Google Workspaces Parent Letter
Bradley County Schools (BCS) utilizes several computer software applications and web-based services, operated not by this district, but by third parties. In order for BCS to continue to be able to provide students with the most effective web-based tools and applications for learning, BCS will be utilizing Google Workspaces (formally G Suite for Education). This innovative tool will promote the intention of extending education into a digitally connected world.
Google Workspaces (formally G Suite for Education), includes free, web-based programs like document creation tools, shared calendars, and collaboration tools. This service is available through an agreement between Google and Bradley County Schools. These specially designed education versions of Google applications do not collect data on users. Your child’s teachers may use Google Workspaces for lessons, assignments, and communication. Google Workspaces is available anywhere with Internet access. School staff will monitor student use of Google Workspaces when students are at school. Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of Google Workspaces outside of school. Students are responsible for their own behavior at all times. Click here to learn more about Google Workspaces
Acceptable Use (Privacy and Safety)
Google Workspaces is for educational use. Students may use them for personal use, but they will be subject to the restrictions below and additional school rules and policies that may apply. School staff and administration have access to view student activity in Google Workspaces.
Loss of Privileges
The use of technology is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use may result in a loss of those privileges. In cases of inappropriate use, school and BCS staff will decide what consequences are appropriate. Students can lose privileges, such as their network accounts, at any time for inappropriate use. Some examples are unlawful activities, commercial purposes (running a business or trying to make money) or personal financial gain (running a website to sell things), inappropriate sexual or other offensive content, threatening another person, misrepresentation of BCS staff, or students.
As a best digital citizenship practice, students should not post personal contact information about themselves or other people, including last names, addresses, and phone numbers. Content created by students may be shared with their peers who are also using Google Workspaces (in addition to their teachers and BCS administration). Students may also choose to share documents with parents or other family members outside of school for academic reasons. Students are responsible for the use of their individual accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account. Under no conditions should a user provide his or her password to others.
Access to Google Workspaces is considered a privilege accorded at the discretion of the district. The district maintains the right to immediately withdraw the access and use of Google Workspaces when there is a reason to believe that violations of law or district policies have occurred. In such cases, the alleged violation will be referred to the principal for further investigation and account restoration, suspension, or termination. As part of the agreement with Google, the school also reserves the right to immediately suspend any user's account suspected of inappropriate use. Pending review, a user account may be terminated as part of such action.
What rules and practices are in place to keep students safe?
Email messages sent from students using the provided email system are required to adhere to strict District policies. Students in K-5 can only send/receive emails from other BCS accounts. All email account users should be aware of the following: Bradley County Schools monitors all inbound and outbound emails for viruses, profanity, offensive language, racism and sexual comments, virus hoaxes, chain-mail, and known spam mailers. You should assume that your BCS Google Workspaces account has no expectation of privacy. Bradley County Schools reserves the right to intercept, store, archive, delete, or view such emails for security purposes; and, where necessary, investigate inappropriate subject matter by the parties involved.
Student expectations include, but are not limited to the following:
■ Students will use this email account for the purpose outlined in the course expectations.
■ Students will exhibit respect and courtesy at all times when using their email account.
■ Students will understand that this email account can and will be monitored for inappropriate usage.
■ Students will NOT use this email to sign up for other online accounts unless permission is granted by the teacher or parent.
■ Students will not use this email account to send or receive derogatory subject matter.
Any violation of the Acceptable Use Agreement will result in disciplinary action based on the policies of the school and district. These supplement the school district’s Policy for Acceptable Use of Technology Resources as stated in each school’s student handbooks. Students under age 13 ordinarily need parent permission to have email accounts. However, COPPA (Child Online Privacy Protection Act) allows schools to act as the parent's’ agent and approve G Suite for Education accounts on their behalf.
Below are some links to the sites that govern the district’s privacy measures as they pertain to your child’s information:
Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires the school to have filters in place to protect students from harmful materials, including the obscene.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) - Applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children the under the age of 13. Google advertising is turned off for G Suite for Education users. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. COPPA allows the school to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within the school context. The school’s use of student information is solely for educational purposes.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - FERPA protects the privacy of student educational records and gives parents rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (name, phone, address, grade level, etc.), but parents may request that the school not disclose this information. The School will not publish confidential educational records for public viewing on the internet. Parents may request that names and general directory information about their children not be published. The school is allowed under FERPA to publish student work and photos for public viewing, but will not publish students’ last names or other personally identifiable information. Parents have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child’s G Suite for Education files.
What if I have more questions?
We want you to be involved with your child’s education. We encourage you to log into G Suite for Education with your student to see what it’s all about! If you wish to discuss how G Suite for Education is used at our schools, please contact Scott Webb, Instructional Technology Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (423) 476-0620.