State law requires districts to adopt Internet use policies or to provide instruction on safe Internet use.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-1. General.
1.1. Scope. -- This legislative rule establishes the educational purpose and acceptable use of electronic resources, technologies and the Internet. This policy applies to all West Virginia school districts. Districts include county boards of education, the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, the Office of Diversion and Transition Programs, and any other schools under the supervision of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). The guidelines set forth in this policy apply to any individual using a state, district, or school provided electronic device or network, regardless of whether the individual is on or off of state, district, or school property and regardless of whether the activity takes place during the individual's normal work hours.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-10. Web Publishing.
10.1. The WVDE recommends that each district and/or school adopt local policies that are consistent with, but not limited to, the following web publishing guidelines: 10.1.a. Appropriate permission must be obtained for student web pages published within the West Virginia public K-12 intranet and from a public K-12 site to the Internet. 10.1.b. Helping a community organization develop a web site could be a learning experience/project for students. However, housing a community web site on a school/district server will take K-12 bandwidth and may violate E-rate or other regulations. 10.2. Web site content should: 10.2.a. be appropriate, in good taste, and not harmful to any individual or group. 10.2.b. be grammatically correct, accurately spelled, and have a pleasing appearance. 10.2.c. follow FERPA, state, district, and school regulations when using student pictures and names. Parental permission should be obtained, and districts/schools must respect parental refusals. Internet guidelines stress the importance of not publishing personally identifiable information of students. 10.2.d. comply with WVBE policies and regulations. 10.2.e. include information such as an e-mail address of the responsible contact person, copyright, and the last date updated. 10.2.f. remain current, be accurate, and incorporate easy and user-friendly navigation through the site. 10.2.g. restrict business/commercial links or the acknowledgment of a business on a school/district web site to business partners and/or materials that are educational, provide technical support, or are germane to the educational mission of the school/district. Advertising commercial offerings is prohibited. 10.2.h. comply with copyright, intellectual property, state, and federal statutes(specifically COPPA and CIPA) and international law. 10.2.i. include the permission granted statement for all copyrighted materials. 10.2.j. complies with all W3C and ADA Standard. 10.3. Consult the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for additional web publishing Standard including accessibility guidelines.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-11. Implementation.
11.1. County Boards of Education:
- 11.1.a. County boards of education will ensure implementation of this policy by adopting their own county/school policies regarding acceptable use of electronic resources, technologies and the Internet. 11.2. WVDE:
- 11.2.a. The WVDE shall provide technical assistance to support RESAs, counties, and schools in developing and implementing local use policies. RESAs may also provide professional development support to counties and schools in addressing acceptable use.
- 11.2.b. The WVDE shall assist counties and schools with revisions of the Five-Year Online Strategic Plans associated with technology implementation and the West Virginia State Technology Plan.
[Historical. Effective through 7/1/2018.]
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-2. Purpose.
2.1. Policy 2460 sets forth regulations that apply to districts, schools, students, educators, other school personnel, parents, guardians, WVDE and other users having direct contact with students. 2.2. These regulations will assist implementation of policies at the state, district, and school levels to meet local, state and federal statutes and regulations pertaining to safe and acceptable use of the Internet, various digital resources and technologies, compliance with E-rate guidelines, and reinforcement of copyright compliance.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-2. Purpose.
- 2.1. Policy 2460 sets out regulations that apply to districts (counties), schools, students, educators, other school personnel, parents, guardians, county boards of education, Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs), West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and other users.
- 2.2. These regulations will assist implementation of policies at the state, RESA, district, and school levels to meet local, state and federal statutes and regulations pertaining to safe and acceptable use of the Internet, various digital resources and technologies, compliance with E-rate guidelines, and reinforcement of copyright compliance.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-3. Educational Purposes.
3.1. An effective public education system develops students who are globally aware, engaged with their communities, and capable of managing their lives and careers to succeed in a digital world. 3.2. Students of all ages and educators as lifelong learners require the necessary skills and access to technology tools to take responsibility for their own learning, to be actively involved in critical thinking and problem solving, to collaborate, cooperate, and to be productive citizens. West Virginia students must become proficient in college- and career-readiness Standard to succeed and prosper in life, in school, and on the job. 3.3. Technology must be interwoven with educational improvements and personalized learning to accomplish educational goals, increase student achievement and educator efficacy, and provide increased opportunities for lifelong learning. 3.4. To promote student learning, teachers must be equipped to fully integrate technology to transform instructional practice and to support student acquisition of technology skills necessary to succeed, to continue learning throughout their lifetimes, and to attain self-sufficiency. 3.5. The state, districts, and schools will use electronic resources as a powerful and compelling means for students to learn core and elective subjects and applied skills in relevant and rigorous ways to advance learning as referenced in W. Va. Code § 18-2e-7, W. Va. 126CSR44N, WVBE Policy 2520.14, West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standard for Technology and Computer Science (Policy 2520.14), W. Va. 126CSR42, WVBE Policy 2510, Assuring the Quality of Education: Regulations for Education Programs, and W. Va. 126CSR44A et seq., WVBE Policy 2520 series. 3.6. Learning powered by technology should enable students to achieve at higher academic levels, master digital content and technologies, access and manage information, communicate effectively, think critically, solve problems, work productively as individuals and collaboratively as part of a team, acquire new knowledge, access online assessment systems, and demonstrate personal accountability, productivity, and other self-directional skills. 3.7. The use of instructional technology should provide greater student access to advanced and additional curricular offerings including quality virtual courses and online educational tools and resources. 3.8. Teachers should integrate high quality digital content and assessment resources with curriculum to personalize learning. 3.9. Technology will enable educators to participate in online professional development, access digital resources and platforms, utilize educational data, and deliver instruction through blended learning and other virtual options. The acceptable use of digital resources and devices is necessary to support a personalized learning landscape and other district and state educational policies. 3.10. The promotion of acceptable use in instruction and educational activities is intended to both provide a safe digital environment, and meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines and E-rate audits. 3.11. Districts should adopt local policies which outline consequences for violation of safety and acceptable use in alignment with federal and state laws, state and district policies, specifically W. Va. 126CSR99, WVBE Policy 4373, Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools (Policy 4373).
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-4. Digital Citizenship.
4.1. The appropriate use of technology and digital resources promotes positive and effective digital citizenship among students and staff. Digital citizenship represents more than technology literacy. Successful, technologically fluent digital citizens live safely and civilly in an increasingly digital world and use technology responsibly. They recognize that information posted on the Internet is public and permanent and can have a long-term impact on an individual's life and career. 4.2. All users need to be part of this digital citizenry to appropriately and safely learn, work, play, and live in today's global society. 4.3. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) includes Standard and provides guidance related to digital citizenship for students, teachers, administrators, instructional coaches and computer science educators. 4.4. Digital/Network Code of Conduct: 4.4.a. Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of digital/network etiquette. These include, but are not limited to, the following: 4.4.a.1. Be polite. Do not write or send abusive messages to others. 4.4.a.2. Use proper English and appropriate language; avoid “Netspeak.” Do not swear; do not use vulgarities or other inappropriate language. 4.4.a.3. Use extreme caution when revealing personal information, including a home address and phone number, on web sites, videos, social media, other digital communication platforms, e-mail, or as content on any other electronic medium. 4.4.a.4. Do not reveal, on any electronic medium, personal information about another individual. 4.4.a.5. Do not use the Internet in a way that would disrupt the use of the Internet by others. 4.4.a.6. Electronic educational material containing confidential student information shall be stored only in secure locations consistent with federal, state, and local privacy regulations. Electronic educational material containing no confidential student information, including but not limited to, lesson plans, worksheets, primary source documents, and other materials used for instruction, may be stored in appropriate locations but should follow state/district guidelines. 4.4.a.7. Educators electing to use third party classroom based applications should carefully review the terms of service and privacy policies prior to use for those applications to ensure consistency with best practice. For use of applications with students younger than 13 years of age, recommended best practice is to obtain parental consent prior to use and/or entering any student data. All use of third party applications must be consistent with local policy/guidelines, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) FERPA), W. Va. Code § 18-2-5h, and W. Va. 126SR94, WVBE Policy 4350, Procedures for the Collection, Maintenance and Disclosure of Student Data (Policy 4350). 4.4.a.8. Activate the appropriate automatic reply message if account is to be unused for an extended period of time. 4.4.a.9. Appropriate permission shall be obtained prior to publishing student pictures or names on class, school, or district web sites or other publications, provided that such information is not designated as directory information under district policy. All releases of information designated as directory information under district policy must comply with parental opt-out provisions as described in the FERPA and WVBE Policy 4350. 4.4.a.10. Notify the appropriate school authority of any dangerous or inappropriate information or messages encountered. 4.5. Digital Security: 4.5.a. Users who identify a security problem on the system must notify a system administrator. Users who are aware of or suspect that confidential information may have been exposed to unauthorized parties must notify district and/or state officials responsible for implementing privacy incident response protocol consistent with federal and state regulations including, but not limited to, Policy 4350 and the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act, W. Va. Code § 18-2-5h. 4.5.b. Users must not demonstrate security problems to users other than school, district and/or state officials responsible for implementing the privacy incident response protocol. 4.5.c. Users must not use another individual's account or give their passwords to others. Unauthorized attempts to log into the system as a system administrator may result in revocation of user privileges based on state, district, or school policies. 4.5.d. Any user identified as a security risk may be denied access by the appropriate disciplinary authority. 4.5.e. The WVDE is the proprietor of a class B license of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. These addresses include 168.216.000.001 through 184.108.40.206. All addresses are assigned, maintained and managed by the WVDE. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-5. Accountability and Responsibility.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-6. Use of Electronic Resources, Technology and the Internet.
6.1. Overview of Use: 6.1.a. Unauthorized or unacceptable use of the Internet or any safety violations as part of an educational program by students, educators or staff may result in suspension or revocation of such use. 6.1.b. Each student who will access the Internet will be provided acceptable use training and shall have an acceptable use form, signed by a parent or legal guardian, on file at the county/school. 6.1.c. The WVDE provides the network system, e-mail accounts and Internet access as tools for education and administration in support of the WVBE's mission, including student mastery of rigorous subject matter content and acquisition of global skills. Therefore, users should have no expectation of privacy; and the WVDE reserves the right to monitor, inspect, investigate, copy, review and store, without prior notice, information about the content and usage of: 6.l.c.1. The network and system files; 6.l.c.2. User files and disk space utilization; 6.l.c.3. User applications and bandwidth utilization; 6.l.c.4. User document files, folders and electronic communications; 6.l.c.5. E-mail; 6.l.c.6. Internet access; and 6.l.c.7. Any and all information transmitted or received in connection with networks, e-mail use and web-based tools. 6.1.d. No student or staff user should have any expectation of privacy when using the district's network. The WVDE reserves the right to disclose any electronic message, files, media, etc., to law enforcement officials or third parties as appropriate. 6.1.e. No temporary accounts will be issued, nor will a student use an Internet account not specifically created for him or her that allows anonymous posting. Based upon the acceptable use and safety guidelines outlined in this document, WVDE, State Superintendent of Schools and provider(s) system administrators will determine what appropriate use is, and their decision is final. 6.1.f. The system administrator and/or local teachers may deny users access for inappropriate use. Additionally, violation of use policies could result in loss of access, personal payment of fees incurred, employment discipline, licensure revocation and/or prosecution. Other violations may also be found in Policy 4373. 6.1.g. The WVDE's administrative information systems, including the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS), are to be used exclusively for the business of the respective state, district (county) and school organizations. All information system data are records of the respective organizations. The WVDE reserves the right to access and disclose all data sent over its information systems for any purposes. All staff must maintain the confidentiality of student data in accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). 6.1.h. For reasons of privacy, employees may not attempt to gain access to another employee's files in the WVDE's information systems. However, the WVDE reserves the right to enter an employee's information system files whenever there is a business need to do so. 6.1.i. Any of these guidelines are to be cognizant of and superseded by FERPA and other appropriate federal and state laws. 6.2. Acceptable Use: 6.2.a. The use of the electronic resources, technologies and the Internet must be in support of education and consistent with the educational goals, objectives and priorities of the WVBE. Use of other networks or computing resources must comply with the rules appropriate for that network and for copyright compliance. Users must also be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the network provider(s) serving West Virginia counties and schools. 6.2.b. The use of telecommunications and/or access to the Internet is an extension of the students' responsibility in the classroom and must follow all federal and state laws as well as state and local policies. 6.2.c. State, district and school-owned technology is to be used to enhance learning and teaching as well as improve the operation of the district and school. 6.2.d. Safety measures must be enforced to carry out policies at the state, RESA, county, and school to implement the intent of CIPA, COPPA, E-rate guidelines, FERPA, and any other applicable state and federal Statuteand policy. (See also Policy 4373 and W. Va. Code §18-2C-2.) 6.2.e. Acceptable network use by students and staff includes the following: 6.2.e.1. Creation of files, projects, videos, web pages and podcasts using network resources in support of student personalized academic learning and educational administration; 6.2.e.2. Appropriate participation in school-sponsored blogs, wikis, web 2.0+ tools, social networking sites and online groups; 6.2.e.3. With parental permission, the online publication of original educational material, curriculum related materials and student work. Sources outside the classroom or school must be cited appropriately; 6.2.e.4. Staff use of the network for incidental personal use in accordance with all district/school policies and guidelines. 6.2.f. At no time should a student be given administrative responsibilities for a server with a wide area network or Internet connection. 6.3. Unacceptable Use: 6.3.a. Inappropriate use or transmission of any material in violation of any U.S. or state law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material, threatening, abusive, or obscene material, or material protected by trade secrets. 6.3.b. Use for commercial activities by for-profit institutions is not acceptable. 6.3.c. Use for product advertisement or political lobbying is also prohibited. 6.3.d. Illegal activities and privacy and safety violations of COPPA, CIPA and FERPA are strictly prohibited. 6.3.e. Specific examples of unacceptable and/or unauthorized use include, but are not limited to: 6.3.e.1. Viewing, creating, accessing, uploading, downloading, storing, sending, or distributing obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material. 6.3.e.2. Downloading, uploading and/or executing viruses, worms, Trojan horses, time bombs, bots, malware, spyware, SPAM, etc., and changes to tools used to filter content or monitor hardware and software. 6.3.e.3. Using e-mail and other electronic user IDs/passwords other than one's own. Passwords are the first level of security for a user account. E-mail and system logins and accounts are to be used only by the authorized owner of the account, for authorized purposes. Students and staff are responsible for all activity on their account and must not share their account IDs and passwords. 6.3.e.4. Illegally accessing or attempting to access another person's data or personal system files or unauthorized access to other state/district/school computers, networks and information systems. 6.3.e.5. Supplying your password and user information to any electronic request or sharing them with others via any other communications. 6.3.e.6. Storing passwords in a file without encryption. 6.3.e.7. Using the "remember password" feature of Internet browsers and e-mail clients. 6.3.e.8. Leaving the computer without locking the screen or logging off. 6.3.e.9. Corrupting, destroying, deleting, or manipulating system data with malicious intent. 6.3.e.10. Requesting that inappropriate material be transferred. 6.3.e.11. Violating safety and/or security measures when using e-mail, chat rooms, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, Web 2.0 tools and other forms of electronic communications. 6.3.e.12. Hacking, cracking, vandalizing or any other unlawful online activities. 6.3.e.13. Disclosing, using, or disseminating personal information regarding students. 6.3.e.14. Cyber bullying, hate mail, defamation, harassment of any kind, discriminatory jokes and remarks and other unauthorized uses as referenced in WVBE policies or other policies and laws. 6.3.e.15. Personal gain, commercial solicitation and compensation of any kind. 6.3.e.16. Any activity which results in liability or cost incurred by the district. 6.3.e.17. Downloading, installing and/or executing non-educational gaming, audio files, video files or other applications (including shareware or freeware) without permission or approval. 6.3.e.18. Support or opposition for ballot measures, candidates and any other political activity. 6.3.e.19. Information posted, sent or stored online that could endanger others (e.g., bomb construction, drug manufacture, etc.). 6.3.e.20. Plagiarism or reproducing/repurposing audio/video without permission/consent. 6.3.e.21. Attaching unauthorized equipment to the district or school networks. Any such equipment may be confiscated and turned over to law enforcement officers for a potential violation of W. Va. Code §61-3C-5, Unauthorized Access To Computer Services. 6.3.e.22. Attaching unauthorized equipment or making unauthorized changes to the state backbone network. Unauthorized equipment may be confiscated and may turned over to law enforcement officers for a potential violation of W. Va. Code § 61-3C-5, Unauthorized Access To Computer Services. Only WVDE network personnel may authorize changes which affect the state backbone network. 6.3.e.23. Vandalizing technology equipment or data. Vandalism is defined as any attempt to harm or destroy data of another user or to intentionally damage equipment or any connections that are part of the Internet. This includes, but is not limited to, uploading, downloading or creating computer viruses. Vandalism will result in revocation of user privileges. 6.3.e.24. Uses related to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to authorities.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-7. Network.
7.6. Schools must enforce the use of the filtering or electronic technical protection measures during any use of the network and computers/devices to access the Internet.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-41-8. Filtering.
8.1. Appropriate filtering must be maintained to meet E-rate guidelines. Because filtering software is not 100% effective, every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the network and Internet and avoid objectionable sites. 8.2. Any attempts to defeat or bypass the state's Internet filter or conceal Internet activity are prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, proxies, https, special ports, modifications to browser settings, and any other techniques designed to evade filtering or enable inappropriate content. 8.3. E-mail inconsistent with the educational missions of the state, district, or school will be considered SPAM and blocked from entering e-mail boxes. 8.4. Appropriate adult supervision of Internet use must be provided. The first line of defense in controlling access by students to inappropriate material on the Internet is deliberate and consistent monitoring of student access and use of equipment. 8.5. Staff must make a reasonable effort to become familiar with the Internet and to monitor, instruct, and assist effectively in filtering and acceptable use issues.
West Virginia Administrative Code 126-42-7. County Board of Education Responsibilities.
7.3. The county board of education shall ensure that each school has: 7.3.p. a school technology team that collaborates with the school strategic planning committee to develop a comprehensive technology plan that includes Policy 2460.
West Virginia Code 18-2E-12. Mountain State Digital Literacy Project.
(a) Beginning for the school year 2020-2021, the state board shall implement a pilot project, hereby designated the Mountain State Digital Literacy Project. The state board shall determine the number of schools eligible to participate in the pilot project and may adjust that number on a yearly basis. The state board shall select the schools to participate in the project, but selected schools shall possess varying geographic and demographic characteristics and serve students in grades K-8. (b) Subject to legislative appropriation for this purpose, schools participating in the project shall be provided with instructional resources for students and teachers that feature an extensive curriculum related to digital literacy, online assessment preparation, and internet safety. Administrators and teachers at the participating schools shall be provided access to online digital literacy related professional development and support. (c) The project shall be designed and implemented to compliment and build upon the digital literacy Standard and assessments established pursuant to §18-2-12, §18-2E-5(c)(16), and §18-2E-5(d)(5) of this code. (d) The state board may contract with a third-party to facilitate the project. Any such third-party shall satisfy the following qualifications: (1) Possesses demonstratable experience facilitating similar digital literacy initiatives with public school systems; (2) Provides extensive digital literacy content over the internet that may be adapted to age or grade specific users and assessment tools, and integrates with widely used platforms; and (3) Provides digital literacy-related professional development and support resources for administrators and teachers. (e) On or before January 1, 2020, the state board shall submit to the Governor and the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability a report that provides information on the development, structure, and fiscal estimate of the Mountain State Digital Literacy Project. (f) On or before January 1, 2025, the state board shall submit to the Governor and the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability an evaluation of the pilot project’s impact on the performance and progress of students at the participating schools. The evaluation shall include a recommendation for pilot project continuation, expansion or termination and, if recommended for continuation or expansion, any recommendations for program modifications and utilization of the successful participating schools as demonstration sites to facilitate program expansion.