Group: 100 - General Administration » AP 140 - Acceptable Use of Technology Procedure

AP 140 - Acceptable Use of Technology Procedure


The Internet offers vast, diverse, and unique resources to both students and staff. Our goal to use computers and other technologies as tools for teaching and learning in all grades and subject areas is enhanced by providing this service. Excellence in both teaching and learning is promoted in the schools by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication.

The Internet can provide the students with access to the most recent research and the most up-to-date statistics, on-line resources, and opinions. However, the interconnected worldwide web of computers can also provide the students with access to less than desirable information. While it is in fact impossible to completely protect students from accidental exposure to inappropriate materials, it is important that the Division have an acceptable use procedure to provide guidelines for the use of this important informational resource by its students and staff.

Information Technology (IT) is defined as hardware, software and data as they pertain to the use of computers and other electronic devices designed to create, use, transmit and store information.

Information Technology personnel are defined as employees whose responsibilities include the install, maintenance, and tracking of Information Technology in the Division.

The Division must also comply with and expand on the CommunityNet Acceptable Use Policy developed by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education.

1.  Guiding Principles
1.1.  All users of Horizon School Division IT infrastructure are expected to use such systems in a legal, ethical, collegial and non-destructive manner consistent with a spirit of respect and in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Division and with the laws of Canada and Saskatchewan.
1.2.  Staff will provide instruction to students about acceptable use of IT infrastructure.
1.3.  Access to Horizon School Division IT infrastructure shall focus on appropriate instructional materials linked to the curriculum content being studied.
1.4.  All employees must agree to the terms of the Acceptable Use of Technology Procedure prior to obtaining access.  Students must accept the terms of the Student Use Agreement as indicated in the Student Registration Form, which contains the signature of the user as well as the signature of the parent or guardian.
2.  Usage
2.1.  There are three usage types of Horizon School Division IT infrastructure. They are Acceptable, Incidental and Unacceptable.
2.2.  Acceptable uses are activities required to conduct the business of education. They help fulfill the mandates set forth by the Division and the Ministry of Education. Acceptable use is any application used in the delivery of services by education partners which does not disproportionately consume available resources.
2.3.  Incidental uses are those that are neither explicitly permitted nor explicitly denied. Incidental usage that becomes an imposition on others or burdens systems is no longer incidental, but unacceptable, and is not permitted.
2.4.  Unacceptable use impedes the work of others and may damage IT infrastructure, intentionally or unintentionally. This includes any use that significantly interferes with or is incompatible with the educational environment or the duties or employment or any use that exposes the Division to significant cost or risk of liability.
2.5.  The examples in Appendices A and B provide general guidance and examples of Acceptable, Incidental and Unacceptable Use. These examples are for illustrative purposes and should not be construed as being exhaustive of unacceptable use.
2.6.  Appendix C outlines non-compliance consequences for staff and students.

3.  Monitoring
3.1.  Users should be aware that computer usage can be traced by site logs, desktop monitoring and other tracked information.  In addition, Technology Services may be directed to access the contents of all files stored on its system and all messages transmitted through its information technology infrastructure. The authority to collect such information is vested in the Director of Education, or the Chief Financial Officer, or their designate.  Therefore, approval from the Director or designate is required before any such information is collected.

4.  Data
4.1.  To help ensure safe, secure and reliable information technology infrastructure, IT personnel must perform maintenance, upgrades and auditing functions on all Horizon School Division infrastructure devices. To accommodate these functions IT personnel must have appropriate access to these devices and the data stored on them. All data stored on any device attached to the Division information technology infrastructure may be accessed by IT personnel to perform these functions, and connection to the Division technology infrastructure by any party will be deemed to be consent to such access.
4.2.  All records in the possession or under the control of the Horizon School Division, including electronic records, are subject to the Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
4.3.  Electronic records are responsive to Horizon School Division records management Administrative Policies as well as the Records Retention and Disposal Guide for Saskatchewan School Divisions.
4.4. For the purposes of this document a record is information in any form and includes information that is written, photographed, recorded or stored in any manner, but does not include computer programs or other mechanisms that produce records. A record includes paper, microfilm, electronic and other formats of recording and storing information

5.  User Names, Passwords, Security
5.1.  Employees who require IT access in order to perform the functions of their employment will be assigned usernames and passwords, wherever possible, to access required IT services.
5.2.  Also, all password enabled IT should automatically password protect the device or software after 30 minutes of inactivity if possible.
5.3.  Passwords are not to be shared with friends, family or others except other employees of the Division who require the information for the purposes of their employment, and must be assigned and changed in accordance with guidelines established from time to time by Technology Services.
5.4.  Employees will be held accountable for any abuses carried out by unauthorized disclosure of a password.
5.5.  Employees shall not attempt to gain unauthorized access to information

6.  Copyright
6.1.  All IT hardware and software in use is purchased under academic licenses.  As a result there must not be any unauthorized commercial activity of any kind on Horizon School Division technology infrastructure.
6.2.  Software must only be used legally in accordance with both the letter and spirit of relevant licensing and copyright agreements.

7.  Acceptable / Incidental Uses

Acceptable uses of the technology include but are not limited to the following:
7.1.  Work-Related Purposes
7.1.1  Unless specifically directed otherwise, an employee may use technology if required to perform any portion of work duties assigned to the employee.
7.2.2  All work related use must be in accordance with the terms of this policy.
7.2  Incidental Purposes
7.2.1  Employees may also use technology for reasonable private purposes such as sending and receiving personal messages as long as such usage is consistent with this procedure.
7.3.2  Employees shall comply with the following rules in any incidental use of  Horizon School Division Information Technology infrastructure:
7.3  Incidental use must not, in the opinion of the employee’s supervisor, impede the employee’s work or the work of others, or affect an employee’s ability to work.
7.3.1  Personal use does not incur cost to the Division.
7.3.2  Employees shall at all times exercise good judgment in the incidental use of Division resources.
7.3.3  Employees shall restrict personal communications during office hours to pressing matters only.
7.3.4  Employees may not use their Horizon School Division email address to post personal opinions in a public forum that are strictly their own opinions and not necessarily those of the Division.

8.  Unacceptable Uses

Unacceptable uses of technology include but are not limited to the following:
8.1  Harassment, Bullying or Cyber-Bullying:
8.2  Cyber bullying is the use of information and communication technology to bully, embarrass, threaten or harass another. It also includes the use of information and communication technology to engage in conduct or behavior that is derogatory, defamatory, degrading, illegal, and/or abusive. Cyber bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. Refer to Horizon Procedure AP-358 Harassment, Bullying and Cyber-Bullying
8.3  Unauthorized release of information:
8.3.1  Giving out personal information about another person, including home address and phone number
8.3.2  Providing information about, or lists of employees to outside parties.
8.3.3  Providing confidential information about the Division or its operations to outside parties.
8.4  Unauthorized personal use:
8.4.1  Personal business or commercial or for-profit purposes.
8.4.2  Product advertisement or political lobbying including the sending of “junk mail” or other advertising material.
8.4.3  Downloading entertainment software or other files not related to objectives of Horizon School Division for transfer to a user’s home computer, personal computer, or other media (including freeware, shareware, copyrighted commercial and noncommercial software, and all other forms of software and files not directly related to the instructional and administrative purposes of the Division).
8.5  Misuse of passwords:
8.5.1  Revealing a password to any unauthorized person.
8.5.2  Attempting to discover another user’s password.
8.5.3  Allowing use of employee’s account by any unauthorized party including family and other household members when work is being done at home.
8.5.4  Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network or account.
8.5.6  Misrepresenting other users on the networ

Non-Compliance Consequences


Student users who are found in non-compliance of this procedure will be subject to a range of actions that will be at the discretion of the school administration. The following list is to act only as a suggested guide to possible disciplinary action:

1st Offence
  • One week suspension of all computer access.
  • Email account will be locked for the duration of the suspension.
  • Inspection of all email and computer data.
2nd Offence
  • One month suspension of all computer access.
  • Email account will be locked for the duration of the suspension.
  • Inspection of all email and computer data.
3rd Offence
  • Suspension of all computer access for the remainder of the school year.
  • Email account will be locked for the duration of the suspension.
  • Inspection of all email and computer data.

If there is sufficient evidence that the Acceptable Use of Technology Procedure has been breached by the user, the direct supervisor or the Technology Services Coordinator will inform the Director of Education/Chief Financial Officer or their designate.  The Director of Education/Chief Financial Officer or their designate will:
  • Inform the appropriate members of the school division administration.
  • Where appropriate, make recommendations as to the temporary or long-term loss of access.
Secure the files and/or technology in question from the Division system as appropriate.

Forms Manual: AF-300 Student Registration Form

Reference:      Sections 85, 87, 109, 175, Education Act; Records Retention Disposal Guide

August 29, 2011