Parent Support: Technology Use Outside of the School Day

Posted by: Jay Marquand 4 years, 6 months ago

Parent Support: Technology Use Outside of the School Day

March 2, 2015

 

Dear Triton Parents,

In our continued effort to maintain a positive campus culture where students exhibit excellent character every day, I would like to bring to you attention recent technology concerns that are arriving to the school as a result of instances occurring outside of school hours and on the weekends.

As you know, our kids can have access to the world through the internet.  According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, about 1 in 5 middle school students have been affected by cyberbullying at some point.   While CMS has district wide policies, secure filters, and hardware and software programs to prevent and detect technology misuse during school hours, we are currently noticing an increase in student behavior brought to campus as result of student technology misuse off school grounds.  Most of the student correspondence and online activities range from teasing texts and putdowns to harassment on group sites.  It’s important to recognize that the use of many forms of social media outside of school—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites and apps including Ask.fm and Snapchat—play an undeniably significant part of our children's lives and can impact their academic success and ability to learn.  

While recommendations about appropriate age for use of social media vary, it is clear that the occurrence and impact of cyberbullying is exacerbated by the fact that many middle school students are understandably still developing the positive identify, judgment, empathy, and impulse control needed to successfully navigate social media.   Children who have access to the internet without appropriate supervision can experience the negative fallout of online activities regularly, and the effect on self-esteem, focus and concentration can have long term impact academic achievement, emotional and physical health.  Below is a checklist I encourage you to consider as a starting point if you are a parent who allows your child to use technology with internet access (cell phone, personal computer, etc.) and cannot always be close by to supervise:    

  • Proximity: Students should be using computers and devices that access the internet in view of parents / adults.  In this case, the kitchen, dining room or other common area at home is a good location.  Its recommended children not be in rooms by themselves (door closed) without parent / adult present and close by.
  • Security Settings and Filters on Devices:  In many of the settings on the device your child uses, there are features available so you can “block” certain content on the internet from reaching your child’s device. 
  • Educate and Talk to Your Child:  Have conversations with your child about your expectations of internet use – not accessing inappropriate sites, no cyberbullying, and let them know you will be checking their device regularly.

I would also encourage you to review some of these national and reputable resources regarding responsible technology use for children and supports for parents:

Please be aware that you can also refer to our school and district wide expectations regarding technology use from the CUSD Discipline Action Guide (DAG), and on our website at: http://cms.coronadousd.net/students-parents/discipline-action-guide-and-technology-use-policies-agreement/

As always, we appreciate your support and involvement with your child’s education.  Together we are better!

 

Sincerely,

Jay Marquand, Ph.D.                                                 

Principal               

* TRUSTWORTHINESS  **  RESPECT  ** RESPONSIBILITY  **  FAIRNESS  **  CARING  **  CITIZENSHIP *

Character is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching!