Dear Parents and Students,
We at Star understand how difficult it is to keep up with how our children use new and ever- changing technologies. Our children are immersed in a society that seems to have become dependent on powerful computers, including iPhones, gaming stations, tablets, and other portable digital devices. Children as young as elementary students are extremely savvy in the use of technology. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Internet is now the favored forum for socializing, and the preferred method of communication among children and teens.
Students communicate with each other via text, and on the Web through text, IM, email, chatrooms, blogs, and other social networking sites. The addition of social networking apps make it very easy for children to post personal information about themselves including their name, age and photograph, their likes, dislikes, interests and friends. It is a common and disturbing reality that while students would not share this information with a stranger on the street, they somehow feel comfortable when sharing such information on the Web for everyone to see. These networking sites and apps also provide features such as instant messaging and email so that visitors, and strangers included, can communicate and have a direct discussion with your child.
Star of the Sea School uses the GoogleApps suite for education and other safety features implemented by the Tech Committee to restrict access to these websites and apps in school. With the safety of our students foremost in mind, we strongly recommend that parents limit and monitor their children’s Internet use and screen time at home. We also encourage parents to learn about Internet safety and to play an active role in discussing the issue with their children. Please remind your children that posting pictures, videos or comments about another person on line without their consent can be construed as harassment according to Archdiocesan and school guidelines and in some cases may also lead to legal problems.
Through lessons provided by classroom teachers, and the Technology and Cyberbully Prevention programs we have through the Archdiocese, we do our best to provide Star of the Sea students with the awareness and knowledge they need in order to recognize and avoid dangerous, destructive, or unlawful behavior and to respond appropriately. It is, However, only through a collaborative effort between parents and teachers that we will succeed in creating responsible and safe cyber citizens.
Oh, and by the way, 5th grade families: Yay, Family Life!
Mrs. Theresa Poon