Upon arriving at Sinaloa and reading through our Student Handbook, I was a little surprised by our policy around cell phone use at school. The cell phone policy as it appears on p.15 in the Student Handbook states in part:
Cell phones should remain off and are never to be used during school hours (8:05-2:32) unless under the direct supervision of a staff member.
Upon reading this part of the policy I had a few thoughts:
An initial concern I had was that in stating that cell phones can be used up to 8:05 am and then after 2:32 pm, the policy would make it permissible for students to use phones while on campus, and potentially while in class without staff supervision or permission.
It has been my experience that when cell phones are used on campus without staff supervision, student safety becomes a concern. Not only are students less cognizant of what is going on around them while using cell phones, they can also be easily tempted to use their phone non-productively/negatively (think video games or negative interactions through social media).
The final thought that I had, and possibly the most important thought, is that it has been my experience that when students are “unplugged” from their cell phones/technology, there is a trend toward positive interpersonal social interactions.
After sharing these thoughts with staff, I found that the original intent of the policy was to ensure that students were not using cell phones while at school. I agreed with the intent of the policy, and thought it behooved us to amend the policy to better reflect our intent, i.e. that cell phones should be off while students are on campus. Thus, moving forward, the new Cell Phone Policy wording (and this wording will be reflected in the 2016 – 17 Student Handbook) and our current expectation at school is:
Cell phones should be turned off and are not to be used while on campus unless under the direct supervision of a staff member.
As is stated later in Sinaloa’s Cell Phone Policy, if a cell phone is being used at an inappropriate time or place, staff may confiscate the phone from the student (to be returned at the end of the day or to the student’s parent).
Please note that the new wording around this policy has been clearly communicated to the Sinaloa student body through the daily announcements since the beginning of the school year. If you have any questions about this policy change, or anything happening at Sinaloa, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or at 415-897-2111.