Guidelines for Bringing Your Own Device

In our schools, students are allowed to bring their own personal computing devices with them to school. The following simple guidelines are in place to ensure that students are responsible and respectful users of these devices so that all learners may benefit from wireless access as part of the instructional program.

  • Bringing a personal computing device to school is a big responsibility. Parents and students should consider together whether or not it is the right choice for an individual student
  • Only use your personal computing device in class when your teacher gives permission
  • Always be fully engaged in your class work
  • Know and respect the responsible use guidelines for technology –they apply to your own personal computing device
  • Secure your personal computing device in your locked locker when it cannot be with you
  • Inappropriate usage of personal computing devices will be addressed according to the procedures articulated in the disciplinary procedures

What devices are acceptable under the BYOD initiative at CPS?

For BYOD, “Device” includes any wireless and/or portable electronics such as laptops, chromebooks, netbooks, iPads, tablets, e-readers, iPod Touch, cell and smart phones.

Is technical support available if the device won’t connect to the network, stops working, or breaks?

No.  Each student and/or teacher is responsible for his/her own device: set-up, maintenance, charging, and security.  Tech support personnel will not store, diagnose, repair, or work on a student’s or teacher’s personal device.  It is not the responsibility of the technology department to troubleshoot personally owned equipment.

When can I use my personal computing device in school?

Before/After School -­‐ Yes
In class when my teacher approves – Yes
During lunch- No
During Assemblies – No

Where can I use my personal computing device at school?

Classrooms, Libraries

Where shouldn’t I use my personal computing device at school?

Cafeteria, Locker Room, Gymnasium, During Assemblies. Personal computing devices should be locked in your locker when not in use.

What if I don’t have a personal computing device? Will I miss out on instructional opportunities?

Absolutely not! Students are not required to bring their own personal computing devices, even if they own one. Students who do not bring personal devices will be provided with a school owned computing device when digital tools are being used to enhance learning in the classroom.

What if something is wrong with my personal computing device or I don’t know how to use a program?

Our technology staff is not able to repair or troubleshoot personal computing devices for connectivity issues. Make sure that your personal computing device meets the minimum technical specifications for connecting to our wireless network and that you are familiar with the programs and applications you want to use for your personal productivity at school.

What if my personal computing device is stolen?

We expect that our students will demonstrate good judgment and take the proper steps to ensure the security of their personal devices while at school. We recommend that you label or engrave your name on your personal computing device and use your device’s password protection feature. If you cannot have your device with you (such as at P.E., in the cafeteria, during after school activities, etc.), you must secure it in your locked locker. As with all personal items, students bring electronic devices to school at their own risk. The Chelmsford Public Schools cannot be held responsible for stolen, damaged, or misplaced items.

Can teachers require students to bring their own devices?


How will a student’s education differ if the family does not have an Internet-connected device?

Many lessons are collaborative allowing students to work together, sharing information accessed through personal or school-owned devices. When the work is individual, students may use school-owned devices made available. No student’s learning experience or academic performance will be affected because he or she does not have an Internet-connected device to bring to school.

When can a student use the electronic device at school?

Students may only use their electronic devices in class as and when instructed by the teacher. Expectations for students with their own devices at school will vary by teacher.

What are the restrictions for use of the device?

Students may not display, use, or activate their device in any manner that is disruptive to the instruction. Additionally, students are not allowed to use their device in the bathrooms, locker rooms, hallways or during class change.

What are the classroom rules for using student owned devices including phones?

Student owned devices will be subject to the same rules as any other tools used in the class. Individual teachers will make the final decision for their
classroom and communicate their expectations to parents and students. School Administrators may make decisions regarding the use of personal devices in the common areas of their individual school.

How will teachers prevent students from just texting their friends or surfing the Web?

Students will be instructed to put devices away when they are not completing a specific instructional task.

Where can I see the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology?

The Acceptable Use Policy can be found in the Student Parent Handbook and in the School Committee Policy Manual.

Will a teacher or school administrator have the ability to revoke a student’s BYOD privilege?

Yes, if a student is not following the guidelines for the use of his or her personally owned device, a teacher or school administrator can revoke the privilege to possess or use the device through the regular discipline process. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

What happens if a teacher or administrator takes possession of a student’s device due to inappropriate

When devices are confiscated students will be given directions on a process to retrieve their device.

Will students be allowed to connect their wireless device to the school’s network?

Students can use their device to connect to the designated wireless network of the school. Students use their network login credentials to make this connection. They may not connect to any other network including cell phone tethering.

How will students access the Internet?

Students can access the Internet by joining CPS WIFI using their login credentials. They may not use any data plans available on their device to access the Internet.

Will there be technical assistance provided to access the wireless network?

Since there are literally hundreds of devices that could be brought to school as part of the BYOD program, there is no technical assistance provided other than providing the wireless connection. Students will be expected to know how to connect their devices.

Will the wireless access be filtered?

The wireless Internet access available through Chelmsford Public Schools will be filtered in the same manner as all district-owned devices.

How will students be able to print?

Students will not have the capability to print from their devices in school.

Will students be able to recharge devices during the school day?

Students should not have the expectation that they will be able to charge devices at school.

Will students be able to use ear buds or other types of headsets?

Students may use these during class with the permission of the teacher or administrator.

Will students be able to record teachers or classmates (audio or video)?

No, unless there is explicit permission from the teacher as part of an educational project.

Can students use another student’s device?

Because of the inherent nature of personally owned devices, devices should only be used by the owner of the device.

Where will my child's work be stored?

All students are encouraged to save their work to their Google Drive.

As a parent, am I required to add additional software (virus protection, filter, tracking device)?

Virus protection is required for laptops and netbooks while on the school’s network. If our network identifies a threat from a personal device the device will be blocked from joining the network.

How will theft, loss, or damage of a personally owned device be handled in a school?

The guidelines for the BYOD program specifically address the risk of students bringing their own devices to school. The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices.

If my child’s laptop is stolen or damaged, what recourse can I take?

The district is not responsible for any damage or theft of student owned equipment. Installing tracking software can help locate the equipment if it is stolen, and keeping track of the device’s serial number, model and type will be helpful as well. Theft or vandalism of any kind should be reported immediately to the School’s Main Office so the appropriate school administrator can take the appropriate steps.

Will the family need to have Internet access at home?

No. It would be helpful to have some form of Internet access (wired or wireless) in order for a child to make full use of school resources from home, as well the multitude of resources available on the World Wide Web. But, it is not required in order for a child to use a personal computing device at school.

Who is responsible for the data, including videos, pictures, and history on a personal device?

The student in entirely responsible for the data, video, pictures and browser history on their device.