Acceptable Use Policy
This page provides a brief overview of the CPS Acceptable Use Policy for staff and defines the appropriate channels and platforms for staff or adults who work in schools to communicate with students and parents.
Staff Acceptable Use Policy, August 28, 2019
Staff to Student Mobile Device Communications
- Email to a student’s CPS email account
- Messaging through CPS Group Messaging App (e.g., CPS Google Hangouts) - as long as staff is messaging from an employee CPS account or sanctioned system to a student CPS account
Acceptable but with conditions
- Schools may utilize a bulk text notification system that delivers group text notifications and alerts to a student’s personal cell phone, provided that:
- The notification system is authorized by the CIO or designee upon information security compliance review;
- The parent/guardian provides prior written permission for their child to receive the text notifications/alerts; and
- The parent/guardian receives the same notifications as sent to the child when the parent/guardian elects to receive such messaging
- Staff are prohibited from communicating with a student via:
- A student’s mobile device through channels not listed as "Acceptable" above, whether phone, text or IM
- A student’s personal email account (communications to the student’s CPS email account is permitted)
Exceptions to Policy
Approved staff, defined as school counselors, school-based social workers or psychologists and CPS staff in the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising (OSCPA) and Office of Social-Emotional Learning (OSEL), may communicate directly with students for well-being check-ins via Google Hangouts Meet following this protocol:
- Staff must create a Google Calendar invitation on their CPS calendar, ensuring that conferencing (i.e., Hangouts Meet) is not added to the invitation.
- At the time of the meeting, staff must create a Google Meet short link to start the meeting and invite the student to join. The short link to the Meet may be sent to the student via their CPS email address, Chat, Classroom or Calendar.
- Students may join via video conferencing or dial-in phone number. *Instructions for creating a Google Meet are available here.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) students’ summative oral exams may be scheduled and taken via a Google Meet video conference. The student, Teacher and IB Coordinator must join a Google Meet video conference and record the student’s presentation.
Staff may communicate with high school students via text or instant messaging when necessitated by a field trip, educational or extracurricular activity for the purpose of ensuring student safety AND:
- The parent/guardian and Principal both provide prior written permission to the text communications using the CPS form established for such purpose.
- Communications are sent as group messages with the parent/guardian on the communication.
Staff to Staff Mobile Device Communication
- Phone calls
- Emails (from CPS email account to CPS email account)
- CPS group messaging App (e.g., CPS Google Hangouts)
Staff must properly retain text and call records generated while using a mobile device for business purposes and comply with the Board’s business and student records retention policies established to comply with the Illinois Local Records Act.
Staff Policy on Unacceptable Use
Chicago Public Schools provides access to technology devices, internet, data and network systems to employees and other authorized users for educational and business purposes. Users shall not use the CPS Network or Computer Resources including access to the internet, intranet, collaboration tools, bulk communication tools, social media or email to use, upload, post, mail, display, store, or otherwise transmit in any manner, any content, communication or information that, among other unacceptable uses:
- Is hateful, harassing, threatening, libelous or defamatory;
- Is offensive or discriminatory to persons based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental illness or disability, marital status, economic status, immigration status, religion, personal appearance or other visible characteristics;
- Constitutes or furthers any criminal offense, or gives rise to civil liability, under any applicable law, including, without limitation, U.S. export control laws or U.S. patent, trademark or copyright laws;
- Constitutes use for, or in support of, any obscene or pornographic purpose including, but not limited to, the transmitting, retrieving or viewing of any profane, obscene, or sexually explicit material;
- Constitutes use for soliciting or distributing information with the intent to incite violence, cause personal harm or bodily injury, or to harass, threaten or stalk another individual;
- Contains a virus, trojan horse, ransomware or other harmful component or malicious code;
- Constitutes junk mail, phishing, spam, or unauthorized broadcast email;
- Violates the security of any other computer or network or constitutes unauthorized access or attempts to circumvent any security measures;
- Obtains access to another User’s CPS Network account, files or data, or modifies their files, data or passwords;
- Impersonates any person living or dead, organization, business, or other entity;
- Degrades the performance of, causes a security risk or otherwise threatens the integrity or efficient operation of, the CPS Network or Computer Resources;
- Deprives an authorized User of access to CPS Network or Computer Resources;
- Obtains Computer Resources or CPS Network access beyond those authorized;
- Engages in unauthorized or unlawful entry into a CPS Network system;
- Discloses Board trade secrets, or confidential or proprietary information, including student record information, without authorization or without proper security measures;
- Discloses personally identifiable student information, videos and photographs without authorization or without proper security measures;
- Shares confidential information about students or CPS personnel in a manner that violates state law, federal law, Board rule, policy or guideline;
- Shares CPS email addresses or distribution lists for uses that violate this policy or any other Board policy;
- Enables or constitutes wagering or gambling of any kind;
- Accesses, distributes, downloads or uses games except when an assigned educational or training activity;
- Promotes or participates in any way in unauthorized raffles or fundraisers;
- Promotes or participates in any way in partisan political activities;
- Promotes or participates in any way in internal political or election activities related to a union or other organization representing employees;
- Engages in private business, commercial or other activities for personal financial gain;
- Distributes unauthorized information regarding other User’s passwords or security systems;
- Transmits Personally Identifiable Information without appropriate security safeguards;
- Falsifies, tampers with or makes unauthorized changes, additions or deletions to data located on the CPS Network or school systems;
- Accesses or uses data located on a CPS Network for personal uses;
- Promotes or participates in any activity or relationship with a student that is not related to academics or school-sponsored extracurricular activities, unless authorized in advance in writing by the principal and the student’s parent/guardian;
- Installs, downloads or uses unauthorized or unlicensed software or third party system;
- Constitutes use that disrupts the proper and orderly operation of a school or office;
- Engages in hacking (intentionally gaining access by illegal means or without authorization) into the CPS Network to access unauthorized information, or to otherwise circumvent information security systems;
- Engages in inappropriate sexual conduct, including unwelcomed sexual contact, indecent exposure, transmitting sexually suggestive images, or other sexual activities;
- Downloads unauthorized games, programs, files, electronic media, and/or stand-alone applications from the internet that may cause a threat to the CPS Network;
- Violates federal or state law or any Board rules, policies, standards or guidelines regarding the protection of employee or student privacy or the confidentiality of employee or student records; or
- Violates any prohibition noted in this policy or any other Board policy.