The WHS Times


Issue 6, December 2022/January 2023

Internet and Social Media Safety

Important Dates

January Regents and Mid-Term Exams

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Social Media Safety

Over the past several years, the use and misuse of social media has presented a number of challenges for students and educators. Many times, conflicts on social media spill over into the school day. These conflicts cause disruptions in school and can often lead to students feeling bullied and unsafe. The following are excerpts from the online resource, Nemours Kids Health (August 2022).

What's Good About Social Media

Social media can help kids:

  • stay connected with friends and family
  • volunteer or get involved with a campaign, nonprofit, or charity
  • enhance their creativity by sharing ideas, music, and art
  • meet and interact with others who share similar interests
  • communicate with educators and fellow students
  • access health information
  • learn about current events

What's Bad About Social Media

The flipside is that social media can be a hub for potentially harmful or questionable activities.


Through cyberbullying, kids can be teased or harassed online. In fact, cyberbullying is considered the most common online risk for teens, and is linked to depression, loneliness, and even suicide in both the victims and the bullies.

Privacy & Safety

Kids also should know about privacy and safety. Without meaning to, they can share more online than they should. Many kids post photos of themselves online or use their real names on their profiles. They also might reveal their birthdates and interests, or post their school name and the town where they live.

Revealing this type of information can make them easy targets for online predators and others who might mean them harm. In fact, many kids say they have been contacted online by someone they didn't know in a way that made them feel scared or uncomfortable.

Kids also can face the possibility of a physical encounter with the wrong person. Many newer apps automatically reveal the poster's location when they're used. This can tell anyone exactly where to find the person using the app.

Risks to Their Reputation

Photos, videos, and comments made online usually can't be taken back after they're sent or posted. Even when a kid thinks something has been deleted, it can be impossible to completely erase it from the Internet. Posting an inappropriate photo can damage a reputation and cause problems years later — such as when a potential employer or college admissions officer does a background check.

Mental Health Effects

Spending too much time on social media can have negative mental health effects. Sometimes it’s not just how much time kids spend on social media, but how it's used that can affect their mood. For example, seeing how many "friends" others have and the pictures of them having fun can make kids feel bad about themselves or feel like they don't measure up to their peers. Also, kids who lurk passively in the background of a chat are often unhappier than those who actively post and send messages to friends.

Inappropriate Content

Kids may see online ads or content that are inappropriate for their age. This is especially true for kids who lie about their age to get access to certain social media sites.

Time Drain

Kids sometimes spend so much time on social media that they don’t have enough hours in the day for doing homework, reading, exercising, sleeping, spending time with loved ones, or enjoying the outdoors.

What Can Parents Do?

Tell your kids that it's important to:

  • Be nice. Mean behavior is not OK. Make it clear that you expect your kids to treat others with respect, and to never post hurtful or embarrassing messages. And ask them to always tell you about any harassing or bullying messages that others post.
  • Think twice before hitting "enter." Remind kids that what they post can be used against them. For example, letting the world know that you're off on vacation or posting your home address gives would-be robbers a chance to strike. Kids also should avoid posting specific locations of parties or events, as well as phone numbers.
  • Follow the "WWGS?" (What Would Grandma Say?) rule. Teach kids not to share anything on social media that they wouldn't want their teachers, college admissions officers, future bosses — and yes, grandma — to see.
  • Use privacy settings. Privacy settings are important. Go through them together to make sure your kids understand each one. Also, explain that passwords are there to protect them against things like identity theft. They should never share them with anyone, even a boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend.
  • Don't "friend" strangers. "If you don't know them, don't friend them." This is a plain, simple — and safe — rule of thumb. Let them know that kids who follow friends are generally happier than those who follow strangers.

January 2023 Regents Exams

WHS will offer January Regents Exams for a small number of students and the exams will be administered during the regular school day. There will be NOT be a modified school-wide schedule.

AM Tuesday, January 24: English Language Arts

PM Tuesday, January 24: Living Environment

AM Wednesday, January 25: Geometry

PM Wednesday, January 25: Algebra I, Physics

Thursday, January 26: Gobal History & Geography II

Thursday, January 26: Algebra II

Friday, January 27: Earth Science, Chemistry

WHS Mid-Term Exams

Our mid-term exams will be school-wide for every student, and the exams will take place during the regular school day. The schedule for mid-term exams is below.

1/31/23 -2/3/23

TUESDAY English Language Arts/Music

WEDNESDAY English Language Arts/Music

THURSDAY Math/World Languages

FRIDAY Math/World Languages

2/6/23 - 2/9/23

MONDAY Social Studies/Art, Business, FACS, Technology

TUESDAY Social Studies/Art, Business, FACS, Technology

WEDNESDAY Science/Health and PE

THURSDAY Science/Health and PE

Knuschke's "Korner"

The day before our holiday break began, I spoke with a small group of students about having meetings for each class (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades) when we returned to school in January. These meetings would be very similar to the ones that I had with the students in September.

When I told the students that I wanted to give them some feedback on how the year was going and how I thought they were doing, they responded positively and said that it would nice to hear what they were doing well and what they needed to work on.

Last week and this week I met with the students and shared data on group attendance and conduct, as well as general thoughts on how they were doing. The students were attentive and even shared some of their own impressions.

Most teenagers won't admit it, but as much as adults in the professional work place, our students want feedback and they are looking for expectations. And just like working professionals, they deserve that feedback.