Happy New Year!!!
The benefits of a Catholic education have been studied and well-documented. Results show that students who attend Catholic school receive a challenging, high-quality academic experience in a supportive environment, with an emphasis on Catholic values and college preparation. The self-discipline developed by students, along with learning to accept responsibility and to respect others, work together to create excellent life-long learners.
The theme of our celebration during 2019 Catholic School Week is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
The theme encompasses the core products and values that can be found in Catholic schools across the country. Not only are we teaching students to become future servant leaders, faith-filled disciples and enriched citizens in our communities, educators are growing with them. In Catholic schools, we are all learners, servants and leaders. These shared qualities are what make Catholic schools work. They are what make Catholic schools succeed. The theme also focuses on key elements of Catholic education: faith development, academic excellence and dedication to service. These elements set Catholic schools apart from other educational options. They are why families make sacrifices to provide their children with a Catholic education.
I hope you will visit Infant Jesus of Prague Elementary School during National Catholic Week to enjoy the students’ and learn about their faith development and community service projects. Please bring your friends and neighbors, particularly those who may be considering Catholic education for their children. I am grateful every day for the teachers, staff, board members, parents and volunteers who make our school a success.
National Catholic Schools Week is a good time for all of us to thank them for their dedication and service.
Our Open House is Thursday January 31 from 6-8 pm
Devotedly yours in Christ,
Dr. Wanda Murphy Fulford
Tax Credit Scholarship (TCS)!!!
Upcoming Application Dates:
January 15th Empower Illinois and January 22nd Big Shoulders Fund
Progress reports available Friday January 11. Please continue to encourage your child to do their very best in school and seek assistance when needed.
DON’T MISS OUR IJP SPORTS BULLETIN BELOW THIS NEWSLETTER!
What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
- Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
- SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
- Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual share online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:
Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.
Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.
Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.
Having conversations with children about cyberbullying and digital behavior is not a one-time event – it is an ongoing dialogue. Begin talking about these issues before children delve into the world of texting, social media, online gaming, and chat rooms. Help them reflect on real and potential cyberbullying situations, and provide ongoing opportunities to practice ways to respond. Doing so can support the transition from being passive bystanders to being allies who serve as powerful role models for others. SAMHSA’s free Knowbullying app for parents, teachers, and educators provides conversation starters, tips and other tools you can use to help prevent bullying.
If you think your child is witnessing cyberbullying, there are things that you can encourage them to do – and not do. Such as:
Do not participate. Encourage children not to “like,” share, or comment on information that has been posted about someone, and do not forward a hurtful text to others. Not participating may limit the potential damage of the messages – to others and to themselves.
Do not retaliate or respond negatively. If a child feels that they must respond, encourage a calm, clear, and constructive response. Angry and aggressive reactions can make a bad situation worse. Encourage children (and adults!) to step away from the device so they do not resort to blaming, shaming, or retaliation. This provides time to get calm and centered so they can create a response that makes it clear that others’ digital behaviors are hurtful and unacceptable.
Respond privately to the person who created the hurtful message. If they feel safe doing so, it may be helpful to follow up with the person who created or shared the hurtful message privately, either online, in a phone call, or in person. Doing so can make it clear they do not support the negative actions. It also provides an opportunity to authentically share concerns about the behavior and what might be behind it.
Follow up with the person who was targeted. By reaching out, a child can send a powerful message that they care about the person and they do not support the negative behaviors. If needed, this connection can also provide an opportunity to assist the person in finding help related to the cyberbullying situation.
Parents who want to protect their children from cyberbullying, harmful digital behavior, and exposure to adult content can use parental control and monitoring software to help them set up systems that are less invasive to their children.
There are free software options and apps available to help parents restrict content, block domains, or view their children’s online activities, including social media, without looking at their child’s device every day. Most of the free software options provide some features for free, but charge for more robust insight.
A parent should consider a child’s age, device use, and digital behavior when selecting software – what is suitable to restrict for a ten-year old may not be useful for a teenager.