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Frequently Asked Questions

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updated: Friday, June 9, 2017

Parental Concerns


Q: Where can parents gets tips and ideas on how to support their children in the digital age?
A:
Please visit our Parental Concerns and Help Page.


Access

Q: What if we don't have Internet access at home?
A:
 We understand that the Internet is not accessible for every one.  Teachers will provide alternate means for students without access to complete assignments.

Q: How will schoolwork be affected if my child loses the privilege to use the device?
A: The classroom teacher will make alternative means for the student that does not have a device to complete their assignments.

 

Device Distribution/Assignments

Q: How and when will the devices be distributed?
A:
Devices will be distributed in manner convenient to the school schedule.  Students will be assigned a device through the school's libary management system and will be issued to each student.  Students will not be able to take the device home until the proper paperwork has been received by the school.

Q: Are student to bring their power charger to school?
A:
Devices are equipped with a long lasting battery.  Properly charged, the laptop should last for the entire school day.  It is recommended that students should NOT bring their chargers to school.   If a student does bring their power charger to school they will be responsbile for it.  Students should not share or borrow other student chargers. 

Q: Does this device stay with the student all year?
A: Yes. The students receive a device near the beginning of school and will maintain this device throughout the school year.  Students will take devices home every night, on weekends, and during non-school days (unless otherwise  noted by the central office).  Students will return devices to the school before summer break.

 

Technology Usage Assessment/Fee

Q: What is the $25 technology usage assessment/fee?
A:  The non-refundable $25 technology usage assessment/fee is included as an Onslow County Schools instructional fee to assist with the program costs necessary for the management and sustainability of a 1:1 learning environment.   This assessment charge does not cover replacement costs.  

Q: Can I pay the $25 in installments?
A: Of course, please contat the school for more information.

Responsible Use

Q: What is my family’s responsibility for loss or breakage in school, out of school, or both?
A: If a device is stolen, families will not be held responsibile as long as a police report is on file and the school is notified.  If a device is lost, the school may handle this the same way as if a textbook is lost.  We anticipate that accidental damage is going to occur.  The $25 technology usage assessement/fee will address most of the commonly seen issues.  If damages occur due to negligent use, or, if the same device is submitted for repair on a routine basis then other steps may take place to address this concernn.  Depending on the laptop's conidition, user may incur replacement costs.  Please note that the technology usage assessment/fee will also cover damages to the power charger but it will not cover replacement costs. 

All decisions about damage to devices are determined by and handled at the school level.  Please contact your child's school for more information. 

Q: Is there an insurance plan for devices bought by families and/or for devices loaned to families by schools or districts?
A:
At this time, devices will not be available for loan or for purchase by individual families.  The $25 insurance assurance will address most issues.
Q: Is there an acceptable use policy (AUP)? Where can I find it?
A: Yes, the plan can be found here.
 
Q: What are the school’s disciplinary consequences for inappropriate use?
A: Disciplinary decisions are determined by the school administration.
 
Q: How do any disciplinary consequences extend beyond the school day and off-campus?
A: Disciplinary decisions are determined by the school administration.

Q:
What are the expectations around using the device at home? Is it just for school work or can my child use it for personal or entertainment reasons?
A: The device is intended to be used for educational and school related purposes only.

Q: Who else can use my child’s device?
A: Your child's device is assigned only to them.  Each student is responsible for their own device and should not be used by other students, friends, or family members.

Q: Will students have email or other accounts?
A:
Yes.  All students are provided a safe and filtered email account through a county approved provider.  To find out more about this service, please contact the school Media Coordinator.
Q: What if I don't want the device because I can bring my own?
A: All students are expected to use the OCS issued device.  This way the device is connected to a safe filtering system and can access all of the needed software used in the instructional setting.  Devices that are consistent in capability, programs, security, and storage are a necessary for effective and efficient use of class time.
Q: What if I do not want my child to have a device?
A: These devices are intended to be the main instructional tool for students in each and every classroom.  The devices will allow students to find information, take notes, work on assignments and projects, communicate with teachers and other students, complete assessments, etc. The 1:1 initiative will be an integral part of their education in Onslow County Schools.  Please contact the school for more information.
Q: What if I don't want my child to bring the device home?
A: This is a family decision but it is encouraged for all students to have access to their laptop to ensure that they have the opportunity to reach resources and information as related to the education.
Safety

Q:
What is my family’s responsibility in monitoring what my child does on the device at home?
A: The best filtering or safety tool at home is a watchful parent or responsible adult.  We recommend that parents monitor student work/time on the device.  Every family situation is different and we have found that some parents collect the device after a certain time of day, some parents had their child charge the device in the parent bedroom overnight, some parents require that students use the device in an open area in the house where they can be closely monitored.  To keep kids safe, we certainly need help at home, but how that looks is different with every situation.

Q: Is the school using a content filter for Internet browsing?
A: Absolutely.  The devices are all connected to Onslow County Schools network, which provides safe access to desired content.

Q: Is there a way I can have similar filtering options at home?
A: When connected to wi-fi at home or off of school campus the devices still run through the Onslow County Schools network, which provides safe Internet browsing.  So, even at home, the devices work the same as if they were being used in school.

Q:
How and where should devices be stored/cared for at home?
A: Every family situation is different and we have found that some parents collect the device after a certain time of day, some parents had their child charge the device in the parent bedroom overnight, some parents require that students use the device in an open area in the house where they can be closely monitored.  To keep kids safe, we certainly need help at home, but how that looks is different with every situation.

Q: How can I access or view my child’s digital work?
A: Parents do have access to the ParentPortal to track student grades, attendance, and overall academic progress.  To see other digital work, parents are encouraged to get usernames and passwords from their child.  It's best that clear expectations are set between the parent and the child.  Communication is key!

Q: Will students have email or other accounts?
A:
Yes.  All students are provided a safe and filtered email account through an OCS approved provider (Microsoft Office365 is the student email service provider for this school year).  To find out more about this service, please contact the school Media Coordinator. 
  • Is Office 365 compliant with FERPA?

    • While an educational institution has many varied obligations under FERPA, Microsoft stipulates the key contractual terms that govern the use and disclosure of education records that may be stored in Office 365, allowing educational institutions to use Office 365 as part of a broader FERPA compliance strategy. 

      FERPA requires any educational agency or institution that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Education to protect privacy rights of students by safeguarding “education records” from use or disclosure without consent. Department of Education guidance makes clear that email communications are considered education records subject to FERPA and that cloud email providers should be similarly restricted in how they use or disclose information in emails and documents. 

      FERPA requires that a cloud provider agree that “education records” contained in faculty, staff, and student emails and other electronic documents will be used only for the narrow purpose of providing the cloud service and that such information will not be scanned or used to support and maintain commercial activities such as advertising. Microsoft provides educational institutions with a route to FERPA compliance by agreeing to be deemed a “school official” subject to FERPA with “legitimate educational interests” in the institution’s data, and by agreeing to abide by the limitations and requirements imposed by FERPA on school officials, including agreeing that it will not scan institution emails or documents for advertising purposes.

  • If my school uses Office 365, does Microsoft require direct parental consent for students under the age of 13 to ensure COPPA compliance?

    • No. Microsoft uses Office 365 customer data only to provide the Office 365 service and not for other commercial purposes (such as for advertising or marketing or to build commercial profiles). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stated that under such circumstances an “operator is not required to obtain consent directly from parents.” 

      Microsoft provides Office 365 to the school as our customer and all customer data belongs to the school. We do not use or share Office 365 customer data for any other commercial purposes (for example, in connection with advertising or marketing or to build user profiles for commercial purposes not related to the provision of Office 365). For more information, please visit the Office 365 Trust Center. Accordingly, the FTC’s guidance indicates that an operator such as Microsoft does not need to obtain direct consent from parents of students using the service—even if they are under the age of 13. As the FTC explains, COPPA allows schools to act as either as an intermediary for parental consent or “the parent’s agent in the process of collecting personal information online from students in the school context” where, as here, the operator collects users’ personal information only for the use and benefit of the school. However, consistent with the FTC’s guidance, we believe schools should forward information to parents about how personal information is collected, used, and shared in Office 365—including assurances that Microsoft will not use such information for other commercial purposes—in the school’s own Acceptable Use Policies for Internet Use or similar document that educates parents about in-school Internet use of Office 365 and any other online services, whether provided by Microsoft or other providers. For more information on COPPA compliance generally, see the FTC’s Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions. For unique issues related to COPPA and Schools, refer to FAQs M1 to M4 from the foregoing document.

  •  If my business is subject to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), can I use Office 365 and remain compliant?

    • Yes. Microsoft uses customer data only to provide the Office 365 service and does not use or share the data for its own or a third party’s commercial purposes, such as for advertising purposes. Moreover, Office 365 provides features and security that support customers’ compliance with COPPA.

      We understand that Microsoft customers may use Office 365 in connection with activities that may be governed by COPPA—like providing commercial online services directed to children under 13 years of age or otherwise knowingly collecting personal information from such children. Office 365 customers are ultimately responsible for complying with their own COPPA obligations, which may include providing parents with notice of the customer’s practices regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information from children under 13, and obtaining any necessary parental consents. However, the use of Office 365 creates no additional COPPA burdens for customers beyond those that would apply if the customer used an on-premises solution. Microsoft uses the customer data in the Office 365 services only for the benefit of the customer—we don’t use or share customer data for commercial purposes other than to provide the Office 365 service. Moreover, Office 365 supports customers’ compliance with COPPA through our implementation of extensive measures designed to help protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of customer data. For more information on COPPA compliance generally, see the FTC’s Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions.

  • If my organization is subject to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), does Office 365 provide controls that help with compliance?

    • Yes. CIPA requires certain schools and libraries that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education, or that receive certain discounted services through the U.S. E-rate program, to annually certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technological measures to protect against Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors. Entities subject to CIPA must also certify that their Internet safety policy addresses unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors, among other requirements. Although CIPA obligations do not directly apply to Microsoft or to the provision of Office 365 services, and customers must independently assess whether their Internet safety policy complies with CIPA obligations (including technological measures governing web access entirely unrelated to Office 365), the Office 365 service supports customer compliance through administrative controls that allow customers to control user access to Office 365 components, and through the implementation of extensive security measures designed to help safeguard customer data.

 

Q: Can my child's device and/or web cam be accessed remotely?
A:  Although rare, the IT Department may need to remote in to a device to fix a technical issue.  This can be done only if requested by a school representative from the adminstration or the IT Department.  Once the devices are home, the device can not and will not be accessed remotely.   


School Supplies

Q: What type of bookbag will my child need?
A: A bookbag designed to hold a laptop is best.  These bags have a padded area inside to protect devices like laptops.

Q: Will the school provide a case and/or accessories for the device?
A: Only in special instances (determined by the school or central office) would a bag and/or accessories may be provided.

Support/Training

Q: What type of technical support will be available after school hours?
A: Basic tech support tips will be provided to all students to troubleshoot their device.  Students will also be provided a link to request "tech support" for their device.  Once submitted a member of the Onslow County Schools IT Department will be able to address the issue when the device is back on campus.

Q: How are students and staff being trained for this 1-to-1 rollout?
A: Teachers are provided several opportunities to attend engaging and interactive workshops on how to successfully implement a 1:1 classroom.  Throughout the entire school year, teachers will receive additional opportunities to learn strategies and best practices for this type of learning environment.  Students will also receive ongoing opportunities in digital citizenship, hardware and software training, as well as how to properly care for and use their device.

Q: Will there be ongoing education for parents and caregivers?
A: Yes.  Parents and caregivers are the best resources we have to help make this a successful implementation.  The structure of this education is still being designed.  
Q: How can I help support the school with this 1-to-1 program?
A: The most important support is making sure care is given to the device at all times by the students and the device is always charged.
Q: Can my child's device and/or web cam be accessed remotely?
A:  Although rare, the IT Department may need to remote in to a device to fix a technical issue.  This can be done only if requested by a school representative from the adminstration or the IT Department.  Once the devices are home, accessing the device can/will not be accessed remotely.   

Computer Specs

Q: What are the specs and configuration of the device?
A:  The devices are Dell 3340 laptops.  These devices will be configured by district staff and built to specifications for educational use.
 
Q: Can my child and I configure or personalize the device in any way?
A: No. It is important for the devices to remain consistent for both instructional use and support.
 
Q: What software will be preloaded on the devices?
A: Pre-loaded software with be Microsoft Office and other instructional support software as identified by district staff.
 
Q: Can we purchase or install software ourselves on the device?
A: No.  
 
Q: Can we download free software on the device?
A: Only if approved by district staff.
   
Q: How can I help support the school with this 1-to-1 program?
A: The most important support is making sure care is given to the device at all times by the students and the device is always charged.

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