P. O. BOX 2120
March 1, 1996


TO: Division Superintendents
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.