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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Education Programs and Student Services

D-01 Digital Technology Use by Students

Date Jun 2020
Review Jun 2025

It is the policy of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) to provide access to safe and secure digital technology in support of education, research and DSBN business in a manner consistent with the DSBN’s strategic plan. For the purpose of this policy, digital technology is defined as the ever-evolving suite of digital software, hardware, computer and network infrastructures (existing and emerging technologies) used at the DSBN.

The DSBN recognizes the educational value of students utilizing electronic communications systems to enhance their learning through the responsible access to global information and communication. These systems are intended to support and enhance student learning and achievement, be made available equitably to all students and be a support to classroom and other learning activities. All students are expected to use digital technology in a responsible, respectful and lawful manner, which must be in compliance with all relevant federal and provincial legislation, the Mission Statement, Beliefs of the DSBN, and DSBN’s Administrative Procedure.

The DSBN further recognizes the critical role that parents play in educating their children on the appropriate use of electronic communication systems and in monitoring their use of these systems. This partnership of parents and schools is essential in achieving success in ensuring appropriate use of this ever-changing technology.

Digital Devices

The DSBN recognizes that students may have in their possession personal digital and/or electronic devices while at school or at school related activities. This Policy also governs the acceptable use of personal digital technologies and/or electronic devices by students while at school or at school related activities. At all times, the use of these devices is allowed where they are deemed not to interfere with their personal learning or the learning of others. Personal devices are not to be used to attempt to circumvent the DSBN digital infrastructure put in place to provide safe and secure access.

Digital Content

The DSBN provides schools with access to the DSBN’s digital network that also includes access to all electronic communication systems, such as, Internet, e-mail, DSBN approved social networks and intranet. This service enables students and staff access to electronic mail (e-mail), numerous electronic tools and databases and other social networking tools to facilitate and promote learning and collaboration for educational purposes. In addition, it provides users with access to an ever-expanding array of digital content and provides the possibility of communication with others in the school, in the local community, and around the globe.

For purposes of inspecting, investigating or searching the DSBN's digital technologies, including but not limited to internet logs, social networks or electronic mail, with just cause, the Director of Education (or designate) may authorize appropriate officials to bypass any applicable personal password or codes in accordance with the best interests of the DSBN, its students, or where ordered to do so by law.

Student Discipline

Individuals who do not comply with this Policy will be subject to appropriate consequences in accordance with the circumstances of the event, and within the parameters of any applicable legislation. Consequences may include, but are not limited to the following, either singularly or in combination depending on the individual circumstances:

  • limitations being placed on access privileges to the DSBN’s technology resources;
  • temporary suspension of access privileges to the DSBN’s technology resources;
  • revocation of access privileges to the DSBN’s technology resources;
  • appropriate disciplinary measures within the Safe Schools Act; and
  • legal action and prosecution by the relevant authorities.