Internet Filtering Services
Radnor Township School District is a leader in educational excellence including areas in instructional innovation using technologies that enhance authentic learning experiences. Access to resources increase exponentially and RTSD proactively works to ensure safe and secure access of online content both at school and at home. We have implemented systems to improve the safety of content accessed with internet web filters that prevent access to websites harmful to minors, in addition to teaching responsible use and making available the collaborative benefits of the internet to improve learning and instruction. We proactively monitor and upgrade our filtering and firewall capabilities through automatic updates and manual adjustments.
We recognize that even with the latest network protections in place, relying on filtering technology alone can create a false sense of security as no system can guarantee prevention of access to all inappropriate content. In that light, we believe the best complement to technology-based protections is our commitment to cyber safety education and strong parent partnerships when helping students develop the intellectual skills necessary to discriminate among information sources, identify information appropriate to their age and developmental levels, and evaluating and using the information to meet their educational goals.
Focused on educating students, instruction on digital citizenship and cyber safety is embedded into our curriculum and has become part of our language. Our curriculum includes instruction on appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response. The District partners with Common Sense Media for our curricular materials and parent resources for continuing the conversations at home.
How Our Filters Work
Our web filtering solution includes network-based hardware and cloud-based (remote) controls that are able to block access to harmful, inappropriate, and dangerous websites that may contain phishing/pharming attacks, malware such as spyware, or objectionable content. Content categories, including new websites, are updated continuously by the manufacturer ensuring we have the latest database of websites available. Sites that are not categorized in our database are inspected by the systems in place and filtered to match to existing categories. Our team also has the ability to enable or block specific websites as we are made aware to ensure our District practices and policies are administered as well as ensuring our network access is compliant with the Children Internet Protection Act CIPA legislation.
Categories We Block (Elementary)
Our content filters block many broad categories to protect our students online. Some of the categoris we block include:
- Access Denied
- Mature - Art
- Mature - Body Art
- Mature - Games
- Mature - Language
- Forums - Dating
- Forums - IM
- Forums - Newsgroups
- Forums - p2p
- Forums - Personals
- Forums - Social Networking
- Security - Malware
- Viruses, spyware, phishing
Filtering at Home
You have control over your home internet access that comes into your house. Options available for filtering your home internet include:
- Contacting Your Internet Provider (many providers have features for home filtering)
- OpenDNS (service applied to your home internet modem/router)
Tips for a Healthy Relationship with Tech
Establish Family Rules
Decide together what kind of media and tech is OK - and when it's OK to use it. A family media plan can help get everyone on the same page.
Use Parental Controls
Set content limits that make sense for your family. Along with conversations about healthy media habits, employ content filtering, privacy settings, and time limits offered by apps and platforms your family uses manage access and exposure.
Create Screen-Free Times & Zones
Help kids take breaks from tech by limiting screen time in bedrooms, during study time or at the dinner table.
Reflect On Your Habits
Ask yourself how quickly you really need to respond to texts, emails, or other messages. The faster you respond, the faster people expect you to respond next time. Think about setting limits or guidelines so others know what to expect.
Set a schedule and stick to it. Give yourself a set period of time each day to check social media or personal email.