Mercer County CIPA Compliance

CIPA Compliance

CIPA Compliance (Children's Internet Protection Act)

In order to be in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), district Internet safety policies must include monitoring and filtering the online activities of students. Internet safety policies must provide for educating students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying awareness and response. The WVDE provides a method and curriculum modules that allow Mercer County Schools to certify compliance with this FCC regulation. All schools k-12 will implement these lessons yearly.

For more information on CIPA requirements see the links below:

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

FCC Orders containing guidelines

TechSteps cyber-safety activities are designed to prompt classroom dialog about important Digital Age issues such as Internet opportunity, Internet safety, cyber-bullying and response, and digital responsibility. Through discussions, debates, role plays, persuasive writing, and videos, the lessons help students to build understandings about digital environments, while providing them with strategies to handle, or better still avoid, the dangers of online activity. Many of the lessons involve character education because what is most likely to keep students safe is their own ability to make wise decisions when online.

Each age-appropriate cyber-safety activity includes a short lesson plan that is accompanied by a Teacher Resource designed to assist with lesson implementation while providing additional information for professional development. Lessons in the collection are arranged to address – and re-address – key issues in cyber-safety throughout a child’s school years, and are aligned to West Virginia’s CSOs.

The tables below represent the current TechSteps© 2011 cyber-safety curriculum:

Grade Level Title Description
Kindergarten Let’s Go Students examine the broad scope of online materials while learning that they should always go to the Internet with an adult.
Grade 1 Let’s Talk Students discuss the medium and language of friendly communications and explore what they should do if they receive an unkind message.
Grade 2 Keep it to Yourself Students learn to keep personal information to themselves, avoiding pop-ups and surveys, and only registering for games with supervision.
Grade 3 That’s the Trick Students learn to find 'kid-friendly' materials and guard against Web trickery that seeks their personal information or exposes their computers to viruses.
Grade 4 What Do You Mean? Students learn differences between digital and face-to-face communication and the need to be precise in online messages.
Grade 5 Booster or Bully – It’s Your Choice Students explore what it means to be a bully and reflect on their own behavior. They explore the notion of ‘just joking.’
Grade 6 What Would You Do? Students consider what they would do if they were a bystander to bullying. They learn a 4-step process to handle cyber-bullying.
Twenty Four Seven Students consider the benefits and risks of being ‘connected’ all day every day.
Grade 7 Before You Click Students explore the nature of digital messages that can’t be taken back, that ‘stick,’ and that can be seen by ‘everyone.’
Just Between Us Students learn how to safeguard personal and 'social' information, especially if that reveals details about one’s physical location.
Grade 8 What’s the Big Deal? Students learn ways in which people are hurt online. Contrary to the notion that it’s ‘no big deal’ they learn that in many cases it is.
Who’s Speaking? Students discuss online anonymity, considering the implications of people being able to mask their identity.

TechSteps© provides eight Cybersafety activities to support such programs in High Schools. Some, however, introduce topics or skills that may be relevant in lessons designed to teach core content standards. In such cases - with thoughtful standards-based lesson planning - those activities could be integrated into the curricula of core subject areas.

Grade Level Title Description
Grade 9 Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? Students examine strategies that teens can use to resist peer pressure to engage in cyber-bullying
Leaving Digital Footprints Students explore the notion of a digital footprint, a trail of information that you have shared that perhaps others have copied and passed on. Discuss the permanence of the footprint and the importance of maintaining a good reputation online.
Grade 10 A Question of Freedom This activity poses the question: ‘At what point does free speech become cyber-bullying - and when this occurs, how can the perpetrator's right to freedom of speech be reconciled with a victim's right (ethical or legal) to safety, security, and privacy?’
The Fair Share Students explore how to safely and responsibly share data when collaborating and examine the ethical issues around the 'fair' sharing of creative works online. They record interviews based on stories told by teens about their experiences with intellectual property rights.
Grade 11 Get the Message Out Students work together to create a script for a public service announcement about cyber-bullying.
The Amplifier Effect Students consider ways in which digital technologies amplify both good and bad. They weigh the positives and negatives of digitization, considering how these may increase or decrease in volume in the future.
Grade 12 Critical Consumer Students explore the risks associated with e-commerce, e.g., the necessity to reveal personal information as part of online financial transactions. The concept of a financial footprint – a reputation created by one's online transactions – is explored along with lessons in prudent shopping.
The Great Debate This activity offers a number of controversial statements as subjects for debate, including: Online Anonymity Should Be Eliminated; Cyber-Bullying Should Be Criminalized; and Kid's Internet Use Should be Monitored.


This WVDE method will provide documentation that districts have met the annual E-rate compliance requirements of educating students regarding appropriate use. Each district will be able to view completion reports by school and by classroom. The state will be able to review reports by county, school and classroom. The schools are encouraged to go beyond this basic compliance.