Guidance on the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Spokane Public Schools

  • Spokane Public Schools encourages the responsible and ethical use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the teaching and learning process.  

    Spokane Public Schools recognizes that AI tools create challenges and opportunities for students and staff. First, we must teach students the ethical use of AI for schoolwork and assessments. Next, SPS educational practices must evolve as these types of tools improve and become a significant part of everyday life.

    Generative AI such as ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Google Bard have great potential to support student learning, help teachers with their instruction, and improve the efficiency of District operations. It is important to ensure the safe use of this new tool in a way that supports learning, is safe and ethical.


    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    A computer program or application that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.  

    Generative AI

    A type of artificial intelligence designed to create content like text or images based on vast amounts of publicly available data. Generative AI tools typically generate content in response to a human user’s written prompt.  

    Guiding Principles

    • Academic Excellence: We support the use of generative AI in the classroom to improve and enhance the teaching and learning experience for all members of the SPS community. Productive use of generative AI in the academic setting includes collaboration prior to using AI and transparency between educator and learner.
    • Data Privacy: Data privacy and security are fundamental aspects of ethical AI use. All staff in Spokane Public Schools must be diligent custodians of student data, safeguarding the privacy and security of our learners as we incorporate AI into the business of teaching and learning. Staff must follow all state and federal laws to protect student data including, but not limited to FERPA, COPPA, PPRA, IDEA, and CIPA.
    • Ethical use of AI: Spokane Public Schools does not consider any amount of work produced by AI tools, to be a student’s or staff’s own. Therefore, as with any quote or material from another source, it must be clear that AI-generated content whether text, image, mathematical solution, code, or other content has been copied from such software. The software must be credited and appropriately referenced if used (MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, APA.)
    • Critical thinking and analysis: Students and staff must be aware of the limitations of AI and not rely solely on AI-generated outputs. They should evaluate AI-generated content for accuracy, bias, and relevance before incorporating it into their work.

    In addition, the Washington Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) released this guidance on the use of Artificial Intelligence in schools.

    Individual Use of AI

    Spokane Public Schools respects an individual's choice to use Generative AI as an educational or productivity tool but encourages all members of the educational community to take the following steps to ensure the appropriate use of Generative AI as part of all District business.  

As an SPS Learner

  • Consult your teacher before using generative AI tools to understand the purpose of an assignment and how generative AI should/should not be used.
  • Avoid entering any personal or copyrighted information into generative AI tools. Many tools will use information gathered through prompts and may create privacy and security issues for you.
  • When using generative AI for school, keep a record of the prompt you used as well as the output from the tool. This will help your teacher to understand how AI was used and distinguish between your work and the AI-generated material.
  • Follow guidelines provided by your teacher to properly attribute AI-generated content.
  • Fact-check and proofread all AI-generated content for accuracy, bias, or potentially dangerous content.

As an SPS Teacher

  • Post your expectations for the use of generative AI in your classroom, syllabus, or assignment instructions so your students know when and how generative AI can be used. Include a rationale for why AI should or should not be used on specific assignments.
  • Work with your students on the use of generative AI so they understand when it is appropriate to use in school.
  • Provide guidance on how to attribute AI-generated content in student work. 
  • Consider posting this image in your classroom to use as a reference when discussing AI’s role in an assignment.
  • Consider the Terms of Use for the generative AI tools such age restrictions before using the tool in class. Most tools restrict user for students under 13 and parental consent is needed for students between 13 and 17. 
  • Fact-check and proofread all AI-generated content for accuracy, bias, or potentially dangerous content. There are also some tools online to help teachers review for AI-generated content, but they can sometimes produce false-positives.
  • Consider taking the time to introduce tech industry careers and the criticality, biases, ethics, and misinformation that have been introduced to our society by using AI.

As an SPS Employee

  • Communicate with your colleagues/peers when you use generative AI in the work or school environment.
  • Do not enter any copyrighted, private, or confidential information into generative AI models/tools.
  • The use of confidential confidential/personal data (names, personally identifiable information, grades, IEPs, assessments, etc.) is strictly prohibited with open/public generative AI models. This includes paid subscriptions to generative AI models like ChatGPT Plus.
  • Fact-check and proofread all AI-generated content for accuracy, bias, or other unwanted material.