Banned Technologies in Iowa – personal devices policies

Sample personal device policies from K-12 Iowa School Districts.

For the past 3 years, we’ve conducted a survey regarding typical “Banned” technologies (  among Iowa K-12 school districts.  We typically inquire about policies involving cell phones, personal wi-fi devices, and web filtering.  The full results of the survey were included in “Banned Technologies in Iowa”,  a session held at the 2011 ITEC conference on Oct 17th in Des Moines, which are available at:

The results of the survey are available at:    In regards to students being allowed to bring personal devices to school and to connect to the school network, it is allowed in 66% of the districts. 

 Brian Abeling, West Des Moines Schools
Keith Lyles, Southeast Polk Schools
Ray Coffey, Indianola Schools

Are STUDENTS allowed to bring personal wi-fi devices and connect to the schools wireless network?
66%  YES
34%  NO

Are STAFF allowed to bring personal wi-fi devices and connect to the schools wireless network?
85% YES
15% NO

Below are some sample guidelines and polcies related to students and staff bringing in personal wi-fi devices to school…

PURPOSE: Jefferson-Scranton CSD allows students to bring in a personal laptop or MID as a means to enhance their education. The purpose of this policy is to assure that students recognize the limitations that the school imposes on their use of personal laptops or MIDs. In addition to this policy, the use of any school computer, including personal laptop computers or MIDs, also requires students to abide by other Board and building policies relating to computer use. During the course of the school year, additional rules regarding the use of personal laptops or MIDs may be added. If this occurs, any new rule will become a part of this policy. General Usage Jefferson-Scranton CSD provides the opportunity for students to bring a personal laptop or MID to school to use as an educational tool. The use of these laptops or MIDs will be at teacher discretion. 1. Students must obtain teacher permission before using a personal laptop or MID during classroom instruction. 2. Student use of a personal laptop or MID must support the instructional activities currently occurring in each classroom and lab. 3. Students must turn off and put away a personal laptop or MID when requested by a teacher. 4. Students should be aware that their use of the laptop or MID could cause distraction for others in the classroom, especially in regards to audio. Therefore, audio should be muted, since headphones should not be used during instructional time. 5. Students may use their personal laptop or MID before school, at lunch, and after school in adult supervised areas only, such as the Media Center or classrooms with the teacher present. The laptop or MID should be used for educational purposes during these times also. If an adult asks a student to put his/her laptop or MID away because of games or other non-instructional activities during these times, the student must comply. Consequences of General Usage If students refuse to comply with the above guidelines, the following consequences will apply. Student infractions will be documented as a referral for each offense. The possible consequences for these infractions are outlined below: • 1st offense – laptop/device taken – 30 minute detention with office, student can pick up laptop/device after the detention is served, parent called • 2nd offense – laptop/device taken – 1 day in school suspension – parent called – parent picks up laptop/device Policy Title: Personal Use of Student-Owned Laptops or Mobile Internet Code No. 605.7 Devices (MID) in School • 3rd offense – laptop/device taken – 3 day out of school suspension – parent called – parent picks up laptop/device • 4th offense – laptop/device taken – 5 day out of school suspension – parent called – parent picks up laptop/device • 5th offense – laptop/device taken – 10 day out of school suspension with the recommendation to school board for expulsion – parent called – parent picks up laptop/device Laptop security risks Laptops and other portable computing devices are especially vulnerable to loss and theft. Opportunistic and organized thieves will target these devices in school, on school grounds, and on buses. To counter these risks, security must be addressed in the following ways; 1. Student responsibility; through increased user awareness of the risks and application of a laptop security policy (this document). 2. Physical security; both in school, on school property, and when traveling to and from school. 3. Network access control 1 . Student Responsibility The Jefferson-Scranton CSD accepts no responsibility for personal property brought to the school by students. This includes laptop computers and other personal digital devices. Students who choose to bring a laptop to school assume total responsibility for the laptop. Laptops that are stolen or damaged are the responsibility of the student and their parents or guardians. Students should take all reasonable steps to protect against the theft or damage of their personal laptop. 2 . Physical security Users should take the following physical security preventative measures. • Your laptop or MID should NEVER be left unattended for ANY period of time. When not using your laptop, it should be locked in your school locker. • Laptop computers must not be: • Left unattended at any time (If a laptop is left unattended it will be picked up by staff and turned into the Media Center.) • Left in view of an unattended vehicle 3 . Network Access Control 1. Students do not at this time have access to the school network (wired or wireless) using a personal laptop or MID. Educational accommodations for certain situations requiring access may be granted. Policy Title: Personal Use of Student-Owned Laptops or Mobile Internet Code No. 605.7 Devices (MID) in School 2. Any student found connecting his/her personal laptop or MID to the network using an ethernet cable plugged into a wall jack or wirelessly will have his/her laptop confiscated and lose personal laptop privileges. The student and his parents/guardians will be financially liable for any damage caused to the school district network servers and computers by worms or viruses on a personal device that is connected to the school network. 3. No student shall knowingly gain access to, or attempt to gain access to, any computer, computer system, computer network, information storage media, or peripheral equipment without the consent of authorized school or district personnel.

MOBILE DEVICE RESPECTABLE USE POLICY————————————————— Use of mobile devices (cell phones and other electronic communication devices) must demonstrate respect and responsibility on the part of the user at all times. Students are permitted to use mobile devices, including cell phones, in the hall between classes. Students may have silenced mobile devices on their person. The use of communication features during class/study hall is prohibited. Mobile electronics may not disrupt worship, education, or school activities. Teachers may require that cell phones be off and in view during their class period. Each teacher has the right to permit the use of mobile devices for specific instructional activities. Alternate means will be provided for students who do not have access to a mobile device. Mobile devices may not be used to record (audio, still picture, or video) at any time without the express permission of the party or parties involved. The appearance and/or use of mobile devices is prohibited in our school locker rooms or restrooms at any time. If a student uses a mobile device to text or talk during class, the device will be brought to the office. The student will be required to pay a fine to have the device returned to him/her. A second offense will result in the device being held for up to 24-72 hours.

MP3/iPod Policy (Grades 7/8) MP3/iPods will be allowed for personal use at PCGS during seventh and eighth grade study hall. Policy Guidance: 1. No cell phones may be used (even if they play music) 2. No music videos (music only) 3. No games (music only) 4. No movies (music only) 5. Device cannot be shared with another person 6. Music must not be audible to others 7. Students must be able to hear teacher and announcements 8. Player must be turned off a. until after general announcements made by the teacher at beginning of class b. at the end of the period 9. Students are encouraged to listen to appropriate music for Christian teens. 10. Students who are on academic probation will not be allowed to use these devices during study hall until passing class. Violation Consequences 1. Device taken into office for 24 hour period (if Friday for weekend) 2. A behavioral detention and device kept for week 3. A behavioral detention and the device must be picked by parent and student in the office. Student will not be allowed to have device at school for remainder of school year.

Electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, IPods, computer games, and laser pointers, may not be displayed or used in the classroom during 22 school hours. Students may text between periods or during Supervised Free. A student found to be in violation of this policy will have their devices confiscated with the following consequences and a log kept of the infractions: 1. 1st Offense: Phone turned into the office with a parent call made. 2. 2nd Offense: Parent must come and get phone. 3. 3rd Offense: Student must turn in phone at beginning of school day for two weeks. To be extended if they are an habitual offender. A student found using any electronic device for pornography or “sexting” will be in violation of school policy and may be subject to legal as well as school discipline. Students may use a music player or IPod, with headphones during Supervised Free. Students may not wear headphones on their heads or around their necks through the day.


Students who use their own equipment to access the Districtʼs guest network are required to follow the same set of rules. Students who use their own personal equipment and outside networks may use this equipmentforpersonalusesduringnon-instructionaltime. Theymustrecognize,however, that they are in a school setting and must respect the need to maintain a positive learning environment. All state and federal laws and Board policies apply, including JFG, Inspections and Searches.

No written guidelines or policies – as we let anyone bring in any device that they feel is necessary. Separate wireless networks are available for staff, students, and guests.

One thought on “Banned Technologies in Iowa – personal devices policies

  1. Pingback: Personal devices | Julia McGuire talks about the WDM School Board

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