South Orange-Maplewood Virtual Learning Code of Conduct for 2020-21 School Year

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From the SOMSD:

SOMSD Virtual Learning Code of Conduct

Overview:  The SOMSD Virtual Code of Conduct is intended to give our students, families and staff members clear guidelines for what is expected of our students in a virtual setting.  As we navigate our online learning environment, clarity of expectations will set us up for collective success.


Students are expected to comply with the SOMSD Code of Conduct and Restorative Practices document and policies therein.   If while engaged in the use of the Internet, technology, or social media outside of school, a student engages in behavior that fails to comply with the code of conduct, and such behavior causes a substantial disruption to the virtual or in person learning environment, a student may expect appropriate consequences with restorative practices as the lens, mindset and approach.

  1. Upon entering an online class, video should be turned on and kept on for the duration of the class (unless directed or excused by the instructor). A student’s face should be visible to the instructor during live virtual sessions.  Students will follow class procedures for alerting the teacher/requesting permission to turn off screens for a period of time.  Instructors will employ sensitivity to personal matters and available work spaces for students when granting permission to periodically remain off camera.  Instructors will be mindful of the need for managing time on screen, breaks, etc.  Screen time will be used to engage and connect students with the instructor and with one another.
  2. School appropriate attire should be worn while on camera.
  3. Students and families are encouraged to remain in contact with school counselors, administrators and instructors regarding their needs as it relates to access to technology and WiFi.  The South Orange Maplewood School District remains committed and available to families in need of additional wireless and device access.
  4. The device used should be identified by the student’s full name, which is the name the instructor will see on the screen. Students may not change their names unless the instructor has provided permission for the child to do so.  Students are permitted to use names aligned to their gender identity even if this name is not listed in Power School as per district policy.

Privacy, Data Protection, and Security

  1. Taking screenshots or screen recordings of virtual classrooms without the explicit permission from the instructor and class members is not permitted. The instructor may choose to record sessions for students to watch remotely or to use for subsequent groups for educational purposes. The instructor will announce in advance if a session is recorded. Recorded sessions may not be distributed to third parties outside the district and will be stored in and made accessible only through district platforms.
  2. You may inform your instructor if you do not wish to be filmed/recorded, and can subsequently choose to turn off your webcam. In this case, a student will work with the teacher regarding expected participation.
  3. Students may not create or post images of class meetings using screenshots or screen recordings of any member of the faculty, staff, student body, or administration without the express permission of the instructor.  Derogatory posts, memes, etc. are not permitted.
  4. Students and families will make a concerted effort to protect student privacy above and beyond and efforts of the district. Please be aware that anything done online or electronically is not private and can be monitored.
  5. Please do not share personal information, including passwords, online about yourself, family, friends, or faculty.
  6. Do not upload or post personal information, private communications or photos of others without their permission.
  7. Do not engage in behavior that puts yourself or others at risk. Students should seek the help of the instructor if they feel unsafe, bullied, or witness unkind behavior.

Appropriate Participation

  1. All classroom and school rules apply: Harassment, intimidation and bullying are not permitted.
  2. Students will share any concern they have about another student with their teacher and let their teacher know immediately if they feel unsafe in a large virtual class or breakout room/small group.
  3. While in a breakout room, students are expected to follow all virtual and in person code of conduct expectations.
  4. Please minimize background noise to the extent possible (muting, use of headphones, closed doors, quiet areas, etc.).


  1. Always use a device in a way that shows consideration and respect. The use of obscene, profane, threatening, or disrespectful language both while speaking or in discussion posts, chats, etc. is not permitted.
  2. Do not disrupt the virtual learning environment in any way.  Please remain muted unless speaking, “raise” your physical hand or virtual hand (if applicable in the online platform)  to ask a question, make a comment, etc.
  3. Communication with students and staff should be of a course-related nature during online sessions.

Academic Integrity

  1. Cutting and pasting, copying  or plagiarizing Internet content, work that is not your own, or the work of your classmates is not permitted.
  2. Students may not post assessments, assignments, answers to assessments or assignments, or any other curricular materials on any media that can be seen by other students or other third parties.
  3. Students may collaborate with peers when the instructor has shared that this is part of the assignment or task.

District Equipment (Chromebooks and Hotspots)

  1. Exercise extreme care with district devices including securing the equipment whether it is in use or not in use.
  2. Do not leave District devices in a hot or cold environment for an extended period of time.
  3. Do not modify or attempt to circumvent security measures on District devices.
  4. Do not leave District devices plugged in for an extended period of time. Once the device is fully charged, unplug the devices’  power cords.
  5. Damage or theft to devices or components must be immediately reported to the district.
  6. The Student shall not, in any way, tamper with or misuse school equipment, either software or hardware. No form of tampering is acceptable.
  7. Students may not download copyrighted software, audio or video files, or any other copyrighted material from the Internet not legally allowed to be used. Any such material found will be deleted without prior notification.
  8. Only licensed software/apps may be installed on District computing devices. If students require special or non­standard software to be installed on this computing device for virtual learning, the installation must be cleared by the School beforehand.
  9. District devices may not be used for any form of personal financial gain.
  10. District devices and its contents remain the property of the School. No data stored on District devices is personal or private and the student has no reasonable expectation of privacy in such data. Any application or data (apps, music, etc…) will become the property of the School District upon completion of the program.
  11. District devices may record or collect information on the student’s activity or the student’s use of the device if the electronic device is equipped with a camera, global positioning system, or other feature capable of recording or collecting information on the student’s activity or use of the device. If School District equipment is issued to a student for use outside the District, it is possible this collection of information on the student’s activity or use of the device may occur outside of the school. The School District shall not use any of the capabilities in a manner that would violate the privacy rights of the student or any individual residing with the student as per. N.J.S.A.18A:36­-39 (P.L. 2013, c. 44).
  12. Food and drinks should be kept well away from District devices. The Student should also take care when shutting down and closing the lid of the computing device (if applicable) to ensure that nothing is left lying on top of the computing device’s surface.
  13. Students will keep District devices in their possession at all times.They will not give or lend it to anyone except to return it to the School for repair in case it is damaged.



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