Dear Parents and Guardians:
Re: Cell phone and personal electronic device use in HPS
Huntsville Public School fully supports the use of personal electronic devices as learning tools and certainly as emergency communication tools as well. Students often use their devices for research and school work, especially when we don’t sufficient computers in a classroom for every student to have one of his or her own. The school board has policies outlining acceptable use and also inviting students to bring devices to school, policies that we as a school uphold as well.
We have found in some instances that inappropriate use of devices has become problematic and so HPS staff has developed some localized strategies for dealing with improper use. But these are not intended to discourage or limit the use of electronics as learning tools or as communication tools for valid reasons.
We want to be clear as well that the strategies will evolve over time as we see how electronics use changes. It is our responsibility to help students learn the proper and respectful manner in which to use electronics in a professional setting such as a school, and we take that responsibility seriously.
What follows is a starting point. We will ensure that we revisit the strategies on an ongoing basis to be sure we are being current and progressive. We also understand that special circumstances may be necessary for some students and we welcome the opportunity to speak with parents about those.
Please call the school if you have any questions or concerns.
- Personal electronic use within classrooms during class time will be under the classroom teacher’s supervision, as we understand that devices are often used/needed for class work.
- Students are being asked to keep devices away in bags or pockets, except as stated above in Number 1. In some cases, the teacher may ask for devices to be stored in safe location in the classroom.
- Any use of personal electronics outside of the classroom, even students working in the hallways, is not permitted. This includes stairwells, hallways, playground, washrooms and change rooms. Students leaving school property may take and use their phones as they are off property and when they return to the school, phones must be away as described above in pockets or collected by the classroom teacher according to the classroom rules.
- During eating time, there is to be no use of personal electronics. We are making eating time electronics-free to encourage social interaction, reading and quiet activities, if students have finished eating.
- Consequences for disregard of the above could include:
- A warning.
- Confiscation of the device by the classroom teacher for continued violations.
- After more than one confiscation, the classroom teacher would turn the device over to the office where parents would be contacted to pick up the device.
- Parents are reminded to contact students through the office during school hours and NOT via personal electronics whenever possible.
We thank you for your attention to and support of these rules.
If you have questions about classroom rules, please contact your child’s teacher. If you wish to discuss the policy, you are more than welcome to contact administration in the school office.
Ross Jewiss, Principal