Google Procedures at OHM BOCES

  • As part of continual efforts to provide students with greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills, the OHM BOCES provides P-Tech students with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts. GAFE is a collection of free programs including email, document creation tools, and collaboration tools that are accessed through a web browser. Commonly referred to as working “in the cloud," GAFE provides access to documents and projects from any Internet connected computer or other compatible device, enabling faculty and students to access their school documents and projects both in and out of school.

    GAFE services are available through an agreement between Google and OHM BOCES. GAFE runs on an Internet domain purchased and managed by OHM BOCES and is intended for educational use. Accounts and settings are managed by OHM BOCES and all advertising is disabled. P-Tech students are issued an email address which serves as their login for GAFE.

    Student email can only be used within BOCES between students and teachers. School faculty and staff will monitor student use of GAFE when students are at school. Parents are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of GAFE when accessing the program at home. Students are responsible for their own behavior at all times.


    What are Google Apps for Education?

    GAFE is a specialized implementation of Google Apps, tailored specifically for educational institutions. Provided by Google at no cost to schools, the web based suite of programs includes some key differences for education, such as the removal of any and all advertising content.

    The GAFE agreement with OHM BOCES provides access to Google Applications and online storage. OHM BOCES maintains the ability to manage users, groups, and settings directly. This means that OHM BOCES can grant and revoke user access and control other settings to ensure a safe and secure collaboration environment for students and teachers.

    All of the Google Apps services can be accessed from any compatible device with an Internet connection (computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.). This reduces and replaces the need for flash drives and/or external data drives to transport documents and other files. GAFE is Internet-based, ensuring that faculty and students can log on anytime, anywhere. In addition, GAFE allows faculty and students to easily share documents and files, enabling students to turn in assignments electronically and collaborate on projects with their classmates.

    Google Apps for Education includes the following programs:

    Google Calendar

    An individual calendar providing the ability to organize schedules, daily activities, and assignments.

    Google Drive

    Google Drive provides cloud storage space for most file formats. Google Drive can be accessed and/or shared from any computer or other compatible device with an Internet connection.

    Google Documents

    Word processing program similar to Microsoft Word.

    Google Spreadsheets

    Spreadsheet program similar to Microsoft Excel.

    Google Presentations

    Multimedia presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint.

    Google Forms

    Survey/data collection tool for creating forms and collecting data.

    Google Drawings

    Simple graphic design program.

    Using these tools, students can collaboratively create, edit and share files and websites for school related projects and communicate via email with other students and teachers. These services are entirely online and available 24/7 from any Internet-connected computer. Examples of student use include showcasing class projects, building an electronic portfolio of school learning experiences, and working in small groups on presentations to share with others.

    Acceptable Use

    The OHM BOCES GAFE domain is intended for educational use. Use of GAFE is governed by the OHM BOCES Acceptable Use Policy and the OHM BOCES Internet Safety Policy.


    OHM BOCES faculty and administration has access to student email and documents for monitoring purposes. Students have no expectation of privacy on the OHM BOCES GAFE domain.

    Limited personal use

    Students may use GAFE for personal projects, such as word processing. Examples of inappropriate personal use include (but are not limited to):

    • Unlawful activities
    • Commercial purposes
    • Use for personal financial gain
    • Inappropriate sexual or other offensive content
    • Threatening or bullying others
    • Misrepresentation of the OHM BOCES, faculty, staff or students (GAFE resources including but not limited to Apps, sites, email, and groups are not public forums - they are extensions of classroom spaces where student free speech rights may be limited)


    • Students should not post personal contact information about themselves or other people, including addresses and phone numbers.
    • Students should tell their teacher or other school employee about any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
    • Students are responsible for the use of their individual accounts and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account.
    • Under no conditions should a user provide his or her password to another person
    Access Restriction

    Access to GAFE is a privilege accorded at the discretion of OHM BOCES. OHM BOCES maintains the right to immediately withdraw the access and use of GAFE in accordance with the OHM BOCES Acceptable Use Policy and/or other pertinent OHM BOCES policies.

    Student GAFE Account Set-up

    All P-Tech students will be assigned an email account. This account will be considered the student's official OHM BOCES P-Tech email address until such time as the student is no longer enrolled at OHM BOCES.

    Student Gmail Permissions

    OHM BOCES student Gmail accounts cannot receive email from outside of the domain, and will only be able to send email to approved domains outside of the OHM BOCES domain. Therefore, students should not use their OHM BOCES email for registering accounts for third-party sites or services that require email verification, unless specifically pre-approved by the OHM BOCES Technology Department or under the direction of OHM BOCES faculty.

    Uses for Student Gmail

    Email is a powerful communication tool for students that can serve to increase communication and collaboration. Students are encouraged to check their email at least once per day. Teachers may send email to middle and high school students to communicate reminders, course content, pose questions related to class work, or to relay other instructional information. Students may send email to their teachers with questions or comments regarding their courses. Students may also send email to other students with whom they are collaborating on group projects or other assignments, as instructed.

    Student Email to Faculty

    Students are encouraged to email faculty concerning school-related content and questions. However, there is no requirement or expectation that faculty will answer student email outside of their regular work day, although they will have the ability if they so choose.

    General Email and overall Google Domain Guidelines

     Below is a general summary of guidelines related to email:

    • Email is to be used for school-related communication only
    • Do not send harassing or offensive email or content
    • Do not send unsolicited “spam” email or content
    • Do not send email containing viruses or other malicious content
    • Do not send or read email at inappropriate times, such as during class instruction
    • Do not send email to share test answers or promote cheating in any way
    • Do not use the account of another person for any reason

    Content Filtering and Monitoring

    Email sent within the OHM BOCES domain may be monitored and/or filtered based upon content. Rules and filters are set up to monitor student email for profanity, harassment, and other inappropriate content. Student email that is identified as inappropriate will be reviewed by the school administration.

    Additional information regarding content filtering and monitoring is detailed in the OHM BOCES Acceptable Use Policy.

    Applicable Laws and Policies

    These are the laws and policies that help to protect our students online:

    Google Apps for Education (Online) Agreement

     Full text available at

    Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

    The school is required by CIPA to have technology measures and policies in place that protect students from harmful materials including those that are obscene and pornographic. This means that student email is filtered. Mail containing harmful content from inappropriate sites will be blocked.

    CIPA Guide available at:

    Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

    COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. By default, Google advertising is turned off for Apps for Education users. No personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. This policy allows the school to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within the school context. The school’s use of student information is solely for education purposes.

    COPPA FAQ available at:

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

    FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents rights to review student records. Under FERPA, schools may disclose directory information (name, phone, address, grade level, etc...) but parents may request that the school not disclose this information. The school will not publish confidential educational records (grades, student ID #, etc...) for public viewing on the Internet.

    • The school may publish student work and photos for public viewing but will not publish student last names or other personally identifiable information.
    • Parents may request that photos, names and general directory information about their children not be published.
    • Parents have the right to investigate the contents of their child’s email and Apps for Education files at any time.

     FERPA information available at:

Last Modified on October 5, 2016