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524 Policy: Student Technology and Internet Access and Acceptable Use

  • 500: Students
524 Policy: Student Technology and Internet Access and Acceptable Use
Adopted Review Frequency

Adopted: 12-18-2014
Reviewed: 04-25-2019
Revised: 06-11-2020

Reviewed: 11-04-2021
Revised: 12-20-2022



The purpose of this policy is to set forth policies and guidelines for access to the school district computer system and acceptable and safe use of the Internet, including electronic communications.


Access to District technology systems and to the Internet enables students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, bulletin boards, and other global resources while exchanging messages with people around the world.  The District expects that staff will blend thoughtful use of the school District technology system and the Internet throughout the curriculum and will educate students in their use.

The value of access to information and interaction on the Internet far outweighs the risk that users may procure material that is inconsistent with the educational goals of the District. 

 Students are expected to use Internet access through the District technology systems to further educational and personal goals consistent with the mission and policies of the District.  Uses which might be acceptable on a user’s private personal account on another system may not be acceptable on this limited purpose network. 



  1. Students will use the District technology systems, resources and accounts to access the Internet.

  2. The District makes no warranties, expressed or implied, for the Internet access it is providing.  The system is provided on an “as is, as available” basis.

  3. The District will not be responsible for any damages users experience, including but not limited to, damage, loss or unavailability of data stored on or accessed through the district technology system or for delays or interruptions in service or misdeliveries or non-deliveries of information.  Additionally, the District will not be responsible for the accuracy, nature or quality of information stored or gathered on the District technology system.

  4. The District will not be responsible for personal property used to access the District technology system or networks.

  5. The District will not be responsible for the setup or maintenance of personal property used for remote access to District technology devices, networks, or District provided Internet access.  

  6. The collection, creation, reception, maintenance and dissemination of data via the Internet, including electronic communications, are governed by the Minnesota Data Practices law and District policy Data Privacy Protection and Privacy of Pupil Specific Data Policy.  

  7. District policy and all its provisions and rules are subordinate to local, state and federal statutes.  

  8. The District will not be responsible for financial obligations incurred by users through district technology systems or the Internet. Parents/guardians must be aware that it is possible to purchase goods and services via the Internet.  


Pursuant to state law, school districts are required to restrict access to inappropriate materials on school computers with Internet access.  School districts seeking technology revenue pursuant to Minnesota Statutes section 125B.26 or certain federal funding, such as e-rate discounts, for purposes of Internet access and connection services and/or receive funds to purchase Internet accessible computers are subject to the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act, effective in 2001.  Those districts are required to comply with additional standards in restricting possible access to inappropriate materials.

  1. The District will use various means to limit student access to the Internet; however, these limits do not provide a foolproof means for enforcing the provisions of District policy and rules.  

  2. Filtering technology will be narrowly tailored and will not discriminate based on viewpoint. 

  3. The District will monitor online activities and employ technology protection measures during use of such technology devices by all users on the network.  The technology protection measures utilized will block or filter Internet access to any visual depictions that are: 

  1. Obscene;

  1. Child pornography; or 

  1. Harmful to minors. 

The term “harmful to minors” means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that: 

  1. taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to an indecent interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; or 

  2. depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual or perverted act or sexual contact, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; or 

  3. taken as whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. 

  1. Technology protection measures may be disabled by authorized personnel, to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.


  1. "Technology provider" means a person who:

 1.  contracts with the school district, as part of a one-to-one program or otherwise, to provide a school-issued device for student use; and 

2  creates, receives, or maintains educational data pursuant or incidental to a contract with the school district.

  1. "Parent" means a parent of a student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

  2. Within 30 days of the start of each school year, the school district must give parents and students direct and timely notice, by United States mail, e-mail, or other direct form of communication, of any curriculum, testing, or assessment technology provider contract affecting a student's educational data. The notice must:

 1. identify each curriculum, testing, or assessment technology provider with access to educational data;

2. identify the educational data affected by the curriculum, testing, or assessment technology provider contract; and

3. include information about the contract inspection and provide contact information for a school department to which a parent or student may direct questions or concerns regarding any program or activity that allows a curriculum, testing, or assessment technology provider to access a student's educational data. 

  1. The school district must provide parents and students an opportunity to inspect a complete copy of any contract with a technology provider.
  2. A contract between a technology provider and the school district must include requirements to ensure appropriate security safeguards for educational data. The contract must require that:

 1. the technology provider's employees or contractors have access to educational data only if authorized; and

2. the technology provider's employees or contractors may be authorized to access educational data only if access is necessary to fulfill the official duties of the employee or contractor.

  1. All educational data created, received, maintained, or disseminated by a technology provider pursuant or incidental to a contract with a public educational agency or institution are not the technology provider's property.


  1.  "School-issued device" means hardware or software that the school district, acting independently or with a technology provider, provides to an individual student for that student's dedicated personal use. A school-issued device includes a device issued through a one-to-one program.
  2. Except as provided in section VI paragraph C, the school district or a technology provider must not electronically access or monitor:

1. any location-tracking feature of a school-issued device; 

2. any audio or visual receiving, transmitting, or recording feature of a school-issued device; or

3. student interactions with a school-issued device, including but not limited to keystrokes and web-browsing activity.

  1. The school district or a technology provider may only engage in activities prohibited by section VI paragraph B if:

  2. the activity is limited to a noncommercial educational purpose for instruction, technical support, or exam-proctoring by school district employees, student teachers, staff contracted by the school district, a vendor, or the Minnesota Department of Education, and notice is provided in advance;

  1. the activity is permitted under a judicial warrant;

  2. the school district is notified or becomes aware that the device is missing or stolen;

  3. the activity is necessary to respond to an imminent threat to life or safety and the access is limited to that purpose;

  4. the activity is necessary to comply with federal or state law, including but not limited to Minnesota Statutes section 121A.031; or

  5. the activity is necessary to participate in federal or state funding programs, including but not limited to the E-Rate program.

  1. If the school district or a technology provider interacts with a school-issued device as provided in paragraph C, clause 4, it must, within 72 hours of the access, notify the student to whom the school-issued device was issued or that student's parent and provide a written description of the interaction, including which features of the device were accessed and a description of the threat. This notice is not required at any time when the notice itself would pose an imminent threat to life or safety, but must instead be given within 72 hours after that imminent threat has ceased.  


  1. Stillwater Area Public Schools assigns technology devices to students in order to support their learning and perform standardized assessments. Students are expected to maintain their assigned device and keep it in working order through responsible care and use of the device. 

  2. Guidelines for technology device use

  1. Devices will be assigned in working condition. When a device is damaged, lost, stolen, or is otherwise unusable for its intended educational purposes, it must be reported to the school.

    1. Accidental damage, as determined by The District, will be billed per the Device Fee Schedule found in the Parent Student Handbook.

    2. Intentional damage, as determined by The District, will be billed per the actual cost of repair incurred by The District.

    3. Lost or stolen devices will be assessed and billed per the Device Fee Schedule found in the Parent Student Handbook.

    4. All repairs must be completed by ISD#834 or an agent of ISD#834. Students are not allowed to perform their own repairs.

  2. Student devices must be properly cared for and kept in a secure location. Students are responsible for ensuring that their assigned device is safe from theft and/or damage.

  3. Student assigned devices may only be used by the assigned student or parents of the assigned student.

  4. Students must either keep their device at school in a secure charging location or bring their device each day in a fully charged state.

  5. Students unable to take their assigned device home will be provided with a secure storage location on campus.

  6. Student assigned devices and their use are subject to all district policies, as applicable, regardless of device location.

  7. Student devices may not be used to record others without their permission.

  1. Users exercising their privilege to use the Internet as a resource must take responsibility for their choices in accessing and viewing information, and creating and publishing content. 

  2. Guidelines for Internet and District Technology System Use

  1. It is impossible to assure that District staff can continually monitor each learner; therefore, it is important to emphasize the need for each student’s cooperation to act responsibly.  With Internet access, users join a community of millions of people who share a world of information resources.  Since this community is not ruled by laws in the traditional sense, users of the district technology system and the Internet must abide by the following rules:

  2. Users will be courteous and respectful in their messages to others, using appropriate language.  Language that is knowingly false, defamatory, harassing, assaultive, bullying, discriminatory, obscene, abusive, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, disrespectful, or sexually explicit is prohibited.

  3. Users will not use the District technology system to engage in any illegal act or violate any local, state or federal ordinance or law. 

  4. Users will respect legal protection provided by copyright laws, software licensing and trademarks.  

  5. The District-provided Internet access will not be used for conducting business, for unauthorized commercial purposes, or for financial gain unrelated to the mission of the school district, nor will it be used for political fundraising and lobbying, or religious proselytizing. 

  6. Users are prohibited from attempting unauthorized access to the District technology system, attempting to log in through another person’s account, or using computer accounts, access codes, or network identification other than those assigned to the user.  Messages and records on the District technology system may not be encrypted without the permission of appropriate school authorities. 

  7. By authorizing use of the District technology system, the District does not relinquish control over materials on the system or contained in files on the system.  Users must be aware that they must expect only limited privacy in the contents of personal files on the District technology system.  The District retains the right at any time to investigate or review the contents of any files and e-mail files.  In addition, data and other materials in files maintained on the District technology system may be subject to review, disclosure or discovery under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13. 

  8. Users will not use the District technology system or Internet to access, review, upload, download, store, print, post, receive, transmit or distribute: 

    1. pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit material or other visual depictions that are harmful to minors; 

    2. materials or information that includes language or images that are inappropriate in or disruptive to the education setting;

    3. materials that use language or images that advocate violence;

    4. materials that may constitute bullying, harassment or discrimination. 

  9. Users will not use the District technology system or Internet to: 

    1. vandalize, damage, or disable property of another person or organization

    2. Degrade or disrupt equipment, software, or system performance by spreading computer viruses or by other means; 

    3. Tamper with, modify or change the District technology system software, hardware, or wiring;

    4. Take any action to violate the District’s technology security system, or use the system in such a way as to disrupt the use of other users.  

  10. Students may use the District technology system for educational purposes consistent with the educational mission of the District.

  11. For their safety, students will not send personal information about self or others, including but not limited to, home or school address, phone or credit card numbers or other personally identifiable information over the Internet. 

  12. Students who inadvertently access unacceptable material or an unacceptable Internet site should immediately report the situation to their classroom teacher or the building principal. 


 A child in a publicly funded preschool or kindergarten program may not use an individual-use screen, such as a tablet, smartphone, or other digital media, without engagement from a teacher or other students. This section does not apply to a child for whom the school has an individualized family service plan, an individualized education program, or a 504 plan in effect.


  1. The proper use of the District technology system and the Internet, and the educational value to be gained from proper Internet use, is the joint responsibility of students, parents/guardians and employees of the District.  Outside of school, parents/guardians are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of the District technology system and of the Internet if the student is accessing the District technology system from home or a remote location. 

  2. Parents/guardians have the right at any time to investigate or review the contents of their child’s files and e-mail files and to request the termination of their child’s individual account at any time. 

  3. Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that their students use all devices responsibly, per this policy. This includes financial responsibility for when a device is damaged, lost, or stolen. Repair or replacement costs will be assessed by The District per the Device Fee Schedule found in the Parent Student Handbook. 


  1. Inappropriate or offensive content distributed electronically or posted to social media, regardless of whether it was done using the district technology system, may be investigated by school and District officials and, if warranted, may result in disciplinary action.  

  2. Students engaging in unacceptable use of the Internet when off school District premises may be in violation of this policy as well as other District policies. If the District receives a report of unacceptable use originating from a non-district technology device or resource, the District may investigate such reports to the best of its ability. Students may be subject to disciplinary action for such conduct.  

  3. An individual investigation or search will be conducted if school authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or District policy or rules.  

  4. Evidence of illegal or prohibited activities may be disclosed to law enforcement authorities and civil or criminal liability under applicable laws may result.  The District will cooperate fully with local, state or federal authorities in any investigation concerning or related to any illegal activities or activities not in compliance with District policies conducted through the District technology system. 

    1. Inappropriate use may result in termination of the student’s access privileges and other consequences as described in the District’s Discipline Policy, including, but not limited to, payments for unauthorized financial obligations, damages or repairs.

    2. Obligation incurred by a student through the Internet is the sole responsibility of the student and/or the student’s parents/guardians.  Inappropriate use may also result in suspension, expulsion or exclusion from school.   

    3. Student use of Internet capabilities in a manner which violates any other school policy or procedure will be subject to additional consequences pursuant to the District and building disciplinary rules. 


  1. Notification of this policy and the requirements herein will be provided to parents/guardians and students as part of the annual district handbook and on the District’s web page. 

  2. User agreement and acceptance of the terms and conditions of this policy will be accomplished through parental/guardian electronic acknowledgement via the District’s online registration process at the beginning of each school year. 

Legal References: Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act
Minn. Stat. § 13.32 (Educational Data) 
Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 (School Student Bullying Policy)
Minn. Stat. §  124D.166 (Limit on Screen Time for Children in Preschool and Kindergarten)
Minn. Stat. § 125B.15 (Internet Access for Students)   
Minn. Stat. § 125B.26 (Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Act)
15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)
17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. (Copyrights)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
47 U.S.C. § 254 (Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 (CIPA))
47 C.F.R. § 54.520 (FCC rules implementing CIPA)
Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist. v. B.L., 594 U.S. ___ , 141 S. Ct. 2038 (2021)
Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969)
United States v. Amer. Library Assoc., 539 U.S. 194 (2003)
Sagehorn v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 728, 122 F.Supp.2d 842 (D. Minn. 2015)
R.S. v. Minnewaska Area Sch. Dist. No. 2149,  894 F.Supp.2d 1128 (D. Minn. 2012)
Tatro v. Univ. of Minnesota, 800 N.W.2d 811 (Minn. App. 2011), aff’d on other grounds 816 N.W.2d 509 (Minn. 2012)
S.J.W. v. Lee’s Summit R-7 Sch. Dist., 696 F.3d 771 (8th Cir. 2012)
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc. v. Camdenton R-III Sch. Dist., 853 F.Supp.2d 888 (W.D. Mo. 2012)
M.T. v. Cent. York Sch. Dist., 937 A.2d 538 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2007)