The Waterford Schools Board of Education has approved revisions to the district’s policy and Student Code of Conduct to allow more use of cellular phones and electronic communications devices (ECDs) for students at Waterford Kettering and Mott high schools.
The new policy will take effect in the 2012-13 school year and applies to Kettering and Mott students only.
“This will allow students to access and use cell phones during non-instructional times, as well as in class under teacher-directed instructional time,” said Secondary Education Supervisor Josh Wenning.
The original policy in the Student Code of Conduct allowed cell phones and ECDs on school grounds and at after-school activities and school-related functions, provided that they were turned off during school hours and while riding on a school vehicle.
“Our old policy was outdated,” Wenning said. “Today cell phones have calculators, calendars, organizers and Google. We figured that instead of burying our heads in the sand and pretending cell phones don’t exist, let’s show students the proper way to use them.”
He added that this new policy doesn’t give students license to talk on phones or text during classes, but rather to recognize that cell phones can be used as a teaching tool by the faculty.
“If you go to polleverywhere.com, for example, a teacher can create a mini-quiz in class and students can text an answer,” Wenning said.
According to Wenning, the district piloted the proposed cell phone policy in the second semester of the 2011-12 school year that just concluded.
“We saw a decline in negative interactions between students and staff over cell phones,” he said. “We also saw an increased use of cell phones in class by teachers for educational purposes.”
The revisions were adopted at the board’s Thursday, June 21 meeting.