SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 43
March 1, 1996
|FROM:||William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Internet Acceptable Use Policy|
Many K-12 educators are interested in using the Internet as an educational tool. With the many potential educational benefits the Internet brings, it also brings the potential for misuse. There is concern about the appropriateness of some material available to students on-line and how Internet connections are being put to use in schools. Such concern is understandable. To this end, schools and school divisions, both state and nationwide, have taken steps to help keep inappropriate materials out of the school setting. One such action is an Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) involving guidelines for the exploration and use of the Internet as a tool for learning. We support and strongly encourage the development of the AUP on a local basis. To assist Virginia's schools in the development of an AUP, the Department of Education, in cooperation with the Virginia Educational Technology Advisory Committee (VETAC) and professional organizations, is planning the creation of an electronic handbook to be posted on VA.PEN. The purpose of the handbook is to provide educators with a resource document that includes guidelines and examples that can be used as models for writing an AUP. The handbook will cover several topics. They include: issues and concerns that guide the development of an AUP, components of an AUP, existing school policies, and ways a school can contact other schools that have developed an AUP. To provide an opportunity for school divisions to participate in the development of the electronic handbook, a team of educators will make a request via VA.PEN for suggestions, comments, recommendations, and a copy of local policies. The handbook will be posted on VA.PEN. For additional information regarding the development of this resource, contact Gloria K. Barber at
or (804) 225-4429 or Ida J. Hill at or (804) 225-2757. WCBJr./psw