Public schools that receive E-rate reimbursement for part or all of their telecommunications are subject to FCC guidelines and must be in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act. (CIPA). Here is information from the FCC CIPA website
that explains the basics of CIPA compliance. Lightspeed, our content filtering company, provides additional information in their guide: Web Filtering in Today's Schools
What CIPA Requires
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal.
Schools subject to CIPA have two additional certification requirements: 1) their Internet safety policies must include monitoring the online activities of minors; and 2) as required by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, they must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing:
(a) access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet;
(b) the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
(c) unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
(d) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
(e) measures restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.
Content Filtering Software
To be in compliance with FCC CIPA guidelines and other school district policies, the Bainbridge Island School District uses content filtering software to monitor online activity and block access to sites that are not in compliance with CIPA. The filtering software categorizes websites based upon certain criteria. Sites categorized as not in compliance with CIPA will be blocked.
BISD School Board Policies
Request to Review Categorization of a Website
While our content filtering software does a great job of categorizing and filtering most websites, the dynamic nature of the Internet makes on-going website evaluation necessary. In addition, the specific section of a website you are viewing may be appropriate, but other content on that same site may not be appropriate. Our filtering system and process needs to take into account all of the content on a website. At least once each year, the team will review and configure our content filters to ensure that our system supports viewpoint-neutral content and is filtering appropriately according to CIPA and school district policies.
If a student or staff member feel that a site has been mis-categorized, here are some steps to have it reviewed for access or re-categorization. Request will go to a school district review team comprised of district technology staff and teacher-librarians. Final authority for categorization of a site or access to a site will reside with the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. Requests can sometimes be reviewed and processed in the same day; those requiring additional research may take up to 7 school/business days to make a determination.
- Read and follow the directions on the "Access Denied" screen if a website is blocked. Choose the "submit it for review" option.
- Bring the issue to the attention of your school principal, counselor or teacher-librarian. While submitting a written request can be done anonymously, including your name and contact information will help the review team learn the specifics of your request and allow them to contact you during the review process.
- Call the BISD Technology Help Desk at 206-780-1668 or submit a Help Desk ticket explaining the issue.