We do not advise anyone to use their personal computers, but…

Use of Personal Computers.

Generally, it is not advised that personal computers or phones be used for public business, but in situations like these, it may be unavoidable.

Best Practices include:

  • If, in the course of the business, if an email(or text) is generated from a personal device that is otherwise subject to Ch. 119, we recommend the members copy it to district-provided email or phone number to ensure transparency.
  • Keeping all work limited to district apps (like email and whatever district-approved apps the teachers use to communicate with their students). That way, all public and educational records are stored on these apps and can be accessed by the district on their end through the app rather than the personal computer.
  • Making yourselves available: If you have an employee, who is subject to a request, members can/should work with the union to pull any responsive records off the device and hand them to the district and avoid the appearance of hiding responsive documents.

District Use of Personal Computers:

  1. The employer cannot force you to use your own personal equipment unilaterally.  That’s your personal property and the district does not own it.  The district should be assigning you their own laptop to avoid any issues with the Public Records.
  2. If you have no other choice but to use your personal computer, then use the district’s remote server drives/cloud and its apps, like email, where everything will be stored in the district’s server and not your own computer.
  3. Save any work to the District drive or cloud.
  4. If you communicate to parents through the RE-MIND app (many districts do), you don’t have to worry about this because those records should already be in the RE-MIND cloud.
  5. Do NOT conduct district business via text.
  6. If you receive professional communication in your personal avenues, forward/copy them to district avenues.
  7. If you have absolutely no choice but to save district work to your personal computer, be sure that it is saved in a designated folder and NOT co-mingled with your personal items.
  8. That way, under your public records retention duty and upon receipt of public records requests, you can turn over the documents to the district. (Note: Advisable to turn them over in full as soon as COVID-19 is over before any requests arrive.  If you have handed over that designated electronic folder, the district cannot search your computer.  You will already have discharged your public records obligation by doing so, placing the ball in the district’s court to manage those records appropriately.)
  9. In addition to Public Records please be aware that there are additional confidentiality concerns:
  • Ensure that other family members do not have access to the location where student files are saved.
  • Ensure that personal files stored on the computer are not located where they could get accidentally mixed in with district work—and cause a EPC sanction.