Notice Regarding the District’s Use of Audio/Video Learning Platforms

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    (April 3, 2020- Subject to Regular Updates Throughout the Period of School Closure)

    The District is providing this notice regarding the use of audio/video learning that the District is offering for learning at home, now and in the future. 

    The District understands that protecting student privacy is a primary consideration as we transition to a remote learning environment, it is our hope that these parameters and expectations will enhance our efforts to protect student privacy.

    The District may use live audio/video conferences with teachers and other educational personnel. In the future, staff may also make pre-recorded lessons available via Google Classroom, Schoology or other similar platforms.

    If you do not wish for your child to participate in audio/video learning at home, you must reach out directly to your child’s teacher.  Otherwise, if you do not contact your child’s teacher, your child will be able to participate in any such conferences offered by the District for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

    In addition to the online learning resources available on the District’s website, District staff may also use the following audio/video platforms for instruction and/or interaction.


    This list may be updated regularly as more resources become available.  The District also reserves the right to discontinue the use of any platform at any time.

    Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to review the privacy statements for each platform prior to allowing their children to participate in audio/video learning at home.  The District is providing on-going professional development for staff regarding these platforms and general best practices associated with these types of learning platforms.

    Prior to allowing your child to participate in audio/video learning at home, you should discuss this information with your child and confirm your student understands the following:

    • The District takes privacy and security of student information seriously. In order to help ensure everyone's privacy students and staff must not:
      • Share passwords for any audio/video meetings or class gatherings with anyone outside of the established classroom;
      • Permit unknown persons to enter or participate in any audio/video meetings or class gatherings; and/or
      • Record or take pictures of any audio/video meetings or class gathering.**
    • The virtual classroom will be treated like the regular classroom. Other members of a student’s household may observe or otherwise participate in the classroom on the same terms that they could in a traditional classroom, and their doing so will not implicate your privacy rights. To the extent any member of your household observes or participates in the classroom, including your student, they will be held to the same standards of and expectations for behavior that would apply inside a classroom in the school building. If you have questions about what these expectations are, contact a building administrator for more information.
    • During classroom instruction, audio and video recordings and photography are not allowed.  The same applies to our remote learning instruction. You may not make audio or video recordings of remote learning instruction, or take photographs during instruction that include any staff member or other students. If you receive such recordings or photographs from a source other than the School District, delete them and do not post or forward.  Please notify the District immediately.
    • Continued participation or use of any resources is not guaranteed.

    Prior to each audio/video learning opportunity the lead staff member will provide a general summary of these expectations.  In general, the disclaimer will be as follows:

    “We are now going to begin a remote learning opportunity through the use of audio and/or video communication. It is important that we continue to respect the privacy and intellectual property rights of our school community – our teachers and our students. By participating in remote learning today, you agree that you may not save, record, share, or post this session or any photos from this session. 

    I also agree that I will not save, record, share or post this session or any photos from this session. The rules in school apply to this remote classroom experience. Students must treat each other with respect during our time together and must obey school rules. If you or your parents/guardians do not agree to these rules, please disconnect from this session and contact me to receive an alternative learning opportunity.”

    **Please note: the prohibition against recording also applies to all telephonic communications between staff members and students and/or parents/guardians.

    As we embark into this very new world on remote learning it is important for families to to understand that

    • By allowing a student to participate in online instruction, parents or guardians understand and agree that the information regarding their child and their child’s voice, image and writing may be shared with other students (e.g., group chats, shared assignments, video feeds) in the class, and that by allowing their child to participate parents or guardians are agreeing to the dissemination of such otherwise confidential information as described above.  
    • As part of offering this remote instruction, parents/guardians and students must keep in mind that they can be observed by the educator and by other students in what is normally a private/home setting. That setting should be free of any behavior, activities, items, or arrangements that implicate a student or family’s privacy and that the student and his/her parents/guardians do not want others to observe. By opting in to allow the student to participate in the remote learning described above, the parent/guardian and student agree that the Barnstable Public Schools and its staff, including but not limited to, have no liability or responsibility if such behavior, activities, items, or arrangements are observed by others. Parents/guardians are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of the above listed services when accessing programs from home. Students are responsible for their own behavior at all times. The same rules of conduct and behavior will apply as apply in the classroom. 


    These guidelines and expectations are informed by a number of legal considerations and protections.  The following provides a brief overview of these legal considerations.

    Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

    COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. By default, advertising is turned off for Barnstable Public Schools presence in Google Apps for Education. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. The school's use of student information is solely for education purposes. 

    Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

    The District is required by CIPA to have technology measures and policies in place that protect students from harmful materials including those that are obscene and pornographic. This means that student mail containing harmful content from inappropriate sites will be blocked. 

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

    FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents/guardians the rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information, but parents/parents may request the school not disclose this information. More information about student records is available as part of the District’s online Student and Family Handbook, https://www.barnstable.k12.ma.us/Page/4749 .

    A Note on Bullying and Harassment

    Even in this remote learning environment bullying, cyberbullying and harassment are strictly prohibited.  Anyone who experiences or witnesses bullying or harassment when participating in the District’s remote learning should notify the staff immediately.  The District’s Bullying and Harassment Intervention Plan is available as part of the District’s online Student and Family Handbook, https://www.barnstable.k12.ma.us/Page/4749