Acceptable Use Policy

Questions and Comments?

Send feedback and additional questions about the AUP Guidelines to Information Technology Services.

Submit

Acceptable Use Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I do if I am being harassed online by a staff member or adult in the building?

A: Any student who receives an inappropriate electronic communication from a staff member or other adult should:

  • Immediately notify their parent/guardian and principal or school administrator and, if possible, show or provide a copy of the communication to their parent/guardian and also the principal or school administrator; or
  • Call the CPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) at 773-483-7283.

Q: What do I do if I am being harassed online by a fellow CPS student?

A: In the event you are being threatened, harassed or bullied online you should:

  • Immediately notify your principal or school administrator or a trusted adult and, if possible, show or provide a copy of the communication; and/or
  • Call the CPS Student Protections Hotline at 773-535-4400.

Q: Is it okay for students to use CPS’ computers or network to access their personal social media account?

A: Students may friend and/or connect with each other outside of school on personal social media accounts. However, students may not use CPS’ computers or network for non-educational purposes, including access to their personal social media accounts.

Q: I don’t understand why I can’t text my teacher’s cell phone or use a personal social media account to communicate with my teacher. How does this protect me?

A: Student safety is the district’s top priority. Our goal is to ensure that all communications between CPS staff and students occur through CPS systems, including CPS social media, which can be monitored. Communicating through monitored channels provides a measure of protection against potentially inappropriate behavior and ensures student safety.

Q: What happens if I violate the policy?

A: Failure to abide by the Student Acceptable Use Policy may subject a student to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct.

Q: What do I do if I my child is being harassed online by a staff member or adult in a CPS building? 

A: Any student who receives an inappropriate electronic communication from a staff member or other adult should:

  • Immediately notify the principal or school administrator and, if possible, show or provide a copy of the communication; or
  • Call the CPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) at 773-483-7283.

Q: What do I do if my child is being harassed online by a fellow CPS student?

A: In the event your child is being threatened, harassed or bullied online you should:

  • Immediately notify the principal or school administrator and, if possible, show or provide a copy of the communication; or
  • Call the CPS Student Protections Hotline at 773-535-4400.

Q: I am a parent of a CPS student. How do I give permission for my child to receive text alerts from their school?

A: A parent/guardian must provide written permission for their child to receive text alerts. If your school uses a text alert system, you will receive a consent form at the beginning of each school year in which you can authorize your child to receive texts via his/her personal cell phone.  On the consent form you may also request receipt of duplicate notices to your personal cell phone.

Q: I understand CPS policy prohibits my child from texting a school staff member and also prohibits a school staff member from texting my child.  Are there any exceptions to this policy?

A: Yes. There are a few very limited exceptions and in each case the parent/guardian will be asked in advance to consent to the text messaging. The exceptions are:

  1. Pre-Approved Safety Meet-Up Communications with Students in Grades 9-12. Designated school staff may communicate with H.S. students participating in an educational or extra-curricular activity via text messaging for purposes of ensuring student safety, If:
    1. the parent/guardian and principal both provide prior written permission to the text/IM messaging using the CPS consent form, and
    2. all texts must be sent as group texts with the parent/guardian on the text message.

  2. Approved Bulk/Mass Text Notifications and Alerts to Students. Schools may use a CPS-approved bulk text notification system that delivers group text notifications and alerts to a student’s personal cell phone, provided that:
    1. the parent/guardian provides prior written permission for their child to receive the text notifications/alerts; and
    2. the parent/guardian receives the same text notifications/alerts sent to their child when the parent/guardian elects to receive these notifications/alerts.

  3. CPS Programs for Re-Engagement of Out-of-School Youth, Chronic Truants and Students Exiting Juvenile Detention Facilities approved by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO-Approved Re-Engagement Programs). Designated CPS staff members who responsible for student outreach efforts under a CEO-Approved Re-Engagement Program may communicate with students in grades 7-12 via text messaging in accordance with the CEO’s requirements for parent/guardian permission and group texts/messages.

In the event the CEO approves additional programs or circumstances where text messaging between students and staff is approved, you will be notified by the school if your child qualifies to receive these messages and the related requirements.

Q: Who distributes and stores the parent consent forms (to authorize direct texting to students), how long do they need to be kept on file?

A: The school will distribute a parent consent to text form for parent signature. Signed consent forms will be maintained by the school in the student’s cumulative folder. Consent is specific for the particular activity or program noted on the form and is only valid for the school year in which the consent is signed.

Q: What happens if my child violates this policy?

A: Failure to abide by the Student Acceptable Use Policy may subject a student to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct.

Q: How will parents be introduced to these changes?

A: We intend to employ a multichannel campaign to both socialize the effort and solicit parents for their input on the strategy from here. This includes the Acceptable Use Policy website, a Local School Council roadshow, participation in Parent Universities, and the provision of best practices and supporting materials for schools to distribute to parents.

Q: Will schools be provided with a kit or additional information that students can take home in their backpacks?

A: Yes, our intent is to continue to update this Acceptable Use Policy website and provide support materials for Principals to promote parent engagement.

Q: Will CPS be providing recommendations to schools about best practices for teachers introducing these changes to students?

A: We will create a teacher toolkit that will help support the rollout and discussions with students. In addition, ITS will be conducting a webinar series for schools on best practices this fall. Please be on the lookout in the coming weeks for more information.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the policy that will allow me to text message students?

A: Employees who communicate with students electronically must do so using CPS Network systems (e.g. CPS email, CPS Google Classroom, BlackBoard Connect, etc.). There are very few exceptions to this rule that would authorize an employee to text message a student. These limited exceptions are listed below and require prior written parent consent:

  1. Pre-Approved Safety Meet-Up Communications with Students in Grades 9-12. Designated school staff may communicate with H.S. students participating in an educational or extra-curricular activity via text messaging for purposes of ensuring student safety, if:
    1. the parent/guardian and principal both provide prior written permission to the text/IM messaging using the CPS consent form, and
    2. all texts must be sent as group texts with the parent/guardian on the text message and also the employee’s CPS email address for proper retention of communications.

  2. Approved Bulk/Mass Text Notifications and Alerts to Students. Schools may use a CPS-approved bulk text notification system that delivers group text notifications and alerts to a student’s personal cell phone, provided that:
    1. the parent/guardian provides prior written permission for their child to receive the text notifications/alerts; and
    2. the parent/guardian receives the same text notifications/alerts sent to their child when the parent/guardian elects to receive these notifications/alerts

  3. CPS Programs for Re-Engagement of Out-of-School Youth, Chronic Truants and Students Exiting Juvenile Detention Facilities approved by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO-Approved Re-Engagement Programs). CPS staff members who are responsible for student outreach efforts under a CEO-Approved Re-Engagement Program may communicate with students in grades 7-12 via text messaging when in accordance with the CEO’s requirements for parent/guardian permission, and group texts/messages, etc.

If none of these exceptions apply and you feel you have a valid basis for text communications with a student, you must submit a written exception request for CEO approval to aupguidelines@cps.edu.

Q: Who distributes and stores the parent consent forms (to authorize direct texting to students), how long do they need to be kept on file?

A: The school is responsible for distributing the consent form for parent signature when the principal determines that texting with a student is necessary and authorized under the policy. Signed consent forms must be maintained by the school in the student’s cumulative folder. Consent is specific for the particular activity or program noted on the form and is only valid for the school year in which the consent is signed.

Q: Will my school be able to use the messaging tools that we’ve purchased?

A: We will be distributing a survey the week of September 24 that will allow us to catalog the messaging tools schools are using. With the data we gather from the survey, we will be able to conduct an audit to determine if these messaging tools adhere to District security standards.

Q: Will messaging tools that do not pass the audit be taken away from our school? If so, will ITS provide a viable alternative?

A: We are aware that schools have chosen tools with the best interests of their student and parent communities in mind. The intent of the audit is not geared to be punitive but rather to ensure that our staff and students use tools that have been definitively validated as secure and reliable.

Platforms that pass the audit will be noted as ‘Approved’ for use on the Acceptable Platform list made available on the Acceptable Use Policy website ITS will use the approved list to identify opportunities to make the platform available to schools districtwide.

Platforms that fail the audit will be flagged, and ITS will work with the vendor to develop a plan or begin working with the school to transition to an approved platform in the event the vendor cannot remediate. Vendors that are unable or unwilling to implement prescribed security enhancements will be flagged for the Procurement Department.

Q: What do we do if our school is considering purchasing a messaging tool for this upcoming school year?

A: Schools should not purchase new messaging tools of any kind without prior consult with ITS. All solutions must go through an information security vetting process. Contact the IT Service Desk at 773-553-3925 and request an Acceptable Use Policy consult.

Q: What happens if an employee or other adult (vendor, volunteer, etc) authorized to use the network at our school violates the Staff Acceptable Use Policy?

A: Failure to abide by the Acceptable Use Policy may subject an employee or other user to consequences which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Suspension or cancellation of use or access privileges;
  2. Payments for damages or repairs;
  3. Discipline under appropriate district discipline rules, policies, and guidelines, up to and including termination of employment;
  4. Contract penalties in accordance with the contractor/vendor/consultant’s contract with the Board;
  5. Exclusion of an intern, volunteer, or employee of a vendor, consultant, or contractor from serving CPS in any capacity;
  6. Exclusion from Board premises; and
  7. Civil or criminal penalties.

Whenever a violation of this policy results in physical or psychological harm or injury to a student or minor, or the potential thereof, then the district does not hesitate in seeking the most severe discipline and penalties allowed under the law.

Q: The policy states that additional guidance is forthcoming around the use of Board-issued or personal cell phones for Board business. When will this guidance be available?

A: We expect to have guidance available for the use of Board phones for CPS business by October 1, 2018.

Q: May I continue to use my Board-issued and personal cell phone for Board business until the guidance is available?

A: While specific guidance is forthcoming, all staff with Board-issued cell phones are expected to adhere to professional practices and general acceptable uses as outlined in the policy. Staff may use personal phones to access CPS email and approved CPS social media.

Q: Does the AUP affect staff who use personal equipment on the CPS network?

A: Yes. The AUP requires that you communicate using CPS-authorized systems for authorized purposes. Any device, be it CPS or personally owned, is subject to the Acceptable Use Policy if it is on our network.

 

OLD Content

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will ITS/CPS be providing recommendations to principals as to best practice for teachers introducing these changes to students?

A. Yes. Our intent is to create a teacher toolkit that will help support discussions with students. In addition, ITS will be conducting a webinar series for schools the week of Sept 24th.

Q. What do we do if our school is considering purchase of a communications tool for this upcoming school year?

A. Schools should not purchase new communications platforms of any kind without prior consult with ITS. All solutions must go through a information security vetting process. Contact the IT Help Desk at 773-553-3925 and request an Acceptable Use Policy consult.

Q. I am a principal at a CPS school and would like to know when we are going to receive the systems survey that allows us to catalog the platform tools that we have purchased for our location?

A. We expect to distribute the survey the week of September 10th.

Q. What will happen if my school currently uses systems/platforms that are not included in the approved platforms list? Will the tool be taken away from our school if it does not pass the information security audit? If so, will ITS provide a viable alternative?

A. To be clear, we know that schools have innovated in the best interests of their student and parent communities. The new policies provide a framework for building stronger relationships with schools in an effort to inventory and review all of the school-level communications paradigms to ensure they afford the proper data privacy protections. The effort here is not geared to be punitive. Rather we simply want to ensure that our staff and students use tools that have been definitively validated as secure and reliable.

Platforms that pass the audit will be noted as ‘Approved’ for use on the Acceptable Platform list. Longer term, the IT team will use the approved list to potentially identify opportunities to make district-level purchases where we identify that those tools offer vital functionality that our current systems lack. In those cases, ITS will work with the Law Department to establish contract language consistent with currently acceptable CPS platforms to ensure consistency in approach.

Platforms that fail the audit will be flagged, and the IT team will work with the vendor to develop a remediation plan or begin working with the school to transition to an approved platform in the event the vendor cannot remediate in a timely fashion. As well, vendors that are unable or unwilling to remediate will be flagged for Procurement buyers to ensure there is front-line control over subsequent purchasing.

Q. What is involved in the information security audit?

A. The information security audit includes examination of technical and data architecture of the desired solution (particularly if cloud-based), the partner’s perimeter security and related controls, the maturity of the company’s disaster recovery and incident response plan, the level of encryption for data in transit and at rest, and perhaps most important, the existence of a concrete data-sharing agreement that adheres to district standards.

Q. I am a CPS staff member and currently manage a program that relies heavily on text messaging students. How do I request a CEO-authorized exception to the new texting policy?

A. Contact the IT Help Desk at 773-553-3925 and request an Acceptable Use Policy consult. From there, the request will be routed to either the Director of Information Security or Chief Information Officer for vetting and subsequent sign off from the CEO's Office where applicable. Once sanctioned, ITS will update the AUP Guidance website.

Q. The Staff policy states that additional guidance is forthcoming around the use of Board-issued cell phones for Board business.

A. We expect to have guidance available for the use of Board phones for CPS business by October 1, 2018.

Q. May I continue to use my Board-issued phone for Board business until the guidance is available?

A. While specific guidance is forthcoming, all staff with CPS-owned phones are expected to adhere to professional practices and general acceptable uses as outlined in the policy.

Q. What happens if I violate the Acceptable Use Policy?

A. The district believes that technology devices, internet, and data systems, when used appropriately, provide a critical part of the district’s mission of educating all students. When these same technology devices, internet, and data systems are used inappropriately, however, harm to the district, users and students may result. Further, when personal devices, social media, and other online tools and sites are used inappropriately, harm to the district, users and students may result. Accordingly, any user that violates this policy shall be subject to consequences which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Suspension or cancellation of use or access privileges;
  • Payments for damages or repairs;
  • Discipline under appropriate district discipline rules, policies, and guidelines, up to and including termination of employment;
  • Contract penalties in accordance with the contractor/vendor/consultant’s contract with the Board;
  • Exclusion of an intern, volunteer, or employee of a vendor, consultant, or contractor from serving CPS in any capacity;
  • Exclusion from Board premises; and
  • Civil or criminal penalties.

Whenever a violation of this policy results in physical or psychological harm or injury to a student or minor, or the potential thereof, then the district shall not hesitate in seeking the most severe discipline and penalties allowed under the law. Use of the CPS network and computer resources is a privilege, not a right. By using CPS technology systems and devices, the user agrees to follow all CPS regulations, policies and guidelines. Abuse of these privileges may result in one or more of the following consequences set forth above.

Q. Is it okay for one student to friend another student on a personal social media account?

A. The current policy does not prohibit students friending each other on personal social media accounts. The policy does, however, outline that the CPS network should not be used for any non-educational purposes. Any account maintenance or use of a personal social media account should not occur in the classroom.

Q. I don’t understand why I can’t text my teacher’s cell phone or use a personal social media account to communicate with my teacher’s personal social media account. How does this protect me?

A. Our goal is to ensure that all communications between CPS staff and students are through monitored and supported channels. This provides a measure of protection against potential inappropriate behavior. Additionally, the larger Acceptable Use Policy platform review process will provide a layer of protection by ensuring that the platforms currently in use adhere to our information security standards. That said, students may use CPS social media to communicate with CPS staff members or other adults who work in a school.

Q. What do I do if I am being harassed online by a staff member or adult in the building?

A. Any student who receives a communication from a staff member or other adult who works in a school via the student’s mobile device, personal email, personal social media or non-CPS social media, or is asked to provide contact information for this purpose (except when authorized above) should:

  • Immediately notify their parent/guardian and principal or school administrator;
  • Show or provide a copy of the communication to their parent/guardian and also the principal or school administrator;
  • Call the CPS Student Protections Hotline at 773-535-4400.

Q. What do I do if I am being harassed online by a fellow CPS student?

A. In the event you are being harassed, bullied, or just have general questions on enhanced student protections, call the CPS Student Protections Hotline at 773-535-4400.

Q. What happens if I violate the policy?

A. Failure to abide by the Acceptable Use Policy may subject a student to discipline in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Q. I am not an employee, but I manage a program that relies upon text and social media communications with CPS students. How am I affected by this policy?

A. These policies regulate practices for CPS staff. While the policies do not prescribe rules of engagement for non-CPS employees that may work with our students, we minimally expect that you will limit those communications to content that is pertinent to the administration of said program.

Q. How will parents be introduced to these changes?

A. We intend to employ a multichannel campaign to both socialize the effort and solicit parents for their input on the strategy from here. This includes the Acceptable Use Policy website, a Local School Council roadshow, participation in Parent Universities, and through the provision of best practices and supporting materials for schools to distribute to parents.

Q. Will the schools be provided with a kit or additional information that students can take home in their backpacks?

A. Yes, our intent is to continue to update this site and provide support materials for Principals to promote parent engagement.

Q. I am a parent of a CPS student. How do I obtain the consent form referred to in the policy?

A. An updated consent form will be made available on this website by August 31, 2018.

Q. Do these policies apply to magnet and charter school staff and students?

A. CPS magnet schools are subject to the policy. Charter schools are exempt from CPS policies. There is nothing in the Charter School Agreement that states Charter staff who receive access to CPS resources are subject to the CPS Acceptable Use Policy.

Q. Will CPS ever allow students and staff to bring their own devices?

A. CPS is actively exploring Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for the district technology roadmap. At this juncture, we are in a discovery phase and expect to have more definitive information on timelines and an implementation model before the end of the SY18-19 school year.

Q. If I bring my personally owned device to school for use, does the Acceptable Use Policy still apply?

A. Yes, absolutely. Any machine, be it CPS or personally owned, is subject to the Acceptable Use Policy if it is on our network.

SAMPLE - Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question not answered here? Send your questions or comments.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Donec ac odio tempor orci dapibus ultrices. Donec ultrices tincidunt arcu non sodales neque. Purus in mollis nunc sed id semper risus in. Quam nulla porttitor massa id neque aliquam vestibulum. Feugiat in ante metus dictum at tempor commodo ullamcorper.

 

Q: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam risus mi, finibus eget pharetra eget, ultrices sed tellus.

A: Ut tincidunt augue lorem, sed semper mauris aliquet vel. Proin enim orci, gravida quis fermentum maximus, placerat a est. In vel interdum libero. Etiam ac varius lectus, vel placerat felis. Nulla placerat libero non turpis faucibus mattis. Curabitur fermentum facilisis varius.


Q: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam risus mi, finibus eget pharetra eget, ultrices sed tellus.

A: Ut tincidunt augue lorem, sed semper mauris aliquet vel. Proin enim orci, gravida quis fermentum maximus, placerat a est. In vel interdum libero. Etiam ac varius lectus, vel placerat felis. Nulla placerat libero non turpis faucibus mattis. Curabitur fermentum facilisis varius.


Q: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam risus mi, finibus eget pharetra eget, ultrices sed tellus.

A: Ut tincidunt augue lorem, sed semper mauris aliquet vel. Proin enim orci, gravida quis fermentum maximus, placerat a est. In vel interdum libero. Etiam ac varius lectus, vel placerat felis. Nulla placerat libero non turpis faucibus mattis. Curabitur fermentum facilisis varius.


 

View FAQs

HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS? Submit your questions and comments.

 

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, September 26, 2018