Technology Education in the Schools
Providing a safe and secure environment for all those who attend classes and work in our schools is not limited to the physical realm.
We understand that digital media and new technology can influence students and demand action and responsiveness within our schools. Advancements in online spaces and the creation of new products provide opportunities for learning, and can have positive - as well as negative - impact on social and emotional development.
EWSD is aware of the responsibility our school district has to help students, families and staff navigate this changing terrain.
Federal law requires the operator of websites, online services, and mobile apps to obtain verifiable parental consent prior to any collection of personal information from children under the age of 13. (Read more under the Online Safety Resources COPPA section.)
Even with parental consent, certain websites and online services do not allow use by children under the age 13, or older.
Regardless of a child’s practices at home, in an academic setting we must comply with established state and federal laws and corporate use policies.
Technology Integration and Digital Citizenship
EWSD has seven full-time educators or assistants, called Technology Integrationists, who work across the district with teachers and students on introducting technology, educating students on the foundations of technological literacy, and teaching the tenets of "digital citizenship."
The Technology Department at EWSD works to ensure student privacy laws and conduct are adhered to by staff and students by installing security measures on the network and devices used within the district. A 'whitelist' method of internet access prevents abuse of use standards set up by the district. For more detail, see our C1: Student Records and C8: Student Privacy Rights policies.
- Students learn about the creation of digital games and websites, as well as about conduct and the impact of online behavior through digital citizenship lessons often integrated into classroom learning with the help of Technology Integrationists. For more information about conduct and procedures, see C10: Policy on the Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying of Students.
- Three of our schools in EWSD (Essex Middle, Essex High, and Westford) have enacted personal device rules to help improve learning in school. For details regarding your school's protocol, please contact your school's principal.
- Visit the Parent-Student Handbook for detailed guidance for families.
Social Media Guidelines
Use of Social Media: Online behavior should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect, and consideration used face-to-face. Any speech that is considered inappropriate in the classroom is inappropriate online. This includes, but is not limited to: profanity; racist, sexist or discriminatory remarks; and personal attacks. All EWSD policies and procedures are relevant when using social media. For example, using individual Facebook accounts to post personal complaints or sharing individual judgments about people or schools, can be disruptive to the educational process and the partnership we are striving to create between schools and families.
Social media posts that occur outside the school building or the school day and become an issue in school, may be addressed by administration and/or law enforcement. These guidelines are pursuant with the prevention of harassment, hazing, and bullying policy and those of the responsible computer, network and internet use policy.
(From the EWSD Parent-Student Handbook)