0: Safety

There are rules for using school services and how to remain safe online.

Handbook

The official title of our rules is the TECHNOLOGY USE POLICY in the Parent/Student Handbook. Find this document in the portal under Resources on our portal page. We keep one official source of this document so you know you're getting the current version.

Parents, students, faculty, staff and administrators are all bound by handbooks. These documents describe how we all protect and serve each other. It's sweet (and I feel fortunate to be a part of it).

Safety

Let's review some of the major threats to your health and happiness when using the Internet. These threats are real and our community is not immune.

Strangers

Meeting strangers you've met on the Internet is one of the very most dangerous things you can do. Most kids think it can't happen to them and yet child abduction remains a serious problem. Don't meet strangers and tell a teacher if a stranger ever wants to meet.

Bullies

Bullies need help. Being mean is usually a sign of also being hurt. Let a guidance counselor know about what's happening if you see someone intentionally trying to hurt someone else's feelings. We've all got to look out for each other.

Not Thinking Twice

One of the most common ways people express frustration, anger and powerlessness is to post something in a hurry. Slow down. Try to catch yourself if you're racing to avoid your conscience. Messages online can live forever.

There will be some of you that will be really embarrassed by something you said or did online. It stinks and it can take a while before things are back to normal. But know that things do get better and there are people here to help.

Stress & Exercise

Our bodies react to stress. Exercise and periods of calm are required to maintain physical and mental well-being. If you're working online a lot, you're likely dealing with stress while sitting (which is the opposite of exercise and periods of calm). Protect your body and attitude by making time for wellness. The more time you spend on your computer, the more important exercise becomes.

Distractions

There are a lot of shiny colors out on the Internet. There are games and apps intentionally designed to be addictive. Sometimes, it can be really hard to keep a healthy balance between work and play. If you get into that same problem, the first step is to collect data. Exactly how much time are you spending on which apps? There are tools like RescueTime that can help you record.

RescueTime collects an awful lot of data about what you're doing on your computer. Kids should not install this without a guardian's approval. Some people are creeped out by all the data these companies are storing. They might have a point, though I found RescueTime to be very helpful.