Acceptable Internet Use Policy

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Virginia K-12 educators and students use instructional resources via LAN, WAN, the Internet, wireless and other electronic devices. Administrators, teachers, library media specialists, and students must monitor the use of technologies for grade-level and content appropriateness, ethics, and safety.

Schools and divisions are required to establish guidelines for appropriate technology use. These guidelines generally are called acceptable use policies (AUP). By definition, an AUP is a written agreement signed by students, their parents/caregivers, and their teachers. It outlines the terms and conditions for using technology-based devices maintained by schools and personal technology-based devices used during school hours on school property. Legislation approved by the 2006 General Assembly and signed by Governor Kaine requires that each division's policy include an Internet safety component. You can find several resources regarding Internet safety guidelines and resources on the Internet Safety page.


An AUP must address (1) access to and transmission of data and information within the K-12 environment and (2) any technology-based device in the school or personal device brought into the school. It must include the following components:

  • Description of the instructional philosophies and strategies to be supported by Internet access in schools
  • Statement on the educational uses and advantages of the Internet in a school or division
  • Statement that the AUP complies with state and federal telecommunication codes, laws, and regulations
  • Statement regarding the need to comply with fair-use laws and other copyright regulations while accessing and utilizing the Internet and other network materials and resources
  • Disclaimer absolving the school division, under specific circumstances, from responsibility
  • List of the roles and responsibilities of division personnel, community stakeholders, parents, and students for using the Internet and other electronic-based resources
  • Description of the safety measures currently in place and those measures planned for emerging technologies not currently deployed in the system
  • Description of the methods by which the division ensures data and network security
  • Description of prohibited forms of technology-based applications and hardware use by employees and students in addition to details of associated penalties (including clear definitions of acceptable online behavior and access privileges—reflecting any circumstances unique to a specific school or division)
  • Description of the procedures to address breaches of Internet and intranet security and safety, including legal actions to be taken
  • Description of the ongoing professional development opportunities for each stakeholder group and associated needs assessments and evaluations
  • Description of the community outreach activities and associated needs assessments and evaluations
  • Description of the procedures for evaluating and revising the AUP
    Signature form for teachers, parents, and students indicating their intentions to abide by the AUP


Various laws mandate Internet filtering on school and library computers. Legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly required state schools to implement filtering in public schools by July 1, 2001. The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), passed by Congress in December 2000, applies to all schools and libraries that receive E-rate discounts for Internet access and internal connections.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued regulations for schools and libraries receiving non-telecommunications E-rate discounts.

The following link provide additional information about filtering options:

  • The ALA CIPA page – American Library Association