New cell phone policy for Sarasota County students this school year

SCSD updated cell phone policy

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Sarasota County School District will have new rules this school year when it comes to cells phones in the classrooms.

School board members spent six months revising the previous cell phone policy, which was very broad, making it hard for teachers to enforce.

With the new policy, elementary school students can bring cell phones to school, but they must be put away and be out of sight the whole day. Middle school and high school students are only allowed to have their cell phones out in class when the teacher tells them that they need their cell phones for a class activity, like completing a SurveyMonkey. Middle and high school students are allowed to use their phones when they are out of the classroom, like in the hallway or the lunchroom.

If a teacher tells students to use their cell phone for learning purposes, they will provide those students without cell phones other devices to use.

When it comes to school safety with the new cell phone policy, if there is a big emergency at the school students will be able to contact their parents. However, for the day to day parents are reminded not to be texting their kid during class.

“Many parents are concerned with safety and security, the ability of getting in touch with their student and I understand that, but we need to be mindful. There are other ways of getting in touch with students. You can still call the office, still get into a classroom, still do all of the things that we have normally done before.We need to be mindful, we need to have parents not texting students during class time, because the student needs to spend their time on instruction,” Sarasota County School Board Chair, Jane Goodwin said.

Students of all ages are still required to have cell phones away during tests, this includes new technology like Apple Watches as well.

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