Mount Elden Middle School
Cell phone policy and guidelines
Dear parents and guardians,
Last year, we experienced students being very attached to their personal electronics, to the point where it posed a safety concern at school. We witnessed phones being misused in spaces such as locker rooms and bathrooms where they invaded the privacy of others. We also had students so connected to their electronics that they were unable to hear adults warning them of a safety issue, giving them redirection, or providing praise. We saw a high number of students visiting the counseling office due to anxiety and fear of pictures or videos being taken of them and posted on social media. In our efforts to address these concerns, we reviewed the FUSD cell phone policy and gathered information from staff, parents, and students to assist us in designing guidelines that support the policy and focus on our student’s wellbeing and education.
Mount Elden Middle School is committed to the academic environment where students are engaged in their learning, actively participating, and building academic endurance. We respect the privacy of others and treat each other kindly. We provide all the necessary materials from pencil and paper to an iPad. Students will not need a cell phone, headphones, or air pods to access their education at Mount Elden Middle School. We will be implementing the following guidelines to support the FUSD cell phone policy.
- Electronics include cell phones, headphones, air pods, smart watches, etc.
- All electronics will be turned off or placed on silence and always out of sight (put away) from the time a student enters our campus until they leave our campus.
- We suggest all electronics be stored in the student’s backpack or locker.
- Electronics will not be used in classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms, or at lunchtime in the cafeteria/outside spaces.
- Students may use electronics with teacher or staff permission only.
- When given the permission to use an electronic device that has recording capabilities, we will be respectful of others’ privacy and ensure we are not recording or posting other people to social media without permission.
What happens if my electronics are visible?
- You will be reminded to please turn off or silence your electronics and put them out of sight.
- If a staff member asks for your electronic item, students will give the device to the staff member, your name will be put on the item, and it will be put in “Electronic Daycare” in the front office for the remainder of the day.
- You will be able to pick up your electronic item at the front office at the end of the day.
- After the fifth time, the student will be invited to participate in a problem-solving circle during T-Bird time where they will identify barriers and develop solutions for the student to be successful with electronics at school.
We believe all students can reach their potential when fully engaged in their learning with minimal distractions. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment where the students and adults are treated with respect and kindness. We have provided a copy of the FUSD electronic device policy to this notice, posted it on our website and have included it in our student handbooks. If you would like more information regarding the benefits and research around limited electronics use in schools, please visit awayfortheday.org.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the school administrators at MEMS. Thank you for your support and partnership in serving your students.
Tammy Nelson Donna Natseway Lawrence Watson.
Principal Assistant Principal Assistant Principal
USE OF PORTABLE ELECTRONIC
DEVICES IN SCHOOL
Students may possess and use portable electronic devices, including but not limited to cellular telephones, MP3 and similar music players, radios, Walkmans, CD players, tape recorders and players, scanners, wireless e-mail devices, cameras, etc., subject to limitations of this and other policies of the District under the following conditions and guidelines:
● Portable electronic devices shall not be turned on or used in any way during instructional time or when their use is otherwise prohibited by school personnel. Instructional time includes the entire period of a scheduled class, and other times when students are participating in any instructional activities (for example, during student assemblies, awards or other public ceremonies, etc.) If such portable electronic devices are used when prohibited by school personnel the device may be confiscated by school personnel. They may be obtained by the parent or guardian from a site administrator.
● Students are required to turn portable electronic devices over to school personnel when requested. Students who refuse to do so may be removed from class or other school activity, have committed insubordination and resisting authority and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from school.
● Portable electronic devices are allowed to be taken and used on school trips except that they may not be used during any instructional activity or at other times when school personnel prohibit their use. Coaches and sponsors are encouraged to set guidelines for their use.
● Use of cameras or the camera features on a cell phone or other portable electronic device in a restroom or a locker room or for any use constituting an invasion of any person's reasonable expectation of privacy is strictly prohibited.
● The site administrator may establish and school personnel may enforce additional guidelines appropriate to campus needs.
● Students violating this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from school.
● There is, in certain instances, educational value in utilizing portable electronic devices in class or during instructional activities when such devices aid in extending, enhancing, and/or reinforcing the students' learning process related to the instructional objectives of the class they are attending. Approval for students' use of such devices will be at the discretion of the classroom teacher and/or site administrator unless such device is mandated in the student's individualized education program (IEP) or the extreme nature of a bona fide emergency renders the securing of such permission impractical under the circumstances.
Adopted: February 12, 2008