Online safety is a part of our K-8 technology curriculum and includes, but is not limited to, the safety and ethics on such topics as cyberbullying, online predators, communicating online, SPAM, social networking, appropriate Internet surfing, chatting, downloading music, copyright material, and general online care. This is the same for the high school but because there is no dedicated technology curriculum, these same topics are embedded in the content areas. All online activities are monitored through our content filtering devices.
Each year, there are parent presentations that focus on online safety. In keeping with the HVRSD Technology Plan, at least one presentation is given each year to the Board of Education and/or our parents and the Hopewell Valley community. We have presented with the assistance of outside agencies including the Hopewell Township Police Department, NJ State Police, Princeton Township Police Department, and Chad Williams of Safe Kids America Inc.
GoGuardian is a classroom management tool available to teachers in grades 3-12. Using GoGuardian, teachers can monitor students during class to help students remain on task. GoGuardian features include:
- Controlling specific websites students can access during class
- Taking a snapshot of a student’s screen
- Reviewing student browsing history
- Messaging individual students or the entire class
- Locking a student’s screen
- Reporting on student activity over multiple class sessions
- Limiting the number of tabs students can have open at any given time during class
- Closing student tabs
These features are available between the hours of 7:00 am - 3:30 pm Monday - Friday only.
Securly is a product that applies the filtering we use at school to student Chromebooks at home. Securly filters sites visited, searches, and images. It cannot capture video or audio from the device’s camera or microphone.
The Securly parent portal allows parents to do the following:
- Search their child’s browsing history on their school-issued Chromebook.
- Set restrictions at home on their child’s school-issued Chromebook (block specific sites such as YouTube, etc.)
This product will be provided to parents as a free resource by HVRSD to help monitor at home.
There are many resources dedicated to the subject of online safety. To list them all is impossible, but we offer the following tips to help you keep your family safe online.
- Become a net-savvy parent
The best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Jump in and learn the basics of the Internet—read articles, take a class, and talk to other parents. A good place to start is https://www.commonsense.org/. You don’t have to be an expert to have a handle on your child’s online world.
- "Chat" with your kids
Develop an open dialogue so that you can talk with your kids about the benefits and dangers of the Internet. Cultivate an interest in their online activities—their favorite websites, online games, and interests. Don’t be afraid to ask your children who they are talking to online and what they are talking about.
- Agree on a game plan
Create family guidelines (an example can be found at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/family-media-agreement) to formally agree on your family’s rules for using the Internet. Post them near the family computer as a reminder. Ensure that your children know to never share personal information on the Internet and that they should tell you about any online activity or contact that makes them uncomfortable.
- Protect your computer
Take advantage of software that helps parents monitor and manage their children’s computer experience. Explore the available web filtering products and choose one that meets your family's needs.
- Explore the Internet as a family
With a game plan and a protected computer, you can now encourage your family to take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer. Take a genuine interest in what your kids are doing and stay engaged with them online.