Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Common Sense Media is an organization “dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.”

Strategies for responsible – and safer – online use

Facebook advice for Parents

Good Morning America story about a Massachusetts mom giving her son an 18-point contract along with his smartphone

Twitter suggests some critical thinking questions to ask your child:

  • Who are you sharing this information with?
  • Can you trust all the people that see the information on your profile?
  • How could your Tweet be interpreted?


What it’s designed for:

  • Sharing personal details with a network of friends
  • Personal details include status updates, photos, videos, websites, comments on other posts, etc.

What your children may be using it for:

  • Chatting with friends while doing homework
  • Building a large network of “friends” so that they feel popular
  • Many have them but are not necessarily using them anymore


What it’s designed for:

  • Easily accessed from a mobile device (not necessarily a smartphone)
  • Short communication (140 characters or less)
  • 1-way “following” - anyone can follow anyone if the account is public, no reciprocation in the relationship is needed.

What your children may be using it for:

  • Following famous people or experts in a particular field
  • Attempting to gain large numbers of followers to boost status in a peer group
  • Anonymous public comments about peers, adults or school staff
  • The digital version of standing around a physical fight and cheering it on by following an account that is behaving badly

The AHA Student and Parent Handbook includes the following policies: cyberbullying, cell phone, school email, camera/video, code of student conduct.

In addition, the AHA media center’s SKILL (Student Knowledge Information Literacy Learning) program teaches students about Ethics and Technology every year.   During new student orientation, they receive information on cyberbullying and internet safety.   They learn about plagiarism in ninth grade, privacy issues in 10th grade, copyright in 11th grade and identity theft in 12th grade. 

Twitter has its own glossary posted with more than 100 terms defined.  To view the glossary click here.  They also have online tutorials and videos to help you learn about it which are located here.

Isaac Asimov said, “The only constant is change.”   The social networking sites our kids use keep changing!

We encourage you to:

  • Go to the site and look for the help page, tutorials, tips for parents
  • Ask your child to show you how
  • Redirect them to a positive use of the site or a more positive site

We recommend that you:

1. Investigate

    a) Find the nature of the trouble (is it rooted in real-world relationships?)

    b) Identify our own child’s involvement

    c) Learn how the social media site works

2. Document (print off or take screenshots of interactions)

3. Block the aggressor

4. If threat of violence or personal safety, notify the social media site, law enforcement and/or AHA.

Twitter gives these suggestions: “If the unwanted online behavior is persistent, it may be rooted in "real world" relationships. If your child is experiencing repetitive cyber-bullying or interpersonal conflicts that are also taking place online, consider taking the following actions.”

  • Coordinate with educators and other parents
  • Report a violation
  • Contact local law or legal representation

The student laptops used at AHA are all equipped with wired and wireless network connectivity options and support all modern wireless network standards. If you already have a high speed connection at home (cable internet or DSL) you may already have the necessary components. If you encounter problems connecting at home you should contact your internet provider.

Internet safety experts recommend that the computer be in a family space where the screen is visible.  We encourage you to follow that recommendation.  The laptop does not have to be used in seclusion.

There are different pieces of software that you can purchase which will allow you, as a parent, to see what your student is doing while on the computer.  

A free home filtering software (OpenDNS) is explained in this video:  If you choose to use a software monitoring program, we will assist your child during school hours if it creates a conflict with a student’s ability to do assigned school curriculum. Otherwise, it is your sole responsibility to learn the product and assist your child with issues he/she may encounter while online when this product is being used.

It is important to note that blocking many websites may result in your child being unable to complete school projects and assignments. We strongly recommend that you use the time block feature rather than the site block feature. 

Because we have a content filter at school, your student cannot access dangerous or social sites during the school day.  Having your blocking begin later in the day ensures that your student will be able to complete school assignments.

Dave Eisenmann, an Internet Safety Speaker, visited AHA in April of 2015 and again in September of 2018.  He met with parents and students. He suggested a software called Open DNS to help monitor all of the screens your children use. Visit his resource page for information about that product

Built into the daily schedule are two longer passing periods.  The first is after homeroom in the morning.  The other is at the end of period 5 in the afternoon.  That extra time allows students to go to their lockers and get their books for their next classes.  No student needs to carry all of her/his books for the entire day.  Students should also go to their lockers before lunch to drop off their laptops and books.  They should lock their computers in their lockers if they do not need them for class.

The Help command on the navigation bar in Microsoft applications is a helpful tool in finding information.  Microsoft Help Topics shows the main Help screen and lists the Table of Contents alphabetically.  There is also an Answer Wizard available on that screen.

In the upper right hand corner of the application’s screen, you will also find a white box that advises you to “Type a question for help.”  That is all you need to do and you will be directed to where to find the answer.

For technical support or hardware issues, please call the Academy of Holy Angels Helpdesk at (612)798-2647 or email them at

For any questions, concerns, or suggestions please call Gretchen Amigon (Technology Curriculum Integrationist) at (612)798-2678.  She can also be contacted via email at

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