Menomonie School District Tech Policy Tightened over Privacy Concerns

The Menomonie school board has learned that the districts policy prohibiting the use of technology to transmit or record content in schools has been updated.

by Pamela Powers, Leader-Telegram / November 14, 2017 0
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(TNS) — The Menomonie school board Monday learned the district’s policy prohibiting the use of technology to transmit or record content in schools without permission has been updated.

During the meeting it was pointed out that in some schools across the country children are being sent to school with GPS tracking devices that also have the capability to remotely record and/?or transmit audio or video content. Due to privacy expectations for other students and school district employees, this use of technology is prohibited in the Menomonie district.

“There is some concern for the privacy rights of other students in classrooms and activities,” said schools Superintendent Joe Zydowsky, noting students could be recorded without their knowledge.
Students will be alerted about the change to the policy.
 
In another issue, the board endorsed a welcoming proclamation for the Menomonie Cares campaign. The board did not take a vote because the district’s policies already are inclusive but verbally agreed to the proclamation.
 
Menomonie Cares works to ensure a safe and welcoming city for everyone. It started out of concern about divisiveness and mistrust in the nation.
 
The proclamation, which has already been adopted by the Menomonie City Council, reaffirms the city’s prohibition of discrimination against any employee, citizen, resident or visitor based on race, age, disability, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion or sexual orientation.
 
The proclamation also says the city will support the values of kindness, compassion, respect and neighborliness and will propose, promulgate and enforce laws and ordinances that carry out such intent.
 
The board also learned that the percentage of students districtwide using free or reduced lunches has declined from about 36 percent to just over 34 percent. To get some additional federal funding the number must be at 35 percent. Last year Wakanda, Downsville and River Heights elementary schools and Menomonie Middle School qualified for additional funding. With the new numbers Wakanda and the Middle School no longer qualify.
 
However, the numbers will be monitored over the school year to see if they change.
 
“If the district truly had lesser numbers that’s good, but is it reality?” asked board member Penny Burstad.
 
Zydowsky said he feels the number of students that would qualify for the free or reduced meals are higher than the number reflects.

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