Dear SKS Parents,

                                                                    Positive Digital Footprint

Almost daily, we read in the news or hear about an adult posting or videoing something on social media that is vulgar, lewd or inappropriate.   So why should we be surprised when adolescents upload inappropriate posts or videos?  Perhaps we shouldn’t. However, parents and teachers have a shared responsibility to teach children right from wrong.

How can we expect adolescents to handle social media?  The answer is to set the expectations and hold them accountable to those expectations.  Every parent should do at least these two things regarding adolescents with technology and social media:

  1. Have random checks on cell phones iPads and laptops.
  2. Collect their phones (and any other technology they can access)  before they go to bed.

Does your child has a positive digital footprint? What is the language they are using in their text messages? What pictures or videos are they posting on Snapchat or Instagram? Is the music they are listening to or lip syncing to on apps like TikTok appropriate language?  In short, is what they have on social media something they would show you or their grandparents? Is it something they can be proud of?

Every trimester we talk with grades 5 to 8 and ask them to think about their Positive Digital Footprint (PDF).  We will be doing this before report cards come out as the  trimester ends on December 2nd.  I tell them that when we look to hire a teacher, we check the candidate’s Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat account and what they post.  We tell our students about situations where student athletes lost scholarship offers because of  social media posts.  We remind them that the delete button doesn’t mean it is gone, and that everything in cyberspace is retrievable.  We remind students that if what they do outside of school has an impact on the life of a school, they can and will be held accountable by the school.   No one said this is easy for parents, it isn’t. The job of being a parent and a teacher today is more challenging than ever, but always rewarding.

If you have a strong handle on your child’s digital footprint,  I commend you and thank you.  If you are remiss in holding your child accountable,  or feel it’s an invasion of your child’s privacy, I strongly urge to make it a part of your efforts. They won’t like it, but that’s okay. You are not here to be your child’s best friend, you are their parent.

                                                                          Volunteer Parents

Our school counts on and thrives with parent volunteer  support. It is a large part of who we are and helps forge that communal atmosphere that makes SKS strong. Please know how much Msgr. Brouwers, the teachers, and I appreciate the support we see at SKS with volunteers for  lunch , fields trips , CYO sports, homeroom parents , library and media support , Reading Circle and more. It is mandated by Pennsylvania state law that all volunteers have the necessary clearances in order to set foot in school.  Many of you have done this. I thank you for your support and diligence by being in compliance. Some of you haven’t, and you need to be incompliance before continuing as a volunteer in school.

This message is for those who are not in compliance,  yet still show up to school as a volunteer:  PLEASE DO NOT VOLUNTEER UNTIL YOU GET YOUR CLEARANCES.   The expectation is that any adult who walks in this building to assist in any way has clearances.  You don’t have to agree with or like doing it, you just have to do it. If we allow a parent in the building without clearances, what message are we sending to those in compliance?  We do not have the resources or the time to stand at the door and ask if you have your clearances, our expectation is that you would follow the regulations as outlined by PA state law, the same as you would if it was part of your employment requirements. Help us out here please. We tell the kids: Do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. We are in the process of being audited this coming school year by the Archdiocesan Office of Child Protection and Services. This audit is a big deal and the expectation is that we are 100% in compliance. I have to insist that everyone does what is expected here. Thank you for help protecting our students and keeping them safe.

Take care,