Board of Education Policy 6411: Use of Email in the School District

Electronic mail or email is a valuable business communication tool, however, users must use this tool in a responsible and lawful manner. Every employee and authorized user has a responsibility to be knowledgeable about the inherent risks associated with email usage and to avoid placing the District at risk. The same laws and business records requirements apply to email as to other forms of written communication. District employees and authorized users shall use the District’s designated email system, such as Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange, for all business-related email, including emails in which students or student issues are involved. Personal accounts and instant messaging shall not be used to conduct official business or contain any private or confidential student or District information.

Employee Acknowledgement

All employees and authorized users will be required to review a copy of the District’s policies on staff use of computerized information resources and the Administrative regulations established in connection with those policies. Each user must annually acknowledge this employee and authorized user agreement before establishing an account or continuing in his/her use of email.

Classified and Confidential

District employees and authorized users may not:

a) Provide lists or information about District employees or students to others and/or classified information without approval. Questions regarding usage and requests for such lists or information should be directed to a principal/supervisor;

b) Forward emails with confidential, sensitive, or secure information without principal/supervisor authorization. Additional precautions, such as encryption, should be taken when sending documents of a confidential nature;

c) Use file names that may disclose confidential information. Confidential files should be password protected and encrypted. File protection passwords shall not be transmitted via email correspondence;

d) Use email to transmit any individual’s personal, private and sensitive information (PPSI). PPSI includes social security number, driver’s license number or non-driver ID number, account number, credit/debit card number and security code, or any access code/password that permits access to financial accounts or protected student records;

e) Send or forward emails with comments or statements about the District that may negatively impact it; or

f) Send or forward email that contains confidential information subject to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and other applicable laws.

g) Share login access to your assigned email account with unauthorized individuals

Personal Use

Employees and authorized users may use the District’s email system for limited personal use. However, employees and authorized users shall have no expectation of privacy in email use. Personal use does not include chain letters, junk mail, and jokes. Employees and authorized users shall not access any other email account or system (Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.) via the District’s network or use the District’s email programs to conduct job searches, post personal information to bulletin boards, blogs, chat groups, and list services, etc. without specific permission from the principal/supervisor. The District’s email system also shall not be used for personal gain or profit.

Receiving Unacceptable Mail

Employees and authorized users who receive offensive, unpleasant, harassing, or intimidating messages via District email or instant messaging should inform their principal/supervisor immediately.

Records Management and Retention

Email shall be maintained and archived in accordance with the NYS Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1 and as outlined in the Records Management Policy. Email records may consequently be deleted, purged, or destroyed after they have been retained for the requisite time period established in the ED-1 schedule.


Employees/authorized users should receive regular training on the following topics:

a) The appropriate use of email with students, parents and other staff to avoid issues regarding harassment and/or charges of fraternization;

b) Confidentiality of emails;

c) Permanence of email: email is never truly deleted, as the data can reside in many different places and in many different forms; and

d) No expectation of privacy: email use on District property is NOT to be construed as private.


The Computer Coordinator may report inappropriate use of email by an employee/authorized user to the employee/authorized user’s principal/supervisor who may take appropriate disciplinary action. Violations may result in a loss of email use, access to the technology network, and/or other disciplinary action. When applicable, law enforcement agencies may be contacted.

Confidentiality Notice

A standard confidentiality notice will automatically be added to each email as determined by the District.

NOTE: Refer also to Policies #3320 — Confidentiality of Computerized Information
#3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the
School District
#5670 — Records Management
#6410 — Staff Use of Computerized Information Resources
#8271 — Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering

Adopted September 10, 2019