South Pasadena K-12 Students Begin Digital Citizenship Coursework

District announces updates as California Department of Education and Common Sense Media celebrate fall digital citizenship week

During the October 9, 2018 South Pasadena Unified School District School Board meeting, administrators announced an updated digital citizenship scope and sequence designed for kindergarten through twelfth grade students. With tremendous support from South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF), the District hired technology integration and digital citizenship coaches to support with the integration of technology and the implementation of digital citizenship lessons.

The timing of these announcements coincides with the celebration of Fall Digital Citizenship Week, October 15-19, 2018. “We are grateful to SPEF for their support in this endeavor and grateful to our teachers, administrators and technology staff for all that they do to keep our students safe in our digital world,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Christiane Gervais. “Our plans are a product of extensive research completed by our technology department and the Educational Technology Vision Committee.”

For several years, South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) has been implementing a District-wide technology improvement program designed to equip students and teachers with various types of technology in the classroom. These efforts are continuing and are supplemented by the work of the Educational Technology Vision Committee, comprised of parents, teachers and administrators, which developed a robust educational technology and digital citizenship scope and sequence platform connected to State education standards.

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The digital citizenship lesson content is based on six core pillars of knowledge, developed by Common Sense Media, including: media balance and well-being; privacy and security; digital footprint and identity; relationships and communications; cyber bullying, digital drama and hate speech; and news and media literacy. Each of the topics will be touched upon at every grade level with age-appropriate lessons.

“Common Sense Media lessons offer consistency through all the grade levels so there’s a clear vision of how skills will be developed,” said District Technology Integration Coach Chad Bryant.

PHOTO: South Pasadena Unified School District |

In kindergarten through second grade, students will work in computer labs as their teacher and a computer lab aide demonstrate how to use technology safely.  In third through fifth grades, students work with classroom teachers on expanded Common Sense Media lessons through discussions and activities. Mr. Bryant will be supporting all K-5 teachers and computer aides with this implementation.    At the middle school level in sixth grade, history teacher Andrew Adanto will be teaching students relevant Common Sense Media lessons during their homerooms.

In seventh and eighth grades, students will participate in digital citizenship assemblies throughout the year. At the high school during freshman year, students will experience Common Sense Media lessons aligned with the project based learning framework, with other lessons integrated into the curriculum by history and English language arts teachers in tenth through twelfth grades.

“Students will take part in the lessons this semester,” said Gervais. “As we move forward with our plans, we will be encouraging parent support because we know that the most learning takes place when teachers, parents and the community work together to develop these skills.”

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California.  Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation of providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level.  The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.