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Proposed policy to ban cell phones in classes across West Ada Schools

What the proposed phone system will look like
Posted at 7:58 AM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 09:58:18-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — West Ada School District is proposing a new policy that would ban cell phones in classrooms across the district. The policy is having its second reading at Monday night's board meeting.

  • Cell phones are a proven distraction in classrooms.
  • West Ada Schools are proposing a policy that would ban cell phone use in classrooms.
  • The proposed plan is a copy of the system Owyhee High School has used for the last two years.
  • The vault is a compartment on the wall where students drop their phones off in their assigned numbers at the beginning of class.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

West Ada schools are proposing a new cell phone policy across the district banning phones in classrooms. I'm your North Meridian neighborhood reporter Alexander Huddleston. The new policy is based on Owyhee High School's phone rule where students will put their phones in what is called the vault.

"We are seeing drastic changes in mental health. So if we are really doing what's best for kids, we are taking those phones away for a little bit," said Owyhee High School Principal Cliff Rice.

West Ada Schools has been working on a proposed policy to ban phones in classrooms across the entire district.

I went out to Owyhee High School to speak with parents about this proposed policy. Many parents did not want to comment on camera, but some parents said they were concerned that in the case of an emergency, they would not be able to reach their students.

One parent, Susan Schek said, "I think it is important since my kids are teenagers, that they do have their phones available but I don't like them using them during class time."

Schek explained to me that the school already has a system in place where kids put their in what is called the vault.

"Students when they come into class, the first thing that they do is go over to the phone vault. It's a calculator holder, 36-38 spots for calculators. That's typically what they are used for. We transitioned those into cellphone holders," explained Rice.

This system is what West Ada Schools plan on using across the district.

According to the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, “the constant stream of notifications and updates can create a sense of urgency and a fear of missing out, leading to increased anxiety and stress.” This creates quite a distraction when trying to take notes in class.

Rice went on to explain, "Harvard released a study of students who are allowed to have their cellphones in class versus those classrooms that don't have those electronic devices. There's literally an entire grade level difference between those two environments."

The new cellphone policy will be up for a second reading at Monday night's school board meeting.