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Like all businesses and educational institutions, Riverdale Country School (the “School”) must monitor the use of the School’s information systems to ensure compliance with institutional policies, protect the security and maintain the efficiency of its systems, and discourage inappropriate use. All students, employees, and other authorized users (“Users”) must use the School's information technology resources (“IT Resources”) in ethical and acceptable ways to ensure that all members of the School community have access to reliable, robust IT Resources that are safe from unauthorized or malicious use. At any time, and for any lawful purpose, the School may monitor, intercept and search any communication or data transmitted or stored on the IT Resources, including any personal information.
By using the School’s IT Resources, you hereby accept and agree to comply with the terms and conditions set forth in this Electronic Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy and provide consent for any personal information input by you to be transferred to off-site servers located outside the location from which you are accessing the system, even if your access is through a personal computer, smartphone, or other portable devices.
The School’s IT Resources include, but are not limited to, campus computers, networks, servers, telephones, and other infrastructure, whether utilized on- or off-campus; laptops, tablets, disks, other physical devices or media owned or provided by the School, and all devices and storage media attached to the network; digital systems, websites, and other digital services utilized by the School, whether hosted on- or off-campus; files, folders, documents, web pages, and other digital information; e-mail, voicemail, SMS, IM, or other digital or analog communications; account names, passwords, or related information or settings; and systems, settings, and configurations.
The School’s IT Resources are intended for School use, to support activities that support learning and teaching. The School strictly prohibits the use of the School’s IT Resources for purposes that may be disruptive, offensive to others, or harmful to morale. Users may not send, display, access, or download messages, text, files, or images in violation of any laws. At all times, the Principles of School Life must be followed. The following are unacceptable uses of the School’s IT Resources. This list is not exhaustive.
Harassment or Discrimination
Unless required for academic or other School-related purposes, Users may not view, display, or transmit in digital or physical form any of the following: sexually explicit information or images, ethnic slurs, racial epithets or anything that may be construed as discrimination, harassment or disparagement of others based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, or any other category protected by law.
Users may not modify another User’s password, files, or permissions; impersonate another person’s e-mail address, social media profile, avatar, account, internet address, electronic signature, or other personal identifying information; send unsolicited e-mail messages, spam, chain letters, or advertising materials; or use IT Resources in any way that would cause disruption, harassment, or harm.
The School’s policies against harassment, discrimination, and bullying all apply fully to use of the School’s IT Resources.
Users may not violate the rights of any person or company protected by copyright, trade secret, patent, or other intellectual property, or other proprietary rights. Even if used or received in a class under Fair Use guidelines, copyrighted materials remain protected and may not be used in other ways that would violate the U.S. Copyright Law. Users may not conduct academic dishonesty or plagiarism, illegal or fraudulent activity, or any other activity prohibited by the School’s policies.
Misuse of the School Network, Software, and Computers
Users may not intentionally introduce malicious programs into School computers, tablets, networks, servers, or hosted services; inappropriately use or share School-authorized IT privileges or resources with anyone outside the School; bypass the School’s firewall through external proxy servers or other methods; host or access file-sharing services (including Torrent files) for any illegal or inappropriate purposes; play, stream, or download video, multimedia, or other large files for non-academic purposes; copy or download software from School IT Resources without permission; install software on lab or office computers without permission; or use the School’s IT Resources for any private purpose for personal gain, commercial enterprise, or non-School-related fundraising.
The School’s websites may only be used for School-related academic purposes. Use of the School’s websites, including www.riverdale.edu, my.riverdale.edu, blogs.riverdale.edu, and any other systems and services provided by the School, are subject to this policy as well as the Riverdale Country School Website User Agreement posted on the website.
Excessive Non-Priority Use of IT Resources
Priority for the use of the School’s IT Resources is given to activities related to the School’s educational mission. In shared computing environments such as labs or workrooms, Users with academic work shall be given priority. Individual Users may be required to halt non-priority use of the IT Resources, such as recreational and non-academic activities, to allow academic use by others.
Student Personal Technology Use
With continued introduction of internet capable devices such as smartphones, Google Glass, Apple watch, and other personal electronics (“Digital Devices”), it is important for the community to articulate clear expectations about their use.
Lower School students should not bring Digital Devices to school unless they receive explicit permission from the administration.
Middle School students may not use smartphones during school hours. They may bring other Digital Devices to school but may only use them in a classroom with a teacher’s permission. They may be told by faculty or administration to leave such items at home if they become a distraction or problem.
Upper School students may use Digital Devices on campus during school hours. They may not make phone calls except in a Dean’s office or by permission of a teacher, and may not use any Digital Devices without permission during class, advisor meeting, grade meeting, or assembly.
Other uses are outlined below.
In Middle and Upper School classrooms, teachers should make their expectations around device use clear. There are many reasonable uses for technology - including Digital Devices - in the classroom. Teachers are the decision makers for whether or not a Digital Device can / should be used for any given experience / activity, unless the student has received an accommodation from the LRT.
Permission to use a Digital Device at one time does not imply that permission is ongoing. Students must seek permission from their teachers if they desire ongoing use.
Teachers may choose to collect personal Digital Device (phones / internet capable watches) at the beginning of class, or ask students to keep them in their bags, to prevent distraction.
Grade meetings / Assemblies / Advisor meetings
Use of internet capable devices is prohibited unless the supervising adult gives permission.
Quizzes, Tests, and Exams (“Assessments”)
Digital Devices may only be used with explicit permission during Assessments.
Students are responsible for ensuring that all Digital Devices (including smart watches) are stored in a backpack or other inaccessible location during Assessments.
Any student found with an unapproved Digital Device during an Assessment will be subject to academic penalty and disciplinary action.
General campus use
Students should be aware that our community values human engagement. Please use a device as an appropriate choice, not a fallback position, whether in class or not.
While no disciplinary response will result from texting and walking, community members should be aware that this behavior is physically risky and has resulted in injury to more than one of our students.
Access to Information and Privacy
Users of the School’s IT Resources may access only the confidential or proprietary information for which they are authorized and may use that information only for the purposes for which it is intended. Users are responsible for knowing and following School policies regarding use of confidential information.
The School reserves the right to review and disclose all digital information, including word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, e-mail, voicemail, instant messages, and any other electronic documents or communication, including any documents and messages that do not pertain to School business, that are stored or processed on the School’s IT Resources. Authorized representatives of the School and their delegates may review such information for any purpose required by the School, at any time, without notice to the User. These purposes may include, but are not limited to, retrieving School information, maintenance of the School’s IT Resources, troubleshooting hardware or software problems, preventing system misuse, School investigations, health and safety emergencies, compliance with legal and regulatory requests for information, or compliance with local, state, and federal laws.
The School therefore does not guarantee the privacy of any electronic information stored or processed on School IT Resources, even if password protected. The School reserves the right to retrieve, examine, and remove files or logs from School IT Resources without the User’s consent. Users of the School’s IT Resources waive any right to privacy with regard to any use of the School’s equipment and systems.
Users are responsible for the security of computer system passwords, personal account passwords, and personal identification numbers and will be held accountable for any violations of acceptable use that are traced to their accounts or use of School IT Resources.
Users must employ security practices established by the School. Users must follow School policies established for maintaining and managing passwords. Users must create secure passwords on all School-issued devices, and must create secure passwords on non-School-issued devices that access School IT Resources. Passwords should be changed frequently and should never be written down or told to anyone. Users should password-protect computers when leaving their desk or room, and should ensure the physical security of IT Resources by storing computers and other devices in locked locations.
Effective security practice includes a prompt and appropriate response to a security breach. Users must immediately report incidents in which they believe computer or network security has been jeopardized.
E-mail is not a secure method of information transmission, so Users must take reasonable precautions to protect privacy and security in e-mail. Home addresses, telephone numbers, passwords, and other personal information should not be included in e-mail messages or signatures. Students’ personal or identifying information must never be shared outside the riverdale.edu domain without permission.
Use of Likeness and School Work
The School may, with a User’s prior consent, make use of photographs of the User or other likenesses and of such User’s work (written, artistic, etc.) on the School’s website and in other promotional materials. Consent for this use is granted yearly in the re-enrollment contract.
Each User must ensure that he or she has obtained necessary permissions before publishing any names or photographs of students or student work. Users may never publish a photograph of a student accompanied by that student’s full name unless express permission has been granted by the Director of Communication. In case of any uncertainty, Users should consult the Director of Communications prior to publication.
Users must receive prior approval from their Division Head, the Director of Communications, or the Technology Department before posting material or publishing links.
The School's IT Resources are provided "as is" and "as available." The School disclaims all representations and warranties, express or implied, of any kind with respect to the IT Resources and the content including warranties of, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement of intellectual property and proprietary rights. Without limiting the general disclaimer, the School does not warrant the availability, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, functionality, reliability, sequencing, or speed of delivery of the School's IT Resources.
The School shall not be responsible for actions of individuals outside of the school constituency, or for the quality and content of information they make available actively or passively. The School shall not be responsible for any advice received from any outside source or any damage or charges associated with this advice. The School shall not be held liable for damage to, or disruption of, external networks and/or computer systems as the result of activities initiated by Users of School IT Resources.
Any User who becomes aware of a misuse of the School’s IT Resources should immediately report the matter to a Technology Director. Violations of this Policy may result in suspension or revocation of computer, network, or service access; discipline, up to and including suspension, expulsion, or termination of employment; and/or legal prosecution.