Dear Parents,

Keeping students safer on their school-provided devices is of paramount importance to Pender Public Schools. To that end, we would like to make you aware of a recent step we have taken to monitor school-issued accounts. Bark for Schools is a powerful new monitoring service we are utilizing to help us better protect students both at school and at home.

When schools give students access to laptops and email accounts, an incredible world of learning opportunities open up — as well as potential dangers. Bark helps us monitor all of the content our students are creating, sharing, and sending through school-issued accounts. This helps us to detect potentially dangerous situations that students may be facing both in and out of school, including cyberbullying, threats of violence, predatory advances, sexual content, and suicidal ideation.

In the coming days, you will receive an invitation to create an account for the Bark for Schools Family Alerts Dashboard. During this summer break and starting in the fall during after school hours, weekends, and holidays, you'll receive alerts if issues are detected on your child's school accounts, such as in emails or documents.

Bark provides all of the above for free to K-12 schools and districts in the U.S. as part of their give back program. You will have the option to also enable Bark’s product for families, which monitors texts, email, YouTube and more than 24 social media platforms for potential safety concerns on your student’s personal accounts. In 2018, Bark detected 1.2 million instances of cyberbullying, 140,000+ communications discussing self-harm or suicidal ideation, nearly 100 student conversations with sexual predators, and 51 potential acts of violence in schools.

To help your family, Pender Public Schools has secured a 20% discount on the monthly cost of the Bark family product, which is $7.20 per month / $79.20 per year to cover an unlimited number of accounts, devices, and children. The upgrade is available through the Bark for Schools app.

If you would like more information, please email or call any time. Thank you for helping us to keep our students safe online and in real life.

Best Wishes,

Technology Director