Internet Safety

As a school district committed to teaching students in a 21st century learning environment with technology at the forefront of instruction, the Oxford Public Schools has a responsibility to ensure that students are educated on Internet safety. 

Additionally, as a public school system that receives E-rate funding and applies for Department of Education technology grants, we are required to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act or CIPA.  

The content below is meant to be a valuable resource to students, parents, district employees and other stakeholders, as well as a means to inform the public of the district's efforts to ensure the on-line safety of our students.

The district is happy to announce the introduction of: 
Common Sense Media's - Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum.


Use the links below to go directly to a specific section of this webpage.




Tips For Students


AVOID THE DANGERS OF INSTANT MESSAGING

        - Be aware, Instant Messaging is never 100% secure.

        - Instant Messaging provides an easy way for a stranger to contact you

          or find out vital information about you.

        - If IM privacy settings are not set on your IM account, anyone could watch

          you while you are online

 

PROTECT YOURSELF WHILE USING INSTANT MESSAGING

        - Be sure to set your privacy settings

        - Allow only people you know "IRL" (in real life) on your "buddy list."

        - If you receive an IM from someone not on your "buddy list" or from a

          stranger,  you can block them from contacting you.

        - Be sure not to provide any personal information about you or your family

          in your "buddy info" or profile.

 

FOLLOW THE RULES

It is illegal:

        - To threaten people over the Internet or phone.

        - To send graphic photos to people under the age of 18.

        - To harass or bully anyone.

        - To use other people's credit cards.

        - To download music without permission.

        - To use someone else's identity without permission including logging on

           to someone else's account.

 

PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION

        - Do not give out your name, address, phone #, photo, birthday or

          social security number.

        - Use extreme caution when writing your profile.

        - Protect your password from others, even your friends.

        - Beware of free offers and surveys.

 

ANSWERS

        - Never respond if you feel uncomfortable.

        - Never say you are alone.

        - Don't answer chat room questions, even with lies.

 

SECURITY

        - Kids and teens should not make online purchases.

        - Use caution when using Morpheus, Kazaa or Grokster.  Check with

          your parents and your school before using file-sharing programs.

        - Enable firewalls.

        - Use Virus Checkers.

        - Install Security updates from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

 

STRANGERS

        - On-line "friends" are still strangers.

        - Meetings are forbidden.

        - People on the Internet may have many identities.



If you have any questions about Internet use, speak to your parents.  
Report any unusual email, IM or phone contact to your parents immediately.

Taken from the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office Website


Resources for Parents


A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety - U.S. Department of Justice F.B.I

A Parents Guide to the Internet - U.S. Department of Education

Advice for parents from Disney.com on how to keep your child safe on the Internet

Parenting Online - Wired Safety

McGruff's Internet Safety Pledge - National Crime Prevention Council

Stop Cyberbullying Before It Starts

iKeepsafe - Internet Safety Coalition

Ten Technical Questions - What Every Parent Must Do To Keep Children Safe Online

Protecting Tweens and Teens Online Brochure

Protecting Young Children Online Brochure

Teach Kids Mobile Phone Safety Brochure



Resources for Educators


Internet Safety - U.S. Department of Education

NetSmartz Workshop - National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Teacher's Guide - Jo Cool Jo Fool

CyberSense and Nonsense - Media Awareness Network

i-SAFE

iKeepsafe - Internet Safety Coalition



District Actions Relative to Student Internet Safety


March 6, 2009 - Article from The Webster Times

March 5, 2009 - Letter from Mrs. Hackett



On March 11, 2009 at 7:00 PM, the Oxford Public Schools held aCyberbullying Symposium for all parents of school aged children in the auditorium at the Oxford High School.
 
In addition to cyberbulling, this seminar provided attendees with other helpful tips on how to keep children safe in a digitally connected world.

Worcester District Attorney - Julie Lasure was the presenter.  Click hereto view the flyer for that event. 



The week of March 30 through April 3, 2009 has been designated as Internet Safety Week in the Oxford Public Schools.  Students in grades 1 through 4 at both the Clara Barton Elementary School and the A.M. Chaffee Elementary School will take part in an iKeepSafe.org lesson.  

This lesson uses the adventures of Faux Paw the Techno Cat to teach students to keep safe their personal information, keep away from strangers online, and keep telling their parents or a trusted adult if something online troubles them. 

Materials for this lesson are free and reproducible and are posted here.

Faux Paw the Techno Cat Adventures in the Internet - book 


Guided Classroom Discussion - review of book  

Computer & Internet Vocabulary - handout

Computer & Internet Vocabulary - worksheet

Internet Safety Review - worksheet

CP1 - CP2 - CP3 - CP4 - CP5 - coloring pages 



On April 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM, at the request of the Oxford Public Schools - Special Education Parent Advisory Council, representatives from the Oxford police department came to speak with interested parents.

Officer Picard (the town safety officer), and Officer Grinet (the school resource officer), informed parents of the work they are doing in collaboration with the school system. 

Officer Picard spoke about Project Alert, a program being offered to students at the Oxford Middle School, funded by the district's Safe and Drug Free Schools grant.  He also introduced attendees to Operation Safe Return.  This program, originally designed for people with Alzheimer's or dementia, is now being offered locally to people at risk or with special needs.  The program allows care takers to provide the police department with important information about an individual in advance of an issue where they may turn up missing or in need of emergency services.

Officer Grinet spoke on Internet Safety and the work he has done in the past 4 or 5 years with the students of the Oxford Public Schools.  Each year he is welcomed into the district to inform students of the dangers that can come from unsafe computer use.



On May 20, 2009 our school resource officer, Jeremy Grinet spoke to all 5th grade students of the Oxford Middle School on Internet Safety.

Officer Grinet's presentation included video clips, a slide show as well as a question and answer period.  He covered topics including the use of social websites, texting, approriate e-mail conduct, keeping personal information safe, as well as, the concept that information and images posted on-line are forever.




In March of 2010 the Oxford Public Schools upgraded its firewall and Internet content filter from the Astaro 320 to theAstaro 525

 

This device has 4 GB of RAM and a built-in hard drive which provides for quarantining of suspicious files and allows transaction logs to be stored locally. It features gigabit-speed network ports and excellent performance.  The Astaro 525 allows for straightforward content filtering with an easy to use web-based interface.  This device allows the district to ensure that inappropriate material does not inadvertently reach our students and allows us to monitor Internet traffic and usage.



In the fall of 2010, the Oxford Public Schools developed the Anti Bullying Task Force. This committee was supported by the Oxford School Committee and has been a true collaboration of community and school. 

Administrators, teachers, parents, school counselors, law enforcement and students discussed openly the meaning of bullying, cyberbullying, acts of aggression, what is a bystander and how do we unite to bring an end to this cycle of behavior. Click here to view a list of members.

The committee developed the District's Plan, which was created with reference to the Model Bullying and Intervention Plan distributed to school communities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Click the links to view the plan and the incident report form

In December of 2010, ten Oxford faculty and staff attended a Train-the-Trainer workshop on bullying and cyberbullying offered by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC).  In the spring of 2011, all faculty and staff of the district were required to attend bullying and cyberbullying training.




On February 15, 2012 the Superintendent of Schools sent a letter home with all students addressing Internet Safety and social networking.  The letter included the three attachments found below.

Protecting Tweens and Teens Online Brochure
Protecting Young Children Online Brochure
Teach Kids Mobile Phone Safety Brochure

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