With few exceptions, no more cell phones in classrooms – it’s a rule that will be enforced when the 2023-2024 school year begins at Van Wert High School.
According to the policy, students will be able to bring their cell phones and other portable electronic devices into the building during the school day but those devices will need to be turned off and secured in students’ lockers during the school day.
Van Wert High School Principal Chuck Rollins noted the policy has been in place for some time but now, but rules varied from classroom to classroom. Starting Monday, August 21, it will be enforced on a more universal basis. The decision was made after discussions involving Rollins, Assistant Principal Ryan Parrish, and teachers and staff members.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for a while and it just felt like it was time to make this move,” Rollins explained. “Most schools are pretty similar in that they don’t kids have their phones all the time. It’s a distraction in-school for sure and we just need kids to focus while we have them.”
Superintendent Mark Bagley confirmed that every school in the Western Buckeye League and area have a similar policy.
“We are simply trying to give our kids the best chance,” Bagley said. “It’s really not that drastically different.”
Students will be able to use cell phones and other portable electronic devices during designated times:
- Before school, until the bell rings at 7:55 a.m.
- After school, when the bell rings at 2:38 p.m.
- During lunch, while in the commons/cafeteria.
- In a teacher’s classroom, if instructed by the teacher and approved by the administration.
There are certain exceptions, including educational reasons and for special needs students.
“We just want to try to find a balance,” Rollins said. “They can have them during the down time (listed above) but we want them to refocus on school. It think it’s going to be positive for everyone moving forward. Education should be happening during the school day so let’s put the phones away and get on them when it’s appropriate.”
The policy spells out consequences for students who violate the rule.
First offense – the student will be issued a verbal warning and the teacher will document the violation.
Second offense – the student will turn the device into the office for the remainder of the day and pick it up at the end of the school day. The teacher will document the violation.
Third offense – the student will be assigned to lunch detention and the phone will be checked into the office. The student’s parents can pick the device up at the end of the day. Administration will document the violation.
Fourth offense – the student will be assigned in school intervention and turn the device into the office for the remainder of the day. The student’s parents can pick up the device at the end of the day. Administration will document the violation.
Fifth offense – the student will be assigned out-of-school suspension and a scheduled meeting with administration. Administration will document the violation.
Students may wear smart watches during school, but they must be silenced and not used as a communication device during class time. Earbuds or headphones may be used in class only when allowed by the teacher, and only one earbud may be used or headphones over one ear in order to hear instructions or emergency procedures.
If parents/guardians who need to reach students during an emergency can call the high school office at 419.238.3350. All classrooms at Van Wert High School have phones which can be used to contact students through the main office.
Article courtesy of VW Independent.