A parent emailed today inquiring about personal mobile devices (cell phones) while at school. This was the question:
We just wanted to clarify what the guidelines are as far as bringing devices along to school. Just want to make sure we’re on the same page!
This is a great question and well timed! This was the response and it was also shared with staff.
Grade 5s and 6s
Since we have Chromebooks available in the classrooms at this level kids are encouraged to keep their personal devices at home. If they do decide to bring one to school they are expected to keep it in their backpack, pocket and not take it out in the school during the school day.
Grade 7s and 8s
Chromebooks are coming to these grades next year. I feel it’s important that we teach kids how to use these devices as something that can help them with school and when they get to high school it’s something they can have at school without much worry.
So, kids can bring them to school and if the classroom teacher allows, they can use them in class to help with their work. If they become a distraction, teachers will ask kids to put the devices away or leave them with the teacher for the rest of the period/day (for the rest of the day if it’s a repeated issue). Parents may be asked to come pick up devices if they become a bigger distraction. Students are NOT required to bring personal devices and must have parent permission to do so.
Some important things that we will make sure kids are aware of are:
- no personal devices used in bathrooms/change rooms
- stay off social media sites while in class (Facebook, Snapchat etc. – lots of these apps have a minimum age of 13 so technically most of our kids shouldn’t have accounts yet…)
- music/headphones only to be used in class with teacher permission only (not in the halls at all)
- Students who use their device at school are bound by the HSD Acceptable Use Policy that parents and kids sign upon registration to our school. Logging into the school network) Wi-Fi means that online activity can be reviewed if necessary.
I am all for the use of personal devices as it encourages kids to use these for good and if something not great happens it’s an opportunity to teach kids how to use them appropriately. It’s a part of their lives so I think we may as well take advantage of them at school to help with learning and engagement.
Staff will discuss this further at the October staff meeting to clarify and to be consistent. Grade 7s and 8s are permitted to use their devices at lunch, on breaks and/or the playground. If this technology is being mis-used we will respond on a one by one basis as per our discipline procedures outlined in our student handbook. Parents will be included in these discussions if they come up.
Students must keep their devices safe and secure and be smart about what gets shared. A great beginning to talking about using mobile devices to communicate is in this image.
If you have any questions or concerns about this please contact Mr. Mead at your convenience. Ultimately, it is the parent who determines if their child(ren)’s personal mobile device comes to school.