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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Roosevelt High Takes a Stand on Cell Phones

And it's, "Put them away in class."


A reader let me know this (bold mine):
As a technology forward school, Roosevelt High School wants to help to teach and promote appropriate digital citizenship. Our school staff has overwhelmingly agreed that a consistent school-wide policy to bar cell-phone use during class time will help students stay more present and engaged in their learning. The intent is to support students in their academic success, removing a major temptation and distraction, and promoting face to face social interaction and connection.

Beginning the ’18-19 school year, all classrooms at Roosevelt High School are cell phone free zones. Cell phones can be stored in backpacks either powered off or on silent or can be placed in teacher pouches on the wall of the classroom if your teacher provides one.  
Please be advised that violations of this policy will result in progressive consequences.
The kids can still have their phones for an emergency but they just can't have them out on their laps or desk.

The reader's student and others are not happy.  I'm sure they aren't and I was told their question is, "Why does everyone have to suffer because some kids can't stop?"

 I get that but the bigger question - which I'm sure the teachers and principal at  Roosevelt thought about - is what value will it be to have cell phones out?  I think the answer is "marginal." 

Anyone with a cell phone (and I cop to it), will try to take a peek.  At a text, at an email, at a website.  Digital citizenship is an important 21st Century piece of knowledge to acquire. 

I applaud the RHS staff for taking this bold step. 

Anything new at your child's school?

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have an 8th grader with an IEP accommodation that allows him to have his cell phone in class. He uses the cell phone to set reminders for when assignments are due, reminders to do homework, etc. He is on the autism spectrum and has always hated and refused to use the planners they gave him in elementary and middle school -- too bulky, require writing, other reasons. But, we discovered that by using his cell phone to set reminders, we rarely have to remind him about due dates or homework. He does it discreetly and we make sure the teachers are aware of the accommodation at the beginning of the year.

I understand why high schools may want to have this type of cell phone policy, but I always worry when I see these kinds of absolute statements whether any one thought about the kids with IEPs who may need an exception. I'd love to see a sentence somewhere in the policy that acknowledges that some kids may need an exception for valid reasons. A school that includes that in their policy is signaling that they think about kids with differences when they set policy -- that is a key indicator of true inclusiveness.

IEP Mom

Jet City mom said...

If he has an iPhone, I would ask that they get him an Apple Watch, as part of his IEP.
It would be less obtrusive than a phone, as it can vibrate for reminders and messages.

Melissa Westbrook said...

IEP Mom, of course they thought of this and of course, if your child has an IEP, he/she will be allowed to use it. I don't think that was the entire policy; it's what I was send.

Anonymous said...

I have a new 9th grader at Roosevelt, and I LOVE the new cell phone policy. Phones are a huge distraction in class and bring down the focus and engagement of the whole room, not just the kids using them. Thank you, Roosevelt, for taking a stand for education.

Froshmom

Anonymous said...

@ Jet City Mom, I have a high school student with a 504 plan that allows for cell phone use, not an IEP. We had to buy the cell phone, and we'd have to buy the Apple Watch. The watch also doesn't do what the phone does--the things that are the whole point of using the cell phone. Things like taking photos of information posted on the board so my student with a writing disability doesn't have to write it down. I'm not familiar with the watches, but I suspect it's not quick and easy to make notes or add things to your schedule either.

Technology can be a valuable tool for some students. The fact that most teachers don't do a good job monitoring its use in classrooms--I've known many teachers to be very lax about cell phone use in class, with students blatantly playing games in class--should not be call for an outright ban on technologies that are helpful to students who need extra help. So much for inclusiveness. This just throws up an additional hurdle in front of students who are often the ones struggling the most.

Are families of students whose IEPs and 504 plans allow for phone use going to have to sue the district to retain access to this support? Are these students going to be further singled out for their learning challenges?

sux

Anonymous said...

Similar rules already existed or are being implemented this year in other SPS schools and private area schools too. iPads and Surfaces have similar rules in school I know: Only out on teacher prompt; gone when teacher says put it away. Or confiscation. IEPs 504s exempt of course in keeping with the details of the individual plans.

Split Enrollment

Anonymous said...

@sux raises some valid concerns. Our children use their phones to capture info from the board, take pictures of assignments (including taking snapshots before they hand in some work as proof they submitted it...teachers lose HW, too), and as a reference during class (periodic table, dictionary, thesaurus), and on and on. I don't know the official school policy.

mixed

TechyMom said...

And now everyone will know who has an accommodation. Grrr.

Anonymous said...

So we should never have any rules that could be excepted as an accommodation for IEPs or 504s? Because someone might know there are exceptions? You don't think that's a pretty backwards way of structuring things?

Luddite

Anonymous said...

As I said before, I understand why high schools might feel they need this policy. My only concern -- which comes from experience -- is that when a policy is announced as a cell phone free zone, that's a really strong statement that makes it hard for kids who have the right to use their cell phones in class to exercise that right. Also, my kid has been in two SPS middle schools. At his first one, we were told that the school simply wouldn't implement some of the accommodations in his IEP because "we don't do that in our school for any student." A due process case later, he was reassigned to a different SPS middle school where the same accommodations are not a problem.

Maybe the new policy at Roosevelt does mention that there are exceptions; if so, great. But, if not, this is why I brought up the concern.

IEP Mom

Anonymous said...

@ Luddite, there are other approaches. For example, a teacher could say “no cell phones in class, unless you have a valid reason or talk to me in advance. If you can make a compelling case, I will approve it—but I will revoke that privilege if you abuse it.” That way other students don’t know who needs a formal accommodation vs. who requested permission for their own reasons.

I’m sure there are other possible approaches as well, that don’t “out” those with learning disabilities. It’s not a matter of students “knowing that there are exceptions,” but rather of students knowing who needs the exceptions. Creating a system whereby others can request the same exceptions makes it less obvious and reduces stigma. Remember, some of those who need the exception also suffer from anxiety, so drawing attention to themselves isn’t likely to help—many would rather forego that part of their IEP/504 plan and suffer the academic consequences instead.

The “backwards” approach is to not consider the needs of all students, the potential impacts on all students, and alternatives that work for all.

sux

Anonymous said...

"For example, a teacher could say “no cell phones in class, unless you have a valid reason or talk to me in advance. If you can make a compelling case, I will approve it—but I will revoke that privilege if you abuse it."

I think this is a great suggestion, and I would imagine that the policy could be modified to include it. Potentially people with children at Roosevelt who think their child needs their cell phone should ask them to approach their teacher and others suggest that modification?

I personally think the rule is an excellent one, and that modifications that make it work for everyone are great, but would be disturbed to see a back down from a good rule that has a growing body of evidence to back it up. There's substantial data suggesting that having cell phones out in the classroom is disruptive in the typical classroom with typical learners. For example, test scores in a college psychology class are lower, in a within subject study, when students have access to their phones/computers than when they don't: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/27/class-cellphone-and-laptop-use-lowers-exam-scores-new-study-shows. Lab studies show that having a cell phone out at all, rather than put away in a backpack can impair performance (need to look harder for this cite).

The mechanism of the results is complicated -- in general related to distraction, of the student and others, and potentially, for some individual students, the benefits outweigh the costs, but across subjects, there's a pretty clear consensus.

zb

Anonymous said...

I do worry about how enforcement will be handled -- we're coming to Roosevelt from a school that already had a no cell phone in class policy, so for us it is not new. But, if there is a change happening, enforcement will become an issue, and enforcement can become distracting itself, for the student, class, and teacher.

zb

Anonymous said...

I wish every school in Seattle had a no cell phone policy or even just an actual cell phone policy regarding usage as part of the school culture. My aggravation point is that, in a time when we know the challenges with excessive screen usage, we have teachers who encourage kids to use their phones in class if they don't have enough laptops or computer resources available to them. That's just one example. I'm not opposed to cell phones and my kids have them, but schools need to be a place for focused learning and phones are a distraction.
-Long Road

Anonymous said...

Ballard has the same policy as Roosevelt. The policy is cell phones can be carried in backpacks etc. but must be turned off and completely out of sight during class time. Some teachers also have a cubby to put cell phones during class time. If a student violates policy their phones are taken. The policy has been gone over by my 9th grader's teachers this year at the start of school. I had assumed all high schools had this same policy?? Are there actually some high schools that do allow students to use cell phones during class time?
BHS mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

The fact that most teachers don't do a good job monitoring its use in classrooms--I've known many teachers to be very lax about cell phone use in class, with students blatantly playing games in class--should not be call for an outright ban on technologies that are helpful to students who need extra help."

Well, you can either have teachers not having to police behavior - taking up valuable teaching and learning time to have to tell some students to cut it out - or you have a blanket policy of non-use.

I'm sure if there is a situation where a dictionary/thesaurus is useful, the teacher would allow everyone to use their phones for that activity. (Or, we actually have books in class for that use.)

As far as I know, this is a school-by-school policy.

Anonymous said...

"(Or, we actually have books in class for that use.)"

Except, MW, not all classrooms do. Strangely, books don't seem a top priority. There are a lot of under resourced schools and classrooms in this district.

There were no dictionaries in my child's Language Arts class last year. "Research" starts with google. Spanish(or pick your world language)/English dictionaries are accessed online. Many readings are photocopies printed in miniscule, barely readable font (gotta save paper...).

As another mentioned, many teachers expect students to have a phone or other device available. And high speed internet at home. I would be excited if a no cell phone policy forced the district to adequately resource classrooms.

not kidding

Anonymous said...

Same at Garfield, and Meany Middle has a no cell phone policy in the halls and lunchroom too, not just in classrooms. Enforcement is a teacher-by-teacher policy everywhere, I'll bet.

FNH

Anonymous said...

@zb , as far as I know, "the typical classroom" also includes students who are NOT typical learners--such as students with learning disabilities that can easily be managed through appropriate supports, which often include access to technology. Laptop use in college lectures interferes with learning because students play games and check email and social media instead of paying attention. This also distracts students behind or next to them, because they see all the pretty flashing lights and images. I heard something about a professor who had set up laptop-free areas of the room, so students who wanted to avoid that distraction could. But college is college, and college students can deal with things however works best for them. Sit in front if you don't want to see others' computers, or as for a laptop-free zone.

In earlier grades, however, students have less power over their environments. I hate to see rules made based on what works for the majority, without consideration of how such decisions impact minority groups.

@ Melissa, nobody wants teachers to be constantly policing instead of teaching. But you know what? Some teachers don't have to constantly police--because they set clear rules and hold firm. The teachers who do have to keep dealing with it are in that boat because they are not dealing with the situation consistently and firmly. Students know what they can get away with in whose class. Let the students know you mean business and they'll stop messing around on their phones.

A blanket policy of non-use would be discrimination against students with learning disabilities. As well, some students who may benefit from cell phone or computer use in class don't have formally identified learning disabilities--either because their challenges don't quite rise to that level, or because they have not yet been evaluated/diagnosed. If such a student feels that using technology--appropriately--in class benefits them, they should be allowed to make that case to the teacher, who should have the freedom to let them try it and see how it goes. Let the student know that a single instance of using the tech for a purpose not relevant to the class means they'll lose that privilege for the rest of the year, and lose their device for the rest of the day--and that other teachers with whom they have such agreements will also be informed, so their privileges in those classes can also be terminated.

sux

Anonymous said...

Having 2 kids at Roosevelt, I fully support this policy and wish our middle school would adopt the same. There are many tools that can be used to support all students. For example, assignments can be posted on the Source and Schoology. Teachers themselves could take screen shots and post them for the class, or information could be left on the board for students to take pictures of the last 1-2 minutes of class if the other methods don't work for them. Cell phones with cameras are still a relatively new piece of technology, and there are many good ways of communicating information. In our middle school, teachers suggesting that kids need to take pictures of the board actually works against lower income students or families who choose not to supply their kids with cell phones to be used on an hourly basis during school time.


Even as an adult, I am distracted when co-workers pull out their phones during meetings or continually look at them during conversations. It is rare to be at a movie, concert or school program where kids aren't focusing on what is in front of htem because they are constantly checking texts, instagram, etc. I believe that cell phones aren't the only solution.

RF

Anonymous said...

@no kidding
Fully agree with you. "There are a lot of under resourced schools and classrooms in this district." I have yet to find or hear about a school or a classroom that actually has all the resources needed find and buy a book for a high level Math class to donate to the school. It happened to be the class my kid has this year, so that's interesting. And historically, because there have been no books of any kind, but a lot of worksheets and non-connected materials, my kids have gone to Kahn Academy to get reviews or refreshes. It should not need to be this way. And not everyone has a smart phone or access, to RF's point above.
-Long Road

Anonymous said...

typing quickly, oops...resources needed find and buy a book for a high level Math class...

Should have read: ...resources needed. Last year I answered the school call to find and buy a book for a high level Math class to donate to the school.

and Khan Academy
-Long Road

Anonymous said...

RF has it right. I've copied another teacher in my school, and have velcroed pencil boxes to the desk. That's where phones go. I tell students to take them out and set reminders if there's homework or other important scheduling things, when I've updated grades and want them to make sure I didn't miss anything, and I offer to let them take pictures of the board for immediate use--assembly schedules or similar. If they need to take a picture of something else they can ask, but all of my presented info is on a power point they can access online after class. So far so good in my room, in other classes with this system in place longer they say it's great, kids can access phones for the short interval necessary to participate in class (a lot of text-polling for quiz practice or similar), and then straight back in the box when time is up.

If they are going to the restroom and not comfortable leaving the phone in the box they can take it with them, and the boxes latch pretty securely so it's obvious if anyone is getting into them when they shouldn't.

The box is working so well to get kids minds off phones that they've left them in class (my learning curve is to tell them to get their phones when they leave class). Having a phone in their pocket makes it so much more tempting to peek, and they never put them on silent as they should, but going in the box they think about it ringing and turn it off.

OuttaSeattle

Anonymous said...

I've worked in a few schools around SPS, and I can tell you that schools don't make decisions like Roosevelt's new cell phone policy lightly.

If a few teachers complain about cell phones in class, those teachers will be encouraged to rethink their classroom management. If some students misuse their phones at school (sexting, cyberbullying, taking videos of classmates and posting w/o permission, making false accusations of serious crimes, etc.), that's for Admin and the families to handle (and sometimes the police).

For an entire school building to take a stand like Roosevelt has done...my guess is that either SOMETHING must have gone down last year that was the final straw, or that the day-to-day phone-related shenanigans was taking up a disproportionate percent of teachers' and admins' school day. Or both. I am confident that they weighed the pros and cons carefully, I'm SURE that they anticipated the backlash from parents, and came to a decision that the benefits outweighed the cons.

As a Roosevelt parent and as an SPS teacher, I support Roosevelt's decision, and I hope the Roosevelt community comes to accept it.

-- Teachy Teacherson

Unknown said...

I sent the post about Roosevelt and its new cell phone policy to my grandson who is an incoming 9th grader. While usually I only get a "K" back in response, the policy elicited the following cogent and impassioned argument against it. I am copying it verbatim, hence the minimal punctuation. Also, as context, he does not have any IEP.

Omg they have said this every period for three days Elise I got it
It’s so extreme that you can no longer use them for useful, like taking picture of the textbooks in math from 2000, and we can’t take pictures of anything, take notes, set calendar days, use schoology, check our grades, and in science the poor teacher got some degree in college in how to integrate technology into teaching, and that was completely thrown out the window. It’s unnecessary, I feel like if you want to use your phone in class, it’s your choice to make school harder for yourself, but to combat that they make being organized in school a lot harder by taking away one of the most useful pieces of tech right now. But you know I’m just one of the students getting destroyed by technology."

Largely, I agree with him and I hope the black and white policy that throws away the benefits of technology in order to guard against the misuses does not last long.

Elise F.

Anonymous said...

My Roosevelt student said largely the same things as Elise F's grandson -- amazing how talkative teens can become when their tech use is being threatened! ;)

I fully support the new RHS policy. Of course our kids can come up with ways that their devices are useful, but I think we can also come up with less disruptive alternatives. I'm sure they will work with students (like mine) who have IEPs or 504s.

Thrilled

Anonymous said...

I think it's a fantastic policy and I wish all schools would implement it. I applaud the RHS teachers.
-Caphill Parent

Anonymous said...

@Teachy Teacherson- I do believe that RHS is in this case reiterating what is the district wide policy. At least that is how it has been presented in written materials at BHS. However I do know that there are some high schools & maybe middle schools, in which teachers must not be enforcing this district wide policy. I am glad some schools like RHS, BHS & others are (now) taking a stronger stand and that teachers are also reiterating and enforcing the policy in the classrooms. I am guessing there other schools (besides ones mentioned) also doing the same. But it should absolutely also be enforced by all teachers in all schools! The principal, a district rep etc should do a walk through of the schools, poke heads in classrooms etc and see what is going on. That is a distraction from learning that cannot be tolerated.
BHS mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Elise, I'll ask about this because I find it hard to believe they would not allow - at the end of class - the opportunity to take a photo of the homework. Why you need Schoology during class? Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all the posters in support of this policy as it relates to helping students stay focused. Another reason cell phones should (usually) stay out of classrooms: teacher and student privacy. How would you feel as a teacher, knowing that your students could photograph or film you at any time, manipulate the image/video, and post it for all to see (and mock mercilessly)? Students have also been filmed without their knowledge in locker rooms, bathrooms, classrooms, etc. Focusing, engaging, and controlling oneself is hard enough as a teenager without the siren song of social media and an easy way to capture and share every. single. moment. ENOUGH.

Flummoxed

Anonymous said...

@ Teachy Teacherson, you may be "confident that they weighed the pros and cons carefully...and came to a decision that the benefits outweighed the cons," but I'm not yet convinced. The problem is that usually when pros and cons are considered, the results and ultimate decisions are weighted toward those of the needs and interests of the majority group, AKA typical students. Minority groups, including those who really benefit from appropriate use of these technologies, are often disregarded in the process. It seems backwards to me that the we make educational decisions based on the ill habits of those who can't control their social media impulses, rather than the potential benefits of appropriate tech use. Why punish everyone because others can't handle themselves appropriately?

sux

Anonymous said...

Sux, this study found that increases in performance in schools that banned cell phone use were "driven by the lowest-achieving students. This suggests that the unstructured presence of phones has detrimental effects on certain students and restricting their use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities."

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0927537116300136

Thrilled

Bulldoggle said...

If students have to maintain a 2.0 GPA for athletic eligibility, why not a cutoff for phone eligibility?

Anonymous said...

@ Thrilled, what makes you think I'm talking about the lowest-achieving students? I'm talking about students who have different learning needs. I'm not suggesting that low-achieving students are the ones who may need cell phones, nor am I suggesting that racial minority students are low achievers. By minority I meant not majority--which in accordance with my prior comments was a reference to not neurotypical. Most students don't have learning disabilities or other special learning needs, so decisions made based on the "typical" student typically don't take those needs into account. "Majority rules" is not generally a recipe for success for all types of students, but since school administrators are more concerned with large numbers (i.e., the neurotypical), and since parents here are more likely to have neurotypical students, there's a gung-ho attitude that this is a great idea--because it's likely beneficial for the majority of students, for their child and others like them. The needs of those small subsets of students who may benefit from cell phone use--such as students with learning disabilities or similar challenges, or even very highly capable students who find curricula and lessons too simplistic and want to look something up to so they can go into much greater depth during a slow, repetitive lecture--are nearly always forgotten in these types of decisions that focus on what works best for "the majority." One-size-fits-all approaches may be the easiest to implement, but they usually aren't the best approaches for all. I'd simply like to see more thought and consideration given to the needs of those who don't fit the typical profile. True inclusion means considering the needs of those needs may be somewhat different, and coming up with strategies that work for all. I'm tired of parents always thinking in terms of what works best for their own child(ren) and not being willing to consider that other students may be different.

sux

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sux, you are saying all kids - across the spectrum of race and income - have smart cell phones? Because there is that issue as well.

Again, I will ask for clarification on this policy but I feel confident teachers will allow use by students with learning issues and allow a time to snapshot the whiteboard.

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa, I'm not sure where you got that idea. Of course I'm not saying all kids have smartphones. But are you suggesting that NO students with IEPs, 504 plans, or other learning challenges who find smartphones helpful for their academic work should be able to use them unless ALL such students have them? If so, I respectfully disagree. The goal should be to do whatever we can to help learning-challenged students maximize their chance of success, not throw up further barriers.

I wish I shared your confidence that teachers will be so understanding. Unfortunately, in our experience, that's not always the case. For example, how helpful do you think it will be when a teacher announces to the class that a so-and-so gets to use their phone in class because they have an IEP or a learning disability? How helpful will it be to have that announced when the student also suffers from anxiety? Teachers often really don't get it, and as we move more and more toward strict policies that draw outwardly distinct lines between students with different types of needs, this increases the likelihood of negative interactions. I think there are better ways to reduce the potential for phone distraction.

sux

Melissa Westbrook said...

And Sux, if you had read the other comments, I said - twice - that I support kids with learning difficulties to use their phones. Do keep up.

The teacher just has to say, "there are a few exceptions to this rule and that's all I need to say." They don't have to single out anyone. Oh yea of little faith.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"I think there are better ways to reduce the potential for phone distraction."

Okay, I'll bite. Like what?

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa,

Here's one idea, like I suggested earlier (do keep up?): Allow kids without learning difficulties to petition to use them if they can make a strong case for doing so, with a clear understanding (written agreement?) that if the phone becomes a distraction it is taken away while they are at school. If a student has developed a way to use the phone as an educational tool, let them do it--like they'll be able to do in college, which may be just around the corner. A mature, responsible student who has come up with ways to use tech as a valuable tool (e.g., listening to background music to help drown out the incessant talking of students when they are supposed to be working on something) should not be prevented from doing so because others won't pay attention.

And it's not an issue of faith. It's an issue of experience. It's natural to assume that teachers are nice and understanding and sensitive re: special learning needs, but many of us who have such students have frequently seen otherwise. Maybe it was better when your child(ren) were in school, I don't know-but teachers DO say hurtful things that call attention to students' special needs. Sad, but true.

sux

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa, I'm sorry for taking the "do keep up" bait and returning the snark. Your blog, your prerogative. Maybe it wasn't clear, but my concern is NOT that teachers won't allow IEP/504 students to access their phones if this is written in their plans, but rather that these students will be more stigmatized. Finding ways to make those students not such blatantly obvious "exceptions" would be nice. Allowing some other students to also use their phones when they can make a strong case for doing so might help. I'm sure there are other options, too.

sux

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sux, that's a lot of work for teachers to remember who gets a pass and who doesn't. And college is a different animal and I doubt kids need practice to use a phone in class.

Encourage kids to listen to music to drown out other kids talking? How about just getting those kids to stop talking? Kind of old-fashioned but it worked in my classes.

And yes, I do know about teachers not being sensitive to kids needs; I had it happen to my kid. But I think that every policy will need tweaking but not to the point where the teacher needs a chart to know who can and can't use their phone.

Anonymous said...

My 8th grader brought home a technology policy for his science class. The policy allows students to use devices like phones,tablets and laptops in class to enhance learning and students are being taught what is and what is not an appropriate use. There are clear consequences for inappropriate use. When students are not using a device it must be out of sight. The policy also makes clear there is no requirement for students to have a device as they will work in groups whenever technology use is permitted (so they can share) or they will be provided with technology to use in class.

I love this policy. There are so many reasons this makes sense to me. But, in terms of the discussion we've been having -- it promotes inclusion of kids with learning differences who will now be able to use their devices in class without having a spotlight shining on them.

IEP Mom

Anonymous said...

@IEP Mom, I'd love it if our MS applied a technology policy in such a thoughtful way. If that was the case, I would not be opposed to smartphones in class. But our MS has no such rules and therefore kids don't seem to know where the line is and when they have crossed it, in and out of class, which creates different anxiety when they find they have crossed that line.
-Long Road

Anonymous said...

Policing phones is like policing gum. Kids "hide it" and pretend to follow directions when asked to get rid of them, just like hiding their gum when asked to throw it out. Every minute the battle of wills takes is a minute taken away from class time. I start off the year being a phone cop. I take them, give them to admin, contact parents, blah, blah, blah. Eventually, however, I just stop. To me, it is a matter of natural consequences. If you are distracted while learning, expect to crash and burn. I am not taking phones anymore (kids get violent, the last time I took one I feared for my safety as the student threatened to put hands on me for taking his phone, which was out during a SEMINAR discussion). I am not wasting my valuable instructional time policing phone use.

Years ago,I wanted a cellphone jammer in my room. Kids threatened to get lawyers...
I wish these schools luck.
-TiredofPhones

Anonymous said...

I also have a 9th grader at Roosevelt, and he has had no complaints about the cell phone policy. He has been instructed and permitted to take pictures of his math textbook, whiteboard, set reminders. The teacher instructs them that they can use the phone for those purposes, at a limited period of time in the class.

I'm actually rather surprised that this would be a controversial policy.

zb

Anonymous said...

@zb, that technically sounds like a violation of the new policy barring cell phones in class, doesn’t it? I’m glad the teacher(s) recognize the possible useful applications of this tool, and I hope all the other teachers do as well.

Most of those who take issue with the policy seem to be parents of students with learning disabilities, and the issue (for most) is not that students with technology supports in their learning plans will be denied access, but rather that they will be stigmatized as the exceptions to the rule (which may limit access in another way).

Additionally , they may use laptops or tablets—does anyone know if those are allowed for students without learning plans? Can a high school student without an IEP/504 plan use a personal laptop to take notes in class, or are disabled students the “exceptions” in that regard, too? My daughter really needs one, but won’t use it if it draws attention.

HS soon

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