Toronto District School Board
Skip to main content

Online Safety

In an environment of remote learning where staff and students are spending an increased amount of time online and interacting with one another via online platforms, it is incredibly important to be familiar with the TDSB Online Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct pertains to the use of online systems and resources and exists to protect the rights and safety of all.

Student Online Safety

Using online platforms and tools is an excellent way to continue learning remotely and to interact and communicate with teachers and classmates. However, it is important to protect your personal safety when online by following the rules and guidelines outlined below:

  • Never reveal information about your personal identity (such as your name, address, phone number, age, physical description or school) to strangers whom you may encounter online. Likewise, do not reveal such information in a public online forum where you may not know everyone who might see the information.
  • Never reveal personal information online about someone else unless you have their prior permission and you know the information will not be used for harmful purposes.
  • Never reveal your access password or that of anyone else.
  • Never send a picture of yourself, another person or a group over an electronic network without prior informed permission of all the individuals involved and, in the case of minors, their parents or guardians.
  • Report immediately to a teacher any message or request that you receive that bothers you or that suggests personal contact with you.
  • Never publish the specific dates, times and locations of where you might be at any given time to people who are not directly entitled to such information or to public forums where unknown persons might access the information.

Additional Resources

Canadian Centre for Child Protection
The Canadian Centre offers information about the ever-changing online interests of children, the potential risks they face, and proactive strategies to help keep children and adolescents safe while online.

Toronto Police Service – Internet Safety and Kid Safety Zone
The Toronto Police Services site outlines some of the risks and security issues involved in the use of the internet. It also provides online tips for kids and parents.

Staff Online Safety

Online classrooms come with new considerations and learning for everyone. As such, it is important to consider best practices for how educators can maintain expectations of professionalism, safety, and support for themselves and students in a remote learning environment. Educators are spending much more time online and as you do, we are committed to support appropriate guidelines to ensure safety and security. 

In consultation with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the Ontario College of Teachers, and the Toronto Police Service, please consider the following when engaging in remote and online learning:

  • Remote learning should provide opportunities for teachers to engage, support, and provide feedback to students and families.
  • Communication should remain professional and transparent. Include parents/guardians on all correspondence with students.
  • Establish a positive online presence and maintain professional boundaries. Only communicate with students and parents during appropriate times of day.
  • Provide meaningful feedback and keep communication goal-oriented and tied to learning outcomes.
  • Follow the TDSB Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Policy if posting student work, digital pictures or other identifying information online (e.g. social media or websites).
  • If using video conferencing, ensure that all discussions with students are located in high traffic household areas such as the kitchen or living room, avoiding locations such as bedrooms.
  • There should be no expectation of privacy online. Teachers should be aware of the public nature of a remote learning environment and always project the most professional presence possible.

Additional Resources

Maintaining Professionalism – Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media 
A professional advisory from the Ontario College of Teachers that is intended to help Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) understand their professional boundaries and responsibilities in the appropriate use of electronic communication and social media.

Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children.