Educational Materials and Hardware Policy

Educational Materials and Hardware Policy

Last Updated: April 5, 2013

Educational Materials and Equipment

Connections provides each family with the temporary use and possession of various educational materials and equipment (“Materials and Equipment”). In some schools those materials will include laptop or desktop computers, monitors and other related hardware. These Materials and Equipment are shipped to families, and a Packing List (in the box of curriculum materials) lists all the items the student should have received. The materials and equipment offerings vary by Connections Learning program so please check what materials are available in your specific program.

Caretakers are responsible for confirming that any equipment provided by Connections matches the Packing List. They must notify Connections Support Services within seven (7) school days of receipt of equipment of any discrepancies between the Packing List and what was actually received, or if any equipment does not arrive in good working condition.

Though Connections may provide used equipment for student use, any equipment provided should be in good working and functional condition. Used equipment is supplied with only Connections-authorized software installed. All computer hard drives are erased and reconfigured prior to being shipped to the next user.
In addition to the Packing List, an online Materials List, customized to each student’s courses, lists both the items included in the box and the additional materials you will be responsible for providing. The Materials List can be accessed via your user homepage in Connexus®.

Authorized Locations for Materials and Equipment

The only authorized location for any Connections-provided Materials and Equipment is the address to which the materials were shipped by Connections. Any movement of Materials and Equipment to any other location must be specifically authorized by Connections using the Location Change Request Form.  Failure to obtain authorization may result in the repossession of, or invoicing for, the materials and/or equipment. Parents/legal guardians or designees thereof (“Caretakers”) are responsible for providing Connections with updated contact information (physical address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.).

Location Change

Connections defines four types of “Location Change” and has specific policies related to each type. Any time a student engages in a Location Change, the Caretaker must contact Enrollment to discuss the change and ensure the student remains compliant with all Connections policies. The four types of Location Change, and the related polices, are listed below: 

  1. Permanent In-Area Location Change: change of residence within the school’s service area. Example: The family purchases a new home during the school year.

    For this type of Location Change, the Caretaker must immediately notify Connections of the location change but no later than 30 days after the move. 
  2. Temporary Location Change: Travel or relocation away from student’s residence for longer than three (3) weeks. Example: The family stays with a relative in another state for two (2) months.  

    Note: Stationary computer equipment (desktop computers, monitors, and printers) may never be taken out of the state for Temporary Location Changes. Laptops, where provided may move temporarily with the student, as long as the student remains actively enrolled in the school.
    For this type of Location Change, the Caretaker must immediately notify  Connections of the location change.
  3. Alternate Learning Location(s) Change: Student learning regularly occurs in an alternate location but there is no change in the student’s residence. Example: The student regularly works at the local library or a family member’s home.

    For this type of location change, the Caretaker must notify Connections prior to the location change to confirm that the Location Change is acceptable.

    If  Connections grants permission for the Location Change, the Caretaker will be required to complete a Location Transfer Request Form and submit to Connections. Upon authorization, Connections will sign the form and provide the Caretaker copy. This copy will serve as formal written approval from Connections for the student to have an alternate learning location or locations.

    Note: Caretakers are always responsible for Connections-provided Materials and Equipment, regardless of where the Materials and Equipment are located.
  4. Permanent Out-of-Area Location Change: Move to another state. Example: a family moves to another state.

    If a family moves to another state the Caretaker must contact Connections as soon as the Caretaker knows when and where the family is moving. The student will need to return all Connections-provided Materials and Equipment, prior to moving out of state.

Ownership of Connections-Provided Materials

All Materials and Equipment provided to a family for their student’s educational use remain property of Connections.

Restricted Use of Equipment and Materials

Further restrictions to the use of educational Materials and Equipment are as follows but not limited to:

  • The resale or attempted resale of any Materials and Equipment constitutes theft and may subject the seller to invoicing and/or legal action.
  • Refusal to return any educational Materials and Equipment constitutes theft and may result in invoicing and/or legal action.
  • Any attempt to copy, reproduce, republish, download, post, broadcast, transmit, make available to the public, or otherwise use the educational materials provided in any way except as specifically directed by Connections is not permitted.
  • The adaptation, alteration, or creation of a derivative work from any Connections material is a violation of Connection’s Intellectual Property rights and is not permitted. Any use of connections material except as specifically directed requires prior written permission from Connections.

Returning Connections Educational Materials and Equipment

All Connections-provided non-consumable (identified as such on the packing and materials lists) Materials and Equipment must be returned to Connections or to a location designated by Connections for any of the following reasons:
•    The school year has ended.
•    The student is no longer enrolled in the school (for any reason).
•    The student has an extended absence away from his or her residence.
•    The materials are being repossessed due to a violation of the agreement between the Caretaker and Connections, or of the policies outlined in this Educational Materials Provided by Connections document.
•    The student has completed the related courses and is being assigned to new courses requiring different materials.
•    Connections is upgrading or replacing the equipment.
•    Material and/or Equipment were sent in error or do not match the packing list.

Note: If the student withdraws from school after being enrolled in the school for less than 120 calendar days and/or has used less than 10 percent of the consumable materials, then all materials (both consumable and non-consumable) must be returned to Connections.

Shipping Instructions
Except when materials were sent in error, or in cases of missing or damaged equipment, Connections will contact the Caretaker by phone or by mail to make arrangements for the return of equipment or materials. The Caretaker has seven (7) days from the receipt of the return instructions to return all requested materials and/or equipment. Caretakers should NOT initiate a return shipment until they have been contacted by Connections and provided with instructions. Families who arrange return shipping on their own prior to being contacted by Connections will not be reimbursed for shipping costs.

Except in the case of repossession, Connections is responsible for the cost of return shipping as long as the Caretaker follows the return instructions and coordinates the return with Connections. The Caretaker is responsible for being at home during the required return period for a United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FedEx) pickup or for transporting the equipment to an authorized UPS or FedEx center. The Caretaker will be responsible for the shipping cost of any items that were forgotten in a return shipment and/or were not properly packed and returned. To find a local, authorized UPS or FedEx shipping outlet, refer to the following websites:

In all cases, the Caretaker must maintain a copy of the UPS or FedEx return receipt. All non-consumable materials shall be returned in the same condition as delivered with the exception of normal wear and tear. Caretakers will be responsible for, and may be invoiced for, any damage to the materials.

Packing Instructions

Caretakers shall be responsible for keeping all packing materials provided by Connections and returning all equipment in its original packaging. If the original packaging is not available, the Caretaker must purchase replacement packaging at an authorized UPS or FedEx center at their own expense. The Caretaker will be invoiced for any damages resulting from improper packaging and/or shipping procedures. If materials and/or equipment are not received by Connections and the UPS or FedEx receipt bearing a valid tracking ID is not available, the Caretaker will be responsible for the cost of replacing any missing materials and/or equipment.

The failure to complete a timely return of any materials or equipment upon request shall constitute a theft and may result in invoicing, referral to a collections agency, or legal action consistent with the Connection’s Due Process polices and/or state/federal law.

Note: Any computer files that need to be kept by the family should be extracted and any CD/DVD materials must be removed from computers before they are returned to Connections. Neither Connections nor the school has any responsibility for returning any CD/DVD materials returned in the computer, nor to maintain or restore any files.

Connections equipment is not available for purchase.

Use of Connections Equipment and Installed Software 

Personal Use

Any equipment provided by Connections is to be used only for school purposes, although limited access to personal e-mail using a personal ISP and web-based e-mail account is permitted. 


Email

The use of Microsoft® Outlook®, Microsoft Outlook® Express, or any other e-mail program that is installed directly onto the computer (“unauthorized e-mail”) is not permitted.  The use of unauthorized e-mail programs risks contaminating the Connections computer with a virus, which could result in charges for repairs to the computer and additional penalties. Anyone using unauthorized e-mail programs risks permanently losing any e-mail if the Connections computer has to be restored, reimaged, or returned for repair. Connections will not be responsible for loss of any such e-mails.

Use of the Internet

Users should be aware that some material accessible through the Internet may contain item’s that are illegal, obscene, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people. Some of this material may be harmful if accessed by minors. In addition, it is possible to purchase certain goods and services via the Internet, which could result in unwanted financial obligations for which a student’s Caretaker would be liable. Connections Education believes that the benefits to Users from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for Users’ collaboration, exceed the disadvantages. However, all Users must understand and practice acceptable and ethical use.

Connections Education strongly recommends that Caretakers monitor their minor student’s Internet usage and time. To that end, Connections does support and respect each family’s right to decide how to manage internet access and usage. To assist parents in ensuring safe and appropriate use of the Internet, Connections provides the following:

  • An Internet Safety training, which all Caretakers are urged to take. The training is found in your New Parent Orientation at the link portalett
  • All computers provided by Connections are configured with heightened security settings for their Internet Explorer browser. There are additional levels of security that can be added beyond this level which will further help block offensive content. For more information please contact Technical Support.
  • All computers provided by Connections have Internet filtering software installed. This software can be activated upon request. If you wish to activate the filtering software, contact Technical Support. Please note that Internet filtering software provides a higher level of security that will also block some content that may not be considered dangerous or offensive.

Software

All software settings, default configurations, and administrative privileges will be maintained at the original settings unless a change is authorized by Connections Technical Support.

The computer may contain software that permits remote access to the equipment, permits its use to be monitored, or enables it to be shut down remotely. Personal information is not collected or maintained by Connections, and any access is only for the purpose of making repairs, verifying acceptable use, or disabling equipment.

Use of Software

Each software application provided by Connections must be used in accordance with the license and/or use agreement that accompanies that software application. Breaking a license agreement is an illegal act and is punishable by law. Under no circumstances can Caretakers and/or students redistribute any software provided to them by Connections.
Modification of any equipment or software without Connections’ consent is strictly prohibited and may result in financial charges to the household for any required repairs.

Administrative Rights

The Connections Technical Support representatives must retain an administrative account on each computer.  Under no circumstance will Connections provide administrator rights over the system configuration to anyone other than Connections Technical Support staff. Users who refuse to provide passwords to Connections when requested, or who tamper with the administrative account access, will forfeit their rights to the assistance provided by Connections Support Services and may be required to return all Connections computer equipment.

Software and Hardware Installation

Software installation may also be required when adding approved external hardware. Approved external hardware includes, but is not limited to, printers, keyboards, mice, and USB devices. When purchasing these external hardware devices, families may contact Connections Technical Support representatives, who may assist with installation if staff resources are available. The maintenance of such additional devices is solely the responsibility of the purchaser. In no case may any hardware be installed that requires the computer to be opened.

Educational software not provided by Connections may be installed only if specifically authorized by Connections Technical Support. The decision to permit the installation is solely determined by Connections Technical Support. Caretakers will be responsible for the costs of any repairs required as a result of unauthorized software installation.

Malfunction/Damage/Loss/Theft of Connections Equipment and/or Installed Software  

Caretakers are responsible for maintaining equipment in working condition and are solely liable for any loss, damage, or misuse of computer equipment provided by Connections.

Accidental Damage to Equipment

Where damage to the equipment and/or software is not intentional (accidental) but is caused by user negligence or carelessness, Connections will limit Caretaker liability for repairs for the first instance to a maximum of $250 plus the cost of shipping. Connections will cover the portion of the cost over $250 for the first incident.

For all subsequent accidental damage, Connections will invoice the Caretakers for the full cost of the repair or replacement plus the cost of shipping.

Accidental damage to equipment includes but is not limited to damage caused by carelessness or negligence such as leaving equipment in an area where it is exposed to excessive heat or cold, damage to equipment caused by spills or liquid, dropping equipment, etc.

Non- Accidental Damage to Equipment

Where damage to the equipment and/or software is caused by a user and is not accidental or is the result of repeated failures to follow Connections policies and directions, the Caretaker will be invoiced for the full cost of the repair or replacement plus shipping.

Examples of such damage include, but are not limited to, vandalism or malicious destruction, opening the computer casing, installation/removal of internal hardware components, installation/removal of software without the Connections’ permission, and/or manipulation of system BIOS settings.

Loss, Theft, or Destruction of Equipment

On the first occurrence, where there has been a loss or theft of Connections equipment, Caretakers will only be responsible for a maximum replacement charge plus the cost of shipping a replacement, provided that the following information is submitted to the school:  

•    a copy of a filed police report or insurance loss report; and
•    documentation from the insurance carrier confirming that no reimbursement is available under homeowner’s or renter’s policies or a notarized letter from the parents or legal guardians indicating that they are not insured.

If this documentation is not provided—or if there are any subsequent incidents of loss, theft, or destruction— Caretakers will be responsible for the full replacement cost of any equipment and software.

Removal of Malware

Connections will charge Caretakers for requests to remove malware that they have installed accidentally or intentionally on Connections’ equipment according to the following schedule:

•    First incident: no charge
•    Second incident: twenty-five dollars ($25)
•    Third incident: fifty dollars ($50)

Further offenses may provide grounds for repossession of the affected equipment, including any charges for return shipping.

Caretakers must notify Connections (via WebMail message or by calling Support Services) of any malfunction, loss, or damage to computer equipment from any cause whatsoever within seven (7) school days of the loss or occurrence of the damage. Caretakers must contact Connections Technical Support for any and all repairs and must follow all instructions for repair as directed by the Connections Technical Support representatives. Caretakers must not contact the manufacturer or a third party to repair the computer equipment unless instructed to do so by a Connections Technical Support representative. If Caretakers do not comply with this policy and if there is any evidence of manufacturer or third party involvement, the school may void the damage limitation it offers for accidents and may invoice the Caretakers for the full cost of repair or replacement.

Payment of Connections Invoices

Where Caretakers are invoiced for any repair by Connections, payment will be due within five (5) days from the date of receipt of an invoice from Connections. All outstanding invoices must be paid before additional repair services or a replacement computer can be provided. Failure to pay any outstanding invoice may result in the matter being referred to a collection agency for further action.  

Contacting Connexus Technical Support Services

For Connexus Technical Support contact information please refer to the instructions provided by your specific program.

Support Availability

The Support Services Team should be called for the following reasons:

•    Equipment or materials supplied by Connections do not match the items listed on the packing list.
•    A user cannot log in to Connexus®.
•    Equipment, software, or materials supplied by Connections do not function or have been damaged or lost (be sure to check any training resources or the Online Help section of Connexus® first).
•    A request needs to be made to transfer equipment or materials to another location.
•    A request needs to be made to authorize the installation of hardware or software on equipment supplied by Connections.
•    More information is needed about obtaining an ISP or assistance is needed with creating ISP accounts for providers preinstalled on school equipment.

Service Requests

When contacting Support Services, please clearly describe the issue and provide specific contact information for a Support Services representative to respond to your issue. When submitting a service request, families should provide the following information:

•    Caretaker and student name
•    phone number (including extension), e-mail address, state, and name of school
•    Brief description of the problem (If contacting Support Services via e-mail, include this information in the e-mail subject line.)
•    Issue Aware (IA) tracking ticket number if the issue is a continuation of an existing request (If contacting Support Services via e-mail, include this information in the e-mail subject line, in the voicemail message, or to the Support Services representative.)
•    Level of severity
•    Detailed description of the problem, including any steps required to reproduce the problem

The Support Services representatives’ response times depend on the severity of the issue.