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Acceptable Use Policy

Diocese of Orlando / Office of Catholic Schools

Student Technology Responsible Use Policy

August 2013

1.0 Introduction

Divine Mercy Catholic Academy recognizes that access to technology in school gives students greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills that will prepare them for work, life, and citizenship. We are committed to helping students develop 21st-century technology and communication skills.

To that end, we provide access to technologies for student and staff use.

This Technology Responsible Use Policy outlines the guidelines and behaviors that students are expected to follow when using school technologies or when using personally-owned devices on the school campus.

  • The Divine Mercy Catholic Academy network is intended for educational purposes.
  • All activity over the network or using school technologies may be monitored and retained.
  • Access to online content via the network may be restricted in accordance with our policies and federal regulations, such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
  • Students are expected to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful conduct online as offline.
  • Misuse of school resources or personal devices while connected to the school network can result in disciplinary action.
  • Divine Mercy Catholic Academy makes a reasonable effort to ensure students’ safety and security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from use of school technologies.
  • Users of the school network or other technologies are expected to alert Administrator, Technology staff or teacher immediately of any concerns for safety or security.


  • Definition

2.1 Authorized Users:

    • Student: any child 18 years or younger enrolled in Divine Mercy Catholic Academy
    • Faculty/Staff: any person who is employed by Divine Mercy Catholic Academy , whether part-time or full-time, who provide instruction to students
  • School Network: communications systems connecting two or more computers and their peripheral devices to exchange information and share resources, it includes wired and wireless
  • Internet: includes both external and internal access of communications and data storage equipment, either owned or reserved for use by Divine Mercy Catholic Academy.
  • Technologies Covered: Divine Mercy Catholic Academy may provide Internet access, desktop computers, mobile computers or devices, videoconferencing capabilities, online collaboration capabilities, message boards, email, and more. Also, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy may allow students to bring their personal devices which will also be covered by this policy.

As new technologies emerge, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy will attempt to provide access to them. The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover all available technologies, not just those specifically listed.


3.0 Usage Policies

All technologies provided by the school are intended for education purposes. All students are expected to use good judgment and to follow the specifics of this document as well as the spirit of it: be safe, appropriate, careful and kind; don’t try to get around technological protection measures; use good common sense; and ask if you don’t know. In the event that the inappropriate behavior happens outside of the school and it is brought to the principal’s attention, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy will investigate and may have disciplinary repercussions at the discretion of the school according to the Code of Conduct.

  • Web Access

Divine Mercy Catholic Academy provides its students with access to the Internet, including web sites, resources, content, and online tools. That access will be restricted in compliance with Diocesan Social Communication Policy, CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) regulations and school policies. Web browsing may be monitored and web activity records may be retained indefinitely.

Students are expected to respect that the web filter is a safety precaution, and should not try to circumvent it when browsing the Web. If a site is blocked and a student believes it shouldn’t be, the student should follow school protocol to alert Technology staff or submit the site for review.

  • Email

Divine Mercy Catholic Academy may provide students with email accounts for the purpose of school-related communication. Availability and use may be restricted based on school policies.

If students are provided with email accounts, they should be used with care. Students should not send personal information; should not attempt to open files or follow links from unknown or untrusted origin; should use appropriate language; and should only communicate with other people as allowed by the school policy or the teacher.

Students are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous conduct online as offline. Email usage may be monitored and archived.

  • Social/Web 2.0 / Collaborative Content

Recognizing the benefits collaboration brings to education, Divine Mercy Catholic Academy may provide students with access to web sites or tools that allow communication, collaboration, sharing, and messaging among users.

Students are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous conduct online as offline. Posts, chats, sharing, and messaging will be monitored by teachers and the sites will be protected from outside viewers. Students should be careful not to share personally-identifying information online.

  • Mobile Devices Policy

Divine Mercy Catholic Academy may provide students with mobile computers or other devices to promote learning outside of the classroom. Students should abide by the same acceptable use policies when using school devices off the school network as on the school network.

Students are expected to treat these devices with extreme care and caution; these are expensive devices that the school is entrusting to your care. Students should report any loss, damage, or malfunction to the Technology staff immediately. Students may be financially accountable for any damage resulting from negligence or misuse.

Use of school-issued mobile devices off the school network may be monitored.

  • Personally-Owned Devices Policy

Divine Mercy Catholic Academy may allow students to bring personally owned devices to use in the classroom after it has been approved by the Technology staff. Students should keep personally-owned devices (including laptops, tablets, e-readers, smart phones, and cell phones) turned off and put away during school hours unless as instructed by a teacher or staff for educational purposes or in the event of an emergency.

Because of security concerns, when personally-owned mobile devices are used on campus, they should not be used over the school network without express permission from the Technology staff. For the Technology staff to grant permission, students need to submit the required paperwork with the appropriate information. In some cases, a separate network may be provided for personally-owned devices.


Students are expected to follow the same code of conduct for use of personally owned devices on Divine Mercy Catholic Academy campus or at other functions, whether on or off property, related to the Divine Mercy Catholic Academy.

  • Security

Students are expected to take reasonable safeguards against the transmission of security threats over the school network. This includes not opening or distributing infected files or programs and not opening files or programs of unknown or untrusted origin.

If you believe a computer or mobile device you are using might be infected with a virus, please alert IT. Do not attempt to remove the virus yourself or download any programs to help remove the virus.

  • Downloads

Students should not download, attempt to download, or run .exe programs or any other executable programs over the school network or onto school resources without express permission from the Technology staff.

Students may be able to download other file types, such as images of videos. For the security of our network, download such files only from reputable sites, and only for education purposes.

  • Netiquette

Students should always use the Internet, network resources, and online sites in a courteous and respectful manner.

Students should also recognize that among the valuable content online is unverified, incorrect, or inappropriate content. Students should use trusted sources when conducting research via the Internet.

Students should also remember not to post anything online that they wouldn’t want parents, teachers, or future colleges or employers to see. Once something is online, it’s out there—and can sometimes be shared and spread in ways you never intended.

  • Plagiarism

Students should not plagiarize (or use as their own, without citing the original creator) content, including words or images, from the Internet. Students should not take credit for things they didn’t create themselves, or misrepresent themselves as an author or creator of something found online. Research conducted via the Internet should be appropriately cited, giving credit to the original author.

  • Personal Safety

Students should never share personal information, including phone number, address, social security number, birthday, or financial information, over the Internet without adult permission. Students should recognize that communicating over the Internet brings anonymity and associated risks, and should carefully safeguard the personal information of themselves and others. Students should never agree to meet someone they meet online in real life without parental permission.

If you see a message, comment, image, or anything else online that makes you concerned for your personal safety, bring it to the attention of an adult (teacher or staff if you’re at school; parent if you’re using the device at home) immediately.

5.0 Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying will not be tolerated. Harassing, dissing, flaming, denigrating, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding, and cyber stalking are all examples of cyberbullying. Don’t be mean. Don’t send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else.

Engaging in these behaviors, or any online activities intended to harm (physically or emotionally) another person, will result in severe disciplinary action and loss of privileges. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained.

6.0 Examples of Acceptable Use

I will:

  • Use school technologies for school-related activities.
  • Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that I am expected to follow offline.
  • Treat school resources carefully, and alert staff if there is any problem with their operation.
  • Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or collaborative technologies.
  • Alert a teacher or other staff member if I see threatening, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.
  • Use school technologies at appropriate times, in approved places, for educational pursuits.
  • Cite sources when using online sites and resources for research.
  • Recognize that use of school technologies is a privilege and treat it as such.
  • Be cautious to protect the safety of myself and others.
  • Help to protect the security of school resources.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Students should use their own good judgment when using school technologies.

7.0 Examples of Unacceptable Use

I will not:

  • Use school technologies in a way that could be personally or physically harmful.
  • Attempt to find inappropriate images or content.
  • Engage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others.
  • Try to find ways to circumvent the school’s safety measures and filtering tools.
  • Use school technologies to send spam or chain mail.
  • Plagiarize content I find online.
  • Post personally-identifying information, about myself or others.
  • Agree to meet someone I meet online in real life.
  • Use language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.
  • Use school technologies for illegal activities or to pursue information on such activities.
  • Attempt to hack or access sites, servers, or content that isn’t intended for my use.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Students should use their own good judgment when using school technologies.

8.0 Internet Safety Plan

  • Divine Mercy Catholic Academy implements an effective internet filtering and reporting solution {Name Solution}, that monitors internet activity, detects inappropriate usage and blocks and/or filters visual depictions that are obscene, pornographic or in any way harmful to minors as defined in CIPA
  • The internet filtering solution controls access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and the World Wide Web and restricts access to materials that may be harmful to minors
  • Policies and procedures are in place that covers category blocking, automated weekly reports on internet activity, and identification of emerging threats
  • School network is secure with {Name Solution} from unauthorized access, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online
  • Faculty provides internet safety instruction integrated in their curriculum or as part of a technology class that covers appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying
  • Technology Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Safety Plan will be published in the parent/student handbook and Divine Mercy Catholic Academy will hold an informational meeting to address the policy.


9.0 Limitation of Liability


  • Divine Mercy Catholic Academy will not be responsible for damage or harm to any personal devices, files, data, or hardware brought to the school by students.
  • While Divine Mercy Catholic Academy employs filtering and other safety and security mechanisms, and attempts to ensure their proper function, it makes no guarantees as to their effectiveness.
  • Divine Mercy Catholic Academy will not be responsible, financially or otherwise, for unauthorized transactions conducted over the school network.


10.0 Violations of this Acceptable Use Policy


Violations of this policy may have disciplinary repercussions at the discretion of Divine Mercy Catholic Academy, according to the Code of Conduct, and including but not limited to:

  • Suspension of network, technology, or computer privileges
  • Notification to parents
  • Detention or suspension from school and school-related activities
  • Legal action and/or prosecution

11.0 References


A copy of the Acceptable Use Policy for the 2013-2014 school year can be found on Edline. This form is due on August 28th to each child’s homeroom teacher. Until the form is received, the child may not use technology at Divine Mercy Catholic Academy

I have read and understood this Responsible Use Policy and agree to abide by it:


(Student Printed Name)
__________________________________________                               __________________
(Student Signature)                                                                             (Date)




I have read and discussed this Responsible Use Policy with my child:


(Parent Printed Name)


__________________________________________                               __________________
(Parent Signature)                                                                                   (Date)

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