The Iowa City Community School District provides all students with a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account to use on a variety of school-related projects. GAFE provides a variety of online services including productivity software, shared calendars, website authoring tools, in-district email, assignment scheduling, and file sharing and creation tools. The district believes that learning to use these types of tools in safe and productive ways is essential in preparing students for a lifetime of personal success.
Student technology use, including the use of GAFE accounts, is subject to school board policy and any local, state, and federal laws. Two specific federal statutes are worth noting in regards to GAFE:
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA): COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. By default, advertising is turned off for all ICCSD GAFE accounts, and no personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. The school’s use of student information is solely for education purposes. For more information about COPPA, please visit http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.shtm
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents the rights to review student records. Any information relating to the student’s GAFE account is subject to FERPA rules and regulations. For more information about FERPA, please visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa
In addition, the following guidelines apply to all student Google Apps for Education accounts.
ICCSD Email Address: Students will be assigned an email account through GAFE. This account will be considered the student’s official Iowa City Community Schools email address for use on their 1:1 device and on any school-related project requiring the use of email. Be default, students in grades K-8 can only send and receive emails with other students and teachers within the ICCSD Google domain.
Conduct: The PBIS expectations of respect, responsibility, and safety apply to all students when using technology. Staff may establish additional expectations for the use of technology depending on their instructional objectives, and students are required to follow the terms and protocols outlined by the teacher. Technology should never be used in a manner that disrupts the educational environment. Please refer to ICCSD Administrative Guidelines 622 through 626 for more information regarding appropriate online conduct by students.
Access Restriction: Access to and use of GAFE accounts is considered a privilege accorded at the discretion of Iowa City Community Schools. The district maintains the right to immediately withdraw access to the account if there is reason to believe that violations of law or board policies have occurred. In such cases, the alleged violation will be referred to the building principal for investigation.
Security: Iowa City Community Schools cannot and does not guarantee the security of electronic files located on Google systems. Although Google does have a powerful content filter in place and the district maintains a comprehensive web filter for all student internet traffic, the district cannot assure that users will not be exposed to non-educational materials. Families are encouraged to report any suspicious online activity to the district for review.
- Privacy: The Iowa City Community School District reserves the right to access and review content in a student’s GAFE account at anytime. The district complies with all student privacy laws.
As with any educational endeavor, a strong partnership with families is essential to a successful learning experience, and the district welcomes any comments, questions, or concerns about GAFE.