Cell Phones

Cell Phone Use at School

Cell Phone GraphicWe have a number of Junior and Intermediate students who bring their cell phones to school, primarily so that they can communicate with their families and let them know that they’ve arrived safely at school or home. While we appreciate the need for students to connect with their families, we have set some parameters to cell phone and personal device use to ensure that they are being used at appropriate times or in appropriate ways. The following is a brief review of our rules for cell phone use based in part on the Provincial Government's Regulation of Personal Device Use: 

  • Cell phones are not to be out during class time unless a teacher has given permission:
    • Explanation: Cell phones can be great learning tools, but they can also be major distractions. We have had cases where students are texting with friends, taking inappropriate pictures or videos, or playing games. This causes a major distraction, both for the student who owns the phone and for others. This rule is in place to minimize distractions and have a safe learning environment
    • The use of personal mobile devices is permitted during instructional time under the following circumstances
      • For educational purposes, as directed by the educator in the classroom,
      • For health and medical purposes,
      • To support special educational needs (e.g. SEA Claims).
    • You can read more about cell phone use in the Minstry's Policy/Program Memorandum 128
  • Cell phones are not to be taken to the bathroom
    • Explanation: Bathrooms need to be places where students feel safe, and where they feel like their privacy is respected. We have had students take videos and photos in the bathroom, and even in cases where the videos are innocent there is the danger that someone is incidentally photographed. We also have students who are asking to go to the bathroom not because they need to, but because they wish to use their phones for texting, games, etc. Students who have phones are expected to keep them in their bags, leave them with their teachers, or ask the office to hold on to it while they go to the bathroom. This rule is in place to protect student’s emotional safety in the bathrooms, and to minimize time spent out of class.
  • Students who break these rules may be asked to store their cell-phones in the office
    • Explanation: We understand that students may need their cellphones before school, after school and at lunch. Students who are in this position but are unable to use their phones in a manner appropriate for school will be asked to check their phone into the office in the morning and pick it up at times when they need it. This consequence is in place to balance the safety concerns of parents and guardians who wish their children to have phones for transit to and from school, with the need to have a safe learning environment in the building.
  • Students are expected to follow our Online Code of Conduct and the Bowmore School Code of Conduct. In particular, students are expected to be kind in words and actions towards others.
    • Explanation: Cyber-bullying is a very real phenomenon, and cyber-meanness is just as big an issue. Online activities can have a major impact on the students, their classes, and on school climate. Students will be held responsible for any online activity that negatively impacts school climate, even if that activity occurred outside of school hours.

What we need from families: Please review and reinforce these expectations with your children. It is important that we work together as we guide students through how to use technology in a productive, appropriate and respectful way.