SPS Policy on Cell Phones in School

Posted on: December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021
SPS K-8 families,
 
I want to take a moment to clarify and remind families of our policy regarding the use of cell phones and electronic equipment (including smartwatches) in our schools.  According to our district handbook, cell phones are not permitted to be used during the school day without the authorization of a teacher or administrator.  They may only be used on school property before and after the school day.
 
We continue to observe that cell phones and electronic equipment are a distraction to our students during the school day.  We want our students to be present throughout the school day so that they can meaningfully engage with their peers, teachers, and the important content that is being shared with them.  Following a year of online learning, we want to more strongly emphasize the importance of face-to-face conversations and socialization to build meaningful relationships now that we can be fully in person again.  
 
With our one-to-one Chromebook devices, students have the necessary technology to access learning in their classes.  Additionally, if a student needs to contact home during the school day, they can request to use the phone in the school’s office.  If it is necessary for a parent to reach their child during the school day, they should contact the school office to get a message to their child.
 
If a student must have a cell phone for safety reasons or to communicate with their families before or after school, it must be kept off and stored away through the entirety of the school day.  The school is not responsible for cell phone loss.  If a student is seen using a cell phone during school hours, schools will be implementing the following progressive discipline:

  •  First Step: Student receives a warning.
  • Second Step: Phone is turned into an administrator and held until the end of the school day. 
  • Third Step: For repeated violations of this policy, the school may impose discipline, including, but not limited to: detentions, suspensions (in-school & out of school), loss of privileges (such as participation in extracurricular programs or athletics), confiscation of the phone up to and until the end of the academic year. 

We ask that you review these expectations with your child as I have asked our elementary and middle schools to strongly reinforce this policy when we return from winter break on Monday, January 3rd.  We appreciate your support as we ensure that we maximize our focus on providing our students with a first-rate educational experience.    
 
Sincerely,

Stephen K. Zrike

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