File:  EGAEA - Electronic Communication

NOTE:  Colorado school districts are required by law to adopt a policy on this subject, however the specifics of the policy are not set forth in law. This sample contains the content/language that CASB believes best meets the intent of the law. However, the district should consult with its own legal counsel to determine appropriate language that meets local circumstances and needs.

This policy was substantially revised in July 2008. Due to the extensive revisions, the policy is presented as all new language.

Electronic communication is the transmittal of a communication between two or more computers or other electronic devices, whether or not the message is converted to hard copy format and whether or not the message is viewed upon receipt. Electronic communication includes all electronic messages that are transmitted through a local, regional or global computer network.

All district electronic communication systems are owned by the district and are intended for the purpose of conducting official district business only. District electronic communication systems are not intended for personal use by district employees. Employees shall have no expectation of privacy when using district electronic communication systems.

Electronic communication sent or received by the Board, the district or district employees may be considered a public record subject to retention under state or federal law. Such electronic communication may also be subject to public disclosure or inspection under the Colorado Open Records Act.

Whenever the district is a party in litigation or reasonably anticipates being a party in litigation, Board members and district employees in possession of electronic documents, email and/or other evidence relevant to the litigation or reasonably anticipated litigation shall retain all such documents, emails and other evidence until otherwise directed by the superintendent or designee.

To ensure compliance with applicable law and district policy, the district retains the right to review, store and disclose all information sent over the district electronic communication systems for any legally permissible reason, including but not limited to determining whether the information is a public record, whether it contains information discoverable in litigation and to access district information in the employee's absence.

Upon sending or receiving an electronic communication, all users shall segregate or store those communications that are public records. Public records are those that evidence the district's functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the district or that contain valuable district data.

Electronic communication on district computers or district electronic communication systems shall be retained only as long as necessary. Such electronic communication shall be deleted on a routine basis unless otherwise required to be retained by district policy or state or federal law.

The custodian of records for the district shall assist the public in locating any specific public electronic records requested and shall provide public access to public electronic records in accordance with state law. The district's records custodian shall also be responsible for assisting the district's schools and other sites in complying with record retention requirements.

District employees may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of this policy.

(Adoption date)

LEGAL REFS.:  C.R.S. 24-72-203 (1)(b)(I) (district must adopt policy regarding the retention, archival and destruction of electronic records)

C.R.S. 24-72-204.5 (district must adopt policy on monitoring of electronic mail)

C.R.S. 24-80-101 et seq. (State Archives and Public Records Act)

CROSS REFS.:  EHB, Records Retention

GBEE*, Staff Use of the Internet and Electronic Communications

GBJ, Personnel Records/Files

JRA/JRC, Student Records/Release of Information on Students

JS*, Student Use of the Internet and Electronic Communications

KDB, Public's Right to Know/Freedom of Information

[Revised July 2008]