Web Accessibility, Content, Apps, and Services
Creation of Content for Web Pages/Websites, Apps, and Services
The Board of Education authorizes staff members to create content, apps and services (see Bylaw 0100 Definitions) that are hosted by the Board on its servers or District-affiliated servers (i.e., servers the Board pays to use or otherwise sanctions the use of) and/or published on the Internet.
The content, apps, and services must comply with applicable State and Federal laws (e.g., copyright laws, Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
(COPPA)) and reflect the professional image/brand of the District, its employees, and students. Content, apps, and services must be consistent with the Board’s Mission Statement and staff-created web content, services, and apps are subject to prior review and approval of the Superintendent before being published on the Internet and/or used with students.
Purpose of Content of District Web Pages/Sites, Apps, and Services
The purpose of content, apps, and services covered by this policy is to educate, inform, and communicate. The following criteria shall be used to guide the development of such content, apps, and services:
Content should be suitable for and usable by students and teachers to support the curriculum and the Board’s Objectives as listed in the Board’s Strategic Plan.
Content may inform the community about the school, teachers, students, or departments, including information about curriculum, events, class projects, student activities, and departmental policies.
Content may communicate information about the plans, policies, and operations of the District to members of the public and other persons who may be interested in and/or affected by District matters.
The information contained on the Board’s website(s) should reflect and support the Board’s Mission Statement, Educational Philosophy, and School Improvement Process.
When the content includes a photograph or personally identifiable information relating to a student, the Board will abide by the provisions of Policy 8330 – Student Records.
Under no circumstances are District-created content, apps, and services to be used for commercial purposes, advertising, political lobbying, or to provide financial gains for any individual. Included in this prohibition is the fact no web content contained on the District’s website may: include statements or other items that support or oppose a candidate for public office, the investigation, prosecution, or recall of a public official, or passage of a tax levy or bond issue; link to a website of another organization if the other website includes such a message; or communicate information that supports or opposes any labor organization or any action by, on behalf of, or against any labor organization.
Under no circumstances is staff member-created content, apps, and services, including personal web pages/websites, to be used to post student progress reports, grades, class assignments, or any other similar class-related material. Employees are required to use the Board‑specified website, app, or service for the purpose of conveying information to students and/or parents.
Staff members are prohibited from requiring students to go to the staff member’s personal web pages/websites (including, but not limited to, their Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest pages, YouTube Channel(s), or TikTok sites) to check grades, obtain class assignments and/or class-related materials, and/or to turn in assignments.
If a staff member creates content, apps, and services, related to their class, it must be hosted on the Board’s server or a District‑affiliated server.
Unless the content, apps, and services contain student personally-identifiable information, Board websites, apps, and web services that are created by students and/or staff members that are posted on the Internet should not be password-protected or otherwise contain restricted access features, whereby only employees, student(s), or other limited groups of people can access the site.
Community members, parents, employees, staff, students, and other website users will generally be given full access to the Board’s website(s), apps, and services.
Web content, apps and web services should reflect an understanding that both internal and external audiences will be viewing the information.
The District’s website(s) and web pages, apps, and services must be hosted on Board-owned or District-affiliated servers.
The Superintendent shall prepare administrative guidelines defining the rules and standards applicable to the use of the Board’s website and the creation of web content, apps, and web services by staff.
The Board retains all proprietary rights related to the design of and content for its website(s), apps, and web services, absent written agreement to the contrary.
In order for a student’s school work (i.e., work that is created in a class, at school, or as part of a school-sponsored extracurricular activity) to be displayed on the Board’s website, the student (who is eighteen (18) years of age or older) or the student’s parent (if the student is seventeen (17) years of age or younger) must provide written permission and expressly license its display without cost to the Board.
Likewise, prior written permission from a student (who is eighteen (18) years of age or older) or the student’s parent (if the student is seventeen (17) years of age or younger) is necessary for a student to be identified by name on the Board’s website.
The District is committed to providing persons with disabilities an opportunity equal to that of persons without disabilities to participate in the District’s programs, benefits, and services, including those delivered through electronic and information technology, except where doing so would impose an undue burden or create a fundamental alteration. The District is further committed to ensuring persons with disabilities are able to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same benefits and services within the same timeframe as persons without a disability, with substantially equivalent ease of use; that they are not excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any District programs, services, and activities delivered online, as required by Section 504 and Title II of the ADA and their implementing regulations; and that they receive effective communication of the District’s programs, services, and activities delivered online.
This policy reflects the Board’s commitment and intention to comply with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. Section 794, 34 C.F.R. Part 104, Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 12131, and
28 C.F.R. Part 35 in all respects.
The District will adhere to the technical standards of compliance identified at www.mendonschools.org. The District measures the accessibility of online content and functionality according to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, and the Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA 1.1) for web content.
Web Accessibility Coordinator
The Board designates its Technology Director as the District’s Web Accessibility Coordinator(s). That individual(s) is/are responsible for coordinating and implementing this policy.
See Board Policy 2260.01 for the Section 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator(s)’ contact information.
Third Party Content
Links included on the Board’s website(s) or web services and apps that pertain to its programs, benefits, and/or services must also meet the above criteria and comply with State and Federal law (e.g. copyright laws, CIPA, Section 504, ADA, SOPPA, and COPPA). While the District strives to provide access through its website to online content provided or developed by third parties (including vendors, video-sharing websites, and other sources of online/digital content) that is in an accessible format, that is not always feasible. The District’s administrators and staff, however, are aware of this requirement with respect to the selection of online content provided to students. The District’s Web Accessibility Coordinator(s) or designee will vet online content available on its website(s), apps, and services that are related to the District’s programs, benefits, and/or services for compliance with this criteria for all new content published on the District’s website(s), apps, and services after adoption of this policy.
Nothing in the preceding paragraph, however, shall prevent the District from including links on the Board’s website(s), apps, and services to:
Recognized news/media outlets (e.g., local newspapers’ websites, local television stations’ websites); or websites, services, and/or apps that are developed and hosted by outside vendors or organizations that are not part of the District’s program, benefits, or services.
The Board recognizes that such third party websites may contain advertisements that are not age-appropriate or consistent with the requirements of Policy 9700.01, AG 9700B, and State and Federal law.
The District, under the direction of the Web Accessibility Coordinator(s) or designees, will, at regular intervals, audit the District’s online content and measure this content against the technical standards adopted above.
This audit will occur no less than once every two (2) years.
If problems are identified through the audit, such problems will be documented, evaluated, and, if necessary, remediated within a reasonable period of time.
Reporting Concerns or Possible Violations
If a person accessing the District’s website(s), apps, or services (e.g., a student, prospective student, employee, guest, or visitor) (“user”) believes that the District has violated the technical standards identified above in its online content, the user may contact a/the Web Accessibility Coordinator with any accessibility concerns.
The user may also file a formal complaint utilizing the procedures set out in Board Policy 2260.01 relating to Section 504 and Title II.
Instructional Use of Apps and Web Services
The Board authorizes the use of apps and web services to supplement and enhance learning opportunities for students either in the classroom or for extended learning outside the classroom.
The Board further requires the use of a Board-issued e-mail address in the login process prior written parental permission for a student seventeen (17) years of age or younger to use the student’s personal e‑mail address in the login process.
The District will provide periodic training for its employees who are responsible for creating web content or distributing information online so that these employees are aware of this policy and understand their roles and responsibilities with respect to web design and creation and/or uploading of documents and multimedia content.
One-Way Communication Using District Website(s), Apps, and Services
The Board approves the use of its website(s)/web pages, apps, and services to promote school activities and inform stakeholders and the general public about District news and operations.
Such communications constitute public records that will be archived.
When the Board or Superintendent designates communications distributed via District web pages/websites, apps, and web services to be one-way communication, public comments are not solicited or desired and the website(s), apps, or services are to be considered a nonpublic forum.
If the District uses an app and/or service that does not allow the District to block or deactivate public comments, the District’s use of that app and/or service will be subject to Policy 7544 – Use of Social Media unless the District is able to automatically withhold all public comments.
If unsolicited public comments can be automatically withheld, the District will retain the comments in accordance with its adopted record retention schedule (see AG 8310A – Public Records, and AG 8310E – Record Retention and Disposal), but it will not review or consider those comments.