Let's be honest, tech is a great thing...and also like a not great thing.
At the Sertoma Unit (K-5), we use a policy that helps us ensure that technology is used for educational purposes.
While this policy won't work for all Clubs, especially those with teens, it has been really helpful for us. It can however, be modified to fit your Club and its needs! Also, this policy helps us outline the "bringing items from home" epidemic that plagues us all.
Y'all remember pogs? Anyway, kids get excited about their possessions and want to show them off...but ultimately, those items get lost, stolen, or broken more often than not. Also, when we opened in 2015, members were stealing Chrome books from other members, breaking devices, and attempting to trade technology. We had to act fast, because parents were pissed, the school was pissed, I was pissed.
So here is what we said:
Device, Cell Phone, and Items from Home Protocol
Members will use their devices for purposeful and intentional activities.
Members may only be on their devices in designated areas as assigned by Club staff.
Members may only be on their devices for homework. If they complete their homework during Power Hour and time still remains in the hour, they may get permission to use their devices for purposeful and educational activities.
If a Club staff determines that a member is using technology in a way that does not support appropriate learning, they will be asked to put away their device and a parent or guardian will be notified.
When members are not using their devices, they must remain in their backpacks in their cubbies.
Members are not allowed to use other member’s devices.
Parents and guardians must check member’s backpack before leaving the Club to ensure its safety.
Members may only retrieve and return devices to the cubbies with a Club staff escort or approved pass.
If you notice any suspicious behavior, please let a director know.
As a part of our programming, we offer several technology based activities for members using our own Chromebook cart.
School Out Day
We ask that devices stay home on School Out Days. We are fortunate enough to have technology at our Clubs for member use.
We ask that devices stay home during the summer. We are fortunate enough to have technology at our Clubs for member use.
Cell phones are brought to the Club AT THE MEMBER’S OWN RISK.
Members are allowed to use cell phones with permission from a Club staff during designated times in the Pre-Teen Center ONLY.
If there is a perceived problem with bullying or sexual harassment via cell phone, Club Directors may confiscate the phone to find offending materials upon contacting the parents and member will receive discipline found in the bullying, sexual harassment sections of the discipline policy.
If inappropriate pictures are found on the phone, or the member has been found to be visiting inappropriate web sites, the phone will be taken and a parent must come in for a conference with the Director and a suspension will take place of at least 3 days. The member will not be allowed to bring a phone back into the Club.
Phones can be a distraction from our programming. There will be consequences for members getting their phones out at times that are not designated or without permission:
Verbal Warning, Turn in to Director the remainder of the day, Turn in to Director, note home explaining that member cannot bring the phone for 7 Club days, Turn in to Director, phone may not be brought back
Bringing Items from Home
Members bring items from home (i.e. Pokémon cards, dolls, toys, etc.) at their own risk. The Club is not responsible for stolen or lost property.
We ask that these personal items stay home as often as possible, but we understand there may be situations that make bringing personal items necessary (i.e. show and tell, attachment, etc.)
Though the Club will do everything we can to ensure security during the program, the Sertoma Unit is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
Monitoring of the cubby area (Junior Staff).
Monitoring of the cubby area (360 degree camera).
Members are not allowed to go to cubbies during program time unless accompanied by staff or approved pass.
IPads are not allowed to be out at the Club during program time.
Chromebooks are ONLY allowed to be out if members are using them for homework AND if approved by a staff.
Cell phone are only allowed to be out during designated program time, with permission from a staff, and for ages 9 and up ONLY.
We are excited about the chance for students to continue learning about digital citizenship, responsibility, and technology in our After School Program. If you have any questions about these policies, please ask your Unit Director.
I think this kind of language helps all parties involved get on the same page. Parents understand that we are doing what we can to protect their member's items, staff have one less thing to worry about, and schools feel as if we are supporting them! Also, it helps people understand that the Club is not a place where kids can just surf the interwebs and do whatever they want!