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Board of Education to vote on new K-8 cell phone rule

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on February 12, 2020

The Bethlehem Central Board of Education is considering a new policy that, if approved later this month, would limit distractions in the classroom by requiring students in kindergarten through grade 8 to keep all personal mobile devices out of sight during the school day. The proposed policy defines mobile devices as any cell phone, smartwatch, or other personal telecommunications device. Under the new rule, the student devices would need to be kept in a locker or backpack and could not be used between classes or during lunch or recess.

“Our elementary schools and many teachers at the middle school already have no-device rules in place,” said Superintendent Monroe. “This proposed policy would formalize the practice across the early and middle grades, and add smartwatches to the devices that are not allowed to be out during the school day.”

The proposed cell phone policy would not impact students in grades 9-12. Currently, each teacher at the high school keeps a cell phone sleeve at the front of their classroom in which students are encouraged to place their phones during class.

The new proposed K-8 cell phone policy can be found here.

The Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the new policy at its February 5 meeting. The Board is expected to make a final vote on the policy at its February 26 meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.