Guidelines developed for devices

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lunenburg County Schools has developed guidelines for students connecting their personal electronic devices to the system’s network.

The school board approved the Lunenburg County Public Schools Bring Your Own Device — known as BYOD — Guidelines, Policies and Procedures document at its Monday, March 14, meeting.

The program allows students to use their own electronic devices, such as ipads and personal computers at school to access the system’s wireless network. Cell phones, however, are still not allowed.

The policy will begin at Central High School on April 1, and at the middle and elementary schools with the 2016-17 school year.

“This handbook will probably change and mature as we see things,” Frances P. Wilson, director of student services, told the school board.

Students who want to participate will have to comply with all the rules and regulations established for the use of computers or other electronic equipment, the system’s website notes.

Parents who want their child to participate in the BYOD program should see the school’s Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT) in the school library, the website notes.

“The child should bring home the BYOD handbook for your review,” the website said. “The last page of the handbook contains an agreement that must be signed by both the parent and the student. This agreement must be returned to school on order to participate in the BYOD program.”

The matter became a topic of debate after students went to the school board about the issue last September.

A committee was set up and looked at three options, including allowing all electronic devices to be used at the school — but it was feared that could overwhelm its network.

Access to the school’s system is permitted as long as: it imposes no tangible cost to the division; does not unduly burden the division’s computer or network resources; and has no adverse effect on an employee’s job performance or on a student’s academic performance.

“The teacher is the final authority in the classroom and students must comply with requests for students to shut down or put away electronic devices when they are not needed for instruction,” notes an overview of BYOD.