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Acceptable Use Policy
For other WPS policies, see the School Committee Policy page.



The Westford Public Schools support student and staff access to a variety of rich information resources. In a free and democratic society, access to information is a fundamental right. Access to telecommunications enables students and staff to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and bulletin boards.

The Westford Public Schools' Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) shall be published in the schools' Student Handbooks and issued to students. Parents/legal guardians shall submit to the school the appropriate acknowledgment form, verifying that they have reviewed the contents of the handbook with their child. Additionally, the AUP shall be published in staff handbooks.

Personal Safety (Restrictions are for students only)

1. Users of the District's Computing Environment (Users) shall not post personal contact information about themselves or other people. Students and teachers shall not post personal contact information concerning themselves and other people which includes the person's last name, address, telephone, work address, etc.

2. Users shall not agree to meet with someone they have met on-line without parental approval and participation.

3. Users shall promptly disclose to a teacher or other school employee any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.

4. A parent/legal guardian must give written permission for their child's photograph, image, or work to be displayed on the District's web site.

Respect for Privacy

1. Users shall respect the privacy of others in the District Computing Environment.

2. Users shall not attempt to learn the password, access the files, or mail of other users.

3. Users shall not repost a message that was sent to them privately without permission of the person who sent them the message.

4. Users shall not post private information about another person.

Illegal Activities

1. Users shall not attempt to gain unauthorized access to or through the District Computing Environment to any other computer system or go beyond their authorized access.

2. Users shall not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the District Computing Environment's performance or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means.

3. Users shall not use the District Computing Environment to engage in any other illegal act, for example, arranging a drug or alcohol purchase or sale, engaging in criminal gang activity, or threatening the safety of any person.

Environment Security

1. Users are responsible for their individual accounts and shall take precautions to prevent others from using their accounts. Under no conditions should a user provide his/her password to another person.

2. Users shall immediately notify the designated administrator if they identify a possible security problem.

3. Users shall follow the local site's virus protection procedures.

Inappropriate Language, Conduct and Harassment

All restrictions against inappropriate language, conduct, and harassment apply to public messages, private messages, and material posted on Web pages.

Truthfulness and Accuracy

Users shall not knowingly or recklessly post false or inaccurate information.

Respecting Resource Limits

1. Users shall limit their use of the environment to educational and professional or career development activities.

2. Users shall not post chain letters or engage in "spamming." Spamming is sending an annoying or unnecessary message to a large number of people.

3. The Superintendent, Principals and/or their designees have the right to reclaim allocated resources with reasonable notice to the user.

Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

1. Users shall not plagiarize works that they find on the Internet. Any sources used in research must be cited and credit given to the author.

2. Users shall respect the rights of copyright owners. Copyright infringement occurs when an individual inappropriately reproduces software or another work that is protected by a copyright. If software or another work contains language that specifies acceptable use of that work, the user shall follow the expressed requirements when using the work. If the user is unsure whether or not he/she can use a work, he/she should request permission from the copyright owner.

Inappropriate Access of Material

1. Users shall not use the District Computing Environment to access material that is inappropriate to the intended educational use.

2. If a student user inadvertently accesses such information, he/she should immediately disclose the inadvertent access to the supervising staff member. This will protect a user against an allegation that he/she intentionally violated the Acceptable Use Policy.

3. Any violation of this policy will be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including immediate suspension or dismissal.

Massachusetts General Law References:

M.G.L. 71:34D - Student Records: Regulations

M.G.L. 71:34E - Inspection of Student Records by Parent

M.G.L. 71:37H - Publication of School Committee Rules and Regulations Relative to the Conduct of Teachers and Students

M.G.L. 76:5 - Place of Attendance; Discrimination

Federal Law References:

"Fair Use Doctrine" of Copyright Law 17 U.S.C. Section 107 1988 e. and Sup. IV.

Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act

Westford Public Schools Policy References:

P4203 - Harassment

P5301 - Student Conduct

P5302 - Student Handbooks

P5303 - Harassment

P5304 - Bullying

P5502 - Safety

P6118 - Library Materials Selection and Adoption

P6301 - District Computing Environment

Policy Adopted: April 9, 2001 WESTFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS