Yes. DPS does its best to ensure our students’ online experiences are safe. All DPS web access is subject to the DPS web filters. Our web filters are programmed to block inappropriate content as much as possible. The DPS internet filtering rules are determined by a partnership between the district’s instructional and technology departments. When a DPS MyTech Chromebook connects to the internet, it must pass through DPS network firewalls and filters. This filtering happens whether the device is browsing the internet at school, or off-campus using another WiFi network. Because of security settings built into the Chromebook, it must first route its Internet connection back through our DPS security settings (firewalls and filters) before any website or online resource is accessible. If a student is using the Chromebook at school, at home or at a public library, it will always pass through the DPS web filtering and network firewall system before they can see or access web content. Like all technology-based solutions, there are ways a user might attempt to circumvent these internet filters for inappropriate use. DPS works to block these methods and continually evaluates and upgrades its filtering system to ensure its effectiveness against such users. Additionally, disciplinary procedures will occur for users discovered to have made attempts to circumvent DPS internet filters. Some areas of the internet are not blocked due to their value as instructional resources. Many of these areas, such as YouTube, can be used both appropriately and inappropriately. DPS considers students’ use of these resources to be a learning opportunity and a nod towards the real world, where students will need to have developed the maturity and self-discipline to use completely unfiltered internet access.
The DPS MyTech program participants must agree to the DPS Acceptable Use Policy and the DPS Internet Regulation. These documents can be found here:
DPS takes the security and privacy of student information very seriously and the district is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information housed on DPS servers. Additionally, DPS has contracted with Google to provide access to G Suite for Education for DPS students and staff and also for ensuring the security and privacy of student information on Google’s servers. G Suite for Education adheres to a detailed privacy policy and security measures which DPS has reviewed and is satisfied that these terms appropriately protect the privacy of students and staff using these Google tools. Under the DPS Terms of Service Agreement with Google, Google is obligated to comply with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. Additional information on security and privacy policies can be found at The G Suite for Education.
Damaged or non-functioning Chromebooks should be given to the school’s Technology Representative so a repair can be started. Many problems can be repaired at the school by district staff, which may take a day or two. Other problems may require the Chromebook to be sent out for repair, which can take several days or longer. Schools will have additional Chromebooks on-hand to loan to students in these circumstances. Students and parents/guardians will be responsible for DPS-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other DPS-owned items, such as textbooks, calculators, musical instruments, athletics equipment or library books. DPS will repair or replace the Chromebook, but students and parents may be responsible for the cost. If the Chromebook or any accessories are lost or stolen, the student or parent/guardian must report it to the school immediately. Students can let a teacher or administrator know, and the staff member will assist the student. The circumstances of each situation will be handled individually.
If students don’t have a WiFi network at home they can still use the Chromebook, but in a somewhat limited capacity. Some applications will work “offline” (such as Google Drive) but content saved to the Chromebook will not be backed up online until an Internet connection is available. Students can also use a USB flash drive to save their work. Students can go to Google’s Chromebook support page for more information about offline use. Additional information on Internet access can be found in the Offsite Access Guidance, including publicly-available WiFi, subsidized home Internet options and free hotspots availability.