Acceptable Use Policy

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.

It is envisaged that the school will revise the AUP annually. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

This version of the AUP was created on 08/12/2016

By: Catherine Coady, Joe Lennon, Alice Manning and Emma Dowling.

School’s Strategy

The school employs a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:

General

• Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
• Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
• The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
• Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.
• Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
• Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
• The use of, memory sticks, CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.
• Students will treat others with respect at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

World Wide Web

• Students will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
• Students will pupils report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.
• Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
• Students will not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (plagiarism and copyright infringement).
• Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
• Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
• Students will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.

Video Sharing Sites

• Use of video sharing websites, such as www.youtube.com, is permitted by our Schools broadband provider. Each browser (internet explorer) must have the safety mode turned on to ensure safe use of the website.
• Teachers must be aware of the content of a video before it is used in the classroom.
• Children are not permitted to access the above named websites unless under direct supervision of a teacher.

Email

• Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
• Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
• Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
• Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.
• Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
• Internet Chat
• Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums, messaging or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.
• Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.
• Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
• Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden.

School Website

• Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to the school’s website
• The website will be regularly checked by staff to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
• Website using facilities such as guest books, noticeboards or weblogs will be checked frequently to ensure that they do not contain personal details?
• The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.
• Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.
• The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual students will not be published on the school website with out the parental permission. Video clips may be password protected.
• Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
• The school website will avoid publishing the first name and last name of individuals in a photograph.
• The school will ensure that the image files are appropriately named – will not use pupils’ names in image file names or ALT tags if published on the web.
• Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Personal Devices

Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages, or the unauthorized taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.

Legislation

The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:
• Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
• Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
• Interception Act 1993
• Video Recordings Act 1989
• The Data Protection Act 1988

Support Structures

The school will inform students and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.

Sanctions

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

St. John's National School © 2020

Hi everyone,

Hopefully by now we are settling into a routine and the children are engaging in online learning. The teachers are working very hard to ensure that things go smoothly but please remember, there is no pressure on anyone at this very difficult time. The important thing is that we all remain safe and healthy and happy.

I have attached a letter for your perusal from the Minister of Education. In it she talks about what you should expect from online learning. Hopefully everyone is happy with the level of work and contact your child has with their class teacher but remember you can always contact the teacher directly at their email address or, myself at principal@stjohnsns.ie.

 

Stay safe and take care

Kind regards

 

12 January 2021

 

Parents of students receiving remote learning

 

Dear Parent/Guardian

 

I hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well at this difficult time.

 

As you know, from yesterday Monday 11 January, schools will be closed to students and all students at primary and post-primary level will now move to a programme of remote learning.

 

While NPHET is of the view that schools remain safe environments, the decision to close schools was taken in order to minimise mobility of the entire population and to support the suppression of the Covid-19 virus in the community. This will allow everyone to reduce their contacts, with a view to reducing the spread of the virus and a swift return to school for all.

 

Remote Learning during this period

 

Following the initial period of school closure last year, the Department has engaged with the education partners to revise remote teaching and learning guidance. This was agreed with all stakeholders last year and guidance for primary and post-primary schools was subsequently published online in October and December 2020 respectively.

 

As such, during this time, all teachers, including special education teachers (SETs), are required to continue to support teaching and learning for all pupils/students in their class/subject group or on their caseload.

 

Schools have been advised of the need to ensure appropriate provision and support for pupils/students during this time. Every school has been advised of the need to develop a contingency plan for remote learning that is appropriate to children’s different ages and stages, and has been provided with guidance on best practice. The guidance provided to schools notes that it is crucially important that the learning of all pupils/students, especially those with special educational needs and those at risk of educational disadvantage and/or early school leaving, are supported at this time. These guidelines are listed at the end of this letter.

 

Schools have been provided with funding as part of the Digital Strategy for Schools. In 2020 funding totaling €100m in 2020 was provided to schools and schools have been advised to prioritise supporting the purchase of devices for students who may not have access to devices for remote learning. The School Support services that are funded by the Department have developed a suite of materials to assist teachers in using an online platform to support teaching, learning and assessment. Furthermore, there is a range of supports available to schools from the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Junior Cycle for Teachers, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscoilaíochta, National Educational Psychological Service, Education Centres and the Centre for School Leadership.

 

There has been an excellent take up by teachers throughout the country of training and supports provided in this area, and I know that schools will do their utmost in these difficult circumstances to provide the best possible experience for students. Schools will contact parents directly with their plans and arrangements for remote learning.

 

The Inspectorate of the Department will continue to offer an advisory service to schools to support the delivery of remote learning and to provide assistance to school leaders in particular. The Inspectorate will also evaluate and report on the quality of educational provision for students at this time.

 

Returning to in-person learning for all schools

The Department is conscious that closing schools has hugely adverse consequences at individual, family and societal level. For children, it impacts on wellbeing, learning, on social and emotional development.

 

School closure has significant impacts on children with special educational needs. School closure also heightens student anxiety, particularly for the Leaving Certificate cohort, in relation to state examinations.

 

The Government decision included provision that in-person learning would be maintained for two specific cohorts from Monday 11, pupils/ students attending special schools and classes and final year Leaving Certificate students. Despite the confirmation by Public Health that schools remain safe, unfortunately it has not proved possible to get agreement to provide in-person learning for these two groups. In these circumstance there is no alternative but to pause the limited reopening and continue engagement with partners. I will keep parents of these students updated on this engagement.

 

The latest public health advice received by Government is available here. It clearly outlines that schools are safe environments, and that the protective measures and the considerable supports put in place to support schools have been successful.

 

Where there have been cases in schools, the enhanced school teams put in place by Public Health and the Department have worked effectively to support schools, and the level of transmission in schools has been low. Because of this, we continue to aim to return all students to in-person learning as soon as it is possible to do so.

 

 

 

Supports and wellbeing

It is important that students experience continuity of learning during this period to the extent that is possible for your family, bearing in mind your child’s age and stage. Research conducted in Ireland concluded that while online learning worked for some students during the period of school closure, it did not replicate the in-school learning experience – this was also the experience internationally.

 

We all know that it can be difficult to achieve maximum interaction with remote learning, with many competing demands and restrictions. The best advice is that you provide the support that is possible for your family to your child and that you prioritise your child’s and your own wellbeing, balancing that with supporting learning, during this period.

 

Links to some supports available are provided below.

 

I wish you and your family all the very best at this time, and hope to communicate soon with you on a safe return to in-person learning for all.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

______________________________

Norma Foley TD

Minister for Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information on guidance provided to schools on remote learning

 

The guidance provided to schools that it is crucially important that the learning of all pupils/students, especially those with special educational needs and those at risk of educational disadvantage and/or early school leaving, are supported at this time, and sets out the following requirements:

 

Further details are available here:

Circular 0074/2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wellbeing

The wellbeing of all children and families is important, and the National Educational Psychological Service has a range of supports available on gov.ie/schools in the parents section which you may find useful. This material is being updated regularly so please check back: Gov.ie/schools/wellbeing.