Technology Acceptable Use Policy

Introduction to the Technology & Laptop Program

Today’s careers in science, technology, engineering and math, require students and professionals with 21st century technology skills and experience. At SciTech, we are committed to providing extensive and equitable access to computers and technology. Students at SciTech build skills and learn to use technology as a tool to achieve their dreams and aid in discovery and design.

Students and parents/guardians are responsible to know and follow the policies, procedures, and information in this document and the District Acceptable Use of Technology Policies. Furthermore, teachers may set additional requirements for the use of technology in their classrooms.

Student Understandings & Expectations

  1. Laptops are property of Pittsburgh Public School District. Use of a school-issued laptop is a privilege, not a right.
  2. SciTech reserves the right to repossess laptops or any technology or equipment that belongs to Pittsburgh Public School District.
  3. Students are responsible for the care of the laptop at all times.
  4. SciTech reserves the right to log network and internet use, to monitor files backed up on Moodle, computer, or network spaces, to restrict access to external network sites, and to monitor email and Moodle usage, while respecting the privacy rights of the school’s users.
  5. A comprehensive warranty covers most accidental damage (but not loss, theft, or intentional damage). Note that even if damage is covered under warranty, students who misuse laptop or who act negligently will be subject to consequences and financial responsibility.
  6. Students in the grades 6– 8 are not permitted to take their school issued laptops home, under any circumstances.
  7. Students in grades 9– 12 are responsible to bring their laptop computers to school each day, with batteries fully charged. Students are permitted to bring their chargers to school if needed.
  8. Loaner laptop priority is given to students in grades 9- 12.
  9. Network accounts should only be used by the authorized owner of the account and for its authorized educational purpose. Students are not permitted to provide their login information to another student.
  10. Students should check their email at minimum once per day. The primary purpose of the student email system is for students to communicate with school staff, outside resources related to school assignments and fellow students to collaborate on school activities. School email must only be used for school-related purposes and no-school emails are not to be used on the school laptop.
  11. Students are not permitted to take apart, remove or repair any part of a laptop regardless if they know how to.
  12. Students should not delete or tamper with files not created or owned by the student.
  13. Students should back up work daily.


Unacceptable Use of Technology

Students must comply with all rules, regulations and policies outlined in the District’s Acceptable Use Technology Policies as well as this addendum. All policies in the District Acceptable Use of Technology Policies also apply to students’ laptop computer and Internet usage, regardless of whether students use school laptops or technology at home, school, or elsewhere.

The Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy declares unethical and unacceptable behavior just cause for taking disciplinary action, revoking network privileges, and/or initiating legal action for the following:

  1. Using technology for non-school related purposes
  2. Using technology for non-classroom related purposes
  3. Using or mishandling another students laptop
  4. Playing games on the laptop
  5. Laptop not being transported in a laptop-approved bag or separate compartment
  6. Installing, streaming, downloading, and/or using in any capacity, unauthorized or illegal software (ex. games, music, computer programs, file converters, internet browsers, remote desktop connections, torrent browsers, etc.)
  7. Leaving laptop unattended in school or out of school
  8. Taking laptop home (middle school)
  9. Allowing another person to use your laptop, including parents and family members
  10. Severe negligence with care, safety or respect for technology
  11. Using private/personal email
  12. Instant messaging (Oovoo, AIM, Skype, MSN Messenger, Gmail Chat or anything similar)
  13. Visiting social networking websites (ex. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, Google +, YouTube or anything similar)
  14. Vandalism, which includes but is not limited to any attempt to “hack” into the school’s network, any malicious attempt to harm or destroy any data, hardware, or software, including the uploading or creation of a computer virus
  15. Using the network for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes, or in support of such activities
  16. Intentionally disrupting network traffic, which attempts to crash or interrupt the network
  17. Using the District computing resources for commercial or financial gain or fraud
  18. Stealing data, equipment, or intellectual property
  19. Gaining unauthorized access of others’ files, accounts (ex. Moodle, Google Apps for Ed, etc.), and/or vandalizing the data of another user
  20. Invading the privacy of others
  21. Use of inappropriate language or profanity on the network
  22. Pornographic content
  23. Use of the network to submit, publish or display defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive or illegal material

Screening software is used to monitor network and Internet use. Access or attempted access to inappropriate or restricted files or Internet sites may result in loss of technology use.

Specific restrictions on laptops, technology, the Internet, and the network at school are discussed in the Pittsburgh Public School District Acceptable Use of Technology Policies.


Consequences for violation of any policies outlined in this document or the Districts Acceptable Use of Technology Policies may include but are not limited to:

  • Multiple day infraction- at minimum 2 days, written reflection, call home (level 2 and above)
  • Re-imaging machine (this will delete all files on the hard drive)
  • After-School Detention
  • Suspension or revocation of computer access
  • Suspension or revocation of network privileges
  • School Suspension
  • Financial responsibility for replacing damaged software and/or hardware
  • Legal action and prosecution by the proper authorities

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

  • Students and a parent/guardian must attend the laptop program orientation meeting.
  • Parents/Guardians will be responsible for monitoring student use of the laptop at home or away from school.
  • Parents/Guardians are asked to monitor Internet activity while student is away from school.
  • Parents/Guardians will be responsible for reviewing the Acceptable Use Policy with their student(s).

Caring for Your Laptop

  • Always transport your laptop in an approved bag with a padded section designed for laptops.

Laptop Screen

  • Never lift the computer by the laptop screen
  • Do not place anything near the laptop, on the laptop or in the carrying case
  • Do not touch or poke the screen
  • NEVER leave an object on the laptop’s keyboard as the object—such as a pencil or pen, it may crack the screen when the laptop is closed
  • Clean the screen only with a soft, dry cloth or an anti-static cloth. Using other cleaning products, like Windex, alcohol, or even water, may damage the screen.

Charging Batteries
At Home

  • Establish a routine where you leave your computer turned off and charging overnight.
  • Place the computer on a safe, dry, flat surface near a wall outlet in order to charge it.
  • Make sure that the cord is not in a place where you or someone else will trip over it when they walk by.

At School

  • Students are urged to label their charger and power chords with some type of adhesive label, however, they are not permitted to engrave anything.
  • Spare laptop chargers and batteries are NOT available for loan so students must be sure they have them if needed.

Power Tips

  • Run all batteries until the “Low Battery” warning comes on to ensure best battery life.
  • Students may not be able to plug in their laptops at school because not all classrooms have easily accessible outlets.
  • Laptops should be put to sleep or in hibernation when not in use in order to conserve battery life.
  • Power down laptops at the end of each day.

General Information

Equipment Evaluation
Each laptop will be inspected periodically to verify its condition and compliance with SciTech policy. Laptops may be re-imaged if the user has violated SciTech policy, and re-imaging fees may be assessed. SciTech is not responsible for the loss of any data due to re-imaging or re-formatting.

Technical Support
SciTech provides on-site technical support to our students. If students have any questions or need to contact they can see the IT Specialist at the designated time for their grade level.

Substitution of Equipment
If a laptop is inoperable, SciTech has a limited number of spare laptops for use while the laptop is being repaired or replaced. All policies and regulations in this addendum apply to substitute laptops, although a substitute laptop is not guaranteed.


What You Should Know About Laptop Loss, Theft, & Damage

Students are responsible for ensuring that laptops are kept safe and secure at all times. If a student believes a laptop has been stolen, the student and the student’s parent/guardian must immediately file a report with Pittsburgh Public School Police and request a copy of the written incident report filed by the law enforcement officer. As soon as possible after filing the report with the police, the student must provide a copy of the police report to the SciTech main office.

SciTech will investigate all incidents of laptops reported as lost and may refer such incidents to Pittsburgh School Police. Any theft, conspiracy to steal, or unauthorized sale of or conspiracy to sell a SciTech-owned laptop will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

If a laptop is destroyed or damaged and it is not deemed unintentional, students will be responsible for paying for damages or to replace the laptop. If the student refuses to pay the financial obligation, the student will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Judgments against students will be determined in a court of law and may include liability for cost of repairs or replacement of damaged school property.

SciTech reserves the right to decline to issue a replacement laptop if it determines, in its sole discretion, that the risk of loss or damage to the replacement laptop is unacceptable.

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