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Principal's Message

Principal's Message-Digital Citizenship 1-11-18

January 11, 2018

Dear Parent/Guardian,


We are committed to empowering students to use technology safely and responsibly, in the context of academic learning, and for positive social-emotional growth. Our kids are growing up in a digitally-rich culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. 21st century learners need to be “21st century safe,” so Dougherty Valley High School is launching a whole-community approach that will help us embrace digital citizenship as a central part of our students' educational experience.



Common Sense Media is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping families. They define digital citizenship as: “the practice of navigating the digital world safely, responsibly, and respectfully.” As Spiderman says, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Our goal is to prepare students to harness the immense possibilities of digital media to explore, create, connect, and learn, while minimizing the challenges such as plagiarism, privacy risks, and cyberbullying. We know that as more devices make their way into classrooms, we need to reinforce positive and proactive digital behaviors. We also know that students need skills to compete and succeed in a digital world. With that expectation, it is critical to teach kids how to participate ethically, protect their digital footprint and make thoughtful choices online.



In accordance with the October 6, 2015 Board adopted Resolution #19/15-16, which recognizes the urgency of embedding digital citizenship in our district culture, we are excited to share that Dougherty Valley is in the process of becoming a Digital Citizenship Certified School through The Common Sense Education Recognition Program. This year, we will be implementing their innovative and research-based curriculum, along with more than 90,000 classrooms nationwide. The materials are free, and were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The resources offer rich discussion prompts and collaborative activities which teach tangible skills and common language related to Internet safety, protecting reputations, managing relationships, and copyright.


There are numerous criteria required to become a Certified School, including professional development for staff and utilizing a range of Common Sense Media’s materials. At Dougherty Valley, all students in chemistry, IPS, and biology will be participating in three lessons designed to be relevant to a range of issues and age groups. We will also share resources for parents - please look for details in the coming weeks on Schoolloop. By earning Common Sense Education School-wide Recognition, Dougherty Valley demonstrates we are dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need. We are excited about our journey this year.

For more information about digital citizenship, visit Common Sense Media at http://www.commonsensemedia.org . We also recommend the Common Sense Family Toolbox at https://www.commonsense.org/education/connecting-families/share


With sincere appreciation for your ongoing support,


Dave Kravitz, Principal

Dougherty Valley High School 

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