Internet Safety

Internet Safety in Our Ever-Increasing Online World

Dear St. John Families,

As we start the year remote, our students are online and interacting with the virtual world likely more than ever before. While being able to seamlessly continue accessing education is an incredible blessing for this generation, unfortunately, as you are undoubtedly aware, it does not mean that everything online is good.

This week a graphic video has been circulating on the widely used social media platform, TikTok, showing a man dying by suicide. This video was originally live-streamed on Facebook on August 31st and is now moving through TikTok. As of today, the video has unfortunately not been completely taken down from TikTok.

While I realize that by no means are all of our students on TikTok, or even social media for that matter, I wanted to share this with families as a reminder that it is more important than ever to monitor your child’s internet consumption—regardless of their age. Promote positive mental health by ensuring your children take frequent media breaks each day. It is also vital that we talk with children regularly about internet safety. If you’re unsure where to start, I have curated a list of resources linked below to help you with this endeavor.

Let’s work to be extra vigilant and caring right now. I continue to be available to meet with parents and students as needed. Do not hesitate to reach out to myself, Ms. O’Leary, or Mr. Kelley if you need additional support.

Warmly,

Ms. Shaw

Internet Safety Resources for Families

  • Use this Online Safety Checklist to teach your children how to stay safe online. A good rule to teach is if anything looks scary, strange, or makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your gut, stop, and tell an adult right away.
  • To help talk about internet safety and create some family ground rules, Common Sense Media created the following Family Media Agreements: a general agreement, one designed for K-5th grade students, one designed for 6-8th grade students, and a more customizable Device Contract. All of these are excellent and a great first step in ensuring children engage with the virtual world in safe and healthy ways.
  • For more general internet safety resources, check out Common Sense Media’s website. They have an abundance of helpful resources for parents.

Newsletter – September 2020

September 2020 School Counselor Newsletter

Dear St. John Families,

Welcome back to school! It was a very different summer, but I hope you were able to stay happy, healthy, hopeful, and could make some special memories as a family.

I am very excited to be back at St. John for my second year and am even more excited to be on staff full-time! Because I’m now full-time, the level of support I can provide will be greater than last year. Read on to learn about the ways I’ll be able to work with students as we start the year online:

Primary & Intermediate – For our K-5 students, I am offering the following three services:

      • Google Classroom: Students are encouraged to join my Google Classroom where you will find recorded lessons and resources. All of the lessons and resources posted are optional and offered as a way to enrich your child’s school experience with valuable social-emotional learning. Each month, I will focus on a different topic and will upload lessons that correspond to that month’s topic. September’s topic is “Back to School,” with lessons and materials focusing on returning to online learning and strategies to be a successful distance learner.
          • Please note that in order to best address the unique developmental needs of each age group, I’ve created two separate classrooms: one for primary and one for intermediate. To join my classroom, click here and enter the code below:
              • Primary class code: zvozb7t
              • Intermediate class code: p4aopi5
      • Small Groups: Next month, I will be forming small social-emotional learning (SEL) groups that will consist of ~5 students of the same grade that will meet for 6-8 weeks to work on a common SEL goal (e.g., emotional regulation, coping with anxiety, etc.) Look for more information on referring your child to these groups in my October newsletter.
      • 1-on-1 Counseling: I’m available to work with students as requested on a goal-oriented, short-term basis. Please email me to arrange this service.

Middle School – For our middle school students, I am offering the following two services:

      • Virtual Calming Room: Students are invited to check out what I’m calling my “Virtual Calming Room”. This “room” has many resources to support positive mental health, including: guided meditations and breathing videos, journaling prompts, healthy coping skills activities, yoga videos, and much more.
      • 1-on-1 Counseling: I’m available to work with students as requested on a goal-oriented, short-term basis. Please email me to arrange this service.
      • Finally, in addition to these services, I’m so excited to be collaborating with Mrs. Mansfield to assist in teaching our Religion/Community class. I look forward to getting to spend more time with our awesome middle schoolers!

Lastly, as I did last spring, I continue to add resources for families to help cope with the pandemic and distance learning. You can find these here.

If I can do anything at all to support you or your student as we transition back to school, please do not hesitate to contact me at cshaw@st-johnschool.org. I would be so happy to help you in whatever way I can.

Looking forward to making it a great year!

Ms. Shaw

Resources I’m Highlighting this Month

  • As we head back to school, Big Life Journal created this awesome Back-to-School Care Package with tips, ideas, and tools for parents and children for returning to school—no matter what school looks like. This 28-page document is a treasure-trove of valuable activities and resources.
  • It’s normal for routines to slip over the summer, but as we start the year back up, it can be very helpful to re-establish those healthy and intentional routines. With that in mind, check out this article with ideas for creating a Positive Morning Routine. All five of these ideas are great, but even just incorporating one can really help to create a less chaotic and more peaceful morning atmosphere.
  • I always like to highlight the wonderful family podcast, “The Imagine Neighborhood”. They have many fantastic episodes that address common issues children face. Recently, they released a series of episodes that address going back to school remotely.
  • Check out these great 10 tips for Offering Emotional Support to Children in Uncertain COVID Times.