New cell phone, device policy in Charlottesville schools
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Students in Charlottesville will be heading back to class next week, but before they do, the school division wants to make sure everyone knows about some policy changes.
These changes concern student cell phones at Charlottesville High School, Buford Middle School and Lugo-McGinness Academy.
According to a post on the Charlottesville City Schools ParentSquare, a new policy aims to keep phones and personal devices put away throughout the school day.
The division says this policy has been instituted because cell phones and other devices can be a distraction from learning and harmful to mental well-being.
Under the policy, phones and personal devices need to be off and put away all day and access to school wifi will be limited to school-approved devices.
Later this fall, students at CHS, LMA and Buford will be able to start using special magnetic pouches to store their devices. These Yondr pouches will snap closed and be unlocked at the end of the day.
If a parent or guardian needs to get a message to a student, they should contact the school’s office. If a student uses their phone for a medical reason, then parents should set up a meeting with school administrators to discuss options.
The first time a student violates this policy, school administration will ask to be given the phone and the student will be able to pick it up at the end of the school day.
For a second violation, the parent or guardian will need to pick up the phone or device at the end of the day.
When an administrator asks the student to hand over their phone, reluctant students have the choice of either giving the administrator the device or having their family called.
In the latter case, the family then can either encourage the student to hand over their phone or come pick their student up.
If a phone is used in an “inappropriate” manner, such as bullying or filming a fight, there may be significant consequences, such as the student not being allowed to have a phone on school grounds for the rest of the academic year.
In order to help families with this new policy, CCS is holding some meetings about it.
On Wednesday, there will be a meeting at Kindlewood on Garrett Street beginning at 6 p.m.
Another will take place Thursday at Hearthwood on Michie Drive beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The final meeting will be held virtually on Sunday at 6 p.m. To register for that meeting, click here.
For more information on the policy, click here.
Charlottesville schools begin the academic year on Aug. 23.