BYOD – Bring Your Own Device

IMPORTANT – Please make sure each device is labeled with your student’s name.

Helena Middle School follows the guidelines set forth in the Shelby County Board of Education BYOD Policy.  HMS does not allow the use of cell phones during school hours unless special permission has been granted by an administrator.

In order for students to bring personal devices to school, they must return the Code of Conduct and Attendance Parent and Student Acknowledgment Form.

Shelby County Schools BYOD Policy

The goal of the BYOD program is to expand learning opportunities for students. However, parents and students should know that bringing a personal device to school is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to:

  • Use their device responsibly and keep it secure
  • Use their device for educational purposes
  • Respect the property of others
  • Follow all rules related to BYOD
  • Know how to use their device and how to adjust its settings
  • Exhibit good digital citizenship and safe online practices

Permitted Devices

  • Laptops, netbooks, Chromebooks
  • Tablets (Android, Apple, Windows)
  • Ebook Readers
  • Smartphones (only if permitted by school)

Rules and Conditions

BYOD permissions can be temporarily or permanently revoked when warranted. Situations that could cause this privilege to be suspended or revoked include, but are not limited to:

  • Misbehavior of individual student(s), whether or not technology is involved
  • Adverse effect on school culture (cyberbullying, distraction from learning, etc.)
  • Network conditions
  • Special events such as online testing periods
  • Changes in technology policy and procedures
  • All content accessed on the device while at school must be appropriate for the school environment

In addition to rules found in the Code of Conduct and the Technology Acceptable Use Policy, the following rules apply to BYOD:

Where & When

  1. Students may only use their device in the classroom when instructed to do so by their teacher.
  2. Students may not use their device for texting personal messages or updating personal online accounts during school hours with the exception of communicating with parent/guardian in emergency situations.
  3. Students may not use their device in common areas, such as hallways and the cafeteria, unless the individual school permits this use.
  4. Students may only use their device in the library/media center with the permission of the media specialist.
  5. Students may not use their device while on school buses (Transportation Policy in Code of Conduct).

Storage and Theft or Loss of Device

  1. Students should not ask teachers or staff to ‘hold onto’ or store their device.
  2. Administrators should not be asked to retrieve devices left in school lockers.
  3. The school/District will not be held financially responsible for lost or stolen devices, nor are school administrators responsible for conducting searches for lost/stolen devices.

Network, Internet Access, Electrical Charging

  1. Students should always use the school’s wireless BYOD network, not personal data plans or other wireless networks, in order to access the Internet. (BYOD privileges may be revoked for students found to be visiting websites which are blocked by the District’s filter.)
  2. Students should bring devices fully charged to school. Access to electrical outlets for charging should not be expected.

Disclaimers and Data Charges

  1. Students are herein instructed to use the school’s BYOD network and not personal data plans to access the Internet when using their devices at school. Students or their parents are responsible for all data charges that a student’s device may incur due to use in school. The school will not be responsible regardless of whether the student used their device for a lesson as using personal devices is never mandatory.
  2. Teachers may use certain mobile applications such as Poll Anywhere that involve students sending texts in order to respond to classroom questions. Students are not required to participate in these activities and should not participate using their personal device if their service plan does not include a texting plan that will accommodate such use without additional charges.
  3. No guarantee is made that the school’s wireless network will always be available. Network outages may occur without notice. In addition, no quality of wireless signal is promised. Signal strength may vary depending on the location in the school and the number of devices simultaneously connecting to the network.

 Content and Apps

  1. Students may be asked to download free apps that teachers use for classroom activities. If parents do not wish their child to download these apps, they should inform their student not to do so without their prior permission.
  2. Students may not store inappropriate content on the device that is brought to school.
  3. Use of annoymizing apps, such as YikYak and others, are discouraged and prohibited during school hours.
  4. Students should ensure that their device does not contain any software or apps that will independently access illegal or inappropriate file sharing sites.


  1. The school/District will not be held responsible for any damage or data loss, including damage/data loss resulting from connecting devices to the school’s wireless network or power outlets.
  2. School/District staff, including Technology staff, will not configure, troubleshoot, or repair student devices.
  3. School officials may read, examine, or inspect the contents of any personal device upon reasonable suspicion that the contents or recent utilization of the device contains evidence of a violation of these or other rules and policies, as well as any local, state, or federal laws.

IMPORTANT – Please make sure each device is labeled with your student’s name.

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