Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Revised August 2021
The heart of our curriculum is timeless ~ love, truth, beauty, mercy. We teach about creation as well as the Creator. We educate on being in solidarity with those who suffer and how to cultivate a prayerful life.
In his message for the 48th World Communications Day, Pope Francis said that technology is a “gift from God.” The Pope challenged the Church to use this tool to promote the faith, asking how communication can “be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter?” Because of these things we are committed to participating in society. And to be committed to such participation requires using technology in appropriate ways.
We are interested in technology because of our faith.
We expect our students to utilize technology to think more critically, to communicate effectively, to express their creativity, and to conduct research. Our teachers have access to updated technology in their classrooms to engage our students and challenge them to learn in ways not previously imaginable. We empower students with the technical skills necessary to participate in a culture that is increasingly dependent upon technology, while also challenging them to be digital ambassadors spreading the Good News.
But it is our faith that guides how we use technology.
We teach our students about the ethics of technology and train them to be savvy about things like Internet privacy and safety. We teach the unfortunate reality of technology addiction. We remind students and parents that technology is aggressively marketed and to be careful about getting caught up in the hype.
We also acknowledge that we sometimes need to “unplug” from technology as it can cause us to become isolated from one another. We encourage family meals without screen time and the importance of communicating face to face.
We greatly value technology in our schools. And what makes technology most powerful, is when it serves to make our students better people!
RESPONSIBLE USE POLICY FOR TECHNOLOGY
Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Technology is a valuable and real-world educational tool. All Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including: interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyber bullying awareness and response to ensure an appropriate use of technology, including video conferencing platforms. The policy outlined below applies to all technology use including but not limited to Internet use. The Responsible Use Policy for Technology (RUP) applies to all students, faculty, administrators, staff, volunteers or community members allowed access to school technology resources. In some cases, outside or personal uses of technology may be applicable under this policy.
SCOPE OF USE
We recognize that the digital world allows anytime, anywhere access. Uses mentioned in this policy apply to inside school use and may in certain instances apply to personal technology use and/or uses outside of school. Where personal and/or non-educational use of technology creates substantial disruption in school, including but not limited to harming or interfering with the rights of other students or teachers to participate fully in school or extracurricular activities, these activities may be viewed as a violation of the Responsible Use Policy and may be subject to the disciplinary measure found herein.
N.B. The types of electronic and digital communications referenced in this RUP include, but are not limited to, social networking sites, cell phones, mobile computers and devices, digital cameras, video conferencing platforms, text messaging, email, voice over IP, chat rooms, instant messaging, cloud, and web-based tools.
The school’s goal is to prepare its members for a responsible life in a digital global community. To this end, the school will:
- Integrate technology with curriculum to enhance teaching and learning.
- Encourage critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
- Facilitate evaluation and synthesis of information.
- Encourage ethical practices and provide education for Internet safety, digital citizenship and the creation of a positive digital identity.
- Provide a variety of technology-based tools and related technology skills.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF USER
Our schools will make every effort to provide a safe environment for learning with technology including Internet filtering and safeguards. The students, faculty, administrators, staff, and school community are granted the privilege of using the computer hardware and software peripherals, and electronic communication tools including the Internet. With this privilege comes the responsibility for appropriate use.
In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, we use information and technology in safe, legal, and responsible ways. We embrace the following conditions or facets of being a digital citizen.
- Respect One’s Self: Responsible users will select online names that are appropriate and will consider the information and images that are posted online.
- Respect Others: Responsible users will refrain from using technologies to bully, tease or harass other people.
- Protect One’s Self and Others: Responsible users will protect themselves and others by reporting abuse and not forwarding inappropriate materials or communications.
- Respect Intellectual Property: Responsible users will suitably cite any and all use of websites, books, images, media, or other sources relied upon or used in work created.
- Protect Intellectual Property: Responsible users will request permission to use the software and media others produce and abide by license agreements for all software and resources.
TECHNOLOGY USE GUIDELINES
Educational Purpose/ Responsible Use: Technology is to be used to enhance student learning. Students are able to access social networking and gaming sites only under the guidance and supervision of the teacher for the educational outcomes identified within the lesson and given appropriate age.
Copyright/Intellectual Property and Identity: All sources obtained for teacher and student work should be properly cited. Users are to respect the rights and intellectual property of others in accordance with Federal Copyright Law. Transferring copyrighted material to or from a school without express permission of the owner is a violation of Federal Law and could result in copyright infringement claims.
Communications: Electronic and/or Digital communications with students should be conducted for educationally appropriate purposes and employ only school-sanctioned means of communication. The school-sanctioned communications methods include:
- Teacher school web page, school-issued email and/or phone number
- Teacher created, educationally focused networking sites
- Student Information System and Learning Management System
- Remind Communication app – or similar i.e. Class Dojo, Seesaw
Teachers, administrators or staff members in their normal responsibilities and duties may be required to contact parents outside of the school day. A teacher, administrator or staff member is free to contact parents or guardians using a home phone or a personal cell phone. However, they should not distribute a home phone number or a personal cell phone number to students. If a student contacts a teacher or administrator using a teacher or administrator’s personal numbers, email or social networking sites, the teacher or administrator should immediately report this to the administrator or appropriate authorities.
Electronic and Mobile Devices, Cell phone/Wearable technology: Users must adhere to local school policy that may further define uses of mobile devices. The administrator of the local school will determine permissible use. If a particular mobile device is to be used for an educational purpose, the school administration and/or teacher will provide parameters for this use.
Smart Speakers: Primarily intended for at-home consumer use, these always-listening devices are not directly intended for the classroom. Therefore, smart speakers (Echo, Google Nest, etc..) are not to be used in the classroom nor connected to the network on a permanent basis during the academic year.
Remote/Distance Learning: Remote or distance learning may be used to supplement face-to-face instruction, or where appropriate, may be the primary modality of instruction. To effectively engage in remote or distance learning, users are expected to:
- Participate from an appropriate location in the home.
- To the user’s best ability, be in a well-lit and quiet area. Avoid having windows or strong sources of light directly behind an individual when engaging in teaching/learning on camera.
- Wear appropriate and respectful attire. (This may be more specifically defined by the local school administration.)
- Where able, only use first name and last initial to identify yourself via video conferencing software.
- Students are not to use or preserve a photograph, image, video, including-live streaming, or likeness of any student, or employee without express permission of that individual and of the principal.
- Prior to recording any portion of a live classroom session, instructors are to notify the students who are in the same session, face-to-face or online.
- Live class recordings are meant for internal school use only. Recordings are to be saved locally on a network drive or the school’s GSuite for Education Google Drive. Recordings are to be deleted at the end of the academic year in which they were recorded. Recordings are not for promotional use, rather solely for educational purposes.
- This Responsible Use Policy applies to students using personal devices for remote instruction.
- Maintaining hardware/devices provided by the local school is the responsibility of the student/family. (Local school policy may define further students’ responsibilities and expectations.)
Examples of Unacceptable Uses –
Users are not to:
- Use technology to harass, threaten, deceive, intimidate, offend, embarrass, annoy or otherwise negatively impact any individual.
- Post, publish, disseminate or display any defamatory, inaccurate, violent, abusive, profane or sexually oriented material. Users must not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude or threatening language. Users must not knowingly or recklessly post or disseminate false information about any persons, students, staff or any other organization.
- Use a photograph, image, video, including-live streaming, or likeness of any student, administrator, employee or volunteer without express permission of that individual and of the principal.
- Create any site, post any photo, image or video of another individual except with express permission of that individual and the principal.
- Attempt to circumvent system security, blocked sites or to bypass software protections.
- Deliberately visit a site known for unacceptable material or any material that is not in support of educational objectives. Students must not access social networking sites or gaming sites, except for educational purposes under teacher supervision.