4.3 Internet Safety
Acceptable Computer System Use Policy & Regulations
Bath County Public Schools has adopted the most recent Acceptable Computer System Use policy recommended by the Virginia School Board Association, including provisions for Internet Safety & Copyright compliance. Students, parents and instructional staff are provided copies of these policies and regulations, and are required to sign an acceptance statement in order to use division technology resources. As a reminder, the student login desktop background image at all schools includes a statement that the division Acceptable Computer System Use policy applies to that use of the technology resources. Past violations of the policies & regulations by students and staff have resulted in consequences ranging from warnings to suspension (students) and dismissal (staff).
Internet Safety Program
Bath County Public Schools has taken a number of measures to ensure the safety of all pupils who utilize internet resources.
- Student computer use is physically monitored by the staff member directly supervising the student(s).
- School staff teach—and remind—students good ways to find information on the internet, how to protect themselves from online predators, and to respect copyright issues. Students are also advised to be mindful of “cyber bullying” that has become a national concern. Internet safety instruction has the most relevence to students when informed teachers integrate the topics into everyday instruction as opportunities present themselves.
- The BCPS Internet Safety website provides a number of important resources for students, parents and teachers.
- The division is implementing the I-Safe program and other third-party internet safety resources, with permission/endorsement from the local school board. Further I-Safe implementation details follow.
Bath County Public Schools was introduced to the I-Safe program several years ago when two staff members attended a brief workshop on the program, and then followed with certification. They began implementation of the program at that time, and now others have participated in I-Safe training/implementation.
The division’s primary plan for K-12 implementation of internet safety/copyright instruction is through the ongoing technology integration initiative. Teachers are provided information on the topics during class sessions, and then incorporate the information into classroom lessons throughout the year. Internet safety & copyright instruction/materials provided to teachers include division-specific, I-Safe and other third party information.
Division technology staff continue to adjust the technology integration initiative—including the internet safety/copyright component each year, as needs of teachers and students change, and as new information/materials become available.
Student Internet Safety Programs have (and will continue to be) presented to parents at each of the division schools.
Bath County Public Schools utilizes a content filter for all student and teacher web browsing. The current Barracuda Web Content Filtering System was installed in May 2009, replacing the outdated Symantec Web Security software that had been in place for a number of years. The new system is doing a much better job blocking problem websites, including blocking selective advertisements within websites, and is also performing well blocking anonymous proxy sites that exist to thwart web content filtering.