Acceptable Use Agreement

Dauphin County Technical School

Acceptable Use Agreement

Printable PDF

General Information

The Dauphin County Technical School, more commonly known as DCTS, provides Technology Resources, including but not limited to, computer equipment, computer services, and Internet access to its students and staff for educational purposes only. The DCTS network is available for use by staff and students of the DCTS in order to provide them with equal access to the
computing resources which serve public education. Students having authorization to use the network will have access to a variety of information sources. This agreement is in effect whether the Technology Resource is connected to the DCTS network or in use outside the network. The procedures and guidelines described in this agreement apply to all users of a DCTS Technology Resource, wherever they may be located. Violations will be taken very seriously and may result in disciplinary action and may include civil and criminal liability. Students must use DCTS’ Technology Resources responsibly, ethically, and lawfully.


DCTS has established procedures to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which mandates that:

  • All computers incorporate technology to protect students from obscene material, child pornography, and other harmful material while on the DCTS network.
  • All student online activity is monitored on and off-campus.
  • Dauphin County Technical School establishes an online safety policy.

DCTS will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response. DCTS will maintain technology protection measures such as filtering software, to limit access to prohibited material. While DCTS uses Internet content filters, any filtering of information should not be considered all-inclusive. DCTS cannot prevent the possibility that some users may access material that is not consistent with the educational mission, goals, and policies of the DCTS. This is particularly possible since access to the Internet may be obtained at sites other than school or on devices outside the authority of the school. DCTS reserves the right to limit the content of material students access due to legitimate pedagogical, safety, and system integrity concerns.

Disclaimer of Liability

Although DCTS uses filtering software, all parties must be aware that filters are imperfect. Material that should not be accessible sometimes enters, and material that should not be blocked at times is blocked. Students who inadvertently access inappropriate material must notify the supervising teacher so that the websites can be blocked and to avoid any problems if the access is detected during the monitoring process.

Students who are blocked from accessing sites that are erroneously blocked can request that the site be unblocked. Students can process the request through the teachers for whom they are doing work. Teachers may request the unblocking of a site through DCTS’ web helpdesk system.

These guidelines are provided so staff, community, student users, and the parents/guardians of students are aware of their responsibilities. DCTS may modify these rules when it feels changes need to be made. These modifications will be posted on the DCTS webpage,, and will be included in notifications to the parents. The signatures collected on the DCTS Technology, Parent Acknowledgement form will be used to indicate that the parties who signed have read the terms and conditions carefully, understand their significance, and agree to abide by the established rules.

DCTS is not responsible for material viewed or downloaded by users from the Internet. The Internet is a worldwide network of computers that contains millions of pages of information. Students are cautioned that many of these pages may include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. In general, it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the Internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to receipts of unsolicited and/or offensive content. If such content is accessed or received users agree to make a report to their teacher who should then report it to the Technology Coordinator or a school administrator.

The student agrees not to publish on or over DCTS Technology Resources any information, which violates or infringes upon the rights of any other person or any information, which would be abusive, profane, or sexually offensive to an average person. The student agrees not to use the facilities and capabilities of the system to conduct any business or solicit the performance of any activity that is prohibited by law.

No Expectation of Privacy

Students and their parents understand that the computers and computer accounts given to students are to assist them achieve their educational goals. DCTS and the system administrators have no control over content. DCTS will provide student access to Internet resources only in supervised environments and has taken steps to prevent access to objectionable areas, but potential dangers remain. Students and their parents/guardians are advised that some sites may contain objectionable or illegal material. DCTS and the system administrators do not condone the use of such materials and do not permit usage of such materials in the school environment. Students who knowingly bring such materials into the school environment or onto DCTS Technology Resources will be dealt with according to the discipline policies of the school, and such activities may result in termination of such students’ accounts on the network. Students have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on DCTS Technology Resources. The Technology Resources belong to DCTS and may be used only for educational purposes.

DCTS has the right, but not the duty, to monitor any and all aspects of its Technology Resources, including, but not limited to, monitoring sites visited by students on the Internet, monitoring chat groups and newsgroups, reviewing material downloaded or uploaded by students to the Internet, and reviewing communications and/or e-mail sent and received by students.

Students should never consider electronic communications to be either private or secure. E-mail may be stored indefinitely on any number of computers, including that of the recipients. Copies of your messages may be forwarded to others either electronically or on paper. In addition, email sent to nonexistent or incorrect usernames may be delivered to persons that you never intended.

Students expressly waive any right of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on the DCTS Technology Resources. Students consent to allowing the system administrator to
access and review all materials they create, store, send, or receive on the DCTS Technology Resources. Students understand that DCTS may use human or automated means to monitor use of its Technology Resources.

Online Conduct

The student agrees not to publish on or over the DCTS Technology Resources any information, which violates or infringes upon the rights of any other person or any information, which would be abusive, profane or sexually offensive to an average person. The student agrees not to use the facilities and capabilities of the system to conduct any business or solicit the performance of any activity that is prohibited by law. Transmission of material, information, or software in violation of any local, state, or federal laws is prohibited and is a breach of this agreement. Students and their parents/guardians specifically agree to indemnify DCTS and the system administrators for any losses, costs, or damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by DCTS relating to or arising out of any breach of this section (Online Conduct) by the user.

Any action by a member of the school community that constitutes inappropriate use of DCTS Technology Resources or to improperly restrict other members from using those resources is strictly prohibited and may result in appropriate action in compliance with the DCTS Student Code of Conduct and the Prohibited Conduct section of this document.


Software (including apps) is provided to students as an educational resource. No student may install, update, enable or download software without the expressed consent of the Technology department. Any software having the purpose of damaging other members’ accounts of DCTS (e.g., computer viruses, malware, and adware) is specifically prohibited. The system administrators, at their sole discretion, reserve the right to refuse posting of files and to remove files. The system administrators, at their sole discretion, further reserve the right to immediately terminate the account or take other action consistent with the DCTS Student Code of Conduct and the Prohibited Conduct section of this document of a member who misuses the software libraries.


Under the provisions of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), all commercial websites must obtain prior consent before children under the age of 13 are permitted to share any personal information about themselves, or are permitted to use any interactive communication technologies where they would be able to share personal information with others. This includes chat rooms, e-mail, instant messaging, personal profiles, personal websites, registration forms, and mailing lists. Although school sites are exempt and may provide these interactive forums for students, we cannot allow students under 13 years of age to visit outside sites without parental consent. Both students in this age group and their teachers will be educated as to the provisions of the law and our AUP.

COPPA and Parents

COPPA requires expressed parental permission to access any websites that can, or are able to, collect information via interactive components, before allowing children under the age of 13 to access its site. It must secure this permission regardless of whether information is collected. Simply having the ability to collect the information requires the parental permission for access. (Consent forms sent by parents/guardians via e-mail are not sufficient as parental permission.)

DCTS is aware of the provisions of and educates its staff and affected students about their rights and responsibilities. Students under the age of 13 visiting such sites without permission or direction will be in violation of this agreement.

COPPA and Students

Students under the age of 13 may not visit any websites capable of collecting personal information unless it is for curricular reasons and is under the direction or supervision of a teaching staff member of DCTS. By signing this document, you, as the parent/guardian, are granting permission for your child under the age of 13 to access such sites as part of the curricular activities of the school.

Safety and Privacy

Students are reminded to follow safe Internet communications practices outlined below:

  • Never provide anyone with personal information about you especially: your password, your full name, your address, your phone number, your age, your school name or your parents’ name or their work address.
  • Never post your password or usernames where it is visible or easily found by others.
  • Never meet anyone in person whom you have met online.
  • Remember never to write any personal things about yourself in your online profile(s).
  • Be civil and polite online.
  • If people are conducting themselves poorly online, leave and report the conduct to a teacher or a school administrator.
  • Report any activity that makes you uncomfortable or if someone sends you an inappropriate e-mail.
  • Remember that you need to know with whom you are talking or working online.
  • Never allow unauthorized users to access your account or use your school-issued computer.
  • Always log off or lock your computer when it is not in use.
  • Always log off of applications and e-mail before leaving a computer.
  • Never use or attempt to use another user’s network account.
  • Network administrators may review files and communications in order to maintain system integrity. Users should not expect that files or information stored or transmitted through the school servers to be private.

Electronic Mail

Electronic mail (“e-mail”) is an electronic message sent by or to a member in correspondence with another person having Internet mail access. Messages received by the system are retained on the system until deleted by the recipient or until they reach the expiration date set by the system administrator.

A canceled DCTS account will not retain its mail. Members are expected to remove old messages in a timely fashion. The system administrators may remove such messages if not attended to regularly by the member.

The Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) mandates that student online activity is monitored. All e-mail accounts are monitored and usage reports are generated. The contents of messages will not be provided to anyone other than the sender or an intended recipient without the consent of the sender or the intended recipients, unless required to do so by law or policies of DCTS or to investigate complaints regarding mail that may be in violation of this agreement.

It is a violation of this agreement to send mail that is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually-oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or otherwise illegal. Anyone receiving such mail should refer it to the proper authorities for investigation. DCTS reserves the right to cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to any mail transmitted on the DCTS network.

DCTS will provide e-mail accounts to all staff and students who require them for curricular or professional purposes. These accounts are for educational use only. Business, personal entertainment, or other non-educational use is to be avoided. Student use of outside mail accounts or web-based e-mail is prohibited. Accessing outside or web-based accounts without teacher supervision and permission is a violation of this agreement.

Real-time, Interactive Communication Areas

The printing facilities of DCTS should be used judiciously. Students who print more than their allowed number of prints, as established by the Administration, will be financially responsible for excess usage. Unnecessary printing is a drain of the capacity of the network, adds expense, and shortens the life of equipment. By developing on-screen proofreading skills and practicing proper use of cut and paste techniques, users will conserve printing resources.


The DCTS may reveal a staff member’s or student’s name or photograph unless the staff or student has opted out via a media release opt-out form. No confidential information concerning staff and students shall be transmitted or shared. All web pages created by staff and students will be subject to treatment as DCTS sponsored publications. Accordingly, DCTS reserves the right to exercise editorial control over such publications.


Student use of DCTS Technology Resources is a privilege, not a right. System administrators can review e-mail, file folders, and communications to maintain system integrity and insure that users are using the system responsibly. Students possess no privacy expectation in the contents of their personal files and communications on the DCTS systems. Inappropriate use will result in the cancellation of privileges and disciplinary action. Each student who receives an account will take part in an online course pertaining to the proper use of Technology Resources. The system administrators and building administrators will deem what is appropriate use and may close an account at any time as required. The administration, faculty, and staff of DCTS may request the system administrators to deny, revoke, or suspend specific user accounts.


Some links in the DCTS website will allow users to leave the site. The linked sites are not under the control of DCTS, and DCTS is not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites. DCTS is providing these links only as a convenience, and the inclusions of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by DCTS.


Due to the vast amount of information available on the Internet and from computer resources, plagiarism has become a growing concern. Plagiarism is an act of stealing and then passing off another’s ideas, words, writings, etc. as one’s own. Students must give credit to other authors or persons or sources if they are going to use their work or ideas. Plagiarism is considered cheating. If a student’s work is considered to be plagiarized, the student will receive the consequences in accordance with school policies and procedures. If the plagiarized work is related to Internet access, the student will be at risk of losing privileges to the network. Proper citation of images and pictures and proper credit must be given to documents cited from the Internet as used in student work.

Prohibited Conduct

Students are expected to act in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner in accordance with the DCTS Student Code of Conduct, and federal and state law.

Inappropriate or unlawful material that is fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, profane, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful or inappropriate may not be sent by e-mail or other form of electronic communication (such as bulletin board systems, newsgroups, chat groups, social media) or displayed on or stored in DCTS Technology Resources. Users encountering or receiving this kind of material should immediately report the incident to a teacher or a school administrator.

DCTS Technology Resources may not be used for dissemination or storage of commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, destructive programs (that is, viruses, malware, adware or self-replicating code), political material, or any other unauthorized use.

Students may not deliberately perform acts that waste DCTS Technology Resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include but are not limited to, sending mass mailings, phishing e-mail or chain letters, spending excessive amounts of time on the Internet, playing games, engaging in online chat groups, printing excessively, or otherwise creating unnecessary network traffic. Because game, audio, video, and picture files require significant storage space, files of this sort may not be downloaded unless they are related to curriculum.

In order to protect our networks and data from unauthorized access, students may not access the DCTS network through a public, non-secure WIFI hotspot nor should students bypass the DCTS network to access unauthorized networks or content. This includes connecting a school issued computer to a personal hotspot.

Without prior authorization from the Information Technology department, users may not do any of the following: (1) copy software for the use on their home computer; (2) provide copies of software to any third person; (3) install software on any of DCTS’ computers or servers; (4) download any software, including screen savers, from the Internet or other online service to any DCTS Technology Resource (5) modify, revise, transform, recast, or adapt any software, or (6) reverse-engineer, disassemble, or decompile any software. Students who become aware of any misuse of software or violation or copyright law should immediately report the incident to a teacher or a school administrator.

Students may not illegally copy material protected under copyright law or make the material available to others for copying. You are responsible for complying with copyright law and applicable licenses that may apply to software, files, graphics, documents, messages, and other materials you wish to download or copy. You may not agree to a license or download any material without prior consent.

Prohibited conduct also includes, but is not limited to; (1) the use of any DCTS Technology Resources to disrupt the work of others such as, but not limited to, intentionally obtaining or modifying files, passwords, user accounts and/or data belonging to other users (2) permitting another person to use your account “username” and “password (3) the use of any DCTS Technology Resource to make unauthorized purchases of products and/or services inconsistent with current DCTS purchasing policies and procedures (4) the use of any DCTS Technology Resource for non-school related work including, but not limited to non-school related fund-raising, political campaigning and/or lobbying (5) use of any DCTS Technology Resource for hate mail, discriminatory remarks and false or defamatory material about a person or group (6) display or generate images, sounds or messages (on screen, computers or printers) which could create an atmosphere of discomfort, intimidation or harassment to others (7) violate privacy, not limited to, revealing personal information about others.


The consequences for inappropriate use and/or violation of this agreement include, but are not limited to:

  1. The user shall be financially responsible for all costs associated with damage to DCTS Technology Resources resulting from deliberate or willful acts.
  2. The user will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution for vandalism of DCTS Technology Resources; intentional deletion or damage to files or data belonging to DCTS or others; copyright infringement; or theft of services, etc…
  3. Access privileges may be suspended for a specific period of time, including permanently, as determined by the Director and/or his/her designee.
  4. Students may be suspended or expelled, including permanently
  5. Use of the DCTS Technology Resources to communicate information constituting “Improper Conduct,” in addition to the foregoing, may be addressed by the victim’s filing a complaint under the Student Complaint Process.