The ways in which we use technology to express ourselves, communicate, and connect is ever evolving. MA believes that students and adults alike can use tech in healthy ways that help grow self and community, and it also believes that all members of the community can have space to make choices—both on and off technology—that do not involve the school. As such, MA does not monitor personal (non-MA) accounts. We are aware, however, that the line between personal use and impact on the school community can be blurry, and as such, our technology and digital responsibility policies are based on three pillars: Consent, Power Dynamics, and Community. When using social media, networking sites, email, instant messaging, and texts, students must consider the impact on themselves and on other members of the community and be mindful of school rules and core values. In particular:
  • Emails sent to an entire class, all students, or the whole school must be approved by an MA adult before sending.
  • Any reported posting that ends up creating a hostile atmosphere for any member of our community will be investigated as a potential violation of the school’s harassment policy.
  • Reported anonymous postings on sites and apps that violate School norms and rules will be investigated.
  • When their social networking sites identify them as MA students, students are representing the school. As such, students who identify themselves as MA students should not post anything compromising that would then be publicly linked to the school.
  • Students should maintain strict boundaries between their personal and educational online accounts. Students may not “friend” or “follow” faculty or staff members on private social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. Students may interact with faculty or staff on public internet forums for educational purposes or on social media accounts specifically set up for the broader MA community, such as the MA Facebook page, the MA Instagram account, etc. Texting and direct messaging with adults in the community (e.g., teachers, coaches, advisors) must only be on the Pronto application, either  through Canvas or via the Pronto mobile app, not through personal text messages.
  • Students may only take pictures, video, or audio recordings during class time when approved by their teacher.
  • Students must be mindful that when taking pictures and video during the school day, they must have permission/consent of those in the picture or video in order to post it on their own social media accounts.
  • Students should not use their MA email accounts for commercial purposes, or for purposes unrelated to their activities at MA. Student email accounts are disabled on graduation day, which can cause issues for students who use their MA email address for personal uses.
  • Students should be aware that sending or exchanging sexually explicit messages or photos electronically on cell phones, computers, or other devices (“sexting”) can be very serious and can lead to damaging consequences personally, socially, and even legally. Note that doing so without someone’s consent will not be tolerated; forwarding, even possession of sexually explicit photos of minors by anyone, including students, is a violation of school rules and can be prosecuted as a felony under federal law.
  • There are times that digital responsibility overlaps with the School’s harassment policy; it is essential that students read both policies and understand these connections.
  • Investigations of violations of the School’s Digital Responsibility policies will be headed by the Dean of Students, Lynne Hansen, and may include others such as Class Deans and the Dean of Equity and Inclusion.

 

Photo, Video, and Video Conference Use

 

 
In some circumstances, Marin Academy may switch to an online course model, and some coursework will happen remotely. The online course model necessarily requires that students interact with their teachers using video conference services (Zoom or Google Meet) and recording and posting videos. Teachers will also meet with students one-on-one or in small groups in video conferences for tutorial and advisory. While such technology better enables students and teachers to engage in the learning process, it is important that students be mindful of their use of videos. Specifically, students should consider their interactions with teachers on video conference to be no different than an in-person interaction. Students are expected to be appropriately and respectfully dressed, just as they would if attending class in-person at their home schools when creating videos or in a video conference. Further, students are expected to log in to video conferences from public or semi-public locations, such as a common area in their home and using headphones as necessary to facilitate their participation. In no instance should students log into video conferences from private locations, such as a bathroom.

Further, while students are permitted and encouraged to use video conferences, students are expressly prohibited from taking any photos or creating any recordings of their faculty and/or fellow students without the express prior consent of the person being photographed or recorded.

Each student enrollment agreement grants the school permission to use pictures, video or audio recordings, in whole, in summary, or in part, in Marin Academy publications, websites, promotional materials, and media releases. The School may also record classroom and 1:1 Zoom meetings with students for student learning, community building, and other educational purposes. Classroom and other recordings will be utilized in accordance with the School’s personal data/data protection guidelines.
 
Learning Systems and Subscriptions
 
Students are given access to Marin Academy’s Learning Management System, Canvas, on or before the day that their courses begin. MA and its teachers may ask students to subscribe to, or create accounts on, programs, systems, or services available on the internet as part of the study for their courses. If students, schools, or families have questions about programs that students are asked to create accounts for, they should direct questions to Kyle Vitale, Director of Technology.
 
Responsible User Agreement
 
Marin Academy provides a complete set of tools designed to support easy access and use of local and remote resources to facilitate communication and learning. In addition, there are appropriate procedures to guide student use of school networks, technology, and communications systems. In general, all users of these systems are expected to communicate in a professional manner consistent with Marin Academy’s Community Standards, state laws, and federal laws governing copyright. The School reserves the right to have a disciplinary response to any online contact inconsistent with Marin Academy standards.
 
The following activities are NOT PERMITTED when using any technology resource or service provided by or relating to Marin Academy:
  • Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures.
  • Using obscene language in school-related communications or through one’s MA email account.
  • Using any aspect of technology in a way that might hurt another person.
  • Damaging computers, computer systems, or computer networks.
  • Violating copyright laws (including using images or music without credit) or software licenses.
  • Using another’s password.
  • Making unauthorized changes to a workstation (computer, server, etc.) or how it operates.
  • Concealing identity or impersonating others when using a school email account.
  • Trespassing in another’s folders, work, or files.
  • Intentionally wasting limited resources.
  • Using the network for commercial purposes.
  • Playing electronic games or using social media during class.
  • Sharing confidential information about MA students or employees.
All students, and at least one parent/guardian, are required to sign MA’s Responsible User Agreement before access to technology resources and services is granted. A copy of this form must be submitted to the tech office by emailing a copy to TechSupport@ma.org.
 
Violations of the above may result in a loss of access as well as other disciplinary consequences as mentioned in the Community Standards portion of this Handbook. The School may take legal action against violators, if necessary.
 
Cell Phones
 
Cell phones have become an integral part of society’s regular communication. There are, however, times when they create a disruption to learning and/or the community environment. As such:
 
MA Encourages:
  • MA families to utilize cell phone service features that allow the turning off of cell phone messaging and calls during the school day. We also encourage student phones to either be powered off and stored outside their bedrooms or that service is turned off between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. each day to help allow for uninterrupted sleep.
MA Expects:
  • Family members to avoid calling or texting students during the school day. If there is an emergency or necessary information that must get to a student, a call should be made directly to the School.
  • Cell phone use in the classroom to be determined by individual classroom teachers. Students should follow the cell phone (and all technology) rules of each individual teacher.
Assembly is one of many times where the value is placed on in-person interaction, and cell phones should not be used. Students wishing to record or otherwise use their devices during assembly should receive permission from the Class Dean in advance.