Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use Policy

Information Technology Resources

Overview

aLphabet internationaL schooL provides a variety of electronic resources and networks that are shared across the school for educational purposes. Such electronic resources are solely provided for the implementation of teaching and learning programs for students and teachers in the Early Years, Primary Years (PYP), and Middle Years Program (MYP).

Context of “acceptable use” within aLphabet internationaL schooL:

aLphabet Vision

aLphabet’s vision is to provide a stimulating learning environment for children and develop a sense of “yearning for learning” amongst young minds by nurturing the uniqueness of each child. We achieve this in myriad ways right from our classroom environment to our pedagogy which is upgraded regularly. We aim at imparting a holistic education, fostering every child in becoming a confident, independent and a self-esteemed individual.

aLphabet Mission

To develop compassionate and young life-long learners in a stimulating environment of academic excellence. We strive to instil values of mutual respect, honesty, empathy and open-mindedness. With tolerance, our learners will become humane and knowledgeable citizens of the world, understanding various cultures thus promoting unity.

aLphabet Philosophy

Each child is born with a set of culture and values which have to be an intrinsic part of their teaching and learning process. Complete education should enhance qualities like tolerance, compassion, respect, and co- existence leading to a peaceful life on this planet. aLphabet international instils leadership qualities to surge into the evolving century. The school creates an environment of continuous learning, critical thinking and excellence in academics. The holistic development of the learner is also dependent on the creative expression in all forms. The school will grow as a well-knit community with the core team of learners, namely-teachers, students and the parents working hand in hand in an open environment, promoting international- mindedness.

IB Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Provision of electronic resources and networks at aLphabet:

aLphabet internationaL schooL provides information technology resources, including email, internet access, applications and databases for educational purposes only. aLphabet reserves the right [at any time] to monitor the use of all technology on campus, including but not limited to computers, mobile devices, networking equipment, and school wireless connections. All users (adults as well as children) should be mindful that internet usage can and may be monitored.

At aLphabet, as an IB World (PYP and MYP) School, students are expected to develop independent learning strategies as well as the attributes of the healthy learner. All students must therefore understand that access to the school network and the internet is a privilege that is tied to responsibilities. Complete adherence to the following policy guidelines is necessary for the continued privilege of access to these resources. Any and all non-compliance of the policy guidelines will be informed to the concerned parent/s and /or guardian/s by the school management; the con-compliance will be addressed by the school management in line with applicable norms and procedure of the school and the decision of the Head of School will be final in these matters.

Students at aLphabet must:

  1. Respect and protect the privacy of others and themselves
    • Use only the account that has been assigned by the school to the student. Accessing other student’s or accounts belonging to any other individual is a breach of academic integrity and the “Acceptable Use Policy”.
    • Do not view, use, or copy passwords, data, or networks to which the student is un-authorized.
    • Do not distribute private information about others or themselves.
    • If you become aware of inappropriate use by others, this should be informed immediately either to the homeroom teacher, coordinator or Head of School.
  2. Respect and protect the school resources
    • Observe all network security practices, especially logging out of devices.
    • Report security risks or violations to a teacher or responsible adult within the school.
    • Do not destroy or damage data, networks, or other resources that are the property of the school, or that are being used within the school, whether student owned or school owned.
    • Do not – at any time – download, copy, or install media onto school computers or devices.
    • Do not download any software to the aLphabet school network or school devices except where it has been approved and authorized by the network administrator.
    • Conserve, protect, and share aLphabet school resources with other students and Internet users. (i.e. return laptops to the charging area to recharge for the next user)
  3. Respect and protect the intellectual property of others
    • Do not infringe copyrights (no making, distributing, or downloading illegal copies of music, games, or movies). Copyright information is available in the library, as is the IB guide to Academic Integrity, which frames the aLphabet Academic Integrity Policy. Your Subject Area teachers and Library Staff will provide information on academic integrity which must be followed always.
    • Use the guidelines for the preferred citation style as provided by your subject group teachers.
    • Do not plagiarize – and abide by all aspects of the aLphabet Academic Integrity Policy.
    • Practice and hone your own skills in summarizing and paraphrasing.
    • Fabrication or attempted fabrication of email messages or other electronic documents is against the law, and as such in violation of this “Acceptable Use Policy”.
    • Reading, deleting, copying, or modifying any electronic documents of other users is a breach of academic integrity and is also in violation of this policy.
  4. Respect for the values of the aLphabet community
    • Communicate only in ways that are kind, respectful, safe and in accordance with the philosophy of aLphabet as a learning community. The philosophy of the school seeks to enhance qualities like tolerance, compassion, respect, and co-existence leading to a peaceful life on this planet. These must be respected in all communications whether online or face-to-face.
    • In keeping with the school’s philosophy, any online communication should be something you could say in person: this includes emails, instant messages, digital images/videos, web or any other social media postings.
    • Inform threatening or discomforting materials [anything at all that might make you feel uncomfortable] to your homeroom teacher or another teacher.
    • Intentionally accessing, transmitting, copying, or creating material that violates the school’s stated values (such as messages that are pornographic, threatening, rude, discriminatory, or meant to harass or in any other way, “bully” another person), is a violation of the “Acceptable Use Policy”.
    • Intentionally accessing, transmitting, copying, or creating material that is against the law (such as obscenity, stolen materials, or illegal copies of copyrighted works) is a violation of the “Acceptable Use Policy”.
    • Do not use the school’s electronic resources to further other acts that are against the law or which violate values of the aLphabet school community, including accessing blocked or restricted sites.
    • Do not buy, sell, advertise, or otherwise conduct business, using the school’s IT resources unless approved as a school project.
    • The sending of spam, chain letters, or other mass unsolicited mailings is not an appropriate use of the school’s electronic resources. Students may not send an email to a whole class, an entire grade level, or any group within the school. Such communications should be processed through a faculty member and/or posted in school announcements with the approval of the section Coordinator or Head.
    • Derogatory, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate e-mail exchanges, instant messages, digital images, or web postings are considered cyber-bullying and are prohibited, and appropriate action will be taken by the school in the event of any such cyber-bullying that is detected.
    • Any form of cyber-bullying will be dealt with swiftly by the school leadership members in line with the school procedure, including keeping the parent/s and or guardian/s informed about the same; depending on the nature of the infringement and in line with school procedure, school leadership members will table the matter to the desk of the Head of School, whose decision will be final in these matters
    • Posting images or videos of others, without their permission is not allowed. In no instance should photos, audio, or videos of aLphabet staff members or students be posted online without their consent, and the express permission of the Head of School;
  5. Social media responsibility at aLphabet
    • aLphabet students are expected to use the Internet responsibly and productively for educational use. Personal internet browsing, including social media use, on any device during instructional time, is not permitted when unrelated to Subject-based research, other school business, or school-related professional development
    • aLphabet students should keep in mind that they are personally responsible for what they post online and should be mindful that what they say on any online platform will be available publicly for a long time – and that this information stands as a reflection of how they interact via electronic platforms;
    • Any form of “gaming” on school devices or on personal devices during school time and on the school premises is deemed as an inappropriate activity according to this “Acceptable Use Policy,” and is, therefore, a violation of the same
  6. Blended Classroom structure at aLphabet (in view of school campus re-opening post lifting of the COVID-19 pandemic related lockdown by Government of Tamil Nadu)
    • In line with the State Government decision of reopening schools w.e.f 8th November, 2021, aLphabet will be providing for blended classroom teaching and learning. Students will have the choice of attending in-person classes or attending sessions online from home. This is subject to change in line with Government decisions and prevailing conditions as would be determined by School Management in consultation with all school stakeholders. The decision of School Management will be final in these matters.
    • The blended classroom structure we will roll out with will focus on learning outcomes and learner-cantered teaching and learning environment facilitating
      • Learning engagement
      • Enhanced student-teacher interaction
      • Responsible learning
      • Time management & flexibility
      • Improved student learning outcomes
      • More flexible teaching and learning environment
      • More amenable for self and continuous learning
      • Better opportunities for experiential learning

Through our blended classroom structure, we are aiming for an appropriate balance between online instructions, which offers the interactive, tech-based learning, individualized pacing, and privacy that keep students continuously engaged and motivated, and teacher-led learning, which personalizes the learning experience and adds the human elements of encouragement, compassion, and caring guidance that only teachers can give.

    • Students coming to school will have in-person classes, including discussions and collaborative work in small groups accounting for health and safety measures. They will also bring their personal laptops duly tagged and named to school for learning purposes alone and will be guided by the clauses of the Acceptable Use Policy for their online work
    • Students coming to school will also be individually responsible for the security and safekeeping of their personal laptops and the laptop peripherals, including refraining from using each other’s laptops, carrying laptops properly, and shutting down the system when not in use. Students must make sure the laptop fans are getting enough circulation. Students are not to leave their laptops on soft surfaces like couches/sofas or near the edges of tables, chairs, etc. Students must not have liquids near the laptop keyboard. Students must use a mouse to navigate on the computer screen
    • Students coming to school for in-person sessions will also need to comply with all guidelines as is defined in the Student Discipline Guideline/Policy
    • The in-person classes will be streamed live through Google meet for students who are unable to come to school. They will log into the school GCL through aLphabet email IDs to access the meet link and can connect with the teacher in class
    • A laptop with a camera will be strategically placed to capture the class in session; All sessions for all subject groups across all grades will continue to be recorded as is being done currently
    • For both sets of students, faculty will continue to take advantage of technology, including but not limited to, operating systems, aggregators, assessment makers, blogging/calculation/chat/2D-3D Drawing tools, e-Readers, e-Portfolios, image editors, learning management systems, internet browsers, plagiarism checkers, presentation tools, quiz makers, spreadsheets, trackers and word processing tools, to facilitate both, in-class online learning and also learning for students accessing the session online from home, accounting for access to the necessary technology and applications by the students on their laptops
    • Both sets of students must ensure that they access online learning using only the school email ID and related Google Meet learning management system; they cannot use their personal email IDs
    • Both sets of students, when learning sessions are in progress, must ensure that they do not open any other social media pages not connected to the learning; Must Visit only the online sites that are age-appropriate and approved by teachers, school management, and parents
    • Both sets of students must ensure that their learning-related laptops/desktops are installed with reliable and updated anti-virus and that no external apps are downloaded from unknown sources or links
    • Both sets of students are to make sure their learning laptop/desktop (in the case of online students alone) is fully charged before the class starts. Students must ensure that the laptops are fitted with batteries whose life can ideally sustain the 4 hours of school learning without having to re-charge. In the event of laptop needing to be recharged, on-campus students must ensure to bring their laptop’s individual chargers tagged and named to avoid inadvertent confusion and mix-ups; students must keep in mind that the charging points in the classroom are fixed and limited and there will be no extension cables and sockets provided for multiple charging points for multiple laptops
    • aLphabet as a school will continue to use Google Classroom as the learning management system for all students and all teachers across grades
    • For file storage and sharing, aLphabet will continue to use Google Drive synced to the aLphabet email IDs
    • Class discussion related notes and material will continue to be uploaded in GCL as always
    • Assessments, both formative and summative, will continue to be uploaded online on GCL
    • Students will continue to submit work and assessments online as would be defined by the faculty-either upload to the school drive or email to the faculty or turn in the work directly through GCL
    • All students must regularly monitor their Google Calendar, Google Classroom, or school email IDs to check for assignments and announcements
    • The class timetable for blended classrooms will be common for both sets of students and have been designed keeping in mind the social and emotional well-being of students as they transition to in-person learning
    • For the students who will choose to access learning online from home, the guidelines will be as follows:
      • Students must conduct themselves appropriately including wearing the appropriate attire, being properly groomed when appearing online for sessions, maintaining polite and positive language, attending sessions on time and not eating during sessions, and most importantly, turning in assignments on time
      • Students need to be aware that in case of inappropriate student behavior, the same will be reported to the HOS/ Coordinator for immediate action – with the involvement of parents; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students must attend sessions from an area of their home which is quiet but is easily and readily accessible to parent supervision
      • Students are requested to ensure that they wear headphones (if they have them) to ensure greater clarity and cutting out of ambient sounds. This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students must check and rectify all gadget related technical glitches and Wi-Fi connectivity well in advance; they must confirm availability and working order of scanners and printers as well in advance; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students must ensure their laptop camera and audio is working fine at all time; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students must ensure that they have cam scanners working so that their work can be scanned then and there and mailed to the subject teacher; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students must confirm that they have no other gadgets next to them disrupting their learning sessions
      • The students must place their laptop camera angle such that teacher has visibility of the student and work area also; the camera should not be showing only the student face so to speak
      • Students must ensure that their video and audio is on at all times for all sessions as per timetable; the mic must be muted unless they are contributing to the conversation; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students have to try and create enough space for classes like Movement, Music, Art, Physical education and also space to do their homework
      • Students must have open only the required tabs for the particular session; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
      • Students must follow the timetable at all times and hence keep all items needed for each subject ready in advance for the day; This is also applicable for on-campus students for required sessions and activities
    • All students, in campus and online, must be aware that HRTs will take attendance in the morning and they should be in class 5 minutes in advance; For MYP grades, they should also be aware that every subject group teacher will take attendance as well when the session starts, at the halfway mark and end of the session as well
    • The privacy, safety, and well-being of teachers and learners are very important:
      • Teachers and leadership will continue to take care to ensure that what happens in any mode of learning and teaching safeguards private information, minimizes inappropriate behaviour, and does not expose learners to content that is not relevant to learning experiences, especially when using a wide variety of digital solutions
      • Students are also expected to ensure responsible use of blended classroom structures, including accounting for safeguarding private information and ensuring compliance at all times to in-class and digital session protocol, as has already been defined in the previous sections of the policy
      • Students must share only information that is required and safe to share online
      • Students must create a strong password as advised by the teachers for any online login process and must not share the password with anybody
      • Students must inform school and parents if someone is being hurtful or unkind online or sharing disturbing content
      • Students must use only the school or home Wi-Fi internet connection as applicable
      • Students must make sure that they log out after their work is done
    • Mobile Phones/Digital devices:
      • Students are not allowed to carry and/or use any mobile phone or any digital device apart from the learning-related laptop, on the campus unless it is school- issued equipment or has written permission for using the same
      • Any device that is not permitted by the school will be confiscated and parents/ guardians will be notified
      • The consequences of the above actions will be as per the Acceptable Use Policy

The school may require, at any time, the signing of an Acceptable Use Agreement, by parents and students for individuals to use or continue to use the IT facilities of the school.

In the event of a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, including students accessing blocked or restricted sites, the redressal procedure will be as follows:

  1. The Home Room Teacher/ Teacher will table the violation to the Support Services Coordinator/School Counsellor
  2. The Support Services Coordinator/School Counsellor will speak with the concerned student and written communication on the same will be sent by School Desk to the parent/s and/or guardian/s
  3. If, despite Step 2, the situation is assessed by Support Services Coordinator/School Counsellor as requiring further intervention, a face-to-face meeting will be taken with the concerned student’s parent/s and/or guardian/s involving the Head of School and the decision of the Head of School in the subject matter will be final

It is to be noted that in any and all matters of violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, the decision taken by the Head of School will be final.

Policy Review Process:

This policy document will be reviewed as and when the programme coordinators see the need and in any case, no later than 3 years from the date of publication. Programme coordinators will ensure its implementation in joint consultation with the Head of School and Support Services Coordinator/ School Counsellor and through planning meetings, classroom visits, and appraisals. It is shared with all stakeholders.