GAT Staff Use of Communication Devices (See IIBG and IIBGC)
The board encourages district employees to use technology, including communication devices, to improve efficiency and safety. The district expects all employees to use communication devices in a responsible manner that does not interfere with the employee's job duties. Employees who violate district policies and procedures governing the use of communication devices may be disciplined, up to and including termination, and may be prohibited from possessing or using communication devices while at work. Communication devices may not be used in any manner that would violate the district's policy on student-staff relations.
Communication device is defined to include all portable devices that send or receive calls or text messages, allow the retrieval of e-mail, or provide access to the Internet. Communication devices shall include, but may not be limited to cell phones, smart phones, iPads, and tablets.
Use/Using for the purposes of this policy mean answering the phone or talking on the phone; sending or responding to a text, e-mail or other communication; opening and viewing pictures or digital recordings; opening and listening to music or audio communications; continuously checking a communication device; or any activity with a communication device that interferes with the employee’s job duties or appropriate supervision of students.
The district prohibits employees from using any communication device that interrupts or disrupts the performance of duties by the employee or otherwise interferes with district operations, as determined by the employee's supervisor. This prohibition applies regardless of whether the communication device used is owned by the employee or provided by the district. Employees are responsible for keeping communication devices secure and, if possible, password protected.
Supervision of students is a priority in the district, and employees who are responsible for supervising students must concentrate on that task at all times employees shall not use communication devices when they are responsible for supervising students unless any of the following conditions occurs:
- The device is being used to instruct the students being supervised at the time;
- The use is necessary to the performance of an employment-related duty;
- The employee has received specific and direct permission from a supervisor; or
- There is an emergency.
Even when these conditions exist, the employee is responsible for obtaining assistance in adequately supervising students during the approved use so that students are supervised at all times.
Use in Vehicles
Regardless of other provisions of this policy, unless there is an emergency, employees shall not use communication devices when:
- driving district-provided vehicles;
- operating a vehicle in which a student is being transported when the transportation is provided as part of the employee's job; or
- supervising students who are entering or exiting a vehicle, crossing thoroughfares or otherwise safely reaching their destinations.
Even in emergency situations, employees should first take all possible safety precautions before using communication devices.
Use of District-Provided Communication Devices
The district may provide communication devices and service to some employees to assist them in carrying out their employment-related duties on and off district property. Use of a district-provided communication device is a privilege. The superintendent or designee has sole discretion as to which employees will be provided communication devices and may recall any previously issued communication device. Employees do not have any expectation of privacy in district-provided communication devices or any information stored on them, and such devices maybe confiscated and searched at any time.
Employees are expected to exercise reasonable care to protect district-provided communication devices from damage or theft and must report any such incidents immediately. The district may require employees to reimburse the district for any damage or theft that was the result of the employee's negligence. Users of district-provided communication devices must abide by any use limitations included in the district's service contract.
Personal Use of District-Provided Communication Devices
Personal use of district-provided communication devices is permissible as long as the use does not exceed the limits of the applicable plan. An employee whose use exceeds plan limitations will be required to reimburse the district for all expenses beyond those covered by the plan and may have privileges suspended or revoked unless the employee can show that all use was for employment-related duties and the device was not used for personal reasons. The amount of personal use of a communication device or service paid for under e-Rate can be no greater than the cost allocation submitted in the request for the e-Rate discount.
Staff Bring Your Own Device Policy
Use of employees’ personal communication devices during work hours shall be restricted to classroom or work-related activities. Such personal communication devices may only be used by the staff member and are not for student use. The security of personal computing devices is solely the responsibility of the staff member. Any loss resulting from damage or theft of personal communication devices in the school setting is not the responsibility of the district.
Approved: September 8, 2014