Guidelines for Parents & Guardians
Digital safety is of the utmost importance. Intentional, frequent discussions with your child of any age, are necessary and allow you to be proactive in protecting your child and further educating them. Experts warn that children are most vulnerable to online dangers while at home. Please note the following suggestions as they may be of assistance in further educating your child about the appropriate use of technology; including the device and home internet use.
In alignment with the WFPS Secondary 1:1 User Agreement beyond school, parents/guardians must take responsibility for the use of technology and the internet. As a guardian, you are responsible for monitoring your child’s use of district-provided educational technology including district-issued email and cloud accounts and use of the internet at home or any other remote location outside of school.
FILTER ACCESS AT SCHOOL & HOME
The student issued iPad device does have filtering capabilities that limits adult content on or off campus. This function evaluates each web page as it is loaded and attempts to identify and block content not suitable for children. The search algorithm is complex and may vary from release to release, but it is basically looking for adult language, i.e. swearing and sexually explicit language. The filter system may not block all inappropriate content. We continue to recommend parents/guardians to monitor student use and screen time at home or away from school.
Regularly share your expectations with your child about accessing only appropriate sites and content, as well as making good choices when online (even when parents aren't watching). Understand that your child’s use of many technologies (such as computers, tablets, iPads, iPods, video game systems, and cell phones) likely gives your child the ability to connect to unfiltered public or other wireless networks (such as in a library, fast food restaurant or coffee shop, by picking up a neighbor’s wireless signal, or connecting to the internet through a cell service). Therefore, it is important to maintain regular, open dialog about internet use and access. Discuss your expectation for appropriate use and behavior.
MONITOR & LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Experts suggest having teens utilize the internet in a central place at home, such as the kitchen or family room, rather than away from adult supervision or behind a closed door. Know what your child is doing with technology and how their time is being spent. Technology can be a great tool and resource, but also has the potential to be a big distractor. Help your child learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments prior to engaging in other internet activities. Teaching today’s children how to manage multiple sources of information and potential distractions is a critical life skill, necessary before heading off to college or the workplace.
PUT THE DEVICE TO BED, BUT NOT IN THE BEDROOM
Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to devices, in a common family room overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Do not allow your child to sleep with the device in his/her room.
FAMILY MEDIA USE AGREEMENTS
Common Sense Media provides useful contracts you can create as a family, including their Family Media Agreement.
SCHOOLOGY LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:
West Fargo Public Schools uses a learning management system called Schoology to provide online educational resources and services to secondary students. In connection with their use of the Schoology platform, students may be asked to provide directory information such as a name and district email address to Schoology and allow for analysis of group usage data.
Common Sense Media
This site has great reviews of movies, music, apps, video games, and more. Sign up for their weekly newsletter to stay in the loop of the latest teen tech trends.
Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online
This guide published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers parents practical, developmental targeted tips to guide their children in navigating the online world.
Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.