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Seven Media-Savvy Skills All Parents Need in 2014
Smart strategies for managing your kids' media and technology this year.

You don't have to become an expert to help your kids make good decisions. Just get involved in their media lives. By engaging with them, you can help them use these tools responsibly, respectfully, and safely. Here are some ways to be a media-savvy parent this year:

Check out your kids' social sites. From videogames to apps -- even music -- nearly everything has a social component these days. Your kids may enjoy posting status updates, uploading photos, IMing, commenting, gaming or any number of online sharing activities with friends. Ask them to show you where they visit, what they do there, who they talk to, what they upload. Make sure they know the rules for safe, responsible, respectful online communication.

Take their games seriously. Give their favorite game a whirl -- or just ask them to recount their gaming experiences. (In fact, once they start, you may not be able to get them to stop). Use the opportunity to ask them questions about the game, like choices they made, puzzles they solved, or strategies they tried. You may be surprised at how much thought goes into their gameplay. (Check out our favorite video games.)

Share music. With MP3 players and headphones, music is often a solitary experience. But it doesn't have to be. Download some of your favorite oldies but goodies for your kids. Then ask them to play something for you that you've never heard. Have a conversation about the music.

Use YouTube's advanced features. Every kid loves YouTube, but we all know that there are plenty of videos that aren't age-appropriate. Telling your kids to stay off probably won't do any good, so learn how to manage it. Take advantage of YouTube's built-in content filter, Safety Mode, which blocks mature content. Then set up Channel Subscriptions, Playlists, and Watch Later feeds which give you greater control over what your kids watch.

Take control of your TV. There are lots of ways to exert more control over what your kids watch. You can use a digital video recorder, on-demand programming, and websites like Hulu to watch what you want when you want it. This allows you to be choosier about what your kids see. You can preview the shows, fast forward through the ads, use the mute button, and avoid the stuff you don't want your kids to watch.

Research your kids' apps. It's kind of amazing what apps can do. But you have to set some rules around downloading or you may wind up with some age-inappropriate apps. Always read through the app description (and check our reviews) before installing. Play with your kid a few times so you know what the app is capable of -- some offer in-game purchasing, connect with other people, or use your location.

Establish a digital code of conduct. When you give your kids digital devices -- cell phones, computers, and other personal electronics -- set rules around responsible, respectful usage. Check in on where your kids are going online -- look at browser histories, set appropriate age filters, and check out the parental controls. Teach your kids the basics of safe searching. Don't let them figure it all out by themselves.

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Student Records

Boundary County School District #101 hereby notifies parents and guardians that they have the right to inspect and review student records.  Read More...

Raising Responsible Digital Citizens

The Online Mom

http://www.theonlinemom.com

This site is dedicated to providing parents with practical knowledge, tools, and advice about raising a 21st century child.

Common Sense Media

http://www.commonsensemedia.org

A non-profit group that provides trustworthy information in regards to raising a child surrounded by multiple media types.  this site contains age-appropriate instructional videos for both parents and children on a variety of subjects related to life in the 21st century.

Safety on the Internet

Web Wise Kids

http://www.webwisekids.org

A non-profit group whose sole purpose is to provide students, parents, and teachers with tools to help understand the value in making safe and wise choices in our digital world.  They also offer an award-winning online program called "Wired with Wisdom," which addresses parental knowledge of the digital world, potential online dangers children may encounter, and how to be prepared for both.

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

A list of 10 important privacy settings on Facebook and how to set them.  The list includes photo tags, contact settings, and avoiding embarrassing wall posts.

Kids Health

http://www.kidshealth.org

A comprehensive site that offers advice on any and all things children's health-related, including the Internet and the importance of positive digital citizenship.

What Did My Kid Just Say?

Netlingo

http://www.netlingo.com

This sites is dedicated to the accumulation and definition of all the new vocabulary, terminology, and acronyms that have become common with the development of the digital world.

No Slang

http://www.noslang.com

This is an online slang and text-speak translator.  Enter a text message or slang into the translator and it defines it into plain English.  The site also contains a database of common internet terms and definitions.

What's it Really Like in There?

Teen's Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Teens-and-social-media.aspx?src=prc-twitter

This is a current study by the Pew Research Center in regards to the digital world that our teens encounter on a daily basis.  It sheds some light on the reality of the "netizens" who we are attempting to raise and teach.

Stop Bullying

http://www.stopbullying .gov

This U.S. Government site is dedicated to the prevention of bullying in all its forms.  It provides ways to talk about potential situations your children may face, as well as how to deal with a bully in the real world and online.

Parent Tips for Internet Safety

The Internet has become a significant part of our lives, as well as our children’s. It can be a fun and exciting place to learn many new things. However, there are many dangers to children on the Internet as well. Parents can best protect their children by being actively involved in their children's Internet exploration and setting boundaries for their children’s Internet use.

Here is a list of tips that can help you keep your children safe when they are online:

Talk to your children about the dangers of the Internet.
Agree upon rules for Internet use before you allow them to go online. Use the “
Family Contract for Internet Safety.”

 
 

Did you know... that 27% of children ages 12-17 are choosing to play games online with people they FIRST MET ONLINE? How much do you know about online gaming??? Learn more here...

Do not hesitate to contact law enforcement.
Notify the police immediately if an online contact tries to meet with your child.

Do not allow your child to meet in person someone they met online.
If you choose to allow such a meeting, accompany your child and meet in a public place.

Protect personal information.
Never allow your child to provide addresses, phone numbers, names or the name and location of your child's school. Do not include personal information in an online profile. Pedophiles use profiles to find victims.

Keep online computers in a common room.
You should keep any computer that can access the Internet in the family room or other public area of the home, not in your child's room.

Educate your child on what is threatening and unsafe.
Teach your children to tell you if anything they see online makes them feel uncomfortable. Do not allow your child to respond to messages that are sexually suggestive, obscene or threatening. Forward such messages to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

See what they are doing.
Regularly have your children show you the websites they visit. Get to know their online friends just as you would their regular friends.

Use parental controls and/or blocking software.
There are software packages available that allow you to manage such things as what time your children have access to the Internet, how long they can be on online, and what sites they can or cannot access.

Check the web browser history files and cache on computers your children use.
Check what pages your child is visiting and how often they are viewing them.

Maintain access to the accounts and profiles your child has.
Visit their MySpace, Facebook and other social networking pages to see what is posted. Randomly review your child's e-mail account. Be prepared to set limits on their profiles and e-mail accounts. Learn about the acronyms they might be using by reading the "
Internet Lingo Dictionary."

Do not allow your children to use chat rooms.
Even seemingly safe “kids” chat rooms can be dangerous.

Click here for more information and other helpful links for parents.

 

State Immunization Requirements and Health Guidelines

 

All Idaho schools are required to implement Idaho Code, 39-4801 and Title 2, Chapter 15 "Immunization Requirements for Idaho School Children."  This code requires all students enrolled and enrolling in Idaho Schools to have verifiable documentation of immunizations prior to school entrance.  This documentation must show date and type of each dose administered.  This must be stamped by a physician or health department.  Parental recall of dates and types of immunizations received are not acceptable. 

The minimum requirements for students born after Sept. 1, 2005:

DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
Polio
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
Hepatitis B
Varicella (Chickenpox)
Hepatitis A

The minimum requirements for students born after Sept. 1, 1999 through Sept. 1, 2005:

DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
Polio
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
Hepatitis B   

The minimum requirements for students born on or before Sept. 1, 1999:

DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
Polio
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
Hepatitis B

For the 2012-2013 school year, 7th & 8th grade immunization requirements (in addition to above immunizations):

Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
Meningococcal

For students who are in process to complete immunizations, a Conditional Admission Form must be completed to enroll in school. 

For religious, medical or personal exemptions, a form can be provided to you by your school nurse. 

For questions regarding immunizations contact your family doctor, school nurse, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Other CDC recommended immunizations:

Influenza:  All children and adults starting at 6 months of age. 
HPV: All girls age 11-12 years old through age 26.    

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Internet safety

  • 93 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 go online.[5]
  • Of children five years old and younger who use the Internet, 80 percent use it at least once a week. [6]
  • One in 25 children ages 10 to 17 received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact.[7]
  • Four percent of cell phone owning teens ages 12 to 17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude messages to others via text message.[8]
  • 15 percent of cell phone owning teens ages 12 to 17 say they have received sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude images of someone they know via text.[9]
  • For more Internet Safety facts visit

        www.netsmartz.org/Safety/Statistics.


[1] Finkelhor D., Hammer H., Schultz D., Sedlak A. National Estimates of Missing Children: An Overview, U.S. Department of Justice, 2002. [2] Brown K., Keppel R., McKenna R., Skeen M., Weis J. Case Management for Missing Children Homicides: Report II, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and U.S. Department of Justice, 2006. [3] AMBER Alert, U.S. Department of Justice. [4] The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction: A Report to Congress, U.S. Department of Justice, 2010. [5] Lenhart A. Social Media and Young Adults. Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2010. [6] Gutnick A., Kotler J., Robb M., Takeuchi L. Always Connected: The new digital media habits of young children, Joan Ganz Cooney Center, 2011. [7] Finkelhor D., Mitchell K., Wolak J., Ybarra M. Online “Predators” and Their Victims: Myths, Realities, and Implications for Prevention and Treatment. American Psychologist, 2008;63, 111-128. [8] Lenhart A. Teens and Sexting. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2009. [9] Ibid.