Acceptable Use Policy
The purpose of Georgia Cyber Academy's acceptable use policy is to provide the procedures, rules, guidelines, and the code of conduct for use of technology and the information network at Georgia Cyber Academy.
- Unacceptable Uses
- Georgia Cyber Academy Rights
- Georgia Cyber Academy Responsibilities
- Disciplinary Action
- Code of Conduct
- Digital Rights
- Chromebook Program Responsibilities and Expectations
- Chromebook Program Warranty and Damage Protection Information
The definition of "information network" is any configuration of hardware and software that connects users. The network includes all the computer hardware, operating system software, application software and stored files. This includes but is not limited to electronic mail, local databases, externally accessed databases, recorded magnetic or optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, portable/hand-held devices, and new technologies as they become available. Standalone workstations are also governed by this acceptable use policy.
Georgia Cyber Academy provides resources for teaching and learning, collaboration, communication services and business data services by maintaining access to local, regional, national, and international sources of information.
Georgia Cyber Academy information resources will be used by staff and students in accordance with the policies and regulations established by Georgia Cyber Academy. These procedures do not attempt to articulate all required or prescribed behavior by its users.
Successful operation of the network requires the following:
- All students conduct themselves in a responsible, decent, ethical, and polite manner while using the network.
- The Student is ultimately responsible for his/her actions in accessing network services inside and outside of Georgia Cyber Academy network while using Georgia Cyber Academy loaner equipment.
- The Student is solely responsible for all resources issued or assigned to him/her. This includes equipment as well as login/specialized access information. In addition, any personal equipment used to access the Internet or other Georgia Cyber Academy resources is subject to the same rules and regulations outlined in this policy.
- Georgia Cyber Academy monitors all Internet and local network activity.
- Disciplinary action will be taken for any individual abusing or misusing technology resources
With access to computers and people all over the world also comes the availability of materials that may not be considered of educational value in the context of the school setting. On a global network, it is impossible to control all materials, and an industrious user may discover controversial information. Georgia Cyber Academy maintains and monitors the use of filters for Internet content. Georgia Cyber Academy firmly believes that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may obtain materials that are not consistent with the educational goals of Georgia Cyber Academy.
- Access to the networks and to the information technology environment within Georgia Cyber Academy is a privilege and must be treated as such by all users of the network and its associated systems.
- Georgia Cyber Academy systems will be used for the purposes of research, education, and school- related business and operations.
- Any system which requires password access, or for which Georgia Cyber Academy requires an account, may only be used by the authorized user. Account owners are ultimately responsible for all activity under their account.
- All communications and information accessible via Georgia Cyber Academy systems should be treated as property of Georgia Cyber Academy.
- Georgia Cyber Academy monitors all Internet and local network activity, to include individual actions and activity.
Georgia Cyber Academy has the right to take disciplinary action, remove computer and networking privileges and/or take legal action for any activity characterized as unethical and unacceptable. Unacceptable use activities constitute, but are not limited to, any activity through which any user does the following:
- Violates such matters as institutional or third-party copyright, license agreements or other contracts. The unauthorized use of and/or copying of software is illegal.
- Copies or reproduces any licensed software on Georgia Cyber Academy computing equipment, except as expressly permitted by the specific software license. Unauthorized use of software is regarded as a serious matter and any such use is without the consent of Georgia Cyber Academy.
- Installs unauthorized software or applications for use on Georgia Cyber Academy computers.
- Interferes with or disrupts other network users, services, or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, the following: distribution of unsolicited advertising.
- propagation of computer worms or viruses.
- distribution of quantities of information that overwhelm the system (for example, "chain letters," "network games" or "broadcasting" messages).
- utilization of the network to make unauthorized entry into any resources accessible via the network.
- Seeks to gain or gains unauthorized access to information resources, obtains copies of, or modifies files or other data, or gains and communicates passwords belonging to other users.
- Uses or knowingly allows another to use any computer, computer network, computer system, program, or software to devise or execute a scheme to defraud or to obtain money, property, services, or other things of value by false pretenses, promises or representations.
- Destroys, alters, dismantles, disfigures, prevents rightful access to or otherwise interferes with the integrity of computer-based information, its operation, and/or information resources whether on stand-alone or networked computers.
- Invades the privacy of individuals or entities.
- Uses the network for commercial or political activity.
- Uses the network to store, distribute or access materials inappropriate to the Georgia Cyber Academy setting.
- Uses Georgia Cyber Academy systems to compromise its integrity ("hacking" software).
- Submits, publishes, or displays any defamatory inaccurate, racially offensive, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, or threatening materials or messages either public or private.
- Uses Georgia Cyber Academy systems for illegal, harassing, vandalizing, inappropriate or obscene purposes, or in support of such activities. Illegal activities will be defined as a violation of local, state and/or federal laws. Harassment is defined as slurs, comments, jokes, innuendoes, unwelcome compliments, cartoons, pranks and/or other verbal conduct relating to an individual that has the following purposes or effects.
- creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
- unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or school performance.
- interfering with school operations.
- Vandalism is defined as any attempt to temporarily or permanently harm or destroy an operating system, application software or data, or hardware
Georgia Cyber Academy reserves the right to do the following:
- Monitor all activities on Georgia Cyber Academy equipment and networks by any user
- Make determinations on whether specific uses of the network are consistent with this acceptable use policy.
- Log network use and monitor storage disk space utilization by users
- Deem what is appropriate use based on the requirements of law, this policy, and Georgia Cyber Academy's legitimate pedagogical concerns.
- Remove a user's access to the network at any time it is determined that the user is engaged in unauthorized activity or violating this acceptable use policy and suspend any accounts during an investigation of possible violations of this policy.
- Cooperate fully with any investigation concerning or relating to Georgia Cyber Academy.
Georgia Cyber Academy will do the following:
- Respect and enforce copyright laws and regulations.
- Take prudent steps to develop, implement and maintain security procedures to ensure the integrity of individual and Georgia Cyber Academy files. However, information on any computer system cannot be guaranteed to be inaccessible by other users.
- Attempt to provide error-free and dependable access to technology resources associated with Georgia Cyber Academy. However, Georgia Cyber Academy cannot be held liable for any information that may be lost, damaged or unavailable due to technical or other difficulties.
- Thoroughly investigate alleged misuse of the Internet and/or Georgia Cyber Academy prior to permanent denial of access to Georgia Cyber Academy resources.
- Conduct assessments of inappropriate sites.
- Monitor student Internet activities to ensure students and employees are not accessing inappropriate sites. The school Georgia Cyber Academy will use technology protection measures to protect students and employees from inappropriate access.
- Expects that all students using Georgia Cyber Academy resources will be monitored by an adult(s).
- Report child pornography to law enforcement. Georgia Cyber Academy and school technical support staff who are working with any computer or portable device and come across sexually explicit images of children must report this to local law enforcement. The report must include the name and address of the owner or person in possession of the computer.
This acceptable use policy is applicable to any member of the Georgia Cyber Academy community and refers to all information resources whether individually controlled, shared, stand alone, or networked. Disciplinary action, if any, for students, staff and other users will be consistent with Georgia Cyber Academy's standard policies and practices.
Where use of external networks is involved, policies governing such use also are applicable and must be adhered to. Violations can constitute cause of revocation of access privileges, suspension, or permanent removal of access to Georgia Cyber Academy resources, other school disciplinary action and/or appropriate legal action. Exact disciplinary measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Any user who violates the terms of this policy or otherwise misuses the Internet and/or technology to access or send inappropriate material will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including for students: removal of access, suspension, or withdrawal.
Violations of the laws of the United States or the state of Georgia also may subject the user to criminal prosecution.
Proper behavior, as it relates to the use of technology, is no different than proper behavior in all other aspects of Georgia Cyber Academy activities. All users are expected to use Georgia Cyber Academy technology resources in a legal, responsible, ethical, and polite manner. A student who knowingly violates any portion of the Code of Conduct Expectations will be subject to suspension of access and/or revocation of privileges on the Georgia Cyber Academy’s system and will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Georgia Cyber Academy District Student and Parent Handbook.
- Students will practice responsible use of digital information regarding intellectual property including complying with software licenses, copyright laws, and all other state and federal laws governing intellectual property. Students will practice safe and appropriate online behavior including using professional etiquette while communicating online. Improper use of Georgia Cyber Academy technology resources is prohibited, including but not limited to:
- Using racist, profane, pornographic, sexually oriented, or obscene language or materials.
- Attempting to send or sending anonymous messages of any kind.
- Using the network to access inappropriate and / or harmful materials.
- Bypassing Georgia Cyber Academy’s security measures to access sites that are filtered on Georgia Cyber Academy network.
- Encrypting communications to avoid security review or monitoring by the system administrator.
- Using the network inappropriately to provide addresses or other personal information that others may use.
- Purposely engaging in activity that may harass, threaten, defame, slander, libel, malign, or abuse another (i.e., individual or group).
- Forgery or attempted forgery of electronic messages is prohibited. Attempts to read, delete, copy, or modify the electronic mail of other system users or deliberately interfere with the ability of other system users to send/receive electronic mail is prohibited.
- Using the network for illegal purposes, in support of illegal activities, or for any other activity prohibited by Georgia Cyber Academy policy or guidelines.
- Communicating with other students outside of class using platforms such as, but not limited to, Google Docs, Google Slides, social media, online communication forums.
- Students will use the technology resources in a positive and responsible manner that promotes creativity & innovation, collaboration, communication, critical thinking & problem solving. Improper use of Georgia Cyber Academy’s technology resources is prohibited including but not limited to:
- Using the network for political activity, financial gain, or commercial activity.
- Attempting to harm or harming equipment, materials, or data.
- Changing any computer configurations and/or settings.
- Installing software, including freeware and file sharing services.
- Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance may be viewed as a violation of Georgia Cyber Academy guidelines and possibly, as criminal activity under applicable state and federal laws. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creating of computer viruses, malware, or spyware.
- Streaming media, such as radio, games, video, etc., for non-educational purposes
- Proxy sites - Attempting to bypass or bypassing, the filtering device by using sites such as but not limited to proxy sites on Georgia Cyber Academy’s electronic communications system.
- Running security programs or utilities that reveal or exploit weaknesses in the security of a system such as password cracking programs, packet sniffers, or port scanners or any other non-approved programs on Georgia Cyber Academy technology resources.
- Students will understand the negative impact of inappropriate technology use including online bullying and harassment, hacking, intentional virus setting, invasion of privacy, and piracy of software, music, video, and other media.
- Students will log in to Georgia Cyber Academy network using their own login credentials. Account information and passwords, or similar information used for identification and authorization purposes, must be kept private. Passwords should not be written down and left in a location where others may find it. The individual in whose name a system account is issued will be always responsible for its proper use.
- In order to help preserve both privacy and security, neither still photography nor video capturing is allowed in person nor virtual school environments unless directed by a member of a faculty member to meet an educational goal or approved by an authorized member of the administration, faculty, or staff. Both behavioral and legal action may be taken against individuals not respecting these privacy and security rights.
- Students will use technology resources cautiously to maintain security and prevent damage.
- Students are asked to conserve Georgia Cyber Academy technology resources (such as network bandwidth and storage) by limiting usage to educational purposes. System users must not: degrade the performance of Georgia Cyber Academy technology resources (i.e., streaming video, streaming audio, and Internet radio); deprive an authorized Georgia Cyber Academy user access to a Georgia Cyber Academy resource, obtain extra resources beyond those allocated; circumvent Georgia Cyber Academy computer security measures.
- Creative Credit and Copyright. Students have the right to protect their own creative works. Additionally, students must exercise academic integrity in a fair and legal manner when using other people’s creative works. Failure to appropriately cite ideas or work other than your own will result in adverse academic and behavioral action. Academic integrity protects against the following:
- Cheating is fabricating written assignments; giving or receiving aid to another student without the consent of the instructor on tests, quizzes, assignments, exams; unauthorized access of teacher’s editions or answer keys. Cheating also includes the use of technology such as computers, phones, cameras, or any other device that provides access to unauthorized information related to graded course material, tests, quizzes, assignments, or examinations.
- Double Assignments are also a form of cheating. This is defined as an assignment that is used to fulfill the requirements of more than one course without prior approval from all involved instructors.
- Colluding is allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted by another student. This applies to individual as well as group work where the students are given individual grades. It also applies to work that is transferred electronically and then submitted by another student. Joint student projects where information is combined for a final product submission are acceptable.
- Plagiarizing is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another person as one’s own. This includes presenting information, ideas, phrasing, words, artwork, music, figures, diagrams, graphs, song lyrics, films, maps, illustrations, data, computer programs, emails, CDs, and electronic files from the Internet. All of these must be acknowledged with the proper documentation. Consult your instructor or the school links for proper citation practices. All assignments submitted to instructors should contain the proper citation. Plagiarism occurs when a student does one of the following: 1) fails to cite borrowed, quoted, or paraphrased material, even by accident, 2) deliberately intends to deceive through lack of citation, 3) uses strings of words from a cited source without indicating these words are not his own (attempted paraphrase without quotations, even if there is a correct citation).
- Carelessly or inaccurately citing quoted or paraphrased material is not plagiarism. This type of error is attributed to style or formatting. For example, if you submit an ALA works cited instead of an APA, then this is an inaccurate citation. You may lose style or formatting points; however, it is not plagiarism
In Georgia Cyber Academy (Georgia Cyber Academy), we work hard to ensure the following digital rights for all students.
- Each student shall have access to current, updated, and fully functioning technologies to be used in the learning process.
- Each student shall be given access to his or her Georgia Cyber Academy (Georgia Cyber Academy) username and password.
- Each student shall be taught how to access resources such as Gmail and Google Drive, and learning management system (LMS) accounts connected to his or her Georgia Cyber Academy account.
- Each student shall be provided the opportunity to attend classes led by teachers who continuously blend technology into learning and assessment activities.
- Each student shall be offered ongoing workshops and educational opportunities to learn how to better blend technology into the learning process.
- Each student shall have the opportunity to use online collaborative tools in the learning process.
- Each student shall enjoy an educational experience that is free from any form of cyberbullying, harassment, or threats.
Equipment Issuing and Returns
The enrolling legal guardian has the opportunity to request one (1) loaner student Chromebook for each enrolled student and one (1) loaner student printer for his/her household. To make a change to an equipment request made on the application for enrollment, the legal guardian may contact his/her assigned FEL.
Equipment Troubleshooting and Replacements
All technical issues with GCA provided equipment are to be reported to SCA Support by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 404-334-4790 ext.8. If a replacement is deemed necessary during troubleshooting with an SCA Solutions Engineer, a replacement device will be shipped to the primary address on file with GCA. Failure to return prior defective devices, equipment assigned to withdrawn students, and/or curriculum based equipment from a prior school year will lead to the delay of the shipment of the replacement device.
When an equipment shipment is received, please keep all boxes for future returns. Returns can be completed by emailing the GCA Equipment Team at email@example.com to request a prepaid UPS return shipping label or a courier pickup. All courier pickups (within the state of Georgia) are subject to approval. The correct pickup address and best contact phone number must be included with your courier request. To avoid invoicing, all equipment is expected to be returned within two weeks of the delivery date of the new equipment. Failure to return your equipment during that time period will result in invoicing with the potential to be deferred for collections. All devices must be returned or paid for in full. If outstanding equipment is sent to collections, families will be responsible for the cost of the equipment, plus the 24% collections fee.
- Are required to abide by the Acceptable Use Policy.
- Will receive a Chromebook, when requested, as an educational tool and it should only be used in that capacity. Are responsible for the care of the Chromebook issued to them whether in or out of school.
- Are responsible for ensuring the Chromebook is charged and ready for use every day.
- Are given a power cord and Chromebook bag and must carry the Chromebook in the school-issued bag. If the power cord or bag is lost, damaged, or stolen, the student will pay for a new one.
- Will lose Chromebook privileges if the student is responsible for any vandalism, hacking, network disruption, or any actions that disable, damage, or negatively affect the Chromebook or any GCA systems in any way.
- Will only use software that is permitted and installed by the school Georgia Cyber Academy.
- Acknowledge there is no expectation of privacy with files stored on the computers or with websites visited with the Chromebook. The school Georgia Cyber Academy has the right to monitor Chromebooks and/or block access to applications and websites.
- Will NOT loan/borrow Chromebook, power cord, or bag to/from other students and will NOT share usernames and passwords.
- Will NOT deface Chromebook by marking on or placing stickers on all surfaces.
- Will report damages immediately to Southeastern Computer Associates Support.
- Will return the Chromebook, printer, hotspot (if applicable), Zoomy (if applicable), bag, and power cord if a student fails to show up after enrollment, graduates, transfers, and/or is withdrawn from the school. A return label and box, if needed, will be provided, so that no additional expense is incurred by our families. All school equipment must be returned in good condition within two weeks of graduation or withdrawal.
- Failure to return school property upon request will result in families being invoiced. Unpaid invoices will result in GCA contacted collections agencies and/or filing police reports. If deferred to collections, a fee up to 24% may be assessed due to failure to return loaner equipment at the time due.
All Chromebooks are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty for malfunction due to manufacturing or non-performance issues. The warranty does not cover damage that is determined to be accidental and/or the result of negligent use or treatment. It also does not cover outright loss or damage of the Chromebook, power cord, or batteries through inattention or negligence
Warranty coverage and damage insurance do not cover damages that are determined to be caused by negligent use/treatment, nor do they cover the power cord, battery, or laptop bag. When the administration determines that damage was caused by negligent actions, the student or parent/guardian will be responsible for all costs. Negligence is defined as the lack of care for the device that results in damage. For example, dropping the device would be considered an accident whereas leaving the device in your car is negligence. A temporary computer will be provided when a deposit, not to exceed the cost of the device, is received from the Legal Guardian or Parent.
Damage must be reported immediately to Southeastern Computer Associates Support. If the damage is determined to be accidental, a damage claim will be processed, and an invoice will be sent to the parents. A replacement Chromebook will be provided. A police report must be filed to process a theft claim.