For the purposes of this policy, cell phones, tablets, IPADS, notebooks, laptops and any other technological device that operates on electricity or battery power with or without internet access is called a “device” (with the exception of calculators and digital watches).
a. Pupil’s use of devices:
- Devices must be handed in at the school office before school begins. They are stored in the principal’s office for safe keeping.
- The school does not accept any responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of devices handed in.
- Pupils may collect devices from the office at the end of the day. No pupil may collect a device on behalf of another pupil.
- Devices may not be used in class for projects unless the teacher has given permission for a child to do so.
- Should a pupil fail to comply with the above stipulations and a device is seen on their person or in their suitcase during the course of a school day, the school is entitled to request that the device be surrendered to the school for a period of at least a week (first offence). If the child is subject to a second offence, the device will be surrendered to the school for a month. Failure to comply to point 1 – 4 above will also result in a demerit being issued.
- The school may conduct spot checks in suitcases, kit bags, lockers or on the child’s person to ensure the above.
- No devices are permitted in After Care, after school hours or during the school holidays.
- Currently, e-readers are the only exception to the above and may be brought onto the school premises for the express purpose of reading. If the e-reader is used for any purpose except for reading, the repercussions mentioned in point 5 apply.
- Under no circumstances may a parent use any device for photographing or videoing of a person other than their own child on the school premises, or during entrance examinations and tests.
b. Homework and printing:
- Homework in the senior grades (4 – 7) may be typed if the subject teacher has granted permission for pupils to do so.
- The school will print out projects or pictures for pupils at a cost of R5 per coloured A4 page and R2 per black-and-white page. Printing is done in Mr Swiegers’s or Mrs Babcock’s classes at their convenience.
- Staff may not download copyrighted or pirated content for school use.
- Staff may not print or photostat any pages not directly related to teaching unless special permission has been obtained to do so from the principal.
c. Staff computer:
- The administrative and teaching staff are permitted to use two communal computers on the school premises.
- Accessing the school drive is password protected and requires two step authentication to access.
- Passwords may not be “remembered” by these public computers and need to be re-entered on each use.
- Printing from the computer for teaching-related purposes is permitted.
- Content downloaded or saved onto this computer will not be regarded as permanent. Staff are to keep files and important personal information on flash-drives or backed-up on the cloud or their own private computers. The school may delete files and content from the staff computer at any time.
d. Staff cell phones:
- Staff may not talk on their cell phones or text during teaching hours. This applies to all grades and all subjects (music, art and PT included). Cell phones may be used at break and before or after school by staff members not on playground duty.
- Staff are requested to be a part of the Solid Foundations formal WhatsApp group. Signed consent must be given by each staff member who is on this group, or any other WhatsApp groups created for staff communication purposes.
- The Solid Foundations formal WhatsApp group has been created to send relevant school-related messages. It is the responsibility of the individual staff member to check their phones at least once daily and preferably during breaks for any messages. No casual messaging or non-school pertinent messages may be sent to this group. Casual staff discussions are held on the “Teachers Fun and Games” WhatsApp group. Participation in this group is voluntary.
- Staff may post personal announcements on the formal staff WhatsApp group, e.g. “I got engaged”, but responses to the announcement must be sent to the staff member’s private Whatsapp number and not posted on the formal group.
- The formal WhatsApp group cannot be seen as the most reliable platform to relay messages that need a “same-day” reply or an urgent response time. Urgent messaging (response required in less than 24 hours) will also need to be communicated directly to staff if the acknowledgment from the staff member on the WhatsApp group is delayed.
- Staff are requested to refrain from messaging on any WhatsApp groups after 9 o’clock at night or before 9 o’clock on weekend or holiday mornings.
- Staff are invited to photograph fun events or appealing lessons on their cell phones. Photos can be sent to Mrs Helmbold, either via WhatsApp or preferably via email, who will upload images onto the school website. These photos are then deleted from staff cellphones.
e. YouTube and videos:
- Staff are strongly encouraged to use clippings and videos for educational purposes. All clippings and videos must be “all ages” and relevant to the syllabus at hand.
- Pertinent clippings with reasonable age-restrictions need to be checked by the principal before viewing in class.
f. Projectors and white boards:
- Staff wishing to upgrade to using projectors and white boards in their classrooms are invited to do so. Please make your request in the office.
- Senior grade classes are all equipped with projectors and white boards. Each class also has a set of speakers.
- Teachers sharing classrooms are requested to leave the remote control accessible for the next teacher and the speakers at an easy-to-access location. It is each teacher’s responsibility to turn off projectors at the conclusion of a lesson.
g. Social Media
1. Pupils, parents and employees may not use social media (including emails, Twitter, WhatsApp, SMS etc.) in any way that may be seen as insulting, disruptive or offensive by other persons, or harmful to the morale of the school.
2. Examples of forbidden transmissions include sexually-explicit messages, sexually-themed cartoons or jokes, unwelcome propositions or love letters; ethnic or racial slurs; or any other message that can be construed to be harassment or disparagement of others based on, inter alia, their sex, race, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religious or political beliefs.
3. Staff may not create WhatsApp groups with their parents.
4. Parents give their permission in the basic school contract for their children’s photographs to be used on the school website, which is publically accessible. Parents not wanting their child’s photograph to be taken or publically viewed must make a request in writing to the information officer of the school.
h. Further Privacy and POPIA compliance
All personal information is considered confidential and will only be shared with teaching and administrative staff and data subjects (on request)
- Access to Wi-Fi
- The school provides Wi-Fi access for all staff members
- The Wi-Fi may be accessed via a password that is available from the principal
1.5. Access to the school Wi-Fi is conditional on appropriate use
1.6. Whomever accesses the school Wi-Fi may not:
1.6.1. Use the Wi-Fi to conduct illegal activity
1.6.2. Use the Wi-Fi to access peer to peer downloading
1.6.3. Use the Wi-Fi to access content for personal (not school related) entertainment
1.6.4. Use the Wi-Fi to share personal information with outside parties
1.6.5. Access inappropriate sexual content
- Password management
- The school requires all electronic personal information files to be secure and accessible via 2-step authentication
- One of these steps is a mandatory random password that contains at least eleven characters
- Secure destruction and disposal of computers and computer data
- All computer data is deleted from hardware and cloud storage once the retention period for that data is passed
- Before any computers are disposed of, hard drives will be cleared and removed before disposal
- Old hard drives are destroyed by incineration
- Device requirements
- Teachers who use personal devices to access personal information of students, parents/guardians, or other staff members must ensure that their devices are secure
- Devices must require a password to access and may not be left accessible and unattended
- Devices must be protected by a firewall and antivirus software
5. Travel risks and working from home
5.1. Devices containing personal information that leave school property must be treated with the same amount of care as paper records
5.2. No personal information may be shared or discussed in a public venue
5.3. When working from home, staff must ensure that all necessary precautions are taken regarding the safety of personal information
6. Monitoring and compliance
6.1. The School Information Officer is responsible for the safe management of data in the school and may do periodic checks to ensure that stakeholders are complying with the above mentioned guidelines.