Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,
Cell phones have become a way of life for most of us, and are extremely valuable tools in many contexts. Within the school environment, however, cell phones become a significant distraction, as well as a detriment to students’ mental, social, and academic health. We are asking for your partnership to support your student’s learning and well-being as we implement a new cell phone policy.
· Motivation and focus are not possible without dopamine. Interactive screens like smartphones deplete dopamine reserves in the brain. When students use smartphones consistently during the school day, their ability to stay motivated is harmed. They also exhibit increased distracted and disruptive behaviors.
· A 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study indicates that children who spent more than two hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests, and some children with more than seven hours a day of screen time experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex, the area of the brain related to critical thinking and reasoning.
· Teens who spend over 5 hours a day on their phones are 71% more likely to experience suicide risk than those who don’t. Dopamine deficits contribute to feelings of sadness & depression.
· More than half of American parents surveyed worry that their children are addicted to screens.
· Recent studies demonstrate that, in the course of a year, cell phone use by students takes away the equivalent of a full week of instructional time.
· Cell phones are easily used for bullying and harassment.
· Students who use cell phones excessively engage with their peers less often, limiting social health.
To support our students’ mental, social, and academic health, we are implementing the following policy beginning on September 5, 2023.
1. Students may not use cell phones, iPads, or other personal electronic devices during class time for any reason. Use in the hallway or restroom during class time is also prohibited.
1. Listening to soft music should be done as a whole class on teacher speakers.
2. Research and other academic work should be conducted on school-provided devices.
3. Parents/guardians may call the school to reach their children in case of an urgent need.
4. Students may ask for a pass to the office if they urgently need to contact home.
2. Cell phones must be turned off and secured in either the student’s locker or in their backpacks (they may not be kept in pockets or on desks).
3. Students may use their phone before school, during passing periods, during breaks, and after school.
If a student is found to be using a cell phone during class hours, the phone will be confiscated, placed in a labeled envelope, and delivered to the office.
The consequences for prohibited use will be as follows:
1st Offense: The cell phone will be held in the office and can be picked up by the student at the end of the day
2nd Offense: The cell phone will be held in the office until a parent can pick it up.
3rd Offense: The cell phone will be held in the office until a parent or guardian can pick up the phone. The student will lose the privilege of having a cell phone during the school day for the rest of the semester. If a parent/guardian would like to send the student to school with a cell phone, it will need to be turned in to the office every day.
Thank you for your support in helping us improve the school environment for our students. Please call (541) 268-4312 if you have any questions.
Sue Wilson, Kay Graham, Joy O’Renick, and Brenda Moyer