Supporting and Securing Students Online at Home

York Region District School Board supports the Ministerial Order as an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Board’s Privacy Office created this fact sheet to support students and their families to assist them in transitioning to studying at home as part of the Ministry of Education’s Learn at Home program. While technology offers many opportunities to keep connected, Board policies and procedures governing Privacy apply. We are here to help you and the student(s) in your life make informed choices about privacy and information security at home


Making Informed Decisions

  • Work together to set house rules for using technology. Think about what devices can be used, for how long, and what apps or programs. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has a do-it-yourself house rules for online privacy tool that may serve as a guide.
  • Make decisions together, whenever possible, so students feel greater accountability to the rules. Consider having older students sign this agreement. Ensure anyone supervising students online is aware of your house rules.
  • If you’re not sure whether a program or app is appropriate for your student, you may find it helpful to consult Common Sense Media for reviews, privacy considerations, and other advice for adults.
  • Many apps and programs ask you to share personal information before you can access them. This may include your name, contact information, birthdate, household demographics, and sometimes banking, credit card, or other financial data. Some apps and programs also ask for access to your device’s photos, videos, and the ability to record. Proceed with caution before providing any information or granting access to third parties.
  • Read privacy policies before clicking “yes”. Remember, it is always your decision whether to consent to sharing information online!
  • Make decisions together about what to share on social media. Involve students in choosing pictures or videos to post, but respect their wishes if they do not want something shared. Adults may want to start conversations with older children and youth about topics such as privacy, online reputation, sexting and more with these guides from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
  • If you have any questions or concerns to your child’s online safety, please contact your child’s teacher or school principal