Ponca City schools implement new student cell phone policy

Ponca City Now - August 8, 2019 12:46 pm

Beginning with the 2019-20 School Year, Ponca City Public Schools will implement a policy on student use of cell phones at school.

This action was taken to alleviate distractions from the learning environment and combat the many cell phone issues students encounter.

“We must make this decision in order to ensure our students’ safety, emotional health, and to limit exposure to inappropriate content,” Superintendent Shelley Arrott said. “Our job is to focus on academic instruction and to meet the emotional and social needs of our students. The constant distraction of students checking and responding to their status, social media accounts, text messages, and other electronic related media outlets impedes the learning process immensely. PCPS students have access to Chromebooks for instruction, so phones are not needed in the classroom.”

In the event of an emergency, the District will utilize mobile app alerts and emails, which will likely provide more expedient and accurate information than third party reports. Additionally, each teacher will have access to their own cell phone to communicate with the office or the police in the event of an emergency.

If a student needs to call home, or a parent/guardian needs to contact their child, all site staff will work with families to make sure the communication occurs.

East and West Middle School students will be required to turn their cell phones off and leave them out of sight, in their student lockers or backpacks upon arrival and until departure from the schools. Middle school students will not be allowed to use cell phones on campus at any time.

Ponca City High School students will only be allowed to use cell phones before school, during passing periods, at lunch, and after school. Cell phones must be turned off and put away upon entering classes and must remain off and stowed until the bell rings to signal the end of each class period.

Most elementary students do not carry cell phones, but those who do will follow the same guidelines as East and West Middle School students. Their phone will be turned off and stored during the school day.

Violations will result in administrative confiscation of the device, and it will only be released to a parent or guardian. Multiple violations may result in banning the student’s device from the premises or other consequences, such as after school detention.


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