New Phone Policy to Reduce Distractions

Student+cell+phones+in+their+pouches+in+an+AP+Physics+classroom.+Students+place+their+phones+in+the+pockets+at+the+start+of+class+to+reduce+distractions.

Photo by Tomas Saldarriaga

Student cell phones in their pouches in an AP Physics classroom. Students place their phones in the pockets at the start of class to reduce distractions.

Tomas Saldarriaga , Discoverer Staff Writer

A new cell phone policy was implemented at the beginning of the year by the high school administration to improve student discipline and concentration in class.

Phone pouches were included in every high school classroom for students to store their phones during class time. The purpose is to reduce distractions for students during class activities.

“The phone is like destruction. It is a distraction, and it was built to distract people. I think this year was much more aligned. What we asked teachers is that students turn off their phones and put them on airplane mode,” HS Vice Principal Paul Navarra said.

Students have their names on the pockets so the teacher can know if all the phones are in the correct place, when attendance is called every student should have their phones in the correct pocket.

“I love that the names are up there because I feel that helps me knowing who put their phones and who didn’t, also I always say that if your phone is not up there I can mark people tardy,” Calculus Teacher Agata Prymicz said.

Some classes have different policies regarding the use of cell phones. In some classes, cell phones have to be in the pockets for the first ten minutes, then students can use them as a resource for learning.

 “Whenever we need the cell phones for a class activity, then they know that the rule still exists, but there’s just an exception at that specific moment, personally this is a lot better because I can introduce the topic of the class and then get to work,” Business Technology and ISC Teacher Camilo Hoyos said.

The phone policy has been upgraded from last year with more rigorous rules and norms. Students and teachers are starting to apply the policy correctly.

What we asked teachers is that students turn off their phones and put them on airplane mode, So I think we’ve had a lot more consistency and alignment across all the classrooms,” Navarra, said.

If a student violates the policy, the teacher can confiscate the phone. If it happens a second time, then a meeting with the student’s parents is scheduled.

This is a great way to make students conscious by giving them warnings on what can happen if phones are used incorrectly,” Navarra said. 

Research has shown that this new policy has helped students in their concentration and correct use of time. Grades have improved notably, and teaching is now more fluent.

“Right now because it isn’t available to us in our hands, it has helped with our concentration. Previously I had text messages, Instagram chats, and phone calls I would take but now, I don’t have the possibility of doing this,” Joaquin Jaramillo, Grade 10, said.