We want to let you know about an important school policy change taking place for the 2019-2020 school year. All GKHS classrooms will be cell phone free zones. As a result, cell phones should remain in lockers, bags, or backpacks, off or in airplane mode, through the duration of their classes. This is a change from previous years when teachers set individual policies within their classrooms. All teachers will have a consistently worded cell phone free policy in their syllabi/course expectations, supported by a progressive administrative policy to reinforce it. Students will still be able to access to their phones before/after school, during lunch, and during passing periods. Specifics will be communicated upon return from summer break.
As a technology forward school, Graham-Kapowsin wants to help teach and promote appropriate digital citizenship. Our staff has overwhelmingly agreed that a consistent school wide policy to bar cell phone use during class will help students remain present and engaged in their learning. The intent of this policy is to support students in their academic success, remove a major temptation and distraction, and promote face-to-face social interaction and connection. Teachers have repeatedly observed that a cell phone on a desk, even when used as a research tool, still provides too tempting a distraction. When it dings or buzzes, the minds of even the strongest of students wander away. Studies indicate that it can take the brain up to ten minutes to re-engage after responding to a cell phone distraction. Phones are not merely distractions for their owners in the classroom, but they can also be a source of distraction for teachers and classmates alike. Students we interviewed as part of this process confirmed these assertions, albeit begrudgingly.
Parents and guardians, please help us promote this policy be restricting phone contact with your student to passing periods or during lunch, when cell phone use will be allowed. You are also welcome to call the office to deliver information to your student during the day.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, 253-683-6100.