Cell Phone Policy Could be Revised for Montville Schools
Principals would be able to decide whether students could use cell phones and when.
Students may soon be permitted to use their cell phones during the day in a limited capacity at school according to a revision the board of education is considering to a Montville Township school district policy.
Board Member Jon Alin spoke briefly about the revision before the policy's introduction by first reading at the Sept. 24 meeting. Alin said a committee is being formed with students and teachers to evaluate the use of cellular phones in the schools. The existing policy does not permit cell phone possession or use at school at all on the elementary level, but does permit cell phone possession and use before and after school on the middle and high school levels.
With the revisions, school administrators would be able to determine when exactly cell phones could be used.
"It leaves it in the school principal's discretion," Alin said.
The current policy relating to the high school allows a little more flexibility for where students can use their cell phones after school, including usage inside the building after school. At the Lazar Middle School, students can only use their cell phones outside the building before and after school. Cell phones are not allowed to be used on school buses districtwide.
Montville Township High School Principal Doug Sanford said the high school's handbook explains the policy further and states "cell phones are not permitted, for any reason, during the school day." But Alin said the principals may consider allowing cell phone usage in the beginning portion of the lunch period once the policy revisions are enacted.
Sanford said the high school teachers and administrators keep an eye on students with their cell phones and have found students to be observing the policy.
"Our teachers monitor cell phone usage throughout the school day, particularly within their own classrooms. Students are very respectful of teachers’ and administrators’ expectations," he said. "In the rare instance when a student inappropriately uses his or her cell phone, a short conversation typically remedies the situation."
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