Announcement Made re. Portable Devices on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 10:25 a.m.
Good morning students,
It has come to our attention that some students are using portable devices to take pictures and videos in classrooms and school property and then posting these images to social media. This is totally unacceptable. The District is very clear what the expectations are regarding Social Media. The Social Media Policy clearly states in policy directive #5 that “School Grounds are not public venues.” Policy directive #3 states that “Inappropriate use of social media tools by students that impacts adversely on the school environment in general may be subject to further action being taken by the NLESD. Such use may result in disciplinary measures up to and including suspension or expulsion.
Our school policies are in direct alignment with District policies and expectations. For those of you who are unsure of these District Policies, I’ve posted some links on our school web page so that you can be fully informed and not get yourself into any trouble.
As a further reminder, cell phones can only be used in class with the express permission of the teacher. Our school policy clearly states that any student who uses a phone during instructional time without the teacher’s permission will be sent to the office where he or she will have to relinquish his or her device to the office administration. The office administration will then place the device in our safe for the remainder of the day.
We will not entertain any arguments. Failure to pass over your device may result in an immediate suspension and further disciplinary actions.
I’d like to point out that our Electronics Policy has been in existence for well over ten years. For example in the 2006-2007 Student Handbook it states:
Just a reminder to our students that many electronic devices are not permitted in the classroom as they are causing disruption to the teaching-learning environment. Students are not permitted to bring cell phones, MP3 players, Discmans, etc. into any classrooms. All such devices should be kept either in your locker or in your book bag out of sight and certainly not carried or worn on your person. Many phones have the ability to take pictures surreptitiously and with just a few keystrokes and clicks of a mouse these pictures can be posted to websites causing some students unnecessary embarrassment. Text messaging is also becoming a problem. For the past year, we have been asking students not to bring these devices into classrooms but unfortunately, just asking is not having the desired effect. I contacted several schools in the Eastern School District and each school echoed similar concerns. We have adopted a policy from another school which seems to meet our needs and respects the importance of the teaching-learning environment. I have shared this policy with our School Council at our January 26th meeting and they whole-heartedly support the consequences which are outlined below:
Here are our consequences:
1. First Infraction – item and student sent to office where item is kept for remainder of the day by the VP. If a student refuses to hand over the device, the parent will be called and the student sent home.
2. Second Infraction – item is confiscated until next regular break, e.g. Easter, unless parent comes to school to retrieve the item in question. Student is then not permitted to bring the item to school for the remainder of the year.
Our present policy is fairly consistent with our past policies except that now we are experiencing far more disruptions in our classrooms and students seem to be addicted to their devices and are not exercising good judgement when it comes to appropriate usage.
At one of our fellow high schools in St. John’s, if a student is even seen with a cell phone during instructional time, that student is automatically suspended. We are hoping not to have to go there and so I am asking for your full cooperation as we finish out this school year. Your academic achievement is our primary concern and we wish to see each of you achieve to your fullest potential.
So again, just as a reminder, I’ve put a post on our school web page reminding students of appropriate portable device usage. The bottom line is that you cannot use a portable device in class unless you have your teacher’s permission. “Using” also means checking your phone for the time, messages, music, videos, social media, games, etc.
I hope that you’re now clear on our classroom expectations which are also posted in every classroom on our Positive Behaviour Supports (PBS) posters under the heading of Digital Enviroment Expectations.
I ask teachers to be vigilant and consistent with the application of this policy and I ask students to be respectful and cooperative.
Thank you and have a great day.
Link to present policy for Portable Devices 2016-2017QERHSPortableDevicePolicyRevised