Cellphone usage allowed in District 2 high schools

  • Friday, June 13, 2014

Cellphone usage in Dorchester District Two high schools is now permitted during specific times throughout the day.

Principals from the three DD2 high schools approached board members June 9 to tell them they feel the cellphone use trial is being well-received by parents and students.

In December the three high school principals came up with the pilot program together in order to concede to technology advances and the fact that almost every student has a cellular device of some sort. The trial pilot program allowed high school students to use their devices prior to 7:25 a.m., during class exchanges, during assigned lunch periods, and after 2:55 p.m. unless in an after-school class or detention.

Elena Furnari, director of high schools, joined the three high school principals – Kenny Farrell from Summerville High, Karen Radcliffe from Ashley Ridge High and Bert Postell from Fort Dorchester High – in approaching the school board during the board meeting June 9 to reveal what they observed during the trial program.

“I will tell you we’ve had positive results,” Furnari told board members. “We are going to ask to implement it.”

The group said research has shown about 13 percent of parents do not want cellphone usage in school because of “enforcement issues.” However, the principals find for the most part parents seem happy that students have a chance to use them at school.

“Parents want their children to have their cellphones,” Farrell said. “For me, personally, there have been less problems with parents.”

Postell said he has noticed kids playing games on their phones while they wait on rides after school and it appears to keep them occupied.

“We appreciate the opportunity and hopefully we get to move forward with it,” Postell said.

The board voted to amend the cellphone usage policy to make the cellphone usage in high schools permissible during non-instructional times of the school day.

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