The District's Code of Conduct will be amended to enable 7th through 12th graders to use cell phones for instructional and non-instructional purposes during school beginning in the fall. Churchville-Chili High School Principal Bill Geraci believes it was the right move.
"We acknowledged that the culture has changed and the way people communicate with each other has changed," he said.
Although every student may not have a cell phone, and some may feel pressure to get one, Geraci said alternatives like notebooks and iPads will be available to them.
"What I'm fond of saying is that the more tools that a teacher has in their toolbox the greater chances of kids really learning are," he said.
In a District survey of parents of students in 5th through 12th grades, 67% cavorts allowing cell phones for non-instructional purposes but only 33% thought they should be used in the classroom. Rene Turton had three daughters who will be impacted by the policy change.
"I personally don't think it's a good idea," she said. "I feel that a cell phone has a place and purpose."
Turton feels computers are best suited for the classroom. Her eldest daughter wonders about policing the new policy. "It's kind of too tough to just say oh, you're doing google only, okay good," said Alexa, an incoming senior.
Geraci expects some students will try to take advantage of the new policy, but he also expressed 100% confidence that his teachers have the ability to manage their classrooms.
"As long as we communicate well how we're going to do this, it will be a productive endeavor and not lead to disruptions that some people are concerned about," he said.
After surveying parents of 5th and 6th graders, the School Board decided to hold off on allowing cell phone use in those grades, but will likely revisit the possibility in January.