Health, Safety, Well-Being Focuses on SmartSocial Programming 

ESJ’s Student Services Department has identified social media and technology as key contributors to student anxiety levels. Our teachers echo the sentiment and strive to incorporate technology in the classroom without losing connection to students and each other. We know technology is reaching students at younger and younger ages and it is important to include parents of children of all ages in these discussions.

Thanks to a three-year grant received earlier this year from the Winston Family Foundation, a 2020-2021 focus of our Health, Safety, and Well-Being program is Technology and Teenagers. As part of this programming, ESJ has secured renowned social media safety speaker, Josh Ochs, founder of SmartSocial, to present to Episcopal parents via Zoom. The video will cover the following:

  • Apps that are unsafe
  • Apps that are not a good use of time for teens and tweens
  • Apps that are safe and helpful

And, for older students:

  • Examples of good and bad posts that colleges may find
  • Examples from real seniors who are using social media correctly
  • Tips for how to use Google search in the same way as colleges and future employers

Josh Ochs will talk for about 90 minutes on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. All parents will receive the login information in a reminder email on November 19. We encourage all Episcopal parents to watch the presentation with their student (if age appropriate). 

Following the presentation, video content on SmartSocial’s website will be available for parents and students to view at their discretion. Videos include “Dangers Every Parent Should Know Before Giving their Student a Smartphone,” “YouTube App Parent Course,” “How to set up Twitter for a Positive Impact,” “Positive Internet Comment Etiquette for Kids,” and “5 Hottest Teen Apps: What Parents & Teachers Need to Know.”

Before November 19, we encourage parents to review information on specific apps and watch the video titled “100+ Good & Bad Teen Social Media Apps.”

Our emphasis at ESJ is on helping students learn how to discern when to use technology, how to assess when it is starting to dominate their thinking, and how to have the courage to make necessary changes in their interactions with technology.