A. District/Personal Use of Electronic Communication Systems

1. All electronic and telephonic systems and communications transmitted by, received from, or stored in the District Internet server are the property of the District.

2. The District reserves the right to inspect or monitor messages and materials transmitted over all communications media, including the monitoring of Internet connect time and sites accessed.

3. All electronic communication tools, including fax transmission are to be used for District-related purposes, and employees must use these in accordance with their access privileges. Personal use of these tools is allowed only under circumstances which are time critical and require immediate attention on the part of the employee and do not:

interfere with the District’s business/is not detrimental to the District;

  • affect productivity, quality or constituent service;
  • create a conflict of interest;
  • contribute to a personal financial gain; or
  • use a significant amount of computing or network resources.

4. District employees shall not include their District e-mail address on personal commercial business cards. District employees who are involved in a personal business that requires access to an e-mail account must contract with a commercial internet provider.

5. Processes which consume excessive system resources or which are objectionably degrading system response and network access, may be terminated without warning by system staff. If an employee wishes to conduct an activity related to the mission of the District which will consume a significant amount of system resources, the employee should contact the system staff to alert them to the activity and to attempt to schedule the activity at a time when it will have the least impact on other District use of the system resources.

6. The transmission of chain letters, jokes and cartoons is strictly prohibited.

7. The standard internet naming convention is first initial of first name plus first seven characters of last name @twc.k12.wi.us.

8. The District will report and cooperate with law enforcement regarding the use of District electronic communication media for illegal purposes.

9. All District employees will be required to sign a District Employee Acceptable Use form certifying that they understand and will abide by District policy.

B. Authorized Access/Security/Privacy

1. Generally, the internal safeguards established by the District and the use of passwords are designed to protect the confidentiality of information exchanged over these electronic communication networks. These safeguards are not foolproof and employee should therefore be aware that there is no guarantee of confidentiality.

2. The primary responsibility for ensuring the confidentiality of personal communication lies with the employee. Employees should use passwords to prevent unauthorized access to files, and should observe procedures that prevent others from viewing materials on screen. Employees should log out of their account(s) whenever they leave the office for the evening or for an extended period of time and, where applicable, laptop/notebook computers should be secured when not in use. Employees should never share or divulge their system password(s) as they may be held liable for any access by their secured password even if the actions were undertaken by another individual.

3. Abuse of access privileges or passwords by unauthorized entry into another employee’s system or files or into the District’s internal or external networks, or the distribution of messages or materials which are not consistent with the policies for appropriate workplace conduct, is subject to appropriate disciplinary action. If the abuse of access privileges is illegal, the violator may be subject to legal penalties.

4. Employees shall not use the mailbox of another employee for transmitting a message which appears to be from that staff member. Changing the content of forwarded messages without the consent of the originator of the message is prohibited. Likewise, attempting to access the voice mail or e-mail messages of another employee without their consent or authorization is prohibited.

5. The use of external communications, such as internet, are not secure and information communication may be intercepted and accessed illegally. Therefore, users should take the following precautions to protect against security violations:

  • never transmit or discuss sensitive information;
  • never give access or passwords to anyone internally or over the internet;
  • and never use another employee’s internet account.

C. Use of Copyright Protected Materials

1. All District employees shall adhere to copyright restrictions for the use of print, multimedia and/or electronic materials that are incorporated in publications, presentations, classroom instruction, or other uses within a school setting whether in print or electronic format. The use of all text, photographic, graphic or electronic materials for District purposes, including instruction, shall be guided by the Copyright Law of the United States of American and the Fair Use Guidelines (Section 107) contained within.

The fair use doctrine allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes. The relevant portion of the copyright statute provides that the fair use of a copyrighted work, including reproduction “for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research” is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors to be evaluated in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is considered fair use rather than infringement of a copyright:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

It is the responsibility of each individual to understand the limitations of copyrighted materials and use them accordingly. Guidelines for interpreting “fair use” shall be available in the school library.

2. The computer operating systems and all desktop software are copyright protected and are governed by individual software license agreements which define the conditions of use and restrict the number of copies which may be retained and/or used at any given time. All software loaded on an individual computer or file server must be in compliance with the license agreement. The person responsible for the unit is responsible to make certain that no unauthorized software is loaded on the equipment.

First Reading: April 21, 2009

Second Reading: May 5, 2009

Approved: May 5, 2009

For the Board: Tom Steiner, President; Lynn Jaeger, Vice President; Cole Marshall, Clerk; Bill Barhyte, Treasurer; Sue Giovanni, Member