Communication Technology Policy
Inappropriate use of cell phones* and other forms of communication technology have become a significant disruption to the learning environment at Ballenas Secondary. Each day instructional time is lost due to cell phone use (e.g. talking, texting, games, etc). There is also the potential for a number of serious misuses of this technology such as unauthorized video recording, academic cheating, and arranging to meet with other students out of class. In order to reduce this disruption to the learning environment and to mitigate other potential misuses, the following policy has been developed. Staff, students and parents have been consulted and they have provided input to the development of this policy.
Students may use their cell phones ONLY during NON-instructional time (before school, during the 5 minute break between classes in the morning and in the afternoon, during lunch hour and after school) while in the school building, or on school property. This means that students are NOT permitted to use their cell phones during instructional time (i.e. teaching time), in classrooms, hallways, common areas washrooms, or school grounds. It is expected that during instructional time, cell phones will remain out of sight and turned-off so as not to create distractions.
Consequences of Unacceptable Use:
- If a student is found using his/her cell phone during instructional time anywhere in the building, or on the grounds, a staff member will direct the student to surrender the cell phone – the student will be expected to comply, or face consequences for defiance/non-compliance which may result in suspension
- All forfeited cell phones will be turned in to the office, and the student may retrieve the cell phone at the end of the school day
- After the third breach of the policy, a parent/guardian must meet with the administration to have the cell phone returned.
- Any further breaches of this policy will be dealt with as defiant/non-compliant behaviour under the terms of the school’s progressive discipline process
Staff Process For Handling Forfeited Cell Phones:
- Bring forfeited cell phone to the office
- Have students turn off their cell phone or remove the battery
- Place a sticky note on the cell phone with the students name on it
- Place cell phone in the grade vice principal’s letterbox
- Staff member to record student name on log book, documenting student name and date of the breach of policy
- The student may retrieve his/her cell phone after 3:05 pm from the office
- Upon the third forfeiture, administration will contact the student’s parent/guardian to arrange a meeting to discuss the student’s cell phone use and retrieve the cell phone
*For the sake of ease, the term cell phone will be used in this policy to refer to any piece of technology that allows to students to communicate electronically with their peers through voice, text or visual means.