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Each computer provided by PA Virtual Charter school comes with filtering software pre-installed. This software is required, and can not be uninstalled. The filtering software provides us with enterprise grade content filtering to block web pages, and web content that complies with CIPA requirements.
The filtering software works on a 'school wide' level, we will not block specific websites for specific families. If you find that you are able to access content with our PA Virtual provided computer that you feel should be blocked, please email email@example.com and provide us with the web address in question.
In compliance with the software policy, families can not install addition filtering software on the school provided computers. If you need additional filtering, please see the section below.
Please be aware, that although families may employ additional filtering policies within their home at the network level, we can not guarantee that the additional filtering will apply to the school provided computers, nor can we provide support for any personal filtering options.
Additional Filtering Options
ISP Provided Filtering
Most, if not all, Internet Service Providers provide some form of parental controls/web filtering. You should contact your ISP for details on how to use these tools if you wish for additional filtering. It is important to note that these solutions may or may not work as expected with the school provided computers. In addition, PA Virtual will not be able to provide technical support for any ISP provided filtering.
Another solution we encourage is that our learning coaches provide appropriate supervision based on the child's age and maturity level.
Keep the computer in a visible area of the house.
Having the computer in the child's room with the door open it not enough. If you can not see the front of the screen, then you can not easily monitor what your child is doing. Best place is in the corner of a high traffic area, while making sure that you can see the front of the screen. Putting it in a high traffic area will allow you to “peek in” and see what your child is doing while making trips between all your other daily chores. During your trips, make sure to stop once and a while and ask some questions. This will show your child that you are interested in what he/she is doing, while reminding him/her that you are watching. This will not only help with filtering content, but is also a great way to assist your child with staying on task.
Talk to your child about what is and isn't allowed
Don't just tell your child what is and isn't allowed, but turn it into a discussion. Discuss things like why the undesired content conflicts with your families morals, or how this content makes him/her feel. This will help you child become his/her own filter.
Let them come to you when something comes up
This is particularly true for the younger kids. If you have talked to your child, and they have a good understanding what is and isn't acceptable, then when they find something unacceptable they will tell you about it. It is important to keep your tone simple and to the point when they do. They have actually done a good thing in telling you, don't let them think they did something wrong by finding this unacceptable material (even if they have). Find out what happened, maybe discuss what they saw or read, and then thank them for bringing it to your attention. If they did do something they were not allowed to do, make sure you isolate that event from the fact that they told you about it. Think about it this way, even a judge will take pity on a person when they do something illegal if that person has turned him/her self in and has been cooperative with the police.
Information found on https://www.internetmatters.org/ was helpful in putting together this page. We would encourage any learning coach looking for additional information to visit https://www.internetmatters.org/ to learn more on how to “.. engage in your child’s online life and manage the risks they may face online.”