Navigating a Digital World
Today’s parents are raising children in a world very different from the one in which they were raised. Our kids are increasingly connected via the internet and rely on technology for a large portion of their learning from smart tech to computers. And it’s no secret that despite the convenience of connection at our fingertips, technology and social media can have a big impact on our children’s development.
Almond Acres is acutely aware of the challenges parents face in raising children to be well-rounded, secure, and confident adults. You are tasked with helping kids balance time spent online with time outdoors; with using tech to your advantage or taking a break for mental health. You are working hard to navigate the ever-changing relationship between kids and technology.
Almond Acres wants to reduce the stress of technology on kids and families today. The best way we know to do this is through education and helping students make informed choices. Our comprehensive mission to grow good digital citizens is effective and visible: our middle school teachers and families report fewer instances of social media drama or bullying.
The absence of online drama translates into confident, engaged, more content middle school students. Early education works and we are proud of our efforts.
More than ever, we know that parents can’t do it alone. That’s why being a good digital citizen is built into our curriculum. It’s our value. We’ve even written it into our mission statement:
Almond Acres Charter Academy will promote and model positive uses of digital spaces in every classroom. We will build a culture of digital health across our school by incorporating character building into our digital citizenship instruction.
We realize that our children will be shaping the world of tomorrow through their online identity
and digital footprint. It is our job as educators and parents to make sure they are prepared to share their voice with confidence and without regrets.
We will ensure this happens by demonstrating the value of technology in enhancing achievement, improving students’ attitudes about themselves, and promoting the value of citizenship in the 21st-century digital world.
How We Do It
Starting in kindergarten, we begin talking about how to use technology responsibly and respectfully. Young students are exposed to different types of media and are guided as they explore the World Wide Web.
Digital footprint is a phrase our students know well. From an early age, we teach that what we do online is an extension of ourselves that is very difficult to erase. We believe in always acting with integrity online.
Throughout the elementary years, students are introduced to the concepts of online privacy and media literacy. We talk about navigating media and news outlets and how to evaluate a source for trustworthiness.
Our commitment to the whole child means that we weave decision making and social emotional skills into everything we do. Strong character is essential to support students as compassionate leaders among their peers.
Tech & the Middle School Years
Teens and tweens, with their rapidly growing brains, are in a particularly vulnerable place when it comes to technology use. Middle schoolers are making sense of the world around themselves and developing an identity among their peers. And they are very savvy tech users—and have probably surpassed their parents’ understanding!
The power couple of digital citizenship and social emotional learning, has shown to improve academic performance and decrease conflict between students. Almond Acres students gain leadership skills and develop empathy so they can be a shining example of positive social media use.
Almond Acres middle school students are invested members of our community. They know they are held accountable for their actions while also given the space to stretch into themselves. Our well-rounded curriculum and engaging environment provide a safe, supported place for middle schoolers to navigate the world.
As always, our students know that they can talk to us about anything they see on-line. We have zero tolerance for bullying and we encourage students to stand up for their peers and friends to report social media abuse when they see it. We are here to help students solve problems and care for each other.
Common Sense Certified School
Almond Acres is proud to be a Common Sense Certified School. Teachers incorporate digital citizenship lessons into classes each year that are age appropriate and designed to build upon each other as students age up. By the time students reach 8th grade, they have had the opportunity to develop lifelong habits.
Our time-tested and well-balanced approach to learning means our students have the opportunity to develop in all ways—heart, mind, body and soul. We create balance through exposure to arts and sciences, athletics and our Habits of Mind program, preparing students to enter the digital world with a little prudence.
For 10 years, Almond Acres has partnered with K-8 families to help children navigate a digital world. We are proud of our outcomes and think you will be, too. Enroll today to get started for Fall 2022.
Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. Located in Paso Robles in a newly built, state-of-the-art facility, AACA is open to all students from all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids!