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Internet Filtering Services

Position Statement

Kutztown Area School District is dedicated to providing the latest technology and resources to our students and staff to increase productivity and access to people, content, and resources. As access to these resources, including the internet, increase every year, our network technologies also increase to provide safe and secure access and learning environments, both at school at at home. To that end, 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 use available 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, and 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 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.