HMS Laptop Handbook

Holdrum Middle School

Laptop Policy, Procedures, and Information Handbook

ABOUT THE HOLDRUM MIDDLE SCHOOL LAPTOP PROGRAM

The focus of the laptop program in Holdrum Middle School is to prepare students for their futures in a world of digital technology and information. As we navigate the 21st century, excellence in education requires that technology, including access to the Internet, be readily available and seamlessly integrated throughout the educational program. Access to a laptop empowers students to learn at their full potential, to communicate and collaborate on analytical thinking and problem solving, and to prepare them for High School, the real world of college and the workplace. Technology immersion does not diminish the vital role of the teacher. To the contrary, teachers are critical to the effective use of technology in the learning process. To facilitate that, we have put in place the support structure to enable our teachers to learn about, implement, and enhance the integration of technology in instruction. Learning results from the continuous dynamic interaction among students, educators, parents, and the extended community. Together, we will reach our goal of using technology and applications to further enhance our instruction; provide project and problem-based learning; infuse critical thinking skills; ask “non-Google-able” questions; and capture those teachable moments in real time.

The policies, procedures and information contained in this document apply to the laptops and all other technology devices used by students within Holdrum Middle School. Administrators and teachers may set additional requirements for computer use in their classrooms. The laptop and other district-issued devices, email/Google accounts are the property of the River Vale Public School District and, as a result, may be subject to inspection at any time. The student should have NO expectation of privacy of materials found on the laptop, their server storage, Google Drive or email account. Supplied devices are an educational tool and not intended for gaming, social networking, or high end computing.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. GENERAL INFORMATION/OVERVIEW OF RVPS LAPTOP USE

1.1 Originally Installed Software

1.2 Additional Software Apps and Extensions

1.3 Home Use

2. GENERAL INFORMATION/GETTING STARTED

2.1 Receiving Your Laptop

2.2 Accidental Damage Plan (ADP)

2.3 Returning Your Laptop

3. LAPTOP CARE: PROTECTING & STORING YOUR LAPTOP

3.1 General Care and Precautions

3.2 Laptop Screen Care

3.3 Carrying Laptops

3.4 Storing Your Laptop

3.5 Asset Tags

4. USING YOUR LAPTOP

4.1 Student Responsibilities and Legal Propriety

4.2 Managing Your Files and Saving Your Work

4.3 Laptops Left at Home

4.4 Laptop Battery

4.5 Photos and Other Media

4.6 Sound, Music, Games, or Programs

4.7 Printing

5. SECURITY

5.1 Laptop Security & Inspection

5.2 Network Security

5.3 Privacy

6.0 REPAIRS, CLAIMS & FEES

6.1 Laptop Repairs

6.2 Fees/Fines

APPENDIX A: ACTIONS REQUIRING DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

APPENDIX B: Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

1. GENERAL INFORMATION/OVERVIEW OF HMS LAPTOP USE

This handbook is designed to help students get started in effectively using their laptops

• Laptops are intended for use each school day. Therefore, students are responsible for charging the laptop battery before the start of each school day, and bringing their laptop to all of their classes, unless specifically instructed not to do so by their teacher. Laptops can also access sites on the Internet to connect to all the resources and information available for student learning, online, anywhere at any time. In addition to teacher expectations for laptops use, school messages, announcements, calendars, and schedules may be accessed using the laptop.

1.1 Installed Software

• All Laptops are supplied with a Windows Operating System (OS), and many other applications useful in an educational environment. Anti-Virus protection and software monitoring software has been installed on each laptop for security purposes.

• Students will create and save their school-related files to their personal storage (U Drive) that resides on district servers. Alternatively, they may save files on their Google Drive, which is stored in the cloud. Students can access either file location while connected to the internet. Students will understand that all district provided file storage, including Google Drive, can be monitored by the district administration and should not contain personal files.

• Students are assigned a district email address that is managed by the River Vale Public Schools. Students will only be able to communicate with other students and staff within the River Vale Public Schools. Note that other domains may be accessible as requested by faculty for educational purposes only.

• Email is monitored by the district and is subject to filtering of inappropriate content. Students are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations for email use as outlined in the signed District AUP.

1.2 Additional Software Applications and Extensions

• Students are not to install applications or web extensions on their own. If something is required by a teacher, that teacher will make a request to have applications installed for the students. The River Vale Technology Department will make any additional software available to students as necessary.

1.3 Home Use

• Students are allowed to set up access to home wireless networks on their Laptops. This will assist students with the ability to successfully complete, retrieve, access, etc., educational content used in classes with the Laptop.

• Students are encouraged to use their Laptops at home and other locations outside of school. Students are bound by the policies and procedures in this Handbook and the District AUP wherever they use their Laptops. Note that these connections are the responsibility of the student. District technicians are unable to troubleshoot any connectivity to home networks or printers.

• Parents are encouraged to provide a safe environment for students to use their Laptops at home for school assignments. Please see the Parents' Guide for tips on Safe and Responsible Internet Use. (Appendix B).

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

• All students should recognize and guard their personal and private information. While on the Internet, students shall not reveal personal information, including a home address or phone number, or the address or phone numbers of other students.

• All activity on the Laptop and district-issued email account, whether conducted at school or off site, is subject to search as District property.

2. GENERAL INFORMATION/GETTING STARTED

2.1 Receiving Your Laptop

Laptops will be distributed during selected dates at the beginning of the school year. Each student will receive an AC charger with their Laptop as well as a protective sleeve. Before a Laptop will be issued to the student, parents must logon to the Genesis Parent Portal to verify that you have read, understand and accept important policies.

• District Acceptable Use Policy

• Grades 6-8 Technology Acceptable Use Policy

• Laptop Agreement Form, including the Anti-Big Brother Act Compliance Notice

• Pay the mandatory Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) fee of $30.00 (see below).

• Pay all other Fees and monies owed (Activities, Food Service, etc.)

2.2 Accidental Damage Protection Plan (ADP)

• HMS requires that an Accidental Protection Plan be purchased prior to receiving a Laptop. The cost is $30 for the year. This protection package covers any type of device malfunction, including:

• Accidental Damage (drops/spills)

• Cracked Screen

• Liquid Submersion

• Fire

• Flood

• Natural Disasters

• Power Surge (lightning)

• Vandalism

• Damages that result from abuse or neglect are the responsibility of the student and subject to fees. In the event of theft, vandalism, or other criminal acts, the student/parent/guardian MUST file a report with the local police department, submit a copy to the school, and complete the School District Provided Technology Device Loss Form. The fee for a lost Laptop will be the full replacement cost of the device.

2.3 Returning Your Laptop

• At the end of the school year, students will turn in their Laptops and all district-purchased accessories.

• If upon inspection of the device, there is evidence of abuse, neglect or intentional damage, the student/parent/guardian will be charged a fee for needed repairs, not to exceed the replacement cost of the Laptop.

• Students who transfer out of or withdraw from Holdrum Middle School must turn in their Laptop and accessories to the school main office on their last day of attendance.

• Failure to turn in the Laptop and accessories will result in the parent/guardian being charged the full replacement cost. If payment is not received, the matter will be turned over to a collection agency and/or law enforcement agency.

3. LAPTOP CARE: PROTECTING & STORING YOUR LAPTOP

Students are responsible for the general care of the district-owned Laptop. Laptops that are broken, or fail to work properly, must be taken to the Technology Office as soon as possible. If a loaner Laptop is needed, one may be issued to the student until their Laptop can be repaired (subject to availability). DO NOT TAKE DISTRICT-OWNED LAPTOPS TO AN OUTSIDE COMPUTER SERVICE FOR ANY TYPE OF REPAIRS. Students may be selected at random by teachers or administrators to provide their Laptop for inspection for damages or misuse.

3.1 General Care and Precautions

• Laptop battery must be fully charged before the start of each school day.

• Vents should not be covered.

• Cords, cables, and removable storage devices must be inserted carefully into the Laptop.

• Laptops should not be used with the power cord plugged in when the cord may be a tripping hazard.

• Laptops should be kept away from food and drinks, small children, and pets.

• Do not bump the Laptop against lockers, walls, car doors, floors, etc.

• Laptops must remain free of any writing, drawing, stickers, or labels that are not the property of the River Vale Public School District.

• Laptops must never be left in an unlocked car or any unsupervised area. Unsupervised areas include the school grounds, the lunchroom, vehicles, bathrooms, computer labs, library, unlocked classrooms, and hallways. If a Laptop is found in an unsupervised area, it should be taken immediately to the Technology Office.

3.2 Laptop Screen Care

Protect the Laptop screen by following the rules below.

• Do not lift Laptops by the screen. When moving a Laptop support it from the bottom with the lid closed.

• Clean the screen with a soft, dry anti-static, or micro-fiber cloth. Do not use window cleaner or any type of liquid or water on the Laptop.

• Do not lean or place anything on top of the Laptop.

• Do not place anything on the keyboard before closing the lid (e.g., pens, pencils, notebooks).

• Do not place anything near the Laptop that could put pressure on the screen.

• Do not place anything in the carrying case that will press against the cover.

3.3 Carrying Laptops

• Never carry the Laptop while the screen is open.

• Do not transport Laptop with the power cord inserted.

3.4 Storing Your Laptop

• Laptops should never be left in vehicles or a location that is not temperature controlled.

• Laptops should be stored safely at all times, especially during extra-curricular events.

• Laptops should never be shoved into a locker, placed on the bottom of a pile or wedged into a book bag as this may break the screen.

• Never store your Laptop in your carry case or backpack with the power cord inserted.

3.5 Asset Tags

• All Laptops will be labeled with a school asset tag. Laptop asset tags are recorded and associated with student accounts. Laptops must have a RVPS asset tag on them at all times.

• Asset tags may not be modified or tampered with in any way. Students may be charged up to the full replacement cost of a Laptop for tampering with a school asset tag or turning in a Laptop without a school asset tag.

4. USING YOUR LAPTOP

4.1 Student Responsibilities and Legal Propriety

• Bring fully charged Laptops to school every day.

• Bring your Laptop to all of your classes, unless specifically instructed not to do so by your teacher.

• Follow each teacher’s rules and expectations regarding Laptop use in the classroom.

• Do not loan your Laptop to anyone or leave it unattended.

• Do not change District settings, remove District identification tags or barcodes from District issued devices.

• Follow Internet safety guidelines in accordance to the AUP. Do not use chat rooms other than those set up by teachers or mandated in other distance education courses.

• Keep personal information and identity secure and private. Never reveal your full name, phone number, home address, Social Security number, credit card numbers, passwords, or passwords of other people.

• Obey general school rules concerning behavior and communication that apply to technology use. Do not send anonymous or misleading communications for any purpose.

• Comply with trademark and copyright laws and all license agreements. Ignorance of the law is not immunity. If you are unsure, ask a teacher or parent.

• Plagiarism is a violation of the student policy. Give credit to all sources used, whether quoted or summarized. This includes all forms of media on the Internet, such as graphics, movies, and text.

• Use RVPS network, services, devices or equipment in a manner that is not disruptive to others, such as disseminating inappropriate content, spam/viruses, transferring large amounts of data across the network, or attempting to hack into network/online systems. Do not attempt to bypass the RVPS web filter or security services, attempt to gain access, or use/change other student’s accounts, files, or data.

• Use or possession of hacking software is strictly prohibited and violators will be subject to discipline. Violation of applicable state or federal law will result in criminal prosecution or disciplinary action by the district.

• Students must not use the school’s Internet/email accounts for financial or commercial gain, or for any illegal activity including, bullying, harassing, credit card fraud, electronic forgery or other forms of illegal behavior.

4.2 Managing Your Files and Saving Your Work

• Students will be logging into the River Vale Public School’s network and saving documents to storage on district servers, which is backed up nightly.

• If a student decides to store files on the laptop local storage, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their files are backed up and therefore not lost due to mechanical failure or accidental deletion.

• If technical difficulties occur and cannot be repaired, the Laptop may need to be restored to factory defaults. All student created files stored on the U Drive (district server), an external miniSD card, USB flash drive or Google Drive will be remain intact after the operating system is restored. However, all other data (documents, photos, music) stored on local internal memory of the Laptop will not be restored. Laptop malfunctions are not an acceptable excuse for not submitting work.

4.3 Laptops Left at Home

• If students leave their Laptop at home, they are responsible for completing their coursework as if they had their Laptop present. Loaners will not be issued; however, access to other district computers may be available for student use.

4.4 Laptop Battery

• Laptops must be charged each evening and brought to school each day in a fully charged condition. In cases where use of the Laptop has caused batteries to drain, students may be able to connect their device to a power outlet in class or other designated charging area. If deemed necessary, students may check out a replacement Laptop from the Technology Office if one is available.

4.5 Photos and Other Media

• Inappropriate media may not be saved on the device or any district provided storage.

• Presence of guns, weapons, pornographic materials, inappropriate language, alcohol, drug, gang related symbols or pictures will result in disciplinary actions.

• Photos/videos require a large amount of storage space on the device. Only photos that are for an educational purpose should be saved to the device. All other photos/videos should not be taken or stored.

4.6 Sound, Music, Games, or Programs

• Sound must be muted at all times unless permission is obtained from the teacher for instructional purposes.

• Students should have their own personal set of headphones, which may be used in the classroom at the discretion of teachers.

• Software should never be installed by a student. Only district computer technicians are able to install software on the laptops.

4.7 Printing

• At School: Printing functionality will be available on a limited basis at school and subject to classroom requirements. Teachers will encourage and facilitate digital copies of homework.

At Home: The Laptop supports a physical printer connection. Students may use a physical cable or wireless network to print from the laptop; however, these connections are the responsibility of the student. District technicians are unable to troubleshoot any connectivity to home networks or printers.

5. SECURITY

5.1 Laptop Security & Inspection

The district uses a centralized Laptop management system, which is utilized to change security settings, update software, add or remove applications, and monitor usage.

• Periodic checks of Laptops will be made to ensure that students have not removed required software.

• Any attempt to change the configuration settings of the Laptop will result in an immediate disciplinary action.

• All activity on the Laptop and district-issued email account, whether conducted at school or off site, is subject to search as District property.

• Reasons for Laptop inspection may include but are not limited to the following: functionality, maintenance, serviceability, and various violations of student AUP when using the Laptop.

5.2 Network Security

The River Vale Public Schools will be responsible for providing network access and content filtering at school.

• The RVPS District makes no guarantee that their network will be up and running 100% of the time. In the rare instances that the network is down, the District will not be responsible for lost or missing data.

• Students will not be penalized if the network is down and a completed assignment cannot be accessed for class projects, presentations, etc., as this type of network outage will affect all students and staff in the school building.

• The school utilizes an Internet content filter that is in compliance with the federally mandated Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Laptops will have all Internet activity protected and monitored by the school while on campus and away from campus. If an educationally valuable site is blocked, students should contact their teachers to request the site be unblocked.

• Attempting to disable or bypass district Internet content filters, including using or attempting to use proxies to access sites that would otherwise be restricted, is not permitted and will result in disciplinary action. Student use of the Internet will be monitored at and away from school.

• Restrictions on the network and computers will block certain functions. Any attempt to bypass these restrictions will be seen as a violation of the District AUP and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

5.3 Privacy

• As per the Anti-Big Brother Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:36-39 (P.L. 2013, c. 44)), school-issued electronic devices have the ability to record or collect information on user’s activity, both online and offline. The River Vale Public Schools will not use any of these capabilities in a manner that would violate the privacy rights of a student or inpidual residing with the student.

• All files stored on the River Vale Public Schools network or Google Apps Domain are the property of the district and are subject to regular review and monitoring for responsible use. Internet history and email checks may occur at the discretion of the District Administration. Students have no expectation of confidentiality or privacy with respect to the usage or content of a district-issued Laptop, regardless of whether that use is for district-related or personal purposes, other than as specifically provided by law.

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

• All students should recognize and guard their personal and private information. While on the Internet, students shall not reveal personal information, including a home address or phone number, or the address or phone numbers of other students.

6.0 REPAIRS, CLAIMS & FEES

6.1 Laptop Repairs

• Laptops that are broken or fail to work properly must be taken immediately to the Technology Office.

• If deemed necessary, a replacement will be issued if there is one available.

• The Technology Office will document the issue and collect the device for repair.

• A student borrowing a Laptop must sign a loaner agreement and will be responsible for any damage to or loss of the loaned device.

• Laptops on loan to students having their devices repaired may be taken home.

• The Technology Office will contact the student (by email or other means) when repairs are complete and device is ready for pick-up.

• If there is an insurance claim, the Technology Office will fill out the appropriate paperwork. Parents will be notified when a claim is filed by email.

• If repair is needed due to abuse or neglect, there will be a fee for needed repairs (see below), not to exceed the replacement cost of the Laptop. The school may also refuse to provide a loaner or reissue a Laptop.

6.2 Fees/Fines

• Any hardware/software repairs not due to misuse or intentional damage will be covered by the vendor warranty or Damage Protection Plan; however, any intentional damage to the device will incur a cost.

• Fines will be imposed as the circumstances may warrant at the discretion of the District.

• After two incidents of accidental damage, the student may lose the privilege of taking the device home, and may also result in disciplinary action. The District may also require the student to buy additional insurance.

• Estimated costs are listed below and subject to change.

Insurance Plan Premium - $30

Power Cord - $20

Protective Sleeve - $30

Battery - $60

Screen - $150

Keyboard/Touchpad - $40

Asset Tag - $10

Replacement Laptop - $790  

Replacement Chromebook - $350

APPENDIX A: ACTIONS REQUIRING DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

As mentioned throughout this document, misuse of Laptops has the potential to earn disciplinary consequences such as, but not limited to, lunch detentions, after school detentions, In School Suspensions, and Out of School Suspensions.

Examples of conduct warranting disciplinary action include, but are not limited to the following:

• Leaving Laptop unattended or an unsupervised area

• Failure to utilize protective sleeve

• Inadequate care for Laptop, case, charger, and other peripherals

• Multiple damage instances caused by abuse or neglect of Laptops and peripherals

• Removal of District Asset Tags

• Downloading inappropriate software and media

• Adjusting settings on someone else's Laptop

• Deleting school-installed settings from a Laptop

• Leaving Laptop at home; lack of preparation for classes

• Repeatedly bringing uncharged Laptops to school

• Bringing Laptop to Phys. Ed. class, unless directed to by P.E. teacher

• Loaning of student device to other students inside and outside of school

• Logging in under personal Google account to download purchased apps for yourself or another student(s)

• Attempting to bypass RVPS Network Security, including web and content filtering

• Attempting to gain access to other students accounts

• Illegal installation or transmission of copyrighted materials

• Transmission or accessing materials that are obscene, offensive, threatening or otherwise intended to harass or demean recipients

• Non-compliance of District AUP and School District Provided Technology Devices to Pupils Policies

Failure to comply with the guidelines listed in this Handbook, or repeated occurrences of Laptop damages caused by neglect or abuse, may result in the further disciplinary action, fees, and the loss of home use privileges.

APPENDIX B: Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Before a device can be issued to students for school and home use, parents must:

• Logon to the Genesis Parent Portal to verify that you have read, understand and accept the following online forms:

• District Acceptable Use Policy

• Grades 6-8 Technology Acceptable Use Policy

• Laptop Agreement Form, including the Anti-Big Brother Act Compliance Notice

• Pay the mandatory Accidental Damage Plan (ADP) fee of $30.00 on the CommunityPass Payment Portal.

• Pay all other Activities and Food Service Fees and monies owed

The parent/guardian is responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of the Laptop if it is intentionally damaged, lost because of negligence, or stolen but not reported to school and the police.

Parents are encouraged to provide a safe environment for students to use their Laptops at home for school assignments. A WiFi Internet connection will be required for the majority of Laptop use. Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to:

• set rules for student use at home.

• allow use in common areas of the home where student use can easily be monitored.

• demonstrate a genuine interest in student’s use of device.

• reinforce the idea that the device is a productivity tool to support learning, rather than used as a form of entertainment.

• become familiar with internet safety resources such as

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/digital-citizenship
http://www.netsmartz.org/Home
http://www.connectsafely.org
https://www.fbi.gov/resources/parents

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