USD 259 has multiple security features in place to protect virtual students

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – USD 259 is opening up about its safety features for those students working remotely after some concerns were raised following a report of a student accessing an inappropriate site in another Kansas school district.

Officials said there are multiple security features already in place on students’ district-issued devices to keep them safe and keep hackers out of their accounts.

For several hours a day, Chrissie Barker teaches her first grade student virtually.

She is taking extra steps to make sure her students are staying safe online.

“As a teacher for remote, when I give my kids the websites that they’re gonna work on, I also send it to the parents,” said Barker.

USD 259 officials said they have technologies in place to make sure students can’t go on to websites not intended for their learning.

“It offered the ability to filter devices across iPads, Chrome Books, and Windows 10 devices and also adds a layer of security for some artificial intelligence to look over the safety of kids,” said Rob Dickson, chief information officer for Wichita Public Schools.

Double authentication protects teachers and content filtering is used to help monitor students.

“When you think about bullying when you think about suicide and those types of self-harm things, those are also covered within that filtering system,” said Dickson.

Remote teachers said this type of security is vital.

“Even when I’m right there with them in the meeting, I can’t always see everything that they’re doing,” said Barker. “It’s very important that parents are watching and checking on their child to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to.”

Websites like Netflix, Facebook, and other video and social media sites are not accessible through district devices.

Safety officials can also keep track of what students are doing while learning virtually.

“We monitor content to where if inappropriate gestures are made, those are then flagged, not allowed to be placed there, and then notified to our safety and security offices immediately,” said Dickson.

Some teachers recommend checking your child’s browser history after each school day.

If your child is caught online doing something inappropriate, you will be notified by district officials.

You can also learn more tips from district officials through a Parent University session set to come out in the next month for parents and students.

For more information about the session or how USD 259 is handling learning during the pandemic, click here.

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