To our families,
The board has asked us to share the following information relating to online Safety:
As you may be aware, there has been recent media attention on an Internet challenge that may cause concern for families. The Internet provides access to many engaging learning opportunities, but requires responsible use and digital citizenship. Parents play an important role in ensuring their child’s safety, including on the Internet. It’s important for parents to talk to children about the importance of being safe, protecting their personal information and stressing that they should never disclose personal details that would allow someone online to contact them in real life.
Here are 12 tips to promote safe online behaviour:
- Children should never give anyone their name, address, telephone number, computer password, or any other personal information on the Internet without parental or guardian consent.
- Children should only use social media and websites approved by their parent or guardian.
- Internet use should be encouraged in a central place in your home where you can supervise children’s online activities.
- Don’t allow a webcam in a child’s bedroom.
- Watch for children quickly minimizing sites when you enter the room.
- Reinforce that people online may not be who they say they are.
- Consider using parental controls like Internet filters or blocking software.
- Remind children that everything said online stays in cyberspace forever, whether or not it is deleted.
- Talk to your children about Internet safety and clearly define your rules.
- Never respond to messages that make them feel confused or uncomfortable.
- Pay attention to the games your children may download or copy.
- Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet online.
Reinforce a sense of safety. Some Internet content can evoke a sense of fear or lack of safety in your child. It can be difficult for some children to discern fact / fiction online. Try to offer reassurance that your child is safe. Children and youth take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Your reactions can help to model calmness to your child. Recognize that some children may be concerned about something bad happening to themselves, family or friends. Explain to them the safety measures in place and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them.
Be a good listener and observer. Let children guide you to learn how concerned they are or how much information they need. If they are not focused on the issue, do not dwell on it. However, be available to answer their questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to changes in their behaviour or social interactions.
Reach out. Reach out to the school if you feel that your child may be showing a significant reaction to online material. We may be able to offer some classroom strategies that could help reduce stress. It may also be important to seek additional support from a school mental health professional (i.e., social worker or psychologist) to cope with overwhelming feelings experienced by children and youth.
We have been asked to share this information from the Town of East Gwillimbury in relation to the school crossing guard program that supports YRDSB schools.
Crossing Guard Program
The Town of East Gwillimbury employs adult Crossing Guards to ensure the safe crossing of students as they travel to and from school. There are crossing guards at all school locations throughout the Town of East Gwillimbury. Crossing guards are responsible for crossing persons across a highway with a speed limit not in excess of 60km/h shall, prior to entering the roadway, display a school crossing stop sign in an upright position so that it is visible to vehicles approaching from each direction and shall continue to so display the school crossing stop sign until all persons, including the school crossing guard, have cleared the roadway.
We accept applications throughout the year for Crossing Guards and hire on an as-needed basis. You must be a reliable and safety conscious individual that is willing to work up to 3 hours per day in various weather and traffic conditions. For more information or to apply for a Crossing Guard position, please view the job opportunities on our Human Resources page.
Three Whistle System
Crossing Guards in the Town of East Gwillimbury use the Three Whistle System.
- First Whistle: The Crossing Guard blows the first whistle, enters the roadway, holds up the stop sign, and ensures that traffic has stopped. Children should stay on the sidewalk until the guard blows the second whistle.
- Second Whistle: The Crossing Guard blows the second whistle when it is safe for the children to cross.
- Third Whistle: Once the children have safely crossed the roadway, the guard leaves the roadway and blows the third whistle to signify the crossing has ended.
Safety Practices for Children
- Walk across the road in a quick, orderly fashion (do not run)
- Pay attention to the Crossing Guard’s instructions (no running, stay off bicycles, skateboards, etc., and do not bounce balls or other sports equipment while crossing)
Safety Practices for Adults
Please respect the Crossing Guard rules when crossing the road with children. By doing so you:
- Set a good example for your child(ren), as well as other children
- Avoid confusing the children who have been taught to follow the Crossing Guard rules
- Help to provide the children with a routine for safely crossing the road with a Crossing Guard when they go to school on their own
Please respect the Crossing Guard’s duties and responsibilities and do not park on or near the crosswalk.
Safe Practices for Motorists in School Zones
- Please follow the posted speed limit and other signage such as “No Parking” or “No Stopping”. The posted speed limit within an elementary school zone is 40km/h.
- Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. It is illegal to use any hand-held device while driving. Distractions can take your attention away from the task of driving and places yourself and others at increased risk of collision.
- Look for children and Crossing Guards in school crosswalks. Wait for the Crossing Guard to blow the third whistle indicating that the children have completed crossing and the Crossing Guard has safely returned to the sidewalk/curb before proceeding.
- As a motorist you must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing and STOP arm extended. Do not move until the red lights have stopped flashing, and STOP arm retracts and the bus begins to move.
How to Identify a Crossing Guard
A Crossing Guard wears a fluorescent orange vest, and carries a whistle and a stop sign.