Technology Usage Policy
General Technology Use
Use of technology at The Geneva School is designed to dignify all persons, aide in the cultivation of community, and help to reach curricular goals. Technology use is not a private matter, but a public and community one. Technology use must be in keeping with the school’s mission, vision, and values, and biblical ethical standards.
Student Accounts, Devices, and Network
Google Apps for Education is used by students in grades 6–12 to encourage student and faculty communication and collaboration. Students in 6th and 7th grade are required to have access to a computer with an internet connection at home. Students in grades 8–12 are required to bring their own device (chromebook, laptop, or tablet) to school to allow for classroom writing, research, and collaborating as directed by the faculty.
The Geneva School provides students in grades 7–12 access to its computer network for educational purposes, including restricted access to the public internet for research associated with their course of study. All access to the public internet is filtered and monitored using network equipment designed to prevent access to unsuitable internet content. This protection system undergoes continuous review and modification to accommodate the ever-changing nature of the World Wide Web.
The school is not able to guarantee that a student will never be able to access inappropriate internet content, particularly if that student makes intentional, determined, and sustained attempts to do so. A log of all internet activity is kept and it is possible to identify which sites were visited (or attempted) by each device on the network.
In order to ensure that computers and the internet are used in a proper manner, the administration and staff have the authority to monitor all aspects of computer usage which occurs within the school facility.
All network users at The Geneva School are expected to conduct themselves according to principles of digital etiquette. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Conducting research
- Participating in collaborative projects
- Creating beautiful, informative works
- Encouraging and strengthening friendships and community
- Public posting of any student’s name, personal address, or phone number
- Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures
- Using obscene language
- Bullying or other unloving actions or words directed toward others
- Damaging computers, computer systems, or network systems
- Trespassing in another’s folders or files
- Using someone else’s password
- Attempting to disrupt community networks
- Agreeing to meet someone met online without parental approval and under the supervision of an authorized adult
- Plagiarizing information found on the Internet
- Recording of another person, whether video or audio, without their knowledge or permission
- Using school accounts in any way that is not related to school projects or purposes
Social Media Policy
Electronic communication is public communication. The possibility of forwarding or monitoring messages means that any electronic communication should be considered public. The Geneva School practices an open door approach to electronic communication, akin to conducting teacher-student meetings while maintaining an open door. The following guidelines apply to communication between school staff/faculty and students:
- Faculty and staff interacting with grammar school students via any electronic communication should include one or both parents of the student.
- Faculty and staff interacting with upper school students via any electronic communication should include a copy to one or both parents whenever possible. In rare situations where copying parents is less preferable, another faculty or staff member must be copied instead of a parent.
- Faculty and staff interacting with upper school students in an extracurricular setting via any electronic communication should always include a copy to another faculty or staff member.
- Students who send text messages or emails to faculty or staff should always copy a parent, so that faculty and staff may more easily including a parent when replying.
- In “traditional” social media, when making or receiving a “friend” request with a student, employees must communicate with at least one of the student’s parents, requesting permission.
- Students and faculty are asked to restrict the hours for telephone calls to 3 pm to 6 pm Monday through Friday.
Cell Phones and other Electronics
A general rubric for all student protocols, discipline, uniforms, etc. is “We seek to minimize distractions in the classroom.” With this in mind, we are aware of the distractive nature of electronics in our current culture. The following guidelines seek to meet our desire to maximize learning by minimizing distractions from media and electronics.
- Grammar school students are not permitted to bring cell phones to school.
- Dialectic and rhetoric students who bring cell phones to school are not allowed to use them during regular school hours (from the first bell at 7:50 am to the last bell at 2:45 pm, including lunch time).
- Cell phones brought to campus must be turned off and stowed in the student’s locker or backpack during school hours.
- “Smart watches” are not allowed to be worn by students during school hours as these devices can also be used for texting and accessing media.
- Students are permitted to use other devices at the discretion of a teacher in a class situation. Otherwise, other devices must also be stowed in the student’s locker or backpack.
- Students may use recording devices in specific classes with the permission of the teacher. Students using a recording device without the teacher’s permission will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
- Electronic devices or cell phones that are not properly stowed will be confiscated by the teacher or staff member who discovers it, given to the office of the dean of students, and returned only to a parent or guardian who comes to claim it.
- Students are not permitted to take electronic devices (other than cameras) on field trips. Cell phones are only permitted in cases deemed necessary by the dean of students.
- Continued violation of these rules may result in the permanent confiscation of the device or equipment.
- Any exceptions to these policies must be approved by the dean of students.