Expectations for Remote Activities

During the 2020-2021 school year, some instruction and school-related activities will be conducted by virtual, telephonic, or other means. 

The Somerville Public Schools (“District”) reminds the school community about the importance of protecting the participants’ privacy and of maintaining a safe, respectful environment conducive to learning. We will strive to limit the disclosure of confidential student information but the nature of these virtual services and supports means that they will be provided in the virtual presence of other participants, including the parents/guardians of other students, and we cannot ensure student privacy. The District expects all participants (including but not limited to students, teachers, parents, guardians, and other staff) to adhere to the following expectations in virtual, telephonic, online, or electronic sessions, including learning activities, extra-curricular activities, meetings, and conferences (collectively referred to as “remote sessions,” regardless of technology used):

  • Participants will not share the links or passwords to the remote sessions with others or otherwise invite or allow others to participate in the remote services, without the District’s express consent. 
  • Participants agree to participate in remote sessions in a quiet, private area free of distraction, to the extent practicable, to provide an environment conducive to learning and to protect the students’ and other participants’ privacy.
  • To the extent virtual technologies are used, participants acknowledge other participants in the remote sessions will see whatever is visible by the participants’ webcam or other device, which may include but is not limited to themselves, their children, and portions of their homes. Likewise, participants acknowledge that they will see whatever is broadcasted by other participants. Accordingly, participants are expected to participate in remote sessions in appropriate locations and to safeguard information they would not wish to be shared.
  • Parents/guardians and other household members who normally are not privy to day-to-day classroom and group service discussions agree to respect and keep confidential any personal or private information inadvertently discovered about other students through a remote session.
  • The school district reserves the right to monitor remote sessions. 
  • Participants agree to behave in a manner conducive to learning and appropriate for a school environment, to the extent possible. Pertinent district policies and rules, including but not limited to those prohibiting cyberbullying and any acceptable use policies, apply during remote sessions. Students and family members shall refrain from sharing inappropriate visuals or using inappropriate language during remote sessions. The school district reserves the right discipline participants who commit disciplinary offenses during or in connection with the remote sessions. 
  • All District policies regarding use of the District’s computer network, internet access, and access to digital media, including but not limited to the Acceptable Use Policy, apply to virtual learning, including school-issued devices, networks, and online educational tools.

In addition, recording the remote sessions, however provided (e.g., by video conference, pre-recorded lesson, phone call), without consent, may be prohibited by state and federal law, including the Massachusetts wiretapping law and FERPA. Participants agree not to record in any way (e.g., video or audio recording, screenshots, or photographs), and agree not to add to, delete, modify, or otherwise edit in any way, the remote sessions or related materials unless otherwise agreed to in advance and in writing by all relevant parties. This prohibition applies to remote sessions provided individually and in a group setting.

By participating in the District’s virtual sessions, Participants acknowledge that they understand and agree to abide by the above requirements and understand and agree that participants’ image and voice will be transmitted over the internet, into the homes of other participants, and that the District, while taking measures to secure transmission, cannot guarantee or warrant complete confidentiality of participants’ voice or image while participating in online learning.

Individuals who have questions or concerns should contact the building principal.