DaVinci High School/Comments 2005


These are archived comments about DaVinci High School.

The Principal of this school spends an inordinate amount of time at her desk monitoring the email traffic of the students in the school. The students are provided with a laptop computer with email and internet access. My suggestion to students, is to use the computer for school work only, send email messages that only discuss school work, don't chat with fellow students unless you keep in mind that she is also receiving each and every email. In fact, use your own computer and leave the laptop at school. Bring your work to school on a flash drive and don't send email at school at all. See the ACLU's website on students rights at [WWW]http://www.aclunc.org/students/guide/introduction.html I encourage every student to read the information provided. — SharlaDaly

What proof do you have that the principal is spending "inordinate" amounts of time checking e-mail? You are not a student, and your certainly not staff.
—Curious Student

2005-11-03 19:35:31   I would really like to know what the Principal's explaination of this is. Was this disclosed to the students prior to their enrollment? Perhaps the school board candidates should be asked what their take on this is?

I did a little bit of research: the district [WWW]Acceptable Use Policy:

G. Privacy 

a. You should expect no privacy in the contents of your personal files
on the district Internet/network system and records of your online
activity. All student use of the Internet will be supervised and
monitored. The district's monitoring of Internet usage can reveal all
activities you engage in using the district Internet system.  The district
specifically asserts ownership of all information on its system.

It then looks like even flash drives aren't safe and that proxies could give a false sense of security. These students agreed to leave any protections that they might have had behind when they signed up. Futher if students at other schools in the district signed the same AUP they are just as vulnerable. —JasonAller

2005-11-03 21:23:43   As US citizens, we have a fundamental right to privacy. Period. No amount of monitoring will obviate the origin of a student's desire to do something deemed 'inappropriate.' ItÂ’'s up to the parents and teachers, ultimately, to instill a sense of propriety and a desire to spend computer time productively. No one should agree to a legal abrogation of his or her fundamental rights. —ZN

Do we have a right to privacy as U.S. citizens? The 4th Ammendment grants that citizens may be secure from searches and seizures, but that could be constrained to not include privacy -especially if said citizen had no knowledge of being spied upon. Did you mean some other law? Unless there's a law granting a right, we ain't got it. —SteveDavison

2005-11-03 21:28:19   It really isn't as bad as it made out to be here, just don't be an idiot and sell drugs over the school provided E-mail system. If you are really intersted in sending private E-mails and browsing privately, then there are ways around, like proxies, which do in fact keep your usage hidden, but are usually unavailable do to overusage. remember: DHS students don't usually get to E-mail at all in english, History, and Math classes, so it should be considered a privalage, anyway the computers were given for academic purposes, so you shouldn't expect for them to accomidate for other activities —DanielGonzales

2005-11-03 21:39:43   Should most of this discussion be moved to Acceptable Use Policies? Maybe leaving Sharla's comment and a pointer to the new location? —JasonAller

2005-11-03 21:46:35   A proxy accessed from a computer that has a [wikipedia]screen scraper or other monitoring program is not private. —JasonAller

2005-11-03 22:08:29   as far as screen scraping goes, i don't think there's any of that going on. (this probably doesn't belong here, but whatever) All of the laptops have a program called "Security Agent Dashboard" from lightspeed systems installed. Does anyone know what it does/can do? It doesn't seem to do anything, but due to apathy and lasiness and the fact that i don't really do anything on this computer, (besides the wiki of course) i haven't looked into it much. —AlexNorris

2005-11-03 22:35:49   Schools are prisons. The Sex Pistols knew that a long time ago. You're not supposed to have any right to privacy at a primary or secondary school — you forfeited that right the first day you attended Kindergarten. Your personal belongings and your locker can be searched at any time without a warrant and without probable cause. And we wonder why students go [wikipedia]Columbining their schools. Welcome to America, everyone, where the Bill of Rights only applies if you help your local congressmen get elected. —BrentLaabs

2005-11-03 23:37:02   About email reading, is encryption banned? What forms? I didn't see anything about encryption in the AUP. It could be fun to do pencil and paper cyphers. —NickSchmalenberger

2005-11-04 07:17:37   One person who goes there explained it to me. He said each student is loaned a laptop for the school year. They are periodically audited, so the student may not add their own software, etc. For your own stuff, you'll want your own computer. Below University level, schools are highly computer-phobic. —SteveDavison

2005-11-04 07:30:38   While software, etc. on the computer is periodically audited, email traffic is monitored on a daily basis. The Principal will interrupt email conversations between students, discipline based on content in the emails. The students should limit their email content to logistics for school projects only. No chatting. —SharlaDaly

2005-11-04 07:40:22   Can someone with one of the provided laptops post a list of the "approved" software? —JasonAller

2005-11-04 16:05:00   My understanding is that by "technology-based" they mean they use "technology" (laptops, Internet), it doesn't mean that they study technology itself. Their website confirms this. This may not be the place for the budding geek. —SteveDavison

2005-11-05 09:22:58   Well, just because they don't teach technology, does NOT mean that you can't learn it yourself :) As i have been doing since last year. One of the major benefits of having a laptop is being able to easily study whatever you want at any time. —AlexNorris

2005-11-06 20:19:40   As far as "approved software", we are really only allowed to install dial-up software, and nothing else. Last year they said I could Install blender 3d rendering program, and winamp, but this year they told us to not even download applications. The computers did come with the Adobe Creative Suite and six Macromedia Programs to keep us busy. —DanielGonzales

2005-11-09 20:40:07   I think the coolest thing about DaVinci is that, even though I don't attend any classes there, nor am part of the school, the teachers say hi to me when I'm on campus, and acknowldege my existance, unlike some of the teachers who I see every day at DHS. —JohnDudek

2005-11-14 14:28:24   Don't talk shit about ms. Mari. Shes awesome and she has an amamzingly hard job. She has a few thousand people who don' think that she can run this school, and on top of that, she is the principal of a school that has a bunch of irresponsible teenagers that run around with two thousand dollar laptops. Of course shes gonna read emails. She ahs to make sure that district property isn't being used for things that the district doesnt condone. And she doesnt read emails, only emails that have been flagged by the filters are read. These are filters that look at what is beign said in the email, and if specific words are said, then the email is flagged. —JulienBiewerElstob

I can understand your loyalty, but if you read the school's policy, you'll see that your posting here would violate the school's computer use policy. Isn't it even more disturbing that there are "filters" scanning each and every email that you send?

Compare DaVinci's policy with UCD's policy in the recent [WWW]article in the Aggie. Here's a sample quote: "What the university has done is set a clear policy to respect the privacy of all of its members with respect to their electronic communications," Donald Dudley said. "It's making a blanket policy that we're not going to routinely monitor, inspect or access student electronic information." —SharlaDaly

2006-03-28 20:16:43   As a former Da Vinci student (I am a Senior at DHS now) I want to say that after experiencing what I did at Da Vinci, I think it is completely the right-doing of the staff to flag whatever they need to. When I first began last year, there were absolutely no precautions on the machine really...we had the freedom to install anything we wanted. I even hacked it so that I could still access the internet and my computer would not be detected. I did this so I could install music players, have lots of random applications, etc, but I still was distracted by these things dramatically in class. The distractions that the computer cause for us (the students) cause us to have a much smaller curriculum than DHS students. All in all, I believe that Da Vinci can be the most fun and beneficial thing for the people who take it seriously; however students who joined just for the laptop and expecting to do less work definately did not find their way. —JoeyBennett

2007-11-07 14:11:43   There are legal reasons the school has to restrict the use of the computers. And besides, their purpose is for classroom use, not personal use. If you need some outside software installed for legitimate classroom purposes, you can ask and often it will be allowed. I've read articles about other schools in other parts of the country using laptops in class and how disruptive they've become, because the kids are allowed to do anything they want with them, so they waste class time playing games, chatting, etc. DaVinci is strict about the computer use because they are using the computers for learning, not playing. Students sign the acceptable use policy so they understand the restrictions.
I am not a student there, but the parent of a recent grad. My student had very few, and very minor, issues with the restrictions. —NotSure

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