Vestavia Hills City Schools is pleased to provide network and Internet access to students, staff, and long-term subs.  While staff/long-term sub members will make reasonable efforts to supervise student use of networks and Internet access, they must have student cooperation in exercising and promoting responsible use of this access.  The Acceptable Use Procedures of Vestavia Hills City Schools follows in detail.

    Please read the following carefully.  Violations of the Acceptable Use Procedures (AUP) may cause access privileges to be limited or revoked.  Disciplinary action may be taken against any user according to the Vestavia Hills City Schools’ Policy Manual, including, but not limited to the Student Code of Conduct.  In addition, School Board disciplinary action and/or appropriate legal action may also be taken.

    Vestavia Hills City Schools uses filtering software to help prevent access to inappropriate web sites for any device connected to our network. Every attempt is made to protect all users from exposure to objectionable material as required by federal law.

    To ensure that students receive a quality education and that staff/long-term subs are able to work in a professional and intellectually stimulating environment, it is the intention of the Vestavia Hills City Schools to provide all students and staff/long-term subs with access to a variety of technology resources. All Vestavia students and staff/long-term subs  must acknowledge and adhere to this AUP.  


    A.    The use of all Vestavia Hills City Schools technology resources is a privilege, not a right. District and school administrators, and/or the local school technology personnel will determine when inappropriate use has occurred (as identified by the guidelines in the Vestavia Hills City Schools’ Policy Manual) and have the right to deny, revoke, or suspend specified user privileges and accounts.

    B.    Students and Staff/Long-Term Subs may use only accounts, files, software, and technology resources that are assigned to him/her. Staff/long-term subs and students may not attempt to login to the network as another person or use a computer that is logged on as a staff/long-term sub member or other student.

    C.   Staff/Long-Term Subs and students must not reduce the efficiency of use for others or attempt to modify technology resources, utilities, and configurations, or change the restrictions associated with his/her accounts, or attempt to breach any technology resources’ security system, either with or without malicious intent.

    D.   All passwords are required to be kept private and may not be posted. They may only be shared with local or district technology personnel or those authorized by the district technology department.

    E.    Staff/long-term subs members must actively monitor student use of technology resources at all times.

    F.    Staff/long-term subs are responsible for notifying the administration and the school technology staff of any violation of the Acceptable Use Procedures.

    G.   Staff/long-term subs and students are not permitted to connect or install any computer hardware, components, or software to school system equipment, which is not school system property, without prior approval from the district technology department.

    H.   Staff/long-term subs must log off or lock any computer logged in as him or her before leaving any computer unattended.

    I.      Any technology purchased for the school system must comply with the VHCS Specification List, regardless of funding source. The technology department will only support devices that are on the district’s approved specification list.

    J.     This AUP applies to all technology resources owned, leased, operated, or maintained by the Board, regardless of the physical location of the resource or the user. It also applies to all technology resources (regardless of ownership) brought onto school grounds during school hours or functions.


    A.    In accordance with established law, data stored on Vestavia Hills City School System equipment is property of Vestavia Schools and is not private; therefore, users are advised to avoid storing personal and/or private information on the district and/or schools’ technology resources.

    B.   Vestavia Hills City Schools cannot guarantee the privacy, security, or confidentiality of any information sent or received via the Internet.

    C.   Student data will only be collected with district approved data collection resources to protect minors from unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal data in compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

    D.   Vestavia Hills City Schools’ Technology Staff:

    Monitors all technology resource utilization.

    Deactivates a user account in the event of unauthorized or unlawful activity, including but not limited to hacking or any violation of this AUP.

    E.    Vestavia Hills City Schools’ Technology Department performs routine backups on network data. However, all users are responsible for storage of any critical data.

    Data Security:

    A. Students and staff/long-term subs are expected to follow all local, state, and federal laws in addition to this AUP regarding the protection of student and staff/long-term subs confidential data.

    B. Individuals may not attempt to log into the network using any network account and/or password other then the login(s) assigned to him/her. Individuals may not allow someone to use his/her network account and/or password to access the network, email, or the Internet.

    C. In emergency situations, student pictures or other personally identifiable information can be shared with outside agencies in accordance with this signed Acceptable Use Procedure and in accordance with FERPA guidelines.

    D. District or school data, such as but not limited to STI information, accessed through school system technology resources may not be used for any private business activity.


    A.   All users are expected to follow the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia.

    B.   Staff/long-term sub members must follow legal and ethical practices of appropriate use.

    C.   Copies of software without a valid license or web subscriptions may not be used on school equipment. The school system requires all users to consult technology staff before purchasing software or subscribing to website services.

    D.   Only those programs purchased with school funds may be loaded on district owned equipment. Staff/long-term sub members who purchase software are responsible for maintaining a license compatible with our operating system.

     Staff E-Mail:

    A.    Email is stored on Vestavia Hills City School System equipment and is considered property of Vestavia Schools and should not be considered a private means of communication.

    B.    E-mail accounts are provided to staff/long term subs for professional and educational purposes and should not be used for political gain, personal business, commercial activity or non-educational subscription services.

    C.  E-mail accounts are disabled when an employee is terminated, resigns, or retires.    

    D.  E-mail accounts for long-term subs will be disabled at the end of their employment and/or school year.

    E.   Users should send email only to those to whom the email applies. Mass school email should be used sparingly.

    F.   Only e-mail accounts provided by the school system for communication between students and staff, long-term subs, and contract employees will be maintained and supported.

    G.   E-mail is archived for two months.

    Student E-Mail:

    VHCS provides our students with a Gmail account through G Suite for Education. Email is provided to our students so they can easily collaborate on documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Email is restricted to teacher and student communication. You will not be able to email your student at his or her vhcsk12.com address, nor will they be able to email you.

    Online Resources:

    Vestavia Hills City Schools provides valuable online learning resources to students and staff/long-term subs.  These resources promote collaboration and provide a safe and secure environment for course content.  G Suite for Education is used by the Vestavia Hills City School System.  Under federal law these resources must provide parental notification and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from students under the age of 18.  The law permits schools to consent to the collection of personal information on behalf of all of its students, thereby eliminating the need for individual parental consent.  If parents do not want their child to use G Suite for Education they must notify the school administration in writing with a signature within the first two weeks of starting school.  It then becomes the parent’s responsibility to explain to his/her child why he/she is not allowed to access these school provided resources.

     A.   G Suite for Education services is provided to all staff and students through a controlled environment that is for VHCS alone.

        E-mail accounts are provided to students for educational purposes and are only exchanged within the school system.

        Students and staff/long-term subs  will create and share documents, presentations, and more through G Suite for Education.

    B.   All school rules and guidelines for appropriate technology usage shall apply to online resources. 

    C.   Student names, pictures, and assignments may be used in these secure environments.

    D.  Student names and/or email addresses may be used for online subscriptions that schools select for instructional purposes.

    Social Media:

    “Social Media” is an online technology tool that allows for prompt communication of information and resources. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other multimedia communications.  VHCS encourages the safe use of social media outlets to extend learning opportunities. Live steaming is not allowed for any school related activities on or off campus. The line between professional life and personal life must be clear at all times.   Staff members should only use their educational social media account or educational email account to communicate with students and/or parents and guardians, and should only communicate on matters directly related to education.  Relationships associated with such educational social media accounts should only be with members of the educational community, such as administrators, teachers, students, and parents of such students. 

    A.   All social media used will comply with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). Employees must be aware of their responsibility to maintain confidentiality of the personally identifiable information of students, and shall refrain from disclosing any such confidential information through social media.

    B.   The school system requires all staff/long-term subs to consult technology personnel before creating any social media account used for instructional purposes. Classroom/on campus social media accounts are seen as extensions of the school and must reflect VHCS. It is strongly encouraged to maintain a clear distinction between a personal and professional social media account.

    C.  Student/Employee Interactions via social media shall be limited to "official" educational forums only. "Official forums" means electronic resources provided by the District and/or personal employee social media accounts that are created and used solely for educational purposes, and where a professional atmosphere is maintained at all times.

    D.  Employees shall avoid private one-to-one communication with students via social media or through chat features. Communication with a student shall be  limited to electronic resources provided by the District such as e-mail or learning management system.                                                                                                                  

    E.  Employees are reminded that social media posts demonstrating insubordination, immorality, cruelty, unlawful discrimination, or other unlawful acts may result in disciplinary action. VHCS reserves the right to remove content or disable the account if it violates any school board policy. When staff members communicate as employees of the district in their online communications, they must be aware that readers will assume they “speak for the school district.”  Therefore, all online communications must be professional and reflect positively on the school district.

    Internet Safety:

    A.   The intent of Vestavia Hills City Schools is to provide access to educational resources available via the Internet with the understanding that staff/long-term subs and students will access and use information that is appropriate for his/her various curricula.

    B.   All school rules and guidelines for appropriate technology usage shall apply to usage of the Internet. 

    C.  Teachers will screen all Internet resources prior to classroom use.

    D.  Teachers will model and ensure that digital citizenship is taught in the classroom setting (including cyberbullying awareness, appropriate online behavior, interacting with others on social networking websites, etc).

    E.   Alabama Supercomputer Authority filters Internet content for the school system based on guidelines provided by the Children’s Internet Protection Act; any attempt to bypass the content filters is a violation of the Acceptable Use Procedures. Vestavia Hills City Schools assumes no liability in the event that content filtering is not 100% effective.

    Web Publishing:

    A.   Teachers are to maintain a current web presence.

    B.   Vestavia Hills City Schools' websites cannot be used for profit or commercial/non-educational purposes.

    C.   Student video, projects, and other personally identifiable information can only be used with parent/guardian consent on the Technology Consent Form (TCF).

    D.   To safeguard the Vestavia Hills City Schools’ property, reputation, and integrity all school-related websites must be linked to the system website.

    E.    Any website created by staff/long-term subs and/or students that contains students pictures, projects, and/or images must be linked to the Vestavia Hills City Schools’ websites.