Letter to Fourth-Grade Families, 9.28.20
September 28, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians of Fourth Graders,
It became apparent today that some of our fourth grade students have been using the Google Hangout chat feature on their Chromebooks to send messages to other students (inside and outside of their classroom) during a classroom lesson today. In talking with our students, many said that they have been using this chat feature to talk with friends over the summer as well as during the beginning of this school year.
Of course, our fourth-grade teachers and I believe that students chatting with each other during instruction is inappropriate and unacceptable. I held an “emergency” virtual meeting with all of our fourth-graders (both in-school and at home) today to discuss our concerns. I shared that this behavior is disrespectful to their teachers, just as talking to others while their teachers are teaching would be. I also let them know that it could be hurtful, especially if someone says something unkind to them. I told our students that I have observed them all using online chat boxes appropriately, such as last Friday when a guest writer joined all four classes virtually. Still, I told them that until they have gained back our trust that they can indeed handle digital chat features appropriately that these will be turned off and not available to them at this time.
I’m asking parents/guardians to please support us by providing monitoring of our children’s screen time at home and I am also asking our teachers to increase their close supervision of our students. If you have concerns regarding our children’s behavior online, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can work through these concerns together.
Technology is a wonderful tool and we want to be sure that we are using it in the safest, most productive way possible. Thanks to all for your support!
Ruth W. Rose, Principal