WATERTOWN, NY — Watertown High School plans to introduce a new set of cell phone rules for the 2018-19 school year. By limiting the amount of time students spend looking at their phones, school officials hope to limit the amount of time students spend in the office.
“We acknowledge the invaluable role technology plays in our lives,” said Principal Leslie Atkinson. “But the pervasive presence of social media is on our school, and its unsettling effect on our kids, have brought us to this decision.”
The WHS School Improvement Team, a group of faculty, staff, parents and student representatives, has been reviewing the high school’s current cell phone protocol for the past several months. Specifically, they have examined the number of student discipline referrals related to misuse of phones. They have also considered the disruption caused by the student access to social media platforms.
Beginning this fall, students will be required to silence their phones upon entering the building. Through the day, cell phone use will not be permitted, except when authorized by a teacher for instructional purposes, and during a student’s lunch period. Cell phones are expected to be off and away at all other times.
WHS plans to distribute a detailed copy of its new cell phone protocol to all students and parents on the first day of school. Parents will be expected to sign the document before returning it to the high school’s main office.