Promoting Online Safety: The Home School Partnership

Download Toolkit/Order Video Press Release


Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse: A Project of the Consortium for School Networking
Promoting Online Safety: The Home School Partnership

Download the Toolkit/Video

As more and more students access the Internet from school, school leaders are being asked to play a larger role in assuring that children have a positive experience when they go online and that they are viewing appropriate online learning resources. Passage of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in December 2000 imposed new requirements on schools that accepted certain kinds of federal education technology money. This law required schools to solicit public input on an Internet safety policy that addressed specific issues of concern, including protecting children from accessing certain kinds of content.

However, even if schools have already complied with CIPA or are not subject to it, they need to continue to be proactive in communicating with parents and other community members about the strategies that they are pursuing to promote online safety. This toolkit is designed to help schools fulfill that challenge.

Working with the Toolkit

Toolkit components have been designed so that they can be used either individually or together to help school leaders make a presentation to parents or other community members. The components include:

The Handbook
A handbook, "Promoting Online Safety: The Home-School Partnership," is designed to help school leaders develop the message they want to convey to parents and community members, based on their local circumstances. The handbook also suggests how to make use of the other toolkit components to develop a complete presentation.

The Video
This short, 10-minute video highlights the experiences of two school districts, one in Pennsylvania and one in Kansas, as they worked through questions surrounding the best ways to protect students when they go online. The video also highlights the need for parents to work in partnership with educators to help protect children. The video is designed to be shown at the start of a program for parents or community leaders to help frame the discussion that will follow. You can download a MPEG1 version of the video file from this site.

Download the Video (MPEG1/Zip File; 101 MB)
Download the Video (MPEG1/StuffIt File; 108 MB)

The PowerPoint Presentation
This PowerPoint presentation is designed to help school leaders create a presentation that will explain to parents and community leaders the steps they are taking to help protect children online. Some of the content has already been provided, but in the notes to other slides, suggestions are made to help educators "tell their own story." This presentation can be used by school leaders, either with the video, or on its own, to communicate to the public how students are being protected. It also is designed to help educate parents and other adults about their own responsibilities for assuring the online safety of children.

If you choose to "Open" the presentation, you will be able to see the slides in their current draft. We recommend that you "Save" this presentation to your hard drive. That way, you will be able to review explanatory notes suggesting information that you should add to the presentation about your own school and school district. You will also be able to modify the presentation to fit your own needs. The presentation should not be shown publicly before this kind of review and editing occurs.

The Flyer
This flyer has a two-fold purpose. It is designed to help school leaders announce an event related to online safety. In addition, it includes online safety tips for parents that can be sent home with other school communications. The flyer can be downloaded and then modified with the details of the event. One or both sides can then be duplicated and distributed as school leaders see fit. If you do not hold an event, you can still reproduce and distribute the single page of safety tips to parents. You can also choose to provide additional information about your own school online safety strategies in the area provided for announcing an event.

Many other resources related to promoting online safety in schools and at home can be accessed on the Web site of the Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse project itself.