SKS families,

One of my favorite sayings to the students is: “At SKS , we do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.”  I would bet you a pretzel if you asked the first half of this quote to a student that has been here a few years, they would be able to finish the quote.

Last week I was finally able to reach every homeroom in grades 4- 8 about two very important areas that will follow your children for the remainder of their lives. I am sending this email to the entire school because it is so important for all parents to be aware of what was said and the need for you to follow up with a discussion with your child about what was discussed.  Parents in grades KG- 3 , you need to start talking about these two challenges even at a young age. Your follow up to these two messages will  support the partnership that exists between parents and teachers at SKS to support each child fully.  It takes the SKS Village, right?

The two topics were covered in each class that asked  some important questions:

1. What’s your Digital Footprint ? What does your entire Digital Footprint look like? Are you proud of it  and would you show it to your parents/grandparents ?

Here’s just some of what I discussed with the students:

A Digital Footprint  is a term we as a faculty coined from a speaker several years ago.  A person’s digital footprint is a capsule summary of every text, email, group text/chat, picture, video, website, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, tiktok , Roblox, etc..  that each person uses etc. The question I posed to each student is this: If we were to pull up on a giant movie screen for everyone to see,  including your parents and grandparents, every single text, group chat , website visited,  email, Snapchat,  etc… from your  personal digital footprint, would you be okay with that? Would you be proud of it?  My educated guess based on our students’ body language and specifically, their eyes, told me that most likely many students would not be.  The older the grade I smoke too , the more questionable body language I saw.   As parents you have every right to examine your child’s digital footprint and it is my hope that you do check it  and often. The news media is full of examples of adults misusing technology and having a poor digital footprint.  Can you really expect your child to navigate this slippery slope without your monitoring it? Please don’t let a child  tell you they have the “right to privacy”  card on you … when they start paying for their phone /cable bills on their own, then they can claim a right to privacy. I  went deeper with this examining situations that can get students into “a lot of hot water ” by misusing technology here at school.  I covered a lot of ground at the meetings and I plan to do a follow up with each grade in the spring. This digital footprint notion takes constant reinforcement by both you and us.  I also made sure they understand that there can be serious consequences for the misuse of technology and inappropriate online behavior here at school. This paragraph is the tip of the iceberg with ground I covered at the meetings.

2. The second topic covered is the difference between a Tattletale-ing and Telling situation ? What distinguishes a tattletale/snitching situation as opposed to being an upstander in a telling situation ?

There is a big difference between the two and I give credit to Mrs.  Jessica Ryan, our DCIU guidance counselor , who clearly explained it to a few students and me when we were mediating a conflict situation between a few students several weeks ago .

A Tattletale/Snitch situation involves a minor incident where no one is getting hurt in any way.  Siblings do this a lot to get each other in trouble.


“Mom, Joey didn’t finish his dinner.  There’s no hurt involved here and the sibling should avoid tattling.


Student A tells on Student B to a teacher that he/ she is not doing in class what they are being assigned to do. In this situation there is no hurt involved – no one has been injured/harmed in any sense and Student A should be minding his/her own business.

However a telling situation that requires a someone to be an upstander and stand up for themselves or others when there is hurt involved. If they cannot stand up, then they need to get a trusted adult

Example:  Student A is in the school yard sees two friends of his/her harassing another student by teasing/ embarrassing that student. The victimized student is likely to be upset and emotional and reduced to tears. Or perhaps the student tries to save face and laughs it off, but deep down they are really hurt emotionally. This happens too. In any case, the student cannot stand up for themselves and needs an advocate. These situations are a part of growing up in all grades. This is clearly a situation where Student A, as an observer to the situation,  can/should step in. It is a time to put friendships aside and stand up for what is right.  Student A needs to put friendships aside, be a leader, and do the right thing because……….to do”   Student A should advocate for the victim or if the situation happens and they cannot step in for any reason, they need to tell a trusted adult.

On our Blue Ribbon Banners on Aberdeen and Midland Avenues,  you may have seen the motto that we espouse to? It is directly from our school mission statement . It says on the banners: “Educating the Whole Child.”  What I have communicated to you in these two topics is a very important part of educating the whole child, and as I told the students last week, it ties in directly to our Catholic faith and what Jesus teaches us.  And it does take the village to raise each child, right?

Take care,