Communications Devices

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For purposes of this policy, electronic communication devices are defined as any telecommunications device (including cellular telephones, camera phones, pagers, etc.) that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, a picture or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor.

To reflect changes in state law, the district will allow the possession of operating electronic communication devices by middle and high school students under the following limited circumstances.

Operating (i.e., turned "on") electronic communication devices are not allowed in school buildings or on school campuses beginning at 7:30 a.m. on an academic school day without the permission of the school principal or her/his designee. Operating (i.e., turned "on") electronic communication devices are allowed during classroom instruction, subject to permission from both the principal and classroom teacher. Use of these devices is for academic purposes only. When not permitted, electronic communication devices are to be turned "off" and stored, out of sight, in pockets, bags, backpacks, etc. District personnel will direct students in the appropriate use of personal electronic communication devices, which at times may be encouraged, and at other times may require that the devices are to be turned off and put away for certain activities. Personal devices will not be allowed to disrupt the school environment and may be collected by the teacher or other district personnel as outlined below. Personal devices that negatively impact the district computing environment or network may be shut down or blocked to prevent disruption of service to others. Students who wish to use a personal electronic communication device/cell phone must have a signed User Agreement and Parent/Legal Guardian Permission Form on file. This file must be updated annually.

Operating (i.e., turned "on") electronic communication devices are not allowed en route to and from school on school buses. While on a school bus, a student’s electronic communication device is to be turned "off" and stored, out of sight, in pockets, bags, backpacks, etc.

Operating (i.e., turned "on") electronic communication devices are allowed on school campuses or in school buildings prior to 7:30 a.m. on an academic school day and in school buildings and on the school campus after the academic school day has ended (3:10 p.m. for middle school and 3:15 p.m. for high school unless the day is extended due to school bus schedules) and days when schools are not in session.

Elementary school students are not allowed to have electronic communication devices in their possession while in school buildings or on school property without the written permission of the school principal or her/his designee.

The school principal or his/her designee will have the authority to limit the use and/or confiscate electronic communication devices if the use or possession of these devices may cause or is causing a disruption to the school and/or event.

A student who is in violation of this policy is subject to the following penalties.

  • First offense* - confiscation of the device; and, after a conference with the parent/legal guardian, the device will be returned to the adult.
  • Second offense* - confiscation of the device; and, after a conference with the parent/legal guardian, the device will be returned to the adult after 14 calendar days.
  • Third offense* - confiscation of the device; and, after a conference with the parent/legal guardian, the device will be returned after 60 calendar days.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses* - confiscation of the device and the device will be returned at the conclusion of the current academic year.

The principal or her/his designee may assign additional disciplinary consequences if the principal or his/her designee determines that the circumstances of a particular incident warrant such an action.

*Note: In an elementary school, the principal may reduce the consequence(s) if extenuating circumstances exist.

As a point of clarification, it should be noted that the above-specified penalties are limited to the current school year.

School personnel and/or the school district are not responsible for the loss or damage of any electronic communication device brought onto school property. In addition, the district will not be responsible for the condition of any confiscated device upon its return to the owner.

The district will make an exception to this policy when a student needs the electronic communication device for a legitimate, documented medical reason. However, before a student may possess a "turned on" electronic communication device during the school day and/or when the school building is accessible to students, the principal must have a written statement, signed by a medical doctor, which includes a certification that the student has a medical condition which necessitates the possession of a electronic communication device at school.

A student who is 18 years old and is a member of a volunteer firefighting organization or emergency service organization may be authorized to carry a "turned on" electronic communication device with special permission from the school principal. If permission is granted for this purpose, the student must file with the principal a letter of special request from the volunteer organization of which he/she is a member and special arrangements must be made with the principal to ensure that his/her release from school when called for an emergency will not disrupt classes or conflict with the school’s policies for student release from school.

Appeals

If a school official confiscates a electronic communication device/cell phone from a student in accordance with the parameters contained in this policy, then there is no ground to appeal the school’s decision beyond the school principal, and the consequence established in this policy will be administered.

If the parent/legal guardian of the student who has the electronic communication device/cell phone confiscated at the school level believes that the parameters established in this policy were not followed, then the parent/legal guardian may appeal the school principal’s decision to the superintendent or his/her designee within three school days of the incident. This appeal must be in writing and it must specifically state what part(s) of this policy was not followed. The superintendent or his/her designee will then respond to the appeal in writing within three school days of the receipt of the appeal unless extenuating circumstances exist.

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Violations of this policy will result in confiscation of the device and all its components. Students are not allowed to remove the battery, SIM card, or any other part of the device before giving the device to the school official.

On August 1 of each year, the district will dispose of all devices that were confiscated during the previous year and remain in its possession. The district will dispose of the unclaimed device through a certified electronics disposal company.

Parents are asked to sign a form stating that they have read and understand the district’s cell phone policy.