PLEASANT HILL, Iowa – Southeast Polk Schools is using software to monitor and track students online behavior district wide.
“Securly” is a web filtering and monitoring software that allows parents and teachers to track what a student searches online.
Technology Integration Coordinator for Southeast Polk Schools Jamie Gilchrist said parents receive an email once a week that categorizes their child’s searches throughout the week.
“While it is real-time reporting as to what students are searching, the only time we dig into it really as if there are flags or if there’s concerns. So, we are not using it as a ‘this student is searching for something, or related to this research project.’ There’s ways within Securly to flag any concerns that you have about student use,” Gilchrist said.
Searches that can be flagged include: school bullying, student safety, school safety, common swear words and more.
Southeast Polk Schools has 5,000 Chromebooks in the district and 3,000 currently go home.
Gilchrist said sixth through 12th grade students are one to one with Chromebooks in the district.
“When parents that are parenting kids today were growing up we didn’t have Chromebooks that were going home with kids. We didn’t have devices that they had access to information twenty-four seven whether it was a school device or their phone. It is really hard as a parent now to have conversations with kids about what they are doing if you don’t know what’s happening. Securly let’s us as a district provide a parenting support within the home,” Gilchrist said.
Gilchrist said the district hopes to go one to one with its elementary school students for the 2019-2020 school year.
Ankeny Community Schools and West Des Moines Community Schools use the software as well.