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Hampton named Common Sense Media district

August 24, 2018

Hampton is designated as a Common Sense Media certified district, one of 10 in Allegheny County, as announced at the school board’s most recent meeting.

It is also one of 18 in the state, according to Jennifer Ehehalt, a regional representative for Common Sense Media.

“Common Sense Recognition is an honor that recognizes the efforts of Hampton school district in teaching digital citizenship to young people and engaging the entire community in this important discussion and supporting educators using technology for learning,” said Ehehalt,

She said the recognition acknowledges a district’s commitment of creating a culture of digital learning and citizenship.

This honor is provided by Common Sense Education, part of a national nonprofit 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, according to Ehehalt.

A school’s certification is good for two years, after which it can be applied for again, said Ehehalt.

Dr. Jacquelyn Removcik, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the district, said they had been using Common Sense Media as a resource for years. And after the one-to-one rollout of technology devices to students, they pursued certification.

She complimented a number of teachers and librarians along with Dr. Ed McKaveney, director of technology, “who put their boots on the ground” in achieving this distinction.

The school has the certification noted on its website and they will receive a banner, said Ehehalt.

In addition to the recognition, Hampton was also selected to be the center of a pilot study called Common Sense Connect, essentially a parent portal that allows for communication among the district, school and classroom, said Ehehalt.

Ehehalt said that Hampton was a perfect designation to try out the program.

McKaveney said it would be a common place for groups to communicate without having to share or find emails or other contact information. He said this would be perfect for those involved in parent-teacher organizations who frequently need to contact one another for PTO activity. He said there seems to be a “plethora” of sites where communication occurs, such as Facebook, emails, Twitter, etc.

This would help them “consolidate” into one platform, providing helpful communication tools, said McKaveney. Also, parents or individuals would not have to mix personal accounts with the district community.

Parents would be invited to join a conversation through Common Sense Media and can decline if not interested, he said.

Dr. Michael Loughead, superintendent of the school district, said that since this is a pilot program, it would be of no cost to the district.

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