Common Sense, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology, has recognized Floyd County Schools (FCS) as a Common Sense District.

FCS has demonstrated its commitment to taking a whole-community approach to preparing its students to think critically and use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate while preparing them for the perils that exist in the online realm, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying. With the right support, kids can take ownership of their digital lives, engage with real issues, and change their communities for the better. The recognition acknowledges FCS’ commitment to creating a culture of digital citizenship. FCS is one of fewer than 150 districts in the country to earn this honor, teaching digital citizenship in the 17 district schools.

With the hard work of each FCS media specialist, every school in Floyd County completed the requirements and applied in December to receive digital citizenship certification through Common Sense Media.  Each school was approved as a Common Sense Digitally Certified School for 2019-2021. Additionally, FCS has been recognized as a Common Sense Digitally Certified District due to all schools participating. This honor recognizes the efforts in teaching digital citizenship and engaging the entire school community in this important discussion. The recognition acknowledges FCS’ commitment to helping students build skills that are essential for their well-being.

“The half days dedicated to professional learning this school year have greatly impacted our ability to complete this project,” said FCS Instructional Technology and School Library Media Coordinator Celena Arrington. “We have been able to design a district-wide roadmap for digital citizenship lessons that build from grade to grade, follow up each month on our plan, and implement this project in each of our schools successfully.”

“We applaud the faculty and staff of FCS for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Liz Kline, vice president of education programs at Common Sense Education. “FCS deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

FCS has been using Common Sense Education’s innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources, which were created in collaboration with researchers from Project Zero, led by Howard Gardner at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and are grounded in the real issues students and teachers face. The resources teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, media balance, managing online relationships, and media literacy. The free K–12 curriculum is used in classrooms across all 50 states, in more than 65,000 schools by more than 750,000 educators.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Common Sense District,” said FCS Executive Director of Technology and Media Services Craig Ellison. “By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them an opportunity to build lifelong habits to help them succeed in a tech-driven world.”

The FCS district vision for digital citizenship is to teach, promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility in our ever-changing digital world. Students will gain skills that are essential to their well-being and be prepared to think critically and use technology responsibly to learn, create, and understand the perils that exist in the online realm, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying. 

To learn more about the criteria FCS met to become recognized as a Common Sense District, visit https://www.commonsense.org/education/recognition.