Hilliard Darby Personal Device Statement

Starting in August 2022, students will not be permitted to have electronic devices (phones, smartwatches, headphones, etc.) out in the classroom unless there is a documented accommodation for a student. Students need an excuse to disconnect and we are that excuse. During instructional time, the focus should be on learning. The research and data directly align with the concerns that we have heard from staff, parents, and even students themselves when it comes to how these devices are impacting the education, mental health, and relationships of our students. We are deeply committed to positively impacting each of these things. We understand that personal devices are designed to be addictive and that developing these new habits will involve some initial discomfort and require sustained dedication.

These expectations will be communicated with students during the first week of school during our annual class meetings and handbook reviews and be reiterated throughout the school year.

What is a “personal device”?
Any portable electronic device including but not limited to, cellular and wireless phones, smartphones, smart watches, earbuds, headphones, and similar devices that are not school issued.

When are personal devices not permitted to be in use?
Students may not access personal devices during instructional time. This includes the entirety of the class periods (including restroom usage) and other academic-focused activities unless an official document accommodations state otherwise. Personal devices will not be permitted during lunch detention or in-school suspension.

When are personal devices permitted to be used?
Students may access personal devices between classes, before and after school, during lunch, and during field trips (according to that particular trip’s guidelines).

Where should students keep devices during the school day?
Students who bring a personal device to school should leave their device enclosed in their locker or backpack. We recommend turning phones off, utilizing the “do not disturb,” function, or airplane mode setting during instructional times.

What happens if a student has a personal device during a time that is not approved?
If a student has their device during a time that is not permitted, a staff member will remind the student of the habit, reinforce the habit, and establish an appropriate resolution within the immediate educational environment. The school handbook states that any electronic device will be subject to confiscation should it create a disruption to the academic environment. Students refusing a reasonable request from a staff member pertaining to electronic devices may be subject to disciplinary action. Staff will be the final judge of the appropriateness of their use.

How can parents and guardians help support their students in this area?

  1. Please support our efforts by not expecting your student to access their phone during the day. If there is an emergency, you can contact them through the school office at (614) 921-7300. All school phones are staffed from 7:00 am-3:30 pm. We will be happy to get important messages to your students or provide them with a space in the office to talk to you in emergency situations.

  3. Consider using parental controls to only allow the most essential apps for communication or instruction during the school day. There is no school-based need for a smartphone, all necessary educational devices are provided for students by the district.

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Matt Middleton

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