another person.

    Users are prohibited from sending sensitive information via e-mail (e.g. full student name, ID number, social security number, date of birth, username, and password).

    MIDLAND ISD WEBSITE

    Content, access, and available features of the main district website will differ for members of the public compared to district users. Principals and their designees are responsible for the content on their Midland ISD website sections and for taking any corrective action. Students' responsibilities when posting on the classroom web pages are to be explained by the teacher. 

    WORLD WIDE WEB

    All internet content available to Midland ISD users is filtered through a category-based appliance to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2001 (C.I.P.A.) The list of inappropriate websites is constantly updated through a subscription. However, no guarantee can be made that the system will be 100% accurate. It is ultimately the responsibility of the instructor in the classroom to monitor the appropriateness of the websites viewed.  It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to monitor the appropriateness of websites viewed outside of school hours.

     

    PERSONAL SAFETY

    Students will not share personal contact information about themselves or other people. Personal contact information includes but not limited to address, telephone, school address, or work address.

    Elementary and middle school students will not disclose their full name or any other personal contact information for any purpose.

    High school students will not disclose personal contact information except to education institutes for educational purposes, companies or other entities for career development purposes, or without specific building administrative approval.

    Students will not agree to meet with someone they have met online.

    Students will promptly disclose to a teacher or other school employee any message received that is inappropriate or makes the student feel uncomfortable.

    Students will be provided access to information, through their instructors, regarding appropriate safety guidelines for online behavior pertaining to social networking sites, chat rooms, and “cyber bullying”. Links to Digital Citizenship resources are provided on the technology integration web page at https://www.midlandisd.net/digitalcitizenship 

    SYSTEM SECURITY

    Computer users are responsible for their individual accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use them. Computer users should not provide their password to another person.

    Users must immediately notify a teacher or the system administrator if they have identified a possible security problem. Computer users should not look for security problems because this may be construed as an illegal attempt to gain access.

    Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any portion of the Midland ISD electronic network. This includes attempting to log in through another person's account or access another person's folders, work, or files. These actions are illegal, even if only for the purposes of "browsing."

    Users will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal.

    Computer and network users will not attempt to access websites blocked by district policy, including the use of proxy services, software, or Web sites.

    Computer users will not use sniffing or remote access technology to monitor the network or other user’s activity.


    SOFTWARE AND FILES

        Software is available to users to be used as an educational resource. No user may install, upload or download software without permission from the district technology department. District software is approved according to guidelines available at https://www.midlandisd.net/software_guidelines.

        A user’s account may be limited or terminated if a user intentionally misuses software on any district-owned equipment.

        Files stored on the MISD network or district-sanctioned Internet (cloud-based) accounts are treated in the same manner as other school storage areas, such as lockers. Routine maintenance and monitoring of the Midland ISD network and district-owned services may lead to discovery that a user has violated network policy, Internet safety policy, or the law. Users should not expect that files stored on district servers are private.

        When storing or sharing sensitive information, users must utilize approved network storage devices and applications.

        The information stored on external storage devices (i.e. a USB drive) utilized with district faculty computers will be encrypted. 


    TECHNOLOGY HARDWARE

    Hardware and peripherals are provided as tools to users for educational purposes. Users are not permitted to relocate hardware (except for portable devices), install peripherals or modify settings to equipment without the consent of the district technology department.

    The school district’s network is for instructional use, with priority given to district-owned student devices.  The technology division will take necessary measures to prioritize essential student network access for instructional purposes, including temporarily suspending guest access in case of abuse or lack of bandwidth.    Limited guest access may be available by arrangement with the technology department or campus administrators for visitors. 

    VANDALISM

    Any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data, the network, other network components connected to the network backbone, hardware, or software will result in cancellation of network privileges. Disciplinary measures in compliance with the district's discipline code and policies will be enforced.

     

    PLAGIARISM AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

    Users will not plagiarize works found on the Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they are one’s own.

    District policies on copyright will govern the use of material accessed and used through the district system.

    Copyrighted material will not be placed on any system without the author's permission. Permission may be specified in the document, on the system or must be obtained directly from the author.

    Any use of AI technologies within academic work must be properly cited and acknowledged with a clear indication of the tools or algorithms employed to uphold the principles of academic integrity and transparency. The use of AI in classroom assignments is subject to approval by the instructor.

     

    STUDENT RIGHTS

    Students' right to free speech applies to communication on the Internet. The Midland ISD electronic network is considered a limited forum, similar to the school newspaper, and therefore the district may restrict a student's speech for valid educational reasons. The district will not restrict a student's speech on the basis of a disagreement with the opinions that are being expressed.

    An individual search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a student has violated this policy or the law. The investigation will be reasonable and related to the suspected violation.

     
    DUE PROCESS

    The district will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal activities conducted through the district network.

    In the event there is an allegation that a user has violated the district’s acceptable use regulations and policy, the user will be informed of the alleged violation. An opportunity will be provided to present an explanation before a neutral administrator (or user will be provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the disciplinary code).

    Disciplinary actions will be tailored to meet specific concerns related to the violation and to assist the student in gaining the self-discipline necessary to behave appropriately on an electronic network.

    Violations of the acceptable use regulation and policy may result in a loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.

    If the violation also involves a violation of other provisions of other school rules, it will be handled in a manner described in the school rules. Additional restrictions may be placed on a user’s use of his/her network account.


    LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

    The district makes no guarantee that the functions or the services provided by or through the district network will be error-free or without defect. The district will not be responsible for any damage suffered, including but not limited to, loss of data, functionality, or interruptions of service, caused by connecting a device to its network.

    The district is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the network. The district will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the network.

     

    VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

    Violations of this policy may result in loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action. Users’ violation of this policy shall be subject to the consequences as indicated within this policy as well as other appropriate discipline, which includes but is not limited to:

    Use of district network only under direct supervision

    Suspension of network privileges

    Revocation of network privileges

    Suspension of computer privileges

    Suspension from school

    Expulsion from school and/or

    Legal action and prosecution by the authorities

    The particular consequences for violations of this policy shall be determined by the school administrators. The superintendent or designee and the board shall determine when school expulsion and/or legal action or actions by the authorities are the appropriate course of action.

     

    TAKING CARE OF DISTRICT-ISSUED TECHNOLOGY DEVICES

    Students and staff are responsible for the care of technology that the campus has issued to them. Devices that are broken need to be returned to the campus to have a MISD technician repair and/or campus to replace.

    Do not put food or drinks near any technology device.

    Close the lid when you are moving the device. Never carry it by holding onto the screen.

    Turn the device off completely when you are done with it and close the lid.

    DO NOT use Windex or any other harsh chemicals to clean the screen of any device. Use a wet fiber cloth or gentle rag to clean it.

    Devices need to be charged before school begins. Students need to treat it as homework or a textbook to ensure it’s ready before class.

    Devices need to not have any writings or drawings on them.

    Do not place anything on the device that could put pressure on the screen.

    The parent(s) or legal guardian of the student, and/or staff member will be held responsible to pay for any damages or loss of district-issued devices, according to the cost schedule (only items that apply). The cost schedule can be found at https://www.midlandisd.net/deviceprices. Prices may change throughout the year depending on part availability.

    To protect against financial loss for students/parents of device replacement or repair, the district has posted information regarding optional device insurance at https://www.midlandisd.net/student_devices.

    Only MISD technicians will be authorized to do repair on all devices. There is no charge to parents or staff for normal wear and tear.  If a device is broken, please contact the campus and arrange for the repair to take place.

     

    HOME-USE OF DISTRICT-ISSUED STUDENT DEVICES

    District-issued devices will be filtered and monitored both on and off campus. We advise parents to set limits and guidelines for monitoring student usage of devices. Parents and students need to be mindful to not place the devices by pets, siblings, or other family members that could damage the device.

     

     

    I understand and will abide by the Network Acceptable Use Policy and Device Contract. I further understand that any violation of the regulations therein is unethical and may constitute a criminal offense. I also understand that I am responsible for any damage I may cause to the hardware or software of the device. Should I commit any violation, my access privileges may be revoked, school disciplinary actions may be taken, and/or appropriate legal action may be initiated.

     

    X                                                                           Date: __________________

    PARENT OR GUARDIAN

    As the parent or guardian of this student, I have read the Network Acceptable Use Agreement. I understand that this access is designed for educational purposes. Midland ISD has taken precautions to eliminate controversial material. However, I also recognize it is impossible for Midland ISD to restrict access to all controversial materials and I will not hold them responsible for materials acquired on the network. Further, I accept full responsibility for supervision if and when my child’s use is not in the school setting. I hereby give permission to issue an account for my child and certify that the information contained in this form is correct. I understand that without my written permission, my child will not have Internet access.  I also understand that I am financially liable for any damage my child may cause to the hardware or software of the device.

     

    X                                                                           Date: __________________