Digital Citizenship Plan (Use of School Technology and Personal Laptops / Tablets)
Students are provided access to computers, other technology and the internet to assist them in their learning. Students may bring their own computers / i-pads / tablets to school and may use these devices in the classroom with direct staff supervision.
Students who bring their own devices to school will not have access to school servers or printers through the network. As such they will need to utilize Google Drive to transfer files to the school network. School classes may utilize software applications that the student does not have on their device. No software will be provided to students.
The following activities are prohibited and will be addressed on an individual basis as needed:
- Use of someone else’s CBE account
- Sharing of usernames and passwords for other people to use
- Sending, posting, displaying or using obscene language/messages or pictures or information about oneself or others
- Harassing, insulting or attacking another person or their reputation
- Impersonating a staff member or student
- Viewing websites through a proxy server
- Plagiarism of online content
- Tampering with any computer accessories, hardware or software
- Use of technology or accessing sites not approved by staff
- Trespassing in other’s folders, work areas or files
- Utilizing another student’s device without permission
The following sites are prohibited from use:
- Vulgar or lewd depictions of the human body
- Sites that encourage the use of illicit or illegal substances
- Social media/networking sites (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, tiktok, etc.)
- Violent acts
- Online gambling
- Any adult content
- Sites that advocate hatred or violence against an identifiable group
- Sites promoting criminal activity
- Non-educational games
Our expectation is that students become educated and responsible Digital Citizens. Students who breach any of the above points will be dealt with on an individual basis and may result in:
- Restriction or loss of technology privileges
- Restriction of use or confiscation of personal device
- School based disciplinary consequences: and/or
- Police intervention and/or legal action
It is important that parents/guardians and students remember the following:
- The school is not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of student electronic devices.
- The school is not able to provide technical support for student devices.
- Devices can only be utilized when students are under the direct supervision of a teacher in an approved area of the school.
- Recording / photographing / filming of another person for an educational purpose can only be done with the Sherwood Staff permission:
- This recording / photo / film can only be done on a school digital device and must be vetted by school staff
- This recording / photo / film can only be used for the purpose stated and must be deleted when no longer needed
- Devices can only be utilized for educational purposes.
- Misuse will be determined by the staff and administration.
We view digital citizenship as a shared responsibility between students, parents and the school. We appreciate families supporting our work by discussing with their children their role as digital citizens.
Digital Device Policy
Sherwood School has been operating with a with a digital device policy in place. This policy required that students put away their digital devices at the warning bell (morning and afternoon), and at the request of staff members, cell phone/technology use was only allowed to be taken out with teacher permission. Each teacher has been allowing students to use their devices when appropriate under teacher direction. The exception to this rule was at lunch time when digital device use was allowed. This policy has been challenging to implement. The use of digital devices has become an extreme concern due to the difficulty enforcing the policy as it now stands. During class time, it is apparent that digital devices are serving more as a distraction to our students rather than effective learning tools. The use of cell phones and digital devices for social media and text communication between students during class has been a considerable distraction and impeding factor of student learning.
During the school year we have had several conversations as a staff and with school council as well as with students and teachers about Sherwood school culture. Parent feedback included concerns about digital devices as well. Parents have raised concerns about unsupervised use of cell phones at lunch time in the school. Parents and staff have also expressed concern over the content students may be accessing on their phones. Students have also reported that many students use an app that enables them to bypass the CBE web security and allows access to otherwise filtered content. Many parents have noted that they would like phones to be kept in lockers for the day or to be stored in classroom “cell phone lockers” during class time. Other parents commented on the fact that the use of cell phones could potentially create a disadvantage for those students who do not have a cell phone.
There is much research to suggest that digital devices in the school environment are detrimental to students. Studies have stated that more time on electronic communication results in lower psychological well-being in adolescents. Some studies link a decline in human relationships due to screen time with anxiety and depression. Other studies have shown that the mere presence of the phone (on a desk or in a pocket) can lower working memory capacity. Recent surveys by the Screenagers “Away for the Day” initiative found that 82% of parents do not want their child to use their phone during the school day. Parents are encouraged to visit the following website for further information on the research on phone use at school: https://awayfortheday.squarespace.com/research/.
For these reasons, Sherwood School implemented a new digital device policy beginning the 2019-20 school year and will continues to use this plan for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. We will borrow the Screenagers initiative name and call this our “Away for the Day” policy, at Sherwood we say, “No cell, bell to bell”. Students are to keep all cell phones and devices in their backpacks in lockers while in the school, students who are using their cell phones during these times will have their devices secured by staff members to be returned at the end of the day. From our implementation last year, we have seen an increase in student engagement along with a decrease in students leaving/skipping classes as well as a decrease in unnecessary social media interactions during class time. Our policy has been very successful for our student population and students have also reported that they feel more positive in class with this policy in place. The policy is attached. We encourage all parents to read this policy and we ask that parents support us in its implementation. The policy will have an impact on those parents who have expected their child to answer texts and or phone calls during the school day. All parents will need to understand that messages left on their child’s phone will not be heard until the end of the school day (or at lunch time for grade 7-9 students who choose to leave the school grounds during our open campus lunch). Urgent messages will need to be called in to the school office where school personnel will forward these to our students either by; written message, call to the classroom or direct connection, dependent on need. We encourage all parents to ensure that after-school plans and early-dismissal pick-ups are well communicated to your child before the school day. Thank you for your support in this new initiative as we work together to support student learning and well-being.
Digital Device Policy – “Away for the Day”
For further information please access: https://awayfortheday.squarespace.com/research/
Digital Device Definition
- A “digital device” is any handheld device (smartphone, iPod, iWatch, gaming device, etc.) that has internet access, texting, music or gaming capabilities.
- It does not include personal laptops, ipads and tablets brought to school for educational purposes. These learning tools are covered by our digital citizenship policy.
Away for the Day
- Digital devices are not to be used or visible at any time during the school day.
- All digital devices must be placed in the student backpack immediately upon entering the building.
- At the end of the school day (2:50 Mon-Thurs, 12:30 Fri) students are free to use their devices within the school.
- Grade 7-9 students who choose to leave the school grounds during lunch may use their devices. Devices must be put away and immediately placed in the student backpacks/ags upon entering the building.
- Devices are not to be kept in pockets.
Messages to and from Students
- Urgent messages should be called in to the main office (403-777-7590 ext. 0). School office personnel will forward these to our students.
- We encourage all parents to ensure that after-school plans and early-dismissal pick-ups are well communicated to your child before the school day.
- Students who need to contact a parent during the day can do so from any phone in the school with teacher permission as well as from the office and from the student phone accessible in Archer Square.
- At the end of the school day (2:50 Mon-Thurs, 12:30 Fri) students are free to check for messages from their parents and to contact parents on their devices or access office and Archer Square phones.
Music and Headphones
- This policy applies to headphones and digital devices used for the playing of music.
- Students who have music as an accommodation specifically identified in their Individualized Program Plan will have access to school devices (for the playing of music only).
- Theft, Damage and Responsibility:
- The school does not take responsibility for the theft of any digital devices brought to the school.
- The school does not take responsibility for damage of any digital devices brought to the school.
Digital No Use Zones
- At absolutely no time (including after school hours) are digital devices to be used in the washroom or change room areas. Recording (audio and/or visual) on student personal devices is prohibited at all times both in and on school grounds. This includes SPIRIT day events, hallways during non-instructional times, classrooms, school presentations etc.
- Recordings (audio and/or visual) are only to be captured on school sanctioned devices and are vetted by school staff.
- Recordings (audio and/or visual) are NOT to be recorded at any time inside the school, or on school property due to student safety and security.
Consequences for Inappropriate Use
If a device is being used inside the school during school hours, or outside the school during school hours for video/audio recording, students will be reminded of our policy and a discussion will occur with the classroom teacher and possibly the parents/guardians. If being used:
- The digital device will be sent to the main office where it will be logged and securely held until the end of the school day. The student is permitted to pick up the device at the end of the school day (not at lunch).
- The digital device will be sent to the main office where it will be logged and securely held until the end of the school day. The student and/or administration will call a parent before releasing the device to the student at the end of the school day.
- The digital device will be sent to the main office where it will be logged and securely held. A parent will be contacted and may be required to pick up the device from administration. School and Parent will create a plan.
- Any further offence will result in increasing disciplinary action due to defiance with regards to CBE and school policies, rules and regulations as per the Student Code of Conduct. Parents will be contacted and a plan will be devised.