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ICT Acceptable Use Policy for Students

The aim of this ICT Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if St. Mary's BNS AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed. It is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the AUP annually. Before signing, we ask that you read the AUP carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

School's Strategy

St. Mary's BNS, Maynooth employs a number of strategies in order to maximize learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:

General

  • Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
  • Filtering software provided by NCTE and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimize the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • St. Mary's BNS will regularly monitor pupils' Internet usage.
  • Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety. There is a video available for Safe Internet Usage.
  • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
  • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis. Provided online by NCTE.
  • The use of personal memory sticks, CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission. Floppy disks are not permitted.
  • Students will treat others with respect at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

World Wide Web

  • Students will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
  • Students will pupils report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.
  • Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
  • Students will not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (plagiarism and copyright infringement).
  • Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
  • Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in direct breach of St. Marys BNS's acceptable use policy.
  • Students will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.

Email

  • Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
  • Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
  • Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.
  • Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

Internet Chat

  • Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication fora that have been approved by the school.
  • Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.
  • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
  • Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden

School Website

  • Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to St. Mary's BNS's website
  • The website will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
  • Website using facilities such as guestbooks, notice boards or web logs will be checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain personal details
  • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
  • Pupils' work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.
  • St. Mary's BNS will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips of focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual students will not be published on the school website with out the parental permission. Photographs, audio and video clips will. Video clips may be password protected.
  • Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • St. Mary's BNS website will avoid publishing the last name of individuals in a photograph.
  • St. Mary's BNS will ensure that the image files are appropriately named – will not use pupils' names in image file names or ALT tags if published on the web.
  • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Legislation

The staff at St. Mary's BNS Maynooth strongly suggest that teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with the following pieces of legislation:

  1. Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
  2. Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
  3. Interception Act 1993
  4. Video Recordings Act 1989
  5. The Data Protection Act 1988

Sanctions

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Agreement

We ask that all pupils return an Acceptable Use Policy Form which is signed by their Parent or Guardian.

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