Student Code of Conduct

Although our classroom environment is virtual (online), the standards of behavior are as important as they are in brick and mortar schools. In other words, our virtual classrooms are real classrooms with real teachers; therefore, appropriate student behavior is expected. To ensure that all Virtual Academy students understand how to behave in an online environment, we have developed a code of conduct that all students are required to follow.


As a virtual learning student, there are additional rules and expectations to protect all students and all staff members. Access to remote learning must be used in a responsible, safe, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. With expanded access to electronic information, availability of inappropriate material is not uncommon. Some sites contain illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or offensive information. We especially appreciate partnering with parents to teach responsible Internet use.


The Virtual Academy is part of Lexington School District Two; therefore, all Board policies for faculty, students, and staff apply in this alternate instructional format.  Additionally, this code of conduct addresses student interaction with Virtual Academy faculty, staff, and other Virtual Academy students, as well as their individual actions.

Interactions with Faculty and Staff

  1. Students should address all Virtual Academy faculty and staff members as adults with the courtesy expected for education professionals.
  2. Students should phrase communications with Virtual Academy faculty and staff in a polite and courteous manner appropriate for speaking to adults. The tone of emails and phone conversations must be respectful.
  3. Since our online environment is a learning environment, students should not use excessive “slang” or language that they might use in other environments.
  4. Students are not to use obscene, profane, threatening, or disrespectful language or images in any communications with faculty and staff. These actions are prohibited as indicated in Board Policy JKAA and JKAB.
  5. Students’ Google profile picture must be appropriate for an educational environment. Profile pictures may not be offensive or inappropriate in any manner. The Virtual Academy administration reserves the right to determine if a student profile picture is inappropriate. Students using an inappropriate profile picture will be required to update their user profiles.

Interactions with Other Students

  1. All communications with other students enrolled in the Virtual Academy must be of a course-related nature.  Any sending of unsolicited email to other classmates is prohibited.
  2. All communications with other students in any forum, course related email, discussion post, etc., must be polite, courteous and respectful.
  3. Students are not to use obscene, profane, threatening, or disrespectful language or images in any communications with other Virtual Academy students. These actions are prohibited as indicated in Board Policies JKAA, JKAB, and IJNDB.

Bullying and Harassment

A safe and respectful environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. Harassment or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of administrators, faculty, staff, and volunteers to provide positive examples for student behavior.


"Harassment or bullying" is any gesture or written, verbal, social media or video post, graphic, or physical act (including electronically transmitted acts – e.g. internet, cell phone, or wireless hand-held device) that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression; or a mental, physical, or sensory disability or impairment; or by any other distinguishing characteristic. Such behavior is considered harassment or bullying whether it takes place on or off school property, in a supervised or unsupervised situation, in face-to-face instruction or in a virtual setting.


“Harassment” is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:

  • is directed at one or more students;
  • substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students;
  • adversely affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities because the conduct, as reasonably perceived by the student, is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to have this effect; and,
  • is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic (cf. above), or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any of these characteristics.

“Bullying” is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:

  • is directed at one or more students;
  • substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students;
  • adversely affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress; and,
  • is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic (cf. above), or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any of these characteristics.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff.


The best discipline is self-imposed; it is the responsibility of staff to use disciplinary situations as opportunities for helping students learn to assume responsibility and the consequences of their behavior. Staff members who interact with students shall apply best practices designed to prevent discipline problems and encourage students’ abilities to develop self-discipline. Since bystander support of harassment or bullying can support these behaviors, both active and passive support for acts of harassment or bullying is prohibited. The staff should encourage students to support students who walk away from these acts when they see them, constructively attempt to stop them, or report them to the designated authority.


Reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment or bullying is prohibited. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act.


False accusation of another as a means of harassment or bullying is prohibited.


Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment or bullying shall be unique to the individual incident and will vary in method and severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance. Remedial measures shall be designed to: correct the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the behavior; and protect the victim of the act.


Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

Student Email

All Lexington Two Virtual Academy students are provided with an individual school email account upon registration. Students are required to use this school email address to communicate with their teachers. School administrators reserve the right to monitor student and teacher emails, as well as conversations that occur within Google Meet. Students are responsible for messages sent from their accounts. Students should not share passwords. Use of the school email system will align with the school’s code of conduct, and misuse of the school’s email system may result in the disciplinary actions outlined in the district’s discipline policy, including but not limited to suspension from the school email system.

Acceptable Use Policy (AR-IJNDBR)

Technology access

Technology is vitally integrated into the educational process and curriculum of the district. Students and staff will be provided access to technology to include hardware, software, network, Internet and electronic mail (email) services. By providing this access, the district intends to promote educational excellence in schools by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, communication and learning by allowing access to resources unavailable through traditional means.


Through the network and Internet, students and staff will have access to the following:

  • electronic mail communication
  • global information and news
  • public domain and network-based software and shareware of all types
  • discussion groups on a vast range of topics
  • access to local, regional, public, state and national library catalogs

Effective use of technology in an educational setting requires proper end-user conduct according to strict guidelines. These guidelines are provided so that students and staff are aware of their responsibilities when using technology. If a Lexington County School District Two user violates any of these provisions, his/her access will be restricted and future access may be denied. Additionally, any user who violates these guidelines will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Violations of the laws of the United States or of the state of South Carolina may subject users (employee or student) to criminal prosecution. 


The Internet can provide a vast collection of educational resources for students and employees. It is a global network that makes it impossible to control all available information. The district makes every effort to monitor and restrict ready access to known objectionable sites and to controversial or inappropriate materials. Although students will be under teacher supervision while on the network, it is not possible to constantly monitor individual students and what they are accessing on the network. Some students might encounter information that is not of educational value. The district does not condone the use of controversial or offensive materials and cannot be held responsible for such use. Use of technology and/or Internet access for any purpose that is inconsistent with the educational mission of the district is strictly prohibited.


Upon reviewing the Acceptable Use Agreement (IJNDB-E), each staff member and student is indicating he/she has read the terms and conditions carefully, understands their significance and is agreeing to abide by the policy and administrative rule. Signatures affixed to the Acceptable Use Agreement are legally binding. 


Due to the integration of technology in the educational process and the curriculum of the district, student use of technology is not optional. All students enrolled in the district understand that they will be using technology responsibly at school and at home on a regular basis and are bound by the terms of this policy and administrative rule.

Internet safety policy

In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the district uses technological devices designed to filter and block obscene materials, child pornography or "harmful to minors" materials as defined in the CIPA. 


For purposes of this administrative rule, this document is the district's "Internet safety policy." This rule includes provisions to address access by minors to inappropriate materials on the Internet and World Wide Web; the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, discussion boards and other forms of direct electronic communications; unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors online; unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors; and measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.

Terms and conditions

Acceptable use

The district's purpose for using technology is to support research and education in and among academic institutions by providing access to unique resources and the opportunity for collaborative work. Student use of an account must be in support of education and research and consistent with the educational objectives of the district. Use of another organization's network or computing resources must comply with the rules appropriate for that network. All public domain software and shareware must be registered. Transmission of any material in violation of any federal or state regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material or material protected by trade secret. Use for commercial activities is generally not acceptable. Use for product advertisement or political lobbying is prohibited.


At the beginning of each school year, students and staff receive information about the appropriate use of technology, the district network, safety and other issues governing technology use through the district's student/parent handbook and the district's employee handbook. 


Lexington County School District Two requires all its users to report technology related issues or problems immediately. Students are instructed to tell their attending teacher. Employees are instructed to tell their supervisor. 


District web pages must comply with district policies on FERPA, data privacy and public use of school records. 


Lexington County School District Two will not be responsible for any obligations resulting from any unauthorized use of the system. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material, material protected by trade secret, inappropriate materials of any kind or any other illegal act. 


Lexington County School District Two will involve law enforcement should illegal activities take place.


Lexington County School District Two expects users to immediately report if they mistakenly access inappropriate information or images, any message they receive that they feel is inappropriate or that makes them feel uncomfortable and any possible security problems. By immediately reporting, users protect themselves against allegations that they have intentionally violated the technology acceptable use policy. Students will immediately tell their attending teacher. Employees will immediately notify their supervisor.


Students will not post personal contact information about themselves or other people unless it is in conjunction with a specific school-approved assignment or approved college/career communication. Personal contact information includes, but is not limited to, home address, telephone numbers, school address, etc. 


Students will not engage in unauthorized recording of fellow students or staff via still photography, audio or video.


Users will utilize the system for educational, professional or career development activities only and when it is not disruptive and does not interfere with the performance of other responsibilities by the employee or other staff members.


Users may download text and other non-executable files attached to email messages or from the Internet for school-related business only.


Users will not upload or scan in inappropriate or non school-related images of their own accord to district technology resources.


Users will not use district technology to maintain a personal business, for unauthorized commercial purposes or for financial gain unrelated to the mission of the school district.


Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the email system, the district Web pages or any other computer systems through Lexington County School District Two email and/or Internet and/or network access.


Users will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt computer systems or network performance or to destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal.


If the user feels he/she can identify a security problem on the Internet, he/she must notify a school staff member, a system administrator or the district Internet coordinator. The user must not demonstrate the problem to other users.


Users will not use another individual's account without written permission from that individual. Attempts to log on to the Internet as a system administrator will result in cancellation of user privileges.


Users will not download or install any unauthorized software or install any unauthorized hardware.


Users will not run any executable files attached to an email message.


Users will not knowingly use portable data storage devices which contain viruses or in any other way knowingly spread computer viruses.


Users will not use defamatory, false, obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, bullying, disrespectful, disruptive, racial, violent or any other inappropriate language in public messages, private messages and any material posted on Web pages. All communications via district Web pages will comply with the district's technology policy and district's student code of conduct (JICDA) policy and administrative rule (JICDA-R).


Users will not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory remarks.


Users will not send harassing email, texts, pictures or electronic messages to another person. Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person. If a user is told by a person to stop sending messages, he/she must stop.


Users will not use the district system to access sites/material that are profane, obscene or pornographic; nor will they use the system to access sites/material that advocate illegal acts, violence or discrimination towards other people.

Responsibility

Lexington County School District Two makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. The district will not be responsible for any damages the user incurs. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries or service interruption caused by its own negligence or the user's errors or omissions. Use of any

information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk. The district specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy, quality or cost of information and goods or services obtained through the Internet. If a user incurs unauthorized costs, the user, as well as the user's parents/legal guardians (if the user is a student), will be responsible for all such costs.


District and school computer technicians who are working with a computer or other electronic device and come across sexually explicit images of children must report this to local law enforcement and the superintendent. The report must include the name and address of the owner or person in possession of the computer. Along with cooperating with law enforcement's investigation of the report, the district will launch an internal investigation to determine the appropriate disciplinary measures.

User privacy

Email messages and any other electronic files created using district resources or stored district resources are the property of the district. This includes messages and files transmitted through the district or school network connection, including wireless Internet.


The district reserves the rights to examine, restrict or remove any material that is on or passes through its network, just as it does any other work or material generated at or brought to school or work by staff or students.


Access to electronic information related to any student or staff member will be governed by the same policies that would apply to that information if it were not in electronic form.


Messages related to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to the proper authorities.

Lexington County School District Two utilizes several web-based software applications and services operated by third parties. In accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), these services will be COPPA compliant and responsibility for full and continued compliance rests with the web-based software and service operators and not with Lexington

County School District Two.


In the event there is a claim that a student has violated this policy, he/she will be notified of the suspected violation and given an opportunity to present an explanation. Any student found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as explained in Board Policies JKAA and JKAB, as well as other disciplinary or legal action.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a concept used to address the many facets of authenticity within a

student's work. A student who upholds a high standard of academic integrity maintains that all work turned in is his or her own and is based on the knowledge he or she has acquired.


The technology age has brought fast access to any and all information on the web. Because of

this, educational institutions must be increasingly vigilant in maintaining accountability measures which ensure academic integrity.


It is important that as you take courses online, you are equipped to utilize technology appropriately. The Internet can be a powerful research tool. The key is to know how to use it and what is appropriate.


Failure to demonstrate academic integrity will result in consequences.  Additionally, parents may not login to a student account and complete coursework on behalf of the student.

Academic Integrity means...

  • Your work on each assignment is completely your own
  • Your collaboration with another classmate on any assignment must be pre-approved by your instructor
  • You will not practice plagiarism in any form
  • You will not allow others to copy your work
  • You will not misuse content from the Internet

Plagiarism is mentioned above. What is plagiarism exactly?

Plagiarism is copying or using ideas or words from another person, an online classmate, or an

Internet or print source and presenting them as your own.


Some examples of plagiarism:

  • Buying a paper from a research service or term paper mill
  • Turning in another student's work without that student's knowledge
  • Turning in a paper someone else has written for you
  • Copying a paper from a source text without proper acknowledgment
  • Copying materials from a source text, supplying proper documentation, but leaving out
  • quotation marks
  • Paraphrasing materials from any resource without appropriate documentation
  • Turning in a paper from a "free term paper" website

Disciplinary Action

Violations to the Virtual Academy Student Code of Conduct will initiate the following procedure:


  1. Upon the violation, the teacher will complete and submit the Virtual Academy Student Code of Conduct Reporting Form. This action will alert the Virtual Academy administration.
  2. The school administration will notify the student and parent that the student has violated the code.
  3. Based on the report and ensuing investigation, the administration will determine what, if any, disciplinary action must be taken. A violation of the Virtual Academy Student Code of Conduct will result in a disciplinary action and extreme violations may result in referral to the district hearing officer.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

As a parent/guardian of a virtual school student, it is very important to understand the responsibilities associated with that role. With the many distractions students have today, it can be difficult for some students to set aside time to work on courses when not in school. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to encourage the student to manage their time in an effective way.


Teachers will keep the parent/guardian apprised of the student’s progress and will initiate contact if they fall behind in their coursework.  Parents are expected to supervise and monitor their student’s progress throughout the duration of the course, just as you would in a regular learning setting. This can be accomplished by accessing the parental account periodically to monitor student progress.


Parents should support Academic Integrity. Academic Integrity is one of our core values and one of the most important areas of focus as a learning organization. Students with Academic Integrity make decisions based on ethics and values that will prepare them to be productive and ethical citizens.

 

You may contact your child’s teacher directly via email and/or Class Dojo to answer questions about the course that you may have. When a parent/guardian has a concern about the child's performance or behavior, the parent/guardian should set up a virtual conference with the child's teacher.