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New Derry school computer policy targets substitutes

Union Leader Correspondent

August 23. 2013 9:19PM

DERRY — Substitute teachers for the first time will be required to sign an acceptable use policy for computers in the school district.

At its next school board meeting on Aug. 27, the board is expected to approve a new acceptable use computer policy for staff members in the district.

For the most part, the policy will not differ much from the current rules outlining the use of technology and computers by staff members, said board member Dan McKenna.

“There were a few changes, especially as the technology for the Internet continues to change, and there are so many websites that have social media components,” said McKenna.

Although the policy will be in the draft stage when school begins, the board did agree to pass the proposed policy along to staff in anticipation of the Aug. 27 vote.

The major area of change in the policy will be its inclusion of substitute teachers, said Superintendent Laura Nelson.

“Substitute teachers will sign this when they begin working with us and adhere to the policy,” said Nelson.

In the past, substitute teachers did not have access to the district computer system, but with the increasing use of technology for everything from taking attendance to checking lesson plans, Nelson said the access is now needed.

“Especially in the middle schools, you are looking at students who are changing classes and they have to take attendance throughout the day,” said Nelson. “For those who substitute frequently, it hinders them not to have access to computers during the day. Our expectation is that they will abide by the appropriate use policy as well.”

In addition to the acceptable use policy for staff, the board also approved a revised computer use policy for students that will be in effect when school begins.

In addition to addressing the use of school computers, the policy also addresses the use of personal devices on school property.

Nelson said the policy aligns with the school’s cyberbullying policy.

“If (computer use) breaches into the school day and interrupts it, it becomes a school issue for discipline,” she said.

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