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SJCS - Setting Tech Boundaries During Shelter In Place

April 27, 2020
By Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology

Although as a community we have been addressing digital citizenship and the importance of tech boundaries with our students for many years, these weeks of Shelter in Place have shown us that we must stay the course. 

In this blog, Mrs. Hendricks, Director of Educational Technology, reminds us of tools, resources, and boundaries which will help us develop healthy tech habits for our students and in our homes.

Why must we teach digital citizenship and tech boundaries?

For some great insights, you can read this blog called Teaching Kids to Cross the Street. It was written several years ago, but the words in it still ring true as our culture relies so heavily on technology. 

“We need to teach our kids to be good digital citizens.  Even more importantly, we need to teach our kids to be great digital leaders."

Creating a Partnership

  • Teach, not Ban - Technology is part of our world. SJCS works to prepare our students to be responsible citizens and effective communicators in their technology use. 
  • Enforce boundaries at school - Technology is a tool, not a master. When your student is at school, teachers hold loving limits for tech use. 

    From Love & Logic, “Adults set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, threats or repeated warnings. We set limits using enforceable statements, regard mistakes as learning opportunities, and resist the temptation to nag.”
  • Abide by the SJCS Tech Agreement
PARENTS, Please...
  • Set boundaries for your student at home - Device Contract & Family Media Agreement & Circle with Disney
  • Keep devices out of the bedroom at night. Over and over, studies have proven how crucial sleep is to our overall health
  • Set a positive example. 
  • Educate yourself & talk with your student(s) - Common Sense Media Parent Resources & Reviews can help.
  • Share with other parents.
  • Allow for flexibility - we are not in normal times, so it is okay to be flexible with the amount of screen time. For reference, take a look at this 2 minute video from AAP or their online family media tool.
STUDENTS, please…
  • Respect the boundaries your parents put in place.
  • Choose honesty. Your tech habits matter. Discipline yourself to be honest with yourself and your parents about your tech habits and choices.
  • Talk to your parents and teachers about how the pandemic is affecting you. Discuss how you can work together to address what is going on.
  • Turn on Night Shift - it is much easier on your eyes!

Life Skills Home Edition

April 23, 2020
By Jennifer Baham | Teaching Principal

Thanks to Shelter-in-Place, this year’s Middle School Life Skills class has reached a whole new playing field.

In hopes to incorporate SJCS Throughlines of HUMBLE SERVANTS and RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS, I assigned the thirty-three Life Skills students with "Life Skills Home Edition".

The Life Skills Home edition challenge
  1. Students completed a survey of home and life skills before deciding which one to demonstrate to the class.
  2. During a one-hour class period, four students present a skill via video or live Zoom demonstration.
  3. Then, each student must choose one skill from that class period to complete and photo document before the next class.
  4. By the end of the unit, each student will have completed at least eight skills.

Growing up is hard work, but it is never too late (or early!) to start!

Take a look at some grown-up Life Skills our Tigers were practicing:

  • Are your windows dirty? Sydney can show you how to clean them in a jiff.
  • Do you have a difficult decision to make? Maddie would encourage you to an eight-step process which includes paying attention, gathering evidence, asking for help, and praying for God’s direction. 
  • Do you need a break from watching your young children during Shelter-in-Place? Max’s safety tips and humorous demonstration of how to play fair can give older siblings' advice.
  • Did you cut your finger while chopping veggies? Camren can show you basic first aid. 
  • Is your child struggling to succeed in middle school? Maddie’s research shows some important habits and tips to get you on the road to success.
  • Is it time to wash your car? Joey shows you what supplies you need and how to make your car look great.
  • When was the last time you cleaned your bathroom? Lila’s detailed directions will make your bathroom look AND smell better. 
  • With Sarina’s smoothie, Sofia’s Greek salad, Jackson’s Asian beef, and Fiona’s two-layer cake, our families are well-fed during Shelter in Place. 

I'm so proud of our students! Take a look at the pictures they submitted. Look below the video for some Tiger Talk questions for you and your family to consider. 

TIGER TALK on Home Edition
  • Responsible stewards use their gifts and manage their resources to further God’s kingdom. What gifts do you have, or could you develop, to further God’s kingdom right where you are during Shelter in Place? What resources do you have which you could manage in a way to be a blessing to God and others?
  • Humble servants consider others’ needs and willingly serve them. What particular needs do the various people in your family have during Shelter in Place? Name ways your family can willingly serve each other,  your community,  and those who have needs around us during the pandemic.

Principal Pow Wow | "Feelings Game"

April 08, 2020
By Jennifer Baham | Teaching Principal

Join Principal Baham in this Principal Pow Wow as she reflects on "Own my Part" from school last month. PLUS she introduces us to a new Principal Pow Wow that we can do from home called "Feelings Game". We hope you'll take a moment with your family to try out the activity Principal Baham introduces and that you'll share stories of your Pow Wows! 

Technology For A Time Like This

April 08, 2020
By Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology

Hello Tiger Community, 

As the Director of Educational Technology, this time of remote learning is in some ways exciting to me. While I would never have chosen to be "thrown" into it the way we were, it has been a joy to watch our students put the things we have taught and discussed into practice during our remote learning time. I am also increasingly thankful for how our parents have responded and supported us through this transition. 

Each age level has different struggles and blessings and I pray we can work together to meet your needs as parents. One thing to remember parents - go easy on yourselves. You've (probably) never facilitated remote learning with your kids before, as most of us have never facilitated remote learning before this time. We are all in this together!

When a student enters middle school at SJCS, the student and parents go through a tech training before the student receives their laptop for middle school. Some of the resources we talk about might be helpful to you during this time of remote learning. I am going to list some links for you to browse through and if you have any questions about them, please feel free to reach out to me.

Common Sense Media Customizable Device Contract

Common Sense Media Family Media Agreement

Circle - internet filter and screen time management
(We use this as a family at home)

Screen Time (MacOS)

I don't know about you, but the past three and a half weeks have been a blur of good things, hard things, happy times and stressful times. The one thing that has not changed is that our God is in control and He is faithful.

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy note. Below you will find several resources of activities and things to think about while we spend more time than usual on our devices.

I am so thankful for our SJCS community!


Mrs. Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology

Additional Resources

How to upload assignments to Google Classroom

Find Screen time Balance with Circle

Ergonomic Sitting for Children

Websites for elementary students

Free resources during remote learning:

Scholastic Learn At Home


Amazon Free Ebooks

Recent Posts

4/27/20 - By Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology
4/23/20 - By Jennifer Baham | Teaching Principal
4/8/20 - By Jennifer Baham | Teaching Principal
4/8/20 - By Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology
4/2/20 - By Lynn Hossink | 2nd Grade Teacher

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