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Distance Learning Etiquette

It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom, and certain behaviors are expected when both students and parents communicate with both their peers and teachers. 


  1. Be mindful that the online classroom is in fact a classroom and NOT the appropriate time to engage or add comments during the teachers’ instructional time with the class. 

  2. Be mindful that school is a safe space for students to demonstrate their understanding so teachers are able to identify areas of weakness in order to differentiate instruction to strengthen students' skillset.

  3. Do not complete your child’s work for them.

  4. Communication: schedule an appointment to discuss your child’s progress with his/her teacher. 

  5. Recording instructional sessions without permission is prohibited.

  6. Assist your child with their work as needed, but do not complete or supply answers. 

  7. Do not interrupt, engage, or interact with the teacher during live instruction. Remember, schedule an appointment to talk to the teacher.

Digital Footprint 

Protect your privacy and respect others’ privacy. Our digital world is permanent, and with each post, we are building a digital footprint. Self-reflect before you share online with the understanding of how it may impact you and others.

General Guidelines 

When communicating online, you should always: 

  • Treat your teacher and classmates with respect, in email, or any other communication. 

  • Always use your teacher’s proper title. Unless specifically invited, don’t refer to your instructor by first name. 

  • Use clear and concise language. 

  • Avoid slang terms such as “wassup?” and texting abbreviations such as “u” instead of “you.” 

  • Avoid using the caps lock feature AS IT CAN BE INTERPRETED AS YELLING. 

  • Be cautious when using humor or sarcasm as tone is often lost in an email or discussion post, and your message might be taken seriously or sound offensive. 

  • Be careful with personal information (both yours and that of others). 

  • Do not send confidential information via email. 

Gmail Netiquette     

When sending an email to school staff or classmates: 

  • Use a descriptive subject line. 

  • Be brief and use plain text (academic language).

  • Avoid unnecessary attachments. 

  • Sign your message with your name and contact information. 

  • Think before you send an email to more than one person. Does everyone need to see your message? 

  • Be sure you really want everyone listed to receive your response when you click, “reply all.” 

  • Be sure that the message’s author intended for the information to be passed along before you click the “forward” button.

Online Meeting Netiquette

While different meetings may have different “rules,” there are some basic practices everyone should follow to create a positive online meeting experience. Think of these as the must-do’s of online meeting etiquette:

  • When available, read the agenda ahead of time in an attempt to be prepared.

  • Test all technology (including camera/video, Wi-Fi, microphones, and screen sharing) before the meeting.

  • Make sure you are in a quiet area free from unnecessary distractions.

  • Be mindful of items behind you, in view of the camera. If you aren’t “camera-ready,” you can turn off your camera.

  • Be on time. No matter what kind of meeting you’re attending—virtual or in-person, the “on-time” rules apply.

  • Don’t stare at your phone while other people are presenting.

  • Don’t interrupt other people when they’re speaking (or attempt to speak over them).

  • Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.

  • Don’t work on other tasks (like checking email) during the virtual meeting.

  • Turn off all notifications and make sure your cell phone is on silent.

  • Save your snacking for after the meeting

Netiquette for Younger Kids

  1. Avoid hurting someone’s feelings online. Remember, online, people can’t always tell if you are joking. 

  2. Respect other people’s online rights. People on the Internet have rights just as they do in everyday life. If someone sends you a threatening message or makes prank calls to you, it can be annoying and sometimes scary. The same is true online. If someone sends you an email that threatens you or makes you feel uncomfortable, talks to a parent or other adult right away.

  3. Avoid insulting others online. If you insult someone with email, they will probably get angry just as they would if you insulted them face to face. If they ask you what you meant, or to stop, it’s for a good reason. Be respectful.

  4. If someone insults you, be calm. Even if you are angry with someone, you don’t need to make things any worse. Try being calm, ignoring the message, or sending a polite message asking for them to explain what they meant. It may have been a misunderstanding.

  1. Respect the privacy of other people. If someone tells you something secret, it should be kept secret. This includes full names, addresses, or interests. Sharing your password with someone other than parents, even someone you like is never a good idea. Passwords and personal information are private and are never safe to share with others (except parents).

  2. Be responsible online. When you are on an electronic device, you are in control. Avoid using it to harm other people. Taking things that are not yours (such as files, passwords, etc.), spreading rumors about other people, and infecting other devices with viruses (on purpose) are examples of harm caused online. Just like real life, there are consequences for your online behavior. 

  3. Adhere to Prince George’s County Public School’s Acceptable Use Policy and the Studnet Rights and Responsibilities.