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Keep Our Social Skill Set Sharp

Washington, CT

Devereux Glenholme Articles
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Social networking websites have changed the way we stay connected.
Washington, CT - Social networking websites have changed the way we stay connected. Now our neighbor-hoods and our friends have become a database of bits and bytes. And staying connected, which once meant being together, is simply a link through the very devices that isolate us. As educators, this challenges us to keep our social skill set sharp.

Many schools and employers have strict policies on the use of social networking websites in an effort to safeguard their clients, staff and business. Recently the Danbury Board of Education set forth a five page social networking policy for its employees. While they have yet to vote on the matter, the policy clearly outlines some important guidelines.

- employees must maintain appropriate boundaries with students, parents and colleagues
- it is not appropriate to “friend” students or their parents
- they should not give students or parents access to personal postings unrelated to the school
- staff should use respectful speech in personal social media posts
- postings that reflect poorly on the school district’s reputation could interfere with an employee’s ability to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities

Glenholme’s internet social networking policy for employees requires that we each individually maintain appropriate boundaries which prohibit “friending” parents and students, past and present. Should an employee use public postings for all to access then it would be expected that the information is appropriate, similar to the expected conduct of a professional employee in public settings.

It is essential for all of us to keep our social skill set sharp on social networking websites. It is central to the safety of our students, families, staff and school.

The Glenholme School, a Devereux Center, is an exceptional boarding school for students with special needs, which offers an individually prescribed learning environment with a steadfast academic curriculum. Using our effective individualized services, we apply a positive behavior support model focused on development of social skills and lifelong strategies for success. The school’s milieu therapy addresses varying levels of academic, social and special needs development in boys and girls ages 10-18 and postgraduates. We prepare graduates for continued education in traditional day schools, boarding schools, colleges and universities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit http://www.theglenholmeschool.org/.
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