During Spring Break, Arlington Public Schools will be transitioning from Global Protect to a new content filtering system, Lightspeed Filter, that has been successfully piloted at six schools. The new content filtering system strengthens online security, improves functionality for students at home, and provides additional parental control over Internet usage on APS devices after school. The Lightspeed Filter is being activated on APS student devices during Spring Break to ensure that instructional activities will not be affected.
This message is for your awareness, and no action is required by parents at this time. Students may notice some changes, including the removal of the Global Protect icon from their task bar, and a different message screen if they visit blocked sites.
At-home Parental Controls
In Phase 1 of the transition (Spring Break 2023), any parental controls already set on a home network will automatically go into effect on APS student devices when they connect to the home internet. This is a new feature, allowing parents greater control over their students’ online activities when using APS devices at home. If you do not currently use parental controls on your network, you can contact your internet provider for instructions on how to turn on that feature.
In Phase 2 (September 2023), a Parent Portal will allow parents to pause internet access on student devices for 1 hour, 3 hours, or until 6 a.m. the following day. More information will be shared over the summer.
Additional information can be found by visiting the Lightspeed Filter website at www.lightspeedsystems.com/products/lightspeed-filter/
Frequently Asked Questions
The new content filtering system strengthens online security and improves functionality for students at home. Transitioning during Spring Break was chosen because it was the earliest window of time with the least impact on instruction.
How do I set up parental controls on my home network?
If you do not currently use parental controls on your home network, you can contact your internet provider for instructions on how to turn on that feature. If you do use controls, those will automatically go into effect once the device connects to your home network.
My student can no longer access certain websites associated with their schoolwork that were available before the content filter transition. What do they need to do to restore that access?
Students should inform their teachers about any sites that they could previously access that are now blocked. Teachers will follow the process to have the issue resolved by the Office of Academics.
Do my home network controls remain on my student’s APS device during the school day?
The at-home controls only work in your residence. Please note that if your child is learning from home (including virtual learning or homebound instruction) they will be subject to the controls set by your home network.