St. Charles Parish schools use tech with limits

New technologies have changed the world, but their uses are restricted at schools and that includes the St. Charles Parish school system.

When questions recently arose about access to social media, it signaled a time to clarify the use of personal devices.

System spokeswoman Stevie Crovetto said school policy states personal devices must be powered off during the school day except for educational purposes as authorized by the principal or classroom teacher.

When the use of personal devices is allowed, students must connect to the district Internet, Crovetto said.

“The Internet is filtered in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and school district filtering policy,” she said. “St. Charles Parish Public Schools recognizes that technology is an important part of today’s society and the learning environment.”

The school system’s network is for instructional purposes and students should adhere to the established agreements in place, Crovetto said.

This will allow for an environment conducive to teaching and learning while incorporating the benefits of students learning through today’s technology.”Parents and students are required to sign a “Bring Your Own Technology – Letter of Agreement.”

It states: “Your own technology is defined as a privately owned wireless and/or portable electronic handheld device that includes but is not limited to smart technologies, portable internet devices, PDAs, iPods, etc. The use of technology is a not a right, but a privilege.”

Additionally, it clarifies that only Internet access provided by the school district may be used during school hours. Personal Internet devices such as cell phones, iPads, etc. are not allowed to access outside internet sources (3G, 4G, etc.)

“The owner of the device is responsible for keeping it secure. The district is not responsible for damages to, loss or theft of personal devices. St. Charles Public Schools will not provide technical support for personal devices,” the agreement states. “Use of personal devices is determined and directed by school administration and teachers. The signatures below serve as agreement to adhere to the conditions included in the Student Technology Acceptable Use Agreement, the Student Code of Conduct: District Handbook.”

According to school policy, providing access to technology is limited to educational use for classroom activities which are consistent with the guiding documents of the district.Also the system is available on an “as is, as available” basis.

The school system is not responsible for any lost data and it doesn’t provide technical support for personal devices.The National Education Association (NEA) advises use of filtering software to avoid students accessing undesirable online sites, but also focuses on what students are posting online and where posted.


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