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HPMS Cell Phone Policy

Dear HP Parents and Students,

At Highland Park, we strive to support student learning by having them fully engaged in our classrooms. Reducing distractions helps ensure our students are better able to focus on the teaching and maximize learning opportunities.

In order to have our students fully engage in class, we have a no cell phone policy at HP.  The  HPMS Student and Family Handbook states:

“Cell phones and other electronic devices need to be “off and away” from the time you enter the building until the bell rings at 3:50”

This year however, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of phone use by students in their classes and halls.  We have also seen more social anxiety and social drama that is tied directly to messaging and texting during the school day.

In order to help our students be more engaged in class and remove the social distractions, we will be collecting student phones that are not “Off and Away”. This will look like:
 

  • All cell phones seen by a staff member will be collected and turned into the office.
  • On the first offense, students may pick them up at day’s end.
  • On the second offense, students may pick them up with parent notification.
  • On the third offense and beyond, we will ask parents to pick up the phone.
  • Further offenses escalate the level of monitoring.


Students will be allowed to use their phones during lunches. All other times they should be off and away while on campus.

All students are expected to keep their phones at home, or secured in their backpacks while at school in order to avoid this from happening.  This will help support students arriving to class on time, staying engaged in class, and reducing social anxiety.

This week,, we discussed this with students during their science classes.  During that time, we will showed the video below which illustrates the negative impact on learning having cell phones can have. I highly recommend you spend two minutes viewing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3jQbyiov-k

If you are interested in learning more about the impact of cell phones on developing minds, I have included some articles below:

Link to Brain Performance Center
NYT article
National Geographic Article
Scientific American Article
Psych Central Article

You can help at home by encouraging students to leave their phones (AirPods, Applewatches, etc.) in their backpacks, and also ensuring that students have charged Chromebooks ready for school every day.

Finally, you can help as well by monitoring your student’s cell phone use. It is important that we are aware of this so we can help them balance their time. Below are some resources to help parents monitor students’ cell phone usage:
 
https://www.consumerreports.org/smartphones/how-to-use-parental-controls-on-a-smartphone/

Thank you for your continued support.