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Digital Citizenship

Our goal at Saratoga Union School District is to support students in becoming 21st century learners. In order to meet this goal, we offer a variety of opportunities for students to collaborate, create and blend learning making use of Web 2.0 tools such as the internet, blogs, wikis and online communities as responsible digital citizens. Most online experiences on the Internet are positive but, like most endeavors, there are risks. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school computers.   


During the course of the year, we will be supporting our students and community in the following:

  1. Teach digital citizenship skills in an effort to protect our students from exploitative, dangerous or inappropriate situations that they may encounter online at school and at home.
  2. Communicate with both parents and children on how to insure that their online experiences remain constructive and safe.
  3. Inform the community on what we, as a district, are doing in the areas of student lessons, staff development and community outreach to support our students. 

The following resources have been posted to help parents and families:   2017-2018 We presented an Internet Safety Parent Workshop on 1/17/18.  This presentation was delivered by Angela Alvarado, District Attorney for the Santa Clara County.  Please find the links to the presentations in English and Mandarin.

Blanca Herrera, Director of Instructional Technology, will present to parents our EdTech Plan Update on May 8, 8:45am-9:45am and May 9, 6pm-7pm in the Redwood Library. Please join us!

  • EdTech Plan Update for Parents
  • Appropriate Student Online Use

  2016-2017 We had Merve Lapus, a Common Sense Media representative, deliver presentations to our elementary and middle school parents.  

  Keeping Kids Safe Online, Risks and Warning Signs

Everyone has heard frightening stories about children that have been lured into danger because they had a Facebook page or other kind of web page listing their personal information. Forbidding kids from using these sites usually proves ineffective, so it is better instead to teach them how to be safe on the Internet.

The Internet is a great place for your children to have fun and keep in touch with family and friends. Because of the huge amount of information available online, the potential for educational benefit to your family from legitimate online sources is endless.

On the other hand, just as you protect your children from dangers in the "real" world, you must be aware of the possible dangers that tempt naive and trusting children, into dangerous situations. Becoming educated about technology and striving to open and maintain lines of communication with your children is just as critical as teaching young children to look before they cross the street and older ones to become responsible drivers. Your job to educate and protect your children supersedes any feelings they may have regarding their rights to privacy!

According to surveys taken in 2003 - 2005 based on 55,000 children in grades 5 - 8 conducted by I-SAFE AMERICA, Inc.

  • 53% like being alone when “surfing” the Internet.
  • 12% have unsupervised access to the Internet at school.
  • 10% chat, e-mail or Instant Message (IM) while at school.
  • 39% have given out personal information (name, e-mail address, age, gender) online (when entering a contest, playing online games or signing up for websites).
  • 31% have chatted or used IM with someone on the Internet that they have not met “face to face”.
  • 12% have met a new person from the Internet “face to face.”
  • 13% are willing to meet “face to face” with someone new they meet on the Internet.
  • 8% say that, while on the Internet, someone has asked them to keep their friendship a secret.
  • 53% have seen something on the Internet that shouldn’t be on the Internet.
  • 64% know of or have heard about other students who have done something on the Internet that shouldn’t be done.

How can I help my child avoid risky situations and make sensible decisions

  • Establish clear and reasonable rules for computer use in your home and outside your home. Limit the time and the hours of the day your child can be online.
  • Place your computer in an open area of your home where you can easily supervise your child's computer activities.
  • Consider choosing an online service that offers parental controls. Purchase monitoring and filtering software that allows you some control over computer use.
  • Internet accounts and profiles should be in your name and you should control passwords and screen names. Help your child choose a screen name that is nondescript and doesn't include any part of their name. Do not allow children to have personal profiles because these can often be easily accessed by predators. Please note that social networking sites such as Facebook, etc. require users to be a minimum age of 13.
  • Know who your children communicate with. If they have a "buddy list", check it often for changes.
  • Know your child's friends and talk to their parents about computer use in their homes. Be aware of other computers outside of your home that your child may be using.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Be supportive of the educational and fun uses of technology and spend time exploring the Internet with your child.               

    Help your child understand:
  • what personal information is and why it should not be given.
  • what is being posted on a web site or discussed online can affect a person's privacy and reputation and often cannot be deleted or removed.
  • the importance of not responding to unsolicited, offensive or unpleasant e-mail or chat.
  • while they may feel "alone" online, they are not. People can find out who they are and where they are by taking advantage of the natural tendencies of children and teens to be trusting and open.
  • just because "its online" doesn't mean its true; what they read or see online is not all factual or reliable.
  • Recognize that chat rooms can be dangerous. Do not allow your child to visit chat rooms or, at the very least, restrict them to age and subject appropriate chat rooms only and monitor their activity. Chat services that provide monitors are generally safer than unmonitored chat rooms, but parental supervision is recommended in any case.

    Tell your children...
  • to tell you immediately if they are threatened, scared or made uncomfortable by someone or something online.
  • never give out their own or their friends' names, addresses, phone numbers, parents' names, school names, or other personal information.
  • never agree to personally meet someone they met online.
  • never send photographs online without your permission.
  • never fill out forms or questionnaires online without your permission. 

  What warning signs should I watch for?

  • Your child spends a great deal of time on the Internet or is online late at night.
  • Your child changes the computer screen when you enter the room.
  • Your child becomes uneasy or defensive when you are close to their online activity or discussing online behavior. (If you see your child type "POS" this is a red flag. It means "parent over shoulder".)
  • There are unusual charges on credit card statements or phone bills. Be especially alert to charges with seemingly benign identification. Pornographers and con artists are careful not to attract attention by using descriptive names.
  • Your child has a sudden influx of cash or gifts.
  • You notice changes in your child's behavior or habits (secretiveness, inappropriate knowledge, changes in interests, sleeping problems, etc.) 

What should I do if I know or think my child is being exposed to potentially risky situations?

  • Communicate with your child and be involved.
  • If your child is involved in online bullying or harassment, either as a perpetrator, victim or bystander, engage in a discussion of ethics, kindness and respect. Talk about the legal realities of criminal arrest or civil litigation in extreme cases of cyberbullying.
  • If your child receives threatening emails or inappropriate material, save it. If you can identify the company, report the incident to the sender's Internet service provider and contact your local law enforcement agency.
  • Report any content or activity that you suspect may be illegal to local law enforcement agencies.

Source: Modified from Independent School District of Boise City