Common Sense Schools

Common Sense Schools

Common Sense Schools

Our goal is to recognize those schools committed to creating a culture of digital teaching and citizenship. We've made one addition to the Common Sense School criteria for the 2017–2018 school year: one more hour of professional development with a digital teaching focus. Common Sense Schools earn an official stamp of recognition by showing commitment to creating a culture of digital citizenship and teaching. 


Please read through our FAQ. If you have further questions, please post in the Common Sense community or email [email protected]

What is a Common Sense School?

Common Sense Schools are dedicated to teaching digital citizenship to young people and to taking a whole-community approach to integrating digital citizenship. Specifically, this program recognizes schools that provide professional development to their educators, integrate digital citizenship by using the Common Sense Digital Citizenship Curriculum, Digital Passport™, Digital Compass, and/or Digital Bytes, as well as engage parents and educate them about media and technology issues. 

Why become a Common Sense School?

If your school is integrating more technology in the classroom, receiving Common Sense Recognition demonstrates to your community your school’s commitment to teach students to use their devices in enriching and responsible ways. Further, completing the criteria for Common Sense School provides the first step for educators to earn recognition as Common Sense Educators.  

What is the process? 

For your school to earn recognition as a Common Sense School, the following actions must be completed:

  1. Create a school vision including digital citizenship and digital teaching (new this year!).
  2. Develop a Common Sense School Implementation Plan. You will be asked to enter the implementation details in the Common Sense School application. The implementation plan should include all criteria outlined in the following steps.
  3. Provide professional development to all educators on digital teaching and digital citizenship. PD may be conducted in person (by school staff) or online, using Common Sense Education resources. In-person PD may be combined to cover both topics. For a resource list, see the FAQ.
  4. One or more educators leads digital citizenship instruction on at least two full grade levels using Common Sense Education resources. All students at those grade levels must receive instruction. Schools have two options to meet student-instruction criteria: 
    • On two grade levels, teach five lessons/modules/storylines/or two Digital Bytes,
    • OR on three grade levels, teach three lessons/modules/storylines/or one Digital Byte 
  5. Engage parents school-wide and educate them in three distinct ways. See the parent outreach question in the FAQ for more details and suggested outreach.
  6. Save at least three pieces of documentation from your efforts implementing: professional development, digital citizenship student instruction, and/or parent outreach to submit with the Common Sense School application.

Congratulations, Common Sense School!

Ready? Apply here once all criteria outlined above is complete. Once you apply, you will hear within two weeks whether or not your application has been approved. Once it's approved, you will receive a badge and an image of a banner for your school to print with your congratulatory email.

Applying on Behalf of Educators?

School Project Leads have the option to upload a Teacher Worksheet Excel doc and apply on behalf of the educators who have completed the NEW Common Sense Educator criteria. Before completing please: 

  • Review the new Common Sense Educator criteria.
  • Take note of the drop downs and notes to assist within the Teacher Worksheet. 
  • Review the FAQ for further details and a video instruction. 

Project leads will receive an email with detailed instructions on how and where to upload the Excel docs after they submit a Common Sense School Application.  

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