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An important message about online privacy, safety & etiquette

Filed in Archive by on March 28, 2020
With the district’s move to a remote learning model during the COVID-19 outbreak, you may have noticed that your child is connecting with their teacher and class through a software program called Google Meet. This powerful software is one of the 14 apps that are part of Google’s Apps for Education suite of tools. All of the Google Apps for Education are fully compliant with all federal and state student privacy regulations (FERPA, COPPA, and NYS Education Law 2-d) and are approved for use by all district elementary and secondary students. The district has a signed contract with Google providing a guarantee of a very high level of student data security. The district takes the protection of all student data very seriously.

Important Google Meet update coming soon

In Bethlehem, students in grades 6-12 have the ability to initiate or schedule video conferencing using Google Meet on their own. Elementary students are not allowed to set up their own Google Meet. However, some elementary students who are looking for ways to socialize with their classmates have found a loophole that allows them to enter a teacher-initiated Google Meet video conferencing session after the teacher has finished with the session.

Currently, teachers are unable to “close” or delete the completed Google Meet session due to software limitations. However, Google is updating its Google Meet software. This update will allow teachers the ability to close or delete Google Meet sessions once they have finished using them. The update should take effect sometime in early April. Until that time, we wanted you to be aware that students can chat unsupervised with each other within Google Meet and, although student interaction and socialization is certainly encouraged, the district discourages this practice in unsupervised settings.

Digital etiquette rules when using Google Meet

  • Please wear appropriate clothing (you are in class).
  • Sit at a table or desk if possible, but please make sure you are sitting (You should not be lying down in your bed).
  • Take turns.
  • Keep a calm body (it is distracting if you are wiggling).
  • Only you should be in front of the computer, not your sister or brother.
  • Please do not eat while in “meetings”.
  • Keep comments appropriate! Remember to be kind, respectful, and responsible.
  • Be on time for your “meetings”.
  • You must leave the meeting when your teacher says so!