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Last month, PDS had a parent seminar on social media, smartphones, and other technology for kids. Parents raised great questions, and many of the best solutions came from other parents. This blog is our attempt to share the best of that meeting with you and to answer some of the follow-up questions.

The Problem We All Face

By God’s design, our kids desire community and connection—and in their purest forms, smart phones and social media can help create community and connect people. We see that good as parents, but we also see the dangers in technology. We’re all in the struggle to figure out the right thing for our children based on their age, their maturity, and God’s unique design of them.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Apps That Can Lead To Trouble

We live in a connected world that is much different than the way kids grew up in the past. Many parents remember going off for a sleep-away summer camp, making friends, and having to keep in touch via pen and paper. Parents were easily able to keep up with who their children were interacting with. These days, it’s far more difficult to keep up with the latest apps and services that kids are using to communicate. Here’s a short list of apps and services that parents of children, ages 10 to 20, should be aware of.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Why We Teach Coding

We live in an age in which technology surrounds us. The most successful company in the United States today is a technology company. Children today need to understand more than just how to use this technology. As our boys enter the workplace of 2015 and beyond, they need to understand how it is created. The best way to get this understanding is to have some knowledge of coding.

Ten years ago, the standard advice was move the family computer into the dining room or the kitchen so you could keep up with what your child was doing online. Keeping up with internet usage in the mobile device era is far more complicated.

If your child has access to a game console, handheld gaming device, mobile phone, or tablet that does not have parental controls or some sort of content filtering applied to it, he has access to adult content. Each of these devices is an internet-connected computer, capable of accessing the same content a laptop or desktop computer can access.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

PDS Named Apple Distinguished School

Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2014–2016.

Headmaster Steve Hancock will announce the honor at a special school assembly on Friday, January 21, 2015. Apple representative Jennifer Saunier will be on hand to make the official presentation.

Published in News

4th - 6th Student Generated Technology Responsible Use Policy

Expectations While in the Classroom:

  1. I understand that my teachers expect me to bring my laptop (in its sleeve, in its laptop carrying bag) to school, fully charged, everyday.  I understand that chargers are not to be brought to school but kept at home in a safe location. Keyboard covers are not allowed at PDS because they can be a distraction.  
  2. I also understand that my teachers expect me to be on topic with my laptop at all times during class.  This means that while at PDS my laptop is a tool for learning. I should not be
    • playing non-educational games
    • accessing non-educational sites
    • utilizing the multiple desktops to manage non-educational files
    • keeping open applications that I am not currently using for class
    • adjusting system preferences during class time
    • logged into any account that is not a PDS account.
  3. While taking online tests or completing work on a laptop, I am not allowed to use programs and sites that take the “thinking” away.
  4. Backing up to my Google Drive is my responsibility.  If something were to happen to my laptop, all of my needed files will be in my drive. I cannot use “not backing up my laptop files” as an excuse for turning something in late.  

Program Restrictions:

  1. I am aware that certain programs are only to be used when given special permission. I am only allowed to have PDS peers and faculty members added to my contacts, unless I have been granted special permission. I understand that my behavior online behavior is a part of who I am, and I will be an upstanding PDS representative.
  2. The iTunes program is only allowed to have music for specific school projects.  I may create music in Garageband or, with the teacher’s permission, transfer a song that I own onto my PDS laptop.  I will not use any free music streaming/downloading sites.  This includes any music files on my PDS laptop.
  3. AirDrop is a great way that I will be turning electronic files into my teacher or sharing with my classmates.  The use of this tool is for school materials only.  I will not share or pass along any games or downloaded files.  This also includes files, games, music, and videos that may be on a flashdrive that are not school related.  Flash Drives containing those files are not allowed on campus.

Expectations for my Digital Footprint:

I understand that having an account in multiple Web 2.0 tools (Google, Powerschool Learning, etc.) is a privilege, and I need to be a responsible, trustworthy, Digital Citizen representing PDS in cyberspace.  As a cyber-citizen, this means I will not access others’ computers, accounts or files without permission, bully others online, send offensive messages, and search inappropriate sites.

Expectation from the PDS Technology Department:

  1. I know that one of PDS’s main goals is to provide me with tools and resources to get the best education possible, and one of those tools is the use of technology. I can assist the Technology Department by never updating or installing software. I understand that downloading and installing programs, screensavers, files, etc. on my PDS laptop could bring in viruses to our school’s network or infect my computer. Therefore, I know that I will only download or install items that I have been told to do so by an adult at school.
  2. If I have an issue with a laptop (cracked screen, trackpad will not click, cannot access the Internet, a program will not turn on or work properly, a key falls off, etc.), I will report this to my teacher so that I may take the computer to the Technology Department to fix.  The Technology Department is the only place I can take my computer for repairs.  To help eliminate possible damages to my laptop, I will keep my computer in its sleeve in its laptop bag when I am not using it.  (My laptop bag will be at waist height so that it does not bang against my leg when walking.  I am not to use it to carry my AB, school books, pens and pencils, headphones, etc. because this can dent the computer’s shell, cracking the screen.) I will carefully place my laptop down in a place where people will not step on it. I will carry the laptop with two hands and never by its screen.  I will refrain from running with the laptop. When closing or opening the laptop, I will be cautious because I know the wires that connect the screen to the motherboard are located inside the hinge.
  3. Manipulating the settings established by the Technology Department could also cause my laptop to have problems.  Therefore, I will not alter any system preferences, remove any program from my hard drive, go into the Terminal application, or alter the wifi or network settings. I also promise not to delete my web browser’s (Firefox, Safari, Chrome) history.  
  4. There are other ways that I can assist the PDS Technology Department while being entrusted with the laptop.  I will
    • treat this laptop as if it were my own and be responsible for it by knowing where it is at all times and keeping it in secure places when I am not using it
    • keep food, drinks, magnets, and pets away from the computer
    • carry my laptop in its sleeve in its bag when traveling to different classes or places
    • not waste my laptop’s storage on non-educational items or create multiple folders buried inside multiple folders 
    • make sure that all actions, on and off campus, are legal and do not violate copyright laws
    • not place stickers on the laptop (including taping my usernames and passwords on to the machine)
    • have clean hands when using it
    • refrain from eating while using the laptop
    • use the laptop in a clean area.

Home Expectations:

I am fully responsible for the PDS laptop.  My parents expect me to follow many of the same PDS policies while at home, as well as any rules my parents set for laptop use.  If given permission by my parents, I am allowed to play non-educational games at home, though I understand that it is healthy to keep this amount of time limited and should be played after all my homework is done and I still must comply with this RUP. I am allowed, with parental permission, to access my own personal online accounts, but I will always log out before returning to PDS.   Finally, my friends, siblings, and other family members are not to use my PDS laptop.

To summarize these guidelines is to promise to use the school’s laptop responsibly, wisely, and always be a representative of PDS.

Please turn over for signatures.


I will abide by these guidelines while I attend Presbyterian Day School.  I understand that if I violate any of these promises my use of the computer may be terminated, I may not be able to participate in certain technology activities, and or I may face other disciplinary measures. I have discussed the Student Generated Responsible Use Policy with my parents.  I understand and agree to its rules.

Student’s Name (please print) Student’s Signature (please print) Date


As a parent or legal guardian of the student signing, I have read and agree with this Responsible Use Policy and grant permission for my son to access the Internet.  I understand that Presbyterian Day School’s technology resources are designed for educational purposes.  I also understand that it is impossible for Presbyterian Day School to restrict access to all controversial materials, and I will not hold it responsible for materials acquired on the network. The school is not liable in any way for irresponsible acts on the part of the student. Furthermore, I accept full responsibility for supervision if and when my child’s use is not in a school setting.

Parent’s Name (please print) Parent’s Signature (please print) Date

Revised 6/7/18 ms

Published in Technology
The True Friend

Stands Up, Stands By

● Displays compassion and kindness
● Encourages his classmates
● Shares what he has
● Honors his promises
● Looks at the heart of others
● Serves and helps those around him
● Tells the truth
● Shares his emotions
● Loves all of his neighbors
● Stands by and stands up for his classmates